Firefly – So “pretty” it could not die

  • Author(s): Michael W. Marek
  • When: 2008-02
  • Where: Sith, slayers, stargates & cyborgs: Modern ythology in the new millennium
  • This book chapter examines the 2002 television series Firefly, created by Joss Whedon, in terms of the way it drew on modern myths. Using the writing of Joseph Campbell as a framework, and the metaphor of the “ecology” of storytelling, the author discusses Firefly’s use of modern storytelling elements that are shown to function as myths, including the Old West, the myth of American hegemony, conspiracy theory, and utopian versus dystopian myths of the future. Campbell said that innovation is the yardstick by which creativity is measured. The author concludes that it is innovative variation on established societal myths that measures creativity in television and film. At the same time, these new innovations based on common myths can establish their own new mythologies, such as Star Trek and Star Wars, and through retelling become socialized modern myths in their own right.

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