Celebrating the Ray Gun

Den of Geek has a great article that gives a brief history of the use of the “ray gun” in movies and television. Essentially they outline a movement away from the quite realistic description of an “energy weapon” in H. G. Well’s The War of the Worlds to the guns that “shoot” rays of light that begin with the Buck Rogers serials and climax with Star Wars. The article does a nice job of pointing out that the similarities between the guns were quite intentional: check out the comparison between Buck Roger’s XZ-38 Disintegrator and Hans Solo’s DL-44 Blaster. (Lucas is clearly at his best when he is having fun — and at his worse when he is being serious?)