Warning: There are some spoilers in this, so proceed at your own risk!
If you couldn’t tell from my blog and social media posts lately, it’s been a bit of a Firefly-heavy week here at GeekyNerdyGirl headquarters. First, I finished watching the short-lived television series, Firefly; then, I watched the documentary, Done the Impossible: The Fans’ Guide to ‘Firefly’ and ‘Serenity’ (note, there are some spoilers in that too, so you might want to wait to watch it); and finally, I watched Serenity, the big-screen version of Joss Whedon’s space western. After fully immersing myself in his futuristic ‘verse, I have to admit that I’m not quite a Browncoat, but I am glad that I expanded my geekynerdy knowledge a little more.
To be honest, I was really looking forward to watching Serenity, especially after checking out the television show and the documentary. Like many of the fans, I was dying to know what happened next in the story. Yet from the moment the movie started, I felt like something was off.
First of all, the colors were all wrong. I know that may sound a little strange, but the television show had more of a brown cast to it, which made the blue-hued film seem oversaturated to me. In fact, it reminded me of all of the different versions of C.S.I. and how each one seemed to have its own unique color palette. It’s a simple and silly thing I know, but I never quite got over it.
The tone of the film was also a lot angrier than I was expecting. There were squabbles between the crew in Firefly as well, but not the outright insubordination that took place in Serenity, particularly from Jayne. The movie is set eight months after the adventures in the television show and it seems that the characters have fallen on some hard times, especially since they are harboring two fugitives – Simon and River Tam. While I certainly understood the tension (I mean, who wouldn’t have their nerves rattled every now and then in such close quarters!), I missed the camaraderie of the show.
I also found myself with more questions than answers at the end of the movie, which is odd considering the film was mostly made to bring some closure to the fans of the television show. For instance, when and why did Shepherd Book leave Serenity, and what exactly is his background? Why was River turned into a weapon by the Alliance, and how many people like her are out there? What’s the universe like now that everyone knows the Alliance inadvertently created the monstrous Reavers? And most importantly, will Mal and Inara finally get together!?
There were so many unanswered questions at the end of Serenity that I found myself sympathizing with the Browncoats who are still hoping for a Serenity 2. It would be nice to finally feel like the full story has been told, but Whedon has made it perfectly clear that that possibility is still a long way off. So for now, I guess we’ll just have to wait and wonder, or read the comics.