Starting at 1:23:04 on the DVD, the video screens in Mr.
Universe's sanctum are showing scenes from Snow White
and the Seven Dwarfs (1937),
and a scene from the Max Fleischer Superman cartoon
"The Arctic Giant" (1941),
among others I've not been able to identify.
After betraying the crew to the Operative, Mr. Universe
tells him to toss him his "thirty coin". This is a reference
to the betrayal of Jesus by Judas Iscariot for 30 pieces of
silver in the New Testament of the
The DVD audio commentary of
"Government Goods" by
Joss Whedon and Nathan Fillion reveals that the Reaver ship
that appears in that episode later also appears here. You'll
see it a couple times at about 1:24:33 and 1:25:20.
As Wash swiftly threads Serenity through the
obstacle course of Alliance ships to reach the sanctum of
Mr. Universe, the crew is tugged this-way-and-that with the
maneuvers, but Wash's toy dinosaurs never jiggle an inch!
(The dinos do finally take a tumble during Serenity's
spiral through the atmosphere.)
At 1:27:06 on the DVD, the Operative uses one of a set of
tubes to slide feet first down to an escape pod. This may be
an homage to the 1970-1971 TV series
UFO. In that
series, pilots stationed at Moonbase would access their
Interceptor ships via tube in the same manner.
As Wash is trying to pull Serenity out of its tailspin
dive towards the planet's surface, he flicks some switches
at 1:28:43 on the DVD and the panel to which the switches are
attached moves under his hand!
At 1:35:46 on the DVD, Inara is armed with a high-tech
bow-and-arrow in the crew's stand against the Reavers. Where
did it come from? There was a deleted scene in the film in
which her skill with a bow is depicted as she teaches
students at the Companion training house in
"A Better World", so presumably this weapon was in the trunk of stuff she left
behind when she left Serenity to teach at the house
and she carried it with her when they fled the ship into Mr.
How does Mal survive getting shot in the back by the
Operative? Was the electronic weapon set to...heck, not even
At 1:37:48 on the DVD, Joss films a classic Western
quick-draw moment of Mal versus the Operative.
Simon says he needs calaphar to treat the toxin in Kaylee's
system from the Reaver darts with which she was hit.
Calaphar appears to be a fictional drug.
At 1:41:40 on the DVD, a knee brace is visible on River's
right leg as she vaults through the hatch.
When the Operative tells Mal he (Mal) is fighting a war he's
already lost and Mal responds that he's known for that, it
is a reference back to Mal's time as a soldier fighting for
the Independents in the Unification War.
Wondering over River's fate against the Reavers in the next
room, the blast doors suddenly open, and the crew sees her
standing there in the middle of the room, clutching a
bloodied weapon in each hand. So who opened the door?! Maybe
River has telekinetic powers as well?
What planet is the crew on when they bury Wash, Book, and
Mr. Universe? From the desert landscape seen, it might be
interpreted as Haven, but the film script describes it only
as a desert planet. Either way leaves the question of how
did Serenity get off Miranda? Her port engine was
ripped off in the crash landing. After the burial
scene, we see the crew repairing the ship, including
installing a new port engine. No other person (repairmen,
etc.) are seen in this montage, so it may be they did all of
this while still on Miranda, salvaging the parts needed from
the dead city. When the Operative pays a tense visit to Mal
after the repairs are complete, it's implied he assisted
with the patching up in some way; not directly, but by
providing resources or towing them to another world or some
During the funeral scene, small rocks are seen to have been
placed on top of the three tombstones, a Jewish tradition;
presumably, there is one for each surviving member of the
crew, i.e. seven. Zoe wears a white dress, a customary Chinese
color of mourning. A small rocket is seen sitting
atop a fourth, blank headstone, with what may be firecrackers
attached to it. Zoe approaches it with a flame, but for some
reason we don't see the rocket lit in the movie. The script
describes the rocket being lit and blasting off into the
sky, where the fireworks explode. In some Asian countries
such as Thailand, this is a tradition at funerals.
The tombstones reveal that Book's first name is Derrial
(though we learn in The Shepherd's Tale that
Derrial Book is not his real name) and Wash's first name is
Mal refers to River as "little albatross" as they copilot
Serenity out of the atmosphere and into space. This refers
back to his discussion of the "The Rime of the Ancient
Mariner" with the Operative in
"A Better World".
The last 50 seconds of the end credits feature a new guitar
instrumental version of the theme song of Firefly.
Notes from the Audio Commentary by Joss Whedon on
Joss comments that he needed Wash's death in the final act
to make the viewer think that, just maybe, no one was going
to survive the final confrontation, that this could be a
Wild Bunch scenario where all our protagonists die.
is a 1969 Western film about an aging outlaw gang that
decides to pull one final heist, which leads to their deaths
against an assortment of other cutthroats.
Joss remarks on the Operative's turnabout at the end of the
movie: "For the hero to convince the bad guy that he's wrong
is a lot more powerful than just killing him."
(Thanks to the
Firefly-Serenity Chinese Pinyinary for the translations)
Chinese writing on the metal crates
Chinese writing on metal crate: Jing gao: Zha yao dan tou
Warning: Explosives Bullets
The necklace worn by Kaylee at the triple funeral has a large
pendant of the Chinese symbol "Xi".
Marital bliss (Mal has this same symbol on a wall-hanging in his
quarters in episodes of the TV series, see
I am a leaf on the wind.wav
do you really think any of us are going to get through
can't stop the signal.wav
do you know what your sin is?.wav
a war you've already lost.wav
I like to hear you say it.wav
storms getting worse.wav
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