Firefly: A Celebration review: A big damn book • Hypable

21 Oct

Share on Tumblrby Selina Wilken @SelinaWilken

Posted on 3:00 pm, October 21, 2012

The Firefly: A Celebration companion book to the series is a must-have for fans of the show! Read our review of the ultimate guide to Browncoat life.

To celebrate the 10-year anniversary of Joss Whedon’s much-loved Firefly series, Titan Books has released the ultimate companion book; a massive, beautiful leather-ish bound volume containing 541 pages of high-res pictures, interviews with the cast and crew, and a general feeling of love and nostalgia for a show that was never given its due on network TV.

For the vast majority of sci-fi fans, Firefly is the most unfairly cancelled show of all time. Perhaps the fact that its one season (and the follow-up movie Serenity) was all perfect setups for storylines that could have been played a big part in why it remains so loved today; unlike shows like Lost and Battlestar Galactica, Firefly was never allowed to finish its story in a way which left fans disappointed, because it was never allowed to finish at all.

Then again, Joss Whedon is the master of storytelling, and we Browncoats are sure that whatever he would have done with another season or movie, it would have been beautiful. After all, for all its flaws, Buffy the Vampire Slayer remains one of the biggest cult hits of recent TV, and earlier this year Whedon did the impossible and brought Avengers to the big screen with astounding success. All those superheroes’ egos, tamed by one man? Long-time Whedon fans never really doubted it.

Still, Firefly probably remains Whedon’s most celebrated creation, and this is why a book like this works. Because it is not written for everyone, it is written for the true Browncoats out there, the ones who still go to conventions and dream of Serenity’s future adventures.

And let’s get real, companion books usually suck. When I picked up this copy I was expecting to sift through pages of quotes I already knew, arbitrary bits of scripts, and interviews with the cast and crew I could have found online. But Firefly: A Celebration is truly something different. From start to finish, it addresses the reader as a fellow fan, someone who doesn’t need anything explained. One of the first things in the book is an interview with Joss, and the first question is, “Did Firefly wind up being about what it started out being about?” Getting straight to the heart of things, no waffling introduction or explanation necessary.

This book really has everything, and I wish I had one like it for all my favourite shows (though if I stacked them all on top of each other, they’d probably crash through the floor). It contains all 14 original, unedited shooting scripts, complete with notes from Whedon and Tim Minear, production sketches, behind-the-scenes images and other nuggets. It has interviews with all the actors and thoughts on the characters from Whedon, Jane Espenson and the team. It has Serenity design sketches, features on Jayne’s weapons, costumes, visual effects, and even the Firefly fandom.

And perhaps most exciting, Firefly: A Celebration includes untold stories from the show, by the writers themselves! It’s like official fanfiction in a book, what’s not to like?

There is also a hidden room at the back of the book which contains a few beautiful extras: portrait headshots of the whole cast, and a replica of a bank note featured in the show.

Do be aware that the book has been comprised of the three Firefly: The Illustrated Companion books already released from the show (Volume I, Volume II and Still Flying), therefore if you already own these volumes you will get a lot of the same material twice. But if you don’t, and you’re looking to spend some intimate, quality time with the people who made the show you love (and which they love, a fact which shines through on every page), this is one big-ass book you need to find room for on your shelf.

Firefly: A Celebration retails for $49.95 and £34.99. A perfect Christmas present for that special Browncoat in your life.

Right now, you can find it for a discounted price at Amazon UK (£24.60) and Amazon US ($27.68).

via Firefly: A Celebration review: A big damn book • Hypable.


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