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I know there were comics authorized by Joss Whedon that filled in some of the holes left because Firefly and that Serenity essentially finished up River Tam's storyline, but didn't address any others that might have been developing. Also, a large proportion of the main characters died in Serenity. While some writers do kill off major characters along the way, it seems like more died in Serenity than one would expect over the course of time in a single TV series.

Is there any information, from Joss Whedon or the other writers, about how close Serenity is to what would have happened if Firefly had stayed on the air for a few years?

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    Didn't just two main characters die? For Joss Whedon, that's only a season or two's worth... – Tony Meyer Feb 25 '12 at 0:30
  • @TonyMeyer: I remember Shepherd Book and Wash right off the top of my head, but didn't someone else die? I was also thinking of it in terms of there being only 10 recurring characters in the series. I'd have to read a synopsis, but I thought there was at least one more death of a crew member. – Tango Feb 25 '12 at 0:35
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    You're probably thinking of Mr. Universe, but he wasn't in the series, so he doesn't even count as recurring. – Plutor Feb 25 '12 at 14:27
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    @Sam There was an episode of Firefly that indicated Reavers drove survivors crazy. Those survivors then would become Reavers. That was the series' explanation for how Reavers spread. There were lines in Firefly that indicated their origin involved going to the edge of known space and being driven mad by the abyss. Both of these were contradicted by the explanation in Serenity. – user1027 Feb 26 '12 at 16:14
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    @MichaelEdenfield The problem is that the contradicted Firefly episode didn't have the survivor who became a Reaver get exposed to the gas. There's a fully-explained origin to Reavers in the show, along with that episode which explains how they haven't gone extinct. The movie for some reason felt the need to muck with that. – user1027 May 1 '12 at 16:32
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There's not a lot of detail out there, but Joss Whedon has made a few comments about Firefly season two. In particular, in August 2010, he told SciFi Australia:

Joss answered this point blank with "Serenity pretty much covered it" (Firefly Season 2). "Finding the truth about Miranda, the origins of River, that was all going to be told over Season Two."

The Wikipedia article for the movie cites the Serenity Collector's Edition DVD cast commentary when it says:

"He based his story on original story ideas for Firefly's unfilmed second season. Whedon's original script was 190 pages, and attempted to address all major plot points introduced in the series. After presenting the script to Universal under the title "The Kitchen Sink", Whedon was asked to cut down the script to a size filmable under his budget constraints."

(Note that a good rule of thumb is a minute of movie for every script page. So that's a three-hour-plus Serenity.)

There are other unanswered questions: Book's background (covered somewhat in some of the comics), and Inara's illness and syringe (confirmed by Morena Baccarin) for instance. They might have been revealed somewhat in the second season, perhaps, or maybe later. Who knows. There's a good chance that Joss accelerated some of his plans that could have been spaced out over a decade or two (okay, that's a little too extreme). And we'll obviously never know what might have happened to appease/anger the shippers.

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