Serenity is arguably the greatest Sci-Fi movie made in recent years. It follows the adventures of the crew aboard the spaceship Serenity, as they evade capture from the "Allience" in the years following a universe-wide civil war.
Serenity is one of those rare science fiction films that avoids getting mired down on bad pseudo-science and instead focuses on moral abstracts such as freedom, belief, love, and the nature of mankind. It's funny, exciting, intelligent, and highly original. It boasts an impossibly likable cast of characters and one of the best bad guys ever to menace the silver screen. But instead of watching this triumph of storytelling and film-making, the American public chose to watch "Flightplan" that weekend instead. Yeah, good choice there, American theatre-goers.
Jodie Foster, attempting to escape from a screening of her own movie because it's just that bad.
Serenity was the first full length movie from mega-genius Joss Whedon, who is essentially Santa Claus for nerds, having brought us Buffy, Angel, Dr. Horrible's Sing-along blog, and even Dollhouse, which turned out to be mind-blowing at the end for the few but faithful. He's even grown a reasonably respectable beard, causing speculation that he might also be Balding Jesus.
Dear Joss, please being me a pony and a plastic rocket
Serenity (apparently the second coolest ship ever) is the name of the "Firefly" class spaceship that everyone lives on. That should explain the names of both the series and the movie. The ship somehow instills it passengers with blind and overwhelming love for it, allowing the audience to explore the way they feel about the show itself. And since so much of the story is influenced by the ship itself, we felt the need to include it as its own character.
Serenity is wonderfully craptastic, with bad food, iffy engine components, parts that fall off, and doors that barely open manually, much less whenever you walk by. But that's okay; automatic doors are pretty science fictiony anyway.
Captain Malcolm Reynolds
What other guy do you know that could rock these tightpants 24/7?
Captain Mal is the owner/captain/lover of Serenity and a self-proclaimed "bad man". He is the combined realization of every 7-year old boy's dream jobs, being a soldier, a cowboy, a pirate, AND a spaceman, making him the only object of a mancrush that doesn't make you gay.
It's ok to stare...
Captain Mal's right hand woman and general purveyor of badassery. It is an unwritten rule on the Serenity that one shall not mess with Zoe, lest they wish to have their own asses handed back to them. She achieves this sence of intimidation by following these few basic rules:
oh, and also, for some strange reason, she's married to this guy:
And speaking of this guy...
Wash (aka: "this guy")
Pictured: looking much cooler than in the above picture
Wash is the crew's pilot, and general purveyor of smart-ass remarks. Most would describe him as the comic relief, (except for Zoe, who would probably describe him as "whipped." And rightfully so). Wash is probably one of the most beloved member of the crew, although asking a nerd to choose who their favorite Serenity character is is like asking a mother which child she loves most. He doesn't tend to go out on missions with the rest of the crew, and instead prefers to balance his time between piloting, getting bossed around by his wife, or making fun of Jayne.
and hey, look at that convenient segue to...
He wore that hat for 10 mins one time, and now it's the only google result for "Firefly+Jayne"
Jayne is essentialy a mercenary, previously hired to rob Mal, and subsequently hired by Mal. Unlike the rest of the crew, Jayne's loyalty is primarily to himself, instead of the ship. This often leads to arguments and insubordination, but anyone can see that it's just Jayne's way of hiding the fact that he wishes he was more like Zoe. Jayne is perhaps the biggest and most physically intimidating member of Serenity's crew, but when rated on "actual badassery," he falls right above Wash, but just below River.
and speaking of River...
(oh hey, another convinient seque. it's almost like i'm doing this on purpose...)
River is the youngest person on Serenity, and can only loosely be considered one of the crew. She was smuggled on by her brother Simon after being rescued from a government facility. Both she and her brother are wanted fugitives, and most of the movie focuses around the Allience's undying attemt to re-capture her. River is usually portrayed as quiet, weak, and to be honest, batshit crazy. What makes her so unique and valueable to the Allience, however, is her apparent psychic abilities. Oh, and this:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xwVqW6J4FRc (Embedding Disabled by Request)
Pictured: proof that River > Jayne
Simon, as mentioned before, is River's older brother. He's also the crew's medic, and by far the whitest guy in a universe with approximately two black people in it. He's extremely book smart, but lacks other everyday skills, such as "being able to tell when the only available girl on a ship of 9 people is practically begging you to have sex with her."
I mean, COME ON!
which brings us to...
Kaylee's main jobs on the Serenity are to serve as the resident mechanic, and to make up for all the girliness the other women seem to be lacking. (or maybe she just drains it from them. we're not sure yet). Either way, her personality is defined primarily through her constant smiling and overuse of the word "shiney." She also is hopelessly in love with Simon, but as we mentioned before...well, yea.
And while we're on the topic of unfulfilled romances...
Inara is sort of an adjunct to Serenity's crew; she rents one of the shuttles from Mal and uses it to run her business as a "companion." (which pretty much translates to "high class prostitute"). And yet ironically, she's probably the most civilized and educated person on the ship, except maybe for Simon. But Simon doesn't wear low-cut dresses and show off his chest, so until he does, we're gonna have to say Inara wins this round. She also has a (rather comical) love/hate relationship with Mal. Throughout the series (and movie) ever conversation held between the two is just chock full of sarcasm, blatent insults, and general bickering.
And speaking of....ok, I don't actually have a segue for this one. but anyway, here's...
Shepherd Book doesn't really have any specifiic job on the Serenity. He's the Firefly equivelant of a preacher, and a lot of his on-screen time is spend debating morality, religion, and (the keyword) belief, with Mal. However, there are plenty of allusions to Shepherd having an adventurous (and possibly dark) past. He has an uncanny knowlege of military technology / tactics, and is inexplicably treated like a VIP onboard certain Allience vessels. At one point, he is approached by Mal:
"You know, one of these days you have to tell me how you know so much."
to which he replies, cooly:
But whatever his past might have been, Book is clearly now a religious man. He makes himself known as a pacifist. and stands against any form doing harm to others. That is, until shit gets heavy. If the crew's lives are threatened, and all diplomacy has failed, that's when Book breaks out the big guns, and goes *instant badass* all over everybody's shit. It's only happened twice, and once was offscreen, presumably so that nobody would cry upon seeing someone (did we say someone? sorry, we meant "A whole spaceship full of someones") get so brutally owned.
He has no name, and is known only as "The Operative." He's an agent for the Allience, whos sole mission is to find and return River Tam. He does his job through any means necessary, all the while retaining a cool, calm demeanor, which just makes him that much more indimidating. He also utters perhaps the most famous line from the movie. It goes a little something like this:
Operative: "In certain older civilizations, when men had failed as entirely as you have, they would throw themselves upon their swords."
Doctor: "well unfortunately I forgot to bring my swor-"
Operative: *pulls out sword, complete with obligatory "SHING!" sound*
That's right, FUCK GUNS. All this guy needs is a sword, and an excuse to make you stand there while he recites his "Do you know what your sin is?" speech. (hint: the correct answer is: "hell, i'm a fan of all seven")