GENERAL DISCUSSIONS

Q: How does Mal know so much about Reavers ?

POSTED BY: AURAPTOR
UPDATED: Monday, February 16, 2004 00:36
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Tuesday, February 10, 2004 8:15 PM

AURAPTOR

America loves a winner!


(sorry if this has been covered )
Both Mal and Zoe seem to know a fair bit about them, Mal a good bit more so. Per Bushwhacked, from the *booby trap on the ship to the step by step progression of the lone 'survivor' to his Reaver state, Capt seems to be almost an expert in them. Any ideas?


*Also,kinda a techie question here. When Kaylee goes to disconnect the trap set by the Reavers, it appears she goes into the hull of Serinity. Wouldn't it make MORE sense that she disarm the boobytrap from the derelict ship ? Seems the mechanism for the trap is what set the tentacles out from the abandoned ship, where they just latched onto the outside of Serinity. What could Kaylee 'bypass' on Serinity that would disarm the bomb? Seems they got that one backwards.

p.s. Did I mention just how much I love this show ?

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Tuesday, February 10, 2004 9:16 PM

LINDLEY


I found it very interesting that the Reaver trap seemed to be organic tech.

I suspect that Mal's platoon had some Reaver trouble during the war.

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Wednesday, February 11, 2004 5:02 AM

WERESPAZ


I've wondered about Captain Mal's knowledge on this too. To a certain degree, I doubt it was an experience with the during the war, but during the six years between the war and when he bought Serenity. Perhaps while working under another captain he came across a scavenging ship that failed to disarm the trap, or something like that. In any case, he must have interacted with a "survivor" at some point to know that they forced him to watch. It'd be cool if they has some small part in the movie that would shed some light onto this.

-The SpAz

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Wednesday, February 11, 2004 5:19 AM

KNIBBLET


Quote:

Originally posted by AURaptor:
Capt seems to be almost an expert in them. Any ideas?



Anyone who lives on the edges of the frontier would of the reavers. Those that actually traverse the stars and run across the bloody ruins, would do all they could to reconstruct exactly what happened.

Some ships have to escape and would tell others how they did it. They might have been part of a convoy and could testify as to what happened to ships that didn't get away.

As Mal said of the survivor, "It would be a mercy to kill him." They had to have run across survivors before and perhaps a few decipherable words got out before the slashing and mutilation began.

I think it's more along the lines of coming across fresh remains and the investigations that were done after the fact.

Mal would do everything he could to learn about Reavers. His ship and crew are a juicy morsel and he knows it.




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Wednesday, February 11, 2004 6:05 AM

STATIC


Here's a LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOONG reach. . .and I apologise, since I'm usually the one to speak AGAINST looooooooooooooooong reaches. . .

Do we have any idea what happened to Mal's mom and the ranch he grew up on? We DID learn that the Reavers don't limit their brutality to ships in space, but that they hit towns as well. . .and Mal is AWFUL close-mouthed about his family.

You don't suppose. . .do ya?

==================================================
"Wash. . .we got some local color happening. A grand entrance would not go amiss."

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Wednesday, February 11, 2004 6:30 AM

BROWNCOAT1

May have been the losing side. Still not convinced it was the wrong one.


I am thinking that Mal has got his knowledge from living out in the black for the last 6 years or more. I would say he has heard stories from people he deals with and perhaps people he knows that have run into Reavers before.

As Knibblet said, Reavers seem to be known about by everyone, kind of like the boogeyman to little kids. I would imagine that Reaver attacks have been recorded and news of the events got out to the general populace.

No telling how long the Reavers have been around, but I would say since before the Alliance was formed.

"May have been the losing side. Still not convinced it was the wrong one."


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Wednesday, February 11, 2004 6:43 AM

WERESPAZ


Quote:


As Knibblet said, Reavers seem to be known about by everyone, kind of like the boogeyman to little kids. I would imagine that Reaver attacks have been recorded and news of the events got out to the general populace.



I don't think these attacks have been recorded otherwise the Admiral (or whatever) would've been more receptive of the idea instead of his you're-full-of-crap tone he took with Mal. No, I think everybodys heard of Reavers the same way everybodys heard of Boogymen, Ghosts, Vampires and the like. Mostly just stories surrounded by so much fear that people don't often stop to pick up the pieces left behind by them. There's some line in Bushwacked about "I thought they didn't leave survivors".. and that tells me that nobody experiences a reaver attack and "lives" to tell about it. And if anyone came across a ship/town that was hit by reavers are probably so terrified they wouldn't stick around very long to figure out what happened, thinking either A) Reavers are still there or B) Reavers will come back. Also, it's pretty clear that the particular spot where Bushwacked takes place is probably one of the few (if not first) times Alliance and Reavers occupied the same space, even though it wasn't at the same time. Having a meeting between the two would definitely be an interesting day.

Thinking about Static's line of thought, I think that's one of the only reasons somebody would stick around a reaver site. Hoping against hope that their family member managed to hide and survive, or at least trying to figure out the nature of what took their loved one.

-The SpAz

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Wednesday, February 11, 2004 7:10 AM

LINDLEY


Quote:

Originally posted by Static:
Here's a LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOONG reach. . .and I apologise, since I'm usually the one to speak AGAINST looooooooooooooooong reaches. . .

Do we have any idea what happened to Mal's mom and the ranch he grew up on? We DID learn that the Reavers don't limit their brutality to ships in space, but that they hit towns as well. . .and Mal is AWFUL close-mouthed about his family.

You don't suppose. . .do ya?

==================================================
"Wash. . .we got some local color happening. A grand entrance would not go amiss."



That's an interesting idea. Very interesting.....

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Wednesday, February 11, 2004 7:39 AM

DTT


As for Auraptor's techie question, one of the great things about creating your own universe is that you write your own rules, especially early on.

"You didn't have to wound that man."
"Yeah, I know. It was just funny."

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Wednesday, February 11, 2004 8:02 AM

BARNEYT


Quote:

Originally posted by Werespaz:
Thinking about Static's line of thought, I think that's one of the only reasons somebody would stick around a reaver site. Hoping against hope that their family member managed to hide and survive, or at least trying to figure out the nature of what took their loved one.




This makes a lot of sense (maybe not such a long reach after all, Static... ) - because Mal's knowledge is a lot deeper and more personal than the average person's. Jayne and Zoe have the standard knowledge, the 'campfire' stories.

But Mal seems to know more, and since it's unlikely that even Mal could survive himself, I reckon he has lost someone to them. Or, rather, rescued someone from the Reavers only to watch them go the same way as the victim on Bushwhacked.



---
"I think the right place to start is to say, fair is fair. This is who we are. These are our numbers." Mr Willis of Ohio - The West Wing

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Wednesday, February 11, 2004 8:47 AM

CROSSBOW


I love the Looong reach. Joss likes to be intentionally vague with regards to backstory; it keeps it fresh and gives him options for future stories.
Joss has always created wonderful antagonists. Its sad the series ended before we got to meet Reavers. I'm guessing they wouldn't be what you would expect. So, my Looong reach:
Despite being animals, they're not stupid: They take off their 'skin coats' etc. and act like "normal" people (if a little rough or weird), gain intel on victims etc. Maybe Mal has already met reavers and doesn't know it!

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Wednesday, February 11, 2004 9:27 AM

OKKAY


Seems to me that even though Mal might have a lot of "book knowledge" about Reavers, he probably had never experienced or had an unusually traumatic incident involving them. Remember, it's not like he remembered right away what would happen to the guy they saved. It sort of slowly came to him after obtaining various bits of information. So in my opinion, most of what they know is just stuff passed around by other people.

Something else I sort of wonder about Reavers, they're supposed to be savages/animals, but on the other hand, they must possess some kind of intelligence if they're able to run a starship. I mean, it takes a genius mechanic (Kaylee, not Bester) to keep Serenity running, and the ships flown by Reavers are even older and most likely even harder to maintain. How do they do it?

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Wednesday, February 11, 2004 9:38 AM

WERESPAZ


Quote:


I mean, it takes a genius mechanic (Kaylee, not Bester) to keep Serenity running, and the ships flown by Reavers are even older and most likely even harder to maintain. How do they do it?



Sheer force of will.... oh, and duct tape, lots o duct tape (prolly made from human.... ugh, I'll stop there.) Like Mal said, "A man comes up against that kind of will, the only way to deal with it, I reckon, is to become it".

-The SpAz

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Wednesday, February 11, 2004 2:32 PM

RANGER


Here's my pet theory. I think the Reavers have been around for a long time and that the Browncoats started out as militia on the rim to protect communities from them. Mal was a Browncoat before the war and learned about Reavers in the Browncoats. He must have seen the results of Reaver raids and seen Reaver survivors then too. By the way, Zoe knows a lot about Reavers too, and she's also a Browncoat vet, so it seems to go with Browncoat experiance.

As to why the core folk don't know much about Reavers I think has to do with Alliance propoganda during the war. To justify disarming the Browncoats the Alliance told people the Reavers don't really exist. Alliance commanders from the core probably believe this, until they encounter Reavers themselves.

Traveller, if you go to Sparta, tell them you have seen us lying here as the Law commands.

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Wednesday, February 11, 2004 3:06 PM

WHOODAHN


Since Firefly is a space western it's easy to draw parallels with the old west. The browncoats represent the early settlers and the Alliance are like the government that wanted the west to follow the laws that were made in the east. There was a big cultural divide between the east and the west. The Reavers would be like the Indians. The settlers in the west knew about Indians, the so-called civilized people in the east only heard stories about the Indians.

I like the theory that Mal's family was wiped out by Reavers. It's not much different than a cowboys family getting wiped out by Indians. The cowboy would know a lot about the Indians and want to stay as far away from them as possible.

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Wednesday, February 11, 2004 5:44 PM

ANKHAGOGO


Quote:

Originally posted by Ranger:
Here's my pet theory. I think the Reavers have been around for a long time and that the Browncoats started out as militia on the rim to protect communities from them. Mal was a Browncoat before the war and learned about Reavers in the Browncoats. He must have seen the results of Reaver raids and seen Reaver survivors then too. By the way, Zoe knows a lot about Reavers too, and she's also a Browncoat vet, so it seems to go with Browncoat experiance.



I like the idea that Browncoats were originally protecting the rim from Reavers. And it made me have another thought -- perhaps the Reavers have once been militia themselves? Troops stationed out in the middle of nowhere before the planets on the rim were terra-formed? I'm thinking kind of a version of The Thing: buncha guys stationed deep in the black with little or no contact with HQ or actual society -- they're out there long enough, the sheer boredom alone could've driven them over the edge. It could easily have gone all Lord of the Flies --but with adult military guys. Might also explain the age of their ships.

Quote:

As to why the core folk don't know much about Reavers I think has to do with Alliance propoganda during the war. To justify disarming the Browncoats the Alliance told people the Reavers don't really exist. Alliance commanders from the core probably believe this, until they encounter Reavers themselves.


I like this, too,because I find propoganda interesting, and it gave me another thought. Simon said that he'd heard campfire stories about the Reavers, which immediately made me think of the camp stories we all heard -- you know, guy with a hook hand kills kids who are necking on a deserted stretch of road, stuff like that. I'd be willing to bet that another reason the core folk don't know much about the Reavers is because they think Reavers are urban legend. And there's never anything concrete in urban legends- just stuff like "don't flash your running lights cause Reavers are hitting ships that do that! It totally happened to my friend's uncle's mechanic's priest's sister! My hand to God!"
And since Reavers don't typically leave survivors, and they sure don't visit the core, the citizens in the core've got nothing else to go on but the campfire stories. Cause people like that can't really exist.....



"But she was naked! And all...articulate!"

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Wednesday, February 11, 2004 6:48 PM

GUNRUNNER


I like the idea that the Reavers may have been troops stationed out in the black. That would explain how they are able to take out settlements; they have access to some of the military hardware they used back when they were solders. They have to have some weapons and knowledge to take out a town. If they were just animals or primitives the town's foke would mow them down with machine guns.

I was thinking that the Alliance has probably already has lots of encounters with Reavers. A cruiser spots a ship docked with a transport they don't respond to hails, they pick up a distress call from the transport, so they blow the Reaver ship away and clamed they were pirates plundering a ship.

Oh Ankhagogo that ship that was hit by reavers cuz it had its running lights turned off really just got ran over by a bulk freighter that didn't see them cuz of their lack of running lights.

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Friday, February 13, 2004 5:31 AM

GUARDIAN


Interesting Point, Since revears are suicidal, driving around in all ships with no reactor shielding, extremely anti-social by the sounds of it, were do the next generation of reavers come from, do they :-
a) reproduce by rape or something
b) convert normal humans into reavers. Like some kind of virus.. ??


Guardian.

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Friday, February 13, 2004 5:51 AM

ANKHAGOGO


Quote:


Interesting Point, Since revears are suicidal, driving around in all ships with no reactor shielding, extremely anti-social by the sounds of it, were do the next generation of reavers come from, do they :-
a) reproduce by rape or something
b) convert normal humans into reavers. Like some kind of virus.. ??




I vote for B, sorta. I did just assume that the next generation were probably the crew members or passengers the older group had kidnapped after attacking the ship. Could be a reason why there are no survivors -- they wouldn't have to take prisoners every time, just often enough to keep it going. Plus, here's a creepy thought -- Reavers often hit ships packed full of settlers, right? Families. With small children. Hit one ship like that, grab all the ones under the age of, say, 16...I'm not going any further with that thought. I'm creeping myself out.
I don't really care for the idea of Reaverness being a virus, because that's giving a tangible, medical reason why they are like they are,and that kind of implies that either they can't help it, or there might be a cure. I like having no reason beyond "they're all insane", because that's infinitely scarier to me.

"But she was naked! And all...articulate!"

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Friday, February 13, 2004 6:00 AM

GOOG


One of those "would-have-been-answered-if-FOX-didn't-suck" questions.

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Friday, February 13, 2004 9:13 AM

SAINT JAYNE


Quote:

Originally posted by Ankhagogo:
Interesting Point, Since revears are suicidal, driving around in all ships with no reactor shielding, extremely anti-social by the sounds of it, were do the next generation of reavers come from, do they :-
a) reproduce by rape or something
b) convert normal humans into reavers. Like some kind of virus.. ??


Hmm. I thought B, but it's interesting to think about a complete Reaver society with families. Or perhaps objectified women captives (sorry if this puts a bad taste in your mouth).

If you are born and grow up in a hostile (eg radioactive) environment, could you become used to it? The possibility of mutation here could also be interesting. Like Dead Bessy, only not so dead and human.

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Friday, February 13, 2004 9:17 AM

SHINY


Quote:

Originally posted by Saint Jayne:
Hmm. I thought B, but it's interesting to think about a complete Reaver society with families. Or perhaps objectified women captives (sorry if this puts a bad taste in your mouth).



Heck, knowing how Joss likes to turn convention on its head, Reavers could be an amazon-like society run by females who only take male prisoners to reproduce...

RIVER
Purple elephants are flying.
MAL
Good. Thanks for the update.

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Friday, February 13, 2004 10:21 AM

TALONPEST


I agree with Static's theory. I had that same thought soon after watching Our Mrs. Reynolds. It nicely ties together how he doesn't like to talk about his family (not many people on the show other than the Tams talked about their families either, but with Mal they made a point of saying he didn't like to) and how he knows about Reavers.

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Saturday, February 14, 2004 7:37 AM

ANKHAGOGO


Quote:

Originally posted by Shiny:
Quote:

Originally posted by Saint Jayne:
Hmm. I thought B, but it's interesting to think about a complete Reaver society with families. Or perhaps objectified women captives (sorry if this puts a bad taste in your mouth).


Well o' course it puts a bad taste in my mouth --but I like the realism of it. It makes sense to me that that is the type of things Reavers would do.
Quote:

Heck, knowing how Joss likes to turn convention on its head, Reavers could be an amazon-like society run by females who only take male prisoners to reproduce...


Ha! You could be very right -- and the idea that women would do the things Reavers are rumoured to do would be very upsetting to lots of people.
Cause only men do horrifying things -- we girls are too delicate and fragile to pillage and torture.

"But she was naked! And all...articulate!"

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Monday, February 16, 2004 12:36 AM

GUARDIAN


Quote:


Ha! You could be very right -- and the idea that women would do the things Reavers are rumoured to do would be very upsetting to lots of people.
Cause only men do horrifying things -- we girls are too delicate and fragile to pillage and torture.



Ha, in my experience modern women when deprived of civilisation i.e. there mobile phones become savage rather quickly...

Now someone asked where do the reavers come from, and I’d like to make some suggestions.
Firstly if you listen to the introductory narrative it say they found “a new solar system” this implies all the world in the firefly universe are in the same solar system which would explain why there is no mention of a faster than light drive, as it wouldn’t be need for interplanetary distances. Secondly earth was used up and abandoned as was presumably the whole earth solar system. So the colonists would have had to travel across the vast distance between solar systems. So presumably reavers are those colonists who only just managed to reach the fringes of the new solar system, where it was two cold to terraform productive planets and so reverted to cannibalism to survive, so perhaps reaver raiding parties are actually just hunting parties, coming in attack shipping, carving up the crew and taking the meat back to feed there colonies out on the fringe.


Guardian.

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