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"A precise hit will start a chain reaction which should destroy the station. Only a precise hit will set up a chain reaction. The shaft is ray-shielded, so you'll have to use proton torpedoes."
General Jan Dodonna briefs Rebel pilots on the attack on the Death Star[src]

Proton torpedoes were used by Luke Skywalker to destroy the first Death Star.

Proton torpedoes were a type of explosive ordnance used throughout the galaxy. Upon impact with a target, the energy warhead would release clouds of high-velocity proton particles.[1]

They were used by the Royal Naboo Security Forces during the Invasion of Naboo, in which Anakin Skywalker destroyed the Trade Federation command ship with proton torpedoes.[2]

Decades later, proton torpedoes were used by TIE bombers to bomb a carrier stolen by the Spectres. Later, they were used by the Alliance to Restore the Republic during the Battle of Yavin. After examining stolen plans for the Death Star, a planet-destroying space station operated by the Galactic Empire, the Rebel Alliance determined that the Death Star could be destroyed if proton torpedoes were fired into the exhaust port which led down into the reactor core. Red leader Garvin Dreis attempted to fire his torpedoes down the shaft, but instead the torpedoes missed the target, impacting on the surface. Using the Force, Luke Skywalker successfully destroyed the station using proton torpedoes during the battle.[3]

Around 30 years after the destruction of the DS-2 Death Star II Mobile Battle Station, the Resistance used miniaturized MG7-A proton torpedoes[1] during their bombing run on Starkiller Base's thermal oscillator.[4]

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