Wait, Inara was dying???

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Noeland

Sr Member
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.
 

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robstyle

Master Member
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.
 

Roland

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
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). ;)
 

ShadowX81

Well-Known Member
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.
 

Noeland

Sr Member
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.
 

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firesprite

Master Member
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. :unsure
 

Solo4114

Master Member
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.
 

Sundowner

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
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.:lol
 

ShadowX81

Well-Known Member
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.
 

Akiriano

New Member
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.
 

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CB2001

Master Member
Unfortunately, I just find the idea of it a little laughable considering she showed absolutely no symptoms of being sick. :unsure
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) .
 

firesprite

Master Member
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.
 

Too Much Garlic

Master Member
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.
 

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Noeland

Sr Member
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]
 

Weaselhammer

Sr Member
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.
 

Solo4114

Master Member
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.
 

Wolfie

Sr Member
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
 

Solo4114

Master Member
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.
 

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