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FireflyFirefly / Serenity : The Secret of Shepherd Book
Saturday 16 September 2006, by Webmaster
I’ve spent the last 3 years in a secluded mountain hut, contemplating Shepherd Book’s past.
I finally see the truth about Book.
We’ve all talked about it over and over: Either he was an assassin, or a general, an operative, a cop...etc.
We can’t seem to decide on that - But, we can all agree he knows too much, and fights too well, to be an ordinary preacher. We can all agree he has important ties to the Alliance, as witnessed in the episode Safe when they saw his ID card.
Well here’s the deal: His exact job with the Alliance is not the big mystery. Whether he was a soldier, general, operative, that’s not what really matters — the biggest secret is Book himself. What he carries in his body.
Joss gave us a big clue in The Message, with Tracy smuggling body parts. They have the technology.
During the early stages of the war, the Alliance took steps to preserve its most crucial data. They came up with a backup plan, and developed a program to store data inside human beings. By using special modified organ transplants, this data would be undetectable in a scan.
The Alliance planned to send these “Books” out into the worlds. They also had a recall strategy, and hoped to ensure their intellectual integrity in the event of disaster in the core planets.
At this time, an aging officer/operative/cop volunteers for this program. He wants to retire, to get away from the violence and become a shepherd, and this is his only way out. It’s also very likely that his new organs give him youthful strength and reflexes (perhaps even knowledge).
That’s why the Alliance cares so much about Book in Safe. And that’s why he tells Jayne he’s “more or less intact” in Objects in Space. The Alliance, or some faction, is still running this disaster program.
And this is a premise for the Serenity sequel(s).
Joss was originally planning for many secrets to come from Book’s body. What happened to River? Who are the Reavers? What is Blue Sun? Etc....
In order for us to get this info, Book must die. It makes sense. Because the way Book died as a throwaway in Serenity didn’t really make sense. Joss changed his original plan.
Sure, Book’s death gives Mal the inspiration to go to Miranda - but I think originally, Joss intended that Book’s death LITERALLY give Mal the inspiration. And someone like Mr. Universe, a nerd from the war, helps Simon remove and decrypt the data in Book’s body.
Joss used the River and Reaver story in Serenity, but I think he intends to explore the other secrets, like Blue Sun, contained inside dead Book.
The Serenity sequel will begin with the crew flying Book’s body back to the monastery for burial and they get attacked. Someone is trying to steal Book’s body.
That’s why Book had to die in Serenity, and why he’ll be back in the sequels. We’ll get flashbacks about Book and this “disaster program,” and his death will end up saving the ‘verse! And the fans won’t be so upset that he dies in Serenity.
Can I get a Praise the Lord!
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