29 November 2005

Joss on Mal

I have another interview with Joss Whedon for y'all, if you're interested. This one is quite long, and focuses on Serenity.

I want to share one quote with you, because it speaks directly to something that struck me about the Firefly pilot episode. I started out quite disliking Malcolm Reynolds, and when I watched it a second time, I realized why. He's rude to both Inara and Book in an early scene, when Inara is introduced, and finds more opportunities to disrespect them as the episode progresses. I recognize that it's a bit peculiar of me, but in my values system, priests and prostitutes are at the top of the list of folks who deserve polite, respectful treatment. And given what I know about Joss, I presume that he feels the same way. I figure that part of his plan was to earn the audience's respect for Mal the hard way. Which he did.

In the interview, he affirmed my guess about how he felt about Mal, and took it somewhere else.

Mal is somebody that I knew, as I created him, I would not get along with. I don't think we have the same politics. But that's sort of the point. I mean, if the movie's about anything, it's about the right to be wrong. It's about the messiness of people. And if you try to eradicate that, you eradicate them.

Which is food for thought. Elsewhere in the interview, Joss underlines that the Alliance isn't an evil empire. But if you love the show, some moral complexity in Joss' thinking about it should come as no surprise.

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