The Radiation Cannon was a type of portable cannon that fired radiation, making it an effective weapon when used against organic foes, leaving droids unharmed. Useful for taking out otherwise effective defenses, such as those built by clone troopers, the Radiation Cannon was utilized by the Confederacy of Independent Systems—which armed some B1-series battle droids with the weapon—during the Clone Wars against the Galactic Republic.
A portable model of heavy weaponry the Radiation Cannon fired radiation at organic enemies to wear them down. The weapon had no adverse effects for droids, so those equipped with the cannon felt as though they had little to fear from the radiation it would fire; as such, battle droids could be outfitted with the cannon to fire upon enemy defenses and slowly but surely erode away otherwise effective positions.
During the Clone Wars between the Confederacy of Independent Systems and Galactic Republic, the Confederacy armed some of its B1-series battle droids with Radiation Cannons, dubbing them "Radiation Cannon B1 Troopers." Serving in the Separatist Droid Army, B1s armed with Radiation Cannons were useful for wearing down defenses built by Republic clone troopers. Equipped with a much more powerful weapon than other B1 units, thus giving them unique capabilities, Radiation Cannon B1 Troopers became an example of how the normally–standardized Droid Army sometimes rearranged its weaponry to provide its droids with new ways to win battles.
When equipped with a Radiation Cannon, a B1 would need to look past the army's standard issue E-5 blaster rifle to instead fully capitalize on his new gear. During one engagement between 20 BBY and 19 BBY, one such B1 fought against Republic clones in a forested environment. Radiation Cannon-armed B1s were also fielded in conjunction with E-5s sniper rifle-equipped B1s; while the Radiation Cannon B1s attacked defenses on the frontline, the droids armed with the sniper rifles targeted enemies who were hiding behind cover.
Behind the scenes
The Radiation Cannon was introduced to the new Star Wars canon in an August 6, 2019 article on Fantasy Flight Games' website advertising the B1 Battle Droids Upgrade Expansion for their Star Wars: Legion tabletop game. Along with other B1 models and cards, the B1 Upgrade Expansion came with a finely–sculpted, hard plastic miniature–which players could paint in any way they chose–and a card of a Radiation Cannon B1 Trooper. Offering players a new soldier for their Legion campaigns to fine–tune their strategies, the card is used to add one such droid, represented in-game by the miniature, into the player's party. While unit cards help a player add a Radiation Cannon B1 Trooper into their preexisting army to form an effective unit, additional upgrade cards are applicable to the B1 to booster the droid's usefulness. An enemy trooper hurt by the cannon is given one poison token.
If they do not want to diversify their ranks, Legion players also have the chose to use the Radiation Cannon B1 Trooper miniature to represent a standard B1, ignoring the Radiation Cannon sculpted in the droid's hands to field it with an E-5 blaster rifle instead. Within the Star Wars Legends continuity, the cannon originated in the LucasArts video game Star Wars: Battlefront, which was released on September 21, 2004. It was identified as the RD-4 grenade launcher in the game's official guide, which was written by David Knight and published by Prima Games on September 28 of that year.
Notes and references
- Star Wars: Legion – B1 Battle Droids Upgrade Expansion (Card: )
- Phase II clone trooper armor was put into use by the events of "Water War," which are dated to 20 BBY by Star Wars: Galactic Atlas. Galactic Atlas also dates the end of the Clone Wars to 19 BBY. As Star Wars: Legion – B1 Battle Droids Upgrade Expansion (Card: ) depicts a Clone Wars-era engagement featuring Phase II clone trooper armor, the event must occur between those two years.
- Star Wars: Battlefront
- Star Wars Year By Year: A Visual History, New Edition
- Star Wars Battlefront: Prima Official Game Guide