It’s Serenity Valley all over again.
I’ll be the first one to admit that I am late to the party when it comes to Firefly, and in no way am I casting aspersions on the beloved Browncoats because if it weren’t for their passion for this incredible SF series, I would have never known what I was missing. Heck, I’ve still not seen the final DVD because I want to nurse this experience in the Verse. Not since the days of John, D’Argo, Aeryn, Chiana, and the rest of Moya’s crew have I enjoyed this kind of company.
Mal and his crew are a lot like their trusty ship – worn on the edges, barely held together to be spaceworthy, and constantly weathering the storms, Reavers, and Alliance Mafia bosses big and small. After watching the pilot – the real pilot – I was hooked. September 30 could not come soon enough for me, and when I was on vacation with my family I put my parents on “baby watch” so my wife and I could see Serenity. For my parents, it was guaranteed “Grandma-and-Grandad Time.” For my wife and I, it was a two-hour geekgasm. *Boom!* as Mur Lafferty would say.
Not since Star Wars – the real Star Wars – had I enjoyed such a trip. Having seen three of the four DVDs, I caught a lot of the subtle Firefly references, but creator-writer-director Joss Whedon delivered more than just a movie for the fans. Whedon delivered an action-packed, intrigue-filled, visually-stunning Science Fiction Epic.
My only question: Where are the Browncoats?
When I saw this movie with my wife, it was a Saturday night. We showed up half-an-hour before the movie was to begin… but there was no need as there were no lines.
Opening weekend… and no lines.
Hmmm. Well, perhaps it is because I was in the Outer Banks, and the beach crowd really aren’t into movies. Then the box office receipts came in and Serenity opened at… Number 2? Jodie Foster beat Mal? Well, there’s always next week.
While I am also a fan of Wallace & Gromit, I doubt if the Browncoats would allow the Play-Doh Duo from the UK top them at the box office. Week Two of Serenity… and it comes in ninth place?! At its third week at the box office, Mal couldn’t seem to “keep her flying” as they dropped down to twelfth place while in the UK Serenity opens at Number One.
Again, I ask: Where are the Browncoats?
With the amount of turnaround time in multiplex theatres, Serenity is on borrowed time in the United States. To stay in the theatres and to send the message to Universal that we want more Firefly films means that we need to keep Serenity flying. I am reminded of the argument that Mal and Wash shared in “Out of Gas” when they are talking about boosting the signal. “What do you want me to do, Mal – go outside and wave my arms?!” to which Mal replied “Do what you have to do in order to boost the signal!” (I’m paraphrasing here, so go easy on me, Browncoats!)
I was envisioning a movement in the theatres akin to Passion of the Christ, where Firefly fans would rally and show up in full force every weekend. On a more modest scale, I envisioned something along the lines of the Pirates of the Caribbean fans, returning again and again and again for showings. Instead of soaring high above box office records, Kaylee is fighting to keep her girl in the sky, and she needs those spare parts.
Joss has delivered. It’s time for us to return to do the same. Let’s hear it, Browncoats. It’s up to us to keep Serenity flying, and as for me…
“Well I aim to misbehave.”