Everybody uses social media to promote and compare their likes and dislikes with millions of others doing the same thing. And while it’s hard to sift through all the noise of grumpy cats, relationship troubles, and “Which Farm Animal Are You?” quizzes, there will sometimes be a person or entity who stands above all. Quite literally, in this case, as NASA astronaut Steve Swanson posted the first Instagram picture from the International Space Station, and he just happened to be wearing a Firefly T-shirt while doing so, which technically makes it the coolest gorram shirt in the universe.
It’s a rough time to be a long-time Star Trek fan. For many who cut their teeth on the original movies and the various TV incarnations over the years, J.J. Abrams’ rebooted movie universe is at best a pale imitation and at worst an outright insult (to be fair, the critics generally don’t agree with that sentiment). So if you’re a die-hard Trekker longing for the good old days, it might be time to click over to Amazon, because they’ve got a great deal going on for Blu-ray copies of Star Trek: The Next Generation’s first five seasons.
The Star Trek season sets have typically been a bit pricy, with the Next Gen Blu-rays listing for a whopping $129.99. That’s enough to put a dent in a man’s wallet even if you’re from a future that doesn’t use money. Thankfully Amazon has just given you a reason to raid the savings account, as all five Next Gen Blu-ray sets are going for a mere $45.99 today — that’s 65% off MSRP, and it means you can get all five sets for a little over $200. Not cheap, but certainly a lot cheaper than you could otherwise get your hands on new copies.
Firefly fans are a die-hard bunch, even by normal sci-fi fan standards. Perhaps it’s because they have so little material representing their beloved franchise, especially when compared to the giants such as Star Wars and Star Trek. With only 14 episodes and a movie, all that passion gets filtered down to laser intensity, and their Browncoats’ love for Joss Whedon’s “space Western” and the crew of the Serenity has, if anything, only grown in the decade since the Fox series was canceled. It’s anyone’s guess if we’ll ever get more Firefly on the big or small screen, but the story of Malcolm Reynolds and company is finally continuing in the form of Serenity: Leaves on the Wind from Dark Horse comics, which just released its second issue today.
The series picks up after the Serenity movie, is officially in canon, and is being written by Joss’ brother, Zack Whedon (who has previously written for Fringe and Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog, and who is a writer and co-producer on AMC’s upcoming ‘80s computer industry series Halt and Catch Fire). The first issue was quite good, revealing that the Serenity crew’s heroic actions in the movie haven’t exactly solved every problem in the ‘verse, and if anything have made their lives that much more difficult. The series is a must-read if you’re a Firefly fan, even if you’re not normally a comic reader. If you don’t want to find your local comic shop, you can snag a digital copy via Dark Horse’s online store.
New York City was host to the annual Toy Fair this past weekend, and we’ve seen everything from Guardians of the Galaxy action figures to the shape-shifting figures from Transformers: Age of Extinction. Both of those, and many more, are heavy on the detail and have been quite pleasing to the eye, so it only fits in with the law of averages that some toys don’t quite meet fan expectations. Sadly, this is the case with the first officially licensed toys for Joss Whedon’s Firefly. As seen above, these definitely were not worth the wait.
Thankfully, this isn’t a case of accidental failure or anyone selling out. Pop culture toy manufacturers Funko are putting this set out as “ReAction Figures,” part of a throwback line that recalls the look and set-up of Kenner figures of old. You know, the ones with five points of articulation and the flat, curved crotches that the legs arc around. But even with the arguably clever premise behind their design, these still aren’t pleasing to look at. It’s kind of like getting a copy of Jules Verne’s 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea written in crayon. The silver lining in this case is Funko plans to release more realistic 6-inch Firefly figures in the future, which should be super snazzy.
There’s not a day goes by that somebody on the internet isn’t still mourning the loss of Joss Whedon’s Firefly, or pining at the thought of it returning from the dead, somehow, some way. Of course, it did precisely that this month with the launch of Serenity: Leaves on the Wind, a comic series that picks up where the 2004 Firefly follow-up movie Serenity left off. But while that’s awesome in and of itself, it’s still not quite the same thing as actually bringing Malcolm Reynolds and company back to life on the big or small screen. That possibility seems vanishingly distant the more years roll by, but one former Firefly producer recently theorized about one possibility that might be slightly more likely: a Firefly limited series.
Tim Minear has been a stalwart of tons of excellent genre shows over the years, including X-Files, Angel, Dollhouse, and An American Horror Story. It’s that last series that he cites as example for the prospect of a Firefly return. Typically the possibilities discussed have been as new TV series or — especially after Joss’ cachet in Hollywood skyrocketed after The Avengers — as another feature film. Instead, Minear proposes following in the footsteps of AHS. He told Entertainment Weekly:
I’m completely talking off the top of my head, but there’s a show that’s been on for the last couple years that’s reinvented the form in terms of the limited series. I’m trying to think of the name of that show — Oh yes! American Horror Story! It doesn’t have to be 13 episodes. Look how Sherlock does it.
I think a limited series of some kind would work best. Something like that could also work if, say, 20th could partner with Netflix, or another distributor. It would have its home on Fox, of course [then a second window on streaming]. A limited series would do very well, I bet.
We should all be thankful that we’re currently living in a geeky golden age. The Walking Dead got turned into a hit TV show. There are new Star Wars movies in the works, and real reasons to be confident that they’ll help us forget the prequels ever existed. Hell, The Avengers made over a billion dollars and now Marvel is making movies based on Guardians of the Galaxy and Ant-Man. Freaking Ant-Man. But aside from the pop culture landscape being more filled with awesome, geeky things than ever before, it’s also a lot more likely that you can celebrate your fandom with assorted nifty merchandise. It wasn’t that long ago that if you wanted a toy commemorating your favorite obscure, swiftly canceled science fiction show, you’d pretty much have to go to a convention or build it yourself. These days the bounteous internet will give you unfettered access to things such as, for instance, this gorgeous model of the Serenity vessel from Firefly and, well, Serenity.