FIREFLY EPISODE DISCUSSIONS

Wondering About Them Reavers...

POSTED BY: YERSINIA
UPDATED: Wednesday, December 15, 2010 05:35
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Wednesday, September 23, 2009 2:53 PM

YERSINIA


Okay, in "Bushwacked," Zoe says to Simon, about Reavers:

"If they take the ship, they'll rape us to death, eat our flesh, and sew our skins into their clothing. And if we're very, very lucky, they'll do it in that order."

Probably since my second "Firefly Marathon" (just finished #9 and am poised for #10), I've been wondering: If the Reavers are really THAT savage and brutal, then how come they haven't raped and eaten EACH OTHER -- into extinction? Also, if flying "without core containment" is "suicide," how come THAT hasn't killed them off? And on top of that, it seems they've maintained and developed spacefaring technology (as in the grapplers and other specialized technology for their raids) -- which IMO would require them to collaborate and cooperate with each other on a level which is way too civilized for their purported savagery.

I know, I know, I know, formidable and/or really frightening enemies make for better storytelling, and the Reavers certainly fit the bill here, but....well, I'm not so sure they make much SENSE -- not even with the BDM's explanation of their origins. I dunno, maybe had the series not been cancelled, we'd have gotten a better glimpse into "Reaver culture," but from what's shown in the series and BDM, they seem to be cardboard villians that we're supposed to accept pretty much without question as irredeemably evil and savage -- in the series, Shepherd Book is the only one who even suggests that they could actually be human beings, and in the BDM when it's told that they WERE human beings, who had the opposite-from-intended reaction to the Pax, well I still have the original "if they're that savage, how come they haven't brutally killed each other off?" question...

Whaddya all think, or, whaddya all know about Reavers that I don't?

~Yersinia.



"Call me if anyone interesting shows up..."

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Wednesday, September 23, 2009 7:36 PM

SIGMANUNKI


There are a few animals that are vicious killers (and kill for fun) that haven't killed themselves off yet. Though they tend to be solitary. There are also more mild types such as wolves. Etc.

I think that it should be pointed out that behaviour towards "outsiders" or "prey" can be very *very* different than behaviour towards the same. And we don't know what they are up to when they are by themselves. So, ...

At any rate, Joss is about the story. Which is why nothing was really explained. How did the ship work? I just does. Reavers? They're just there. Be scared.

----
I am on The Original List (twice). We are The Forsaken and we aim to burn!
"We don't fear the reaper"

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Thursday, September 24, 2009 5:01 AM

YERSINIA


Quote:

Originally posted by SigmaNunki:
There are a few animals that are vicious killers (and kill for fun) that haven't killed themselves off yet. Though they tend to be solitary. There are also more mild types such as wolves. Etc.

I think that it should be pointed out that behaviour towards "outsiders" or "prey" can be very *very* different than behaviour towards the same. And we don't know what they are up to when they are by themselves. So, ...

At any rate, Joss is about the story. Which is why nothing was really explained. How did the ship work? I just does. Reavers? They're just there. Be scared.



Ummmm...hmmmmm. Yeah, thinking about it this way, I guess Reavers COULD be compared to wolves, in the sense that they raid/commit their atrocities in groups, and wolves hunt in packs. And, when it comes to a group's treatment of outsiders, throughout history there's been human cultures that looked upon members of other cultures or who practiced different religions (not to mention humans of other races!) as subhumans to be enslaved or exterminated, rather than as fellow human beings who deserve the same consideration and respect as their own do. So, OK. Thanks for helping me out on these aspects.

However, I still don't agree with the idea that a story is better because its creator leaves us in the dark about certain things, and in fact the more explanation into the inner workings there is, the story is even better in terms of depth and intensity. So while your suggestions about wolves and how some groups treat outsiders are a definite help for me in making sense of the Reavers, I still hope, that Joss would have eventually produced an episode or two with some actual glimpses of Reaver "culture" (as HE intended it to be) if the series had been able to go the original 7 seasons -- I think it would have made the show even better. On that note, about the workings of the ship:

I have zero in the way of mechanical aptitude -- it was my BOYFRIEND (a mechanical designer!) who wanted to know how the ship worked! So, since by the time I showed him my Firefly DVDs, I was already aware of the fact that the show only very rarely and vaguely even touched on those kinds of details, I actually said to him, "Oh, and don't ask me how the ship works, even THEY don't say so!" before I even started the first DVD for him. But, I had to repeat variations of that sentence a couple times anyway, and it still didn't stop him from noticing that the part Wash chucked at the junkyard ship in "Ariel" while they were preparing for the hospital heist was the same part which had been so desperately needed in "Out of Gas"! He noticed it right off and practically shouted his recognition -- I had to pause the DVD and re-look at it, but he was right.

So some of us out here DO appreciate these kinds of details and think they would add to, rather than detract from, the story.

"Call me if anyone interesting shows up..."

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Thursday, September 24, 2009 2:29 PM

SIGMANUNKI


I think that you need to be careful using the word "would" here. That's very absolute and quite frankly, there are many counter-examples of that. Star Trek, for instance, has many many many examples of the tech getting in the way of the story. But, it still kind of worked there, because the tech was a major driving force of (most of?) the plot lines. Tech also introduces a consistency nightmare. It's really, really hard to keep track of all that. In fact, the way the Stargate worked in SG-1 changed from the beginning of the series to the end. I believe because they had a story they wanted to tell, and sod consistency, eh.

At any rate, in Firefly, it's all about the characters. Joss basically used everything besides the characters as a vehicle that let him tell his story. If this were changed, and he started to explain the tech, etc, then it wouldn't be Firefly. It'd be more along the lines of Star Trek. And personally, I really *really* liked the fact that everything was about the characters instead of the next cool device, anomaly, etc.

So, although I agree that more detail /can/ add more to things, that's only a can. And with respect to Firefly, with the way that it was written, IMO, it would negatively effect the show as it would detract from the characters.

----
I am on The Original List (twice). We are The Forsaken and we aim to burn!
"We don't fear the reaper"

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Thursday, September 24, 2009 4:35 PM

TWO

The Joss Whedon script for Serenity, where Wash lives, is Serenity-190pages.pdf at www.mediafire.com/folder/1uwh75oa407q8/Firefly


Quote:

Originally posted by Yersinia:
I've been wondering: If the Reavers are really THAT savage and brutal, then how come they haven't raped and eaten EACH OTHER -- into extinction? Also, if flying "without core containment" is "suicide," how come THAT hasn't killed them off? And on top of that, it seems they've maintained and developed spacefaring technology (as in the grapplers and other specialized technology for their raids) -- which IMO would require them to collaborate and cooperate with each other on a level which is way too civilized for their purported savagery.

I know, I know, I know, formidable and/or really frightening enemies make for better storytelling, and the Reavers certainly fit the bill here, but....well, I'm not so sure they make much SENSE -- not even with the BDM's explanation of their origins.... I still have the original "if they're that savage, how come they haven't brutally killed each other off?" question...


I agree with you that flying without core containment does kill Reavers quickly. I agree it is suicidal. There must be some way to get new replacement people to involuntarily join the Reaver Fan Club or else the Club dies out. Firefly showed where Reavers come from in the third episode, Bushwhacked. You're suppose to be confused and misdirected because Mal is confused about Reavers. Joss Whedon doesn't give away all his Reaver secrets in the early episodes. That survivor is NOT a want-to-be Reaver. The survivor is a real-live Reaver. Mal says the survivor has been so traumatized that he is pretending to be Reaver. But what the hell does Mal know? He's no psychiatrist. It is as if the survivor says "Heil Hitler!" and joins the Nazi party after watching the Nazis torture his family to death. Mal is not talking sense.

Here is my guesses about how ordinary people who were never on Miranda become Reavers. Reavers don't have evil brain-parasites like on Star Gate, but it is something like that. They aren't demon possessed because that is just too silly for science fiction, but it is also something like that. Maybe Reavers could be Patternmasters from the science fiction novels by Octavia E. Butler, about a society of networked telepaths that one person controls, which explains why River is freaked out by Reavers; she doesn't want her mind controlled. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patternmaster


The Joss Whedon script for "Serenity", where Wash lives, is at
www.fileden.com/files/2008/8/13/2048723/Serenity-190pages.pdf

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Thursday, September 24, 2009 7:20 PM

SIGMANUNKI


Quote:

Originally posted by two:

Flying without core containment does kill Reavers quickly.




And where is that stated?


Quote:

Originally posted by two:

But what the hell does Mal know? He's no psychiatrist.




It's not complicated and psychiatry is no rocket science.


Quote:

Originally posted by two:

Here is my guesses about how ordinary people who were never on Miranda become Reavers.
...snip...




Wow, is that ever a (razor thin) stretch. I mean, that doesn't even remotely touch on anything that was in the series/movie.

Btw, there are lots of far more plausible explanations for River getting freaked out by Reavers. For instance, if we accept her telepathy(-like) abilities in the BDM, wouldn't hearing the Reavers thoughts be enough to freak someone out? I think so. Etc.

----
I am on The Original List (twice). We are The Forsaken and we aim to burn!
"We don't fear the reaper"

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Thursday, September 24, 2009 10:27 PM

JEWELSTAITEFAN


1. Working around unsheilded radioactive nuclear material is unhealthy. The reactor on craft of the verse are apparently nuclear, have not seen info disputing this, but not exactly spelled out that I recall. Running without Core containment means unsheilded. Reproducing in the way we think would create more mutations. How many started after the Pax release? 30 Million was Miranda population, was it 300,000 or 30,000 that became reavers? Longevity is 120 years average, so dying within 10 years may be considered "quick" in the verse. In the past 12 years I don't think 30,000 have died off yet. It took several years fro many of thier ships to lose containment - it is not a normal condition.

2. Maintaining technology? not that hard if they had already the training when they were human - see most of the zombie films.
Creating technology? no, just use what they find aboard the ships they capture/pirate/raid.

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Friday, September 25, 2009 3:27 AM

TWO

The Joss Whedon script for Serenity, where Wash lives, is Serenity-190pages.pdf at www.mediafire.com/folder/1uwh75oa407q8/Firefly


So... SIGMANUNKI ! The survivor of the Reaver raid in "Bushwhacked" (his name shall be Caspar Milquetoast) might be only a sick, little man under extreme stress who has delusions that he has become a Reaver. Caspar is simply a mass murderer, of Alliance doctors, with post-traumatic-stress syndrome. In that case, "seeing Reavers up close and personal" is a good enough explanation for Caspar's evil actions.

Or Caspar could be a genuine Reaver. He split his own tongue down the middle. OUCH! That has got to keep on hurting. The fact that Caspar put multiple piercings into his own face, without anesthesia, impressed me. Ouch! He cut up his own lips and forehead. Ouch! He has a mighty high tolerance for pain. Or else the makeup artist over decorated Caspar's face.

There is something weird going on inside Caspar's brain -- something much stranger than being criminally insane. "The Paxilon on Miranda made him crazy" is not an explanation for his evil behavior. Caspar wasn't on Miranda. If Firefly had lasted, we would have got a good explanation, but since it didn't, we have to imagine our own explanations.

The Joss Whedon script for "Serenity", where Wash lives, is at
www.fileden.com/files/2008/8/13/2048723/Serenity-190pages.pdf

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Friday, September 25, 2009 5:29 AM

YERSINIA


Quote:

Originally posted by SigmaNunki:
I think that you need to be careful using the word "would" here. That's very absolute and quite frankly, there are many counter-examples of that. Star Trek, for instance, has many many many examples of the tech getting in the way of the story. But, it still kind of worked there, because the tech was a major driving force of (most of?) the plot lines. Tech also introduces a consistency nightmare. It's really, really hard to keep track of all that. In fact, the way the Stargate worked in SG-1 changed from the beginning of the series to the end. I believe because they had a story they wanted to tell, and sod consistency, eh.



Guess I need to mention that by the time I was introduced to Firefly (this past July), I had been a hardcore Trekkie for three decades... so for me, adding tech details (per se) does indeed add depth to a story (and/or provide direction for additional stories). Stargate I never saw, so I have no knowledge from which to comment.

But -- where "tech" details are concerned, it's not entirely the scientific/mechanical (how the ships and technological gadgets work) ones which are actually crucial in terms of the storytelling (my boyfriend is the one who has greater appreciation for this end of it) -- yeah, I LIKE most of that stuff and find a lot of it helpful in adding depth/providing ground for new stories, but it's ALSO, in a big way, the cultural/sociological details of the non-human alien beings I liked so much and considered so riveting, blending THAT stuff into the stories. Scenes shot on the alien ships (later on even the aliens' home planets), or which included the Enterprise, DS9 or Voyager crew interacting with them and learning about their cultures IMO this gives way more insight into the characters of the enemies than just having them attack at every possible opportunity.

The Verse of Firefly has no non-human characters like Star Trek has Klingons, Romulans, Vulcans, and so on, but it does have the Reavers who are obviously different from "normal" humans, so what I'd have liked to have seen would have been occasional scenes aboard a Reaver ship about to begin a raid (or in process of one -- such as attaching that multi-snakelike booby trap thingie to snare or destroy rescue ships as they did in Bushwacked), stuff like that, every once in awhile -- not every single episode made (or even every single episode in which there were Reavers), but here and there in occasional episodes with Reavers, just enough to show us how Reavers interact with each other and what their "society" is like. That's the kind of thing which to me adds depth to the worldbuild and makes the storytelling even more meaningful on the character-driven plane.

And no, I don't think "would" is too absolutist a term to use here. Had Firefly not been cancelled, Joss Whedon would indeed have conceived and produced more episodes -- the actual storylines of which we cannot say since the show WAS cancelled so he didn't create the episodes. I had merely thought it would've been nice, and an enhancement of the show (had it lasted), IF one of the things Mr. Whedon would have expanded on through additional episodes would have been "Reaver society," that's all. (That, and of course Shepherd Book's mysterious past! )

Quote:

Originally posted by jewelstaitefan:
1. Working around unsheilded radioactive nuclear material is unhealthy. The reactor on craft of the verse are apparently nuclear, have not seen info disputing this, but not exactly spelled out that I recall. Running without Core containment means unsheilded. Reproducing in the way we think would create more mutations. How many started after the Pax release? 30 Million was Miranda population, was it 300,000 or 30,000 that became reavers? Longevity is 120 years average, so dying within 10 years may be considered "quick" in the verse. In the past 12 years I don't think 30,000 have died off yet. It took several years fro many of thier ships to lose containment - it is not a normal condition.

2. Maintaining technology? not that hard if they had already the training when they were human - see most of the zombie films.
Creating technology? no, just use what they find aboard the ships they capture/pirate/raid.



If memory serves me correctly (and it should, since I watched the BDM the day before yesterday), the Alliance scientist whose taped message was found on Miranda said that Miranda's population had been 30,000,000, and that 1% of them had the opposite-from-intended reaction to the Pax, so...1% of 30,000,000 is 300,000. I guess that IS a lot of Reavers! Hmmmm, maybe that's even enough of them to not have died off naturally or, even with their excessively violent tendencies, killed each other off into extinction even 10-12 years after the Pax incident.

Now that's interesting -- the 26th century human lifespan in the Verse is 120 years? Wow. Well, I can definitely see that on the high-tech core planets, but find it a little harder to believe about the Rim where life itself is harder, medical technology is less advanced, and medications are hard to get. And yes, if the Reavers are exposed to unshielded radiation (running without core containment), it only stands to reason that would shorten their natural lifespans too, even if 300,000 of them were enough, and they do somehow have some kind of code in their society which keeps them from killing each other off. Hmmmm, maybe denizens of the technogically advanced core planets actually live longer than 120 years, but earlier deaths of people on the border planets are what bring the Verse human lifespan "down" to an average of 120 years.

Yup. Stealing ships they raid (after raping and eating the crews and passengers) makes a lot of Reaver sense -- as in how they can get their hands on ships without the collaboration and cooperation inherent in building their own ships or developing their own technology, but this would leave me kind of surprised that they didn't simply take the colony transport in Bushwacked after they raided it -- they left that multiple snakes-like booby trap thingie (I call it that because to me, that's what it looks like) which almost caught Serenity except Mal noticed it and Kaylee figured out how to disable it -- so maybe they have to be "in need" of new ships to steal them, just like they seem to have to be "hungry" to conduct a raid?

Zombies? Ummmm no, I don't go there! YUCK!!

Ehhhhh. Maybe someday I'll really and truly get these Reavers figured out.

"Call me if anyone interesting shows up..."

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Friday, September 25, 2009 5:50 AM

TDBROWN


In the BDM, the Alliance Doctor said "Less than one tenth of one percent..." which puts the Reavers original numbers at 30,000. There were female Reavers in the BDM, so savage youngsters aren't out of the question, though unlikely. If I had to compare the Reavers to any other pack animal, I would go with Hyenas. Scavengers and predators, they are opportunistic feeders who hunt in packs but also can turn on each other, like sharks in a feeding frenzy.

"Might have been the losing side, still not convinced it was the wrong one." -Mal

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Sunday, September 27, 2009 4:00 AM

TWO

The Joss Whedon script for Serenity, where Wash lives, is Serenity-190pages.pdf at www.mediafire.com/folder/1uwh75oa407q8/Firefly


The Firefly Wiki covers Reavers. http://www.fireflywiki.org/Firefly/Reavers
Here is a quote:
"Exactly how sentient individual Reavers are remains an open question. Although they clearly must have some retention of any original knowledge prior to their madness (as evidenced by their command of starships and weapons) Reavers are as without fear as they are without mercy, and they have never been seen to speak or indeed communicate (although that may be because any time they are observed they are on the hunt). The sole sound they make is an insane, wordless scream, which adds to the mystery of how a group of creatures little more than beasts could run a starship to the degree that they do."

There isn't much explanation (or speculation) of why Reavers are the way they are. Most people are happy with "Reavers are that way because that's how Joss Whedon made 'em."

We will never know much about Reavers until there is an opinion poll of the writers who worked on Firefly, especially Joss Whedon's opinion. If anybody knows the nature of Reavers, it is the writers. The kind of questions to ask the writers:

Reavers use kamikaze and suicide tactics when fighting humans. Why? Don't Reavers want to live? Why do Reavers mutilate their faces? Don't Reavers feel pain? [I hope the writers don't answer, "Reavers are like that because it is scary. No other reasons are necessary."]

What is the IQ of a typical Reaver? Are they dumb or smart? [I think they are smart because that makes for scarier stories.]

What is the lifespan of a Reaver and how do Reavers increase their numbers?
A) Reavers are going extinct because all Reavers were created at the same time on Miranda.
B) Reavers convert humans to Reavers with Paxilon.
C) Reavers convert humans with telepathic mind control. [That's my favorite answer.]
D) Reavers convert humans with brain washing and torture.
E) There are cute little Reaver babies with ferocious Mommies who wear too much makeup.

The Joss Whedon script for "Serenity", where Wash lives, is at
www.fileden.com/files/2008/8/13/2048723/Serenity-190pages.pdf

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Sunday, September 27, 2009 9:10 PM

JEWELSTAITEFAN


Many of those online references were done before BDM, and some were not updated after.

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Sunday, September 27, 2009 9:49 PM

JEWELSTAITEFAN


Quote:

Originally posted by Yersinia:

The Verse of Firefly has no non-human characters like Star Trek has Klingons, Romulans, Vulcans, and so on, but it does have the Reavers who are obviously different from "normal" humans, so what I'd have liked to have seen would have been occasional scenes aboard a Reaver ship about to begin a raid (or in process of one -- such as attaching that multi-snakelike booby trap thingie to snare or destroy rescue ships as they did in Bushwacked), stuff like that, every once in awhile -- not every single episode made (or even every single episode in which there were Reavers), but here and there in occasional episodes with Reavers, just enough to show us how Reavers interact with each other and what their "society" is like. That's the kind of thing which to me adds depth to the worldbuild and makes the storytelling even more meaningful on the character-driven plane.



After this post, I must admit a guilty pleasure of mine. I like to daydream about future episodes of Firefly. The Alliance goobers deny the existence of Reavers. Most sensible folk are aware and wary of them. I fancy the Alliance patrols coming across reaver ships, or booby-trapped ships and being eradicated by the reavers they don't believe in. I fancy this a repetitive ongoing sequence in the show, becoming a cliche perhaps. The verse version of Wily E. Coyote dying every episode.
This gives me a warm fuzzy feeling.
Does this make me a bad man?

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Monday, September 28, 2009 4:12 AM

YERSINIA


Quote:

Originally posted by two:
The Firefly Wiki covers Reavers. http://www.fireflywiki.org/Firefly/Reavers
Here is a quote:
Most people are happy with "Reavers are that way because that's how Joss Whedon made 'em."



I clicked the link and read this whole WIki in full -- so I "snipped" all of your posted quote except the one here I consider relevant (because I unfortunately suspect this is also part of the reason why we didn't get to actually see anything which would explain Reavers or their "society," and why they were portrayed as cardboard villians with no dimension of their own). So, OK, IF -- and I say IF because I'm not a psychic with access to Mr. Whedon's thoughts -- if this is how Joss Whedon really felt, that viewers would be happy to believe, with no explanation whatsoever, that Reavers are, and can be the way they are simply because he says so, I've lost a lot of respect for the man because IMNSHO that's an insult not just to my intelligence, but to intelligence per se. Oh, I'll still watch my Firefly DVDs (I love the crew and everything ELSE about it). While it's also true that I never viewed Mr. Whedon with the kind of esteem most people seem to on Firefly forums anyway (aw heck, I never viewed Gene Roddenberry with that kind of near godlike worship either), the only thing left after contempt of intelligence I can attribute to Mr. Whedon -- unless he DID plan to eventually expand on the Reavers if only Firefly hadn't been cancelled out from under him -- is laziness (as in he was too lazy as a conceptualist/writer to actually trouble himself to develop his protagonists' enemies, and given how wonderfully he developed the protagonists, he certainly had the talent!). Then again, this is also the same man who made quite a success of himself with shows like Buffy and Angel which necessitated that people believe in VAMPIRES....eeesh. So who knows.

Well, I guess I better duck, run and hide after I finish this post because who knows who's going to be goram pissed at me!

Quote:

Originally posted by jewelstaitefan:


After this post, I must admit a guilty pleasure of mine. I like to daydream about future episodes of Firefly. The Alliance goobers deny the existence of Reavers. Most sensible folk are aware and wary of them. I fancy the Alliance patrols coming across reaver ships, or booby-trapped ships and being eradicated by the reavers they don't believe in. I fancy this a repetitive ongoing sequence in the show, becoming a cliche perhaps. The verse version of Wily E. Coyote dying every episode.
This gives me a warm fuzzy feeling.
Does this make me a bad man?



Not at all! Some of that would have been fun, too.

About daydreaming "future" episodes of Firefly, I found this forum the other day where they'd been writing, instead of prose fanfic stories, screenplay style stuff presented as "how it might have been" new episodes had the show not been cancelled. I read a number of these (and plan to read more), and thus far I think they're wonderful. They gave me that real "you are there" feeling; in my mind I could see all the locations and see/hear the crew acting and saying everything they did, and I mean everything! For a moment I actually tried to make myself think, "Well, this is still fan stuff, Joss Whedon didn't write it," except then I realized, Whedon didn't write all the actual Firefly episodes either (in fact, he didn't even co-write EITHER of my two favorite episodes, "Out of Gas" and "Ariel"!) -- so I said to myself, OK, yeah, this COULD have been possible and proceeded to continue immersing myself in these "new episodes." Obviously, being fan-written, they're not "canon," but IMO they're as exciting and fun as the "real thing." If you haven't seen them already, they're here:

http://www.stillflying.net/


"Call me if anyone interesting shows up..."

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Monday, September 28, 2009 6:12 AM

TWO

The Joss Whedon script for Serenity, where Wash lives, is Serenity-190pages.pdf at www.mediafire.com/folder/1uwh75oa407q8/Firefly


YERSINIA, there is Firefly - the Virtual Season http://www.firefly-tvs.com/guide.htm
and other site you already found for screenplays:
http://stillflying.net/

Joss Whedon did not tell everything upfront about Reavers because that would ruin the surprise in a later seasons, years after Serenity visits Miranda. It is like the very successful show "Lost" where J.J.Abrams keeps the nature of the Island slightly mysterious. Joss told the audience a great deal (maybe too much) about Reavers in the third episode, "Bushwhacked". The audience is suppose to feel all smug and superior because we figured it out before Mal or the Alliance. I know I'm feeling smug!

My working theory is that the guy in Bushwhacked that looks like a Reaver is really a Reaver. Simple, right? I don't explain him away as some survivor of a Reaver attack with post-traumatic-stress syndrome making him believe he is a Reaver. The guy is not imagining that he is a Reaver; he is the real thing. Last month he was a farmer and this month he is a mass murderer.

There are typical science fiction examples of this -- Reavers are like either the robot armies or the clone armies in StarWars. Joss Whedon did not tell you that because knowing too soon will ruin the show. The robots are on kill sprees in StarWars. Shoot a thousand robots and there are always more being made on the assembly line. What you want to do is cut the radio communication between the robots and their masters. Same problem with the clone armies in StarWars; you don't need to kill all the clones; shoot the Emperor.

Like TV's "Lost" and the mystery of the Island, the mystery on Firefly is "Who controls the Reavers?" River shoots that person in the final episode, #140! Or maybe Reavers only have a single conscious mind spread out across all the Reavers. Break the telepathic link (like the robot armies in StarWars) and the Reavers all fall down. Again, that would be River breaking the link, being the hero in the final episode. In the grand tradition of science fiction self-sacrifice, River has to die to destroy the Reavers. Didn't see that coming, did you? That is why Joss Whedon always kills the ones we love.

The Joss Whedon script for "Serenity", where Wash lives, is at
www.fileden.com/files/2008/8/13/2048723/Serenity-190pages.pdf

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Monday, September 28, 2009 8:39 AM

BYTEMITE


I've often thought that the reason Reavers may stay near Miranda is so that they can give themselves enough of a dose of Pax-laden air that they stay Reavers. Or perhaps doing so might replenish the supplies of Pax on their ships for recruitment.

And perhaps the air processors on ships are built to eventually filter out this contaminant. So the Reaver might attack the ship in Bushwhacked, the survivor, in addition to the horror of his family dying, he gets enough of a dose of the Pax that he becomes a Reaver. The crew did not stay long enough to get enough dose of the Pax to have any long-term effect both on Miranda and the Bushwhacked ship, and on the Bushwhacked ship, much of the chemical may have already been filtered out.

Similarly, I imagine Reavers before they BECAME Reavers were plenty horrified watching everyone they know die around them, while in the meantime they were undergoing uncontrollable changes themselves.

I think a combination of fear, anger, and hopelessness out of the range of average human levels triggered by a traumatic experience, plus Pax, makes Reavers.

Also, the radiation in question on the Reaver ships wouldn't be poisonous, I think, this isn't fission so there's no Uranium, Cesium, etc. I do know that the beta emissions and gamma emissions from a fusion reaction can cause burns and genetic mutation. Reavers are most likely sterile. Also, living on the ship may constitute lethal long term exposure, but perhaps not an acute lethal dose of radiation.

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Monday, September 28, 2009 7:48 PM

JEWELSTAITEFAN


Quote:

Originally posted by Yersinia:
Quote:

Originally posted by two:
The Firefly Wiki covers Reavers. http://www.fireflywiki.org/Firefly/Reavers
Here is a quote:
Most people are happy with "Reavers are that way because that's how Joss Whedon made 'em."



I clicked the link and read this whole WIki in full -- so I "snipped" all of your posted quote except the one here I consider relevant (because I unfortunately suspect this is also part of the reason why we didn't get to actually see anything which would explain Reavers or their "society," and why they were portrayed as cardboard villians with no dimension of their own). So, OK, IF -- and I say IF because I'm not a psychic with access to Mr. Whedon's thoughts -- if this is how Joss Whedon really felt, that viewers would be happy to believe, with no explanation whatsoever, that Reavers are, and can be the way they are simply because he says so,


I do not believe this to be the case.
I have heard numerous mention of Joss listening to some idea and then asking about how or why that idea would or should fit into the show or story, he wanted to know the background and backstory.
All that I've heard contradicts the suggestion in your quote.

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Tuesday, September 29, 2009 3:58 AM

JONGSSTRAW


Nothing about Miranda and its' 30 million dead people makes any sense. Nothing about the 30,000 Reavers makes any sense. And for me it doesn't have to. The Miranda storyline provided a nice vehicle for River & Mal to air out some of their inner struggles, and that made for some great cinematic drama. The "science", or any logical reality surrounding the Miranda/Pax holocaust is pure fantasy speculation, likely given to us in that manner by Joss on purpose to drive us all a bit nuts ourselves.


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Tuesday, September 29, 2009 7:25 AM

TWO

The Joss Whedon script for Serenity, where Wash lives, is Serenity-190pages.pdf at www.mediafire.com/folder/1uwh75oa407q8/Firefly


Quote:

Originally posted by Jongsstraw:
Nothing about Miranda and its' 30 million dead people makes any sense. Nothing about the 30,000 Reavers makes any sense. And for me it doesn't have to. The Miranda storyline provided a nice vehicle for River & Mal to air out some of their inner struggles, and that made for some great cinematic drama. The "science", or any logical reality surrounding the Miranda/Pax holocaust is pure fantasy speculation, likely given to us in that manner by Joss on purpose to drive us all a bit nuts ourselves.


A central mystery in Firefly is the Reavers. Since Joss Whedon is playing a game of make-believe with the audience, he won't show them his cards until the end of the game, which would be the last episode. Then Joss gathers his poker winnings. If he was foolish and told the audience almost everything about Reavers in the early episodes, a large part of his audience would quit the game because they feel cheated.

Sometimes when the show-runner tells the audience what was really happening behind the scenes, half the audience hates the explanation. I read a great deal of complaining about the last hour of the final episode of Battlestar Galactica. If Starbuck (the dematerializing, angelic version of Starbuck) had entered the co-ordinates to New Earth in the first season, the show would have ended on episode 13, not 73. Ronald D. Moore, executive producer of Galactica, would have been unemployed. Joss Whedon would do what Ronald Moore did, wait until the end of the show to explain the mystery.

I predict that half the audience of TV's "Lost" will be angry at J.J.Abrams when he reveals on the final episode of Lost that the Island is no mystery. It is really an ancient and gigantic alien spacecraft that crashed into the Atlantic, killing all the dinosaurs. Then the island moved to the Pacific to wait for the Oceanic flight.

The Joss Whedon script for "Serenity", where Wash lives, is at
www.fileden.com/files/2008/8/13/2048723/Serenity-190pages.pdf

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Tuesday, September 29, 2009 8:59 PM

JEWELSTAITEFAN


Cause: Pax on Miranda.
Effect: Miranda depopulated, Reavers.

Cause:Miranda depopulated, Reavers.
Effect: Alliance War to distract the verse.

Cause: Alliance War for Domination.
Effect: Independents, Browncoats.

Cause: Independents lost, browncoats defeated.
Effect: homeless unemployed people of moral standing.

Cause: Reavers, browncoats, Alliance domination.
Effect: Firefly and Serenity.

What's to complain about where Joss' storytelling is concerned? I'll take it all.

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Tuesday, October 6, 2009 7:12 AM

GOLDBRICK


Quote:

Originally posted by Yersinia:
...I've been wondering: If the Reavers are really THAT savage and brutal, then how come they haven't raped and eaten EACH OTHER -- into extinction? Also, if flying "without core containment" is "suicide," how come THAT hasn't killed them off?



Well, it is my opinion that the reavers are the equivalent of space zombies. The worst kind of zombies, too: they are fast, savage, can still use weapons, and they retain a little of their previous expertise, such as piloting spaceships.

It does seem, however, that as their technology wears out they don't have the attention span to fix it. Therefore they convert their broken weapons to simple spears and ignore any damage to their engines that might cause long-term health problems.

Like all movie zombies, they recognize and largely ignore their own kind, and are more subdued and possibly even slightly cooperative when normal humans (prey) are not around.

But I don't believe that Joss Whedon intended the reavers to be a never-ending menace that would survive for centuries. However, a TV series lasts about seven years if successful, and it's reasonable to expect the reavers to last as a dreaded spacegoing wild card for ten to twenty years and then gradually dwindle to very rare sightings and finally extinction.

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Tuesday, February 2, 2010 4:19 PM

PSYCHOTIC


A la Shaun of the Dead, the reavers won't attack others who look like them.

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Wednesday, December 15, 2010 5:35 AM

TOADSMOOTHY


Quote:

Originally posted by Yersinia:
If the Reavers are really THAT savage and brutal, then how come they haven't raped and eaten EACH OTHER -- into extinction?



Because they're terrible in bed and they taste really bad?

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