So, here's kind of an odd question. One of the new Solarian solar manifestations released in the Character Operations Manual, the Solar Flare, "functions as a one-handed uncategorized small arm." Does that functionality allow it to be used to make Pistol Whip melee attacks, as per the Pistol Whip Operative exploit released in the Armory?
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I don't think so.
"Flavor" text matters. it gives you the big picture of what the ability is an how it works, in no small part of how its supposed to interact with things they didn't plan on it interacting with.
With pistol whip you take the gun and beat someone on the head with it. Its a staple of every western to 1930s flick where you need the hero to lose but not die.
With solar flare you don't actually have a pistol. you're just shooting light beams. It's like a pistol but not... and in this case I think the not matters.