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The T-21 was the heaviest and one of the most powerful standard-issue weapons that could be carried by a single soldier. The sheer power of its bolts could cut through personal armor and break down personal energy shields, even penetrate the armored plating on many light combat vehicles. It could be wielded two-handed and fired on the move, however, for superior accuracy a light extendable tripod, usually carried in the soldier's belt, was included for stationary firing.
While it came with a standard power pack this only provided enough energy for twenty-five shots, which meant the T-21 was almost always paired with a continuous-feed power generator. This twenty-kilogram generator was carried as a backpack, and the entire set-up of weapon, tripod and generator could be made operational in less than thirty seconds, creating a devastating weapon emplacement. The generator's low cooling capacity limited the T-21 to a maximum firing rate of one shot per second. Some units would pair a larger generator for full autofire, but this required a second crewman to carry the bulkier generator and sustained used at this higher rate threatened to overheat and melt components of the T-21 if the gunner did not take care to restrict his sustained rate of fire.
Clone troopers of the Grand Army of the Republic carried T-21s into battle during the later stages of the Clone Wars, and the weapon was carried over in the transition from Galactic Republic to the Galactic Empire. It was a common squad support weapon for both stormtrooper and Imperial Army trooper squads; artillery sections of the Imperial Army also had at least one T-21 to provide covering fire while the rest of the unit set up heavier artillery pieces and E-WEB repeating blasters. Due to its portability, it was also popular with the Rebel Alliance, and later the New Republic.
Behind the scenesEdit
A First World War-era Lewis machine gun provided the basis for the T-21. The Lewis gun was the standard light machine gun of British and Commonwealth forces during World War I. It was fed by a drum magazine that was placed horizontally on top of the gun's receiver. To produce the T-21 prop, the drum magazine was removed and minor cosmetic alterations were made.
Numerous weapons in Star Wars: Battlefront II use a weapon model based on the T-21: the EMP Launchers used by Jet Troopers, grenade launchers used by Wookiees and some heroes, and Mortar Launchers used by Imperial Officers.
- Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith novel
- Coruscant Nights I: Jedi Twilight
- Scoundrels (Mentioned only)
- Star Wars: Empire at War (Identified as Desert E-11)
- Empire 12: Darklighter, Part 3
- Empire 5: Princess... Warrior, Part 1
- Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope (First appearance)
- (Picture only)
- "Regina Cayli"—Star Wars Adventure Journal 1 (Reprint) (Picture only)
- Empire 16: To the Last Man, Part 1
- Empire 36: The Wrong Side of the War, Part 1
- Star Wars Galaxies: An Empire Divided (Identified as T21 Rifle)
- The New Jedi Order: Star by Star
- Dark Nest I: The Joiner King
- Dark Nest II: The Unseen Queen
- Dark Nest III: The Swarm War
- Legacy of the Force: Tempest
- Legacy of the Force: Inferno
- Legacy of the Force: Invincible
- Fate of the Jedi: Abyss
- Fate of the Jedi: Vortex
- Fate of the Jedi: Apocalypse
- Star Wars: The Roleplaying Game, Second Edition (As "T-21")
- Star Wars Gamemaster Screen (As "T-21")
- The Star Wars Sourcebook, Second Edition (As "T-21")
- The Far Orbit Project
- Star Wars: The Power of the Force (1995)
- Galladinium's Fantastic Technology
- Star Wars Customizable Card Game – Premiere Limited (Card: Light Repeating Blaster Rifle)
- The Essential Guide to Weapons and Technology
- Star Wars: Power of the Jedi
- Arms & Equipment Guide
- Star Wars Galaxies: An Empire Divided Quick Reference Guide
- Star Wars Miniatures: Rebel Storm
- The Official Star Wars Fact File 76 (BLA19-20, Light Repeating Blaster)
- Star Wars Galaxies: The Complete Guide: Prima Official Game Guide (as T21 rifle)
- The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia
- Star Wars Galaxies Trading Card Game – Galactic Hunters (Card: Modified T-21 Rifle)
- Star Wars: Edge of the Empire Core Rulebook
- Star Wars: Force Collection (Card: Sandtrooper (★★★)) (Picture only)