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Phasers are a bad idea

16 May 2011

I’ve noticed more and more in sci-fi that handheld laser weapons aren’t showing up like they used to. Firefly, for example, which happened chronologically after the events in Star Trek, uses projectile weapons (mostly) that aren’t too dissimilar to the ones we have today. A few odd lasers and beam weapons pop up every now and again, but for the most part, it’s pistols and assault rifles.

This actually makes a lot of sense to me. Projectile weapons have pretty decent killing power, don’t require recharging, and come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and powers. What’s not to like there?

Of course, part of me — and maybe this is the old-school geek part — misses phasers. They just had the shock and awe power going for them, you know? When the aliens landed and started shooting everything in sight with beams of deadly light, you knew shit was about to get real.

What about you, folks? Have a preference? What’s the best sci-fi weapon you’ve seen?

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9 Comments leave one →
  1. Nate permalink
    16 May 2011 0838

    I’ll always have a soft spot in my heart for lightsabers, though, again, I think you could argue that actual bladed weapons are just as effective and more easily wielded.

    The gravity hammer from Halo is also pretty badass.

  2. Nate permalink
    16 May 2011 0843

    Back on phasers, though, this post reminds me of that early ST:TNG episode in which the Ferengi were inflicting some pain with those weird energy displacer whips, and then Tasha Yarr chased them away with a piddly little Type I phaser. I always thought the scene was kind of silly looking, since the Ferengi’s weapons looked fairly badass, while Tasha’s looked like a garage door remote.

    • 16 May 2011 0913

      Yeah, their weapons looked more badass than Tasha’s garage-door opener, but they still looked like factory seconds from the Massive Dildo Factory.

  3. Sir Geek permalink
    16 May 2011 1321

    I always though the PPG concept from B5 was cool. You didn’t have to worry about projectiles going through a hull (since B5 didn’t have force fields).

  4. 16 May 2011 1533

    yeah, the PPGs were cool.

  5. 16 May 2011 2036

    I liked the PPGs, if for no other reason than you can tell the writer really thought it through. It wasn’t just “lasers! Good! Let’s go with it!”

    • Sir Geek permalink
      17 May 2011 1212

      Pretty much everything that JMS did on B5 was thought through from a logical and “realisitc” concept.. Including things like the station having a gravitational pull (when a body was thought to have been tossed out an airlock) .

      • 17 May 2011 1214

        That’s one of the things I really dug about that show. You can tell someone completely geeky was doing the driving.

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