Friday, March 8, 2013

Firefly :)

The TV series FireFly (2002-2003) and John Ford's Stagecoach (1939) have an unlikely attachment to each other. In Firefly the first episode Serenity we are taken into a post-apocalyptic world with 9 people aboard a space ship sailing through outer space. In Stagecoach  six passengers take a journey in a stagecoach in the old west.  Firefly, although first deemed a sci-fi has many of the attributes of a classic western. Creator, Josh Whedon even admits that he intentionally thought of Stagecoach and other westerns while putting together the story.
      In Firefly there are many conventions of  western and science fiction genres. The first most obviou is the space-ship, Serenity. As in most science-fiction films the space-ship is a symbol of freedom, independence, and outward development, this also rings true for the ship in Firefly. Serenity is used means of escape and ways for the characters to steer clear of the Alliance. The ship is something that every character loves. Kaylee, the ships mechanic is so fond of Serenity she often refers to it as a she and openly calls it the best ship around.
      Mal, the captain of the ship has countless traits that are in line with the classic western heros qualities. First off, Mals everyday attire consisting of usually suspenders, working shirts, and full on leather boots is not unlike the way Josey Wales from The Outlaw Josey Wales dresses.  Another big part of Mals character is the weapons he choses.  Like in Star Wars usually some handy dandy super cool awesome new weapon is invented like the light saber and everyone uses them. This is not true in Firefly, the signature handgun that Mal uses in his Taurus Model 85 revolver. Obviously it is not a high tech weapon that many imagine in sci-fi's but rather a gun that resembles something that would be used in the old west.
    There are many other conventions that were not mentioned that are in Firefly that appear in Westerns and in Sci-Fi's but these are the major ones that stood out to me.   It is obvious that Firefly and Stagecoach's connection was not only in the plot but in the devices that are usually featured in both film genresThe way that Josh Whedon took a spin on the classic western and put it in a completely different environment creates a lovely combination.