After Hours

Said goodbye to Serenity


So, among various and sundry other fun times had this weekend, I made a special effort to go see Serenity. I liked it alot, and my wife loved it, but it truly felt more like a series finale for Firefly than a standalone movie. That's not to say that casual fans unfamiliar with Firefly won't enjoy it--they will. It's just that Firefly was an ensemble piece that had gone out of its way to create complicated relationships between the characters, and you can't do all of that justice in a two-hour movie and still spin out an epic action plot. The result is a very good movie that follows up what could have been a very great television show.

That the movie accomplished as much as it did plot-wise without alienating either group of fans is a testament to Joss Whedon's writing skills. Unfortunately, those who hadn't watched the series will not appreciate the whole emotional weight of the film (Firefly fans be warned, there are some seriously heartbreaking events in this movie). Joss was a servant of two masters here, and I suspect fear of not understanding the film is why fans stayed away, and Serenity only grossed $10.1 million dollars in its opening weekend. Those numbers likely won't justify a sequel, for reasons that sci-fi writer John Scalzi sums up better than I could. That's a shame, because Joss clearly worked to pare down the cast and get the story to a place that could better accomodate movie sequels.

In the end, my heart hopes this was not the end of the Serenity franchise, but my brain tells me I said my last goodbye to some beloved characters. If so, I can only say that they showed great promise, and went before their time.

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Jay Garmon has a vast and terrifying knowledge of all things obscure, obtuse, and irrelevant. One day, he hopes to write science fiction, but for now he'll settle for something stranger -- amusing and abusing IT pros. Read his full profile. You can a...

9 comments
GTWalling
GTWalling

Serinity was actually made as a pilot for Firefly but never aired.

JamesRL
JamesRL

Did you actually watch the movie? If you had, you'd know why that isn't true. James

PurpleSkys
PurpleSkys

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Serenity_(Firefly_episode) gives the background of the show, the name of the original pilot and the one that FOX had created instead. edit: copy and paste the link into your browser; for whatever reason, i can't get it to paste correctly...(Firefly_episode) won't become part of the hyperlink as it should.

jim.brown
jim.brown

As a serious fan of Firefly since it first aired, I was very disappointed when it was cancelled. The character relationships and the story lines were fantastic and believable. The movie Serenity continued that story line and it would be a shame if there were not a sequel or a reemergence of the firefly series.

jck
jck

Sorry. BTW, you do realize that's a 4 year old article?

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

Reminds me of M*A*S*H lasting four times as long as the Korean War.

Ed Woychowsky
Ed Woychowsky

It was a rather good space western. Firefly was the series and Serenity was the movie, which came out a few years later.

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