firefly

“I am a leaf on the wind. Watch how I soar.”

From: Firefly/Serenity

Genre: Television/Movie

Who said it?: Hoban “Wash” Washburne

The story behind the quote: This week’s quote comes from Serenity, a film sequel of sorts to Joss Whedon’s (sadly) short-lived sci-fi television series, Firefly. The film’s title is derived from the name of the Firefly-class spaceship the crew uses.

The quote comes from near the end of the film. In order to break through an Alliance barricade, Captain Malcolm “Mal” Reynolds lures a horde of Reaver ships to the Serenity’s position to distract the Alliance ships. While this does work to a degree, the Serenity still has to find a way to slip through the Alliance forces. This is when Hoban “Wash” Washburne summons his courage to actually pilot the Firefly-class ship against seemingly impossible odds…

Geek wisdom: It’s incredibly easy to psyche ourselves out when under pressure. It’s easy to talk ourselves out of doing of even attempting to perform complicated tasks. In order to actually do them, confidence is key. We have to believe in ourselves whenever we do anything. Whether it be relatively mundane activities or extremely complex processes, we have to believe in ourselves that we can actually do it.

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“Give me something to sing about!”

From: Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Genre: Television

Who said it?: Buffy Summers

The story behind the quote: Buffy the Vampire Slayer comes from the mind of Joss Whedon (the same guy that thought of Firefly). The idea behind it was it was the direct opposite of what we see in horror movies; instead of the girl being the damsel in distress, it’s actually the damsel that actually does the rescuing. While this was creative in its own right, the series did other creative stuff, such as the episode where no one talked and the one where everyone breaks into musical numbers. Speaking of the musical episode, it’s entitled “Once More with Feeling” and it’s where the quote comes from.

While bursting out into song and dance numbers may not be a problem, it does become an issue since there is a tendency for victims to dance so fast that they burst into flames! Another side effect of inexplicably singing about your feelings is that you tend to tell the truth about stuff you want to keep hidden.

By the way, MASSIVE SPOILERS coming!

Anyway, Buffy goes and confronts the demon while under the influence of the singing and dancing spell. While singing, she reveals that her friends, the Scoobies, don’t understand why she’s been so unhappy since she was brought back from the dead, making them wonder if the spell that did it went wrong. It turns out the spell worked perfectly. It’s just that her soul was brought to heaven and she was happy. Their resurrection of her ripped her soul from heaven and now, even if she is with her friends, it feels like hell.

Realizing that she exposed her true feelings, she starts to smolder and burn up from dancing when Spike (a vampire who can’t kill… long story) stops her and consoles her that there is a lot of pain in life and it will eventually heal in time.

Geek wisdom: Life can be painful and sometimes we cannot find a reason to “sing about” life. However, as Spike said, the pain is just temporary. It will eventually get better as long as we keep on going. It can be a struggle, especially when it feels overwhelming. In fact, it is the hard times in life that makes us appreciate the good things in life.

We have to take the good and the bad. That’s what comprises life and you can’t take it any other way.

“We live in a spaceship, dear.”

From: Firefly

Genre: Television

Who said it?: Zoe Washburn

The story behind the quote: This quote comes from the (sadly) shortly lived sci-fi series, Firefly. It takes place in the future, when mankind has colonized other planets. Malcolm Reynolds is the captain of a crew of a Firefly class starship named Serenity. While the series is set in space, it’s presented more like a western, which made it pretty unique. It’s also a pretty quirky series being the brainchild of Joss Whedon (the same creator of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog).

The quote comes from the last episode of the series, entitled “Objects in Space.” To avoid spoilers, I’ll just mention where the quote fits into the episode. The crew is discussing the possibility that one of their crew members, River Tam, who appears to be autistic (and crazy), may actually have psychic abilities. The pilot of Serenity, Wash, seriously doubts this, since psychics only appear in science fiction. Wash’s wife, Zoe, turns to him and ironically tells him that they actually live in outer space in the Serenity.

(By the way, if you’re a geek, you owe it to yourself to watch the entire series.)

Geek wisdom: Somethings may also seem impossible and totally outrageous to one person but may be very natural with another. The clip above shows Wash totally saying that psychics are too far in the realm of impossibility to be real. It’s his wife that has to point out to him that they are living in a spaceship, which is actually something that is pretty hard to comprehend for others. But for Wash, it’s just a normal thing.