Firefly Online, Coming “Soon”

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I don’t really know when “soon” is (I guess it means sometime this summer) but details are slowly emerging about Firefly Online, the new game for Browncoats. It will be available for Mac, PC, Android and iOS. Here’s a wee little preview.

The exciting part is that the original cast of Firefly will be reprising their roles doing the vocals for this game. I don’t know how much contact you have in the game with the regular cast, though. I don’t know too much. You get a ship, you deck out your ship, you hire a crew, you find jobs to buy food and fuel to keep you alive and in the air. It sounds like it will take a lot of time to play. That’s the bad part for me (I’m just starting to recover from a year-long “The Simpsons: Tapped Out” addiction.) The last thing I need is a new addiction, when I have other things to do.

But I probably will play it. I don’t really consider myself a “Browncoat” because as much as I loved Firefly, it’s Buffy that is my go-to Joss Whedon show. I suppose Firefly could have become my favorite show if it had lasted a few more seasons. But our love affair was brief and I don’t re-watch it all that often (I do watch Serenity a rather lot though.) Anyway, I’m more into Buffy and I don’t want a new addiction and I’m annoyed that this game is coming from Fox, who are the ones who canceled Firefly in the first place! But how will I be able to resist playing?

I have some important questions about the game in fact, that will likely only be answered upon its release. Will I be able to paint my ship purple? Can I choose “companion” as my vocation of choice, so I can fly around the ‘verse visiting my various clientele? Can I hire River Tam and Wash (yes, Wash will be in the game!!!!!!!!)? And what if the game’s too competitive and only die-hard gamers can “keep flying”? I can’t wait to find out. Coming soon.

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Napkinpalooza

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The big event of this week was Joss Whedon’s Napkinpalooza, wherein he added to the official Buffy canon with a scribbled drawing on a napkin, just because a fan on Twitter asked for more Buffy.

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Then he went and did the same thing for Firefly.

The other thing I didn’t really bother to look into, but it had something to do with officially approving Marvel’s changing Thor into a woman. Don’t ask me. I don’t care much about Marvel and I’m just patiently waiting for Joss to be done with them. Joss does have some fans who are not into the Super Hero thing!!! Such as me. So I don’t really care what happens in the Marvelverse. They have lost me as of Guardians of the Galaxy. More on that later, maybe. Suffice it to say I think the movie really glorified guns & weaponry. Also, it was formulaic and shallow.

 

How I Cured My Writer’s Block

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I have not been keeping up on my Joss Whedon news. I’m something like two weeks behind! This happens to me regularly. I want to blog a lot more than I do, but I lack energy to sort it all out – there are so many topics I want to seize upon. I have started at least eight different posts before realizing that something else was more pressing, and posting about the something else instead. That is, when I post at all. All of this leads to psychological pressure that I put on myself, which contributes to my writer’s block.

The idea of trying to catch up is ridiculous – it would be way too much work! So I have come to a conclusion and that is this: from this time forward, this blog will be hopelessly, hilariously out-of-date if it wants to be. Or not, if it doesn’t. I’m going to fall back into my time vortex and let myself lose track of ordinary time. So I’m going to post things weeks, sometimes months, after they hit the news. Or sometimes on the very day the news is out! It’s the only way. But I’ll be on time when it really matters, you’ll see.

Coming soon: blog posts about Serenity: Leaves on the Wind, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., The Avengers: Age Of Ultron, Sexisim in Joss Whedon’s work, Isms vs. Ignorance, and Lady Sif from Thor. (I luuuurve Lady Sif.)

I was going to close with an embedded video called “8 Mind-Blowing Connections Between the Works of Joss Whedon” but I then I watched it, and I find the people in it (especially the woman) extremely annoying, and I don’t want them on my blog. But the premise is cool. Check it out if you dare.

Firefly: Easing the Pain, Filling the Void

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There are two fun Firefly things coming out soon, to help ease the pain of Firefly‘s premature cancellation (which was years ago, but the Browncoats aren’t over it.) First, from the very company that canceled Firefly, comes Firefly Online, a massive multiplayer online role-playing game. Grab a ship, hire a crew, and start doing jobs to earn a living out in the ‘verse or on land. I guess it’s going to be pretty cool, but Joss himself actually has nothing to do with it, and I maintain that without his dialogue and characters, it’s going to be hard to bring the essence of Firefly back. In theory, the game will be out in the Summer of 2014.( If you can’t wait, you can get the Firefly Board Game  which is exactly the same thing, only a board game version. And it’s already out.)

Second fun Firefly thing is Firefly: Leaves on the Wind, hitting comic book racks January 29, 2014 (that’s really soon!) This will be more authentically Firefly-y, on account of being created by Joss and Zack Whedon and written by Zack. Unlike other Firefly comics, it will continue the story as it was left off at the end of the movie Serenity. Here’s an interview with Zack Whedon about the new book.

But if it’s TV or movies that you want, and not comic books and games, if you have a hankering for more Firefly, I recommend the movie “Titan A.E.”  It’s an animated film starring Drew Barrymore and Matt Damon. The screenplay was co-written by Joss and I defy anyone to watch it and not see the connection to Firefly. This movie would make a nice gift for the Joss Whedon fanatic on your holiday gift list, which is probably you.

From Buffy to Bard

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Today I went on a pilgrimage with my friend to see the Joss Whedon exhibit at Joss Whedon’s alma mater, Wesleyan University. It was in the film building, where he took his film courses. Unfortunately photos were not allowed, except I was able to take this pic at the entrance to prove I was there:

Screen Shot 2013-11-16 at 9.32.37 PMYou can kind of make out the outline of my head and shoulders in the reflection. Anyway, it was in a tiny room, but the exhibit didn’t feel tiny. It was really fun! They had scenes from Buffy running on a screen, and then things around the room like posters from Buffy, The Avengers, Much Ado, etc. and then in glass cases some props, such as money from Firefly, and Buffy’s stake! But for me, the most exciting thing was Buffy’s scythe from the end of Season 7, on the wall. When I touched it I felt a rush of slayer power coursing through my veins, and I felt connected to generations of slayers!

There was a Chitauri helmet (not the infected one, I hope) in a glass case as well, and other things like some of Joss’ notebooks from when he was coming up with Buffy and Dr. Horrible. And there was a map of Sunnydale on the wall. One of the most fun things was Hawkeye’s quiver, from The Avengers. It had an “ON” switch which I was allowed to operate, and the quiver actually worked! Remember how it would turn to ready a new arrow? It did that.

After visiting the exhibit we wandered around town, thinking about how this was where Joss hung out for four years. And we went to the movie theatre where he must have gone to see who knows how many movies! We saw Thor: The Dark World, which I must say was a disappointment. I found it nowhere near so funny nor fun as the first one. But we had to see it because it supposedly sets up the next episode of S.H.I.E.L.D. So in spite of my disappointment in the movie (it was battles, battles, battles, and one cute bit where Eric Selvig was naked on TV) I am ready for S.H.I.E.L.D. on Tuesday! (Or Wednesday morning, or whenever Amazon has it ready for streaming.)

All in all it was a great day. I’m still buzzing from touching the scythe. Scythe matters!

Firefly MMORPG On The Way

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Firefly fans… is it time to rejoice, or time to weep? A new game is on the way for iOS and Android. It’s based on Firefly, takes place in the ‘Verse. But it’s put out by FOX. The irony of this is that FOX is basically the Alliance, and Browncoats fought the Alliance. Now they’re to be co-opted and drawn into a game that… well, only the trailer so far actually reminds me of Firefly. And that’s because of the music.

The goal of the game is to find a crew, outfit a ship, find jobs, and keep flying. Will this actually be interesting? Theoretically, it will be Browncoats (Firefly fans) playing, and they can meet other fans this way, it being a game where real people can interact. But will the game have any of the things that made us love Firefly the show? We won’t get to interact with the show’s characters. We won’t have Joss Whedon writing the witty dialogue. So I don’t really get how it’s going to feel like Firefly at all. Anyone else have thoughts on the matter?

The game is set to launch sometime next year.

New Firefly Comics… Yay?

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Firefly fans rejoice! The story of Serenity and her crew will be continuing via comic, penned by Zack Whedon.  Unlike the previous Firefly comics, this one will be taking the story into new territory as characters move on from the events in the movie Serenity and try to deal with all sorts of new stuff & some new characters. Zack Whedon is responsible for some mightily good stuff, including the comic Dr. Horrible! And Other Horrible Stories as well as one of the best songs in Commentary! The Musical, “The Rap.”

I have been reading most of the Whedon comics as they come out, including Buffy, Angel, Firefly and Dr. Horrible, Tales, and Fray. They’re ok. In general, although these comics help somewhat to fill the void left by our favorite long-gone-but-not-forgotten TV shows, they’re not anywhere near as good as the shows themselves. Joss Whedon’s storytelling genius does not translate to comics all that well, though it hurts my heart me to say it. Even his arc of Runaways and his Astonishing X-Men left me underwhelmed.

The best comic I have read by Joss Whedon was actually based on his original screenplay for the movie Buffy The Vampire Slayer. The movie that was horrible because it was directed all wrongly. The comic was done as if Sarah Michelle Gellar had starred in the movie – it’s drawn to look like her, and comicbook Sarah Gellar delivers lines the way the real Buffy would. It has the feel of a real Buffy episode. The comic tells the story of Buffy the way it was meant to be told – as if Joss had directed his own movie, and then it was made into a comic. But if he’d written the story originally for a comic, I doubt it would be anywhere near so good.

There’s something missing in Joss’ comics (which is not to say it will necessarily be missing from Zack’s Firefly.) The stories just aren’t big. They may span centuries and cross universes, and do any number of flashy and surprising things, but they don’t feature whatever it is that makes Joss’ tv shows so great. They’re light on the character development and witty dialogue, heavy on the flashy. I don’t mean to say that the Whedon bros. comics (often, multiple Whedon brothers will work on a comic) suck. They do not. I always look forward to them. But they’re not like having Buffy back.

Will the new Firefly be like having Firefly back? I think that if that’s our expectation we’ll probably be disappointed. The show is over, and done. Despite the yearnings of the Browncoats for Firefly to be resurrected, it’s not going to happen. It was wonderful while it lasted, and then Joss gave us a gift with Serenity. That is more than fans of any other show ever got. With the new comics, let’s just hope for some good stories & stop pestering Joss to return to Firefly. He’s moving on, and so should we.