Like most geeks, Joss Whedon’s Firefly gives the onFiction crew the warm and fuzzies (if you haven’t seen the show or follow-up movie, Serenity, shame on you). Firefly aired well over a decade ago between 2002-2003, but browncoats everywhere carry a flame for the show that can never be extinguished. Loving Firefly is a way of life for geeks, and we flock to anything that resurrects even a small piece of the show. This year’s Wizard World Chicago was no exception, as fans lined up to view the Firefly panel, which included Nathan Fillion (Captain Mal Reynolds), Summer Glau (River Tam), and Adam Baldwin (Jayne Cobb).
The Q&A session touched briefly on the stars’ current projects, then expectedly launched us right back to our geek roots with discussions of the ‘verse. Fans seem to unanimously agree t
hat each member of the cast was made for their respective parts. Summer Glau confirmed the ease with which she dove into her iconic role as River: “For me it was a really seamless dive into that world. It felt really natural for me-I think it was just the right role for me at that time in my life, and I connected to her without effort….”
The chemistry between the crew we know and love is so obvious, it’s almost palpable. And the stars confirmed that the chemistry fans feel was not just the product of fantastic acting-the Firefly cast felt it, too. Nathan Fillion commented during the panel: “…I’ve pulled one friend from every show I’ve ever done…at least one friend…from Firefly, I pulled twenty-five. So, there was something very special going on there to say the least…I felt like the whole cast did so much for me. I couldn’t fail surrounded by these people. It made it really easy.”
Even the ever-sarcastic Adam Baldwin had to agree that there was magic happening behind the scenes: “It was one of those really rare experiences where everyone loved each other…everyone…and those are the ones you really need to recognize while they’re happening and appreciate them because they do go away. Every show is either cancelled or wraps eventually, so enjoy it while it’s happening.”
And despite the sudden eviction disbanding Mel and his crew, much to fans’ chagrin, the impact left on the actors was still clear. Summer discussed the tears she shed when she learned that the show was being cancelled, and the difficulty moving forward after the show: “Firefly was my first family, and it still is.”
At the panel, we even imagined a world where the show had continued, and the stars were not required to listen to Joss (whom they credit as being the genius behind the show and script). Summer, who had clearly thought of this possibility before, answered: “I always thought that River would get her own ship-sorry guys-and start her own business…something interpretive, something artistic, something from her heart. I’ve imagined some type of jewelry-making business…it’s all very safe. She’d get a boyfriend…” When stumped as to a name for River’s ship, Nathan helpfully suggested “Riverdance.”
And among the sea of crocheted Jayne hats decorating the audience, Adam’s answer was appropriate: “We would have kept my mom with us just for the homey feel. I miss my mom…And she’s nothing like we envision her. She’s not this tough, rough and tumble mom. She’s like Betty White.”
At the end of the panel, Nathan Fillion sparked our hopes and dreams by inviting Summer and Adam to participate in an episode of Fillion’s current series, Castle. The show regularly tosses Firefly easter eggs to fans (hugs to ABC!), but allowing the show to serve as the stage for a Firefly reunion would be epic. What wouldn’t we give to hear Jayne say, “I’ll be in my bunk” one last time?
While we wait with bated breath for that Castle episode, don’t forget you can get your Firefly fix, and even feel like a member of the crew, by playing Halo 3:ODST. You can also catch Nathan Fillion as the voice of Gunnery Sergeant Edward Buck in Halo Reach, and the upcoming Halo 5: Guardians.