September 8, 2006

Serenity

Posted in Film & Television at 7:50 pm by j128

Serenity

Serenity (DVD cover)

Serenity is a 2005 American Western style-science fiction movie, directed by Joss Whedon, and is set in the Firefly universe, taking place six months after the events of the last episode (Objects in Space) It was released in the US on Sep. 30, 2005.

Summary

The movie opens with an introduction about the colonization of the star system, after Earth was destroyed. In the next shot we see a young River Tam, who is still mentally stable, in a class with other children and River arguing about people telling each other what to think and do. The setting is probably the school for the gifted that River wanted to go to, known only as The Academy, an Alliance-funded institute.

The next shot is with Simon, after knocking out Dr. Mathias, and saving River from the institute. The rescue scene is abruptly stopped and it is shown that it is a replay, being watched by a mysterious black man. This man is both anonymous and dangerous and he wants to catch River. Throughout the movie, this mysterious man is simply referred to as the Operative.

Meanwhile, Serenity’s crew is getting ready for another of their illegal jobs: stealing some loot on either an Outer Planet or Moon. River is going along with Mal, Zoe, and Jayne. Simon is rather angry that Mal is quite willing to let River go on this dangerous trip, but Mal sincerely refuses to not allow River on.

While they’re just getting their hands on the loot, River panics and senses that Reavers are on their way. (The Reavers are humans that have gone insane and done grotesque things to themselves and live on the fringes in space.) Mal, Zoe, Jayne, and River just narrowly escape the Reavers and land safely in Serenity. Mal makes a deal with Simon (and Simon agrees) about dropping off the Tams on a planet they’ll be going to so they can trade their loot.

The Tams leave on the planet, but get back on board on Serenity, after River goes into one of her psychotic phases and beats almost all the people in the bar where Mal and Jayne were doing business. Mal is understandably enraged that he was not told that there was a possibility of carrying a live weapon on board.

Inara, who’s been living on a planet with other women doing the same practice as she has since she left Serenity, calls Mal and while they have a strained and awkward conversation, it is assumed by Mal and Zoe that it is a trap. And it is: Inara is being held hostage by the Operative and asks Mal to hand over River. He says that River is an albatross, a gift, and Mal says in reply that yeah, an albatross is a gift until you kill it.

Thanks to Inara’s quick thinking, Mal and Inara escape back to Serenity. River has another outburst and this time the crew find out what Miranda is. (Miranda is what River said in the bar before she freaked out, due to a subliminal message in a seemingly harmless cartoon commercial by the Alliance. The crew found out after Mr. Universe told them, a computer whiz who lives on a planet with his robotic wife.) Miranda is a planet that the crew had never realized. The thing is, Miranda is in the fringes of space, between Serenity and Miranda is Reaver territory.

The crew decides it would be suicide to try and cross Reaver territory and instead decide to visit Haven and Shepherd Book again, they did so prior to Inara’s call. When they arrive they discover all the inhabitants killed by Alliance forces. Shepherd Book shot down the plane and is mortally wounded; he dies in Mal’s arms before Simon can get to Shepherd in time. Other people that have harboured Serenity in the past are also killed. The Operative tells Mal he accepts all responsibility and will continue to do so until River is handed over. The Operative is cut off by Mal turning off the screen, before the Operative can end his speech.

Mal orders his crew to remodel the ship to make it look like a Reaver ship and by doing so, they cross Reaver territory and discover Miranda’s secret.

Miranda is an abandoned planet. A planet that failed. Serenity’s crew discover human skeletons in the streets and badly preserved dead people inside the buildings through the glass. An Alliance log is discovered and it is explained that the Alliance made the Reavers after a disaster with a drug called the “Pax.” It was basically to eliminate aggression and thus render the planet non-violent. However, it did not work out as the Alliance had foreseen: approximately a tenth of the population became so relaxed that they stopped eating, drinking, or caring about anything. They even stopped breathing. The other percentage of the populace, however, went the opposite. There was increased aggression and mentally unstable and this remaining percentage of the populace became known as the Reavers.

The crew take the log with them back on the ship and travel to Mr. Universe to show everybody. However, the Alliance comes their way and they have to dodge both Reavers and Alliance. Two characters are killed in the result and a great battle ensues between the Serenity crew and the Reavers. Zoe, Kaylee, and Simon are wounded and River throws in the medical bag for Simon before killing every single Reaver in the hold single-handedly.

Mal succeeds in delivering the log to the worlds of the star system and they fix up Serenity. The Operator promises Mal that he will never see him again. A funeral is held for those that died and River becomes co-pilot.

Serenity Trailer

See Also

Firefly

Links

Serenity– Here is a very detailed summary of Serenity on Answers.com. I actually wouldn’t call it a summary, this article tells you everything that happens in such detail that I always have the feeling as though I’ve already seen the movie! Includes production notes and external links.

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