Firefly has a fairly large cast, and I believe this really adds to the different perspectives they can show for any single topic. For this post, I want to discuss what Firefly says about work. I...
Firefly has a fairly large cast, and I believe this really adds to the different perspectives they can show for any single topic. For this post, I want to discuss what Firefly says about work.
I decided against writing an essay for this, so I thought I'll just mention a few things that stood out to me.
Your job is your adventure
I always found Kaylee's story on how she joined the crew really endearing. She had a love and passion for ships, and let her knowledge (and unspoken hard work) offer her an opportunity to travel and experience new things. I love how her job, as the ship's mechanic, is a part of who she is.
Work can be hard and hard to come by
Ultimately, Firefly is a story about survival. Mal takes jobs that can be dirty, they're not fully equipped for and just a little...illegal. However, you have to work with what you can get with what you have. And there's nothing wrong with doing any job to survive...of course this leads to...
Your job doesn't need to define you, but it can reflect who you are
Inara works a job that comes with a lot of judgement. She takes pride in her work and doesn't let anyone shame her for it, though they definitely do try.
One of my favourite Simon moments is when he has Jayne in the operating chair after learning that Jayne betrayed him and his sister. Simon tells Jayne that he'll always be safe when he's in the chair. Simon is a doctor, and though he obviously has a great ability to do harm, he never will.
Jayne's all about the money. I think it's shown that Jayne would love to do "respectable" work, but doesn't have the opportunity. He would rather play the hero, but can't, so he's all about making as much money as he can. His morals are probably the greyest of the crew. Still, he feels shame, and learns that when you comprise your morals for a payday, that is you. Ultimately, it's not who he wants to be, and definitely not what he wants to be remembered for.
I think there's something really universal about the themes that Firefly has about work. After all, most of us will spend a significant portion of our lives at work, and I think it's not hard to relate at least a little bit.5 votes
If you haven't watched Firefly, this should still be safe to read. No spoilers. Let me start by saying I'm a huge fan of Firefly. If someone could somehow combined the core cast, the favour of the...
If you haven't watched Firefly, this should still be safe to read. No spoilers.
Let me start by saying I'm a huge fan of Firefly. If someone could somehow combined the core cast, the favour of the universe, the ship, the adventures and everything into one awesome person, that person would be my BFF. However, as an Asian, I probably would not be theirs.
The series is a space cowboy western drama. It takes place in the year 2517 in assumed to be distant solar system from our Earth (Earth-that-was). From the comics, there's a brief comment that mentions Earth-that-was sent generation ships to colonize this new solar system. The ships were sent by the two main superpowers at the time - USA and China. This explains the general western feel mixed with, I'm going to call it - generic Asia.
- Malcolm "Mal" Reynolds
- Zoe Alleyne Washburne
- Hoban "Wash" Washburne
- Inara Serra
- Jayne Cobb
- Kaywinnet Lee "Kaylee" Frye
- Dr. Simon Tam
- River Tam
- Derrial Book
- (The ship, Serenity)
And yes, though Kaylee, and the Tam's stand out as Asian-ish names, they are not Asian. In fact no one in the core cast is. There was mention that Kaylee was suppose to be, but they just fell in love with Jewel Staite. I honestly can't imagine another Kaylee, but still can't help but wonder. And to be honest, I'm not sure how I feel with the idea of the only Asian walking around as the only person wearing Chinese clothes.
Too many to list, but feel free to scroll down the list on IMDb.
You'll find "Jim Lau" - Narrator. I also believe I saw an Asian woman in "Heart of Gold" but can't find her name, so I'm guessing it's an uncredited part.
That's right, in a universe settled by the Americans and Chinese, you'll see maybe one unnamed Asian.
Asia without Asians
But not seeing Asian people doesn't mean there's no Asian influence.
- Kaylee wears "Chinese" clothes a fair bit and even has a paper umbrella. Of course, if any of you have recently visited pretty much anywhere in China, you'll notice no Chinese people wear clothing like that walking their dog.
- Chinese food, like "bao" is also mentioned.
- Quirky Chinese things like "washing feet" and "hundreds of fat children" are woven in.
- The Chinese language in both written and spoken form are littered through-out. The ship, Serenity is named in Chinese (painted on her), but no one actually refers to her by it. Bits of Chinese are tossed around everywhere and obviously every person in this universe is expected to be fluent. There was Asian consultation on this part, so a lot of the language is "correct". They went out of their way to string together crazy sentences, so it's not anything most people would say, but honestly adds to the show. And for their part, you can tell the actors do put an effort in speaking it right, with varying levels of success.
I still love the show, but do feel disappointed that someone can obviously love my culture so much to see its influence everywhere in this series, but not enough to actually include us.
Edit: formatting22 votes