The Battle of Britain

Re:  "Lightsabers vs. Phasers"


This page has got to be one of the most amusing ones, simply because he opens it up by pointing out what a complete idiot he is.   

Part of the difficulty with this page is its apparent shift on the subject matter. Is it intended to ask the question of whether or not a Jedi wielding a lightsaber would stand any chance against a phaser, or simply how powerful a lightsaber is when compared to a phaser?

Duh.   I comment on lightsabre deflection of bolts, point out that I'm not going to address whether or not a lightsabre could deflect a normal phaser beam (how the hell should we know?), and then show that a phaser can put out a wider beam than the lightsabre's blade.   What kind of idiot would assume I'm comparing the power of the two weapons, as opposed to showing that a properly wide phaser beam could not possibly be deflected?   Ossus . . . and Wong, too, but even moreso:

 [Editor's note: I would say both. He is obviously playing the shell game, mixing and matching answers for two different questions in an attempt to confuse the audience into thinking he's refuted something]

No, Mike's obviously an idiot who missed the point, assumed there must've been two points, and then accused me of dishonesty because of his own stupidity.

 Anderson presents a few apparently conflicting statements, on the matter:

"We've all seen it . . . the Jedi ability to deflect blaster bolts by use of the lightsabre.

The question of whether a lightsabre could deflect the normal beam of a phaser, though an interesting question, shall not be addressed here."

Praytell, how do those statements conflict with one another, in the slightest?    

Blaster . . . phaser . . . blaster . . . phaser.   Different technology.

For the purposes of this particular response, it will be assumed that Anderson is referring to a Jedi wielding a lightsaber due to this qualifying statement:

"It [blocking blaster fire] is, arguably, the most useful thing a lightsabre (properly wielded, of course) can do."

It will be assumed that only Jedi can "properly wield a lightsaber" in such a skillful manner as to be able to deflect blaster fire.

Duh.  Have you ever seen anyone else do it?  Hell, we haven't even seen a Sith do it, as I recall, though I do make the assumption that they could on my page.   Hence my comment that we've all seen Jedi do it, and then my comment at the bottom of the page regarding Sith opponents.  It isn't like there are any Jedi in the Empire's military, after all.

With that qualification, it is necessary to examine the evidence that Anderson presents. The first picture shows a phaser being fired in "The Enemy Within" [TOS]. The phaser is apparently firing very rapidly, with a very close spread between shots. The second shot is fired on a significantly divergent angle from the first and third shots, with the fourth shot appearing on a slightly different angle from the second. All four beams bear some superficial resemblance to blaster fire from Star Wars. 

(Sigh)  . . . do any of the Rabid Warsies watch Star Trek?  "The Enemy Within" shows Sulu's phaser firing in triplicate . . . three short beams, followed by three more, and so on.  Each burst of three fires at a slightly different angle, so that there is a sweeping effect across the rocks.  Sulu's hand does not move in unison with the direction of the beams.

In effect, it's like a less-power-intensive widebeam setting.   On the other hand, we've seen a good bit of beam spread out of TOS phasers (the landing party vs. the townspeople in "Return of the Archons" come to mind, as does Kirk's phaser vs. the parasites in "Operation: Annihilate!"), so it cannot be said that they could not do a standard beam of decent width.

The other two pictures shown are of Tuvok and Kira and Sisko firing their phasers in a "wide-spread" field of fire. Tuvok's weapon from "Cathexis" [VOY] is firing in a lateral spread pattern that encompasses a fairly wide field of fire. Sisko and Kira from "Way of the Warrior" [DS9] are firing in a significantly more narrow, conical field of fire.

The first picture demonstrates almost nothing, other than that "phaser sweeping" (that is, firing a phaser beam in one direction, then moving the weapon to destroy a group of enemies within the path taken by the beam or to correct faulty aim) was impractical or impossible during that particular era of Star Trek. 

The hell?  That's got to be one of the weirdest "conclusions" they draw, and I'm intensely curious to know what aspect of TOS phaser technology would prevent one from sweeping the beam from side to side (especially since this would suggest a technological downgrade from a century prior, since Archer swept his beam to cut a tree limb in "Terra Nova").  That would also suggest that TOS phasers would have to be useless from a moving vehicle (another downgrade, this time from the phase cannon-equipped shuttlepod from "Detained"[ENT]).   

I will grant, though, that there are no examples I can think of from TOS involving a sweeping beam. (This is unsurprising . . . making the effects for even a normal beam were a profound pain in the ass, back in those days.)  Of course, the only miss I can think of is Tracey's miss of Kirk (or hit of the pottery . . . damn pottery) in "Omega Glory".  However, given that there is no suggestion that it cannot be done, and that we've seen it done by phaser-type weapons before and since, I find the suggestion that it is impractical or impossible rather peculiar.

Even if we grant that, though, the solution would be a simple one.  The phaser could be set to fire multiple single short bursts of the "Enemy Within" type.   

The pulse phasers used by the Defiant throughout Deep Space Nine demonstrate that the impact of a phaser is significantly more damaging than a phaser beam would be, if multiple shots are fired in succession.

This is just silly.   Did it not occur to him that perhaps the Defiant's pulse phaser weapons simply have greater firepower, period?  (And by the way, what the hell does this have to do with anything?)

Thus, this is the first example of such a technique being used. 

Actually, we saw genuine phaser pulses fired in "Balance of Terror" (where the phasers were set for proximity blast).  We've seen beam phasers fired from the Enterprise in TOS before and since.

The second two pictures are more interesting, from a combat perspective. Both of them show that a phaser can be fired on a very large area at once, and even engage multiple people at once. Anderson correctly points out that the intensity of the beam will necessarily decrease as the range increases, but he fails to mention one crucial detail: both phasers were set for stun.

Fails to mention a crucial detail?  Where the hell do they get this stuff?  Even if we grant the conclusion Ossus leaps to (that there is no such thing as a wide-angle kill setting), that's hardly a crucial detail.   

1.  Set phaser for widebeam.
2.  Point in general direction of badguy.
3.  Press trigger.
4.  Sith falls down.

Any questions?

There is no evidence anywhere of a wide-angle kill setting even in Star Trek's most modern phasers.

True . . .  in the examples provided (Tuvok shooting the bridge crew, and Sisko and Kira participating in a "hunt the Changeling" drill with Odo), no one had their phasers set to kill.  This is rather unsurprising.   However, there is plenty of evidence in favor of a wide-angle kill setting:

1. "Frame of Mind"[TNG] . . . Riker sets his phaser to maximum (setting 16), on a wide field, and comments that it should destroy half the building. (Yes, this was while Riker was unconscious, but Troi makes it clear that his mind was latching on to real-life elements to keep him sane during the neuro-somatic procedure.  In short, there is no reason to assume that Riker's understanding of phasers was affected.)

2.  "The Enemy Within"[TOS] . . . Sulu's heating of the rocks to glowing with multiple short triple-beam bursts would, based on the heating effect, be more than sufficient to kill someone.

3.  "Homefront"[DS9] . . . phasers on a widebeam setting could have their power setting altered.  (This is seen with the small wall-mount units in tests with Odo, which were in the low threes according to the script.  The final setting chosen was 3.5.)   

3a.  "The Vengeance Factor"[DS9] . . . setting 7 is known to be able to produce temperatures in excess of 2,300 degrees.   Even if we assume that, for some odd reason, Data suddenly decided to use Fahrenheit instead of Celsius, that would be sufficient to melt most rock.

Synthesis:   "Frame of Mind" alone is enough to demonstrate wide-angle kill-level shots.   However, even if we grant the forthcoming Warsie assertion that Riker was not in his right mind and thus cannot be trusted with any detail  no matter how large or small, we still have the fact that the shots from "The Enemy Within" were sufficient to kill.   

That would suggest that TNG-era phasers should have some sort of widebeam ability up into the setting 7 range. 

The effects of such a stun shot on a Jedi are unknown, but Jedi can clearly adjust their vital signs without significant difficulty.

<sarcasm> Oh, so naturally repelling a phaser's stun effects would be no problem whatsoever.</sarcasm>

In TPM, Obi-Wan and Qui-Gon were able to survive in a room filled with poisonous gas for what must have been a considerable amount of time. This would have been impossible, if Jedi lacked this ability. 

There's no indication that it was a "considerable amount of time" . . . it was just as long as it took for the Neimoidian to believe that they "must be dead by now" from the gas.  (The scripted version of events involves birds in the room dying just after the two Jedi take their deep breath.) 

As shown in the film, from the last moment of Qui-Gon's inhalation until he's shown to emerge from the room is a mere 30 seconds.  Even pack-a-day smokers can hold their breath for that long.  Though it's conceivable that the droids were not ordered into the room until additional seconds, minutes, hours, or even days had passed, there's nothing in support of that.  

A far superior example would be Qui-Gon not getting a severe burn on his hand from having what appeared to be molten metal inches away from it.  (On the other hand, they can't resist blaster bolts to the chest.) 

In any case, that's a far different thing than resisting a stun beam, which is not based on heat.  

That Jedi control over their bodies through the Force is unquestioned, but the effects of phasers set for stun is not likely to be particularly impressive. Note that in "The Hunted" [TNG], a biochemically engineered soldier is able to resist numerous stun-blasts from phasers. It is unlikely that this would have been possible had he not been designed with the ability to do it, but it also demonstrates that stun beams are not as effective as they are sometimes proclaimed as being. 

And are the Sith capable of quickly bio-engineering themselves?   . . . No, I thought not.

[Editor's note: Energy absorption is one of a Jedi's skills, as described in the official literature and demonstrated in TESB (yes, I know, some think Vader's artificial hand did the trick; didn't seem to work with Luke's artificial hand in ROTJ). 

Han's shots against Vader were not absorbed, as the reflected hits to the wall and the scorch-marks thereon demonstrate.  Or are we to think that a part of the wall beside Han just exploded of its own accord?

The only energy absorption we've seen in Star Wars is when Yoda absorbed Dooku's "Force lightning" in Attack of the Clones.  However, suggesting that they can absorb any energy because they can absorb Force energy is absurd . . . 

With that in mind, the weakened stun blast of a wide-angle shot might not knock a Jedi out. 

 . . . and thus, naturally, Mike claimed it.

And keep in mind that it took several shots from Jango Fett's blasters to bring down one Jedi, but just one shot to take down the gigantic charging "Reek" arena monster. 

(Sigh) . . . do any of the Rabid Warsies watch Star Wars?  Jango Fett fired a total of four shots.  The first two were successfully blocked, one was successfully blocked but the Jedi lost control of his lightsabre, and the last struck him in the chest, and he went down.  Since Wong is trying to make a point about whether a stun beam might harm a Jedi, in reference to widebeam shots, then only the last shot (i.e. the one that actually hit!) counts. 

That was one hit, one kill.


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