A while back, IO9.com had an article about the most awesome weapons of all time. They included things like Nova Bombs and the Deathstar. They based their choices on the sheer destructibility of the weapons.
As I have been gripped by the replica collecting bug, I have been giving serious thought to what makes a great Scifi weapon. For one, I need to be able to own one. I can't very well hang a Deathstar in my basement. A scale replica to be sure, but it's so tiny it kind of loses it's immense coolness.
Here then is the criteria that should be used in determing the Greatest Scifi Weapon of All Time, with scores ranging from 1 to 10
Lethality. Weapons are afterall for killing, or at least stopping their targets. On a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being the equivament damage the average, untrained person could do with their bare hands and 10 being the complete disintegration of the intended target.
Ease of Use. A weapon isn't very cool if you can't use it. Does a weapon require special training or that you were born a _________ to use? On a scale of 1 to 10, 10 would be a weapon that you need only speak a command, or push a button to eliminate your opponent. 1 Would be a weapon that only that rare 5th -Element kind of person, or someone with years of training could use.
Ammunition. Let's face it, a weapon that uses ammunition is only effective for as long as that ammo holds out. On a scale of 1 to 10, 1 would be a weapon that has one shot, and is never replaceable. 10 would be a weapon that requires no ammunition at all, like something bladed.
Availability. Those rare, one of a kind weapons are cool on screen, but if you're a five year old kid and another kid has the same rare weapon, you aren't going to be happy. On a scale of 1 to 10, 1 point is awarded for a unique weapon that no one else can possess, that is hidden in an impenetrable fortress at an undisclosed location. 10 is a weapon that is readily available to the general populace.
Coolness. Cool and Great go together. You can be great at killing, but not cool. Why not have both? On a scale of 1 to 10, 1 point would be awarded for a weapon so dorky only the biggest of nerds would be caught dead with it. 10 points awarded for something that could make the biggest nerd be as cool as Han Solo (the Greatest Starship Captain of All Time)
Replica Accuracy. Remember, what makes a great scifi weapon is the fact that you can own one yourself- or a reasonable facsimile there of. On a scale of 1 to 10, 1 would be a replica about as detailed as the scribblings of a kindergartner. In crayon. 10 would be a replica so detailed and masterfully made, it looks better than the fictional thing.
Scale. When owning a replica, you want to be able to display it effectively. I can put that Deathstar on my christmas tree, but the lack of it's impossible-in-the-movie/that's-no-moon size lessens it's greatness. On a scale of 1 to 10, 1 point is awarded for weapons that have to be miniaturzed to the extent detail is impossible to see without a microscope. 10 points awarded for a 1;1 replica that fits easily in your hand- so you can take it places to show it off.
Replica Safety. Oh sure, you could hang a real, iron Mjolnir on your wall, but if it ever fell off, shit is going to be broken- and possibly toes. Similarly, razor sharp katanas may not be the best thing to hang on walls in earthquake country, either. On a scale of 1 to 10, 1 point is awarded for replicas so dangerous, just looking at them injures you, and 10 points are awarded for those replicas that are safe enough for babies to slobber all over.
Replica Price. Again, the award for Greatest Weapon is going to something I can actually posses. If it's so cheap, it's damn near free, I'm giving it 10 points. If I have to have the personal wealth of Bill Gates to afford one, it gets 1 point.
Replica Availability. Even if you have the funds, many replicas can be hard to find- even on the internet. On a scale of 1 to 10, 1 point is awarded for replicas that require the use of a Tradis to find, while replicas available in major retail outlets near you, as you read this, are awarded 10 points.
With all that being said, the maximum score for this review will be 100. For a weapon: capable of disintegrating it's target; that the average person could use without training or any special, inherent ability; that does not require ammunition; is readily available to the general public and does not require only the greatest of heroes to locate; is so cool Han Solo wishes he had one.
That has a replica that is spot-on accurate; will fit in your hand; is baby-safe; can be purchased with funds saved from skipping lunch; and is readily available right this moment with minimal shopping effort.
Which weapon will it be? (See Comments below)