Perhaps it is ill-advised of me to go poking badgers with sticks, but having seen some recent discussion pop up on Starfleet Jedi about Idazmi7, I couldn’t resist taking a renewed look at some of his ‘arguments’.
His video about the Federation Army intrigued me. A proper army, distinct from Starfleet, has never been observed on Star Trek, even during the Dominion War (which would have been a good place to introduce one). References are made to being able to equip armies, but bona fide soldiers are never seen.
In his video, Idazmi7 firstly refers to a scene from the Deep Space Nine two-parter Homefront/Paradise Lost, when Sisko and Admiral Leyton urge the Federation President to declare martial law. They make reference to having stockpiles of phaser rifles, personal forcefields and photon grenades, and Leyton declares they have enough to equip ‘an entire army’.
What we actually see (upon the deployment of officers to city streets) are Starfleet officers beaming into various locations, reinforcing the idea that Starfleet officers are expected to be jacks of all trades.
Next, Idazmi7 shows us a few videos of what phasers can do. They can blow holes in rocks, vaporise people, and put holes in people. Some of the ‘holes’ punched into the rocks are meant to be impressive, but to be honest, the damage is superficial in most cases, and we have weapons today that can do more damage.
Vaporising people is all well and good, but Idazmi7 ignores little things like the Law of Thermodynamics. To literally vaporise someone requires the rapid injection of a great deal of heat. Anyone standing near the target is going to be injured with this sudden release of energy, as that energy has to go somewhere. Clearly, this is not the case (Beverley Crusher is unhurt when she vaporises an alien in the confined space of a shuttlecraft in Idazmi7’s own video), which implies it is not via energy transfer, but instead via a chain reaction mechanism. This is supported by the canon visual evidence of that scene.
Idazmi7 refers to a scene from TNG’s A Fistful of Datas where Worf jerry-rigs a personal forcefield. The mere existence of this forcefield is not however, evidence that they are widespread. He draws heavily from the non-canon Animated Series for further examples of personal forcefields, but conveniently ignores that we never see them during any other combat scenario, including the Dominion War, when such fields would have been mightily useful. His argument for their lack of appearance is due to budget constraints of the TV shows, but if we’re looking for in-universe, consistent explanations, this won’t do.
It might be that, in-universe, they are resource-intensive or perhaps even dangerous somehow to the user (radiation, energy discharges, etc). At any rate, they are not used, even when it would be useful to have them, so they cannot be treated as a regular technology.
Grenades and other weapons
We get a reference to a famous scene from TOS where Kirk uses a mortar to take care of a bunch of Gorn who are shelling their position. Idazmi7 claims this weapon has an effective destructive range of around a mile. However we don’t see any indication of widespread destruction, and Kirk and co were relatively near the target area, yet there is no debris to worry about, nor a fireball, or anything we could expect from such a powerful weapon at that range.
Finally, he makes reference to more non-canon sources (video games). We can discount these out of hand as a result.