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March 23 2015

23 fun facts about Firefly. "Inara Serra" is a Hittite goddess?

Fun list! And according to wikipedia, "Inara" is indeed the name of a Hittite goddess. I had no idea!
Yes she was, but the Hittites were an Anatolian people, not Mesopotamian. Completely different geographically, linguistically, and culturally, although for a while in the 16th century bce, they Hittites did rule over parts of what is now Syria and invade Mesopotamia.

Edited to add:
He might have confused Inara with Inanna, the Sumerian goddess of fertility. Sumer was indeed located in the southern half of Mesopotamia. Inanna was later identified with Ishtar in the East Semitic Akkadian language spoken by the Babylonians who conquered and ruled all of Mesopotamia. She was known as Astarte by the West Semitic speaking people of the area variously known as the Levant, Canaan, Syrio-Palestine, etc. In Jewish tradition she is connected with Esther, the savior of her people under the Persian occupation, whose deed is celebrated on the festival of Purim just passed, and she was also identified with the Greek Aphrodite. But Inanna was not Hittite, and Inara was not Mesopotamian.

[ edited by barboo on 2015-03-23 21:34 ]
I've always wondered what must have happened in just one day of shooting to convince everyone so quickly that Rebecca Gayheart "lacked chemistry" with the rest of the cast.

[ edited by AndrewCrossett on 2015-03-23 20:18 ]
Probably it wasn't anything terrible? Maybe she just didn't work in the role, or there were creative differences. A similar thing happened with Lord of the Rings ... Stuart Townsend was Aragorn for 4 days, before he was replaced by Viggo Mortensen. So it's not unheard-of.

In any case, I'm glad we got Morena as Inara. I can't imagine anyone being more perfect for the role--or looking more glamorous in those amazing costumes! Shawna Trpcic is a genuis.
Edited to delete repeat.

[ edited by barboo on 2015-03-23 21:36 ]
The deal with Stuart Townsend as Aragorn was widely reported to be simply a matter of age--Peter Jackson realized he wasn't old enough to play a spry 83 year old convincingly. Never have I heard any equivalent explanation for Gayheart's replacement. Now, either the given reason (Townsend) or the lack of one (Gayheart) may simply be more akin to professional courtesy than reality, but objectively Viggo Mortensen is 14 years older than Townsend, who was under 30 during LoTR filming, so the explanation tends to be accepted and seems to settle the matter better.
I've always liked Rebecca Gayheart, and I can see why she was cast for the role. I imagine that if there were any particular drama in why she didn't work out, we would have heard about it by now.

It's probably just a matter of Joss' work being very specific. If her comic delivery or her emotional performance wasn't exactly what he was looking for, then it was not a good fit. I've seen interviews with Nathan Fillion where he talked about having to do the audition over and over until he figured out exactly what they wanted and how to give it to them.
I'm wondering how the blaming of Summer for mistakes (#18) could have become a "running gag" after Objects in Space was shot, given how late in the process that episode came. My fuzzy memory of the DVD commentary was that this started very early in the shooting, when she was still rather green.
Yeah, it being after "Objects in Space" makes no sense. I think a significant "Summer" moment occurred during filming that episode though, as her screwing up the long take at the end is on the gag reel. I have a feeling it might also be partially Sean's fault? I remember reading somewhere he kept calling her "Summer" instead of "River" so I sort of wonder if that contributed to it.

#22 is worded very oddly, imo. And #20 about the set makes it seem like the ship set used for the episodes and the film is one and the same. And is Inara really named after the goddess, or does she just happen to share the name? (I think these were things that bothered me when this article first came out a long time ago. Really, I'm the type who wants citations and sources for all this.)
The Message was the last episode shot, and everyone was informed of the cancellation during its filming. Maybe the recurring "Summer" gag was only actually a thing during the filming of the last 2-3 episodes, but everyone really, really remembers it so vividly because it happened around the time of the cancellation which (understandably) is the freshest and most lasting memory that they have. When the band got together a couple years later they must have still been thinking about those last couple of weeks (and the Christmas party/wrap party where I'm sure someone did the "Summer" gag at least once).
Ah, yeah, I always remember "The Message" was filmed last, but I keep thinking "Objects in Space" was the thirteenth (second to last) episode to film. It actually was the eleventh, at least according to the production code numbers. So, thanks for reminding me, that makes more sense. Also, yeah, it started during the long take at the end of "Objects in Space" and Summer relayed the story at FanExpo 2010.
Late to the party with the most random tidbit: #19, they mention the Ariel hospital labcoats later being used for Dr. Horrible. Aside from the fact that should have been a part of #16, it's also worth noting that thoselabcoats were originally made for Alien: Resurrection before being repurposed for Ariel.

Off I go. Back to your other things :)

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