All girls, nerd or not, love something big, strong and powerful they can hold in their hands.
I’m talking, of course, about weapons.
What did you think I meant?
In the epic battle between Star Trek and Star Wars, there are a few topics that really get nerd blood boiling. One is the Enterprise vs. the Millennium Falcon. The other is lightsabers vs. phasers. Today I want to focus on weapons.
I’ll start with some of my back story. I come from a military family and I have four (count ‘em FOUR) Dad’s. How’d you like to be my boyfriend meeting the parents for the first time? My biological Dad was career Navy. He worked in nuclear subs and can shoot a torpedo like nobody’s business.
Don is a direct descendent of Davy Crockett. He practiced qi gong and kung fu. He relates to Native Americans and walks a fine line between awesome and crazy.
Popi was a Green Beret and Special Forces during and after Vietnam. He is a 5th degree black belt in Tang Soo Do, a 4th degree black belt in Hwa Rang Do, a 3rd degree black belt in Hapkido, and a 1st degree black belt in Judo and received some of his training from none other than Chuck Norris himself.
In other words, my Dad’s can kick your Dad’s asses and they didn’t exactly leave me in the dark. Imagine me coming at you with a weapon! I stabbed a guy with a fork once during college (he got fair warning) and have witnesses to prove it. My weapons education started at a young age. My fascination with science fiction started at a young age. It is only natural that I would want to possess both a lightsaber and a phaser. The ultimate sword and the ultimate gun. *le sigh*
So which weapon is superior? Both are comprised of energy technology. Both can be used as tools when not serving as weapons. Both have nifty designs that seem innocuous when not in action.
The lightsaber is essentially a sword. An awesome, retractable sword. It requires years of training to master and when combined with the mental and physical skill of a Jedi, can be a weapon and a shield simultaneously. It is damaging only as far as the Jedi can reach, unless it is being used to ricochet the blast of an E-11 back to its originator. Positives: you build and become one with your lightsaber. I can imagine a Jedi bestowing the name Tenel on his lightsaber much the way a Marine might name his rifle Betty. Negatives: you can’t shoot anything out of it so unless someone is firing at you and you can bounce it back, it’s really only good for close range fighting. Anything it touches is toast so be careful not to activate it while it’s in your pocket.
The phaser is essentially a gun. An awesome, nadion particle shooting gun. It takes far less time to learn, anyone can seem to pick it up pretty quickly, although it’s always good to practice your aim. It’s not one setting-fits-all like the lightsaber. Phasers can be conveniently adjusted anywhere from “stun” to “kill” to “vaporize on contact.” The frequencies can also be changed when fighting an enemy with adapting personal shields such as the Borg. Positives: you can learn how to operate it quickly and can make multiple types of adjustments to the weapon. Negatives: it’s not really a personalized weapon. When not in use, it gets stuck back in the closet until the next time it’s needed. Make sure you know what setting it’s on before you fire or your buddy who’s possessed by an alien entity won’t be making it back to sick bay.
I may be getting myself in trouble with the Star Wars crowd on this one (I AM called Princesstrek afterall) but I gotta go with the phaser. It’s good for close and distance fighting. It can shoot a steady stream of laser so you can kill and weld with the same tool. It comes in multiple styles or “types” including rifle and shuttlecraft versions. Control-wise it’s not THAT different from a remote control and I can wield one of those like nobody’s business.
Lightsabers are kick ass and I will admit that they are far more attractive than your typical phaser. But when it comes to practicality and functionality, the phaser wins every time.