Firefly 10th Anniversary: Browncoats Unite (2012) Movie Script

Narrator: 10 years ago...
a small Firefly-class spaceship...
Now die!
Testing. Captain, can you hear me?
I'm standing right here.
Narrator: ... and a renegade crew...
- How's business?
- None of yours.
Changed the verse forever.
We've done the impossible,
and that makes us mighty.
Time for some thrilling heroics.
[Guns cock]
I love this ship.
I have from the first moment I saw it.
We're still flying.
Simon: That's not much.
It's enough.
Narrator: A decade later,
the band is back together...
Well, I thought Nathan was so handsome.
- It's true.
- Minear: He is.
Narrator: ... To share the real stories...
Minear: "We need a script on Monday."
We're like, "we can't
write one over the weekend!
That's crazy!"
Narrator: Behind a short-lived series...
It was just the worst to know
that people upstairs weren't
really feeling the same way that we were.
Narrator: That became a Sci-Fi phenomenon,
worshipped by legions of fans.
Joss Whedon's vision keeps flying.
The story is alive... because of you.
[Cheers and applause]
It's the year 2517.
We've colonized space
by terraforming planets
to replace our dead earth.
Rebel Captain Malcolm
Reynolds and a crew of misfits
are on the run from the alliance,
the oppressive rulers of the galaxy.
They make a living on
the outskirts of society,
doing whatever they can to survive.
I do the job, and then I get paid.
This is the world of "Firefly,"
a series that captures
hearts and minds of all who watch.
But there's not enough.
Son of a bitch.
Within three months, the show is cancelled.
And the saga should have ended there.
10 years later, July 2012.
Thousands of fans descend
on the world's biggest Sci-Fi convention
to honor their heroes...
"Firefly's" cast, writers,
and the legendary creator
of "Buffy," "Angel," and
"Firefly," Joss Whedon.
Whedon: When I see you guys,
I don't think the show's off the air.
I don't think there's a show.
I think that's what the world is like.
But the main event is
not onstage at comic-con.
It's behind closed doors.
A private gathering is underway.
The gang is together for
the first time in years
to tell their story of "Firefly."
It's been 10 years since
the birth of "Firefly."
And the death.
It's been 10 years since the
cancellation of "Firefly."
The show should have gone
away, but somehow, it didn't.
And for the past 10 years,
the show has had this wonderful, strange,
enduring life and legacy.
Why do you think it's endured?
What is the enduring appeal of the show?
There was a certain kind of excitement
for this world and these characters,
and then when you put
in these personalities,
it was like a thing
that just was ready to
start right out of the box.
I always say it was
sort of this chemistry between all of us...
well, not Nathan.
That's fair.
But, like, you know, the group of us.
It's just the strangest thing
that we all kind of clicked like that.
It was this very weird family.
It was meant to be.
Torres: Joss was putting
together a cast that he knew
could play together, could work together,
could inhabit these people.
It definitely comes from
the top down, I think,
because it's the trickle-down effect.
And Nathan being the lead set the tone.
Nathan was this amazing presence,
knew everybody's name.
You were sort of a captain of
the ship and captain of the show.
How early did people start
talking to you, Nathan,
and referring to you as captain?
I remember the first day
I put on my space boots.
And when I came up the
ramp, David Boyd, our D.P.,
turned, saw me.
He said, "captain on deck."
And everybody stopped what they're doing,
just kind of gave a little...
Baldwin: Nice.
I was like, "ahh, this is amazing.
I'm getting in the spaceship."
Well, I thought Nathan was so handsome
when I first met him.
It's true.
Minear: He is.
Molina: Give her the money.
That's just what she thought.
Tudyk: And she also said,
when she first met you.
What happened since then?
I wear on people.
Jensen: Well, Nathan, how
did "Firefly" enter your life?
What was your audition like?
I went in. You were there.
He was a jerk to me.
- Whoa!
- You were.
- What did I say?
- Tudyk: Really?!
That's not true at all! [Laughter]
She was just nervous. It
was nerves. It was nerves.
Glau: No, you came out.
And I said, "how did it go?"
And you said, "don't worry.
I don't think we're going
up for the same role."
I said, "really well, but don't worry."
Oh, that was the beginning
of the set scapegoats.
Maher: I heard that.
Molina: Summer!
Here's what happened to me.
I walked into a room,
and there was a scraggly-looking fellow
with a purple sweater with
a hole in it right here
sitting in the corner.
And I thought, "when's
Joss Whedon gonna get here?"
And I had a 45-minute chat with this guy,
and at one point, I
realized it was Joss Whedon.
I do remember when Joss said
that he had found the guy.
Like, he had always pictured Mal
to be a little bit older than you,
probably maybe a little
younger than you are now.
But he had pictured the character
sort of older and more worn, et cetera.
But you came in and completely nailed it,
is what he said.
Jensen: Let's talk a little bit
more about the early beginnings,
about the pilot, what that story was,
and why you guys thought
it was the best way to launch the show.
It's the best way to launch
a complicated universe
because it introduces that universe.
It set up the premise
of all these complicated character arcs
in this world that you had to
sort of ease the audience into.
I'm a shepherd from the Southdown Abbey...
Well, I'm Kaylee.
And this here's Serenity.
And she's the smoothest
ride from here to Boros
for anyone can pay. Hmm.
Can you pay, or... ?
Every character had their strength
and their reason for being there
and their reason for
believing what they did.
And the dynamics were really fascinating.
Mal, this is Simon.
Simon, this is our captain.
Captain Reynolds.
Now we have a boat full of citizens
right on top of our stolen cargo.
That's a fun mix.
Ain't no way in the verse
they could find that compartment,
even if...
even if they were looking for it.
Why not?
Jensen: You guys who wrote these episodes,
like, how did you find this unique fusion
of science fiction and a Western?
The whole feeling was we
wanted to do everything
from sort of John Ford
to spaghetti westerns.
But anything that sort
of encompassed that genre
was something that we tried
to take and put into the mix
of what we were doing on the screen.
Joss and I did a lot of
what he was doing for Jayne.
I mean, we looked at a lot of westerns.
I don't understand why we
didn't leave that sum bitch
in a pool of his own blood.
When I started reading the
character, I just figured,
"well, I'll just go over the
top and see where it goes."
[Gruffly] Oh, nothing, nothing,
nothing, carry the nothing.
[Normal voice] And Nathan goes,
"are... are you really
gonna do it that way?"
"Is he gonna do it that way?"
And when he said that, I looked around,
and Joss was like, "that's pretty cool."
I was like, "okay, good."
So, I could dive in
and chew as much furniture as I could.
Can't get paid if you're dead.
Can't get paid if you crawl away
like a bitty little bug, neither.
I got a share in this job.
10% of nothing is...
let me do the math here.
Nothing, and then nothing...
Jayne being the mercenary on the ship,
he's the least trustworthy,
and Kaylee is the most trustworthy.
One of the most important things
that you can do as an actor is
to set a tone at the beginning of a show,
and there are certain looks and things
that Adam and I would do to each other
to formulate kind of a bond
between those characters.
It was a brother/sister thing.
And one of my favorite
scenes in the whole show
was in the pilot when
Kaylee's being operated on
and Jayne's watching from the window.
And it was such an interesting moment
to see him do that
and show that he cared
a little bit about her.
My first day of working...
one of my first days of
working, I was in my costume.
And Joss came on set.
And I was wearing a Hawaiian shirt,
and my hair was red and spiky.
And Joss was standing
there wearing the exact...
Exactly the same as me.
I was like, "oh, that's
my character right there."
Joss handpicked every single person
from crew to cast.
It was my first TV show.
I remember thinking,
"wow, I wonder if this is
what every show is like."
I wasn't expecting to see
a state official, either.
Ambassador. [Laughs]
I'm missing something funny.
Not so funny.
Ambassador is Mal's way of...
She's a whore, Shepherd.
The term is "companion."
I always get those mixed up.
- How's business?
- None of yours.
The sort of travesty of it was
Joss made this great two-hour movie
for the network,
and they didn't think
it was exciting enough.
Fox is a network that really
likes to court a younger audience.
And I don't think it
was snapping and moving
as quickly as they had hoped.
The thing that I remember
worrying about the most
was that the network deemed
the pilot to be too dark.
I don't understand.
You never heard of Reavers?
What happens if they board us?
If they take the ship,
they'll rape us to death,
eat our flesh,
and sew our skins into their clothing.
And if we're very, very lucky,
they'll do it in that order.
They wanted it to be lighter,
more humorous, I think.
They wanted more action, more adventure.
It was just the worst to know
that people upstairs weren't
really feeling the same way that we were.
They didn't know if they
were gonna pick up the show,
and then, literally, they called and said,
"we need a script on Monday."
We're like, "we can't
write one over the weekend!
That's crazy!"
I'll do it!
And then we did.
Ladies and men folk,
we have ourselves a job.
It's a train heist.
See, we fly over the train car,
the Captain and Zoe sneak in,
we lower Jayne onto the car,
and they bundle up the Booty,
and we haul 'em all back up.
Easy as lyin'.
Torres: Tim minear and
Joss really put together
a fantastic second episode,
which had all the elements
that Fox was looking for.
I mean, the truth is when they said
they didn't want to air the pilot,
you just knew that this was
probably not going to go well.
You know, we were on pins and needles,
waiting to see what was gonna happen.
Means you're looking to put us
on the defensive right up front.
Which means something's gone wrong.
It didn't go wrong on our end,
so why don't we start again
with you telling us what's up?
Staite: The most frustrating
thing about doing television is
the night after you air,
everyone's getting a bead
on ratings and how did we do?
And it's just the worst.
It's like this anxiety attack all the time.
It was a sad thing and
a very frustrating thing
to know that we were on
the bottom, so to speak,
of the totem pole.
Was it easy to push that out of your mind
as you're making the first season...
The worries, the anxieties
that we might be going away?
In what can be a very stressful situation,
it actually wound up
being a unifying force.
Tudyk: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah.
We all knew that, "oh, shoot.
We're on the chopping
block from the get-go,
it just seems like.
So we really need to
make the best show we can
because we don't know how
long we're gonna be around."
This was part of this whole camaraderie
that we keep talking about.
We were in this together.
And I've been on other shows
where there's a real line
in the sand drawn between...
"These are the writers,
and these are the actors,
and never the two shall meet."
But it was not the comradery we shared.
So, Tim would come and
excitedly tell us about,
"this is how it's going.
And the writing, you're gonna be so happy.
You're gonna be very happy."
And we filmed it. And
we were really excited.
Maher: Yeah, every time they broke a story,
they would run to the set like little...
Now that I'm a father
and I have a 5-year-old...
they were like 5-year-old children, like,
"yeah, listen to this!
You got to listen to this!"
And it was kind of contagious.
Do you remember "divert the
nav sats to the blah blahs,"
where he comes on the bridge?
And I had to write all this technobabble
that literally meant nothing.
But I had to write it in such a way
so that when you guys had this exchange,
it actually made sense to the audience.
And I remember that I
think you probably got it
an hour before we shot the scene.
- And you were furious.
- Yes.
What do you expect me to do, Mal?
Whatever you have to!
And if you can't do it from here,
then get a suit on and go outside
- on the side of the boat...
- And what?!
Wave my arms around?!
And you're like, "I'm
gonna use it in the scene."
Divert the... right!
Because teenage pranks are
fun when you're about to die!
Give the beacon a boost, wouldn't it?
Yes, Mal.
It would boost the signal.
But even if some passerby
did happen to receive,
all it would do is muck
up their navigation.
- Could be that's true.
- Damn right, it's true!
They'd be forced to stop
and dig out our signal
before they could even go anyplace!
Well maybe I should do that, then!
- Maybe you should!
- Okay!
- Good!
- Fine!!
You're hilariously angry in that scene,
and it's one of my favorite scenes
in the whole show.
It is my favorite scene.
Like, if I was to pull one scene out to go,
"this is what we did on that show,"
it's that scene.
It felt like a real
moment in a real universe
with real people.
Molina: Some of my favorite scenes were...
I remember when I was writing
what had happened to you,
I had to sort of look back and go,
"well, what does that look like?"
And I went on Wikipedia, and I'm like,
"what brand of insanity
is she suffering from?"
River: [Whimpering]
Minear: Actually, what he said was,
"how do I make sense
out of this performance?"
I was like, "how do I bring
this into the real world?"
Simon: River, it's okay.
It's me.
She was a character that had
a lot of secrets and backstory in her head,
and it was revealed a little bit over time,
not completely.
I made things up.
I made things up to help
with the story in my own imagination,
but I didn't know much
about the backstory at all.
Hands of blue.
Two by two.
Hands of blue.
How's about you shut that crazy mouth?!
Is that a fun game?!
To me, the most exciting thing was
when Jayne betrayed Simon and River.
Baldwin: And this was a
point where I was fearing,
because I'll never forget it.
Joss made sure to let us all know that,
"the show was not named
after any one of you.
This is not called 'The Captain Mal Show.'
this is not called 'Jayne's Show, '
or anything like that.
This is called 'Firefly.'
You're all expendable."
So, I thought, "well, shoot.
I'd better make him loveable quick."
[Woman speaking Mandarin over P.A.]
"Hope to hear from you
soon, love, your mother."
How's it sit?
Pretty cunning, don't you think?
I think it's the sweetest hat ever.
I remember when we were
shooting "The Message."
The whole scene is sort of built
around you putting on the hat.
Baldwin: Yeah.
It was kind of brilliant.
Well, I decided, "well, hell.
I'm gonna wear the heck out
of this stupid-looking hat,"
so that I could button that
with the hat off at the funeral.
That's right. You had that planned.
Because I always felt that
Jayne was a man of God.
There were two things in that funeral thing
that the actors brought to it.
The first thing was absolutely Adam saying,
"I've had the hat on
through the whole episode."
And the other thing was
we had played this sort of unrequited thing
between Simon and Kaylee.
And we just added this little moment
where the camera just comes down
and finds her taking Simon's hand.
I remember when I showed Joss the cut,
he was watching the cut.
He went, "was that in the script?"
I'm like, "nope." And he adored it.
Molina: By the way, some
of my favorite scenes
were you and Jewel.
because the Mal/Kaylee thing...
the little-sister thing...
was so innate in you guys
that you just would add
little moments, scenes.
I love my Captain.
What I love the most
is Kaylee's faith in Mal
and her trust in him.
She will do anything for that guy.
Fillion: The reason Captain Malcolm
keeps these people so close is
because they all are an aspect
of himself that he's lost.
In Wash, a sense of humor.
- In Jayne, a selfishness.
- Brawn.
That's fair. That's fair.
Gina's character, Zoe,
there's a capacity for love.
In book, he had his faith.
Just things that he lost within himself
that he can still have
around him in his life.
So it became very, very important to him.
It's kind of a genius concept
that you have people
that want to be isolated,
and they're in space,
where you couldn't
possibly get more isolated,
and they find a family with each other.
But back then, you know,
people were expecting
these astronomical numbers,
and we just weren't getting those numbers.
You're afraid we're
going to run out of air.
That we'll die gasping.
But we won't.
That's not going to happen.
We'll freeze to death first.
Jensen: When did you in the writers' room
and the producer's level
begin to really worry
that "Firefly" was in trouble?
It's weird, because people
loved the episodes that we made,
and they're definitely
infused with something.
And I would say, ironically,
that being near death's door for us
actually is in those stories
and in those episodes.
"Out of Gas" was really representative
of that world where we were all facing
a real possibility of dying.
Can you tell a little bit about
the behind-the-scenes story
of how that episode came to be?
'Cause it wasn't easy, right?
Minear: We were sitting
at dinner, and Joss said,
"can the episode start
with Mal shot in the gut?
Can he just be gut shot
and bleeding out in the cargo bay?"
I'm like, "you haven't lost me yet."
And then, when we started
asking the question,
"how did this happen?"
It became the theme of the episode.
And, really, the episode
is "how did this happen?"
Meaning, "how did Serenity happen
and the core crew, really,
even before the passengers came on board?"
Molina: It was interesting because
before you and Joss had that dinner,
we were struggling.
For probably a week.
And we were so screwed.
And we would go out into that little patio
and just smoke and be like,
"oh, what are we gonna do?"
And I remember, at one point,
you were really up against it, time-wise.
And I was like, "dude, we've
known each other for a while.
"I'll fall on the sword with you.
I'll write it with you."
Uh-huh. I do remember that.
Mal: I'm telling you Zoe.
We get a mechanic, get
her up and running again,
hire a good pilot, maybe a cook.
Live like real people.
Torres: It was an origin show,
and so here was an opportunity
for them to know who we
were, where we came from.
A small crew...
them as feel the need to be free.
Take jobs as they come.
They never have to be under
the heel of nobody ever again.
No matter how long the arm
of the Alliance might get,
we'll just get ourselves a little further.
"Get her running again"?
So not running now?
Not so much. Okay.
If we gave the audience a
little bit more knowledge
and get them more excited,
then they'd tell 17 million
of their best friends.
"This is what I learned this week.
You have to watch this show."
We lived in hope.
Our future felt very
precarious, just in terms of,
"is the show gonna
continue? Is it gonna go on?"
And the last image of the episode
really is sort of Mal seeing
this beautiful woman across a crowded room
kind of moment with that ship,
and that was Joss and us saying,
"oh, we fell in love with this thing, too."
And there was already a sense
that it was slipping away
from us at that point.
And I think that the sense of that
is in that episode in a weird way.
Can you talk about that day
where you heard that the
show had been canceled?
[Sighs] We were on the bridge.
Tudyk: Shooting a scene.
I was directing, and Joss came up.
And he goes, "okay, so,
they've just canceled us.
Should I announce it?"
And I'm like, "yes."
Baldwin: I remember the moment
hearing that we were canceled.
I was sitting in my trailer,
doing homework with my kid.
My kids would visit.
And one of the A.Ds came and knocked.
"Just got the word we've been canceled."
- What?!
- Maher: Just like that?
Just like that. Boom.
They just...
well, no, "Joss has just
announced it on the set."
I've never seen him so mad.
And he looked at me,
and he said, "I don't have good news."
And he just said, you know,
that they'd pulled the plug and this is it.
This is the last episode.
And, yeah.
"I wanted you all to know immediately."
I couldn't sleep that night.
I thought, "this is gonna be the worst,
going back to work,
knowing we're canceled.
It's going to be the worst.
Everyone's gonna be dragging their asses.
Everyone's gonna be down."
And it was completely the opposite.
It was like we know we have...
what was it, three or four days left?"
- Yeah.
- And that's all we had left.
It was like everyone was gonna
make the absolute most of it.
And it was joyous, like
we were gonna milk it.
We were like, "to hell with it.
What are they gonna do, cancel us?!"
Minear: There was a little bit of that.
Molina: And it was Christmas time.
Yeah, it was.
- Merry Christmas.
- You're canceled.
I thought I was gonna die.
Minear: In the scene in "The Message,"
when y'all were sitting around the table
and bursting out laughing,
telling stories about
the supposedly dead guy,
we had been canceled the day before.
So, you were having an Irish wake,
but you were really playing
the moment of what was happening
in our lives at that time.
In post, Greg Edmondson, the composer...
the musical piece that's
during that funeral,
he was writing that for
saying goodbye to the show.
[Somber music plays]
Fillion: The impending
doom was always there,
and I kept telling people,
"don't worry, guys. Don't worry.
We're making a great show.
It's a great show, and people know it.
We're not gonna get canceled."
[Laughing] Oh, no!
I'm going, "buddy, hey. Bank on it."
Right after we got canceled,
we still had a few days
where we were all going like,
"we're not dead. We're not dead.
We'll go on. We are mighty."
And, "damn it, we will not die."
I'd been in lots of shows
that had been canceled,
and that's it, you know?
You're done.
And Joss was like, "nope. Nope. Nope.
I'm gonna find a place for us.
And even if we're doing
puppet theater in Sherman Oaks,
that's what we're gonna do."
I had a good day.
You had the Alliance on
you. Criminals and savages.
Half the people on the ship
have been shot or wounded,
including yourself.
And you're harboring known fugitives.
We're still flying.
That's not much.
It's enough.
When did you notice after the cancellation
that "Firefly" had these fans
and they were vocal about it?
Baldwin: Oh, it was there from the get-go.
10 years ago,
the Internet wasn't as obviously as big
as it is now, but they were out there.
And they kept us in the air, too.
So without the fans,
I don't think it would have
had the energy that it did.
It happened very quickly and right away.
And I was a little overwhelmed.
A little overwhelmed
because so much of it
happened after the fact.
It kept growing after we were off the air.
All: [Chanting] Bring back
the show! Bring back the show!
I think there's just this phenomenon
of having a show, you know, be canceled
because it didn't have an audience
gain an audience after it's dead,
have this incredible fan base,
have these people who
believe in it so much,
who would, you know,
stay so committed to it was
just... it was remarkable.
Baldwin: Joss was saying,
"okay, I want to get it back.
I want to get it back up in the air."
I thought, "no. He's not. How is he?
That's never been done.
It's never been done.
Nobody makes a movie.
Nobody makes a feature film
out of a failed television show.
That's just not done."
There was the button from
the episode of "Out of Gas."
I gave it to Joss.
When your miracle gets here,
you just pound this button once.
It'll call back both shuttles.
And it turned out it was at a good point
because he was fighting
for the movie to get made,
and I didn't know it,
but he was hitting a lot of road blocks.
And so I gave him the button
and wrote it out on a card and said,
"look, just hit this
button, and we'll all come."
When your miracle gets here.
Yeah, when your miracle
gets here. Yeah, right.
I was shocked when we
found out about the movie.
And it was just such a
weird, giddy vibe in the room
to hear the characters come back.
I couldn't believe we got it back.
It was two weeks into
filming I finally realized,
"we're gonna do this."
If I were a betting woman,
I would have lost serious money.
See, never bet against Joss.
Just note to self.
Never bet against Joss Whedon.
One of the reasons why universal
had some confidence in it
is that they saw this ground
swell of support for this show,
this sort of phenomenon
that was happening largely on the Internet,
but just around the country
and around the world,
this sort of brown-coat
nation that was forming
and wanted to keep the
memory of "Firefly" alive.
Maher: Well, the came to comic-con
midway through shooting "Serenity,"
and I remember Morena was
standing right next to me.
And I turned to her,
and I was like, "holy"...
And she's like, "I know. Crazy, right?"
And I was just like... I
mean, literally, I felt like
the cheering was making
my face go like whoosh!
You know, it was remarkable.
That was my first.
Alan, when did you first
notice brown-coat nation?
How did that affect your life?
I think it was then. It was then.
And then there's also other conventions
other than the Comic-Con convention.
There's one in London, and Nathan said,
"you're gonna love it,
and you should come."
And I went and met these
fans for the first time ever,
and it was... they were very enthusiastic,
to the point where...
the movie had already come out,
and I have a line in there about,
"I'm a leaf on the wind. Watch how I soar."
And I die.
Spoiler alert.
So, I wrote, "I'm a leaf on the wind,"
and handed the head shot that
this girl had asked me to sign.
"I'm a leaf on the wind,"
and handed it to her.
And she went... [Mock crying]
[English accent] How could
you write this on my picture?!
[Normal voice] And I'm
like, "get her another one.
Get her another one."
She was really upset.
Minear: Wow. It was still too sore.
Like, they couldn't get
over the fact that Wash died.
There's nothing like a Sci-Fi fan.
Like warm honey.
Pour it all over you.
They made it possible. They really were...
they're the ones that
made the movie possible.
I get recognized for this show
more than anything I've ever done daily.
Daily. It's the weirdest thing.
I don't know. People just connect to it.
And they get it, you know?
They've found something that they love,
and they find like-minded individuals
that love it, as well.
And they save up all their money,
and they go to these
conventions to see each other.
And all these friendships and
relationships have been born
because of this little show.
Do you know what it means?
It means we weren't wrong.
- Yeah.
- Yeah.
I mean, 'cause the truth
is you see a lot of these...
people at the end of a show,
it often sounds like this.
"Oh, we were like a family,
and it was so special.
And the blah, blah, blah, blah, blah."
The truth is that is all true,
and we're not wrong about that,
and the thing was really good,
and then fans are the proof of it.
I think people became
attached to these characters,
and they wanted to see
more character, more story.
And there were a lot of secrets
that I think were eventually
going to be revealed.
I got Joss drunk many times, and I tried.
And I could not get it out of him.
I did get a secret out of him
that I'm very thrilled I did get,
but I've been sworn to
secrecy till my dying day.
And 10 years on, I still feel uncomfortable
about sharing that secret publicly.
'Cause what if it lives again?
Yeah. I'm just not gonna do it.
Can you tell a little bit about the story?
Her secret was...
I love this ship.
I have from the first moment I saw it.
I just don't want to die on it.
I don't want to die at all.
Inara had a troubled past.
She has a deep, dark secret
that she doesn't want anybody to know.
Her secret was...
that she was dying.
Tudyk: Hmm.
Was she dying from something specific,
or was it just you hadn't
formulated that yet,
but she had some terminal issue?
She had a terminal thing.
And, so, that's why...
Simon couldn't cure her.
That's correct.
That's why she says to him, you know...
he says, "I don't want
to die on this ship."
And she says, "I don't want to die at all."
'Cause that's the thing
that's on her mind in that scene.
Everybody had their secret,
and the writers had mapped out
where everybody was gonna go,
who they were, and where they were going.
Where would Jayne have gone, do you think?
Baldwin: [Sighs]
I've floated the idea
that perhaps he was able
to get his own ship and
compete with Mal a bit
and fail at it miserably
and have to return humbled.
What happens to Mal in second season?
Where do you think he would have gone?
[Breathes deeply]
He would have been more bitter
and more crotchety, right?
Summer, have you thought
about where would you
like to have seen River go?
[Laughs] Fillion: Lucid?
I was gunning for Wash's job.
Well, that's cool. She
could have had my job.
Because we were gonna have a baby,
and I wasn't gonna let Zoe
go out on any more things.
I thought Kaylee and I were having a baby.
You guys have one, too.
We're gonna have to have
some kids playing with kids.
So, we'd have to have,
like, a "Firefly" daycare.
I like to believe
there's a wiry-haired [Laughs]
redhead boy with freckles
and that Jayne babysits and
that he and I have arguments
about who's gonna teach him about guns.
[Gruffly] Come on, kids. Let's play ball.
Boy, those kids have
certainly softened old Jayne.
There's a million stories
that could have been told.
This is what I loved about the show is
it wasn't just all exposition,
explaining everything
about what was going on.
She had this sort of magic syringe.
She would take this drug.
And if she were, for instance, raped,
the rapist would die a horrible death.
The story was that she
gets kidnapped by Reavers.
And when Mal finally got to the ship
to save her from the Reavers,
he gets on the Reaver ship,
and all the Reavers are dead.
Which would suggest a
kind of really bad assault.
At the end of the episode,
he comes in after she's
been horribly brutalized,
and he comes in, and he
gets down on his knee,
and he takes her hand, and
he treats her like a lady.
And so that, it was...
I mean, that's the kind of
stuff that we wanted to do.
Oh, my God. That's dark.
Jensen: Fun time, poignant episode.
Yes. That sounds amazing.
It was very dark.
And this was actually the first story
that Josh pitched to me
when he asked me to come work on the show.
He said, "these are the kind
of stories we're gonna tell."
I had a lot ideas for scripts.
Our job was to go get these
dogs that were on a planet
that were these feral dogs
that we were selling them
to a dog-fighting ring.
And we get them,
but in the transporting
the dogs from this...
I think it was a dark moon,
and their eyes glow, whatever...
To the place where we were gonna sell them,
River communes with the
dogs and tames them all.
So, we got to sell them. They're useless.
Fillion: There was a show
that Joss was talking about
where we get to a planet,
and these people are really kind to us,
and they're really sweet.
It's kind of a wintry planet.
And I catch them trying to steal our ship.
Like, "you sons of"...
And they go, "okay, look. Here's the deal.
Our planet is dying.
We're all gonna die here
unless you get us off here."
But the idea is we're so far
out that if we take them back,
we're gonna run out of air,
and we're gonna run out of food.
We're all gonna die unless
we meet up with another ship.
So, there's that chance.
We can meet up with another ship,
and everything will be okay.
And I say, "look, let's all sleep on it,
and tomorrow we'll decide."
And I lock myself in the bridge,
and I take off while y'all are sleeping.
And you wake up and go,
"what have you done?!"
It's too late to go
back, and I can't go back.
And on our way back out,
we never meet any ships,
so we would have all died.
We were all gonna vote,
and captain Mal takes the
decision away from everybody
so it's no one's decision
to kill those people but his.
Baldwin: Nice.
See, that's cool.
That's a good episode.
That's a good episode.
Let's shoot it.
What are the chances
there might be more "Firefly" in some form?
- We have comics, yes?
- Right.
But television, movies...
is that something that could happen?
I say never say never.
And here we are. It's 10 years later.
My first Comic-Con was
because of "Firefly" 10 years ago.
That's a really good point.
And here we are 10 years
later, and it's not dead.
It's not dying.
People don't watch "Firefly"
and go, "not my cup of tea."
They watch it, and they get involved.
And they like it.
And it means something to me
because that's something that we all built.
Molina: We're still flying.
Jensen: So what you're saying is
that we can meet here again in 10 years
and do a 20th anniversary special?
Why not? [Laughs]
All right.
Tudyk: All right. Let's do
it. 20th anniversary special.
- Oh, I can't reach it.
- Oh, no.
Baldwin: Ah!
[Laughs] Thank you, guys.
I think we have a panel to do now.
[Indistinct conversations]
[Cheers and applause]
Hello, Comic-Con.
My name is Jeff Jensen,
and I am very excited to welcome you
to science channel's presentation
of the "Firefly" 10th anniversary panel.
[Cheers and applause]
I'd like to introduce
the creators and cast,
beginning with writer Jose Molina.
Executive producer Tim Minear.
This actor wanted to be introduced
as bounty hunter and sandwich maker.
You know him better as a
leaf on the wind, Alan Tudyk!
[Cheers and applause]
Captain Tight Pants,
or sometimes no pants, Nathan Fillion!
[Cheers and applause]
One word... River.
Summer Glau.
A good doctor, a better
brother, Sean Maher.
This is the audience-participation
portion of the show.
The hero of Canton, the man they call...
All: Jayne!
Jensen: Adam Baldwin!
Last, but not least,
the creator of "Buffy,"
"Angel," "Dollhouse," "Firefly,"
the director of the third-biggest movie
of all time, Joss Whedon!
[Cheers and applause]
Jensen: Last but not least, Joss Whedon!
[Cheers and applause]
Jensen: It's been 10 years
since the beginning of "Firefly."
What does it mean to you to be here today
on the 10th anniversary of "Firefly"?
What else could it possibly mean
except that we always knew
from the very beginning
that everything we were doing,
we were doing for the right reasons
in the right way with the right people,
that we were making something
that was more than the sum of its parts,
that we had the best
cast I'll ever work with,
the best writing team.
[Cheers and applause]
It goes beyond vindication.
Vindication came a long time ago.
I just wanted to make
something that felt real,
like a piece of history.
I wanted to buck the system of,
"all science fiction is
lit with purple lights."
I wanted to tell an
American immigrant story.
I wanted to tell a western story.
But I need spaceships, or I get cranky.
Nathan, I'd just love to ask you this.
Mal Reynolds... what does he mean to you?
And what does it mean to be here today?
If I can get through this without crying,
it'll look a lot cooler.
"Firefly" was a lot of firsts
[Fakes voice cracking] for me.
No one would give me
a chance to be anything
other than the number-five
guy, the lead girl's ex,
the other dude who doesn't
come in until later,
and then he leaves pretty early.
No one would give me a chance,
and Joss Whedon was the guy that gave me
the best character I've ever played,
the best words that have
ever come out of my mouth.
[Cheers and applause]
I know that no matter what I say,
he's gonna make a face,
and it's gonna change the context
of whatever I'm saying.
So I feel like I have to just stare at you.
[Light laughter]
[Cheers and applause]
There was never a moment
from the time we met
where I did not think you were the captain.
Jensen: Joss, I'd love to know
how important were these
actors, like summer?
Why was she perfect for River?
You can't change your mind now.
I already done got cast.
Um, you sure?
Uh, George Lucas could.
He could digitally make you a bad thing.
All: Ohh!
These are honestly the finest meat puppets
that I've ever controlled.
And these were the
people before I wrote it.
And they didn't know it yet,
but they were those
people before they met me.
[Cheers and applause]
And Adam, fan phenomenon, the Browncoats,
have kept this thing alive for 10 years.
What has it meant to you?
So, one of the most
heartwarming and wonderful times
of my entire life
was watching that show be resurrected
as a major motion picture.
And couldn't have done it without you guys.
[Cheers and applause]
There was no way.
There was no reality
where I would not get
these people back together.
There was just none.
I've never been that before.
And, really, I don't give
a shit about anything since.
So, that was the one time.
[Cheers and applause]
Jensen: Let's go to the audience.
Where's our first question?
10 years after "Firefly's" over,
you guys are still getting a lot of love
from your fans, from the Internet.
I'm wondering if you just feel
really proud of what you did
or if a part of you is like,
"well, where were these
screaming people a decade ago?"
[Cheers and applause]
Fillion: When "Firefly" died,
I thought it was the worst
thing that could possibly happen.
And what I realize now, 10 years later,
looking out over this room,
is that the worst thing
that could have happened
is if it had stayed dead.
That it died is okay.
That you guys are here... ?
[Cheers and applause]
Had you known that season one would
be the last season of "Firefly"?
How would have the finale
have differed from "Serenity"?
A couple of things would
have been different.
Even if they had canceled the show,
and I absolutely knew
that that was the end of the show,
I don't think I would have killed anybody.
[Cheers and applause]
And we would have learned about Book,
and we would have learned about Inara.
And, um, for some reason,
that's the question
that's gonna make me cry.
[Cheers and applause]
Man: We love you!
[Heroic music plays]
Only an idiot would actually try
to follow that with a sentence,
but I'm going to.
When you come out of a great movie,
you feel like you're in that world.
When you're telling a story,
you are trying to connect to
people in a particular way.
It's not just about what you want to say.
It's about inviting them into a world.
And the way in which you guys
have inhabited this world,
this universe,
has made you part of it, part of the story.
You are living in "Firefly."
When I see you guys,
I don't think the show's off the air.
I don't think there's a show.
I think that's what the world is like.
I think there's spaceships.
I think there's horses.
I think it's going on in all of us.
The story is alive...
[Cheers and applause]
because of you.