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Gravity well projector: Misc



Up to date as of February 04, 2010

From Wookieepedia, the Star Wars wiki.

The gravity well projector from Death Star I.

A gravity well projector was an apparatus similar to a tractor beam. Gravity well projectors were used to create interdiction fields. They projected artificial gravity wells, simulating the gravity shadow of a planet (or other celestial body) and impeding a ship's motion through hyperspace or open slash in the space like black holes (They were used in the war with the Yuuzhan Vong). The main function of any Interdictor-class ship was to use this effect to foil hit-and-run tactics and keep outmaneuvered enemies from escaping, but throughout history many other tactics utilizing the technology were developed.



Throughout galactic history, there was a technological race between faster hyperdrives and more powerful gravity well projectors. Thousands of years before the Battle of Yavin, the peak of interdictor technology was represented by the warship Leviathan. Although it could stop the hyperdrives of its day, the Leviathan was considered inefficient by later standards. As of 27 BBY, the technology of the Leviathan hadn't been used by the Galactic Republic for centuries (possibly because of reasons regarding impracticality or lack of resources), and indeed many had forgotten that the technology existed, but was reapplied by Republic scientists during the Clone Wars. During the eras of the Empire and the New Republic, the Immobilizer 418 was the most commonly used interdictor, to the point that in common usage the term "interdictor" became synonymous with that one class of ships.



The nomadic Vagaari also utilized gravity well projectors, which were used to prevent targets of their conquest from escaping. It is unclear whether the Vagaari actually developed the technology, or stole it from one of the races they conquered. One of their projectors was captured by Force Commander Mitth'raw'nuruodo of the Chiss Expansionry Fleet in 27 BBY, allowing the Chiss Ascendancy to study the technology. The captured projector was installed in the small Chiss cruiser Whirlwind with no mention of existing equipment being removed to accommodate it, indicating that Vagaari gravity well projectors were relatively small. On the other hand, it was relatively primitive by Republic standards, as it required to have several easily destroyed stations deployed separately for optimum effectiveness, and so could not be built into a ship.


One of the many functions of the ancient Centerpoint Station in Corellian system was to produce a colossal artificial gravity well. This ability was first revealed in the early stages of the First Corellian Insurrection in 18 ABY, when an interdiction field spanning the entire Corellian system was activated, making immediate intervention by the New Republic impossible. This made Centerpoint the most powerful gravity well projector in Galactic history. It was even theorized that Centerpoint could, by networking the Corellian system's planetary repulsors and tapping the gravitic potential of Corell itself, create an interdiction field spanning the entire Galaxy, and thus make all hyperspace travel impossible.


The Hapes Consortium's pulse-mass mines were a related technology. Hapan Battle Dragons were equipped with 16 pulse-mass mine launchers, and could launch hundreds of the mines to prevent hyperspace travel. While these mines had the distinct advantage of being more difficult to eliminate than an Interdictor cruiser (they presented much smaller targets, and each individual mine had to be located and destroyed), the downside was that they could not be deactivated by the Hapan vessels. This meant that even if the Hapan ships were being overwhelmed by the enemy force, retreat was impossible until the mines' power was depleted. Thus, Hapan commanders would only utilize their pulse-mass mines if they were confident that victory was assured, or when retreat was not an option. Pulse-mass mines were vital to the Hapan victory in the Battle of Dathomir.


One year after the Battle of Yavin, Alliance High Command learned that the Empire apparently was experimenting with gravity well projectors on a planetary surface. As a gravity well projected on a planet's surface could cause severe earthquakes or even deform the entire globe, the Alliance decided to send a strike team to destroy the facility housing the projector.[1]

An Empress-class space station named Yag-prime was built by the Rebel Alliance over Yag'Dhul during the Galactic Civil War. Warlord Zsinj held the station in 6 ABY. However, the station was captured from his forces by the New Republic, and became (with the permission of the Givin government) the site of Rogue Squadron's orbiting base for training during the Bacta War. It was during this time that Booster Terrik, the manager of the station, acquired a gravity well projector from Talon Karrde and had it installed on the station. It was later used in conjunction with the station's tractor beams to trap the Lusankya when it arrived in system.

List of gravity well projector-equipped starship classes

Behind the scenes

The gravity well projector from Empire at War

In the game, Empire at War there existed orbital stations that possessed gravity well generators which would prevent an enemy fleet from escaping the battlefield, but whether these were common or not is unknown.



Notes and references

  1. Star Wars Galaxies - Rebel terminal mission "Gravity Well Projector"

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


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