GENERAL DISCUSSIONS

Sheppard Book? What was his secret?!

POSTED BY: DECKARD
UPDATED: Thursday, November 17, 2005 07:01
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VIEWED: 3668
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Wednesday, November 16, 2005 5:49 AM

DECKARD


Hello
Long time reader, first time poster yada yada!

Anyway, I found Firefly through a review in England in DVD Review Magazine, so decided to dive in at the cheap asking price! Great series, quality movie.

Anyway, could someone help? There were many occasions in the series, such as when Book is shot and the alliance refuse to help, but on seeing his I.D they immediatly give him help. And the fact that he knows so much about theft, scavengers, etc etc, that give away a mysterious past that we would probably have ended up seeing at some point if the show had been cancelled.

Then in the movie, Mal also eludes to this mysterious background.

My question is:
Did Joss plan on NEVER telling us this story?
When the film came around and Sheppard Book was killed off, I was a little dissapointed as we never got around to this part of the story. And what was the story? Was Sheppard a former alliance commander or something?

Thanks guys!


Ive seen things you people wouldnt believe.....

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Wednesday, November 16, 2005 6:41 AM

ELLERS


I have no doubt that Whedon intended to explain Book in due course, maybe season 2 or 3. It was a bit dissapointing that Book got killed off so quickly, but I wonder if that was a contract thing (ie the actor wanted to move on to other things).

My personal theory is that Book used to be like the evil guy in the movie, but had an epiphany and changed his life. There is a certain calm, deep intelligence that both characters had, even if one was very good and one was very bad.

I wondered about alliance commander theory when I first watched the show and thought "its clearly that", which if put into a Joss Whedon universe means "it is clearly NOT that." Well, probably.

Sure is a bummer that the whole thing got canceled. What I don't get is if one channel doesn't want the rights, why do they prevent other channel's from taking it on? Its sure not a coincidence.

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Wednesday, November 16, 2005 8:22 AM

ENGINEANGEL


FIRST OF ALL YOU SHOULD PROBABLY PUT A MOVIE SPOILER WARNING ON TOP OF YOUR THREAD DECKARD. to do it just press edit on the bottom of your response and add it at the top of your response. you will help many browncoats who haven't yet seen the movie remain spoiler free.

Movie spoilers comin' up folks:

Second of all, Book's past will be revealed. Joss has said that his past will be and i believe him. Joss will not have this wonderful storyline cut away. Ron Glass (the actor who plays Book) did not want to be killed off. He wanted to explore book's past as well, Joss has said they will do so and there's also the fact that all of the cast members are signed on for a trilogy. they will all be in the next movies. that may mean flashbacks and that may not.

i am of the opinion that book was an operative. he was working on the project that river was involved in or one like it. He didn't know what work he was doing (becuase as the oprative said "my job is to keep secrets, not to know them")Once he found out what he was doing, he was horrified and decided to get out of being an operative. he turned to the path of religon, trying to believe in something again and fix his mistakes.

just my views. what do you think?

keep fltin'
EngineAngel

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Wednesday, November 16, 2005 8:39 AM

FLYWITHMECAPTN


Ellers, I would be real surprised if it were a contract thing, that Ron would want to do other gigs.

On the last CD when they speak to all the actors, he seemed genuinely upset the series was to an end.

just came outta no wheres captn

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Wednesday, November 16, 2005 9:17 AM

MISBEHAVEN


There are several things that I find troublesome with Book's past. He does appear to know an inordinate amount of information about the criminal world: he knew Niska (even his first name) and the writings on torture, scavanger operations, thieving, and other elements of the criminal sphere. However, his quick admittance into the Alliance cruiser (once he showed his ID card) seems completely out of place if he were a mere criminal as some have specualted. I'm not entirely sure he was an operative either, but he does seem to know a lot about how the operatives work (Serenity). In addition, Book definitely knows weapons (War Stories) and hand to hand (Serenity Pilot, look at what he did to agent Dobson), and there's something about what River read in his mind in "Objects in Space". To paraphrase, "I don't care if you're innocent or not". That seems to recall the mentality of the operative in Serentity: Mal, "I don't kill children". Operative, "I do". There's also the potential that Book may have been a high level Alliance officer, or perhaps have been involved with Blue Sun in some way. Anyhow, I think we'll eventually find out. I'm not sure if it'll be in the form of comics, books, graphic novels, sequels or (keeping my fingers crossed) a continuation of the series, but I don't think Whedon will leave so many loyal fans drifting in the black indefinitely.

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Wednesday, November 16, 2005 11:06 AM

SADLITTLEKING


I agree with the speculation that Book was an operative and, at some point, was "awakened" similar to the way the Operative was in Serenity.

Also, I think Book's past could still be explored with Ron Glass returning in a sequel. Perhaps Mal and the crew stumble onto some unfinished business of his, maybe through a former colleague of Book's, and feel that they owe it to Book in some way to set things right. And through this colleague, the story of Book's past can be told and shown to us through flashbacks.

However Joss decides to do it though is fine by me. After 14 great episodes and an excellent movie, I completely trust the guy.

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Wednesday, November 16, 2005 3:32 PM

BROWNCOATER


I think Book was either an operative, or he was the general in charge of Alliance forces at the Battle of Serenity Valley. It is more likely he was an operative. If the movies or series continues, I would not be surprised to see the operative from the movie show up again, this time as a shepherd.

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Wednesday, November 16, 2005 3:39 PM

HYDRAGON


I'm certain it will be explained eventually, even now that Book's gone. I mean, in Buffy, shortly after Oz left, we learned that his real name was Daniel Osbourne! See what you can learn about a character after they've left? We'll find out. Mark my words.

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Wednesday, November 16, 2005 4:18 PM

JOSSISAGOD


Spoilers Ahead!!!



I too was dissapointed when both Boook AND Wash died! My speculation on Book's past is this: I think either he was an Operative as has been the most popular theory in these posts, OR he was one of the high ranking scientist that worked in the program River was in.

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Wednesday, November 16, 2005 4:32 PM

KUANGAORUI


Quote:

Originally posted by Ellers:
I have no doubt that Whedon intended to explain Book in due course, maybe season 2 or 3. It was a bit dissapointing that Book got killed off so quickly, but I wonder if that was a contract thing (ie the actor wanted to move on to other things).


***************************************************
Spoiler
***************************************************
I doubt Book dieing was a contractual thing, sometimes writers will use the death of one character to serve another in the story in this case it gave Mal a renewed faith in himself to continue fighting. There are a lot of instances of this in story telling like Obiwan in A New Hope or Bambi's mother being shot.

Wash's death on the other hand did kind of look like it was tacked on and maybe the actor wanted to move on.

As for explaining Books past there are a lot of possibilities, and there are a lot of ways for Joss Whedon to explain it whether by prequel or meeting up with some one that knows his past. And I am sure it will be told at some point.


****************************************
You know what's bad? Animal testing.
You know what's worse? Nuclear testing.
You know what's even worse than that? Nuclear animal testing!!! When will they learn?
****************************************

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Wednesday, November 16, 2005 5:22 PM

DAMROD


Just a thought and may sound familiar, Book was high up somewhere in the Alliance and had a falling out and went out on his own. Before he leaves while he still supports what he was doing, he trained or was training someone to take his place. Could the Operative be his son??? Who was trained by him while he still supported what he was doing or maybe trained to get revenge on him for leaving by making him an operative to take his place. So maybe we have seen part of Books story.

Have a better one!!!

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Wednesday, November 16, 2005 5:36 PM

BELACGOD


Quote:

Originally posted by KuangAorui:


Wash's death on the other hand did kind of look like it was tacked on and maybe the actor wanted to move on.



I placed Wash's death in the "Joss Whedon Suddenly Kills off Characters" file.

Spoilers for Buffy

Select to view spoiler:


Like Ms. Callendar's death--unexpected until a few moments before it happened, leaving us genuinely worried for other main characters afterward.



It's one of the things that separates Joss from ordinary show creators--his shows have consequences.

Plus, I heard Wash was going to die 2nd season anyhow.

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Wednesday, November 16, 2005 5:38 PM

BROWNCOATER


Wash' death was preplanned. Tudyk and Joss had already discussed it. If the series had gone on, Wash was to die in season 2.

Book's death disappoints me the most.

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Thursday, November 17, 2005 4:24 AM

PURPLEYIN


The operative idea is nice and neat and handed to us on a platter, but the more I think about it the less Book breaking down in the first episode makes sense. Was that an act? How can you have that level of training, and not learn to divide your emotions?

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Thursday, November 17, 2005 5:14 AM

GWEK


Not sure how canon the "extra stuff" in the novelization is (ie, if Whedon approved it), but the book makes it pretty clear that Book is an operative. The Op from the movie recognizes him and addresses him by his first name.

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Thursday, November 17, 2005 6:46 AM

CYBERSNARK


Which, to me, suggests that he's not an Operative (least, not the "capital O" kind). Operatives don't have first names.

-----
We applied the cortical electrodes but were unable to get a neural reaction from either patient.

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Thursday, November 17, 2005 7:01 AM

GWEK


I'm sure they do have names (or some sort of indentifier) internally.

"So, who's doing that job for us?"

"The Operative."

"But I thought he was taking care of that other thing."

"No that's the OTHER Operative."

"But last week, you said the OTHER Operative died in the field!"

"Grrrr..."

A name is about the most personal possession you can have. Giving it up for an ideal is the ultimate sacrifice... but you still have a name inasmuch as the ideal allows you to have it.

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