16

During the climax of Serenity,

when the crew are fighting against the Reavers,

why doesn't Jayne use Vera? It seems to be the most powerful weapon on Serenity and Jayne claims that it's his favorite gun. The crew seems to have enough time to gather personal weapons (Inara gets her futuristic bow-thingie, for example). So can anyone give me an in- or out-of-universe reason for it not appearing?

40

He did (kinda)

According to the film's official novelisation (written in consultation with Joss Whedon and with access to the original screenplay), Vera ran out of bullets. Jayne tossed her aside and switched to a different gun:

While Simon did his medical magic on Zoe, Jayne kept shooting, since the Reavers kept coming. He was down to his last grenade. When Vera finally ran out, he tossed her aside and whipped out another gun. This one wasn't as big, and he hadn't gotten around to naming her, but she could fire a shot or twelve. Some Reavers got close enough that Jayne had to get more physical with them.

As it wasn't seen in the film, it's likely that she was used off-screen, in between Lux and the unnamed shotgun.

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  • I could be wrong, but IIRC he had her slung across his back when they were moving the crates into position. If that was Vera, then we at least know the ol' girl was present at the battle. – Omegacron Oct 25 '17 at 14:57
31

This is largely speculation, but based on canon appearances:

Vera may have been ill-suited for killing Reavers

All guns are not created equal, and not every task will call for the same kind of gun. Oftentimes there's a "good enough" margin, but sometimes that's simply not the case. Especially when fighting sci-fi hordes, some weapons are largely ineffectual. (A good example of this is the tactics used by the US Army during the Battle of Yonkers in World War Z : the firebombing, napalm, and chest-shots were utterly useless against a zombie horde.)

We don't see Vera used very often, but the main time Jayne uses her onscreen is during Our Mrs Reynolds, when he uses it for a long-range shot against a mechanical target.

It's very possible that, when confronted with an endless horde of Reavers, Vera simply wasn't the best tool for the job. Maybe she required reloading too frequently, or wasn't as reliable as some of the more rugged alternatives. Maybe her rate-of-fire wasn't right, she had high lethality but low stopping power, or he didn't have as much ammo as he did for other guns.

We'll never know his specific reasoning, but it seems that Vera was good for long-range shots against armored targets, but possibly not the most efficient gun for mowing down crowds of unarmored fanatics.

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  • Described as a "light machine gun" in the concept art; keepflying.com/concept-art/… – Valorum Aug 27 '15 at 12:43
  • 5
    @Richard That's the concept art for a video game from two years ago, not from the show. Even so, there's a lot more to a gun than just it's type. For example I could easily see Vera as being one of those "meticulously maintained because she's a delicate instrument" sort of guns, rather than being the tough-as-hell AK-47 you'd want in a brutal fight. – Nerrolken Aug 27 '15 at 13:37

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