Contradictions between Firefly series & Serenity

Discussion in 'Science Fiction & Fantasy' started by Magisterfrodo, Jan 6, 2009.

  1. BenRoethig

    BenRoethig Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I agree. I didn't notice any changes in characterization that weren't warranted by the circumstances. The relations between Mal and the Tams were always tenuous at best and there has always been a fight inside Mal between his pragmatic and altruistic sides about them. Work being pretty sparse between the last episode of Firefly and Serenity hasn't helped matters. Also, Wheedon and his writing staff are human and continuity glitches are expected. Sometimes they forget little details and sometimes they rework things after thinking things through.
     
  2. Nardpuncher

    Nardpuncher Rear Admiral

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    The biggest contradiction is that the TV show was very good and the movie was very bad.
     
  3. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Even so, the question was about the flashback scene which occurs before the series begins. So they could theoretically have been Blue Hands. Although my understanding (from something behind-the-scenes I read) is that the Blue Hands were supposed to be from some kind of private black-ops organization hired by the Parliament to get River back. That would've come out eventually if the series had gone on.
     
  4. Phily B

    Phily B Commodore Commodore

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    I've never given a shit. I think Mal was cooler in the movie, but that was about it. I like both, but I've always thought the fans go a bit over board with the whole thing considering its one failed albeit enjoyable movie and 13 episodes.
     
  5. Shawnster

    Shawnster Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I simply assumed the security recording we see at the beginning of the movie was faked. We're led to believe that The Operative is watching security footage the whole time we see the flashback. Disinformation is not beneath the Alliance and it gives them better credibility in making Simon a fugitive.
     
  6. DigificWriter

    DigificWriter Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Here is a script excerpt from 'Serenity' (the pilot, not the film) that concerns Simon's explanation of why River was in that box:
    In the movie, as previously stated, Simon is directly involved in River's escape, which, as shown by the above excerpt, is in direct contradiction of what was established in the 2-hour pilot. It is also slightly contradictory to his character development throughout the early episodes of the series, although not to any real detrimental degree.
     
  7. Lindley

    Lindley Moderator with a Soul Moderator

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    Simon is only stating what the men said there, not what happened. It could be entirely true----and that once the operation was further along, he insisted on participating directly. An argument that a doctor's perspective could be useful for the undercover part might be convincing.
     
  8. Harvey

    Harvey Admiral Admiral

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    Yeah, but it undercuts his character. He was a very smart guy--a genius, even--but in certain situations (romance, action) he is completely awkward and incompetent. While it is a cool moment in the movie to see Simon confidently impersonate an Alliance doctor, precisely drop the stun grenade, and confidently break River out, it doesn't line up with the television series. Not the television series I ever saw, anyway.

    You can try to rationalize it away, but it's always going to be one of those gaps between the series and the movie that doesn't make sense.
     
  9. Lindley

    Lindley Moderator with a Soul Moderator

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    I don't really disagree. I would point out though that if there's going to be anyone Simon can impersonate well, it's going to be an Alliance official----and if it's going to happen any place, it's going to be a medical facility.
     
  10. Harvey

    Harvey Admiral Admiral

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    True, true. It's more the demeanor than the situation that I don't buy (combined with negating the previous line), but in the end, it's a movie, and I understand Joss had to streamline and change a few things to make them more accessible for an audience that, unfortunately, never showed up to the theatre. :(
     
  11. DigificWriter

    DigificWriter Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Since we're still on the subject of Simon and the contradictions in his character between the film and the series, it was one of the many things that myself and the other people involved with Virtual Firefly (see my sig) had to take into consideration, and what we ultimately decided was that, based on past experience and behavior, Joss would have most likely not introduced Simon's direct involvement in his sister's rescue had he been able to tell the events of the film as a second season of Firefly as opposed to a movie, and adjusted things accordingly, while still not undercutting what Joss did with the film or Simon's character. The way Joss handled things in the film ultimately doesn't have any real detrimental effect on Simon's character as a whole, which is a further testament to his writing skills, but the contradictions are there nonetheless.
     
  12. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    But he's a Parliament-level Operative. He has clearance higher than anyone in the Institute, hell, higher than anyone in the government. He's the one who'd be doing the deceiving, creating the fakes. And he'd be able to penetrate any attempt at a fake because he has the clearance to dig down to the deepest levels of the Institute's security systems.

    Besides, Simon was already a fugitive. He'd been under pursuit from the Blue Hands for eight months at the point the Operative was called in. Not to mention that he wasn't their real target; River was. Given the very real threat River posed, there was no point in playing up Simon as a fake threat so that people would go after him. They weren't supposed to go after him, they were supposed to go after River.

    Also, you're getting it a bit backward. The whole time we're seeing the breakout, we're led to believe we're seeing it "live" or in flashback (depending on the viewer's prior familiarity with the series), but only when it pulls back to the Operative do we learn that it's actually security footage.


    Haven't we already covered this? Nobody's denying that a surface inconsistency exists, so there's no need to convince us. The point is that the change was done for a good and logical narrative reason, and that it's a minor enough discrepancy that it can be easily rationalized away. Any long-running fictional series contains contradictions; it's trivial to point that out. But it's okay as long as the contradictions are minor enough to be rationalized, or justifiable enough to be forgiven. And this is easily both.


    Did you not see "Ariel," then? Simon could be awkward and uncertain when he was out of his element, dealing with frontier situations and frontier people and getting caught up in other people's messy agendas. But when he was the one making the plans and setting the agendas, when he was in a situation where he understood the environment and was in control, he was ultracompetent. "Ariel" proved that beyond all doubt. He masterminded the whole operation to break into the hospital. He planned it down to the last detail and trained the rest of the crew in how to enact it. He was cool, collected, and completely in control throughout the operation. In short, he was the same Simon we saw in the Serenity prologue. The only one who was awkward and incompetent there was Jayne, because now he was the one who was out of his element.

    And the other key thing about Simon's plan in "Ariel": he was doing it for River. No matter how clumsy or unsure he might be at other times, when it came to helping his sister, he was a force to be reckoned with. That was true in the series, and it was true in the movie. There's no contradiction, just a shift in emphasis.
     
  13. DigificWriter

    DigificWriter Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Christopher: I don't disagree with you that, when push comes to shove, the change doesn't detrimentally affect Simon's character as a whole, or that it was done for legitimate reasons. What I was trying to do was refute a post or two earlier in the thread that downplayed whether or not what Simon said in the Firefly pilot and what we were shown in the film constituted an inconsistency. :)
     
  14. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    As I said, I don't think anyone has claimed there isn't an inconsistency -- merely that it's a superficial inconsistency that can easily be rationalized away as not being truly inconsistent.

    And I don't think merely quoting the dialogue in any way refutes the idea that it can be downplayed. It's only a statement in dialogue. Just because a character says something doesn't prove that the statement is absolutely, irrefutably true. Hearsay is never proof of anything.
     
  15. Neopeius

    Neopeius Admiral Admiral

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    God Bless You. Our numbers have doubled.
     
  16. Harvey

    Harvey Admiral Admiral

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    I don't think the movie was very bad. Just not nearly as good, or fun, as the series. Don't know if that counts as tripling your numbers or not. ;)

    And, yes, Christopher, I have the box set and have watched the lot more than once. We're just going to have to agree to disagree on this point.
     
  17. Booked_moss

    Booked_moss Lieutenant Junior Grade Red Shirt

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    one thing that got me about the movie is that i feel "the operative" was already done in Firefly by Jubal Early in the episode objects in space.

    When i first saw the movie i kept thinking swop bounty hunter for black ops guy and its not too different to whats already been done.

    Even though i was not overly impressed with the movie i am glad they did it to bring some closure to the story. Rather than me hoping they someday pick up the series.
     
  18. David cgc

    David cgc Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Yeah, I mean, they were totally identical. One of them was a wry existentialist, while the other was a total zealot. One of them quietly stalked the crew before sneaking on board, unseen, and methodically disabling each one of them, and the other devastated like a dozen planets in order to flush Mal out like a rabbit. One was getting to River through Mal, and the other was getting to her through Simon. One carried a slug-thrower, and the other had a laser pistol. One was a short haired black guy, and the other was a short-haired black guy.

    Okay, maybe there was only the one thing they had in common.
     
  19. Booked_moss

    Booked_moss Lieutenant Junior Grade Red Shirt

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    Nice try, portray me as a racist in a 'they all look alike' kind of way. Rereading my post in the context of yours it could be read that way but i assume most members would not read it that way.

    I just got the feeling when watching the movie that one was a totally in control in his own mind, thinking of every situation, sure of himself, smart, a contol freak in every way and the other was.....


    Same charracter in my eyes just changed slightly from one acting on his own to another who has the full power of an intergalatic goverment behind him. You know in the same way as Darth Vader and the evil middle manager at the worst job you have had.
     
  20. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    ^^I don't think anyone's accusing you of racism, simply of being too influenced by a superficial resemblance. If they'd both been blue-eyed with wavy blond hair, I think David cgc's post would be exactly the same except for one sentence.

    Early and the Operative were nothing alike. At best, the Operative was the kind of man that Early only liked to imagine he was. Early acted smart and philosophical and self-controlled, but he was really a neurotic sadist. He had pretensions to intellectualism but was a thug at heart. His motivation was to make a profit and to hurt people in a way that let him pretend he was doing it for a justifiable reason. He had no ethics beyond self-gratification and self-aggrandizement.

    The Operative was just the opposite. He truly was an intelligent, sensitive man, but he was unassuming and humble. He had no illusions or pretensions about what he was. He was an idealist who had to act like a thug for the greater good. His motivation was to protect a system that he believed worked well for the majority of people, even if it regrettably meant sacrificing the minority in the process. He got no profit or pleasure from it, and was convinced he would be forever deprived of the fulfillment he strove to give others. His ethics were questionable, but profoundly felt and deeply self-abnegating. And he did the right thing at the end, something Early would never have done, because for him the right thing was merely to satisfy his own needs.