A flare was a pyrotechnic device commonly used as a signal in the absence of communications. They were often color-coded so their meaning could be understood quickly.
During the Battle of Christophsis, General Anakin Skywalker fired four flares from a Republic stealth ship, which acted as decoys for the incoming tracking torpedoes. After launching the flares, Skywalker cloaked the stealth ship, and the torpedoes veered away from the stealth ship and into one of the flares.
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