Lewis, Tolkien, Whedon?

I’ve had time to sit around lately, and thanks to netflix streaming, I managed to watch the Firefly series and the follow-up movie Serenity.

Apart from being being completely engrossed in the series and movie, when I finished Serenity, I got a real C. S. Lewis vibe. Without giving too much away (hopefully), the series centers around a universe dominated by “the Alliance”, a technocracy that seeks to make life safe by controlling all aspects of it. This brought to mind Lewis’s description of free will in “The Problem of Pain”. To grossly oversimplify, what I remember of Lewis’s premise is that to create a world without pain necessarily means a world without free will. That’s and the “really scientific era” of Lewis’s “That Hideous Strength” seem to capture the nature of the Alliance, and the loss of free will seems to drive Malcolm Reynolds.

There’s also a clear parallel with Tolkien in the Serenity movie, and a small group forging ahead against an implacable and overwhelming enemy to attempt to fix a horrible wrong.

Finally (speaking only for me, that is), Whedon shares their skill in compelling story telling. If it’s not clear yet, I highly recommend the series.


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