Hand phasers: the evolution of the "beam" and it's effects.

Discussion in 'General Trek Discussion' started by Chrisisall, Jul 11, 2009.

  1. Chrisisall

    Chrisisall Commodore Commodore

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    In TOS, the phasers emitted a continous beam for as long as the trigger was depressed, and it either de-materialized something, or at a lower setting, stunned living organisms.
    In the movies, it changed to a "pulse" not unlike in Star Wars, and suddenly went from de-materializing (STII) to being able to blast a person backward some 15 feet (STIII). Later it could melt holes through people, and de-materialize selected objects with selected densities (STVI).
    In Nemesis, the pulses were longer in duration, and de-materializing seemed to be no longer possible at all as a function.
    In the newest flick, the pulses shortened to an almost bullet-sized burst.

    Are you happy with it's evolution? Do you long for a standard from any particular incarnation?
    Do you care at all, or is it just "gun" to you?
     
  2. sbk1234

    sbk1234 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I always took it to be different settings and different degrees of power useage.
     
  3. Chrisisall

    Chrisisall Commodore Commodore

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    TOS effect of just "dissolving" someone was a simple optical to produce, much easier than using practical pyrotechnics and/or wirework mixed in with the animated beam. And as it turns out, IMO anyway, simple is sometimes best.
     
  4. plynch

    plynch Commodore Commodore

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    I love the dissolve effect. I just watched the Starship:Exeter "Tessaurian Intersection," and they used the dissolve effect very era-appropriately. I loved it! Also their Gornish alien and dimension-shifting device look very 1966 in their, shall we say, lack of sophistication. Great job.
     
  5. Rulius

    Rulius Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I remember a couple of episodes where stun was just a burst of light on the target, no beam...
     
  6. Chrisisall

    Chrisisall Commodore Commodore

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    Stun that Andorian!!!:bolian:
    LOL, yeah, I was leaving that out. When Professor Crater was stunned, however, it was still at the "blast" level. But the burst of light for stun was another simple optical- and one that I liked a LOT.
     
  7. Cyke101

    Cyke101 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I can't remember the episode, but I do recall a scene in TOS where a team of red shirts stuns a small crowd with a series of pulse phaser blasts, so I don't think the pulse is much of a "modern" invention.

    To wit, in early TOS, sometimes the ship's phaser banks shot pulses as well (Balance of Terror, for one). Only later did the trademark beam appear consistently.
     
  8. C.E. Evans

    C.E. Evans Admiral Admiral

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    I remember the phaser McCoy fired in "The Man Trap" fired in a series of very rapid pulses.

    Perhaps TOS phasers could always be fired as short pulses, but generally weren't...
     
  9. Chrisisall

    Chrisisall Commodore Commodore

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    Firstly, I just don't think they had them totally figured out yet concerning how the FX of it were gonna look, and secondly, I like that explanation as a fanboi.:cool:
     
  10. Major Chord

    Major Chord Choir Boy Extraordinaire Captain

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    Considering that in Enterprise, we saw Phase pistols that could fire only beams, and pulse weapons (that, per their name, fire pulses) in service at the same time, there must be some logic to having both types of weapons...and it makes sense that by the time TOS rolled around, they had a weapon that utilized both.
     
  11. Chrisisall

    Chrisisall Commodore Commodore

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    Again, good fanwanking there. Heh heh.
     
  12. Myasishchev

    Myasishchev Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I would like to see hand phasers treated as a recoilless neutral particle beam consisting of a few hundred grams of ambient atmospheric gases pumped up to several 1000m/s by a compact but very powerful battery and made recoilless via the magic of inertial dampening. Of all the effects seen, the TUC "blows holes through people" one is probably the most realistic. Dr. Manhattan-like "bursts targets like a balloon full of blood" effects would also be cool and, I believe, plausible. Lower settings should of course still render someone unconscious/insensible, possibly through some kind of tasing effect.

    No "nadions." No "frequencies." And no "selective and apparently harmless vaporization of solid objects."
     
  13. EEE

    EEE Captain Captain

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    There are 10 settings on a TOS Phasor II, plus an adjustment knob on the emitter. Who needs explanations for different effects on screen?
     
  14. Chrisisall

    Chrisisall Commodore Commodore

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    There's a lot of long words there; we're not but humble pirates...
    Bollocks. The phaser, at higher settings, works in the same way a transporter beam does, dis-assembling the molocules by destroying the gravometric cohesion, only without molecular retention or mapping for re-application.
    Me, that's who.
     
  15. Alidar Jarok

    Alidar Jarok Everything in moderation but moderation Moderator

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    There were several times in TNG and DS9 (can't remember about Voyager) where weapons vaporized people. They just didn't use this option as often.
     
  16. Chrisisall

    Chrisisall Commodore Commodore

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    So... they evolved beyond that...?:guffaw:
     
  17. HortaVorta

    HortaVorta Commodore Commodore

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    Well, ethics aside, there are practical reasons not to simply vaporize people. Forensics can't do much with a disintegrated target.
     
  18. Alidar Jarok

    Alidar Jarok Everything in moderation but moderation Moderator

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    Probably just decided it's more efficient to kill someone with a shot than to vaporize them. They're dead either way and you save power. Actually, aside from the Dominion War, when did starfleet officers use phasers to kill people? They generally prefer to stun them.
     
  19. JuanBolio

    JuanBolio Admiral Admiral

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    What I'd like to see is a phaser fired at maximum power - setting 16. Supposedly it can blow up a sizable chunk of a mountain.

    I'm kinda sick of the "take cover!" style gunfights we've seen with phasers in DS9/VOY. One guy with a hand phaser should be able to take out an entire batallion if he's in line-on-sight.
     
  20. Myasishchev

    Myasishchev Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Gravometric cohesion? It isn't gravity keeping me together. It's electromagnetism. If gravity stopped working within my body, I wouldn't even feel it, let alone disintegrate. It takes enormous masses to be noticeable, gravitationally. Jump up--that's you overcoming the mass of trillions upon trillions of tons of matter, with the energy contained in the bonds of a few milligrams of ATP.

    If a phaser really works the way a transporter beam does, why does there even need to be a kill setting? Transporting the oxygen out of a target's bloodstream will render them inert immediately. Transporting glutamate around inside their nervous systems would set off an epileptic seizure. Beaming their arms off would neutralize them without permanently damaging them, by 24th century terms. At a fine enough resolution, you could take the bad thoughts right out of their heads.

    If a phaser is a handheld transporter, then Starfleet officers use criminally excessive force in almost every episode. Fortunately, it's ordinarily presented as a particle beam with unrealistic, budget-necessary "vanishing" effects.