On Tuesday, CBS revealed the new phaser design on Twitter. A quick glance would tell the casual fan that this looks like a pretty standard Trekkie ray gun, but closer inspection reveals an interesting detail. The barrel of the phaser looks a lot like the “laser” guns used by Captain Pike in the first Star Trek pilot episode, “The Cage.” At that point in Trek lore, the concept of “phasers” hadn’t been invented yet. Captain Pike, Spock, and Number One all called the weapons “lasers.”
This was changed for the second Star Trek pilot, “Where No Man Has Gone Before,” but even at that point, the older, more-rounded phaser style was used, too. The Discovery design looks like its marrying the classic original series pistol with the laser pistol from “The Cage.”
Because Discovery takes place around the time “The Cage” is supposed to happen, this in-between phaser/laser combo actually makes perfect sense.
Star Trek: Discovery will debut on CBS on September 24.