On Energy Weapons and Kinetic Weapons in Star Trek

This has been playing on my mind for a few days. There’s a problem with Star Trek. It’s a little too high tech. It’s like how everything hovers, when wheels are perfectly good ways of getting around.

It bothers me that energy weapons seem to be the rule of the day in the 24th-century. In Star Trek: Nemesis, what did Picard and Data get shot at with on the sun-drenched planet? Energy weapons. The aliens drive around in dune buggies, but have the tech know-how to make energy weapons?

I blame the Alien movies for putting me in this frame of mind. Snowed (or rather, iced) in a couple of weeks ago for four days, and what did I have to do, but watch the Alien Quadrilogy. And there’s the Colonial Marines, armed with grenades and armor-piercing bullets and flamethrowers, and when compared to Trek the tech seems retro, but it’s practical, if anything.

Don’t get me wrong, phaser rifles look cool, and saying “photonic grenade” has a nice ring to it. (But what does a photonic grenade do; give someone a sunburn?) I just wonder if they’re practical for all situations. Sometimes low tech is a better way to go.

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