FIREFLY EPISODE DISCUSSIONS

Was there really a Shan-Yu?

POSTED BY: TALLCARDDEALER
UPDATED: Sunday, August 3, 2014 01:51
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Tuesday, September 21, 2004 3:55 PM

TALLCARDDEALER


"Live with a man 40 years, share his house, his meals, speak on every subject. Then tie him up and hold him over the volcano's edge, and on that day, you will finally meet the man."

In the ep "War Stories," Book pulls out this quote from Shan-Yu, a "psychotic dictator," as Simon puts it. Niska is fond of him, too. Anyway, I was just looking at Mulan, the Disney movie (which I saw when it first came out years ago), and found that the villain's name was Shan Yu. Looking a little further, the plot mentions "Invading Huns." (You all remember Attila the Hun, right?) So I looked up the Huns on Wikipedia (online encyclopedia), and the name Shan-Yu is in there, but it doesn't say anything about the guy.

So my question is: Was Shan-Yu real? And did he really say all that crap about the volcano?

Every well-bred petty crook knows that the small, concealable weapons always go to the far left of the place setting.

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Tuesday, September 21, 2004 4:06 PM

STIZO


There's still debate on this one. From what I have heard from those who have tried looking him up on the net, it would appear that he is a fictional character. My best guess that he is based on Sun Tzu, a general who lived in sometime between 400 BC and 320 BC and who was known for being both philosophical and brutal. Sun Tzu is most famous for writing "The Art of War" which describes military tactics and stratagem (which is a very good read that I highly recommend).

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Conquering the galaxy with terrifying space monkeys, one ship at a time...

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Thursday, September 23, 2004 7:09 AM

DIXIEFLATLINE


Well, apparently Joss Whedon is something of a fan of Disney's MuLan, because the villain in that movie is the Mongol leader Shan-Yu. However, I haven't been able to find any credible prior references to Shan-Yu, so he may have been invented for the movie. The best suggestion I've heard is that the reference in "War Stories" is Joss' tribute to the Disney movie.

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Sunday, September 26, 2004 12:08 PM

DRAGONCLAWS


I Googled for '"Shan Yu" -mulan -firefly' I found some interesting links:

http://www.wku.edu/~yuanh/China/zhaojun.htm
http://www.fact-index.com/w/wu/wusun.html

My guess is that "Shan Yu" is a name of power like "Caeser" and some "psychotic dictator" used his name ("Fancied himself quite the
warrior poet.") Just a little Chinese tidbit.

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Sunday, September 26, 2004 6:22 PM

SHEPPARD


Quote:

Originally posted by Tallcarddealer:
So my question is: Was Shan-Yu real? And did he really say all that crap about the volcano?

I think what you all may be forgetting is that "Shan Yu" is an Americanized pronunciation of a Chinese name. You'll find a whole bunch of stuff if you search for "Xian Yu." For example:

"During late Qin Dynasty, Liu Bang and Xian Yu led their own forces each to battle against the armies of Qin Dynasty. Liu Bang occupied Xian Yang (Capital of Qin Dynasty) first, but Liu Bang's armed forces were not as powerful as Xian Yu's."

Of course, there were and are a whole bunch of people named Xian Yu (and that might not even be the proper pinyin spelling for the phonetic pronunciation).... Researching Chinese history is a mite difficult unless you have the time and can read Chinese.

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Sunday, September 26, 2004 6:38 PM

TOMTBA2004


I found this while searching for him
http://dragonfly.cox.miami.edu/Tian/hun.html

go to the bottom of the page and click on the red tab intitled " the true story of shan yu"
I have not read it yet so i don't know if it would be any help..i will read it soon. just thuoght i would share the link. actually every thing i look for him, The "Huns" always come up even in the disney movie: http://disney.go.com/vault/archives/villains/shanyu/shanyu.html

or.. http://dragonfly.cox.miami.edu/Tian/xiang.html (to exact page from the link at the begging at this post



"lets go to work"

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Thursday, October 7, 2004 6:55 PM

RATNUT12


Was there really a Shan-Yu?

Yes I saw him last summer at Sea World.

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Friday, October 8, 2004 2:28 AM

RABIT


Uh, I have a question. Why is everyone assuming that he's in the past? Could it be that he hasn't even been born, yet? Maybe he'll come to power in a future time? Just a thought - I don't know how much is known about the timeline as "fact".

Rabit

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Friday, October 8, 2004 3:28 AM

ANTHONYT

Freedom is Important because People are Important


There has always been a Shan-Yu. There will always be a Shan-Yu.

Given the history of Buffy and Angel, I doubt Joss had his writers bother to find a specific dictator. They invented demons to fit the bill, why not evil dictators?

After all, there are enough Shan-Yu's around to make your skin crawl, from the deepest darkest third-world dungeon to the shadier side of US Intelligence.

You don't need latex to make monsters. You don't need specific asian dictators either.

--Anthony

"Liberty must not be purchased at the cost of Humanity." --Captain Robert Henner

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Friday, October 8, 2004 11:55 AM

TALLCARDDEALER


Good point.

Every well-bred petty crook knows that the small, concealable weapons always go to the far left of the place setting.

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Friday, October 8, 2004 1:26 PM

TMURRIE


Well here's a useless fact! On that new game "Evil Genius" you are,an evil genius of all things! Anywho, one of the evil genius's you can be is this ka-razy asian guy named "Shen yu". It blew my mind when I saw who you could be. Took awhile to clean up.

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Friday, March 7, 2008 1:13 AM

BECCY1606


On the wikipedia entry for the episode War Stories (link at bottom), it says:
'Shepherd Book looks over his shoulder, musing about a "warrior-poet" Xiang Yu'.

The entry for Xiang Yu says:
'Xiang Yu (232 BC – 202 BC) was a prominent general during the fall of the Qin Dynasty...A great general, it took him only several years to put a giant empire effectively at his whim — but he was poor at diplomacy, management and administrative affairs. He is traditionally viewed as having an impetuous nature by Chinese historians, and that further inability to realize his shortcomings doomed him to failure during his struggle with Liu Bang over supremacy of China.'

Have looked him up using google, lots of stuff about him, but none of it mentions any poems or famous works by him. He also seems to be more of a warrior and a hero than a dictator.

Also, it is wikipedia, so you have to take things stated on there with a pinch of salt!!
Who knows if it is this xiang yu they are referring to in firefly!:-P

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/War_Stories_%28Firefly_episode%29

Rebecca

'Can't stop the signal...'

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Friday, March 7, 2008 5:19 AM

WASHNWEAR


Quote:

Originally posted by ratnut12:
Was there really a Shan-Yu?

Yes I saw him last summer at Sea World.



I'm Shan-Yu and so's my wife!

It was like all of us together made up Tuttle when we got here!

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Tuesday, July 15, 2014 8:52 PM

SEAWULF


Chanyu (also known as Chan-yu and Shanyu; simplified Chinese: ??; traditional Chinese: ??; pinyin: Chányú; Wade–Giles: Ch'an2-yü2; Middle Chinese: [t?n??i?u?] (Guangyun) or [?i??n??i?u?]; Xiongnu language: Sanok or Tsanak,[1] short form for Chengli Gutu Chanyu (Cheng-li Ku-tu Chan-yu; simplified Chinese: ??????; traditional Chinese: ??????; pinyin: Chenglí Gutu Chányú; Wade–Giles: Ch'eng1-li2 Ku1-t'u0 Ch'an2-yü2; according to Book of Han, it means Heaven, Child, Immense appearance[2])) was the title used by the nomadic supreme rulers of Middle and Central Asia for eight centuries and was superseded by the title "Khagan"" -wiki shanyu

Since China at that time was divided between many warring states like Qin, Zhao, Yan, Qi, Lu, Wei, Han and Chu, the Xiongnu
Could this be a metaphor? - http://www.allempires.com/article/index.php?q=The_Xiong_Nu_Empire

Does it even have much to do with Shanyu to base a supposition of a metaphor or is it reaching?

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Saturday, July 19, 2014 2:41 PM

JOHNWOW4U


Look up the book "The Art Of War"

John

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Sunday, August 3, 2014 1:51 AM

FEMMEFAN1946


And then there is the possibility of fraud.
Someone writes a book and gives the name of a fairly well known, but long dead, personage as the author.
Why?
Better sales.
Better acceptance.
For giggles and shits.
Time passes.
The apocalypse.
And the new Verse with only partial knowledge of EarthThatWas accepts the forgery as gospel.

Actually, and I speak as a committed Christian, the entire Bible could be pretty well described by the above.

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