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  1. Noeland's Avatar
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    Jan 23, 2012, 12:18 AM - Wait, Inara was dying??? #1

    So, I'm a firefly fan. I got into it after I saw Serenity and then picked up the DVD set. Recently I rewatched the series, and picked up the comic about Book's history (which was pretty good) and started to wonder what information there might be online about the other characters that I didn't know.

    First thing I learn about is that Inara hit the stars because she was dying of a terminal illness. I didn't find any explanation beyond this though.

    This changes the whole tone of her presence in the show for me now, and certainly makes me wonder about where they'd of gone with her character after Serenity.
  2. robstyle's Avatar
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    Jan 23, 2012, 12:25 AM - Re: Wait, Inara was dying??? #2

    You cant really base anything on film/tv on books and comics. Most written forms are after thoughts. I doubt Inara had any illness minus what was in that book/comic alone.
  3. Whoa, this is heavy. RPF Premium Member Roland's Avatar
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    Jan 23, 2012, 5:27 AM - Re: Wait, Inara was dying??? #3

    robstyle said: View Post
    You cant really base anything on film/tv on books and comics. Most written forms are after thoughts. ...
    Normally I fully share your opinion about comic books and their importance for movies and tv shows. But in case of Firefly comic books are indispensable. This is intended by producer Joss Whedon (he's comic book writer too).
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    Jan 23, 2012, 7:16 AM - Re: Wait, Inara was dying??? #4

    robstyle said: View Post
    You cant really base anything on film/tv on books and comics. Most written forms are after thoughts. I doubt Inara had any illness minus what was in that book/comic alone.
    Joss Whedon even said this was the intention from the beginning.

    There is that one exchange in "Out of Gas" that hints at this.

    Simon: I didn't want to die [on this ship]

    Inara: I didn't want to die at all.

    Its written and acted pretty awkwardly if you take the story at face value, but it suddenly has a logocal context if you take this into account.
  5. Noeland's Avatar
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    Jan 23, 2012, 9:14 AM - Re: Wait, Inara was dying??? #5

    I didn't learn about Inara being terminally ill in a comic book. I was reading an interview with Joss about the characters of Firefly that was done at comic con, and then I did a google search on the topic to read more.

    There is a scene in the pilot episode where Inara has a syringe. Most folks thought was for suicide, but Whedon says that was not for suicide, so I had read some ponderings and fan theories about it being related to her illness.

    Also, the comic I read about Book was plotted by Joss Whedon, and written by Zack Whedon. It's not an after thought.
  6. firesprite's Avatar
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    Jan 23, 2012, 11:33 AM - Re: Wait, Inara was dying??? #6

    Ah, yes... a mysterious terminal illness that doesn't take a physical toll.

    I don't doubt that Joss intended for her to be dying. Unfortunately, I just find the idea of it a little laughable considering she showed absolutely no symptoms of being sick.
  7. Solo4114's Avatar
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    Jan 23, 2012, 11:34 AM - Re: Wait, Inara was dying??? #7

    People love Firefly because the first season is very happy-go-lucky. There are some touch-and-go moments, but on the whole, the heroes manage to survive and win and beat the odds repeatedly.

    People also frequently forget that Joss has a tendency to build you a happy, warm, sepia-toned home.....and then burn it to the f***ing ground with everyone inside. Thus, it would not surprise me IN THE LEAST if Inara and Mal had some doomed romance. Likewise, I firmly expect that Kaylee and Simon would've ended....badly. Probably with Kaylee dying or turning out to be an Alliance spy or somesuch. Oh, and Jayne? He'd end up becoming one of the most loyal people on the crew, then sacrifice himself to save everyone in a moving goodbye. New characters would be introduced, but at the end, MAYBE only Mal would survive.


    It's actually become one of the things I find most irritating about Whedon's style in that he has become predictable as "Oh, that guy who has the snappy dialogue and kills everyone." Also, if you EVER see ANYONE in love in a Joss Whedon production, expect death or painful breakup. Possibly both. The man REFUSES to give couples a happy ending.
  8. Scarlet Swashbuckler RPF Premium Member Sundowner's Avatar
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    Jan 23, 2012, 11:50 AM - Re: Wait, Inara was dying??? #8

    Wow I had never heard this about Inara. It's a pretty interesting twist, I guess I will just have to watch the whole series again.
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    Jan 23, 2012, 4:27 PM - Re: Wait, Inara was dying??? #9

    Solo4114 said: View Post
    It's actually become one of the things I find most irritating about Whedon's style in that he has become predictable as "Oh, that guy who has the snappy dialogue and kills everyone." Also, if you EVER see ANYONE in love in a Joss Whedon production, expect death or painful breakup. Possibly both. The man REFUSES to give couples a happy ending.
    Yea, this sometimes annoys me too. Sure it has worked alot of the times he has used it, but it became overkill sometimes.

    For example he admitted that the only reason Fred died in "Angel" was because he realized everyone liked her, so "she had to go".

    Or Ballard's death at the end of "Dollhouse" seemed way to over the top. Same thing with Bennet's death in the middle of the secon season.

    It seems to be not that Joss loves writing engaging stories, but rather he doesn't know how to write couples that are in a stable relationship so he kills one of them to move the story along.
  10. Akiriano's Avatar
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    Jan 23, 2012, 4:59 PM - Re: Wait, Inara was dying??? #10

    I never knew this. Havent yet read any of the comics or books, might just have to have a look and see.

    Its a shame it never made it past the first season, its little things like this that hint at something in the future, but due to damned tv executives only looking at the figures we never get to see the culmination.
  11. CB2001's Avatar
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    Jan 23, 2012, 5:25 PM - Re: Wait, Inara was dying??? #11

    firesprite said: View Post
    Unfortunately, I just find the idea of it a little laughable considering she showed absolutely no symptoms of being sick.
    Not all sicknesses have noticeable symptoms at first. For all the audience knows, the character was probably still in the beginning of the first stage when she was first introduced, if that was indeed the intention of the creator of the series. Most STDs do not have any symptoms at first (AIDS does, but HIV doesn't). Some cancers as well, such as colon cancer and pancreatic cancer. And Sudden Death Syndrome. It just really depends on which one the creator was going for (if the disease that he was going to use is a real one, or a made up one just for that particular story's universe) .
  12. firesprite's Avatar
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    Jan 23, 2012, 5:45 PM - Re: Wait, Inara was dying??? #12

    CB2001 said: View Post
    Not all sicknesses have noticeable symptoms at first. For all the audience knows, the character was probably still in the beginning of the first stage when she was first introduced, if that was indeed the intention of the creator of the series. Most STDs do not have any symptoms at first (AIDS does, but HIV doesn't). Some cancers as well, such as colon cancer and pancreatic cancer. And Sudden Death Syndrome. It just really depends on which one the creator was going for (if the disease that he was going to use is a real one, or a made up one just for that particular story's universe) .
    Yes, but when the majority of those diseases are in their 'no visible symptom stages', they're usually treatable and not considered terminal. My point is that as an escort, and a respectable citizen of the Alliance, she would have access to the best possible medical care. If she's aware that her condition is terminal, you would think that we'd see some symptoms given the advanced medical technology the Alliance has at its disposal.

    Of course, there's also the possibility that she's yet another experiment similar to River, but instead of making her an insane killing machine, it placed certain strictures on her or else she'd die and she chose to break those strictures.
  13. Too Much Garlic's Avatar
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    Jan 23, 2012, 6:14 PM - Re: Wait, Inara was dying??? #13

    News to me. I doubt it would be anything in the region of STD's, otherwise she'd probably have stopped her profession entirely.

    My guess would be a genetic disorder.
  14. RPF Premium Member Mr_Creepy's Avatar
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    Jan 23, 2012, 7:06 PM - Re: Wait, Inara was dying??? #14

    Nexus 6 replicant, basic pleasure model, four year lifespan.
  15. Scarlet Swashbuckler RPF Premium Member Sundowner's Avatar
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    Jan 23, 2012, 7:13 PM - Re: Wait, Inara was dying??? #15

    ^This lol
  16. Noeland's Avatar
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    Jan 23, 2012, 9:56 PM - Re: Wait, Inara was dying??? #16

    Also puts a whole new twist on Ariel too. Inara explains she's having some routine tests done for the guild. It could very well have been she was having treatment done for her illness.

    From the Firefly Wiki:

    In the audio commentaries for the series DVD collection, it is mentioned that there is a subplot for Inara which was not developed in the series or the film. The producers mention two foreshadowing events that hinted at this plot. The first is the syringe-like object that Inara looks at during the Reaver encounter in the pilot episode, and the second is hidden in the dialogue of the conversation she has with Simon when the ship is disabled in the episode "Out of Gas". The line most likely associated with this hidden subplot is her response to Simon's "I don't want to die [on this ship]," "I don't want to die at all," as the rest of their conversation is straightforward exposition. Another eventual hint is Nandi's comment in Heart of Gold when she said to Inara that she hadn't aged a day. During a panel at 2008's DragonCon, Morena Baccarin confirmed that Inara was indeed dying of a terminal illness. [2]
  17. Weaselhammer's Avatar
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    Jan 24, 2012, 1:20 AM - Re: Wait, Inara was dying??? #17

    Wow ! I never picked up on this, and I've watched ALOT of Firefly. I did however get the graphic novel for Shepherd Book's history and that explained alot too.
  18. Solo4114's Avatar
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    Jan 24, 2012, 7:48 AM - Re: Wait, Inara was dying??? #18

    ShadowX81 said: View Post
    Yea, this sometimes annoys me too. Sure it has worked alot of the times he has used it, but it became overkill sometimes.

    For example he admitted that the only reason Fred died in "Angel" was because he realized everyone liked her, so "she had to go".

    Or Ballard's death at the end of "Dollhouse" seemed way to over the top. Same thing with Bennet's death in the middle of the secon season.

    It seems to be not that Joss loves writing engaging stories, but rather he doesn't know how to write couples that are in a stable relationship so he kills one of them to move the story along.
    Exactly. I didn't see Dollhouse or S5 of Angel, but I just got exhausted by the whole "Oh, you like her? Great. She's dead. DEAD, I SAY!!! MWAHAHAHAHA!!!! I CRUSH YOUR JOY!!!" thing. And yeah, he has NO IDEA how to write happy, stable couples (which, by the way, can still have plenty of drama). I find this odd because he is married himself, as I recall, so presumably he lives IN a happy, stable couple. Presumably he's also had drama with the missus now and then.

    I just don't buy that you can't have a couple and still have drama. Or that you couldn't even have a token couple while OTHER folks are having drama. I appreciate that you never know who's gonna die on one of his shows, but the flipside of that has become that you end up playing "Guess Who Dies Next" like it's a horror movie. An ironic twist of fate considering his goal with Buffy was to demolish the conventions of horror movies to which we've grown accustomed.
  19. Insert Title Here RPF Premium Member Wolfie's Avatar
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    Jan 24, 2012, 8:14 AM - Re: Wait, Inara was dying??? #19

    bleh. I liked Firefly myself, but based on Joss's writing, it totally would have just annoyed everyone when he killed them off one by one. Kaylee or Simon would have be killed or broken up in some lame way, he got a chance to come back in and kill Wash because he couldnt just let it end well...

    So my opinion is Firefly is good because Joss wasnt able to have time to screw it up like he was able to do with everything else. lol

    Dan, its less of a "guess who dies next" and more of an "oh crap, they are going to die next" because its so freaking predictable with Joss lol
  20. Solo4114's Avatar
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    Jan 24, 2012, 11:09 AM - Re: Wait, Inara was dying??? #20

    Well, you know that a bunch of folks will die, there may be a few survivors (although he talked about wanting to "Wild Bunch" the crew), but there's no guarantee who will live. The safer bet is that everyone will die or is at least fair game.

    And while this was clever and novel back in the late 90s, it's become old hat now. The moreso because it's almost always beloved characters who die in the most offhanded or pathetic ways. I thought Buffy handled it well overall. The characters who died there, their deaths mattered and made sense.

    That said, EVERY couple gets broken up. Either by someone's death or by the relationship going sour or something. THAT part is utterly predictable now. Romances DO NOT survive in Whedon shows. Ever. You see a happy couple in a Whedon show? Watch out for falling anvils. Hell, even a dysfunctional couple will likely see someone die. At the absolute least, the relationship will end. Badly.


    The shame of it is that so much else in Whedon's work is really top-notch. He DOES get drama and action and how to build tension. His dialogue is usually entertaining (if you like his style -- I can see where it'd get annoying for some). But the "I'm gonna kiiiiiiiilll someone....." thing and especially the "No lasting romances" thing have just gotten tedious for me.



    By the way, I bet Hawkeye will die in The Avengers when a stray power cable fries him in the hallway of the Avengers Mansion, right after Mockingbird has just accepted his request for a first date after lots of romantic tension has built up.
  21. What is a plethora, Jefe? RPF Premium Member hydin's Avatar
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    Feb 6, 2012, 7:34 AM - Re: Wait, Inara was dying??? #21

    Nah, Whedon's just gonna have an aneurism during filming because he can't kill off any of the main characters.

    Chris
  22. Solo4114's Avatar
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    Feb 6, 2012, 7:40 AM - Re: Wait, Inara was dying??? #22

    So you're saying if he can't kill anyone else off....he'll kill himself off?
  23. Noeland's Avatar
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    Feb 6, 2012, 11:09 AM - Re: Wait, Inara was dying??? #23

    EVERY couple gets broken up. Either by someone's death or by the relationship going sour or something.
    Which is a lot like life. I've always thought Whedon's intent for characters was interesting. It rarely effects how I feel about a story overall, but this time it has, to learn she was sick.

    I disagree that killing off characters is so late 90's. Like any kind of narrative story telling device it just has to be done in a manner that works for the story overall, and has impact, and forwards the story.

    In this case, Inara, I think this part of her character lends itself to a subtle intent that Whedon built into this show. I love that Firefly still has stories to tell us, and stories that it will never tell. I don't think he did it with later shows.
  24. Solo4114's Avatar
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    Feb 6, 2012, 11:25 AM - Re: Wait, Inara was dying??? #24

    Noeland said: View Post
    Which is a lot like life. I've always thought Whedon's intent for characters was interesting. It rarely effects how I feel about a story overall, but this time it has, to learn she was sick.
    Well, technically every couple -- even the couple that's been married for 60 years -- will be broken up by the death of one of them.

    But Whedon literally breaks up every couple. There's never an exploration of the drama that's involved in maintaining a long-term relationship. You see a couple in love or even "deep like" in a Whedon project, and you'd better watch out for stray bits of lumber, vengeful demons, or incurable diseases. It's basically guaranteed that the relationship will end and end badly. If not by death, then by the incompatibility of the couple that inevitably rears its ugly head.

    I disagree that killing off characters is so late 90's. Like any kind of narrative story telling device it just has to be done in a manner that works for the story overall, and has impact, and forwards the story.
    Whedon usually pays off his deaths well. He uses them at once for the "shock value" and for the long-term implications (when he has time to explore those). But that said, I think that, while you need the odd death here or there to up the ante, the problem is that it's no longer shocking. You know it's gonna happen. Maybe not to whom or when, but you KNOW he's gonna get lethal with some characters.

    This was revolutionary in the 90s when, most of the time, a character death was a VERY rare thing on even long-running sci-fi shows, and usually was down to something like failed contract negotiations. Even then, it was more likely to be a "departure" that left an opening for the character's return for a guest spot down the road.

    Whedon was a trailblazer in this respect. In fact, I'd say it's more "so 90s" to have a show where your main characters face death regularly and all come through unscathed. This is why, even though it ran well into the 2000s, I tend to view a show like Stargate SG-1 as a "90s" style scifi show.

    My point is more that the shock value is gone from this particular tactic, and it's now old hat. I'd be more shocked by everyone making it through multiple Whedon seasons alive than I would be by him killing people (especially when they're in couples).

    In this case, Inara, I think this part of her character lends itself to a subtle intent that Whedon built into this show. I love that Firefly still has stories to tell us, and stories that it will never tell. I don't think he did it with later shows.
    Well, generally, that's because I think he usually knew the show was gonna end, so he wrapped things up nicely. Angel is the exception to this, but even that was wrapped up in comics, as I understand it (I haven't read 'em though). I enjoy Firefly but I think a lot of what folks loved about it, the comfortable, homey feeling of the show, would've been totally shattered in subsequent seasons. Certainly Serenity suggests that in classic flying-timber fashion.
  25. Too Much Garlic's Avatar
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    Feb 6, 2012, 3:20 PM - Re: Wait, Inara was dying??? #25

    The two to three things that people refer to being meant as hints to her illness... well sure... it could be... I just doesn't buy it.

    The syringe - how is that related to her illness and how would it help her, when it is explicitly explained that it isn't a suicide kit? It works best as a suicide kit or some sort of super weapon booster in time of need - not hinting at some sort of obscure illness in the face of direct danger and the possibility of a reaver attack.

    The Ariel episode... well... why would she get treated for the illness and not tell the crew? Doesn't make sense. Sounds more likely that it is exactly what she explains to the crew - just routine Companion tests.

    The dialogue in Out of Gas hints strongly to her character trait of being a winner and in control and wanting to control everything around her. It is a very common thing for a character like that to say, as death is really not something they can really control, so it scares them.

    Not ONCE in the series did she play the character like one with having a terminal illness. The character has secrets, sure... but that just wasn't in how the character was played.

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