On Friday Comic-Con attendees were treated to a panel in honor of the ten year anniversary of Joss Whedon‘s “Firefly.” Fans camped outside of Hall H the night before, eagerly awaiting their chance to see the cast and crew of the beloved Space Western, and were rewarded with a visit from Joss Whedon himself during the wee hours of the morning.
The panel was moderated by Jeff Jensen of Entertainment Weekly, and featured “Firefly” writer Jose Molina, showrunner Tim Minear, cast members Nathan Fillion (Malcolm Reynolds), Alan Tudyk (Hoban Washburn), Summer Glau (River Tam), Sean Maher (Simon Tam), and Adam Baldwin (Jayne Cobb), and “Firefly” creator Joss Whedon.
The panel had many laughs, many “truthsome” moments, and some genuine heart-warming sentimentality. During the panel, several clips from the show were screened. You can watch video of the panel here.
During the panel, Whedon explained his inspiration for the show. “I just wanted to make something that felt real like a piece of history,” as opposed to the stereotypical science fiction story, Whedon said. “I wanted to tell an American immigrant story.”
One of the highlights of the panel were Nathan Fillion and Alan Tudyk performing a hypothetical scene from “Firefly” as a radio show. Another was when Whedon revealed that there would be more of the bestselling “Firefly” comic books from Dark Horse, including stories from both the characters’ past (like “The Shepherd’s Tale”) and their future (like “Those Left Behind”).
At one point Sean Maher told Whedon, “I think you might have a fever.” To which Nathan Fillion responded, “And the only cure is more ‘Firefly.'” Raucous hilarity ensued.
There were also touching moments of genuine emotion during the panel. Nathan Fillion told the audience, “When ‘Firefly’ died I thought it was the worst thing that could possibly happen, but what I realize now, ten years later looking out at this room, is that the worst thing that could have happened is if it had stayed dead.”
Both Whedon and Fillion teared up during the questions from fans, especially when one fan asked how season one would have ended. But it was the standing ovation Whedon received at the end of the panel that really got the tears flowing.
Whedon was asked what the fans of “Firefly” mean to him. He struggled to put his thoughts into words, and as he struggled, the audience rose to their feet and cheered him on. Finally, after the standing ovation died down, Whedon left the audience with this:
“Only an idiot would try to follow that with a sentence. When you come out of a great movie, you feel like you’re in that world. When you’re telling a story, you’re trying to connect to people in a particular way. It’s about inviting them into a world. The way you’ve inhabited this world, this universe, you have become part of it. When I see you guys, I don’t think the show is off the air. I think there’s spaceships and horses — the story is alive.”