The Ninjabot

Really, a Firefly Kickstarter? Maybe We Should Stop the Signal

Posted on March 15, 2013 at 2:43 pm by Amanda Andonian

Firefly

So the Internet is buzzing over the potential of a Firefly Kickstarter campaign, now that the Kickstarter for a Veronica Mars movie seems to be well and truly funded. While I find it wonderful and awesome that so many people still have so much love for this show, and while it’s amazing that the Kickstarter platform has the ability to breathe new life into projects that have died because networks and studios don’t want to pay for the shows or movies, I wonder whether it’s time to let Firefly itself go.

Please don’t get me wrong. Firefly is one of my favorite television shows of all time. I loved pretty much everything about it, nerded out over it hardcore, and every time I re-watch it, I am always amazed at how well it hold up for me, even 10 years later. The outpouring of fan enthusiasm that resulted in a full-length feature film was nothing short of incredible, and I was just as excited about Serenity as every other Browncoat. I only watch Castle because Nathan Fillion is on it, and I love how the show often makes Firefly references. Especially this one:

I’m inclined to agree with Castle’s daughter, Alexis, though when she says, “Don’t you think you should move on?” While I laughed at Troy’s unexpected aside to Abed on Community a couple seasons back, I sort of pitied him rather than thought, “Yeah, we need to get Firefly back on the air!” Why did I have that reaction? Because Firefly will probably never get another chance to be what it could have been. The fact that a movie based on a cancelled TV show was even made is a miracle all in its own. Despite the fact that dozens of movies come out in theaters every year, there are literally thousands of scripts and abandoned projects in Hollywood that never get made. So, believe me when I say that it’s an actual miracle that Serenity ever made it off the ground.

Now, I’m going to commit blasphemy against Joss Whedon. If you can’t stand to hear a word against him or the Firefly franchise, stop reading now. I’m serious. Spare both me and yourself the burden of your rage and just navigate away to something else. There is plenty of other stuff on the Internet to entertain you.

Still here? Alright, moving right along…

Full disclosure: I don’t think Serenity was a very good movie. I thoroughly enjoyed it when I saw it in the theaters, and the fan girl in me could hardly contain her glee. I sobbed inconsolably when Wash died, and I actually felt a sense of loss for weeks afterwards. That is how into it I was initially. Unfortunately, it doesn’t hold up like its TV predecessor. I actually wince while watching it now. For whatever reason, the story felt forced, the characters a little less engaging, and it was overly sentimental all around as it paid fan service at every turn.

Ultimately, Firefly had its chance to make a comeback with Serenity, and it just didn’t work. The worldwide gross income of the movie in theaters came in at $38.8 million, just barely under the total production cost of $39 million–it didn’t even make back the money spent to make it. Perhaps you’re thinking, “But that’s still good! A grassroots effort got the movie made, so that’s actually pretty impressive.” Well, that’s not how movie studios think. Serenity couldn’t make any money in theaters, and no number of DVD sales is going to change the fact that it can’t support itself. Yes, the whole idea behind Kickstarter is that things are fully funded before starting, but I don’t think that it’s realistic to expect Whedon and the actors to drop everything they’re doing right now and go back to Firefly.

In any case, I just think that the time has passed and the world does not need a Firefly Kickstarter. Everyone involved in the show has their own thriving careers and projects that they’re currently working on, and there are so many other fantastic shows, books, games, and movies that deserve our time and effort just as much. Let’s just accept it gracefully and take solace in the fact that we did have Firefly at all, and it’s still out there for new fans to discover and old fans to enjoy.

This opinion piece is adapted from a post I wrote two years ago when Nathan Fillion made an offhand comment about buying the Firefly IP.

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