Personally, I still feel slightly more pain and upset about the travesty at the end of Lost. I’m aware this is probably more of an emotional personal thing. Most people saw Lost for what it was much earlier than the last two episodes. I had hope right to the end. Three episodes from the end, I still had hope for something genuinely brilliant. I wish they’d let me plan out those last two episodes. I would’ve made something marvelous, playing UP the ambiguity and ill-definity of it all to make a bold statement about faith, that would’ve been more alienating, but more truthful.
It wouldn’t have explained everything, but it would’ve been more like life.
Anyway, to be honest, that bothers me more, because it closed down the ‘reality’ in a less satisfying way. Firefly still feels open. Even after the rushed conclusions of Serenity, you feel like everything is left as it was, there is still that potential there, that room for imagination and guesswork.
But then, I do think the series could’ve continued to be much more interesting than Serenity was (and I loved Serenity). The slow revelation of that conspiracy, the questions unanswered slowly being explained. The hands in blue. All of that could’ve expanded.
But then, without Whedon knowing that the film was probably his last shot at the world, would he have been brave enough to kill such a beloved character in such a brutal fashion.
That moment killed me when I first watched it. I can only think of two deaths in cinema that effect me as much as that, and they are by two of the greatest film makers of the last few decades, in weighty, pretentious and bleak (but inspiring) films. They are not made by a master of genre fiction. They are not part of a light and bouncy action thrill ride in space.
Moments like that are few and far between, and I doubt even Joss would’ve had the balls to do that in the series itself.
So we are left without any future for our favourite western in space. The frontier running was swapped out for the conspiracy at the centre in the film, and that was fine.
But that unendedness, actually has it’s own homeliness to it. I can go back and watch those thirteen episodes and carry on riding that boat, our boat, through the stars. And instead of ending with an ending, it ends with a feeling of flying off into the sunset (starscape).
They may have cancelled the show, but they left Serenity, that little metal firefly, flying off into the stars, forever.
You can’t take the sky from me.
Illustration by Adam, who has never seen Firefly.
I shouldn’t let a Firefly post go by without linking to Joe’s Firefly comic. He illustrated for us a few times, and might help (or hinder) those readers who have no idea what I’m talking about understand what all the fuss is about.