Laser cannons were powerful laser weapons that were commonly outfitted to vehicles, starfighters, and starships. A laser cannon could be fixed in place or attached to a turret or ball-mounted swivel, allowing the weapon to aim and fire in many directions.
Laser cannons operated on the same principle as blasters and blaster cannons - using high-energy gas to fire concentrated bolts of energy - but could be more powerful and with greater range. They were the dominate weapon of the galaxy, with a variety of different models mounted on both civilian and military vehicles and vessels.
Like blasters, many laser cannons could vary the intensity of their shots. The laser cannons on a UT-60D U-wing starfighter/support craft could be adjusted so that a single shot would reduce a person to ash. The laser cannons on a Low Altitude Assault Transport/infantry could fire bolts of up to 5 gigajoules.
Laser cannons could also be used to shoot down enemy missiles. However doing so required a working targeting computer, as otherwise hitting missiles traveling at extreme velocities could be incredibly hard. Even with a targeting computer, some targets could be very difficult to hit: during the Great Hyperspace Disaster, Galactic Republic Longbeam fighters had a one-in-three chance of hitting debris from the Legacy Run traveling at close to light-speed.
Starfighters and other small craft that were equipped with laser cannons included the T-65B X-wing starfighter, the BTL-A4 Y-wing assault starfighter/bomber, the Phantom, the patrol transports of Coruscant, the Republic attack shuttle, the Lambda-class T-4a shuttle, the A-wing starfighter, the ARC-170 starfighter, the B-wing starfighter, the Republic attack gunships, the Gauntlet starfighter, the HH-87 Starhopper, the Hyena bomber, the Delta-7 Aethersprite-class light interceptor, the TIE fighter, the Grand Inquisitor's TIE Advanced prototype, and the clone Z-95 starfighter.
Starships that were equipped with laser cannons included the Malevolence, the Ghost, Merchant One, the Millennium Falcon, the droid gunship, the Imperial Star Destroyer, the Corona-class armed frigate, the Venator-class Star Destroyer (also known as the "Republic attack cruiser"), the Republic frigate, the Providence-class Dreadnought, the Separatist supply ship, Slave I, the IPV-2C Stealth Corvette, the Trade Federation landing ship, the Trident-class assault ship, and the Twilight.
Vehicles that were equipped with laser cannons included the All Terrain Tactical Enforcer or "AT-TE walker," the All Terrain Armored Transport or "AT-AT walker," the All Terrain Reconnaissance Transport or "AT-RT walker," the All Terrain Scout Transport or "AT-ST walker," the Gian heavy patrol speeder, the freeco bike, the WLO-5 battle tank, General Grievous' Speeder as well as his TSMEU-6 personal wheel bike, the T-47 airspeeder, and the Umbaran mobile heavy cannon (or "Umbaran MHC").
Battle droids that were equipped with laser cannons included the DSD1 dwarf spider droid, the LR-57 combat/retail droid, and the B2-series super battle droid, which had a double laser cannon built into its wrist.
A type of laser cannon that was used as a personal heavy weapon was referred to as a rotary laser cannon, rotating laser cannon, or as the Z-6 rotary blaster cannon. Such weapons were used by clone troopers Hardcase and Thorn.