- "See this wavy light around my body? It's a ray shield. Blaster fire can't get in or out. Neat, huh?"
- ―Feylara Raed
A ray shield, a type of deflector shield, was a protective force field. There were two basic types of energy shields: ray shields, which absorbed radiation and blaster bolts and particle shields, which repulsed solid objects. Although ray shields could be used to defend planetary bases, they were more commonly associated with protecting starships from stellar radiation, enemy fire and strangely, the Force.
History and usage
Many starships contained ray shields as a defense against laser weapons. They absorbed lasers like a sponge, and they even deflected some. When a shield took too many hits, it burned out and needed to be recharged.
Ray shields varied in size according to what they were protecting. Large capital ships such as Imperial Star Destroyers had multiple arrays, and some wealthy systems even had planetary shields. Personal shields were on the other end of the spectrum: Jedi Kyle Katarn used one to protect himself during most of his battles, and Han Solo and Chewbacca used personal ray shields when they were gladiators in the Big Game.
In 19 BBY, Anakin Skywalker, Obi-Wan Kenobi, and the recently rescued Palpatine were captured by General Grievous in Hallway 328 of the Invisible Hand through the use of a ray shield to trap them in the middle of the hallway.
The Death Star's thermal exhaust port was protected by a ray shield, since a particle shield would prevent it from venting; therefore, Alliance proton torpedoes could penetrate it, a fact which was pivotal in the destruction of the battlestation.