In a bit of divergence this week, I would like to review a series that unfortunately only aired for one season but had a profound impact on the sci-fi genre and still inspires an extremely loyal fan base. Firefly was written and directed by Josh Whedon, who has developed many successful series and films, most notably: Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, and the first two Avengers films.
Firefly takes place in the distant future of 2517, where mankind has left earth due to chronic overpopulation and has since settled in a different star system with many habitable worlds and terra-formed moons. In this future, China and America fused together and now are collectively referred to as the Alliance. The Alliance sought to control and rule over all planets in the galaxy and recently fought and won a brutal war against The Independent Faction, a group of worlds that wished to remain free and self-governing. The culture and style is a blend of American, European, and East Asian in the core worlds under Alliance control. In contrast, the outer rim worlds are Rustic and filled with poverty and refugees and more akin to the Wild West than an advanced futuristic society.
Our main character is Malcom “Mal” Reynolds played by Nathan Fillion. Mal is captain of the spaceship Serenity and a former Sergeant who fought for the Independent faction during the war. Mal leads his ever-expanding crew in search of fortune while on the run from government forces, criminal organizations, and crazed cannibalistic monstrosities known as Reavers.
Firefly was a big hit with fans of science fiction and those who enjoy a classic underdog tale set as a space western. However, due to this odd setup, the series was canceled after just one season of 14 episodes. It has since developed a cult following and maintained a diehard fan base. On a positive note, in 2005 the feature film Serenity regenerated interest and also attempted to please fans in wrapping up plot points and finishing the story. I highly recommend this exciting pioneering series and the film as well. If you would like to binge this awesome series, it is available at the Union University Library.