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Author Topic: Steampunk my Spaceship: Steampunk elements of Serenity / Firefly  (Read 4916 times)
Professor_Sinclair
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« on: March 13, 2007, 08:27:02 am »

For those familiar with the movie Serenity or the short lived TV series Firefly, flying through space in a Firefly class transport may seem hardly steampunk, but I have seen a noteworthy correlation of steampunk enthusiasts being Firefly fans.

Why?

Perhaps it is the adventurous western frontier feeling, maybe its has similar comradic allure as crewing on a pirate zeppelin, or possibly it is the romantic, personal connection of the crew to the technology of their ship.

However, having been awake for nearly 48 hours doing coursework, I will yield to clearer minds to share in the discussion:

Your thoughts?

'Professor' B. Sinclair B.
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Lasairfion
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« Reply #1 on: March 13, 2007, 10:42:11 am »

I think I understand what you mean, it has that sort of roguish feel to it.
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Tinkergirl
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« Reply #2 on: March 13, 2007, 02:44:48 pm »

It's got a definite Western Steampunk vibe to it, that combination of science-fiction technology in an occasional Wild West setting.  Of course, the fact that it is ace no matter the genre, helps too *chuckles*
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Dr. Welleston Geary
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« Reply #3 on: March 13, 2007, 03:47:01 pm »

While certainly styled after middle-Eastern designs, Inara's shuttle seems to be in the SP vein: lavishly decorated, but still based on technology.



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S.Sprocket
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« Reply #4 on: March 13, 2007, 05:37:03 pm »

The show was very "pro-tinker" sort of fight the man and build cool stuff on the way...  The themes expressed in the series and movie are very steampunk.  It's not hard to take all of the scripts and just throw it in a steampunk universe.
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The Infernal Mr Adams
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« Reply #5 on: March 13, 2007, 08:16:42 pm »

It's interesting, Firefly mixes Western elements with Sci Fi, but really comes out more Sci Fi/Western then Steampunk. I think thats just because the designs aren't very Steamy, you know? Everything is pretty slick and futuristic, even though, in their world, Serenity is supposed to be a piece of poo Wink
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« Reply #6 on: March 13, 2007, 09:11:17 pm »

Admittedly not Steam-powered, but I found the use of weapons with a cap-and-ball revolver look to them, especially in proximity  to "dun-colored menace" full-auto stuff,  interesting and refreshing
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Edisonade
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« Reply #7 on: March 14, 2007, 03:10:24 am »

Not to mention that all of the tech is grimy, rusty, and overtly mechanical.  The engine room is a real ENGINE ROOM, not a gleaming chrome amphitheater with a huge glowing pillar in the center.
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Number09
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« Reply #8 on: March 14, 2007, 04:55:00 am »

Not to mention that all of the tech is grimy, rusty, and overtly mechanical.  The engine room is a real ENGINE ROOM, not a gleaming chrome amphitheater with a huge glowing pillar in the center.

As much as I like Firefly, my first sci-fi loves are the shows with "a huge glowing pillar in the center" (and the original didn't have a glowing pillar as far as I can remember).
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Lazaras
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« Reply #9 on: March 14, 2007, 04:58:43 am »

Nope, just a screened off area where you worked on the innards off screen. Aye I miss Scotty, the man could fix anything.
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Cheapie Theatre
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« Reply #10 on: March 14, 2007, 05:02:10 am »

Scotty gave us the tenet which I firmly believe in;

Never tell him how long it'll actually take. Tell him it'll take twice as long as it actually will, then he'll think you're a miracle worker!
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Professor Cumulus Isobar
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« Reply #11 on: March 14, 2007, 05:03:34 am »

Nope, just a screened off area where you worked on the innards off screen. Aye I miss Scotty, the man could fix anything.
Yes, but I'm led to believe he always multiplied his repair estimates by a factor of four in order to secure his reputation as a miracle worker.
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Professor Cumulus Isobar
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« Reply #12 on: March 14, 2007, 05:07:15 am »

Scotty gave us the tenet which I firmly believe in;

Never tell him how long it'll actually take. Tell him it'll take twice as long as it actually will, then he'll think you're a miracle worker!
Great minds, my dear chap.  Great minds.
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Nemo137
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« Reply #13 on: March 14, 2007, 09:50:02 am »

It's interesting, Firefly mixes Western elements with Sci Fi, but really comes out more Sci Fi/Western then Steampunk. I think thats just because the designs aren't very Steamy, you know? Everything is pretty slick and futuristic, even though, in their world, Serenity is supposed to be a piece of poo Wink
Really? I thought that Kaylee's engine room, full of its brass spinny things, was rather Steamy.
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Honky-Tonk Dragon
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« Reply #14 on: March 14, 2007, 10:10:19 am »

Gee, and I just thought Kaylee was pretty steamy....

I don't know about Serenity, it was more slick and traditional SF, but Firefly definitely oozes Old West. The way the outer planets are like frontier towns, if one was to write a story about a renegade airship, getting by making rounds on the frontier in colonies, it could end up a whole lot like Firefly... well without the Chinese cussin' of course.

Plus, the show had the best theme song ever.
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« Reply #15 on: March 14, 2007, 10:18:06 am »

Gee, and I just thought Kaylee was pretty steamy....

HA! You took the words right out of my mouth Honkey-Tonk Grin
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WisconsinPlatt
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« Reply #16 on: March 14, 2007, 08:16:35 pm »

...well without the Chinese cussin' of course.

Don't know how all those rails would have been laid without those Chinese immigrants, but I digress...

I was just thinking about asking how many Steampunks here were closet-Browncoats (or vicey-versa).

The tech was made to be very real.  grimy, worn, used.  Even though it wasn't steam, it felt more like tech you could get your hands around.  Not a deflector dish Deus Ex Machina to be reconfigured in the last five minutes to save the crew.
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Professor_Sinclair
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« Reply #17 on: March 15, 2007, 12:53:34 am »

Ha! Guess I'm not the only one with the hots for Kaylee. Something about a grease covered, tinkering, gearheaded girl....*looks about* but I suppose this forum is a decent place to look for that!

'Professor' Sinclair
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Honky-Tonk Dragon
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« Reply #18 on: March 15, 2007, 02:41:46 am »

Oh, no disrespect was intended to Chinese immigrants in the slightest.

As far as greasy mechanic ladies go, my beloved has always thought that aromatics to attract the masculine part of the species should come in such scents as steak and engine oil... such rare insights are a fine example of why she is my beloved.
 Grin
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Tinkergirl
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« Reply #19 on: March 15, 2007, 02:35:23 pm »

Can't do steak and engine oil, but I can do dirt, dust, fireplace, leather, paperback, rain, sawdust, pipetobacco, and tonnes more scents.

So many to wish I had - but so difficult to get in sample form in the UK.  (Ebay sometimes though).
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heavyporker
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« Reply #20 on: March 15, 2007, 04:27:39 pm »

Guys... guys...

I simply cannot believe you all forgot to point out that *AWESOME* map/table at the pilot episode before they go off to rob the train.

That was an incredible piece of tech, in my opinion. I mean, granted, we're already coming close to creating that in real life what with thin-film OLED panels, but still!
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Honky-Tonk Dragon
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« Reply #21 on: March 15, 2007, 09:13:59 pm »

Can't do steak and engine oil, but I can do dirt, dust, fireplace, leather, paperback, rain, sawdust, pipetobacco, and tonnes more scents.

So many to wish I had - but so difficult to get in sample form in the UK.  (Ebay sometimes though).


Good Show, Tinkergirl. Your Beau is a lucky man indeed.
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Nemo137
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« Reply #22 on: March 17, 2007, 02:13:54 am »

Guys... guys...

I simply cannot believe you all forgot to point out that *AWESOME* map/table at the pilot episode before they go off to rob the train.

That was an incredible piece of tech, in my opinion. I mean, granted, we're already coming close to creating that in real life what with thin-film OLED panels, but still!
Or, in a more retro mode, something that might have been created with very thin ricepaper and big ol' incandescent bulbs, for use on a renegade airship.
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Zeke Warren
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« Reply #23 on: March 17, 2007, 02:34:26 am »

I think it's not so much a steampunk influence as it is the convergence of two other factors.

1) Firefly is, in its purest, a Space Western, and as such is built around a loose concept of historical science fiction, which is exactly what Steampunk is, save cowboys instead of Foppish Gentlemen in England.

2) A great deal of Firefly's allure was how focused they were on the aesthetic aspect of a lot of their technology. And, to me, at least, that's one of the biggest parts of steampunk - the focus on the physical world, rather than the digital (as cyberpunk does). In fact, with the Chinese influence, very little of their set was Victorian in style, but it is the inclusion of any style whatsoever that makes the tenuous connection.
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Kabuki
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« Reply #24 on: March 17, 2007, 04:45:35 am »

As far as greasy mechanic ladies go, my beloved has always thought that aromatics to attract the masculine part of the species should come in such scents as steak and engine oil... such rare insights are a fine example of why she is my beloved.


*Sigh*

  I suppose I should be thankful that my lovely lady will still embrace me when I return home smelling of the underside of a 1985 Accord with carburetor issues. 
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