Firefly was a unique television series and that can be demonstrated many ways, including simply by looking at the new companion volume to the series, Firefly: A Celebration. Appropriately marketed as “a big damn book” its 544 pages recount in full color the most complete review of an entire series ever created in a single volume. Not only is it rare for a movie or TV series to have such a series bible, it’s unthinkable that one would be created for a series that was cancelled after only 14 episodes. But as sci-fi’s universally pronounced “most unfairly cancelled” sci-fi series, it makes sense that the show’s creators went the extra mile to put something like this together for its large, loyal fan base.
Presented in a foil-stamped, leather-effect hardcover binding, the new edition collects three previously released volumes Firefly: The Official Companion books (Volume One, Volume Two and Firefly: Still Flying). So if you already have those you don’t need this one. But if you don’t, then you’re in for a treat. Firefly: A Celebration celebrates the 10th anniversary of Firefly, and includes an enormous amount of material in texts and photos in addition to a pocket in the back cover with nine full color prints of cast members and a replica prop piece of Alliance paper money from the show.
From a design standpoint fans will be mesmerized with jam-packed pages full of photos of everything you can think of: close-up photos of key and background props and sets, including everyone’s sidearms, and even Wash’s toy dinosaurs, costumes, including spacesuits, iconic cast member fatigues like Mal’s Browncoat and Zoe’s Western-inspired gear, and instantly recognizable women’s dresses used throughout the series, including Kaylee’s ball gown and Inara’s luxurious Eastern-inspired wear.
The book doesn’t stop with merely photos of costumes and props, but includes discussions of the thoughts behind their creation. Look for original costume design sketches and enough information for cosplayers to recreate every main costume (and maybe not-so main costumes like several of Jayne’s T-shirts) and prop in detail. And not just the costumes and props–you actually will have access to enough photos to recreate all the features, rooms and walkways aboard the Serenity itself as well as shooting locations so you can locate your favorite distant worlds on Earth. Discussions include everything from Jayne’s famous stocking hat to his favorite rifle Vera.
Firefly: A Celebration includes the complete, uncut scripts from the series, explanations why bits and pieces were cut from the final versions, and even stories that were never filmed and two full expanded stories from series writers, as well as episode storyboards. Sidebars stuffed into every other page include reminiscences and stories that happened behind the scenes that will appeal to those who don’t want to stop at screencaps and marketing photos (yet there are plenty of those included for those who want them). Each character is discussed in detail, from casting decisions to interviews with Joss Whedon, Nathan Fillian, Gina Torres, Alan Tudyk, Adam Baldwin, Jewel Staite, Morena Baccarin, Sean Maher, Ron Glass, and Summer Glau, and a host of writers, and music and artwork creators for the series.
There’s even a discussion of the fans that have kept the series alive beyond its initial run, that led to the movie Serenity. They’ll appreciate having the complete lyrics to the series theme written by Joss Whedon himself, “The Ballad of Serenity,” but also Jayne’s trademark song the “Hero of Canton.”
You’ll be hard-pressed to think of something that isn’t included about Firefly in Firefly: A Celebration. It’s not an overstatement that it’s the only series companion book Firefly fans will ever need (except completists will also want the book of the movie that isn’t included in this compilation, the Serenity Official Visual Companion). Firefly: A Celebration has sold out a few times since its release in September 2012, and we only were able to get our hands on a copy in its latest print run, which immediately sold out. Keep an eye out at Amazon.com for copies that surface from time to time or the next print run of the book.