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Tibanna was excreted by Beldons, huge gas-filled creatures. The gas was a by-product of the vapors consumed by Beldons. Tibanna was extracted from Bespin's atmosphere as atmospheric gases rose on updrafts through Cloud City's unipod. The gas was then processed and packed in carbonite for transport off-planet.
Tibanna gas produced four times its normal energy output when cohesive light passed through it. Thus, when spin-sealed (compacted at the atomic level), Tibanna was used as a conducting agent in blasters and other energy weapons, producing greater energy yields and thus greater amounts of damage. Most personal weapons could not tolerate this power boost, but ship-mounted blasters benefited greatly from the use of Tibanna gas. Exceptions to this rule were the DC series rifles of BlasTech Industries, which used Tibanna gas to great effect, even synthesizing a variant of it that made the weapons' energy output imperceptible to sentients.
The spin-sealing process was prohibitively expensive except on Bespin, where it occurred naturally. Non-spin-sealed Tibanna gas was used as hyperdrive coolant.
During the Clone Wars, Clone troopers used highly flammable liquid Tibanna to blow up their Listening post on a Rishi Moon.
At some point during the mid-Galactic Civil War, the crime lord Tyber Zann stole a large quantity of Tibanna from Bespin and made a large amount of money from selling it on the Black Market.
The gas was a vital commodity for the Rebel Alliance prior to the Battle of Endor. Wedge Antilles and Rogue Squadron led an aerial assault on Cloud City, their primary objective being to secure as many Tibanna gas platforms orbiting the city as possible. Rogue Squadron also attacked the Empire's large supply of the gas, which was being mined from the gas giant Taloraan.
During the time of the New Republic, Luke Skywalker rigged a tibanna gas cartridge to explode, freeing him from a trap in the Cavrilhu Pirates base.
In 14 ABY, Kril'dor was the site of a New Republic mission to liberate a tibanna gas mining platform from the Imperial Remnant. Jaden Korr and Wedge Antilles participated in the successful mission.
By the time of the Dark Nest Crisis, tibanna gas was being stolen by Joiners for use in the Killik military buildup. TibannaX, a Tibanna gas isotope, was also an important resource in the use of the Jedi-exclusive StealthX fighters.
Xtib, the company that produced TibannaX, was later purchased by Bornaryn Trading. Its ion emissions cooled in several milliseconds, making the StealthX hard to track.