Star Trek was visionary, except for…

Star Trek is a science-fiction gem. A gift that keeps on giving. Its simple, yet powerful concept about space exploration in the name of science and discovery is a brilliant idea. There are even technologies from the show that have inspired people ever since the very first series aired so many years ago. Tablets anyone?

However, there are things about Star Trek that are nonsensical. In particular, the phasers. Every time I watch Star Trek I catch myself thinking, “Why don’t they have more interesting weapons?” I know, action isn’t the point of Star Trek.

Yet, when people pull them out, their targets can dodge the blast. It’s a frickin’ laser, but somehow people are often leaping out of the way. What a worthless weapon. Now, when I say this, I’m mostly thinking about Star Trek: The Next Generation. In the original series, the weapons looked like actual guns, which is also kind of stupid. That far into the future they couldn’t come up with something a bit different?

Remember Captain Kirk and his laser rifle? I can imagine what the meeting sounded like when planning that thing out. “It has to look high-tech. Space-agey. Did you see the latest copy of (insert name of science-fiction pulp magazine)? It has to look like the weapons on the cover.” Thus, we have an absurd beginning.

Yes, yes, yes, I know, TV is fake and it would be easy to blame this on the show’s production. However, it didn’t need to be so pointless. “Kill” or “Stun”. Sure. It’s like a taser that has an extra high-powered setting available to the user. How did the Klingons not completely mop the floor with the Federation?

That last point implies one annoying truth about Star Trek, the weapons are a joke. Klingons, these militarily advanced species employ a two-handed sword that looks like a bow.

That’s right, I’m referring to a bat’leth. They sound cool. They look cool. They are almost useless. What’s the point of being a powerful military if the tools you employ are holding their users back? Are they seriously going to charge at people shooting at them with lasers, and hoping to stab them? Klingons and the Federation are a bit laughable in this respect.

In many ways, Star Wars isn’t science fiction, but Star Trek is. However, one thing Star Was nailed that Star Trek never figured out was action. The blasters were cooler in Star Trek. everyone that’s ever seen Star Wars wants a lightsaber, but not so for Star Trek. Who covets a phaser? The answer is pretty much no one.

This is the sad truth about Star Trek. For as much as the show is intellectually engaging, for some reason, combat is silly. Go figure. I guess the future doesn’t really improve everything. Maybe it’s for the best. Perhaps Star Trek was showing us a future where war was pointless because the technology was so ass-backwards that no one would ever really be able to win a battle. It’s genius in a way, but the phasers are stupid. Oh well. Nothing’s perfect. Not even one of the greatest cult phenomena of all time, Star Trek.





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