Boba Fett's Lair : The Fett Files : Profiles

Thermal Detonator
From Star Wars: The Essential Guide Weapons and Technology

When the bounty hunter Boushh threatened to explode a thermal detonator inside Jabba the Hutt's throne room, everyone in the room had good reason to cower. No one would have survived the intense explosion. Fortunately, the masked hunter--actually Princess Leia Organa in disguise--had other objectives, namely, to rescue Han Solo from Jabba's clutches

Thermal detonators are immensely powerful--and strictly regulated--explosive devices. The small metal ball looks like a common grenade, and the device's thermite casing contains the synthetic explosive known as baradium. When the detonators's sliding thumb trigger is pushed, warning lights and alarms are activated as the six-second timer counts down. The detonator can be deactivated at any time by returning the trigger to its original position. The timer also may be reset manually to offer a maximum countdown of five minutes, or the trigger's control pins can be programmed to act as a deadman's switch. In this setting, unless a tiny switch near the indicator light is flipped to the safety position, the detonator will explode instantly when the trigger is released

When a detonator explodes, the baradium's fusion reaction creates a particle field that quickly expands outward, releasing enough energy and heat to virtually disintegrate anything caught in the blast sphere. Within a few seconds, the baradium core burns out and the particle field sphere collapses on itself. Everything within the blast sphere is gone, while anything beyond the sphere's outer boundary is left unharmed.

Standard-issue Imperial detonators have a small baradium core and yield a blast radius of about five meters. The Class-A thermal detonator carried by Princess Leia would have resulted in a blast radius of twenty meters. Some criminals have custom-built detonators with enough baradium to create hundred-meter blast spheres.

Baradium is dangerously unstable, sometimes triggering a fusion reaction if the detonator is jarred or exposed to excessive heat. Detonators have been known to explode when dropped or thrown through the air or for no apparent reason. As a result, they are strictly military-issue and illegal for civilian possession, although their usefulness creates intense demand for them, pushing black market prices up to two-thousand credits per detonator.

Since a single blast can disintegrate up to two meters of permacrete, military crews often use detonators for demolitions work and detonator booby traps are sometimes set to cover retreating soldiers.

Princess Leia used a thermal detonator to lend credibility to her impersonation of Boushh, since the infamous bounty hunter was known to be fond of explosives. Leia received the weapon from Lando Calrissian, who used two similar detonators to destroy the opulent palace of Prince Xixor, ruler of the criminal organization known as Black Sun.

Boba Fett's Lair
© 1997 - 1999 Chris Coleman