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Deflector shield: Misc



Up to date as of February 02, 2010

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The Deflector shields (or more commonly referred to simply as shields) are an electromagnetic field that can be projected around a starship, starbase, or planet and act as the first form of defence against enemies or natural hazards.

By the 22nd century, humans had only developed basic deflector shields projected from a deflector dish which allowed them to operate at warp speeds but had to resort to polarized hull plating in tactical situations. However many species in the Alpha and Beta Quadrants had developed more advanced shielding technology by the 2150s, these included the Andorians and the Klingons. (ENT episodes: "Sleeping Dogs", "Proving Ground")

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ST Expanded

Up to date as of February 07, 2010

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  1. REDIRECTmemoryalpha:Deflector shield

This article uses material from the "Deflector shield" article on the ST Expanded wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.


Up to date as of February 04, 2010

From Wookieepedia, the Star Wars wiki.

A ray shield envelops a Naboo starfighter.
"Nothing can get through our shields."
Daultay Dofine, shortly before the destruction of the Trade Federation Droid Control Ship above Naboo

Deflector shields, also known as deflector screens, deflectors or simply shields, were translucent or transparent energy fields produced by deflector shield generators. These generators could be placed on planets, droids, starships, space stations and individual buildings. The primary purpose of the shield was to block or deflect projectiles and lasers from hitting the object under protection.


Shield types

"Their deflector shield is too strong. We'll never get through it."
Ric Olié

There were two distinct types of deflector shield: ray shields, also known as energy shields, and particle shields. The first type protected against energy-based attacks, such as blaster or laser cannon fire, while the latter was developed in response to physical attacks, ranging from projectile missiles and incoming vehicles to asteroids and meteors. Commonly, larger ships and structures were protected by both types of shield, though starfighters often only projected ray shields. Ray shields were also used as capture devices onboard capital ships; Obi-Wan Kenobi, Anakin Skywalker and Supreme Chancellor Palpatine were caught in a ray shield trap onboard Invisible Hand. Although designed to counter energy attacks, the energy given off by the ray shield would likely have disintegrated the Jedi duo had they attempted to pass through it.

Shields protect the Gungan Grand Army in the Battle of Naboo.

The Gungan shields used during the Battle of Naboo blocked lasers, but droids could pass through because of their relatively slow movement in comparison to the laser bolts. Some shields only held back anything with a high-energy output, allowing sentients to pass through unharmed. Others were deadly to anything upon contact. Some Trade Federation droids, notably the droideka, were equipped with shields making them almost invincible in infantry combat.

Deflector shields worked in a layered defense fashion: A volumetric field effect extended out from the surface of the shield projector, attempting to reduce the coherency of any beam attacks and deflect physical objects. The shield itself behaved in a manner similar to that of a thermally conductive material—energy applied was quickly diffused and re-radiated back into the environment, but the shield itself could also absorb some of the energy. The absorbed energy was shunted into heat sinks, and re-radiated at a lesser rate by the shield and neutrino radiators. The use of deflector shields on starfighters and other small craft, made them capable of hypersonic speeds in planetary atmospheres.[1]

The strength of a deflector shield was a factor depending on how close the shield was to the projector, the efficiency of the projector, the power applied, and the surface area of the shield. It was common for starship deflectors to be projected a few molecules underneath the hull plating, and then extended outwards to protect hull integrity. Starship shields could handle massive amounts of energy or punishment, although it was possible to disable a shield by concentrating fire on a specific location.

Aside from the standard defensive shields carried by most ships, there were other variants:

  • Shift shields: These shields protected any ship traveling in hyperspace from collisions with interstellar atoms, dust, or dark matter. An unprotected collision would destroy the ship. Failure of the shift shields in a meteor shower was how Darth Vader explained the loss of Tantive IV to the Imperial Senate prior to its dissolution.
  • Relativistic shields: Not shields in the classic sense, but relativistic shields still protected the user from outside forces, thus justifying their name. As time dilated so that the traveler would experience less time to the observer in normal relativistic movement, the opposite would occur when traveling at greater than c velocities. The traveler experienced time flowing at a greater rate, with this rate increasing the faster they went. As a result, anyone traveling at faster-than-lightspeeds would experience thousands of years in what would seem to the observer to be seconds. These devices retarded the flow of local time to prevent this from occurring. See also: stasis fields.
  • Ablative shields: These protected some starfighters. Not yet directly observed, its characteristics cannot yet be described. However, the name indicates it dissipates energy by melting or eroding.


Hologram showing the planetary shield for Death Star II.
"The shield must be deactivated if any attack is to be attempted."
Admiral Ackbar

Deflector shields were first developed during the early years of space exploration, designed to absorb heat and radiation encountered in space and within a planetary atmosphere. Before the introduction of deflector shields, pilots had to rely solely on thick, armored hulls for protection against meteors and laser attacks. More advanced versions of the energy shield were developed centuries later, until eventually modern shielding was able to combine ray and particle protection. Eventually, shield technology improved enough to allow some ground vehicles to have dedicated shield generators.

Some of the largest and most powerful deflector shields produced were those that protected the Death Star battlestations of the Galactic Empire. The second Death Star was protected by a planetary shield generator on the moon of Endor. This effectively forestalled any attack against the station, until Han Solo's strike team destroyed the generator.

Personal shields

Main article: Personal energy shield
"The Imperials think I'm somehow immortal, but I just have a good supply of power cells."
Kyle Katarn on the Military Mobility Shield

From the era of the Jedi Civil War, personal shielding for individual units was commonplace. There were melee shields, energy shields, and Verpine shields.

By the time of the Battle of Naboo, personal shields that covered an entire being existed, but produced radiation and magnetic fields that were dangerous for sustained use.

During the Galactic Civil War through the Yuuzhan Vong War, however, personal shield tech was all but lost. Very few armies equipped their soldiers with personal shielding, due to the craft being lost for many years. Notable exceptions include the Trade Federation droidekas, the mercenary Kyle Katarn and his student Jaden Korr, Durge, and possibly the bounty hunters Boba Fett and Jango Fett.


Shield and shield generator from Star Wars: Empire at War.

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Notes and references

  1. Revenge of the Sith: Incredible Cross-Sections

This article uses material from the "Deflector shield" article on the Starwars wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.


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