This page is more of a placeholder for a future analysis of hand weapons, but I wanted to go ahead and post the following pic sequence from RoTJ
Impressive pyrotechnics . . . limited damage. I'd rather use bullets,
Update: A quote from the novelization of ANH, chapter 1, during the boarding of Leia's vessel:
Red, green and blue bolts ricocheted off polished sections of wall and floor or ripped long gashes in metal surfaces.
"Ricocheted off polished sections of wall"? Wouldn't that suggest that a mirrored surface would be undamaged? Alas, this seems to be overruled by the hits to the mirror-finish royal yacht in TPM . . . but, then, those were not hand blasters. Hmmm.
The novel version of the prison level scene:
|Luke and Leia had started back up the corridor when a series of blinding explosion ripped the walkway ahead of them. Several troopers had tried coming through the elevator, only to be crisped one after another by Chewbacca. Disdaining the elevators, they had blasted a gaping hole through a wall. The opening was too large for Solo and the Wookie to cover completely. In twos and threes, the Imperials were working their way into the detention block.|
No mention in the above of how they blasted the hole. As for the wording
employed, one could equally say they "blasted, as if with blasters" or
"blasted, as if with a detonating device".
The script, however, is a little more explicit, and seems to agree with the explosive theory:
|INTERIOR: DEATH STAR -- DETENTION AREA -- HALLWAY.
An ominous buzzing sound is heard on the other side of the
Chewbacca responds with a growling noise.
HAN: Get behind me! Get behind me!
A series of explosions knock a hole in the elevator door
through which several Imperial troops begin to emerge.
Han and Chewie fire laser pistols at them through the smoke
and flame. They turn and run down the cell hallway, meeting up
with Luke and Leia rushing toward them.