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"Serenity Found" Book - "Cut ’em Off at the Horsehead Nebula!" Part One

Wednesday 21 January 2009, by Webmaster

So we’re sitting in the rec room, watching Serenity on the big screen with the surround sound cranked. Only we can never simply watch a movie: there’s just one degree of separation between us and the folks who did Mystery Science Theater 3000, and I’m afraid that all too often, it’s audible.

For example, right now Larry the Astronomer is in hog heaven, trying to work out the celestial mechanics of the Firefly universe in his head. ("Maybe if we start with a couple of super-Jovian worlds orbiting the blue-white primary in a Sirius-type binary system, and most of these so-called worlds are actually terraformed moons...") But John the Screenwriter is having some trouble understanding why I’m so excited about a movie based on a TV series that was canceled halfway through the first season. I briefly consider dragging out the DVD boxed set and forcing him to watch at least the two-hour series premiere, but there’s not enough time for that, so I settle for, "John, think of this as the anti-Trek."

That’s a good opening gambit. We’ve long since agreed that Star Trek’s Federation is some kind of intrusive and heavily militarized police state. Now we only argue over whether it’s a socialist or fascist utopia.

"Firefly" I continue, "is set some five centuries in the future, and six years after the end of a failed war for independence against the Alliance: the oppressive central government. Now, Mal here—"

John interrupts. "—is Han Solo with an actual backstory. I get that. He’s Rick Blaine with a spaceship instead of a nightclub. He’s a classic lost paladin; an embittered losing-side war vet with a junk freighter, struggling to eke out a living on the fringes of civilization and the law. But underneath that rough exterior he’s still got his honor, his pride, and that sense of justice that forces him to get involved and become a big damn hero, from time to time. I get that about him. I like him. And the blond guy—"


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