Star Wars Weapons Lore – The Electrostaff
Created by Holowan Mechanicals, the electrostaff was a pole-like melee weapon, hence its nickname of the electropole. They were used by the CIS’ IG-100 MagnaGuards during the Clone Wars, and later by Imperial riot troopers and heavy troopers during the Galactic Civil War. But what exactly are electrostaffs?
Although capable of penetrating and neutralizing ray shields, electrostaffs were mostly used as blunt-force melee weapons. They were designed to be longer than most lightsaber blades, allowing the user to duel Jedi whilst remaining out of their range. Electrostaffs were able to resist lightsaber attacks due to their make-up of the phrik alloy. Just like Force pikes, the staff was tipped with electricity emitters with different power settings, ranging from a stunning jolt to a deadly charge. Because of the different settings, the electrostaff could be used only to incapacitate the opponent instead of killing them outright, or even as a torture device. On the contrary, when switched to the highest power setting, the weapon was powerful enough to stop a being’s heart after just five seconds of direct contact. However, to do any real damage, the user had to strike either the chest, throat or head of the opponent, as show when Jedi Master Shaak Ti withstood four strikes on her arms and shoulders, allowing her to continue fighting against a large horde of MagnaGuards, despite being in very obvious pain.
The Separatists equipped their IG-100 MagnaGuards with electrostaffs to guard General Grievous and Count Dooku during the Clone Wars. The droids also helped abduct Supreme Chancellor Palpatine in 19 BBY and capture Jedi council member Eeth Koth, who they tortured. The specific electrostaffs used by MagnaGuards were manufactured by Baktoid Armor Workshop. They had a lining of focussing rods across the shaft that fed into a power cell and electromagnetic field generator, which energised a power cycling coil. This is what produced the purple or yellow sparks and beams that were visible at the ends of their weapons. Not all of the electrostaffs produced by Baktoid Armor Workshop were constructed of phrik due to the cost of the alloy. During the Galactic Civil War, the scavenger Sarco Plank wielded an electrostaff, fighting Luke Skywalker with it on Devaron whilst the young Jedi was exploring the Temple of Eedit. Plank proved almost a match for the Jedi-in-training, coming close to killing Skywalker with his staff several times. However, Luke destroyed the scavenger’s control box and sent him and his electrostaff hurtling into a pit leading to the temple’s under levels.
Around 1 and 2 BBY, riot troopers and heavy troopers of the Galactic Empire were known for using electrostaffs. They were able to resist lightsaber attacks using Cortosis (a very rare, brittle, fibrous material whose conductive properties caused lightsabers to temporarily short out upon contact), as shown when they engaged Darth Vader’s apprentice, Starkiller, as well as his clone. Such encounters occurred on Kamino, Felucia, Kashyyyk, and Cato Neimoidia. Unfortunately, they failed to stop the apprentice and later his clone from fulfilling their objectives…
Now it’s time for this week’s question: do you think electrostaffs were good weapons to counter lightsabers? Or do you think there were better alternatives? Let me know in the comments below.