Tonight’s episode of Castle is a continuation of the show’s long-standing tease of we Firefly (and broader, science-fiction) fans. First, Castle said “Shiny” and the cats jumped because I shrieked.
Then he said “I’m a fan of GOOD science fiction – Star Trek, Battlestar, that Joss Whedon show…”
But my favorite was when they talked about how the murder victim bought the rights of this Star Trek-like show for next to nothing and turned it into a hit on the web that lead to another production company wanting to buy it and make a movie. He said something about it being a wonderful dream. All of which are directly related to things Nathan has said about Firefly in the past.
Aside from that Browncoat-love, the episode was directed by Jonathan Frakes (HELLO!), Kirk and Picard impressions, Kreavers who eat your face off, and closing with “Ideal Woman” from William Shatner… which I danced to! the other shining moment was Beckett talking about why she loved the show centered at their murder investigation and science fiction in a beautiful, open, and honest way.
We Geeks have long been teased as not normal because we have a strong connection to our imaginations. I’ve long felt that those who rip on science fiction/fantasy do so out of a place of jealousy because they killed their imaginations a long time ago and they wish they hadn’t. For those of you that have, come back to the Dark Side… we have cookies…
We never lost the love of fairy tales. Wanting to be the hero. Wanting to be the villain. To discover something bigger outside of ourself or within ourselves. To do something or to be someone great. We may have bills and a mortgage but we still want an audience. There is a movie, The Movie Hero, that touches on that. We would dance or play sports by ourselves but there was an audience… the invisible one. Still waiting for us to be the hero. But we were told “you can’t do that” or “you are too old for that” and eventually that audience fades away to nothing and we don’t dream anymore.
But there is always the Black. The Black is full of possibility. Something new to explore. Systems full of new worlds, races, animals. Daring deeds to be done. Balls to attend. Governments to topple. Standing up for what is right.
In Beckett’s honor, I want to talk about why I love science fiction.
At lunch last week, a co-worker and I were talking about books we’ve been reading. She was telling me about a book that chronicled the generations after slavery and I told her about The Hunger Games.
“There you are Jonnelle. I am seeking the past as I get older – looking to fill the gaps and things I didn’t know at the time these events occurred. You are completely buried in the future.”
“Well, I cut my teeth on the future. Star Wars shaped my world.”
I never wanted to be Princess Leia. I probably played her because she was the only girl when we would play Star Wars and I did dress as her 2 years in a row (Empire Strikes Back costumes)… but I wanted to be Darth Vader. To my 3-year old self, he had everything. He could do what he wanted. No one was telling him to go to bed. He spoke and the world listened. It quaked with fear…
And he was a total bad-ass when he walked onto the Rebel ship in Episode 4. The Imperial March (appearing first in Empire Strikes Back but something very similar is played in Star Wars) … Duel of the Fates is awesome but it doesn’t hold a candle to that… BOOM BOOM BOOM BOOM da da dum DA da dum! (you just sang it – I know it!)
And the breather… GAH! When I saw that in the theater as an adult, I think I cried.
Now that you see my complete and total megalomanic side, what I love about science fiction is that it is the human story. What is Firefly? It’s a group of people struggling to get by – work on a marriage, hide from themselves, find healing, make some money and wear cunning hats.
Doctor Who is, among other themes, a lesson on loss. How do you function when the people you love go? It is about reinvention. The Weeping Angels are terrifying because they hit our deep fears of being alone with one one to talk to, to look at us, to see us in motion and alive.
So, I love science fiction because it makes me think and says it’s OK to be a little different. Or even a lot different.
(Edited to add: I know Star Wars opens with “A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away” but since time is non-linear and a big bowl of wibbly-wobbly timey wimey stuff, what happened in the past for Luke and Leia could very easily be in our future according to something I saw on Discovery about the universe and time travel and stuff)