Firefly

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Question: In some scenes, why do the Serenity crew members speak Chinese?

Cubs Fan

Chosen answer: One of the premises of the show is that the two major Earth societies that survived, and ultimately merged, were the Chinese and Americans. As a result the common language includes much Chinese. Clothing, signage, and building designs also have a heavy Chinese influence.

Jason Hoffman

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Question: On the back of the complete series DVD I just purchased, it says there are 14 episodes plus 3 unaired ones. The episode guide only lists 15 episodes (counting both parts of Serenity). Is this a typo or is there something I'm missing?

Brad

Chosen answer: I think you're misreading it. The fourteen count is the overall total inclusive (e.g. the 11 aired episodes + the 3 unaired ones).

Cubs Fan

Safe - S1-E7

Question: When Shepherd Book gets shot and they take him to an Alliance base at first they do not want to treat him but he tells them to look at his Ident card and suddenly they are rushing to help him. What is so special about his ident card or him?

grannycindy

Chosen answer: Very little of Book's past was revealed in either the series or the follow-up movie. He's been shown to know a surprisingly large amount about the criminal underworld, government covert operations, firearms and so forth, which, combined with his apparent priority status with the Alliance, suggests that he, at some point, held a high rank of some nature within that organisation - one theory is that he knows about the covert Operatives (as seen in Serenity) because he used to be one. Ron Glass, with Joss Whedon's blessing, revealed a few details in 2007, including that Derrial Book is not his real name, but was taken from "somebody he killed", that he has at least one artificial body-part, that he is known for "his greatest failure" and that he apparently found God in a bowl of soup. Further details of any of these remain unrevealed. A comic-book series entitled The Shepherd's Tale, which will deal with his back-story, was announced for release in late 2008 but has, as yet, failed to appear.

Tailkinker

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Question: Regarding this question and answer: "In some scenes, why do the Serenity crew members speak Chinese? [One of the premises of the show is that the two major Earth societies that survived, and ultimately merged, were the Chinese and Americans. As a result the common language includes much Chinese. Clothing, signage, and building designs also have a heavy Chinese influence.] Answered by MovieGuy." Survived what?

OneHappyHusky

Chosen answer: It's never made entirely clear. What we know is that at some point, the Earth became unable to sustain those who lived there, resulting in a mass exodus to a new star system. At that point in the Firefly timeline, the two existing superpowers were the Americans and the Chinese. Whether other present-day nations might still have existed is never mentioned.

Tailkinker

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Question: I've noticed that on the show, people use "gorram" a lot. Is that phrase used as a euphemism for "God damn"?

Cubs Fan

Chosen answer: Yes, this was done to allow them to swear without causing a problem with the censors. They also swear quite a bit in Chinese.

Jason Hoffman

Serenity (2) - S1-E12

Question: Though as of today I've only seen Serenity 1 & 2, why did Mal trick Simon into thinking Kaylee was dead, and then laugh about it with Zoe, Wash and Jayne on the bridge?

Chosen answer: To tease him. Kaylee is the only one who likes Simon at this point, so the others don't mind playing a rather mean-spirited joke on him.

Grumpy Scot

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Question: How do you pronounce Jewel Staite's (Kaylee) last name?

Chosen answer: State.

Grumpy Scot

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Question: I've never seen the show myself, but I was wondering what kind of a name "Inara Serra" is. I'm assuming Inara is of Portuguese origin, but mostly because the actress was born in Brazil. Can someone please help me with this?

Chosen answer: Inara is actually Arabic in origin; it means "ray of light" or alternatively "heaven sent". Serra, on the other hand, is Portuguese and means "mountain range" - derived from the same word in Latin, where it means 'saw' (as in the cutting implement, which a mountain range might resemble, rather than the act of seeing).

Tailkinker

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Quotes

[About Jayne's statue.]
Wash: I think they captured him. Captured his esscence, you know?
Kaylee: He looks kinda angry.
Wash: That's kinda what I meant.

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Mistakes

When Shepherd Book tells everyone about the electrical nets, Jayne says, "One day you're gonna tell us all how a preacher knows so damn much about crime." Shepherd then turns to leave. But in the immediate close up of him and Mal, he turns to leave again.

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Trivia

Nathan Fillion, Gina Torres, Adam Baldwin, and Alan Tudyk all later played villains on Joss Whedon's other Mutant Enemy productions: Fillion appeared as Caleb in the final five episodes of "Buffy the Vampire Slayer," while Torres played Jasmine in season four of "Angel" and Baldwin played Marcus Hamilton in season five. Tudyk played Alpha in "Dollhouse".

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