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"Another reason why privacy could be just a passing fad, terrorism is going to get too good. [1997]"
- Larry Niven

Ion Cannon  
  Fires blasts of charged particles.  

Hobie, a Rebel veteran of many battles, looked at the princess with concern. "Two fighters against a Star Destroyer?"

"The ion cannon will fire several blasts which should destroy any ships in your path," Leia explained.

From Star Wars, by George Lucas.
Published by Del Rey in 1976
Additional resources -

Thanks to 'Erm' for pointing this item out, although it appears first in the original novel Star Wars.

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