A gravity lock was a type of portable, hovering, slab-like device that used tractor beam technology to physically prevent starships from taking off. Developed by the Galactic Empire, gravity locks saw use during the Galactic Civil War, and were later used by the Imperial successor state the First Order during the Cold War.

Specifications[edit | edit source]

An Imperial technology[2][1], gravity locks were found in most major planetary docking bays and shipyards in response to ship thieves.[2]

Designed to clamp onto a vessel's landing gear, once in place the gravity lock used tractor beams to anchor the vessel in place.[2][1] Further, gravity locks were reinforced and designed in such a way that they were nearly impossible to take off through force and cutting tools; the amount of force needed to remove a gravity lock was such that it would damage the ship itself. The only way to remove a gravity lock safely was to input the unique key code created when the lock is installed,[2] or to dismantle them by hand[1] – a laborious eight-hour process that required exceptional engineering knowledge.[2]

History[edit | edit source]

Developed several years before the Battle of Yavin, gravity locks were manufactured across the Empire, with some gravity locks being assembled by inmates of Imperial prisons. Imperial Lieutenant Yogar Lyste had them placed on several starships brought to Lothal by Princess Leia Organa which carried relief supplies, as Lyste had noticed a tendency for Alderaanian ships to be stolen by rebels and hoped to prevent any such theft. This, however, was a failure, as the Spectres, secretly in league with Organa, were able to steal the ships after former Lothalian governor Ryder Azadi, who had been forced to manufacture the locks during his imprisonment by the Empire, assisted in removing the devices.[4] They were later used during the occupation of Lothal to impound suspected smuggling ships. After the Spectres smuggled themselves through the heavy Imperial lockdown onboard the Broken Horn, the ship was secured with a gravity lock, as an Imperial cruiser had scanned the extra lifeforms onboard.[5]

Late in the Cold War, the First Order also used gravity locks. During the occupation of the Colossus platform on Castilon, the locks were used on ships belonging to various residents, including Hype Fazon's Green Ace, after Commander Pyre pressured Captain Imanuel Doza into cancelling all future races on the platform due to the danger of a spurious pirate threat.[3] During the Colossus' subsequent escape from Castilon and the First Order, the members of Ace Squadron, as well as starfighter pilots Jarek Yeager and Kazuda Xiono, were delayed in taking to the air to defend the supertanker fuel depot due to gravity locks on their ships, requiring astromech droids Bucket and CB-23 to hurry in taking them off.[6]

Behind the scenes[edit | edit source]

Gravity locks first appeared in the Star Wars Rebels season 2 episode "A Princess on Lothal", which aired in early 2016.[4]

Appearances[edit | edit source]

Sources[edit | edit source]

Notes and references[edit | edit source]

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