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"We count thirty Rebel ships, Lord Vader, but they're so small they're evading our turbolasers."
―An Imperial Lieutenant, to Darth Vader, during the Battle of Yavin[1]

An XX-9 heavy turbolaser battery on the Death Star

A turbolaser was a powerful variant of the laser cannon turret usually installed aboard capital ships as well as space stations.[2] While their firepower made them very capable against other capital ships, turbolasers were less effective against smaller and more nimble starfighters.[1]


"The items include TRL-44 cylinders, Klymtra spark collimators, Boorian synchronization grids, thorilide shock absorbers—"
"Wait a minute. Thorilide shock absorbers are—no. You're wrong."
"Do you recognize those elements, Assistant Director?"
"They're components for point-defense turbolaser batteries."
―Lieutenant Eli Vanto, Grand Admiral Thrawn, and Assistant Director Ronan[3]

A pair of H9 turbolaser batteries on a CR90 corvette.

Turbolasers operated on similar principles to blaster weaponry, converting high-energy gas into plasma bolts, but made use of much larger power generators and multi-person crews. Turbolasers could also vary their power intensity depending on the needs of the mission, from simply crippling a target to outright vaporizing it. True warships were able to feed nearly their entire reactor output into their heavy turbolasers.[2]

Turbolasers were used by capital ships to penetrate the defenses of other capital ships or to conduct orbital bombardments, including "Base Delta Zero" operations.[2] An Imperial-class Star Destroyer could use its turbolasers to denude an entire continent of vegetation, rendering the atmosphere hazy with particulates.[4] During the latter days of the Clone Wars, some turbolaser batteries, such as those installed aboard the Providence-class Dreadnought Invisible Hand, had a maximum power output that was the equivalent of a Magnitude 10 earthquake.[2] Likewise, the primary turbolaser cannons on a Munificent-class star frigate had sufficient firepower to melt an ice moon 1,000 kilometers in diameter, or pierce through the shields of a 10-kilometer-wide battle station.[2]

Supremacy Turbolaser Tower

A heavy turbolaser tower aboard the Supremacy.

Turbolaser bolts dissipated their energy at a faster rate the further they traveled, therefore turbolasers only had a limited effective range, even in the vacuum of space.[5] The turbolaser armaments of the Imperial I-class Star Destroyer Chimaera had a combat range of less than 1,200 kilometers, and after said distance, they would be unable to penetrate any type of sufficient armoring.[3] Likewise, the Star Dreadnought Supremacy's heavy turbolasers were unable to cause notable damage to the shields of the Star Cruiser Raddus from a significant distance, despite their continuous barrage.[6] A turbolaser's effectiveness was further weakened drastically as the bolt moved through layers of a planet's atmosphere, making them largely ineffective even against unshielded targets. However, this could be ameliorated by moving the ship deeper into the planet's stratosphere.[7]

Thorilide, mined from the Inner Rim moon Cynda, was a vital resource in the manufacturing of the shock absorbers of a turbolaser.[8]

By the time of the First Order-Resistance War, kyber focusing crystals were installed in the turbolasers used by the First Order to increase their firepower and improve their recharge rate.[9]


Trade Federation turbolasers

Quad Turbolaser cannons.

Variants of the turbolaser existed, such as the quad turbolaser cannon,[10] the octuple turbolaser barbette, the light turbolaser, the twin light turbolaser battery, the medium turbolaser,[11] the triple medium turbolaser,[12] the heavy turbolaser, the twin heavy turbolaser battery, the quad heavy turbolaser battery.[11]

Turbolasers were the primary armament on various capital ships, most notably Star Destroyers such as the Venator-class Star Destroyer,[13] the Imperial I-class Star Destroyer,[14] and the Resurgent-class Star Destroyer.[15]

Other types of ships that were equipped with turbolasers included cruisers such as the MC80 Liberty Type Heavy Star Cruisers[16] and the Arquitens-class light cruiser,[17] frigates such as the EF76 Nebulon-B escort frigate[18] and the MC30C frigate,[19] as well as corvettes such as the CR90 corvette[20] and the Raider I-class corvette.[21]

Turbolasers could also be found on space stations such as the DS-1 Death Star Mobile Battle Station[1] and the Golan I Space Defense Platform,[19] as well as on planetside structures such as Grand Republic Medical Facility[22] and Tantiss Base.[23]


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