I’ve been trying as of late to write the next chapter of my book but all I seem to do is kill trees with scribbles and rage. But hey, that’s how one learns to write, isn’t it? So, in light of that, I’ll do another article with Nerds Doing Stuff about another fandom that’s so dear to my heart it brought me to tears when Robby and Stacey quoted it in their wedding vows. I am, of course, talking about Joss Whedon’s Firefly!
Let’s go over what we already know… Firefly lasted half of one season before FOX’s sudden but inevitable betrayal, in that time it became dear to our hearts, five years later we got the Big Damn Movie, Serenity, that tried to wrap up loose ends. Fourteen years later, the family of fans known as the Browncoats are still fighting the good fight.
Well, because Serenity is just too pretty for the gods to let her die!
Like most fandoms acquired over the span of one’s life, it has phases. Later this year I’ll probably read through all the Harry Potter books again and zip the through the movies in a quick 16 hour marathon. Firefly rekindled recently when I was fortunate enough to stumble upon the latest of the Serenity graphic novels, “Leaves on the Wind.” Chronologically, the series comes first followed by the Big Damn Movie(which Joss revealed would have encompassed Season 2,) the various graphic novels that bridge the gap between Firefly and Serenity, and two stand alones that tell tales of our dearly departed Hoban Washburne and Shepherd Book. “Leaves on the Wind” is the first one to take place after Serenity, so I’m calling it Season 3.
I love it. I hate it, too.
Love comes from the obvious reasons. Everyone dear to me is back on the ship I want to fly away on, carrying on doing what they do best. Right where we left off, Simon and Kaylee are underneath the beating-heart of an engine with no need for clothes, Zoe remains the warrior woman with a little extra bundle in the oven, River continues her love affair of becoming one with the ship but from the helm, and Mal and Inara are (you guessed it) still enjoying an ongoing war of witty banter and driving each other mad…. With no need for clothes. I’ll admit, it had me reaching for ice water. The only one unaccounted for at the beginning is Jayne, but more on that later.
The hate comes from me being straight up petty. Two pages into the book and I swear I was reading the follow up story that I created a few years ago after attending the 10-year reunion panel at San Diego Comic Con. The Central Planets are torn apart on a Civil War-esque level after the broadwave about Miranda and the ever villainous Reavers, and the Alliance top brass are still hunting our favorite crew to punish them for the crimes against their great nations. The Browncoats caught the spark of rebellion and lit fires in their bellies all across the Verse, and join in the hunt for Captain Reynolds in hopes to find the glorious legend they’ve come to know and a leader for the next
revolution. The crew themselves remain on the run, just barely steps ahead thanks to River’s newfound control of her abilities, and a parcel of new critters running around.
The only difference between the setting for this story and mine is I take the ten year gap into account, putting Wash and Zoe’s pre-teenager in the pilot’s seat of Serenity under River’s tutelage and another young man from the fruits of Mal and Inara’s labors. That and Mal isn’t locked away in a prison cell that someone forgot where it was and never made a key. Maybe I’ll publish that later just for kicks, but “Leaves on the Wind” does a far superior job than I ever punched out on a keyboard.
“Leaves on the Wind” brings back all your favorite characters, heroes, villains (oh yeah… the plural form of villain… does that seem right to you?), and even those who have passed on. They will always be with us no matter what any executive in shiny hats that rule all of Londimium can try and do about it. As much as their high powered executive lifestyle may be accustomed to doing, they can’t stop the signal… which is beyond the realm of dumb to me given the amount of money they stand to make on rebooting the series or making more films. I feel as though they look at the box office and the $20,000,000 loss (half the estimated budget) and not at the heart of the film. I get it. We get it. Nobody likes losing money. However….We were all there, guys! We all saw how terrible the advertising campaign was for Serenity and Firefly. Maybe if somebody wanted to make money on a project, they should alert consumers to its existence. I didn’t know about the show until after it was canceled. I saw the pilot first, but given it aired as the last episode I was enraged and confused when the next Friday rolled around and this poor 12 year old at Christmas had no presents under the tree.
Readers may think I’m losing the treads on my topic, but no. I’m right where I’m supposed to be. “Leaves on the Wind” proves that death is not the end…even for Wash (Sorry, still too soon). Like Fawkes rising from the ashes, Firefly continues to live on twelve years after its untimely death as long as folks like us keep fighting to keep her. You already know what I’m about to say about keeping her in the sky… it’s love, in point of fact, something a good deal more dangerous than an executive at some production company that rhymes with box.
On a personal note, if you have any scratch leftover after dropping $20 on “Leaves on the Wind,”
check out my shop, etsy.com/shop/sineceracarpentry. I’ve started a new campaign to help out my fellow man, and woman. Every time someone picks up my River Tam flask, I’ll be donating 25% percent to a woman’s shelter of your choosing, to help women and children who, like River, have been affected by trauma in their lives. I’m just an artist with a particular set of carving skills and legally I’m not allowed to use my other skills to hunt down and purge these sons of whores who inflict such nightmares on people, but damn it I’m going to do something about it. So next time you feel like having a drink, know you can be helping the less fortunate at the same time.
Stay Shiny, friends.