Wednesday, August 17, 2005

No power in the 'verse can stop me.

Marla at my bookstore always, always wanted me to be a fan of FIREFLY. Since she knew I was a fan of BUFFY specifically and the Whedonverse in general, she knew that, if she talked about it enough, I'd watch FIREFLY and be converted into a fan of the show.

My friend Marley echoed such sentiments when she was living in Atlanta. She owned the FIREFLY box set, and I told her that I didn't think I would get into it because, well, the story didn't have a set ending. The show was cancelled before finishing its first season. Thus, I thought I would watch the whole show, then end up with nothing but questions about where it was all going and what the show's mythology was. Every show in the Whedonverse, and I'm speaking geek here, has a really, really elaborate backstory, and I figured FIREFLY did, too. And I thought watching the DVDs would be all anticipation and no payoff, much like spending the evening with my friend Brad.

Lindsay mentioned it to me several times. Heck, even Black's a FIREFLY fan.

But only when I found out about SERENITY, the FIREFLY movie, did I really think about buying FIREFLY on DVD. Since SERENITY is an opportunity for writer Joss Whedon to continue the mythology - and maybe give the series a coda, I thought it would be worthwhile to finally watch the series. And early buzz off SERENITY, which has been screening in secret showings around the country since May, is that it's a really good sci-fi movie.

So I bought the DVDs a couple weeks ago, as I mentioned earlier here, and I've been watching several episodes a night since Sunday. (There are only 14 episodes, and I have no idea what the number of the episode I'm on is, which is a sign that I'm enjoying myself immensely.)

The show's a space Western set over 500 years in the future. Our Earth has apparently been used up, tapped of resources, and the human race found another solar system filled with Earth-like, unsettled planets. The bad guys on the show are the Alliance, which is the ruling government that unified all the planets. The good guys on the show, the crew of the Firefly spacecraft Serenity, used to be members of the Independence movement, which wanted all the planets to be ruled separately. (So the show has its own STAR WARS-ish "Empire versus Rebellion" thing.)

FIREFLY, the show, begins when this renegade band of outlaws and thieves, headed by Captain Mal Reynolds, takes on three new passengers, not knowing that all of them have secret ties to the Alliance. (Think a John Ford Western, like STAGECOACH.) One's a preacher named Shepherd Book, who isn't exactly who he claims to be because he knows an awful lot about crime and the Alliance. The other two are a brother and sister, Simon and River Tam. Simon was a doctor for the Alliance until he realized that the government was doing strange and weird experiments on his genius sister's brain, and he helped her escape - only he doesn't know what River is capable of or how badly the Alliance wants her back. (The show's suggesting ENDER'S GAME to me, though the show has yet to explain exactly what River is to the Alliance.)

So while each episode has the Firefly crew pulling some heist, the main mythology of the show deals with the crew aiding River and Simon's run from the feds.

Thus far, the show's great.

And I can't wait for the movie to come out, even if some people are now saying that it's the first of three movies planned for the series. Something tells me that the movie's all about River. I mean, she's on the poster. And check out this photo from ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY.

Apparently, Joss Whedon and the whole cast of SERENITY is to be in Atlanta next month for DragonCon, so now, for the first time in my life, I have a reason to go to DragonCon beyond Orc-watching. I'm officially a FIREFLY fanboy.

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