What is the Blue Sun Corporation?
Monday, April 30, 2007

After writing the entire Wikipedia article regarding Blue Sun I started getting a few e-mails about it and I thought I'd write a blog entry to help those people who are new to firefly begin to understand the underside of the main story. Now keep in mind, this blog entry is entirely my opinion. It is not canon. It is based on my expansive personal knowledge of Firefly coupled with how and where Blue Sun inter-relates.

To understand Blue Sun you must first possess an understanding of the political structure of the 'verse.

Firefly can be politically compared to the 18th century English government. At that time there was a triad of intrests governing the highest decisions of British life. Firstly there was the King, and along with that persona you find the nobility. Second is the parliament of "elected" officials. I place the word (elected) in quotes because the concept of a democracy was more of a philosophy than a reality during that time period. The third and final major force were the capitalists of the era and along with them comes big business. One of the largest of these organizations was the East India Company. Blue Sun is modeled on EIC.

In the 18th century, political corruption was a fact of life and a nature of business. In order to see your commercial interests forwarded, one need only use ones money to influence the nobility and thus parliament. Oftentimes members of parliament were nobles who had political stock in EIC or other trade engines. The system was tightly interwoven and the result was that an elite few were able to become wealthy by treading on the backs of the common man. This is the exact situation we see in the Firefly 'verse. A nobility class clearly exists. Mal refers to a "King of Londinium" in the pilot episode. Warrick Harrow explains to Mal that his red sash indicates lordhood. Atherton Wing and Magistrate Higgins are clearly lesser lords. Interrelated with these nobles you find the interests of the Alliance government, which we know from the film to be governed by a parliament. The third and final piece of the puzzle is big business. In Firefly we see this expressed in the form of the Blue Sun Corporation, which while surely not the only corporation, is likely the largest and most influential.

Joss Whedon once described Blue Sun as a combination of Microsoft and Coca-Cola. Judging from what we see of Blue Sun a more apt comparision would be Microsoft/Coca-Cola/Procter & Gamble. Clearly the future of corporations involves business buying itself out until only a scant few entities remain. Those few companies provide all the logistical infrastructure in the 'verse. One of Blue Sun's niches is in the consumer staples market. Note the following apperances of Blue Sun on food products:
1. The crybaby was a radio transmitter taped to a Blue Sun coffee can. (pilot episode)
2. River rips labels of Blue Sun brand food. (shindig)
3. A Blue Sun cola commercial runs as Serenity debarks her landing platform (The Message)
4. River kicks a Blue Sun brand bottle off a table in the maidenhead bar (Serenity feature film)
5. Jayne passes a Blue Sun brand liquor bottle to Simon (Serenity feature film)

Blue Sun's other market is in electronic technological advancements. The only example of this is in the episode Ariel. When Simon boots up the holo-imager, a spinning logo appears before the machine begins to show Rivers internal organs. If you look closely at the center of the spinning element of the hologram, you can clearly see Blue Sun's logo. Be aware that it will appear backwards because it is presented in a manner that would appear correct to the operator of the imager (Simon) and we are on the opposite side. I have heard (non-canon) discussions that there were plans to hide Blue-Sun logos in internet communications, implying that the company has patients on common telecommunications technologies, such as sending "Waves" and accessing the Cortex. (For non-browncoats...the Cortex is the WWW of the 'verse. It traverses all the planets in the star system, though transmissions off-planet are subjected to delays due to lightspeed issues. You see it used occasionally in the TV series when Inara is trying to book clients)

Some of the grandest mysteries of Firefly involve the goals of Blue Sun. Joss eventually admitted in Firefly: The official Companion, Vol 1 that the hands of blue villains were associated with Blue Sun. That revelation opens the door to the likely scenario that Blue Sun is a sinister entity, involving itself with secret projects for the Alliance government. This makes sense given that half of the company is devoted towards the pursuit of maintaining a monopoly within technologies markets. I believe that the academy River attended was a front Blue Sun established under Alliance supervision, in an effort to identify exceptional humans for testing purposes. I also believe that the clips of the R. Tam sessions were filmed by Blue Sun. Certainly there are innocent sides to the megacorp. I mean, is every employee going to be culpable? Surely not. But there are evils hidden within the folds. I maintain that along with it's public face, Blue Sun has government contracts (Like our modern defense contractors) to produce various secret products, such as a psychic assassin in the form of River Tam. There are surely many other secrets. This leads into an interesting question:

How did the Hands of Blue kill the guards in Ariel with their "little blue sticks"?

Before we go there I want to examine River's behavior in the Episode Shindig. Recall for a moment the scene when Jayne, Book, and Simon were playing Tallcard. As they sit absorbed in trying to win the rights to not do chores, River enters the dinning area. She walks to the prep table where she finds a box filled with groceries. Inside are canned goods and a couple cracker boxes bearing the Blue Sun logo. As soon as she sees this she begins to violently tear labels and attack the boxes while saying this:

There it is, there it is.
It's always there if you look for it.
Everybody sees and nobody sees it...

These are the ones that take you!
Little ones in the corner that you
almost don't see. But they're the
ones that reach in and do it.
They're the ones with teeth and you
have to smash them!

A million things, and the
little ends of the roots go
everywhere and when you
brush your teeth or all the
little blue things are
there but no one says it
because, because sometimes
they're afraid. And then
they come....

We must ask ourselves, What are these "little blue things" to which River refers? What's in the food that she fears? I maintain that Blue Sun puts stuff in their products in a manner similar to the way the PAX agent was delivered to the citizens of Miranda. What this "stuff" happens to be is not something defined anywhere, but it can serve to create a rational explanation as to how the Hands of Blue killed the federal guards in Ariel. If everyone in the 'verse has eaten Blue Sun food, or brushed their teeth with Blue Sun toothpaste....or whatever....then it stands to reason that a strong majority of the population is infected with the "little blue things" River rants about. My theory is that the Alliance government sought out a means to control the general population in the unlikely event of another civil war. Since Blue Sun and Parliament are in each others hip pockets, (recall the political relationships further up in this blog entry) it's plausible that Parliament contracted with the technological division of Blue Sun to engineer an agent which the consumer staples side of the company could introduce into household products.

I seem to have reached the memory limit of a blog entry. I have concluded this analysis in a second Blog entry titled "What is the Blue Sun Corporation? Part II"


Wednesday, May 2, 2007 8:39 PM


A brilliant bit of speculatin' here, bluesuncompanyman;D


Tuesday, May 1, 2007 5:33 AM


Good to know

Monday, April 30, 2007 5:24 PM


Another appearance of the blue sun logo is on the t-shirt Jayne is wearing when River slashes him with the knife in Ariel. Some folks maintain that she was cutting the shirt, and Jayne just happened to be an "innocent bystander".


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