TWOK was my first experience with Trek on the big screen. I liked the lurid red photon torpedoes but LOVED the pulsating, visceral phasers. I looked forward to each subsequent movie, hoping to see those phasers again, but no, we don't get big screen phasers again until (what?) Generations??? At that point, phasers are CGI 'particle stream' TNG-style. What a letdown.
Anyone know why the Trek movies avoided phasers completely, through ST III, IV, V, and VI? Four movies without a single phaser blast, left me wanting more. On the other hand, we get a photon torpedo in each of these but IV, which was understandably light on tech. So what happened to the TWOK-style phasers?