Firefly – Joss Whedon’s Wonderful Universe
Firstly, have you been introduced to the wonderful world created by Joss Whedon in his TV series, Firefly? No? What a shame. But, I’m not surprised. However, what an honor that I can formally introduce you to this great story wherein you can meet the crew of Serenity (a spaceship, more specifically a smuggling spaceship): Captain Malcolm “Mal” Reynolds (Nathan Fillion), Zoe Washburne (Gina Tores), Hoban “Wash” Washburne (Alan Tudyk), Jayne Cobb (Adam Baldwin), Inara Serra (Marina Baccerna), Kaylee Frye (Jewel Staite), Shepherd Book (Ron Glass), Dr. Simon Tam (Sean Maher) and River Tam (Summer Glau). Go in to the future, a couple hundred years in the future after the human race depleted the resources on Earth (“Earth That Was”) and colonized other planets. This would be a good enough premise as it is but this story takes place after all the planets have been brought under Alliance control (the government). Our brave Captain fought against the Alliance during the Battle of Serenity (among other battles), and his motive in life is to take jobs and keep flying.
J.K. Rowling and George Lucas are other well known storytellers that I admire for their ability to create an entire world or worlds. I mention them now to offer a little juxtaposition. Rowling and Lucas certainly had their struggles when it was time to create and share their story with others, however, in the case of Firefly, Whedon was certainly at a disadvantage: the network [Fox] aired the episodes out of order, he had very little budget and ultimately the show was cancelled after one season. However, the show was so good that a cult following (“Browncoats”) started a movement to raise awareness and funds so that Whedon could finish the story, which he did, with the movie Serenity. Through the support of Firefly fans (or “flans” as Fillion has referred to them), the story lives on though fan art, independent films and the board game.
Board Game Review: Firefly
Firefly, the game, was created by Gale Force Nine and if memory serves correctly John-Paul Brisigotti was featured in Firefly 10th Anniversary: Browncoats Unite. I remember a story he shared being at Comic Con and calling over Nathan Fillion for a photo and he came over and took the photo himself. A simple act, sure. However, I don’t know the rules of Comic Con but I’m not sure many other actors would do this so willingly.
If you watched the video, as I did, you may have had the reaction that I did: Shiny! Let’s play! Well, perhaps not those words as they are from the Firefly lexicon and, as you may have gleamed, I’m a fangirl of Firefly. Now, I’m no stranger to playing games that require some set up and keeping the manual nearby for repeated questions. Games like Catan. If you’re not an avid game player, let’s try to classify some board games before throwing Firefly in to the mix:
- Easy games: Sorry!, Scrabble, Battleship, Chutes and Ladders. [These are games that don’t require a lot of explanation or strategy.]
- Moderate games: Catan, Carcassone, Pandemic, Ticket To Ride. [These games are moderately challenging as there are usually a set of rules to keep straight but once in place you can be strategic and win big.]
- Difficult games: Shogun, Dungeons and Dragons. [I’ve not played these games but I hear there is considerable set up and role playing.]
I’ve played Firefly, the game, three times now. The set up is extensive. I mean, for crying out loud, on Gale Force Nine’s website you can see they made a Firefly Custom Made Gaming Table. I don’t have that kind of space on my kitchen table. The game itself is beautiful and well thought out and as Brisigotti has been interviewed as saying “it is an expansion of the Firefly universe” and enables us to play in the Firefly “sandbox.”
Role playing is optional. You do not have to get dressed up as a character or whatever else is involved with role playing. However, before you think I’m judging those who do role playing type games, you should know that for the last game I donned all my Firefly gear (Jayne’s hat and a “Curse Your Sudden But Inevitable Betrayal” t-shirt).
While Firefly, the game, is one of the more difficult games I’ve played, I thoroughly enjoyed it. And, mind you, I’m pretty competitive and I feel this way after having lost three games in a row. Unfortunately, I don’t know how often I’ll get to play the game as hubbs will only want to play so many 2-hour games (that’s the average game play time) and setting up the game takes as long (or so it feels). Teaching others will take time but many folks don’t even know about the TV show.
So here’s what I think: check out the TV show and then the movie. Then, let’s play! The more folks who know and love Firefly will want to make the time investment to play this game.
P.S. Sorry about the earlier post (with no content). I was trying a feature on my new phone.
P.P.S. Here’s the beautiful introduction song to Firefly. Enjoy!
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