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June 06 2008

Mirror's Edge takes whedonesque cues on dystopia. Gaming website Gamasutra has a fun mention of Joss in this quick writeup of EA DICE's (makes of the Battlefield series) new first person action game.

Senior producer Owen O'Brien explains:

To be very honest, I'm a big Joss Whedon fan, and a lot of the things in the story of the game came from Firefly and Serenity. I was listening to this director's commentary [on the DVD of Serenity]...

So, actually, that sentence that I just used is actually a direct quote from Joss Whedon; the basis of Firefly and Serenity is, you can't force other people to live by your system, even if your system is better. These people want to live on the edge of that society.


Thanks to Malte for the heads up!

It also has a female protagonist named Faith. Interpret that however you like.
I choose to interpret it as Owen O'Brien REALLY likes Joss' shows :)
It is nice when people admit the Joss' influences and we don't just think it and then other people think we are crazy for thinking it.
Again, in Serenity, The Operative actually says, "This is not an evil empire. We just don't understand why you don't want to be part of our happy club."
(my emphasis)

This word, I do not think it means what you think it means ;).
That line was actually from the extra-secret and entirely-made-up-by-me extended version of Serenity, Saje. Kinda surprised you didn't know that, actually. ;)
It reads like a phone or in person interview. Precise diction's like literally the first thing to go when we open our mouths to say something instead of writing it down.

ETA: Or there are supersecret ninja editions of Serenity all over the place! I like that idea better.

[ edited by Sunfire on 2008-06-06 20:18 ]
I like your second idea better, Sunfire, about the ninja editions of Serenity. Better than a viking edition.

As for diction when a person is speaking, I think it depends on how much that person cares about such things. I catch myself saying things like "he's taller than I," because I know that it's gramatically correct. I actually mentally punctuated with a semicolon once; it kind of scared me.

I know a little girl named Anne Summer. Since she was born post-1997, I thought that maybe her name was inspired by Buffy's middle and last names (since most parents wouldn't name their daughter Buffy). Her parents thought I was insane when I asked them how they came up with the girl's name, and if she was named after someone. I'm really glad that I didn't mention the show.

So I've started to appreciate when people say their influences come from Joss, and I can just geek out from there.
Anonymous1: "It is nice when people admit the Joss' influences and we don't just think it and then other people think we are crazy for thinking it."


I much prefer it when people think I am crazy for the right reasons, and not because I see the world as a cornucopia of Whedonia.

I want my craziness understood.
ninja editions of Serenity. Better than a viking edition.

That right there is how you sell them. Or if you're totally honest:

"Ninja editions of Serenity. Better than a Viking edition, arguably only on a par with a Pirate edition"

That line was actually from the extra-secret and entirely-made-up-by-me extended version of Serenity...

*to Universal's lawyers* At my command, unleash Hell* !

(is that the one that ends with Wash jumping up and going "Just kiddin'" BTW ? I think you've been corporately espionaged Highlander cos I watch that one a lot. In my head ;)

* Bill Hell that is, a very well loved, valued member of the Universal legal team.
The world isn't a cornucopia? I shouldn't be sleepy?

*that is the type of craziness I want understood*
That may be true, Saje, but those editions don't even touch the Samurai edition.
Ooh good one. Hmm, what tops 'Samurai edition' ? Stand back, i'm bringing out the big guns and going for the Z word. Yep, i'm doing it "Serenity: Zombie Edition".
Saje,

That would be "Serenity: Reaver Edition" or "Serenity: In Disguise Edition."
Ooo. Didn't see that one coming. Just to clarify, which Zombie? Mutilating bodies-Zombie? Eating brains on command-Zombie? Virus fast-Zombie? Or Zombies that need to be shot in the head to stop them while they slowly drag themselves over to you to lay on top of you?

Each have their own varying danger.

Then again, there could always be The Immortal Serenity edition. Loves philosophy, love, women, and likes to rub it in the faces of 2 poofs.
So, wait, are you saying that Reavers had something to do with Zombies? Are they working together?

No really. Would Reavers be considered Zombies? I thought the Reavers were still alive, just had a reverse reaction to the gas the Alliance gave them. Then again, they fly in unstable ships. Are Reavers dead? Has it ever been said?
Serenity: Hell God version. Doctoral intern included! Made by Mattel.

Lately, when I think of zombies, I think of Shaun of the Dead. Because that movie was badass.

As for ninjas, I've actually heard of a pseudo-ratings system where you substitute ninjas for important characters. The number of ninja substitutions that would improve the storyline, the worse the movie is. So Fantastic Four, for example, would get at least a 5-Ninja rating, whereas Atonement would get a 1-Ninja rating.
Ironically then, Ninja movies themselves would actually rate 'Zero Ninjas' ? Which is paradoxical because clearly everything is improved by adding Ninjas. And in this way, the universe is shown to be a fiction.

Would Reavers be considered Zombies?

Nah, reavers aren't dead (they're not undead either ;). I guess they have a bit of the faceless implacability that makes Zombies scary though. And similarly bad personal hygiene.
I agree that most anything can be improved by adding ninjas (or a sword fight). Even great stories like Hamlet could be improved if Ophelia were the ninja offspring of Polonius the ninja.

Can you imagine something like The Godfather with ninjas? Not much improvement there--except for Sophia Coppola in the third one. The Shining would have been cool if Jack were a ninja, although then he'd probably succeed in wasting his family.

Nah, reavers aren't dead. Saje, I finally caught you! There are some dead reavers--River done killed them good and dead. ;) But the alive reavers aren't dead, and the reavers who have met death are having their first experience with it.

ETR typos.

[ edited by BandofBuggered on 2008-06-06 22:14 ]
Even great stories like Hamlet could be improved if Ophelia were the ninja offspring of Polonius the ninja.

Lately my stranger quips here seem prone to sparking little positive feedback loops of lunacy. Which is to say, I am both amused and afraid.

Polonius is not ninja material. Claudius however is 100% ninja. Which makes Hamlet... still very depressed and possibly crazy.

Serenity is a zero ninja film both on account of being awesome and featuring a mysterious preacher man with mad ninja skills.
Not to mention a downright ninja-esque psychic teenage girl.

(and maybe Hamlet is the guy out to avenge the death of his "brother" ? Only rather than train for years with some amusingly drunk ex-ninja, often underwater or by painting fences, he's gone down the "brood for a bit all the while teetering on the brink of madness" route. Each to their own I guess)

Saje, I finally caught you! There are some dead reavers--River done killed them good and dead. ;)

Ah yeah but clearly i'm using the proper definition of reavers, as seen in the super-secret-only-for-real-true-fans version of 'Serenity', defined thusly:
reavers
1. n. Alive baddies that went bibbledy. But ARE alive. Definitely totally alive. Couldn't be aliver. It's actually embarrassing how alive they are. It's like they're flaunting it, shoving their utter not-being-deadness right in our faces. Those vital bastards.

2. adj. The state of being nowhere near the state of not-being. The furthest point from that state. Like the opposite of in extremis. Out of extremis actually. Miles away from extremis.

That's from the OED BTW (unless you have some means of checking the OED and then it's from another dictionary. Webster's maybe).
Ah, so you're the master-mind behind all of this, Sunfire! I should have known!

Is it bad when you reference
preacher man with mad ninja skills
I think of Caleb? Cross-overs are fun, yet confusing. I wonder if Nathan pulled from Book to play Caleb. That would have been an interesting take.

Dragging the conversation back on topic cause that would be a novel concept, is the first time we've seen someone say Serenity was an influence on their work?
Ah yeah but clearly i'm using the proper definition of reavers, as seen in the super-secret-only-for-real-true-fans version of 'Serenity', defined thusly


I think you made that up, Saje. What's sad is that I was ready to believe def #1; it was def #2 that made me pause.
Sorry, Simon. You're faster at typing than I am. But I'm only using one hand (the other is pre-occupied with Doritos).

I don't know. I always link the inspirations together in the 'verse. But, in my mind, if you love one you must love all so...

ETA: Darn it! Again, you were able to read my post and respond before I was able to hit "submit". It was a genuine coincidence of mistakes. I promise.

[ edited by korkster on 2008-06-06 22:41 ]
It was a genuine coincidence of mistakes. I promise.


You're alright. I just don't want to have the situation where people (especially newcomers or those who are shy) want to talk about what's in the article and see OTish stuff and get all reluctant and stuff.

And as a general reminder to everyone, we do have Whedonesque.org and the Library for OTish stuff.

Personally I didn't think the Serenity influence would be kicking in just yet but it just goes to show.
Dragging the conversation back on topic cause that would be a novel concept ...

Summer ! Sunfire ! ;-)

Sorry Simon.

It's not the first time someone's mentioned Joss as being an inspiration I reckon. Didn't Martin Firrell mention he saw Nathan on 'Firefly' and thought of him for his 'Hero' project ? Not quite sure if that qualifies as Serenifly inspiring him directly (cos IIRC it was mainly owing to his perception that NF had a large head ;) but it's certainly inspired philosophical essays, fan art etc. (often explicitly credited as such, as with e.g. 'Finding Serenity').

And I don't think it takes long to become an inspiration in certain circles (e.g. technical stuff, like games). It's not like it has to filter into mainstream culture for that to happen cos a lot of techies like and freely admit to being inspired/influenced by science fiction.
Personally I didn't think the Serenity influence would be kicking in just yet but it just goes to show.

I know what you mean, Simon...or at least I think I do. Serenity is still quite new, and even Firefly has barely been around for more than 5 years. And it still has a relatively small fanbase--most people don't know about it.
So it's odd that already Serenity has influenced pop culture. It seems like with influence, it's usually immediate, or after at least a decade.

If anything of Joss's were to influence something, you'd think it would be BtVS, since it is his best-known work, and it encompasses so many themes, genres, etc...not that Serenfly doesn't. Over seven seasons of BtVS, there's at least one thing that speaks to each person. Firefly and Serenity didn't get the chance.

What I'd love to see is something so mainstream and accessible to everyone (such as the CW audience) admit that it's influenced by Joss. I would then do the dance of joy.

[ edited by BandofBuggered on 2008-06-06 23:10 ]
There's some gameplay footage on IGN, here, if anyone's interested.
Sorry for the derail. From that footage in MattK's post, I think the earlier guesses about this guy also being a Buffy fan are pretty good.
What I think is awesome is that for the three years I've been in college, the people who know about Joss's shows and like them happen to be intelligent people: my professors, people in the honors college, and the like.

The ones who don't know who that Joe Sweden guy is are the ones who religiously watch The Hills. I have stopped trying to connect to these people, at least over TV shows.

I think that Joss's work will always continue to inspire nerds: including techies, sci-fi fans, lit nerds, horror nerds, etc. Also just smart people who recognize the sometimes subtle, sometimes in-your-face brilliance of the shows.

However, I do not think his work will ever penetrate "true" mainstream, as many people a)do not want the "nerd" stigma attached to them, and b) are not smart enough to "get" the shows.

And I say bollocks to them.
That trailer actually looks pretty good. However, I got a bit dizzy from that POV.

I would say the influence was a River/Buffy love-child. Both like running on walls, Rivers done the kick=gets gun trick, and Buffy's known for her feet-still-moving-while-jumping-really-far bit. And neither of them play well with cops. :)
Yes, but I think it was Faith who played worst with cops, of our girls.

But if it's more Buffy or River, one would have to see who she took out first with a flying kick. Not from a dead stop.
Could you explain more, BoB? Are you suggesting that a flying kick could not be powered by raw enthusiasm?
Only a Viking would suggest that raw enthusiasm could power a flying kick. They also salute wrong, and invade all willy-nilly.

Now ninjas, that's a different story....oh, wait...*shakes head vigorously* I feel like doing some sort of Monty Python thing with ninjas instead of llamas a'la Holy Grail credits.

(Here goes: my attempt to stay OT lest those who were hired to sack me get sacked.)
I'd like to see Robot Chicken do a Serenifly thing. They've done BtVS before; it's not too much to hope! And that actually would give a whole new generation of children who watch Adult Swim despite their parents' wishes the chance to learn about our Big Damn Heroes.

I'm still wracking my brain to remember any Serenifly references in anything I've seen/heard/read that wasn't directly related to the 'verse. Bueller? Bueller?
Did any of the people from Terminator: The Chronicles of Sarah Connor mention River or Serenity?

[ edited by Anonymous1 on 2008-06-07 05:53 ]
Wasn't there some filmmaker? discussing the Serenity tracking "oner" shot in the beginning of the movie and how well Serenity introduced all the characters. And trying to do as well in their movie????
Well, that just goes to show you that people go totally offtopic without my bad influence being present :). I think every film maker should be talking about that oner. Glorious!

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