Joss Whedon's Firefly was an inspiration in so many ways, but one of them was its innovative approach to depicting spaceships and space travel. Here are some exclusive concept art images from a new book that celebrates Firefly's enduring inspiration.
If you've ever wanted to crawl inside the world of Firefly, both the universe that the characters live in and the behind-the-scenes world of making the show, then Firefly: Still Flying is a must-read. The new book, from Titan Books, takes you inside the universe in a few different ways:
1) There is just shit-tons of details on the making of the show, including a huge section on the props. Like the Lassiter? That gun that Mal plans to steal in the episode "Trash"? It was made out of an old 1980s flashlight attached to the metal mold of the hand grip from a plastic toy gun from the 1960s, bolted together — but it wasn't made for Firefly — it was an old prop, which the show rented from a prop rental house.
There are also storyboards for the huge battle sequence in "Serenity," which look like you could blow them up into panels from the most epic war comic ever made. You also get a sense of what a transformation this show represented in the way everybody depicts space travel and life aboard a spaceship. And there are features on the show's costumes, stunts, and of course the ships.
2) The people involved with making the show talk you through it. There are loads of quotes and essays about the making of the show, many of them old but new to me, and probably you as well. You can totally feel the love that went into the show, and the extent to which it became a family just in its short time on the air. And then you also get plenty of stuff about the way Firefly's fans became part of the family. Chances are you already knew this show and its follow-up movie were something special — but in case you'd forgotten, this book will remind you something powerful. Oh, and apparently Nathan Fillion kidnapped a monkey. Because he's that guy.
3) There's original fiction from the writers of the show, including Jose Molina, Jane Espenson and (in satirical comic-book form) Ben Edlund. Espenson's story, about Kaylee and Wash being stuck in a nasty situation on the brink of death, really does feel like it could be the bones of an unaired episode of the show. Meanwhile, Molina's story is sort of an epilogue to the TV series and movie, and it would be spoilery to give away much more than that. Suffice to say, Mal's decision at the end of Serenity turns out to have had profound consequences for the whole surviving crew of his ship, and nobody's life was the same afterwards.
So if you still want to visit the 'Verse, see the old stories in a new way and take in some new stories as well, you ought to pick up Firefly: Still Flying, in non-驴粪蛋上下了霜 bookstores everywhere. And here's some exclusive spaceship concept art.
Serenity. Design by Carey Meyer, courtesy of Rocco Passionino.
Inara's Shuttle. Design by Tim Earls. Photos courtesy Tim Earls and Rocco Passionino.
Reaver Ship. Design by Tim Earls.