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Old February 20 2010, 09:55 PM   #1
marillion
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Firefly - A Question about Reavers

Ok.. So I'm watching Serenity for the nth time and it's finally bugging me enough to ask.. Apologies if this has been oft discussed.

The Reavers are portrayed as animalistic savages that eat human flesh and are barbaric in every sort of way.

BUT

They exist on the edge of known space in a "cohesive" armada that sends out scavenging parties for parts, ships and food.

It makes me wonder if there isn't some sort of higerarchy of Reavers that are more intelligent than the raiders. Otherwise, why would Serenity have been scanned when it flew by the mother ship.

More than that, you have to have some rational intelligence to fly a starship, right? Otherwise, why would the Reavers not feed on each other?
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Old February 20 2010, 10:01 PM   #2
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Re: Firefly - A Question about Reavers

Yeah...this has come up before, and there really isn't a good explanation.

The best answer I've heard is that the Reavers "recognize" their own kind and are able to be kind of organized (kind of like a pack of wild dogs), but when they sense another lifeform, they get bloodthirsty and try to kill it.
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Old February 20 2010, 10:19 PM   #3
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Re: Firefly - A Question about Reavers

There has to be some kind of leadership. Look at "Serenity" for example. Bunch of little ships with one big fucker in the middle, chaising the Serenity -- almost like a fleet commanding vessel.
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Old February 20 2010, 10:22 PM   #4
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Re: Firefly - A Question about Reavers

They're just mad savages, doesn't mean they can't still comprehend and operate technology.

I always wondered, before Serenity (The Movie) if the Reavers weren't misunderstood. They were the Indians in Firefly's Wild West universe. The "civilzed" people looked at this other group as flesh-eating savages without morals or structure when in reality they did. That the Reavers were more myth and mystery than they were anything else.

They could've been a group of humans who were torqued off by both The Alliance and The Independents -long before the war- and developed their own society that maybe had a degree or two of savagery. While they didn't seek out people for food, to murder they weren't exactly "civil" when they came across the factions of space they didn't agree with. They had no respect for either TA or TI, so they showed none to them either. (Hence the raping, canabalism, and murder.)

Then Serenity came and kind-of blew that idea out of the water. I guess it's still, kind-of, possible and that all of that was just an extreme side-effect of the PAX virus/drug but the way they're potrayed in Serenity they're more like monsters or zombies than they are just a savage group. Though they could've just been in "kill or be killed" mode and we didn't get to see their structure. They were the sentries and canon fodder and the "brains" stayed on the ship.
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Old February 21 2010, 12:25 AM   #5
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Re: Firefly - A Question about Reavers

I figure it's a little bit of both, remember most of the portrayal that we've gotten of the Reavers, is what the Serenity crew knows of them. Like someone else mentioned, one hardly needs to be 'smart' and 'civilized' to function and operate technology. Just because they were nuts, doesn't mean they couldn't use technology or function as a proper group. That's likely what's to make them an actual threat to anyone, otherwise how could they be?
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Old February 22 2010, 06:10 AM   #6
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Re: Firefly - A Question about Reavers

Good points, all.. Thanks!
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Old February 22 2010, 09:03 AM   #7
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Re: Firefly - A Question about Reavers

I posed virtually the same question back in November, the 47-post thread can be found here.
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Old February 22 2010, 09:14 AM   #8
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Re: Firefly - A Question about Reavers

I always thought there was killing and stuff between Reavers but that the sight or at least thought of a fleeing prey was more appealing to their minds thus the constant raiding. Leave 'em on a ship together too long and soon no more Reavers.
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Old February 22 2010, 01:45 PM   #9
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Re: Firefly - A Question about Reavers

Trekker4747 wrote: View Post
I always wondered, before Serenity (The Movie) if the Reavers weren't misunderstood. They were the Indians in Firefly's Wild West universe. The "civilzed" people looked at this other group as flesh-eating savages without morals or structure when in reality they did.
I just took it as more of the all-white Wheadonverse nonsense. The majority of his characters seem to be from some sort of all white middle class American background. While he may be good at (allegedly) treating woman with much respect on screen, anyone who isn't WASPish fades into the background. Much in the same way that there seem to be very few Asians in the Firefly universe, despite the abundance of cultural artifacts to suggest otherwise.

I saw the Reavers as analogies to the Indians of the old black and white films, never much more than savages who turn up to threaten the wagon trains heading east. Any notion of sophistication out the window.
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Old February 22 2010, 01:50 PM   #10
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Re: Firefly - A Question about Reavers

The Reavers always remind me of the Crawlers in the video game Aquanox. Those Crawlers did have a hierarchy and were led by a former high-ranking military officer that had gone all Kurtz (beyond that, even).
And they were just as savage as the Reavers.
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Old February 22 2010, 03:06 PM   #11
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Re: Firefly - A Question about Reavers

Figured it just pretty much worked like in Zombie movies. You know, mindless killing machines, except they somehow manage to not kill each other, and only attack the good guys. Otherwise known as shoddy writing.

The version from the TV show worked out (just people that had lost their minds and gone savage), as you can work that out. The movie version, with their aggression index off the charts, would have slaughtered each other to a man before making it off of Miranda to start with. Can't really be hyper-aggressive AND a team player...
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Old February 22 2010, 03:30 PM   #12
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Re: Firefly - A Question about Reavers

One question, though - were they so strong that the Alliance military couldn't just wipe them out ?

I don't think we can take the battle in Serenity as a guide as the Reavers caught them by surprise.

Or was it a matter of them wanting to avoid having too many of their ships going anywhere near Miranda just in case the secret got out ?
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Old February 22 2010, 03:42 PM   #13
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Re: Firefly - A Question about Reavers

The Alliance probably didn't care enough to try. They didn't have enough resources to keep the outer systems happy after they annexed them, so I doubt a grand reaver-killing expedition was on the table. Plus, if the reavers are all around Miranda, that means no one's ever going to get through them to find out what happened.
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Old February 22 2010, 03:47 PM   #14
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Re: Firefly - A Question about Reavers

Come on, even Han Solo can maintain and fly a spaceship. This is like saying that rednecks shouldn't be able to drive trucks.
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Old February 22 2010, 05:16 PM   #15
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Re: Firefly - A Question about Reavers

^^ No, it's like saying that zombie rednecks shouldn't be able to drive trucks - which is perfectly true.

And what's this nonsense about Han Solo not being a good pilot? :P
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