"Hokey religions and ancient weapons are no match for a good blaster at your side"...
As a fan site dedicated to creating the best possible sabers that replicate the experience of real Jedi and Sith, it's no surprise which Star Wars weapon we think is the best...yup, it's the lightsaber.
However, that's not taking anything away from the numerous amazing armaments we see throughout the galaxy during the film franchise and expanded media.
From melee weapons that rival lightsabers in their potential, through to long-range energy blasters, there's something for everyone in Star Wars. The strange mixture of kinetic and energy weapons creates an eclectic blend that can make choosing a top list hard.
Instead of focusing solely on power, we thought we'd look at some of the most distinct Star Wars blasters and weapons to showcase the sheer creativity of Star Wars. From ultra-slick Naboo tech to what is essentially a pointy stick, here are Saberzone's official best Star Wars blasters and non-sabers...
The E-11 blaster rifle goes hand-in-hand with the white-clad armour of the stormtroopers. This black barrelled blaster is a standard-issue armament for the forces of the empire and while they really need to learn how to aim, the model itself has plenty of destructive potential.
Like many blasters in Star Wars, it had stun, kill and sting settings - which we see on screen when Luke and crew steal aboard the Death Star and disguise themselves as troopers. Despite the widespread nature of the E-11, there are still plenty of interesting variants to spot such as the E-22, a larger double-barrelled option used on Scariff.
See this excellent video by EC Henry to learn more.
The Gaderffi, also known as the Gaffi stick, is a staff wielded by one of the most iconic races of aliens in the galaxy. The Tusken Raiders, or sand people, are the creators and masters of this weapon - which is essentially just a really hard stick with a point on the end.
However, despite the primitive technology on show in the original trilogy, recent scenes in The Book of Boba Fett have shown us that there's an entire culture going into the creation of each of these weapons. Boba Fett is trained in the use of Gaffi sticks as a fighting weapon, then creates his own from the branch of a Wortwood tree.
The Gaffi stick is an extremely 'uncivilized' weapon in a Jedi's estimation, but it's also the cultural 'logo' of the Tusken Raiders. We first saw one brandished over Luke in A New Hope and they've remained fearsome ever since. And hey, civilisations have been using crude melee weapons for millennia, especially in situations where firearms break. It's hardly unbelievable that the Tuskens would still default to their trusty Gaffi sticks - especially on a planet like Tatooine, where sand gets everywhere.
Look at this brilliant video by I Like To Make Stuff on YouTube to see a real-life version made before your eyes.
Another Star Wars weapon from the prequels, the thermal detonator made its way into cultural renown through the Star Wars Lego videogames. After all, most video games involve throwing a grenade of some kind so what could developers do but turn to the thermal detonator?
That said, thermal detonators have been in the franchise since the OT - when Leia threatens Jabba with one. But we first saw them in more widespread use during the clone wars era. They are highly explosive and can blow through most metals, including permacite.
For sheer destructive potential in such a tiny package, the thermal detonator remains a powerful tool in the Star Wars world.
Mandalorian Wrist Rocket System
It's hard to think of Boba Fett, or The Mandalorian, without their awesome wrist and backpack-mounted rocket launchers. Like the jet pack and armour, these weapons are so synonymous with these hunters that it'd be bizarre to see them in use by anyone else. Named the MM9, the rocket system fires clusters of small missiles that home in on their targets to blow pretty much anything up - partially leading to Boba Fett's long reign as the most famed bounty hunter in the galaxy.
Here's a crazy video from TechForge showing a DIY wrist rocket prototype in our world!
Jawa Ion Blaster
The Jawa are a diminutive race of scavengers that populate Tatooine and like the Tuskens we mentioned earlier, they also have a distinctive weapon that is hard to ignore. The Jawa Ion Blaster subdues R2D2 early in the OT, and is so intrinsic to the Jawa identity it'd be hard to imagine one wielded by anyone else.
Like the Jawa's themselves, these ion blasters were scavengers - designed to disable droids and other electrical systems with a burst of ion energy. They also stun living creatures, but their main purpose is in the hunting of droids so the Jawas can acquire another servant or product to sell.
The unique style, which looks a little like a WW2 grenade launcher, fits in perfectly with the gritty aesthetic of Tatooine - a planet where all of the weapons have more in common with the Wild West than they do with science fiction.
See this MetaNerdz lore video to learn more.
Naboo Royal Blaster
When Episode I came around, the whole aesthetic of Star Wars saw an upheaval that came via Naboo. Where the OT was gritty and in need of repair, the prequels were flashy, slick and full of flair. Naboo personified this new era with its glittering towers and slick starships.
The Naboo Royal Blaster is a great example of this tonal design shift. It's a high sheen metallic blaster that features a small cylindrical barrel and a classic wooden grip. The blaster was wielded by Padme Amidala and her royal handmaidens and was almost a miniature version of the Naboo starfighters with its chrome finish.
Han Solo's DL-44 blaster is simply the stuff of legend. This heavy blaster pistol is an extremely powerful heavy blaster pistol which sports high damage at close range. It could be adapted into a long-range carbine variant, but this was not the one given to Han Solo. Instead, he received the standard pistol variant from Tobias Beckett who had deconstructed it from the carbine.
In Han's hands, the blaster became a trademark that he wielded with effective skill in many instances across the galaxy. Infamously, it's the blaster he uses to dispatch Greedo in the 'who shot first' scene. (Spoiler: it's Han).
Inside Star Wars has a great video exploring this iconic blaster.
You can't have a list of Star Wars blasters and not include this amazing design. The bowcaster is based on a real-world crossbow, then dialled up to 11 in terms of Star Wars flourish. Wielded by the fearsome Wookie race, the bowcaster is a laser crossbow that had far more power than a standard blaster.
Many bowcasters were personal to their owners and handcrafted, though there were manufacturing facilities on Kashykk that would assemble them en masse. The destructive power of the bowcaster meant they were very heavy and most humans couldn't carry one for any length of time, or shoot them accurately.
Chewbacca is the most famous wielder of the bowcaster and for good reason: he had assembled his own from the remnants of a stormtrooper blaster.
Fennec's Sniper Blaster
If you've been watching The Mandalorian or The Book of Boba Fett you've probably seen one of our favourite blasters on screen. Fennec Shand was a master assassin whose choice of armament helped her do her job from a distance - able to pick off her foes before they knew she was coming.
To do this, she wielded the MK Sniper Blaster, a long-range rifle that could punch through Beskar armour as easily as a lightsaber. But even ignoring this destructive ability, it's mainly the cool design of the blaster we love - it's so Star Wars in the fact it looks almost like a historic cowboy rifle rather than something from a sci-fi universe. Just truly a peak design choice from the Disney team.
Electrostaffs & Force Pikes
Name a more iconic duo than the red-masked guardians of Palpatine's throne and their crackling force weapons. Okay, so maybe they're not quite on the level of other famous duos, but all Star Wars fans must acknowledge how interesting the secretive 'Imperial Royal Guard' are.
These red-robed, red-masked warriors guard the Emperor with their force pikes, tools that can supposedly match lightsabers in their fearsome close-combat potential. How potent were they? Well, let's take a look at this video by The Lore Master.
It wasn't until the latest trilogy, however, that we got to see any of these guards in real action. In the era of the New Republic, the First Order's own praetorian guard were modelled after the Emperor's own guardsmen and used electro staff weapons to go toe-to-toe with Rey and Kylo-Ren.
While the emperor's guard's pikes may not be the coolest or most iconic weapons, it's only natural we'd place them high in the list. After all, we're a lightsaber fan site - so we're always going to applaud those who can try and stand up to our duelling sabers.
If you want to try out a superior option for a more civilised age, why not wield a lightsaber of your own? Check out our legendary sabers page to see some of the galaxy's most iconic styles.