Firefly - A Question about Reavers

Discussion in 'Science Fiction & Fantasy' started by marillion, Feb 20, 2010.

  1. marillion

    marillion Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2003
    Location:
    Workin' in a coal mine...
    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?
     
  2. RoJoHen

    RoJoHen Awesome Premium Member

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2000
    Location:
    QC, IL, USA
    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.
     
  3. tharpdevenport

    tharpdevenport Admiral Admiral

    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.
     
  4. Trekker4747

    Trekker4747 Boldly going... Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2001
    Location:
    Kansas City
    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.
     
  5. StarshipDefiant

    StarshipDefiant Captain Captain

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2009
    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?
     
  6. marillion

    marillion Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2003
    Location:
    Workin' in a coal mine...
    Good points, all.. Thanks!
     
  7. Gaith

    Gaith Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    May 11, 2008
    Location:
    Washington State
    I posed virtually the same question back in November, the 47-post thread can be found here. ;)
     
  8. Kibbin

    Kibbin Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2009
    Location:
    Nehwon
    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.
     
  9. The Squire of Gothos

    The Squire of Gothos Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2001
    Location:
    Northern Ireland
    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.
     
  10. Ayelbourne

    Ayelbourne Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2005
    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.
     
  11. Scout101

    Scout101 Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2003
    Location:
    Rhode Island, USA
    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...
     
  12. Hermiod

    Hermiod Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2006
    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 ?
     
  13. David cgc

    David cgc Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2002
    Location:
    California
    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.
     
  14. Admiral Buzzkill

    Admiral Buzzkill Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2001
    Come on, even Han Solo can maintain and fly a spaceship. This is like saying that rednecks shouldn't be able to drive trucks.
     
  15. Gaith

    Gaith Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    May 11, 2008
    Location:
    Washington State
    ^^ 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
     
  16. Admiral Buzzkill

    Admiral Buzzkill Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2001
    I didn't say he wasn't a good pilot. I said he was a dimwit. :lol:

    In any event, zombie rednecks could probably drive trucks - why not? And the Reavers aren't supposed to be stupid, just insane. Hell, a lot of folks are saying that the guy who flew a plane into the side of a building in Austin the other day was insane.
     
  17. Scout101

    Scout101 Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2003
    Location:
    Rhode Island, USA
    That's kinda the problem, though. The TV reavers were insane (but could be probably extrapolated to be fine as a group). The MOVIE reavers had their aggression response pushed past the maximum (the opposite of the people that died, that got so passive that they just laid down and died) and weren't insane, or stupid, but in beserker rage. Can't maintain a system like that for very long, and I'd imagine it would burn itself out pretty quickly by either killing the host or having the hosts kill each other.

    the TV system was workable (although granted there weren't many details on them, but from episodes like where the kidnap victim emulated them, you can guess at it), the movie system doesn't hold up.
     
  18. RoJoHen

    RoJoHen Awesome Premium Member

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2000
    Location:
    QC, IL, USA
    Well, truth be told, we still don't know a whole lot about them. Maybe their rage subsides enough to form a semi-cohesive group (recognizing their own kind and sticking together). When they encounter another group of people, however, they get all bloodlusty and attack!
     
  19. Ayelbourne

    Ayelbourne Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2005
    Besides, Han had Chewie. We all know that the Wookie was the one with the brains.
     
  20. Hermiod

    Hermiod Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2006
    Not that he knew which cable went where.
     

Share This Page