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Author Topic: Firefly  (Read 11080 times)

Patrick

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Firefly
« on: 20 Aug 2013, 05:55 »

There was a Firefly thread in here about 5 millennia ago, but that is dead and almost none of those people post here anymore, so let's get some Browncoats in here.
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Re: Firefly
« Reply #1 on: 20 Aug 2013, 07:24 »

Alright, but I should warn you, I aim to misbehave.
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Re: Firefly
« Reply #2 on: 20 Aug 2013, 07:38 »

I like the fact that there are no asians in it.

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Re: Firefly
« Reply #3 on: 20 Aug 2013, 08:15 »

Have you got your Akima-shield ready?  Let's not provoke anything unnecessarily, folks.
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Re: Firefly
« Reply #4 on: 20 Aug 2013, 08:42 »

I honestly am waiting for Akima.  :parrot:

race aside it was a damn fine show and good movie.
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Re: Firefly
« Reply #5 on: 20 Aug 2013, 12:35 »

I like the fact that there are no asians in it.

Have you got your Akima-shield ready?  Let's not provoke anything unnecessarily, folks.

It isn't a racist comment. They speak Chinese (I believe Mandarin) on occasion on the show, but the amusing thing about it is that there's nobody on the show aside from occasional extras who are Asian.
« Last Edit: 20 Aug 2013, 13:17 by Patrick »
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Re: Firefly
« Reply #6 on: 20 Aug 2013, 13:03 »

Alright, but I should warn you, I aim to misbehave.
Curse your sudden but inevitable betrayal!!

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Re: Firefly
« Reply #7 on: 20 Aug 2013, 14:04 »

They speak Chinese (I believe Mandarin)

"Sort of".

Anyway, the bit between Mal and Simon at the end of the pilot episode and the conversation at the end of the movie between Mal and River both had me crying my eyes out.
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Re: Firefly
« Reply #8 on: 20 Aug 2013, 14:34 »

Just so long as we're clear we're not building any Castles here.
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Re: Firefly
« Reply #9 on: 20 Aug 2013, 17:03 »

I relate on a base level with Jayne. I too love grenades, firearms and lack most of what normal people call "morals". The entire show is fucking awesome and I'm so pumped that my company is putting out a Firefly TTG. It looks so fucking good.
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Re: Firefly
« Reply #10 on: 21 Aug 2013, 04:34 »

I like the fact that there are no asians in it.
I know.  :-(

They speak Chinese (I believe Mandarin) on occasion on the show, but the amusing thing about it is that there's nobody on the show aside from occasional extras who are Asian.
Amusing is not the adjective I would choose. It is no secret to forum veterans that I think Firefly is bad. It has deep flaws in its lazy, clichéd world-building, including the very questionable casting decisions made by its creators, and exhibits an ignorant, neo-colonialist attitude to Chinese people, language, and culture. Essentially, Firefly's attitude is that Asian "stuff" is cool, but Asian people, and certainly Asian actors, are not; that Asian people are useful as animated set-dressing, provided of course that they are sufficiently stereotyped as prostitutes, pseudo-ninjas, anonymous coolies in big hats, bar-girls waving fans etc., but we don't want to hear their voices.

I have written about this at length in earlier threads, and there doesn't seem much point in repeating it. If you want to read what I have to say on this subject, begin here and here.
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Re: Firefly
« Reply #11 on: 21 Aug 2013, 06:37 »

I enjoy the show/movie, but have no interest in its EU.
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Re: Firefly
« Reply #12 on: 21 Aug 2013, 08:20 »

I like the fact that there are no asians in it.
I know.  :-(


Perhaps I should've phrased that a little differently, while retaining the amusing aspect of the comment!
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Re: Firefly
« Reply #13 on: 21 Aug 2013, 08:58 »

Akima's criticism makes me uncomfortable.  I mean, there's a lot of stuff she's right about, but at the same time it makes it seem like I (and my friends and family) should feel guilty for speaking a language, making a living in that language, and generally being influenced by a culture that is "not our own".
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Re: Firefly
« Reply #14 on: 21 Aug 2013, 09:40 »

take it for what it is, a romp in a space western with a kickass han solo and crew.  They make up words to represent slang in the far flung future in English why not mandarin as well?  Culture is a constantly changing thing and if its the future where cultures have fused after everyone left earth-that-was than thats what we are seeing.  Sure having some asian actors would have made the 'verse more interesting with the american frontier-sy feel Joss Wheadon had intended but what we got is what we got and the little slice of the universe we have seen is entertaining enough for me to be a fan.  Though I do not delve in the EU either if they ever did bring back the show with a new crew in the same verse I'd tune in.

I can never really pin down my favorite episode, there are a few of them like shindig where we see how the elites live and our mrs reynolds with Christina Hendricks really stand out but so does train job and the message.  I revisit my DVDs from time to time and notice new things.  I love the music and the absence of sound in space.  The comedy is great and most of the characters are well developed.




I'd have to go back and watch them but apparently Han Solo makes a cameo in every episode of firefly.
http://imgur.com/gallery/UTqPU

could be shopped though so I'll have to look.
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Re: Firefly
« Reply #15 on: 21 Aug 2013, 10:42 »

Essentially, Firefly's attitude is that Asian "stuff" is cool, but Asian people, and certainly Asian actors, are not; that Asian people are useful as animated set-dressing, provided of course that they are sufficiently stereotyped as prostitutes, pseudo-ninjas, anonymous coolies in big hats, bar-girls waving fans etc., but we don't want to hear their voices.

I have written about this at length in earlier threads, and there doesn't seem much point in repeating it. If you want to read what I have to say on this subject, begin here and here.

I don't think this casting decision was intentional; I can't think of many Asian actors off the top of my head whatsoever aside from Jackie Chan and Lucy Liu. I don't think it's a Joss Whedon thing so much as a damn near everybody thing.

In fact, the only television show I've watched that immediately comes to my mind that does prominently feature an East Asian actor is Dexter, and while I like the character of Masuka very much, he's mainly a slapstick device and frankly I think they didn't do a great job being wary of the stereotypes involving Japanese people and pornography; Masuka is practically obsessed with sex, and we all know Japanese porn has given us some of the weirdest shit we've ever seen. Not to mention the actor is in fact Korean.
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Akima

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Re: Firefly
« Reply #16 on: 21 Aug 2013, 15:53 »

Restricting myself to Asian American actors, how about: Grace Park? Daniel Day Kim? GEORGE TAKEI? B.D.Wong? Garrett Wang?

T.V. shows that do not make a fuss about incorporating Chinese or other Asian cultures in their world-building manage to include Asian actors in the regular cast, and have done since at least the 1960s. Many more manage to cast them in non-recurring roles with actual lines of dialogue. Of course there is a wider problem, but Firefly did worse than average, not better. Worse than a routine cops and robbers show from 1968 like Hawaii 5-0! Frankly, I don't understand how casting decisions for a TV show can be anything other than intentional. The creators of Firefly are responsible for what they put on the screen. I'm quite sure that nobody sat down and cackled evilly about excluding Asian actors, but it seems that it never occurred to anyone that there was a problem.

Culture is a constantly changing thing and if its the future where cultures have fused after everyone left earth-that-was than thats what we are seeing.
What we are see is a world where there are many Asian faces in the background (so the notion that the "fusion" has somehow erased Asians, while mysteriously leaving European and African descended physiognomies untouched, is clearly bogus), but in which Asians have nothing important to say, and take no part in any of the stories. Except once. As a prostitute.
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Patrick

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Re: Firefly
« Reply #17 on: 21 Aug 2013, 16:41 »

Restricting myself to Asian American actors, how about: Grace Park? Daniel Day Kim? GEORGE TAKEI? B.D.Wong? Garrett Wang?

Frankly, I don't understand how casting decisions for a TV show can be anything other than intentional. The creators of Firefly are responsible for what they put on the screen. I'm quite sure that nobody sat down and cackled evilly about excluding Asian actors, but it seems that it never occurred to anyone that there was a problem.

I stand corrected. I didn't even realize it myself. I don't imagine it crossed Whedon's mind though. I've watched the whole series 8 times and I didn't notice til it was pointed out to me. I'm glad you're willing to give the benefit of the doubt about it being intentional though. I can't help but wonder if he might have done it on purpose just to see who noticed...
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Re: Firefly
« Reply #18 on: 21 Aug 2013, 16:51 »

That'd be horrible, as regardless of his reasons it would be discrimination.
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Re: Firefly
« Reply #19 on: 21 Aug 2013, 16:55 »

Culture is a constantly changing thing and if its the future where cultures have fused after everyone left earth-that-was than thats what we are seeing.
What we are see is a world where there are many Asian faces in the background (so the notion that the "fusion" has somehow erased Asians, while mysteriously leaving European and African descended physiognomies untouched, is clearly bogus), but in which Asians have nothing important to say, and take no part in any of the stories. Except once. As a prostitute.
I wasnt talking about race, I was talking about culture.
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Re: Firefly
« Reply #20 on: 22 Aug 2013, 06:18 »

I think Akima's above post is spot on.

exhibits an ignorant, neo-colonialist attitude to Chinese people, language, and culture.

This I'm less certain of, and I think LeeC is too.
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Re: Firefly
« Reply #21 on: 22 Aug 2013, 15:48 »

Akima's criticism makes me uncomfortable.  I mean, there's a lot of stuff she's right about, but at the same time it makes it seem like I (and my friends and family) should feel guilty for speaking a language, making a living in that language, and generally being influenced by a culture that is "not our own".

Akima does as much herself. I bet you're treating that "not our own" culture with curiosity and respect, and acknowledging its natives as real people as opposed to background spear carriers. You actually speak the language rather than occasionally cussing in it.

EDIT: Another way of looking at the difference -- was there a hint of evidence that the European-looking people in Firefly were at all influenced by the cultures(s) of their Chinese partners?
« Last Edit: 22 Aug 2013, 15:59 by Is it cold in here? »
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Re: Firefly
« Reply #22 on: 22 Aug 2013, 19:31 »

It's a cheesy sci-fi show about cowboys in space.  I don't think it really warrants this much debate, even if Jayne walked around in a hitler 'stache.

I mean, if you really wanted to overthink things in a show, you could go on about how the United Federation of Planets was an oppressive communist state, the Jedi Order were basically catholic priests and just as full of shit, or the 13 colonies of Kobol were an overpowering religious state.

Jeez, lighten up.
« Last Edit: 22 Aug 2013, 19:42 by Parkour Lewis »
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Re: Firefly
« Reply #23 on: 22 Aug 2013, 21:10 »

or the 13 colonies of Kobol were an overpowering religious state.

They weren't Monads, though, so that's no big deal.

*Is rather serious and greatly enjoyed the rise of Monotheistic cults being set in the modern day without historical dominance*
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Re: Firefly
« Reply #24 on: 23 Aug 2013, 04:39 »

Akima's criticism makes me uncomfortable.  I mean, there's a lot of stuff she's right about, but at the same time it makes it seem like I (and my friends and family) should feel guilty for speaking a language, making a living in that language, and generally being influenced by a culture that is "not our own".

Akima does as much herself. I bet you're treating that "not our own" culture with curiosity and respect, and acknowledging its natives as real people as opposed to background spear carriers. You actually speak the language rather than occasionally cussing in it.

I feel like I've lived my whole life in a bicultural society, right on the border of two cultures.  And yes, I've absolutely heard people from both side cuss in the others language.  Or in both, liberally.

In general, having wandered a fair bit inside the border, having seen everything from darned near numerical equality to an overwhelming majority, nothing in FF inherently didn't fit.

I'll concede privilege may be biasing my initial impression there, though.

EDIT: Another way of looking at the difference -- was there a hint of evidence that the European-looking people in Firefly were at all influenced by the cultures(s) of their Chinese partners?

Dress and language, yes.  Values, not that I saw, but I would argue that I'm not sufficently versed in Chinese culture to say.  You raise an interesting and thought-provoking point.
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Re: Firefly
« Reply #25 on: 23 Aug 2013, 04:57 »

This I'm less certain of, and I think LeeC is too.
(click to show/hide)

It's a cheesy sci-fi show about cowboys in space.  I don't think it really warrants this much debate,
If Firefly warrants forum threads about how the show was cool and wonderful, then its worth postings from me about how it wasn't.
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Re: Firefly
« Reply #26 on: 23 Aug 2013, 05:35 »

I really like Firefly. I also completely agree with Akima. And that's OK, you can like things that are problematic. You can talk about problematic things while still being able to enjoy them for the good things. I think it's actually better to be aware of the flaws of something (a video game, a film, a book whatever). I'll go further than that even, I'd say it's necessary to have these threads and that if Akima hadn't posted we'd be the poorer for it.
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Re: Firefly
« Reply #27 on: 23 Aug 2013, 06:47 »

It's a cheesy sci-fi show about cowboys in space.  I don't think it really warrants this much debate,
If Firefly warrants forum threads about how the show was cool and wonderful, then its worth postings from me about how it wasn't.

Don't think for a second that just because I love the show as it stands doesn't mean I disagree with any point you've made, or that I disagree with you speaking up on this matter.

I won't offer this as an excuse or even necessarily say that it's concretely related to the casting choices at all, but hear me out. This is purely speculation on my part, but it is a show that was produced for the notoriously-xenophobic Fox network post-9/11. Also worth note is the military incident prior to 9/11 in which a U.S. Navy P-3 Orion electronic/anti-sub warfare aircraft was involved in a midair collision with a Chinese-made MiG-21 and captured, with the crew held for several weeks; the Chinese pilot wasn't so lucky. Like I said, purely speculation on my part, and probably paranoid at that, but our countries ain't exactly friends. And during Bush, all our media went completely to shit, news or other. Plus America isn't particularly well known for dropping it and moving on to live and let live.
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Re: Firefly
« Reply #28 on: 23 Aug 2013, 08:35 »

My favorite episode is Jaynestown. It touches on some fascinating questions and best of all doesn't answer them.

River's "It's broken" was one of the best performances of deadpan I've ever seen.
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Re: Firefly
« Reply #29 on: 23 Aug 2013, 15:57 »

I won't offer this as an excuse or even necessarily say that it's concretely related to the casting choices at all, but hear me out.
I don't think there was any particular deliberate intention on the part of Firefly's creators, or any xenophobia beyond the low-level, smog-in-the-air assumption that "only people like us matter". I think it just never occurred to anybody that there might be a problem. Based on what they put on the screen, I don't think it occurred to anyone on the creative team ever to question their entitlement to treat Chinese people, language and culture the way they did. I argue that this isn't a new thing, but simply a continuation into the present of past colonialist attitudes to other people's cultures. Firefly is not alone in this, of course, but it is remarkable for being so highly thought of, despite having such a huge elephant of very questionable attitudes in the room.
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Re: Firefly
« Reply #30 on: 23 Aug 2013, 16:24 »

Yeah, I agree. And I'm glad you've pointed them out, and I encourage you to do so. Firefly's long dead but that doesn't mean there isn't room for improvement in present/future programming.
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Re: Firefly
« Reply #31 on: 24 Aug 2013, 18:35 »

Much as I like the show, and because it is now literally putting food on my table so I will heartily encourage people to like it, the paragraph I quoted below from Akima is awesome and I WISH that had been part of the game plan for Firefly. Little deep for Fox sadly.

Quote

Suppose Whedon had chosen to cast East Asian actors as the Tam siblings, the only members of the core cast with an arguably Chinese surname, and fugitives from the Core Worlds. This would have opened the door to exploring themes like: the possibility that Chinese-descended settlers had much higher social status on the core worlds than on the frontier (where Wheedon depicts them basically as coolies, much as they were in the historical American West. Ooops!), and what that racial stratification might mean, especially to Simon-the-scholarly-doctor; or that the recent war was a clash between a collectivist, Confucian model of society and an more individualistic American one, mirrored in the conflict between Simon's filial duty to his society, and his personal protective feelings to his sister. Of course these might not be stories that Whedon wanted to tell, and that's fine, but casting and story would have locked together better than making some random character Asian in isolation from the story. Not that I'll ever begrudge an Asian actor a pay-cheque in any role; it's not as if they have many to choose from.
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Re: Firefly
« Reply #32 on: 24 Aug 2013, 22:08 »

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Re: Firefly
« Reply #33 on: 22 Feb 2021, 17:53 »

I wonder if this is a record necro.

There are rumors of a Firefly reboot. It would presumably have a new cast and might not include Joss Whedon.

https://screenrant.com/firefly-revival-season-2-release-date-story-details/

It's hard to imagine re-creating the cast chemistry or finding writers who could match the dialog of the original, but it would be an opportunity to fix all the problems that ruined it for Akima.
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Re: Firefly
« Reply #34 on: 22 Feb 2021, 18:12 »

Could be interesting. As much as I love the original, it *is* problematic, much like in retrospect, everything that Joss has done (even outside of him being an abusive dick), but was in many ways brilliant.
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Re: Firefly
« Reply #35 on: 22 Feb 2021, 18:42 »

He created an interesting Sci-Fi universe, why not expand on it with new ideas from new story tellers?
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Re: Firefly
« Reply #36 on: 22 Feb 2021, 21:56 »

Totally.  Firefly took Roddenberry’s “Wagon Train to the stars” concept and just ran with it, and did quite well.  Good writers and cast could do an amazing job.
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Re: Firefly
« Reply #37 on: 01 Mar 2021, 06:07 »

Err ... the strength of Firefly is in its dialogues and characters and scenes. For example when that big guy starts yelling threads while still being bound and Mal goes all "oh okay, you're hopeless" and kicks him right into the turbine. Thats just so funny. Thats like the scene on Indiana Jones when the guy with the sword makes a lot of show with his sword skills ... and Indie just shoots him.

If you think about it, much of Firefly doesnt make too much sense. Why are there so many planets, all successfully terraformed, how would that ever work. These planets must be damn close to each other to be all in the habitable zone. Or do they each have their own star ? But that would be a ***load of stars that would be necessary. Why is every planet like a Star Trek planet, with only a single kind of climate.

Doesnt really matter. I think its a genius show and I wished they wouldnt have gotten shut down after just half a season.
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hedgie

Re: Firefly
« Reply #38 on: 01 Mar 2021, 09:27 »

The “Single Biome Planet” may be a side-effect of the terraforming, or at least when it’s being done on the cheap, like in the outlying regions. 
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Re: Firefly
« Reply #39 on: 01 Mar 2021, 10:18 »

If memory serves they were all orbiting one really bright star, and those have wide habitable zones. They also terraformed a bunch of moons.
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Re: Firefly
« Reply #40 on: 01 Mar 2021, 11:06 »

From the fandom wiki:
Quote
It consists of five main sequence stars, around which orbit seven protostars, seven gas giants, three separate asteroid belts, seventy-five planets, and one hundred forty-nine moons. Four of the main sequence stars orbit a central star.
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Re: Firefly
« Reply #41 on: 01 Mar 2021, 23:05 »

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Re: Firefly
« Reply #42 on: 02 Mar 2021, 20:16 »

I was hoping somebody had that map. It seems almost too busy and I don't see how the planets aren't continually tossed between stars and/or ripped apart by gravitational stresses (also, is a blue dwarf star even possible?), but it's pretty much the only solution if you're not going to have FTL travel. I can only presume original colonization from Sol was on a sublight generational or sleeper ship. Also, the populations on these planets has got to be SPARSE. We'll just ignore the question on how any of these can have Earth standard gravity.

I've seen a similar map for Battlestar that had two loose binary pairs (each star with its own system and the stars orbiting a barrycenter maybe a light year or so away) orbiting a central barrycenter.
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Re: Firefly
« Reply #43 on: 02 Mar 2021, 20:37 »

Theoretically possible but the universe hasn't been around long enough for one to form:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blue_dwarf_(red-dwarf_stage)
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Re: Firefly
« Reply #44 on: 03 Mar 2021, 00:52 »

As for original colonisation, there's little to go on; just the small sequence in Serenity. I seem to remember that initial terraforming was started with unmanned craft, and that the people followed by 'slow boat' - probably generation ships.
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Re: Firefly
« Reply #45 on: 04 Mar 2021, 00:47 »

Theoretically possible but the universe hasn't been around long enough for one to form:
If I understand the (fixed) link correctly, blue dwarves like that arent actually blue, though.

They just have turned much of their hydrogen into helium, which causes a shrinking of the star (for helium is about four times more compact, or heavy, than hydrogen) and thus the gravitation and pressure increases, the temperature increases, and the process of fusion speeds up.

Thus they are just more "blue", i.e. hotter on the surface, than regular red dwarves, but not actually blue.

This is still inverse to what the sun will do. The sun, after its done with its hydrogen fuel, will collapse and heat up, until pressure and temperature increases so much that it will burn helium into carbon. This process is much less energetic, but happends much faster, which means the total energy output of the sun will increase and the outer shell (but not the core) will grow massively and thus cool down on the surface, turning the sun into a red giant. The sun will also form a second layer that will burn hydrogen from the outer shell into helium, too.

For being blue, a star needs to reach surface temperatures far beyond 10k K(elvin) (the surface temperature of what we consider a white star). The sun, a yellow star, only reaches around 5.7k K. Red dwarves have between 2k and 3.5k K, I cant find any information on how hot their surface temperature gets in the blue dwarf phase but I doubt it gets that much hotter than before.

According to this link, the maximum surface temperature a red dwarf will reach in the blue dwarf phase is about 9k K, which would make them just barely white.
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