Before the lynching starts let me tell you that Star Wars VII was amazing. An epic story both visually and cinematically. It was also a crushing success being the biggest movie in history beating out Avatar for the number one spot.
By bringing elements and characters from the old films and adding new characters with new tales to tell they were able to keep that Star Wars magic sorely missing from the last three incarnations. Also to their advantage they had Star Wars fanboy director J.J. Abrams to add to their strength. This guy can't make a movie that I won't watch, plus he rebooted Star Trek and placed real flawed characters into Roddenberry's vision of the future. Sorry for rambling on but this sometimes happens when I'm geeking out...
Serenity or Firefly is (for those who don't know) a science fiction frontier style series from fellow geek enthusiasts Joss Whedon who gave us the television shows Angel and Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and films like Cabin in the Woods and of course The Avengers. This guy is a big geek deal. I'm sure when this guy turns 80 he'll have a ton of fans feeding him oatmeal and burping him when he gets gassy. Turns out we are a sad but passionate group.
Pros and cons of both
The Force Awakens was a great film in itself it had the classic characters and a nearly unlimited budget given to Abrams by the real Empire in this world... DISNEY. Those guys own pretty much everything from ABC to Marvel comics but that's not here or there. The problem is that Abrams gave us a cookie sheet copy of Episode 4 with elements of one. Tell me if this sounds familiar...
"Desert world hero acquire small droid holding secret pivotal to ongoing war between a struggling rebel force and an evil empire with a secret weapon the can destroy planets. Hero finds a mentor and begins to learn the Force after being given fathers lightsaber. And on a rescue mission the mentor is killed by dark caped man in mask (whom may be related) as hero watches. Secret weapon is destroyed by the rebel forces and it's party time."
I may have over simplified it. But you've gotta admit that's pretty damn close to the mark. They may have changed the skin but the bones are exactly the same.
Serenity on the other hand didn't start off with Daddy Warbucks flipping the bill. To my understanding it was more like Oliver Twist asking, "may I please have more" to movie studios who weren't about to take a risk on making a movie out of a canceled television show. They scraped the money together and made an excellent movie. The special effects were alright but the story was amazing and around likable characters instead of a bunch of nameless but awesome looking faces. Serenity has its strengths but also weaknesses namely Mingo and Fanty and the fact that even though a very interesting character Inara was completely useless in the film due to most of her parts being cut to help the movie move along.
The best of the best
Malcolm Reynolds runs a pretty tight ship. He's gotten good at this whole smuggling thing. But Han Solo is the king and at one time even smuggled himself and his fare into the freaking Deathstar. Malcolm Reynolds has former military training but Han went to the freaking Imperial Academy where I hear he got expelled for blowing up a moon. That's just too Epic! But it's my understanding that that's no longer canon anymore. So no points there.
Malcolm Reynolds is cutting edge to the point of shooting the Alliance operative once he heard he was unarmed. Han did shoot first but then the author of both book and film took it back. He made Han Solo up so I guess we should listen to him, I mean J.K. Rowling both made Dumbledore gay and admitted to putting Hermione in a bad relationship and we didn't bat an eyelash. So it would only be fair to give George Lucas his due. But sadly that's were this story would take a tragic turn. Solo not having the back bone we once thought he did hesitates. Playing by the rules he paused ever slightly and that would be it. Mal would put two into his chest and Jayne would empty Vera into Mr. Snuffleupagus. End of story.
Leia vs. Inara
This is really the best of the unused characters because I'm sorry but both of them got their parts way shortened. Inara had a scene at the Training house for companions and more importantly a scene with Mal on Serenity. Leia too was robbed having lost a scene with the new Senate warning them about the threat of the new Empire.
Both are extremely strong female characters. One's a glorified prostitute and the others a politician so you can pretty much see they are cut from the same cloth. But I'm gonna go with Leia on this. I love Inara but Leia is a classic as tough as nails. Little 5 foot badass telling big soldiers what to do plus that metal bikini is still iconic in the real world and legendary in the fantasy one. And I'll leave it at that.
Most tragic death
Okay I'll admit to it I almost cried when Han Solo died. When Chewie started shooting I was right their with him in his grief. But the problem was that like you I totally saw it coming. I mean I get why Han did it. He was trying to get his son to turn and was taking every opportunity to do so. Even at risk of his own life. As it turns out he liked that Imperial moon and killed his old man for it.
Say it with me... "I'm a leaf on the wind." Are the epic last words of Hoban "Wash" Washburne, the pilot of the Serenity, as a telephone pole sized harpoon rips through the windshield and impales him onto his seat. His death is quick and unexpected and your heart is just wrenched as his wife, normally-tough-girl-Zoe calls out "baby baby no, come on, you gotta move." All this just minutes away from a battle seen that makes Return of the Jedi's look like child's play in comparison. Wash's death I think had more of an impact and that doesn't mean I didn't care about Han Solo I just saw it coming. And I think you did too. Am I wrong?
Best mystery character
Rey is an amazing character. Hers is the strongest role to come out of the new film. And unlike Luke Skywalker who went through quite a journey to become a hero Rey starts the film as one. In the start of the The Force Awakens the poor girl is broke but in no way a victim. She has a firm grasp on how to survive without an aunt or uncle to show her the way. She was works all day for one meal. So it's a very hard life. No sick days because if you don't work you don't eat. Her determination and strength were forged in the fire of her fierce will. Her life she owes to no one but herself. She is extremely clever and won't always need a blaster to win a fight. As machines seemed to speak to her. Now if that's a force ability or God given I couldn't tell you. But I can say that it borderlines as a slap in the face my other favorite mechanic...
This girl who as you can see I will use any excuse to throw a picture up of. Seriously though Rey pulled a Lightsaber right out of Kylo Ren's Force grasp which we saw earlier hold a blaster bolt in place. Now Luke wasn't mind moving stuff till Empire so you do the math. The Force is seriously strong with this one plus she's hot.
River Tam is a work of art. She can kick your ass and make it look like some lovely dance. She makes killing your butt art and she's Picasso. The Alliance cut into her brain and everything you try to put out of your mind everyday is ever present with her. She's a seer which is Firefly's way of saying a psychic. That is River Tam.
Half the time she sounds completely mental. But if you've listen closely she's predicted half the adventure before you even started it. At the end of Serenity she takes on dozens of Revers only to get a few scratches and maybe one ouchie.
This girl is a never ending fighting beast that can also help you with your quantum physics homework. There can be no arguments here River is an unstoppable juggernaut but Rey would take it. I won't say it wouldn't be close because River has stupid killing power but the force is the force. It's damn hard to split your skull with an axe when it's ripped away with the force. Mind you if Rey hesitated just a little she would be joining the Jedi's of old on the other side. But Rey is hardcore and decisive there just no way she would hesitate.
After both sides taking a beating and me maybe having a little fun with it. It comes down to this conclusion Star Wars knocked Avatar off the number one spot but that's not really saying a hell of a lot seeing that I liked Avatar a whole lot better when it was called 'Dances with Wolves.' And this happens when you got movie studios dropping $10 million on special effects and a $100 grand on a script. Want to see my point? "I'm a leaf on the wind," now quote your favorite line from Avatar?
If you can do it you have a much better memory then I do. But this article has nothing to do with Avatar right? But it's about another cookie cutter copy of another classic call A New Hope. Now Serenity does have its flaws but it's a damn good movie from ten years ago that's far better then the number one movie in history. The Force Awakens was a good movie because A New Hope was an amazing one. Groundbreaking. Not just a rerun of something you thought was cool a long time ago. I'm hoping the second movie is far better. Oh, so if you haven't already guessed I'll give this one to Serenity for still dazzling me after 11 years.
Just keep on flying guys.
Did you like 'Serenity' more than 'The Force Awakens'?