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Flak gun: Misc



Up to date as of February 04, 2010

From Wookieepedia, the Star Wars wiki.

Mass-driver cannon from a Providence-class destroyer.

Flak guns were a tertiary defense employed by several war vehicles.



The idea of point defense goes back to before most species even had the ability to orbit their planets, much less the formation of a galaxy spanning civilization. The idea was always to destroy or deflect incoming fire before it could damage you or your position. While energy weapons required shields to do this, the idea was still soundly applied against proton torpedoes, concussion missiles, starfighters, and mass driven rounds.

Flak guns aboard Invisible Hand.

With advanced automation, computers, and faster-than-light sensors, detecting and destroying projectiles en route would be easy. Unfortunately, as technology advanced, so did the ability to beat that technology, and the heavy ECM environment of combat rendered all that moot. Incoming shots could maneuver and hide themselves to evade targeted CIWS fire.

The result was a return to an even older concept, that of the flak gun. Shells would be fired in the general area of the target, which would then explode, filling the area with shrapnel. Though effective planetside, it was in space combat that it really shone - with no atmosphere to slow the shrapnel and the far higher velocities used the shrapnel became incredibly deadly.


Vehicles known to have used flak guns include the Death Star battlestation,[1] the All Terrain Anti-Aircraft walker,[2] the Munificent-class star frigates,[3] and the Providence-class carrier/destroyer.[4] They could be used to devastating effect in ship to ship combat, as demonstrated by the Invisible Hand during the Battle over Coruscant. This however, is not enough in some cases to ensure a victory, as the Guarlara was still victorious over the Invisible Hand.

Behind the scenes

The presence of flakbursts has been present and debated since 1977, when the A New Hope novel described "explosive solids" being used against the fighters. For a time, it was believed that turbolasers themselves had the ability to flak burst, based on descriptions of flak being used against the Millennium Falcon and rebel snowspeeders in The Empire Strikes Back, but the advent of DVDs allowed tech-minded fans to point out that a number of flak bursts were actually shield interactions. The debate was finally settled with the release of the final film, which showed once and for all that there was a separate weapons system of mass drivers used to provide the anti-fighter flak described in the novel.

In the game Star Wars: Rogue Squadron II: Rogue Leader, flak bursts appear in several planet-side missions. Although the bursts are merely an in-game background effect and do not harm the player's craft, it can be assumed that they originate from flak guns and are used as part of an anti-aircraft defense network.

Flak is also a real-world term for most types of projectile-based (as opposed to missile-based) ground-stationed anti-air weaponry. It is an abbreviation of the German word Flugabwehrkanone, which literally translates to "air defense cannon". Though a colloquialism, it is generally accepted as being interchangeable with such technical terms as Anti-Aircraft Artillery (AAA or Triple A).

The loading sound effect on the Invisible Hand's Flak guns was also used in The Last Crusade for Vogel's Mark VIII tank-based port gun loading mechanism.


  • Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones
  • Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Cargo of Doom"
  • Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith
  • Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith (video game)
  • Star Wars: Empire at War
  • Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope (novel) (First appearance)
  • Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope
  • Star Wars: Force Commander
  • Star Wars: Rogue Squadron II: Rogue Leader
  • Star Wars: Empire at War: Forces of Corruption
  • Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back
  • Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi


  • Revenge of the Sith: The Visual Dictionary
  • Star Wars: The Complete Visual Dictionary

Notes and references

  1. Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope (novel)
  2. Star Wars: Force Commander
  3. Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Cargo of Doom"
  4. Revenge of the Sith: The Visual Dictionary

I find your lack of sources disturbing.

This article needs to be provided with more sources and/or appearances to conform to a higher standard of article quality.


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


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