Those left behind
Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Where are the other racial groups of mankind, unrepresented in the few episodes of Firefly that we have seen?

It seems likely that we can overlook small communities such as native Americans, Innuit and so on... they might well have opted for colonies far away from the Alliance, and we just haven't seen them yet.

We see a few black faces in Firefly, but not many. Those that are seen seem to have an 'African American' background, rather than actually being from Africa. Still on an Earth that was failing, under ecological meltdown, where's the first place that will suffer massive famine? Africa. It seems plausible that these folks aren't seen in the 'Verse because they never got to leave Earth.

Englishmen (of a kind) appear to exist, so it appears that the British managed to settle a world or two, thus giving us the lovely Badger and his colleagues. Where are the other Europeans? Well, again, it looks like they didn't make it.

Much of Europe has a manufacturing economy. They import food. In the event of a famine (perhaps caused by oil supplies running low) it's no longer possible to import food from all over the world. Doesn't matter that you have Mercedes, Audi, Airbus, fancy pharmaceuticals... if people won't or can't trade with you, your country will soon dissolve into anarchy.

The Chinese teamed up with the Americans in Whedon's "utopian" vision of the future... but we don't see THAT many Chinese. Maybe they like living cheek-by-jowl on just a few central planets?

Where are the Japanese? A less corrupt nation with a more advanced space programme, you'd expect them to be in the 'Verse somewhere... unless Chinese expansionism means that there's no Japan, no Taiwan, etc., gone the way of Tibet. (The Americans turning a blind eye to this might have been the price of cooperation.)

Where are the middle eastern nations? We know there are some Jews in the 'Verse, and Fanty and Mingo may have had ancestors from that region as well... but we see no Muslims.

Where are the Indians? Remember that pretty early in the 21st century, there will be more Indians than Chinese. (Assuming Indians are still free-birthers, and Chinese aren't.) Humanity's most numerous population didn't make it to the stars?

Here's my theory: they stayed behind. It would have been grim for decades, but eventually some kind of society could be re-established. Civilisation might be distinctly patchy, though! In the race to leave Earth-that-Was, and claim a piece of the new planetary system(s) that make up the 'Verse, I suspect that countless millions of people were abandoned. The poor, the unlucky, those with ineffective governments that failed to build arks.

Remember, if you can terraform a world like Mars or Venus, and survive while doing it, you can probably survive on a polluted Earth (maybe not everybody, but some) and make it more 'Earthlike' again. Over time.

I think one day the people of the new colonies will be hearing from Earth-that-Was again. Old Earth might become a new frontier, outisde Alliance jurisdiction. It might even be a hostile invader... or it might have sent colony ships elsewhere.

We shall see.


Wednesday, August 22, 2007 1:06 PM


Very interesting.

I agree with Phyrelight, the long the show would have run, the more diversity would have been shown.

However... (Aren't howevers shiny?)

Apply the melting pot theory to the 'verse. So in this case, yes, many cultures/races did come. However, they mixed to a point where they aren't distinguishable. Take the case of Simon and River, their last name is Tam, which is Chinese, but they don't look it. The same thing applies to myself. My mother is Mexican and Cherokee Indian, and my father is German, Scottish, Irish and English. Regardless of the fact that I am a good degree of Native American and Hispanic, I'm the whitest person in world and people just tend to assume I'm white. So, if we thought like this about the 'verse...

Many races came over to the new 'verse, and throughout the course of hundreds of years people married, mixed and through one giant unofficial eugenics experiment, some races have melded and are no longer as distinguisable as before. Which also makes sense. Decades pass, humans change depending on genetics and habitat.

That said, I'd still love to see some space Indians, a Mexican Border Moon (The crew needs to add tortillas and mole to their diet!)... and in a new fic of mine I'm working in someone from Londinium named Zuliqar Sakhr who is essentially a man of British Arabian descent ;)

I hope that makes sense.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007 6:57 AM


I'm sure that if Firefly was allowed to run for more than 14 episodes and one feature film, we would have seen a larger assortment of races within the 'verse. Joss Whedon is a very culturally aware person.

Niska is of Ukrainian decent (or at least speaks Ukrainian).

There are some traces of Indian and Japanese cultures in Inara, particularly within her wardrobe. She is a Buddhist, which originated in India, and it spread all throughout Asia.

There are a lot of Indian traces within Jayne's character, believe it or not! In northern India, there is a religion called Jainism. They are a non-violent, vegan culture. I think they were going for an ironic twist with his character. You can read a lot of my theories on Jayne's connections to Jainism in one of my past blogs found here:

I also have a lot of white friends who have spent a great deal of time in South America, so I would have also loved to see the BDHs to also go to a world that has a lot of Hispanic culture in it. (I can see Mal salsa dancing right now! Hehe!)

Basically, a great deal of cultures are already there, you just gotta know where to look.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007 4:04 AM


Wow, that got me thinking, and I wasn't prepared for that.



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