- "But I've used most other hand-weapons—so maybe this baby won't give me too much trouble! Maybe."
- ―Han Solo
Melee weapons, also known as hand-weapons, were the first weapons developed for close combat and are among the simplest weapons of all.
Melee weapons generally dealt bludgeoning, slashing, or piercing damage, depending on the design of the weapon. However, some special weapons such as the lightsaber dealt energy damage also. Although primarily used as close-combat weapons, some melee weapons such as knives, spears, and axes were also used as thrown weapons.
Melee weapons came in all shapes and sizes. Some, such as knives, were small enough to be handheld, while other much larger weapons such as the vibro-ax generally required two hands to use. Most melee weapons were simple enough to use without any special training, however some weapons such as the lightsaber, the ryyk blade, and the amphistaff had unusual and exotic designs and functions which required training in order to wield the weapon proficiently.
Melee weapons were used by military personnel and law enforcement agencies, but due to their widespread availability, civilians also made use of them.
Not all melee weapons were used exclusively for combat. Some were used to hunt wild game, while others were used as cutting tools.
Early weapons such as clubs and spears were made of wood and stone. The development of metallurgy led to melee weapons being made of more durable metals such as durasteel and transparisteel. An important development was the inclusion of cortosis and phrik alloys, which gave weapons a resistance to lightsabers. This made dueling with these weapons possible with the lightsaber-wielders prevalent in the Old Republic era.
Other advancements in melee weapons produced vibroweapons, which used ultrasonic vibrations to increase cutting power with less effort by the wielder. There was also the advent of stunning weapons such as the shock stick and stun baton, which were primarily used to disable an opponent with non-lethal force. These weapons typically used an electric charge to incapacitate.
Some species developed their own favored weapons which became a part of their culture. For example, the Tusken Raiders used the gaderffii, Wookiees used ryyk blades, Gamorreans used arg'garoks, Gungans used atlatls and cestas, and the Yuuzhan Vong used the amphistaff.
In addition, different cultures also had their preferred weapon. The most familiar example is the Jedi and the Sith who made extensive use of the lightsaber, one of the most versatile and powerful personal weapons ever known. Able to cut through virtually anything as well as the ability to deflect blaster bolts made this weapon extremely deadly in the hands of a trained force-user.
- Star Wars: The Old Republic
- Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic
- Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords
- Star Wars: Darth Plagueis
- Star Wars 10: Behemoth from the World Below (First identified as hand-weapon)
- Star Wars Galaxies: An Empire Divided
- Star Wars: The Roleplaying Game, First Edition
- The Star Wars Sourcebook
- The New Essential Guide to Weapons and Technology
- Roleplaying Game Core Rulebook
- Roleplaying Game Revised Core Rulebook
- Roleplaying Game: Saga Edition Core Rulebook
- Star Wars: Edge of the Empire Core Rulebook
Melee weapon on Wikipedia