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"Because he's holding a thermal detonator!"
C-3PO speaks in fear of the threat of a thermal detonator[src]

Thermal detonators were palm-sized, spherical devices that were used as extremely deadly explosive weapons.[3] In addition to being surprisingly powerful for their size, they could only be deactivated by whomever turned them on.[6] They would only explode when they were activated, and therefore a secure and stable weapon to carry.[7] They could also be programmed to explode after a set amount of time.[5]

Their usage was heavily regulated, and owning one illegally could earn its owner the capital punishment in many star systems. Most thermal detonators contained baradium, a highly unstable chemical compound that could blow a 2 meter deep hole in pure permacite. The chemical compound was so unstable that, in certain situations, some detonators have exploded after being accidentally dropped to the ground. This, was due to them having been exposed to too much heat or manipulated harshly. The power of the thermal detonator made it highly sought-after in the criminal underground, which made its price climb to 2,000 credits on the black market.[5]

The Duros bounty hunter Cad Bane carried thermal detonators, and often used them during assignments.[8] Princess Leia Organa, disguised as the bounty hunter Boushh, threatened the crime lord Jabba the Hutt with a detonator in order to negotiate a deal.[3]


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