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It worked on a specific modulated ionic beam that could influence planetary weather systems. Volz saw this as a perfect terraforming machine as it could effectively change planets with damaging weather conditions into livable worlds.
Working on his project, Volz tested the technology on the planet Zerm and it proved to be a success. While the professor's intentions were good, the technology came under the control of Imperial forces led by Captain Bzorn.
Bzorn commandeered the ship, and the Ion Ring was turned into a military weapon, unleashing destructive storms on planets sympathetic to the Rebel cause. With the aid of Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, and Chewbacca in orbit over the planet Little Kessel, Volz was able to regain control of the ship. Devastated that his technology would be used for destruction by the Imperial military, Volz took it upon himself to destroy the ship and, with it, the Ion Ring.
- The Second Kessel Run (First appearance)