- "Two ion-cannon blasts shorted every system I had in the ship, including the self-destruct."
- ―Tycho Celchu
A self-destruct mechanism was a defense system that allowed an important craft or device to self-destruct under certain circumstances such as the threat of being captured. This was often used as a last-resort defense to protect data from being used by the enemy.
When Han Solo and Chewbacca destroyed a Viper probe droid on Hoth, the droid managed to send relay images of Echo Base before self-destruction. After the Battle of Hoth, every TIE series starfighter had a self-destruct system installed.[source?]
When Rookie One and Ru Murleen destroyed the TIE Phantom factory at Imdaar Alpha they brought the very last TIE Phantom to a Rebel base but the designers had anticipated such a possibility and each fighter was given a self-destruct mechanism disabled by some Imperial code, so that should one fall in the hands of the Rebels, they wouldn't be able to replicate its technology. After the destruction of this short-lived fighter, its technology was lost forever.
The Empire equipped TIE Maulers with a self-destruct mechanism as a means to do additional damage to enemy troops if the TIE Mauler was attacked. The power core of the TIE Mauler would overload and the craft would explode, destroying or damaging troops, vehicles, or structures nearby.
The Zann Consortium were also known to have their Vengeance-class frigates and Aggressor-class Star Destroyers self-destruct by overheating their ship cores should the situation call for it in battle.
Before the New Republic liberated Coruscant from the Galactic Empire, Tycho Celchu volunteered to fly a TIE/LN starfighter to spy on the planet, his starfighter was modified heavily with sensor packages for his mission. He was caught by the Imperials after being hit by two ion-cannon blasts, which disabled the self-destruct system.
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars video game
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars: Republic Heroes (Mentioned only)
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Bound for Rescue"
- Star Wars: Empire at War
- Star Wars: Empire at War: Forces of Corruption
- Star Wars: Rebellion 11: Small Victories, Part 1
- Star Wars: Rogue Squadron III: Rebel Strike
- Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back
- Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back novel
- Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back junior novel
- Star Wars 39: The Empire Strikes Back: Beginning
- Star Wars: Rebel Assault II: The Hidden Empire
- Star Wars 57: Hello, Bespin, Good-bye! (Mentioned only)
- X-Wing: Wedge's Gamble (Mentioned only)
- The New Jedi Order: Force Heretic I: Remnant
- Legacy of the Force: Exile
- Galaxy Guide 3: The Empire Strikes Back, First Edition (As "self destruct programming")
- Shadows of the Empire Sourcebook
- The Secrets of Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire
- Star Wars Customizable Card Game – Hoth Limited (Card: Self-Destruct Mechanism)
- Star Wars: Force Collection (Card: Viper Probe Droid)