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An ion cannon was a weapon which fired highly ionized particles or highly ionized plasma. Ion cannons fired particles that seriously interfered with the operation of electronics and computer systems, shorting circuits and often disabling them outright, in much the same manner as an electromagnetic pulse. The actual physical damage would sometimes result in fused joints on machines, due to the heat produced. Large negative-ion pulses were charged in a turbine generator then channeled into a plasma charge or released as a large pulse towards a target. As a result, ion cannons were the weapon of choice for subduing, rather than destroying, enemy starships, vehicles, shields, or droids. There were many types of ion cannons, including ground-based like the N-K7, planet-based such as the one at Echo Base, and ship-mounted ion cannons such as the one on the Malevolence.

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