An energy field designed to surround an object and protect it from attack. Due to their nature shields are generally only found on starfighters and airborne vehicles. Shielding does not indefinitely protect an object against attacks and can be worn down and rendered ineffective, via a dedicated assault. They will, however, recharge if left to do so. The time it takes for the shield to wear down or recharge depends on the efficiency of the generators.
Shields possess a number of characteristics - For example, shields will only absorb or deflect energy or objects travelling against them, and will not impede anything moving away from it; thereby allowing for weaponry to fire out of the shield.
Whilst shields will prevent objects from moving against them, it will only do so for object travelling at speeds above a certain threshold. It is therefore possible for one to "push" themselves through a shield, if done slowly and with care. Certain types of boarding vessel and torpedoes use this method to bypass a craft's protective shielding, the torpedoes detonating whilst still embedded to funnel their power in to a concentrated area and cause tremendous damage.
Lasers have been developed that specifically target shields to break them down quicker and leave the surrounded object vulnerable.