GENERAL DISCUSSIONS

Some observations

POSTED BY: SHAMBLEAU
UPDATED: Thursday, June 10, 2004 22:03
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Thursday, June 10, 2004 9:04 AM

SHAMBLEAU


In most of the shots of Alliance spacecraft, they usually have smaller ships buzzing about. I think they're put there for filmic reasons, to emphasize the size of the mother ships. But they actually screw up the logic of the show a couple of times.

For example, in Serenity, the ship's commander is asked if they should launch ships to pursue the renegade Firefly, but they're already launched. And, in Bushwhacked, wouldn't it make it more likely that River and Simon would be spotted, if there are ships flying about?


Also, how does Early (and Mal) walk on the outside of Serenity? When I first saw OIS, I assumed he was wearing gravity boots, but how would he walk once he was inside the ship? Is the artificial gravity supposed to extend outside the ship a small distance? When they brought in the illegal salvage boxes in the first episode, they seemed to be totally weightless until Mal and the others brought them inside the ship, which would seem to negate the idea of some gravity outside. But Mal wasn't knocked off the ship when he swept Early off into space, so what gives?


shambleau

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Thursday, June 10, 2004 9:31 AM

CHRONICTHEHEDGEHOG


1. The ships havn't been deployed yet, they're just being prepped for launch.

2. I would assume the ships were going somewhere, not just flying around for the fun of it, so wouldn't notice tiny people holding onto the hull of another docked ship.

3. I'll have to watch the ep again to see if it's explained, but Firefly isn't about what would work in technological sci-fi terms, but about the people involved so I wouldn't worry too much about the science of it all.



check out my WIP firefly roleplay system at www.estador.co.uk/firefly

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Thursday, June 10, 2004 10:01 AM

BROWNCOAT1

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


The small ships flying around the Alliance cruiser could have been some sort of short range shuttles or maintenance pods of some sort. They also could have been some sort of unarmed scout ships.

Mal could have been wearing magnetic boots which he turned off when he reentered Serenity.

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


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Thursday, June 10, 2004 10:09 AM

GUNHAND


I chalk this one up to dramatic license. Trying to think too much on the technology in the show takes away from doing all the thinking on the hidden mysteries after all.

The tech is there as it's needed for dramatic effect, which I think is a strength rather than a weakness. I mean take a very cool episode like Out of Gas. If that were an episode on another sci-fi show *coughstartrekcough* instead of a nifty part exchange gone bad with a shooting we would have had 30 minutes of exposition on how slot A needs gadget C and you need to reverse the blue wire but not touch the green one or you'll go back in time.

Now I like the tech stuff as much as the next guy, but it's not a hard tech show, it's a western with spaceships. Would I like to know how the Full Burn works, how the different ship models vary, etc? You betcha. But I can ignore it when there's a good story going on. When the tech overwhelms the story then that usually means the show in question done jumped the shark.

Just my opinion, and ya know what opinions are like.



~-~-~-~-~-~-~-
"Oh hey, I got an idea. Instead of us hanging
around playing art critic till I get pinched by
the Man, how's about we move away from this
eerie-ass piece of work and get on with our
increasingly eerie-ass day, how's that?"

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Thursday, June 10, 2004 10:42 AM

EST120


okay, here is my take. one observation at a time.

Quote:

Originally posted by shambleau:
For example, in Serenity, the ship's commander is asked if they should launch ships to pursue the renegade Firefly, but they're already launched. And, in Bushwhacked, wouldn't it make it more likely that River and Simon would be spotted, if there are ships flying about?



i thought about that too. how do simon and river escape detection? i figure, one thing you have to remember is that serenity is not a small ship. two people on the outside might be hard to spot on a ship with so many curves and angles. it probably would have been better if they were hiding in the shadows a little bit, but also remember that serenity was upside down (so to speak) so any other ships would have to look up to see them.


Quote:


Also, how does Early (and Mal) walk on the outside of Serenity? When I first saw OIS, I assumed he was wearing gravity boots, but how would he walk once he was inside the ship? Is the artificial gravity supposed to extend outside the ship a small distance?



i just assume they have magnetic boots on. of course, then it begs the question of how early gets knocked off serenity by mal if he is stuck to the ship with magnets. chalk it up to dramatic effect as someone else pointed out.

Quote:


When they brought in the illegal salvage boxes in the first episode, they seemed to be totally weightless until Mal and the others brought them inside the ship, which would seem to negate the idea of some gravity outside.



i struggled with that too. if you watch closely, though, you see that when the airlock seals and the atmosphere comes back to pressure, then the boxes fall to the floor. this implies that the life support is somehow tied to the gravity "thingy". i would think that gravity does not extend outside the ship, if it did, i would think all kinds of space junk and such would be sticking to the ship if they came close to a wreck or a salvage operation.

of course, gunhand is right, it is artistic license and too much thinking will strain your brain!

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Thursday, June 10, 2004 10:53 AM

TEELABROWN


Quote:

i just assume they have magnetic boots on. of course, then it begs the question of how early gets knocked off serenity by mal if he is stuck to the ship with magnets. chalk it up to dramatic effect as someone else pointed out.


In hypothesis, you could probably push someone with enough force to knock them off the ship. Then again, there are still questions about that...

It's weird Jedi magic, okay? Okay, that doesn't make sense if you haven't read Irregular Webcomic.

_____________
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Thursday, June 10, 2004 11:07 AM

RELFEXIVE


If the magnetic boots were strong enough so someone couldn't push you off into space, you'd never be able to lift your own feet off the surface to walk...

Mal: "We're not gonna die. We can't die, Bendis. You know why? Because we are so... very... pretty. We are just too pretty for God to let us die."

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Thursday, June 10, 2004 11:52 AM

KARENKAY99


Quote:

Originally posted by Gunhand:
I chalk this one up to dramatic license. Trying to think too much on the technology in the show takes away from doing all the thinking on the hidden mysteries after all.

The tech is there as it's needed for dramatic effect, which I think is a strength rather than a weakness. I mean take a very cool episode like Out of Gas. If that were an episode on another sci-fi show *coughstartrekcough* instead of a nifty part exchange gone bad with a shooting we would have had 30 minutes of exposition on how slot A needs gadget C and you need to reverse the blue wire but not touch the green one or you'll go back in time.

Now I like the tech stuff as much as the next guy, but it's not a hard tech show, it's a western with spaceships. Would I like to know how the Full Burn works, how the different ship models vary, etc? You betcha. But I can ignore it when there's a good story going on. When the tech overwhelms the story then that usually means the show in question done jumped the shark.

Just my opinion, and ya know what opinions are like.



well said gunhand.
i became interested in scifi and a trekie in the '70's on the original series repeats (my folks wouldn't let me stay up that late in the '60's) and it never was the science that pulled me in, it was the fiction. i loved those characters and wow didn't they live in interesting times. but then i grew up, went on to get a job, raise a family, makes ends meet, etc. and forgot all about scifi.
firefly brought me back. it's everything i loved about scifi but so much more. much better everything. and it's still about the fiction and those interesting times for me.


"They say the snow on the roof is too heavy. They say the ceiling will cave in. His brains are in terrible danger."

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Thursday, June 10, 2004 3:23 PM

ZOID



shambleau and fellow Browncoats:

Thinking is good. It's the one sport we can engage in regardless of our age, appearance or financial capabilities. As our reward for such exercise, we may get smarter, and we may learn to value other viewpoints. Likewise, because we converse 'anonymously' on the Internet, who we are, what we look like and how much we earn has little bearing on the validity of our points. The only things that matter are what we say, how we support our arguments, and how we treat other people. And now, it's time to step out on the high-wire; I'll probably take a real shellacking for this, but here goes...

I think there's a tendency to think Firefly is scientifically unstable, even more so than other sci-fi TV programs. I always used to question the scientific aspects of Star Trek, Star Wars and Farscape. These were basically the same questions you have posed of Firefly: How do crewmembers of USS Enterprise avoid floating around the ship? Same for Moya. Lightsabers: Why do they have a tip like a sword? What constrains the length of the *coherent light?* that comprises the saber? The answers to these and many similar questions appears to be: "It's movie magic."

Firefly captivated me with its mysterious, hinted-at scientific aspects. Just as we categorize societies as Stone, Bronze or Iron Age based upon their level of technological capability, so must we categorize Firefly's technological age in order to more fully understand their culture. Let's call it the Gravity Age. The manipulation of gravity in spacegoing vessels and on planet-sized bodies speaks of godlike powers.

In order to manipulate the gravitational component of the spacetime fabric (spacetime -- the 'fabric of space' -- is warped by massive bodies), the technologists of the 'verse must first have a complete and working model of quantum gravity -- a 'Theory of Everything' (TOE). Second, they must have the technology (machinery) to alter the fabric of reality (spacetime) itself, based upon that knowledge. Between TOE and practical applications that can alter the substrate upon which reality is holographically projected (Holographic Principle), Firefly's technologists would be able to create suns, travel at high velocities without G-force stresses, and slow the passage of time (gravity and acceleration being correlated, time dilates/'passes more slowly' near highly massive bodies and at high acceleration), among myriad other valuable uses. Mechanisms able to touch the quantum realm and manipulate gravity would also conceivably be able to reorder matter; otherwise known as alchemy. One would be able, for example, to create Earth-normal atmospheric gases on an atom-by-atom basis from whatever other atoms were available; one could also reconstitute protein molecules on a virtually indefinite basis. Creating complex organic formations like apples and oranges (and strawberries) would be a different ball of wax; but, pure molecular proteins suspended in H2O to form a paste would be do-able, with minimal raw materials.

So, what the hell am I driving at? I think it's entirely possible that there is quite a bit of not-too-farfetched science in Firefly's fiction. There is every reason to believe that quantum physics may bring us to the doorstep of Firefly's technology within 50 years -- certainly within the lifetimes of some of FFFn's members. Star Trek's greatest legacy may be it's depictions of a multi-ethnic (if Socialist) society and the 'Communicator', easily recognizable today as the cell phone. Firefly may accurately predict humanity's path to the stars.

((flips open cell phone) "How do you hear me now, Spock?"... (peeved) "I hear you just fine, Bill."... (actor's-left quarter profile, looking up at sky with patented half-closed eyes and satisfied smile) "Goood." (flips phone closed and clips it to belt; looks at camera knowingly) remember, when you see that commercial on tv, zoid gets credit (and royalties) for it).

Thinking is good. Just don't think everything Joss does is necessarily predicated on Buffy and Angel. He's older now, and ready to tell older stories (in fact, it may be the reason Firefly got shafted: F*x didn't 'think' it was young enough). If JW's got gravity manipulation on a planetary scale and gravity control on spaceships, it may not be a mistake or shoddy workmanship on his part. It may be intentional and he may be getting qualified help with the science in his fiction.


Respectfully,

zoid
_________________________________________________

"Burn the land and boil the sea, you can't take the sky from me." The Ballad of Serenity

Only 315 days, 3 hours, 55 minutes, and 31 seconds left until The BDM!

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Thursday, June 10, 2004 10:03 PM

NEDWARD


Quote:

Originally posted by shambleau:
In most of the shots of Alliance spacecraft, they usually have smaller ships buzzing about. I think they're put there for filmic reasons, to emphasize the size of the mother ships. But they actually screw up the logic of the show a couple of times.

For example, in Serenity, the ship's commander is asked if they should launch ships to pursue the renegade Firefly, but they're already launched. And, in Bushwhacked, wouldn't it make it more likely that River and Simon would be spotted, if there are ships flying about?



I think this is making a point about how Alliance guys and our guys differ. Mal has the imagination to stick Simon and River outside. (Anyone else thinking of the Millennium Falcon amongst the star destroyer's trash?) The Alliance guys could spot them easily, if they thought to, but they don't, because they play things by the book, hats and all.

As for the grav thing... well, who knows! Isn't there specific fuel for Serenity's grav system? We either need an imaginative explanation, or perhaps we can let it slide. "Trust Joss."

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