GENERAL DISCUSSIONS

Shepherd the Book, & Wash

POSTED BY: BRUCEPLUTO
UPDATED: Saturday, October 22, 2011 23:02
SHORT URL: http://bit.ly/r0W1IM
VIEWED: 3499
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Tuesday, October 18, 2011 1:51 AM

BRUCEPLUTO


Morning Browncoats!

With having so little to watch on television these days (or nights) I broke out my copy of “Done the Impossible” last evening and watched me some Browncoat stuff.

Now, that being said, it was good to see Nathan, Adam, Ron, Jewel, Morena, Alan, Joss and even Christina Hendricks talk about the old Firefly days. I also enjoyed seeing so many folk with a passion for the show as much as I have, heck….even more!

I wasn’t around for FF when it made it’s tour on television, and I apologize for that. I did not catch up with the show until after seeing Serenity the BDM. Watching DTI brought up a few questions that I keep wondering about.

First of all, not becoming familiar with the tv show until after the BDM, at the time the exit of Wash & Book in the movie was less emotional for me. I mean it was sad and all, but I was not investmented in the program like so many others. Still there are many browncoats that didn’t catch up with the best show on television until after it reached dvd.

My question, was it wise for Joss to have exited two main characters from Serenity just as it was being introduced to the masses of the globe? I’m not questioning his talent as a writer, only inquiring as to why he didn’t wait to do such a thing until the BDM2, or maybe even later.

Having first tasted the sheer shininess of the crew of the transport then having two of it’s top folk eliminated before renting the series on Net-Flix, I already knew what was coming. Shouldn’t Joss have known that so many folk wouldn’t know about Wash & the Shepherd before Serenity? I mean, in hindsight, pretty much all that was gained was that he pissed off some browncoats ( both present & future). Not that it would help or hurt the film, but it certainly coulda waited!

I actually find myself in agreement with so many browncoats who voice their total shock and distain as to why Mr. Whedon would do this? Alan and Nathan themselves seem all depressed about it. Had there been a sequel immediately following, I’m sure Joss had a story that would have picked up at the tail end of where it left off. But as we know that didn’t happen.

Wash and Book had their own fans bases while the show was being aired. I’m sure there were a multitude unhappy with the choice of extinguishing these two player at the get-go when Serenity hit the big screen.

Just some thoughts wondering through the old noggin after watching DTI. I was wondering what other browncoats think about this or anything else.

We Hold, BPZ


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Tuesday, October 18, 2011 2:58 AM

TWO

The Joss Whedon script for Serenity, where Wash lives, is Serenity-190pages.pdf at www.mediafire.com/folder/1uwh75oa407q8/Firefly


I liked Wash being rescued from death in the story that was written the same week the BDM came out -- kieyra's Indistinguishable From Magic at www.fireflyfans.net/sunroomitem.asp?i=5185 It needed more science and less magic, but it is a possible story for Serenity 2.

It's pleasant to daydream that Joss Whedon always had a master plan to resurrect Wash in Serenity 2. Joss is a loving god with power over life and death. I don't want to believe that Joss has no idea where the story for Serenity 2 would be going when he killed Wash and Book. That would be so aimless.

The Joss Whedon script for "Serenity," where Wash lives, is
Serenity-190pages.pdf at www.mediafire.com/two

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Tuesday, October 18, 2011 3:37 AM

GWEK


Daydream all you'd like, but the truth of it is that Joss apparently always planned to kill off Wash. Whedonm himself and Tudyk have both stated it in interviews.

To the point of the original post: Was it wise to kill off two characters as a larger audience was discovering Serenity/Firefly?

I would say, yes, on two counts.

1) Whedon's characters are mortal. If anyone can be at risk, the sense of danger to the crew is heightened at every turn. One of hte problems with most TV shows is that the audience knows that the progatonists can't die/be seriously injured/etc, so there's a certain emotional bubble around them. Shows by folk like Whedon and Abrams often excel because that bubble is popped early on.

2) With a cast of 9 (11, if you could the Operative and Mister Universe), SERENITY has a LOT of characters to care about. By reducing that cast by a few, Joss makes it "easier" to become attached to the survivors.

I should note that Joss actually killed THREE "heroes"--Don't forget Mister Universe. People who are not familiar with FIREFLY are likely to give Mister Universe as much weight as they do Book, since both are about equally important to the movie.

www.stillflying.net: "Here's how it might have been..."

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Tuesday, October 18, 2011 3:46 AM

PIZMOBEACH

... fully loaded, safety off...


Quote:

Originally posted by BrucePluto:

My question, was it wise for Joss to have exited two main characters from Serenity just as it was being introduced to the masses of the globe? I’m not questioning his talent as a writer, only inquiring as to why he didn’t wait to do such a thing until the BDM2, or maybe even later.




It was pretty shitty. He tried something and it failed spectacularly and in so many ways. As you suggest and I agree, it would have been nice if he had waited for movie #2 or #3, nice for the fans that waited and hoped for the movie - they seemed to be treated pretty shabby imho with those deaths. "The Impossible has happened! Joy!" Then, RRrrrriippppPP!
The only spin I can put on it is maybe their absence will make room for 2 more great characters...


Scifi movie music + Firefly dialogue clips, 24 hours a day - http://www.scifiradio.com

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Tuesday, October 18, 2011 5:06 AM

BRUCEPLUTO


TWO, I’ve been aware that you’ve posted the s/p where Wash lives and I thank you for posting it, yet I have not actually read the script. Sorry, just me being lazy I guess. I will have to read it………thanks!

PRIZMO….I feel your pain! At least I think I’m feeling it. There’s always that question if you’re reading the vibes of another browncoat correctly?

Anywhoo in reviewing the BDM and DTI, upping the ante for the fans is one thing, but having a fan want to slap you across the mug is quite another (I like her & agree). Yes removing Wash & Book during the BDM does create a certain realism to the show, yet if half of your audience doesn’t realize the significance to what has just happened then they are but set in limbo over the ordeal…. don’t you think?

Gwek I’m not arguing with you…..well, guess that I am arguing with you, but still, daydreaming? Yepper I am a daydreamer, it helps when writing fan-fiction to consider a multitude of scenarios as to why things happen the way they do. Anyway, I never elude to Wash or Book as being dead. In my way of thinking a fictional character can never die. There have been stranger things happen in real life.

Also, reducing the cast numbers? Was that something Universal came up with? I would hope to say, without stepping on Whedon’s toes that had the tv series gone on for several seasons, Hoban Wash & Shepherd Book woulda been part of the crew for long, long, time.

Just some ideas….

BPZ

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Tuesday, October 18, 2011 9:58 AM

M52NICKERSON

DALEK!


The first time I saw Serenity had been after watching a few episodes of Firefly. So I knew the characters enough to know who was who and their general backstories.

After Wash's death it made you question if anyone would survive. Mal could have easily died having sent the message as his last act. River could have been killed by the Reavers. The movie could have ended with the Alliance soldiers opening fire as the Operative screamed fro them to stop. You just did not know.

Without the deaths of Wash and Book the movie would not have been anything special.


I do not fear God, I fear the ignorance of man.

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Tuesday, October 18, 2011 1:22 PM

ECGORDON

There's no place I can be since I found Serenity.


Joss had no guarantee that there would be a sequel (and so far there hasn't been) so he decided to make the BDM as suspenseful as possible. I can't say I loved the idea the first time I saw it, in fact I don't think I was too coherent for the last ten minutes or so, and was fearful that none of them would survive. But on subsequent viewings I came to the opinion that it was the best way to go for a memorable finale.

If we ever do get more from the 'verse, post-Serenity, I don't want either Book or Wash to be reinstated into the story except for flashbacks or dream sequences. Anything else would be a disservice to the heroic way they died.



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Tuesday, October 18, 2011 1:34 PM

BYTEMITE


Quote:

I don't want either Book or Wash to be reinstated into the story except for flashbacks or dream sequences. Anything else would be a disservice to the heroic way they died.



And/or River craziness. I can imagine her talking with Wash and Book regularly (so Alan and Ron can still be part of it all if they want to be) and have people asking, are they ghosts? Is she imagining them? Are they a metaphors? And never have it answered, so people are always kind of wondering about it.

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Tuesday, October 18, 2011 2:51 PM

CHRISISALL


Quote:

Originally posted by ecgordon:
I don't think I was too coherent for the last ten minutes or so, and was fearful that none of them would survive.

Exactly as I felt the first time I saw it. In point of fact, I was crying (y'know, quiet manfull tears).
Few movies in my life have had such an effect on me; I can count them on one hand (Maybe two if you count non-SF films).


The laughing Chrisisall


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Wednesday, October 19, 2011 7:24 AM

TWO

The Joss Whedon script for Serenity, where Wash lives, is Serenity-190pages.pdf at www.mediafire.com/folder/1uwh75oa407q8/Firefly


We haven't paid sufficient respect to Book. In The Shepherd's Tale comic, Zach Whedon has Book die to protect the town. It's a realistic and very meaningful death. In Serenity, Joss Whedon has Book dying to give a final motivational speech to Mal.

In screenwriting class theory, the Zach and Joss versions can overlap, but they cannot if you consider what large caliber bullets do to real people.

The bullets fired from aircraft are bigger than from rifles. If Book is hit by a .50 caliber (0.50 inch/12.7 mm) he will not be able to pass on wisdom to Mal. Book can moan, but he won't be giving coherent advice, especially after bleeding while waiting for Serenity to land in Haven. If Book was hit by 20 mm or 30 mm autocannon ammunition, it is too messy to contemplate. There is an explanation: maybe Joss was using magic bullets made in Hollywood that let Book say his last words and only then kick the bucket . . . Or have Book's ghost and Mal, which is purer Hollywood. . . .

The Joss Whedon script for "Serenity," where Wash lives, is
Serenity-190pages.pdf at www.mediafire.com/two

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Wednesday, October 19, 2011 8:00 AM

BYTEMITE


Or, the Alliance ships were using laser fire rather than customary ordnance, which might cause cleaner entry and exit wounds.

And maybe Alliance ships are so used to strafe-running innocent settler villages that they have deliberately smaller anti-personnel guns they use. After all, most of the towns on the rim are corporate/working/slave labour towns, and when you clear out the last batch, you want the clean-up to be easy for the new batch. So they don't get so freaked out and revolution happy right from the start.

Good point about the bleeding out, though. I guess we don't know how long ago the town was hit. Maybe Book had a slow killing wound and was lying there for days, and finally gave up the ghost when the crew showed up.

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Wednesday, October 19, 2011 9:21 AM

TWO

The Joss Whedon script for Serenity, where Wash lives, is Serenity-190pages.pdf at www.mediafire.com/folder/1uwh75oa407q8/Firefly


Quote:

Originally posted by Bytemite:
Or, the Alliance ships were using laser fire rather than customary ordnance, which might cause cleaner entry and exit wounds.

And maybe Alliance ships are so used to strafe-running innocent settler villages that they have deliberately smaller anti-personnel guns they use.

It is not laser fire and not small caliber. The comic is canon and shows muzzle flash from two gatling cannons. Bullets may be 30mm, slightly radioactive, depleted uranium slugs like on the A-10 Warthog and that is not science fiction.

Which brings to my mind another sad problem with Joss's movie version of Book's death. Zach's comic version has Book heroically defending the people of Haven. Joss's Book is the last man standing in Haven and then he takes his revenge by shooting down the Alliance and then talks himself to death. Zach's Book is good. Joss' is a bad.



The Joss Whedon script for "Serenity," where Wash lives, is
Serenity-190pages.pdf at www.mediafire.com/two

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Wednesday, October 19, 2011 1:39 PM

RIONAEIRE

Beir bua agus beannacht


Why didn't Joss wait for Serenity 2 to kill Wash and Book? Because he suspected that this would be his last Firefly on the screen and so he had to end it with a bang in his opinion. I wouldn't have minded as much if they'd all died in the end like a Shakespear tragedy with only one left to tell the story, maybe Jayne, you know, someone unexpected, but not River because who's going to look after her if everyone else is dead? But yeah, having two people die is more unfair than killing no one or killing everyone in my opinion.

I didn't like Mr. Universe, he wasn't anything special in my opinion, in fact he was kind of annoying, I think his only real purpose is to send the broadwave out.

"A completely coherant River means writers don't deliver" KatTaya

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Thursday, October 20, 2011 2:18 AM

M52NICKERSON

DALEK!


Quote:

Originally posted by two:
It is not laser fire and not small caliber. The comic is canon and shows muzzle flash from two gatling cannons. Bullets may be 30mm, slightly radioactive, depleted uranium slugs like on the A-10 Warthog and that is not science fiction.



Your basing that on a comic book drawing that is hardly that good.

Quote:

Originally posted by twoWhich brings to my mind another sad problem with Joss's movie version of Book's death. Zach's comic version has Book heroically defending the people of Haven. Joss's Book is the last man standing in Haven and then he takes his revenge by shooting down the Alliance and then talks himself to death. Zach's Book is good. Joss' is a bad.


I did not get that last from the movie at all.


I do not fear God, I fear the ignorance of man.

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Thursday, October 20, 2011 3:24 AM

BYTEMITE


Also, many lasers are, in fact, invisible to the human eye, and a muzzle flash doesn't necessarily limit the possibilities to conventional ammunition.

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Thursday, October 20, 2011 3:54 AM

TWO

The Joss Whedon script for Serenity, where Wash lives, is Serenity-190pages.pdf at www.mediafire.com/folder/1uwh75oa407q8/Firefly


Quote:

Originally posted by m52nickerson:
I did not get that last from the movie at all.

Think of Kaylee when she was shot. She didn't make small talk. But on the other hand, Book, after bleeding for who knows how long, gives Mal a homily. It would have been more shocking to Mal if Book spoke nothing and died.

Not killing Book can be more intense than killing him.

If Joss had wanted to increase the hopelessness of Serenity's situation, he could have Book on a heart pump. Book dies if he is moved from the infirmary after Serenity crashes. Simon pleads with Mal, “Give me 15 minutes, I can prepare Book for transfer!” Mal growls, “Reavers are here, Doc. You're going with us.” Simon keeps doctoring; Mal points gun at Simon and cruelly forces Simon to abandon Book.

Saintly Jayne leaves Shepherd Book with a gun. Book is alone, awake and fearful that he is lunch for Reavers. Book hesitantly puts the gun-barrel to his head. We see him slowly squeeze the trigger. In closeup, we see the hammer moving to the cocked position. We cut away to the fleeing crew then back to the gun. It has been fired and is now on the floor of the infirmary. Is that a pool of blood?

Much later, Book in a wheelchair is shown aiming the same gun at Jayne and pulling the trigger. The gun is not loaded. Jayne, who is eating noodles with chopsticks, says, “You were too moldy for the Reaver to eat.” Book laughs and clutches his chest in pain. Browncoats are angry because they were tricked into thinking Book was dead. They vow never to see Serenity 2, which was the major hit of the Summer of 2009.

The Joss Whedon script for "Serenity," where Wash lives, is
Serenity-190pages.pdf at www.mediafire.com/two

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Thursday, October 20, 2011 4:28 AM

M52NICKERSON

DALEK!


Quote:

Originally posted by two:
Think of Kaylee when she was shot. She didn't make small talk. But on the other hand, Book, after bleeding for who knows how long, gives Mal a homily. It would have been more shocking to Mal if Book spoke nothing and died.

Not killing Book can be more intense than killing him.

If Joss had wanted to increase the hopelessness of Serenity's situation, he could have Book on a heart pump. Book dies if he is moved from the infirmary after Serenity crashes. Simon pleads with Mal, “Give me 15 minutes, I can prepare Book for transfer!” Mal growls, “Reavers are here, Doc. You're going with us.” Simon keeps doctoring; Mal points gun at Simon and cruelly forces Simon to abandon Book.

Saintly Jayne leaves Shepherd Book with a gun. Book is alone, awake and fearful that he is lunch for Reavers. Book hesitantly puts the gun-barrel to his head. We see him slowly squeeze the trigger. In closeup, we see the hammer moving to the cocked position. We cut away to the fleeing crew then back to the gun. It has been fired and is now on the floor of the infirmary. Is that a pool of blood?

Much later, Book in a wheelchair is shown aiming the same gun at Jayne and pulling the trigger. The gun is not loaded. Jayne, who is eating noodles with chopsticks, says, “You were too moldy for the Reaver to eat.” Book laughs and clutches his chest in pain. Browncoats are angry because they were tricked into thinking Book was dead. They vow never to see Serenity 2, which was the major hit of the Summer of 2009.



Book however did make small talk the first time he was shot.

Yes Joss could have made it more intense in that way, but overall it would not have been so poignant.

I do not fear God, I fear the ignorance of man.

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Thursday, October 20, 2011 4:43 AM

TWO

The Joss Whedon script for Serenity, where Wash lives, is Serenity-190pages.pdf at www.mediafire.com/folder/1uwh75oa407q8/Firefly


Quote:

Originally posted by m52nickerson:
Book however did make small talk the first time he was shot.

Yes Joss could have made it more intense in that way, but overall it would not have been so poignant.

Poignancy is a perfume distilled from crushed flowers and friends. The fragrance is too refined for me. Joss's killing everybody at Haven was very simple and tidy storytelling, but realistically somebody probably survived the massacre unless the town was nuked. Book is my choice.

The Joss Whedon script for "Serenity," where Wash lives, is
Serenity-190pages.pdf at www.mediafire.com/two

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Thursday, October 20, 2011 10:50 AM

M52NICKERSON

DALEK!


Quote:

Originally posted by two:
Poignancy is a perfume distilled from crushed flowers and friends. The fragrance is too refined for me. Joss's killing everybody at Haven was very simple and tidy storytelling, but realistically somebody probably survived the massacre unless the town was nuked. Book is my choice.



Not for me, sometimes we must destroy that which we love.

I do not fear God, I fear the ignorance of man.

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Thursday, October 20, 2011 11:20 AM

RIONAEIRE

Beir bua agus beannacht


The movie really isn't my thing, there are a couple of good things about it, but mostly I didn't enjoy it and I can't watch it because I get too upset. The first 15 minutes I can handle but then things go downhill for various reasons.

"A completely coherant River means writers don't deliver" KatTaya

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Thursday, October 20, 2011 12:05 PM

ZEEK


Quote:

Originally posted by BrucePluto:
Alan and Nathan themselves seem all depressed about it.


I've never gotten that impression from either of them at all.

Nathan was actually at the prescreening when I first saw Serenity. He had mentioned that Joss promised he would find some way for Ron to be in a sequel. So, I asked Nathan if it was the same for Alan. He quipped "No, I saw to that personally" (paraphrased).


I also saw Ron at CSTS last year and in his question and answer session he said that he needed to be talked into doing the movie. So, if anyone was depressed about the character death I'd say it was Ron. No one seems to care about Book dying as much as they do Wash. It's odd. I guess because Book had some last words it's ok for him to die.

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Thursday, October 20, 2011 1:20 PM

RIONAEIRE

Beir bua agus beannacht


Yeah, I was bummed out about both of them dying in the movie, I think that people felt Wash's death more keenly because Wash is comedic and people feel really sorry for Zoe because she is losing her husband, that ray of joy in her life.

"A completely coherant River means writers don't deliver" KatTaya

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Thursday, October 20, 2011 1:35 PM

BYTEMITE


I don't know, back before Shepherd's Tale came out a lot of people were upset about Book dying because they thought they might never find out what his story was.

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Friday, October 21, 2011 6:29 AM

BYTEMITE


...And a lot of people were upset AFTER it came out because they thought the reveal could never live up to the mystery.

One of those things I guess.

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Friday, October 21, 2011 7:16 AM

STORYMARK


Quote:

Originally posted by two:

It's pleasant to daydream that Joss Whedon always had a master plan to resurrect Wash in Serenity 2. Joss is a loving god with power over life and death. I don't want to believe that Joss has no idea where the story for Serenity 2 would be going when he killed Wash and Book. That would be so aimless.



I believe he had an idea where to go for Serenity 2.... but I highly doubt that it involved bringing back Wash. Especailly since both he and Alan have said Wash was always slated to die at some point.

"Goram it kid, let's frak this thing and go home! Engage!"

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Friday, October 21, 2011 7:18 AM

STORYMARK


Quote:

Originally posted by Zeek:
No one seems to care about Book dying as much as they do Wash. It's odd. I guess because Book had some last words it's ok for him to die.



I think, part of that is that people are somewhat conditioned to expect the "wise mentor" type in films to die at some point anyway.

"Goram it kid, let's frak this thing and go home! Engage!"

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Saturday, October 22, 2011 11:02 PM

THESOMNAMBULIST


Originally posted by BrucePluto:
Quote:


My question, was it wise for Joss to have exited two main characters from Serenity just as it was being introduced to the masses of the globe? I’m not questioning his talent as a writer, only inquiring as to why he didn’t wait to do such a thing until the BDM2, or maybe even later.

Having first tasted the sheer shininess of the crew of the transport then having two of it’s top folk eliminated before renting the series on Net-Flix, I already knew what was coming. Shouldn’t Joss have known that so many folk wouldn’t know about Wash & the Shepherd before Serenity? I mean, in hindsight, pretty much all that was gained was that he pissed off some browncoats ( both present & future). Not that it would help or hurt the film, but it certainly coulda waited!



It just was meant to be.

Personally the film just wouldn't have resonated on the same level. I don't think you can expect to take an audience on that kind of a journey with such insurmountable odds and not have one or two of the crew die. It would belittle's the point of the story. It would be akin to watching the A-Team.


Quote:

actually find myself in agreement with so many browncoats who voice their total shock and distain as to why Mr. Whedon would do this? Alan and Nathan themselves seem all depressed about it. Had there been a sequel immediately following, I’m sure Joss had a story that would have picked up at the tail end of where it left off. But as we know that didn’t happen.

Wash and Book had their own fans bases while the show was being aired. I’m sure there were a multitude unhappy with the choice of extinguishing these two player at the get-go when Serenity hit the big screen.

Just some thoughts wondering through the old noggin after watching DTI. I was wondering what other browncoats think about this or anything else.



You know here in England we had a show back in the 80's called Blakes 7. I was about eight or nine when that show ended and I have never forgotten that finalé in which all the crew perished. It was shocking and brutal (at least to an eight year old) but the fact is - that last episode has always stuck with me, even, what thirty years later.

Joss had no idea whether he'd be given the opportunity to make a sequel so he gave SERENITY everything he could within the context, and that's what you have to do. You cannot be thinking what may happen should the film be granted a sequel because you'll compremise the content.

So. When Sean Maher utters the line:

"River.. I hate to leave"

It hits you hard. Because frankly at that point you think we're also going to lose the Doc! Had a death not have occured before hand a line such as this would just simply NOT have carried the weight.

The fact that SERENITY didn't generate any sequels doesn't for me diminish it's punch. It's a fabulous film. Sometimes if a story is told properly it doesn't warrant a sequel. I'm far happier with one SERENITY than three rushed for summer release, blockbusters; of which there have been far too many this decade.



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