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Serenity Trounces Star Wars

kdawson posted more than 7 years ago | from the meet-the-new-boss dept.

Movies 710

DogBotherer writes "The BBC is reporting that the film Serenity has been voted the number-one Sci Fi film of all time. Serenity is a followup to the series Firefly. The 2005 film beat out Star Wars better than two-to-one for the top honors. This result came in a poll of 3000 readers of SFX magazine.

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I hate Star Wars (5, Insightful)

TodMinuit (1026042) | more than 7 years ago | (#18583869)

But Serenity wasn't that great of a film. Firefly was an amazing TV show, but the film was without the same depth.

Re:I hate Star Wars (5, Interesting)

Hal_Porter (817932) | more than 7 years ago | (#18583949)

I think if they were operating systems Serenity would be Linux (small market share in general, but popularised in geek circles by very loyal fans/users). Star Wars would be Windows (huge market share, almost no loyalty). This being a nerd poll, Serenity will win by a huge margin.

Re:I hate Star Wars (4, Insightful)

Jason Earl (1894) | more than 7 years ago | (#18584081)

Are you saying that Star Wars doesn't have a loyal fan base? That's quite possibly the most ridiculous thing that I have ever heard. "Jedi" is an organized religion in many countries. Serenity can't touch that.

Let's be realistic. Star Wars is popular to the point of becoming a cultural phenomenon, and there are more Star Wars fans that are completely obsessed with the franchise than there are people who even saw Serenity. Heck, more people dressed up as Wookies last Halloween than saw Serenity.

What's even more hilarious is that Serenity even made the top ten. Ten years from now people will still be talking about Star Wars, Blade Runner, Planet of the Apes, and pretty much everything else on the list. Serenity won't even be a foot note.

Re:I hate Star Wars (4, Insightful)

julesh (229690) | more than 7 years ago | (#18584281)

Let's be realistic. Star Wars is popular to the point of becoming a cultural phenomenon, and there are more Star Wars fans that are completely obsessed with the franchise than there are people who even saw Serenity. Heck, more people dressed up as Wookies last Halloween than saw Serenity.

Yes, but what's the cross-section of those fans with SFX magazine's readers? My guess is that most of those fans are pretty-much exclusively star wars fans, and therefore likely wouldn't read a general scifi magazine like SFX.

Re:I hate Star Wars (5, Funny)

slarrg (931336) | more than 7 years ago | (#18584221)

Does that make Apple the Star Trek of the analogy?

Re:I hate Star Wars (4, Insightful)

vux984 (928602) | more than 7 years ago | (#18583951)

but the film was without the same depth

That's what happens when you only have ~120 minutes (movie) instead of ~650 minutes (series)

Few people will sit through a 600+ minute movie, no matter how deep it is.

Re:I hate Star Wars (5, Interesting)

paganizer (566360) | more than 7 years ago | (#18584057)

weeellll... I saw Starwars in a theatre in Bakerfield, CA when it first came out. I saw it 6 times on opening weekend. Whenever anyone says "Star Wars", it takes me a minute to realize that they aren't talking about Episode IV. So to me, Star Wars is Episode IV, and blows the airlocks off of Serenity without even trying. However, if you consider "Star Wars" as everything put on film as being Star Wars "canon", and Serenity also including Firefly as "Canon", then serenity/firefly wins.

Re:I hate Star Wars (5, Insightful)

Captain Splendid (673276) | more than 7 years ago | (#18584341)

Hadn't thought about it that way, and I have to say you've got my vote on that, and I'm a huge Firefly geek. And when you stop to think about the styles and skills of the involved auteurs, it makes a lot fo sense: George Lucas, able at times to bring out work that is simply stunning, but leave him running too long and he'll fuck it up, whereas Joss Whedon's always plan for the long haul (yes, I know that's par for the course when you work in TV, but his methodology is evident in most everything he does.

One is a visionary, well-versed in the peaks and troughs associated with that status. The other is simply a master storyteller, laying his foundations like a brickie and keeping his eye on the finish line.

Dang, it's 4AM, Hope any of that made sense, as I'm not gonna preview it!

Re:I hate Star Wars (2, Interesting)

EonBlueTooL (974478) | more than 7 years ago | (#18584485)

Phantom menace: 133 minutes
Attack of the clones: 142 minutes
Revenge of the sith: 140 minutes
A new hope: 121 minutes
Empire strikes back: 124 minutes
Return of the Jedi: 134 minutes
For a total of 794 minutes.

Fellowship of the ring: 178 minutes
Two towers: 179 minutes
Return of the king: 201 minutes
For a total of 558 minutes

You don't have to force an entire story into 120 minutes. What would happen if they did that with the lord of the rings series? Star Wars? (I've watched them both at seperate times back to back, infact I prefer it that way, but im usually the exception and not the rule)

Re:I hate Star Wars (1)

Frogbert (589961) | more than 7 years ago | (#18583965)

I think that is because they needed to compress about 8 hours of television into 2 hours.

I liked the movie, Malcolm Reynolds shot first!

Re:I hate Star Wars (3, Interesting)

Seumas (6865) | more than 7 years ago | (#18584001)

I'm confused as to where the sci-fi was in the movie? I mean, there wasn't any sci-fi in Star Wars either. Fantasy based in the future, sure. But sci-fi? Why, because there's space ships?

And while I thought the movie was okay, I didn't care nearly as much for the television series. In fact, I would say that if the television series had tried a little less to be Brisco County Junior and had been a little more like the movie, it would have at least made it a full season or two.

Re:I hate Star Wars (2, Insightful)

shmlco (594907) | more than 7 years ago | (#18584249)

"I'm confused as to where the sci-fi was in the movie?"

How about what happens when an oppressive government secretly uses drugs in an attempt to make its citizens docile, peaceful and obedient?

Re:I hate Star Wars (2, Interesting)

Fallingcow (213461) | more than 7 years ago | (#18584271)

Agreed.

I tried to get in to the series, but it kind of sucked, so I stopped.

Saw the movie, thought it was OK, mostly because it didn't seem much like the show. The plot was cookie-cutter to such a degree that it was almost impressive; you could drop that plot in to a movie with just about any set of characters and any sort of dialog and make it fit well enough to get a movie of roughly that same quality. Probably could have made a Trek movie out of it, for example, and it may well have been better than Insurrection (God that movie sucked). Point is, the fact that it was Firefly isn't why the movie was decent.

I'm willing to allow for differences in taste and admit that the show might be good, but the movie is the best sci-fi movie ever? Bullshit.

Alien/Aliens? 2001? Blade Runner? SW:ANH or ESB and a slew of other fantasy-ish stuff that seems to fall under the common definition of sci-fi? Actually, I'd class just about every sci-fi movie of ANY note WHATSOEVER from the last 30-40 years as being at or above (often very much above) the level of Serenity.

Brown-coats aside, I doubt that this show and movie will be widely remembered in 20 years. Those movies I listed have already endured that long, and shows like Babylon 5, Quantum Leap, The X-Files, Star Trek TNG and DS9, and the new Battlestar Galactica will almost certainly all outlive it (OK, maybe not Quantum Leap ;) ).

Hell, I'd even say that Farscape has a better shot at enjoying some level of popularity 20 years from now than Firefly does.

Re:I hate Star Wars (1)

Captain Splendid (673276) | more than 7 years ago | (#18584383)

(OK, maybe not Quantum Leap ;) )

I dunno. One thing I've noticed about that show is that it has a fairly devoted non-geek following, possibly due to not over-using "confusing" sci-fi concepts and the fact that it got to end its run pretty much where and when it wanted, something pretty rare in any TV show.

Re:I hate Star Wars (3, Insightful)

Fallingcow (213461) | more than 7 years ago | (#18584459)

Good point.

If that'd happened with B5, I'd be able to comfortably and comfortably call it the greatest sci-fi series of all time, past and future. Sadly, we've got a rushed 4th season, an off-kilter and mediocre 5th, and a couple of (reputedly, I haven't watched them out of fear of the suck) crappy tv movies, thanks to the bastard suits.

I really, REALLY want the US tv producers to get their acts together and start producing reasonably-long (1-5 seasons, not never-ending 10-season monstrosities) with full story arcs. Tell me a story, goddamn it, and don't leave me constantly in terror that you will yank the show JUST before it gets a chance to wrap up, or push the writers in to making it much longer than it ought to be, then making them rush in an ending.

If they do that, then I can stop watching anime. I don't WANT to watch anime, but their well-developed characters and pre-planned series-length plot arcs are such a draw...

So please, corporate media gods, save me from anime. For the love of god, save me. 90% of the other Americans who watch this stuff are ugly, introverted, cheeto-faced losers with no social skills, and I'm afraid that their disease is contagious :(

Re:I hate Star Wars (1)

Fallingcow (213461) | more than 7 years ago | (#18584481)

*Ahem* comfortably and comfortably -> confidently and comfortably

Re:I hate Star Wars (1)

91degrees (207121) | more than 7 years ago | (#18584305)

I mean, there wasn't any sci-fi in Star Wars either. Fantasy based in the future, sure. But sci-fi?

Future? I thought it all happened a long time ago :)

But anyway, many people see a difference between Sci-Fi and science fiction. Where Sci-Fi is aliens, robots, ray guns and spaceships, and science fiction is more speculative. For Sci-Fi, Star Wars scores on all four points.

Re:I hate Star Wars (5, Insightful)

AigariusDebian (721386) | more than 7 years ago | (#18584223)

I wonder why animated sci-fi was not included in the same vote. For example anime series such as Cowboy Bebop and Trigun could very easily compete with Serenity and Star Wars in all departments, especially in story and characters.

BTW: if you liked Firefly/Serenity, then watch Cowboy Bebop series - it gave a lot of inspiration to the Firefly. And Trigun is of very similar quality but with more humour and even more bitter end.

Beat Star Wars huh? (0, Flamebait)

Rodyland (947093) | more than 7 years ago | (#18583871)

Thing I can't understand is, who on earth voted for Star Wars?!

Genre (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18583873)

Star Wars is fantasy, not science fiction.

Re:Genre (1, Interesting)

Whiney Mac Fanboy (963289) | more than 7 years ago | (#18583889)

Star Wars is fantasy, not science fiction.

Yeah! And I want to know why LOTR wasn't on the list?

Star Wars is Sci-fi (4, Informative)

Rocketship Underpant (804162) | more than 7 years ago | (#18584295)

Star Wars is fantasy, not science fiction.

Science fiction and fantasy are both speculative fiction sub-genres.

Science fiction is mostly defined by its setting and subject matter: outer space, aliens, time travel, imaginary technology, etc. Star Wars is certainly science fiction, even though it crosses the boundary a little with what might be considered magic (as does Dune). What Star Wars is not is hard sf, a sub-genre of science fiction in which the plot itself is based on plausible scientific theory.

Damn Brits! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18583887)

Blade Runner is #3 and 2001: A Space Odyssey is #8 while Serenity is #1 and Star Wars is #2. Good Grief! What is next, a survey on the best fantasy? Would we have Willow as #1, Eragon as #2, and the D&D Movie as #3?

The only thing this survey proves is that surveys are a really shitty way of telling what is good sci-fi.

Re:Damn Brits! (1)

colonslashslash (762464) | more than 7 years ago | (#18583931)

Like it or not, a show / movie set in space, in the future, is going to be lumped in the Sci-Fi genre by most.

Not saying I believe that it's technically correct, but it is becoming one of those common usage definitions.

Re:Damn Brits! (5, Interesting)

Umuri (897961) | more than 7 years ago | (#18583995)

How exactly is star wars somehow less scifi then firefly?

I'd wager that there is more theoretical technology and theoretical futuristic social structure in star wars then serenity and probably most of firefly.
So what do you define as science fiction?
I mean, it's fiction, about science.
Firefly barely had enough science to make it not qualify as a current fiction w/ spaceships.

Re:Damn Brits! (4, Insightful)

masterzora (871343) | more than 7 years ago | (#18584435)

The main argument against Star Wars being sci-fi is that it is better considered science-fantasy. More to the point, the whole Force thing is generally considered to kill the science fiction-ness and turn it into science-fantasy.

In reality, science fiction is fairly loosely defined and Star Wars fits very well under some definitions and not at all under others. Firefly is given more science-fiction credit because of the fact that it didn't have random fantasy elements (well, except for River's psychic-ness, but we never got around to getting a good enough explanation of whether it would be better classified as a faux-science or a fantasy element, but from what we did get, it seemed as if they wanted to at least try to make it more the faux-science route.)

Re:Damn Brits! (1)

Aglassis (10161) | more than 7 years ago | (#18584477)

How exactly is star wars somehow less scifi then firefly?

I'd wager that there is more theoretical technology and theoretical futuristic social structure in star wars then serenity and probably most of firefly.
So what do you define as science fiction?
I mean, it's fiction, about science.
Firefly barely had enough science to make it not qualify as a current fiction w/ spaceships.
Science fiction has more to do with a possible world that could potentially exist with advances in science and the stories involved due to the interaction of these new technologies with man. Many consider Star Wars to be fantasy instead of science fiction because while Star Wars has space ships and technology that perhaps might exist, very little of the story cared about how humans interact with this new technology. Contrast this with something like the Matrix, Blade Runner, or 2001 where the authors are obviously preoccupied with fleshing out the problems of some new technology (even if it wasn't made by humans). Star Wars was more about the battles of wizards in space.

To me it is obvious that sci-fi is not exactly the same as a futuristic fantasy. But this may not be clear to many with the apparent integration of the topics of sci-fi and fantasy in bookstores and other places most people come into contact with them. I think futuristic fantasy is a subcategory of fantasy and sci-fi is a subcategory of futuristic fantasy. Heinlein writes science fiction and Lucas writes futuristic fantasy.

Re:Damn Brits! - I say Damn Time (1)

Virtual_Raider (52165) | more than 7 years ago | (#18584113)

As time goes by new stuff comes out. We've know for a while that newer generations don't like SW as much as those of us that got to watch it when released. SW set a lot of precedents and helped shape the future of the genere whether one likes the storyline or not. Which means that there is a truckload of derivative works out there, so anybody that's been exposed to those first and then watches SW will think, oh that dude in the black mask is just more of the same. Plus Serenity being a new show brings newer and better special effects than the original trilogy even after the botox that it got on the 20th anniversary. And it also tried to depart a bit from the standard set by the likes of SW and ST, its a different animal that apparently appeals to different tastes. That said I positively hated all that business about Mr Universe, it was plain dumb. Other than that I do think its a great movie but in my book the Episode IV will always be better. Not that my opinion or the survey matter in the great scheme of things ;)

Serenity was good... (4, Insightful)

evanbd (210358) | more than 7 years ago | (#18583897)

Excellent, even. I can see it beating Star Wars. But the likes of Blade Runner? I mean, nothing against Serenity, but I really don't think it's the Best Science Fiction Film Ever.

Re:Serenity was good... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18584043)

I hadn't watched much Firefly at the time I saw Serenity, and it just seemed like a quick little scifi flick that could have made it direct to video. What made it all the better was watching more firefly TV episodes, and reading some of the background online. A universe where humanity is still alone, and all the enemies and friends are human isn't a unique view in SF writing, but it's awesome to see in film & television. When SF moves towards a million anthropomorphic alien species it just turns into a trek clone. Not that trek is bad, but it's formulaic now.

I'd have liked to see more hard SF physics in there, but that's just me - as it stands now, I'd equate star wars and serenity - neither come out anywhere near my top films of all time, or even top SF films, but they were OK.

Re:Serenity was good... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18584199)

I'm strongly inclined to agree, Blade Runner still holds up to the best of them even after 25 years. It's not just any sci-fi film - it's a Rembrandt of the genre, a true masterpiece. I'm guessing the fans of FireFly are projecting their feelings about the TV series onto the film Serenity. Serenity is great, I wouldn't argue agains that.. but better than Blade Runner? Nah, no way ... mod parent up.

Re:Serenity was good... (1, Flamebait)

dsanfte (443781) | more than 7 years ago | (#18584329)

Blade Runner is a convoluted mess of crap, with all the watchability of a movie-adaptation of the 2006 Congressional Budget. I'm sorry, but I'm no Blade Runner fanboy.

The movie was in love with itself, a marriage of endless scenes of dreary, dirty, rainy dystopian insanity and a plot that made the final 10 minutes of 2001 seem easy-to-follow by comparison. You and others equate this style of writing and directing with high-brow Sci-Fi, but the rest of us know it as utterly, utterly boring tripe.

Re:Serenity was good... (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18584425)

You sound like a modern day multi-tasking moron with the attention span of a frog. It's a good thing you didn't read the book Blade Runner was based on. Your brains would have leaked out your nose and mixed with the drool flowing from the corner of your mouth as you struggled to cope with needing to think about plot lines, rather than have them spelled out for you from a standard format Hollywood movie.

Rigging (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18583901)

Serenity fans usually rig these sort of contests, they did this for a similar online survey as well. I have nothing against the movie, and I thought the series was great, but both weren't successful financially, which is why the series never went anywhere.

Re:Rigging (3, Interesting)

aadvancedGIR (959466) | more than 7 years ago | (#18584345)

That's always the problem when a poll is based on the will to participate (and knowledge of its exitence).
In 1999, the city of Paris organized an online poll in which we were asked to vote for the most important person of those two millenia and someone in my electronic school put his name, so we all voted for him, then another scholl put up its own champion against ours. shortly before closing the poll, they had to eject both of them because their poll, supposed to be based on notoriety, had two totally unkown winners above 40% each, with Jesus being a good third around 3% and everyone else below 0.5%.

Re:Rigging (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18584365)

by rigging you mean they vote? well maybe the star wars fans should have done aswell. Amazing, Everytime starwars doesnt win something the religious ones come out saying it was rigged its not fair. Grow up its only a film!

Re:Rigging (1)

Secret Rabbit (914973) | more than 7 years ago | (#18584367)

/Every/ fan base "rigs" these polls (or at least the crazy fans do). And since every fan base does this, it normalizes the results. Not to mention that FF/S fan base is... somewhat smaller than the Star Wars fan base. So, how did "Dave" beat "Goliath" on this one? IMO b/c the last 3 Star Wars films to come out sucked beyond belief.

Also, FF wasn't even given a chance to succeed. Yet, I imagine that F*X made a few bucks while it was on air. Though not enough for them to support a show that they didn't like before filming even began. When it comes to DVD sales... well... it's still pretty good and it was released 2003!

When I comes to Serenity, that's in the black and has been for some time. For that matter, do you think that Serenity was the first movie to come out on HD b/c it wasn't selling?

Seriously, do your homework before posting.

"Serenity" has a vocal but minority following (4, Insightful)

DavidinAla (639952) | more than 7 years ago | (#18583905)

I wanted to like, "Serenity." I went to the theatre expecting to like it. But I was bored silly by a boring plot that was full of holes. The characters weren't especially compelling. I couldn't figure out what was so great about this. After finishing it, I couldn't even figure out what was tolerable about it. From what I've seen since then, it seems as though "Serenity" fans are fanatically loyal and vocal, but most people who weren't already fans didn't find the movie especially entertaining. Obviously, I haven't taken a poll, but the box office results must mean SOMETHING.

As for "Star Wars," I don't agree that it necessarily ought to be classified as fantasy, but it's also silly to see it as representing all of science fiction, as so many people do. "Star Wars" was an example of one particular branch of sci-fi, but it came to be seen as what sci-fi really was because ignorant studio execs all tried to clone it after it made a lot of money. Good science fiction is easy to find it books, but very hard to find on screen, IMO. It's hard to see either "Serenity" OR "Star Wars" as the best sci-fi movie ever.

David

Re:"Serenity" has a vocal but minority following (5, Insightful)

Bodrius (191265) | more than 7 years ago | (#18584047)

If you had not seen/followed Firefly before, I'd have to agree with you, even though I really liked Serenity (to be expected, being a fan of the series).

I think the movie is pretty good, technically speaking, but it made some gigantic assumptions on the exposition of the characters, plot details, etc. It felt like a really good TV season finale, not a theatrical movie that stood by itself.
I can see how watching the movie without following Firefly would feel like catching the last episode of a series you don't watch, with closures for plot points that were never opened, and characters that you have no reason to care about... fine for late night cable, but not the same entertainment bar for paying a ticket to watch a movie in the theater.

Admittedly, I doubt adapting it to a stand-alone movie would work. A lot of what was great about Firefly as a series depended on having that span to explore the universe and the characters over an episodic show. The tempo would have to be very different.

As part of the show, I think the "movie" was great and well worth it.
As a movie per se, it was overrated, because the very vocal fans are Firefly fans, and saw it (and hyped it) as part of the show.

It reminds me of the X-files movie in that sense, except Serenity was better made and had more of the grass-roots-hype, and less of the bovine and equine abuse.

Re:"Serenity" has a vocal but minority following (4, Interesting)

Lisandro (799651) | more than 7 years ago | (#18584055)

Serenity is a good movie, and i think their producers did a fine job of keeping the storyline as independent of the original series, Firefly, as possible. Having said that, yes, i felt the same as you did - it's too convoluted of a story. Sadly enough, a lot of things in the movie simply won't make much sense without having watched the series.

Now, let me give you some advice. If you wanted to like Serenity but felt it was lacking character developement and plot, i suggest you give the Firefly DVD boxset a try. Hell, just buy it. The movie is OK, but the series were mindblowing, IMHO, and some of the finest blend of sci-fi and adventure i witnesed on TV in quite a while. I know a lot of people who didn't think much about the movie but fell in love with the series after watching a few episodes.

Re:"Serenity" has a vocal but minority following (1)

javakah (932230) | more than 7 years ago | (#18584061)

Have you watched Firefly?
I saw Serenity first, and felt about the same way as you. The characters didn't seem to really have any depth. The story on its own seemed ridiculous. Everyone was saying how good it was, but to me it just seemed like someone was trying to mix sci-fi with zombie horror movies, but just had enough of a budget to produce really nice special effects, which was what people were amazed by. So I had a similar impression of it at first.
Then I watched the entire Firefly series (doesn't take all that long) and went back and watched Serenity. Then I found that it was a quite good, interesting movie. Characters dying had a far more emotional impact, since I now knew their backstories.
So the point is that the movie does not really stand alone. I'm not sure if it should be considered the best sci-fi movie because it's impact really depends on the series for the backstory.

Re:"Serenity" has a vocal but minority following (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18584083)

Serenity has a compelling moral message about the dangers of human engineering, like Star Trek. And it has fruity oaty bars. I mean come on, fruity oaty bars. You can't top a psychedelic octopus and binary codes flashing at you with a silly Arthur-legend space opera ripoff.

I for one have ordered my GF a whole case of oaty bars... and yes I voted twice, because serenity rocks that hard!

Re:"Serenity" has a vocal but minority following (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18584439)

Be sure to watch the full commercial on the DVD. In the movie you only get to see pieces of it.

Re:"Serenity" has a vocal but minority following (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18584105)

I would have to disagree in one aspect. I didn't even notice the TV series until the movie. I quickly became a fan.

Re:"Serenity" has a vocal but minority following (4, Insightful)

quantaman (517394) | more than 7 years ago | (#18584141)

I wanted to like, "Serenity." I went to the theatre expecting to like it. But I was bored silly by a boring plot that was full of holes. The characters weren't especially compelling. I couldn't figure out what was so great about this. After finishing it, I couldn't even figure out what was tolerable about it. From what I've seen since then, it seems as though "Serenity" fans are fanatically loyal and vocal, but most people who weren't already fans didn't find the movie especially entertaining. Obviously, I haven't taken a poll, but the box office results must mean SOMETHING.
I watched and really enjoyed firefly, when I heard about the movie I was very sceptical that it would translate onto the big screen, I found the movie enjoyable, maybe even good, but I'd stop far short of labelling it great.

I find people have a tendency to ally themselves with a certain bit of media or subsection of culture, they'll then defend any show, movie, or book that falls into this subsection even though they realize that it isn't very good. Conversely they'll denigrate anything that falls into categories that they don't like, regardless of its quality. I know I've often found myself wrestling with these very tendencies.

Simply put firefly fans were fanatical enough about firefly that they earned themselves a movie. When this movie came about, even though it wasn't as good as the series, they had so much personally invested that they continued to push it every chance they got. I'd suspect that a good portion of those firefly fans who voted for Serenity realize, and would even admit that Serenity isn't the greatest science fiction movie ever. But they perceive an attack on Serenity as an attack on their community, and therefore themselves, and thus feel the need to defend it.

Re:"Serenity" has a vocal but minority following (1)

Secret Rabbit (914973) | more than 7 years ago | (#18584443)

One thing that I hate about people looking in from the outside is that they make tonnes of assumptions that just aren't true.

I as well hate the FF/S fans that are just shrill. They give the rest of us a bad name. *But*, every fandom has them. The point is to look beyond the rtards to see the general landscape. Even then (here) it is difficult to see as most of the people pre movie don't participate on forums anymore (from what I can see of course). And of those people 95+% were reasonable who mostly have _not_ been replaced.

Also, I've been a member of fireflyfans.net for some time now. Since I was regularly participating on those forums for a few months after the movie was released, I can tell you that many many many people became fans *because of* that movie (though I'm not sure why as I didn't think it was that good). This is still the case today.

Under or over? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18583909)

One of the most underrated films has now become one of the most overrated...

Let the Flamewars begin.... (5, Funny)

Socguy (933973) | more than 7 years ago | (#18583911)

Me and my mod points are going to maintain a distance of no less than 3 articles from this inevitable flame-fest.

Re:Let the Flamewars begin.... (1)

wunchaliketano (647296) | more than 7 years ago | (#18584449)

April Fools???? My mod points are out too..

Who Has the More Active Fanbase (4, Insightful)

Coryoth (254751) | more than 7 years ago | (#18583917)

These sorts of surveys are more about who has the more devoted and active fanbase at the moment. That doesn't make the result less significant, its just a matter of what the result is actually saying: Firefly has managed to develop and extremely devoted and extremely active fanbase. This isn't that surprising; I've loaned or recommended the DVD set to several people, only to have them become devout fans of the series. Still, interest in Firefly is obviously still going strong, which is, again, notable. The other side to this is that the Star Wars fanbase has apparently grown increasingly apathetic -- and the blame for that can be laid squarely upon the prequel trilogy which left many Star Wars fans (myself included) feeling flat, and has taken a little of the shine off the franchise. Oddly enough it still remains far more likely that we will see another Star Wars film than a sequel to Serenity (though neither is that likely). Star Wars fans may be apathetic about the films these days, but they still exist in vast numbers.

Not even most active (3, Interesting)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 7 years ago | (#18583987)

Look at Star Wars - coming up is Star Wars Celebration IV [gencon.com] , where around 30,000 people will attend. Having been to the last Star Wars Celebration in Indianapolis, I can easily believe those numbers.

Now look at the last Serenity convention - the Flanvention. Even if it had not abruptly folded the day before it was to go off, it only had some 500 people attending - as did the one the year before that I attended. Now partly that was a limitation by choice of the event organizers, but I'm not sure they quite reached even 500 the first one.

I really, really like Firefly and Serenity - but they have no-where near the fan base that Star Wars does, in either size or bredth or sheer fanatisim. This was just a case of Browncoats gaming the polls before the Star Wars Bantha could wake to smite them.

Re:Who Has the More Active Fanbase (1)

91degrees (207121) | more than 7 years ago | (#18584333)

Yeah. Forums posts like this [ericolsenphd.com] certainly didn't hurt the placement.

Obvious unfair advantage. (5, Funny)

bobdotorg (598873) | more than 7 years ago | (#18583933)

Let's see of the results hold after Serenity makes a sequel with Jar Jar Binks.

I thought so.

Re:Obvious unfair advantage. (3, Insightful)

Faylone (880739) | more than 7 years ago | (#18584053)

To be even, wouldn't it have to be a prequel with Jar Jar?

Re:Obvious unfair advantage. (1)

adona1 (1078711) | more than 7 years ago | (#18584311)

No, they'll just let Jar Jar fill in Wash's spot.

"I need this man to tear my clothes off"

Hmm...maybe not...

Re:Obvious unfair advantage. (1)

gbobeck (926553) | more than 7 years ago | (#18584285)

Let's see of the results hold after Serenity makes a sequel with Jar Jar Binks.

Would this prequel/sequel have a long scene where Jar Jar Binks is locked in a room full of reavers? If so *I* will definately be first in line to see it.

Re:Obvious unfair advantage. (1)

Anonymous Brave Guy (457657) | more than 7 years ago | (#18584487)

You think that's bad?

<spoiler>
Mal is River's father.
</spoiler>

To be blunt (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18583935)

Well, to be blunt; 3000 voters isn't a whole lot. Also the BBC isn't taking any more votes; the poll is closed. Not exactly a widely publicized poll; nor representative in my humble opinion.

Re:To be blunt (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18583959)

BBC was never taking any votes. RTFA

Come on (2, Interesting)

MemoryDragon (544441) | more than 7 years ago | (#18583955)

I loved the TV show, but I hated the movie, the plot was shallow, everything feeled pressed into the movie format there was no character development whatsoever (I especially hated how they cut out pretty much everything where Morena Baccarin hat part in it) The movie was mediocre, it felt like a mediocre episode of the TV show.

Re:Come on (1)

Secret Rabbit (914973) | more than 7 years ago | (#18584501)

Um, the series was pretty much *all* character development. So, how you think that the movie, having *no* character development at all, was a mediocre ep is beyond me.

IMO, the movie was something that was based on the series that has similar characters, set in a similar 'verse. But, when a critical eye is used, the only things that are the same is the lore (loosely in parts), the character names, and the actors.

IMO, Joss *really* dropped the ball on this one.

Serenity was godawful. (0, Troll)

RyuuzakiTetsuya (195424) | more than 7 years ago | (#18583975)

What the hell are you brits thinking!?

I thought SciFi had something to do with Science in a fictional sense, not fantasy in space...

Re:Serenity was godawful. (1)

julesh (229690) | more than 7 years ago | (#18584343)

I thought SciFi had something to do with Science in a fictional sense, not fantasy in space...

Well, yes, because of course Star Wars, Blade Runner, Planet of the Apes, The Matrix, etc. are all films that are about science in some way and are completely realistic in all respects.

While I completely agree that Serenity shouldn't have been at the top of that list, what exactly do you claim invalidates it from being science fiction?

Re:Serenity was godawful. (2)

mwvdlee (775178) | more than 7 years ago | (#18584405)

I love sci-fi, but I've never liked Firefly or Serenity. It just seemed like a western in space, and not a very good western at that. Firefly/Serenity is about as sci-fi as the Jetsons. Just because it's set in the future, doesn't make it sci-fi.

Serenity Blows (1)

jay_hamilton (1083485) | more than 7 years ago | (#18583991)

Having grown up with "Star Wars", I have an understandable bias toward the original three movies. Be that as it may, I actually paid to see "Serenity" in the theatres, and that is $7.50 I will never get back. That movie was terrible, plain and simple. Even friends of mine who were hardcorps fans of the TV show agreed "Serenity" was below par. The only reason it was voted above "Star Wars" is because of Lucas' multi-million dollar suck-fest, Phantom Meanace, IMHO.

Concentration of Quality (3, Interesting)

Zapraki (737378) | more than 7 years ago | (#18583997)

I really enjoy both the Firefly and Star Wars universes. That being said, there's a LOT more material to be found for the latter, orders of magnitude more.

In a way, I think this poll shows some disappointment with some of that vast collection of material for Star Wars. Some of it is very, very good (the original trilogy, KotOR, etc.), but some of it isn't quite so good... in fact, some of it's really quite ridiculously bad [wikipedia.org] .

Firefly/Serenity, on the other hand, is:
a) relatively new and fresh in our minds
b) excitingly dynamic, humorous, sexy, etc. in a way that Star Wars failed to be in Episodes I-III
c) a fairly small collection of material. All of it quite good (imho).

There's something to be said for having such a high overall level of quality in such a concentrated amount of material.

However, I do agree that a similar poll 20 years from now might not have Firefly in the top 10. Then again, maybe Star Wars will decline over time?

Re:Concentration of Quality (1)

julesh (229690) | more than 7 years ago | (#18584399)

Then again, maybe Star Wars will decline over time?

Probably not. I think you're right that this reflects the badness of the SW prequels. But the truly outstanding (i.e. original SW) lasts a lot longer in the memory than the poor (the prequels), so it's probably only because the prequels are relatively recent additions to the series that this effect is noticeable. In 5 years, it would be as high as ever. Whereas Serenity, being merely in the "really good" category rather than "truly outstanding" will fade much more over time than the surrounding films on the list, many of which were outstanding.

All Hail Terry Gilliam (4, Interesting)

Hobbex (41473) | more than 7 years ago | (#18583999)

Where is "Brazil"? Where is "12 Monkeys"?

"Serenity" was fun and all, but those are good films...

Re:All Hail Terry Gilliam (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18584077)

They are too old. Anything older than 5 years is completely unknown to a generation that considers cool only that which came into existence after they were born.

Re:All Hail Terry Gilliam (1)

RyuuzakiTetsuya (195424) | more than 7 years ago | (#18584123)

Why is StarWars #2!? Blade Runner's from the 80's... 2001, Back To The Future...

BTTF and 2001 are atleast somewhat close to what scifi was originally identified as...

Re:All Hail Terry Gilliam (1)

Jason Earl (1894) | more than 7 years ago | (#18584177)

Then how the heck did "Planet of the Apes" make it in. Heck, that was made in 1968 and starred a young Charlton Heston.

Re:All Hail Terry Gilliam (2, Funny)

Secret Rabbit (914973) | more than 7 years ago | (#18584519)

When you get older, you'll understand.

Re:All Hail Terry Gilliam (1)

Flyboy Connor (741764) | more than 7 years ago | (#18584513)

Where is "Brazil"? Where is "12 Monkeys"?

Great movies (Brazil is actually one of my favorite movies of all time), but hardly Science Fiction in the movie sense. In the movies, science fiction equals space opera, or at least big special futuristic effects. In literature, it encompasses a wild variety of genres of which space opera is only a very small part.

Would Brazil [imdb.com] and 12 Monkeys [imdb.com] be included, I guess we would also see The Truman Show [imdb.com] , Stalker [imdb.com] , A Clockwork Orange [imdb.com] , Dr. Strangelove [imdb.com] , and Jakob's Ladder [imdb.com] on the list. All SF and great movies, but hardly recognised as such by the average movie goer.

Then again - maybe it is the voting process itself. Ask the average movie goer to name his favorites and you may end up with a list of reasonably good movies, but certainly not with the best (or most contraversial) movies. Still, that does not explain 2001 on the list.

In other news. . . (0, Flamebait)

Apple Acolyte (517892) | more than 7 years ago | (#18584003)

Coke trounces Pepsi. Apple trounces orange. Stupid post trounces intelligent post.

One Word: (1)

SinGunner (911891) | more than 7 years ago | (#18584011)

Relevance.

It came out so much more recently that the polls are bound to be skewed. When a horror movie currently in the box office is making more than some older one, we don't automatically say it's better than Halloween.

Awesome sampling, really (4, Funny)

svunt (916464) | more than 7 years ago | (#18584015)

3,00 readers of one SF magazine...yeah, that's definitive. I can think of a handful of SF films better than either. I'm a huge Firefly fan, loved Star Wars, but this "trouncing" is only slightly more relevant than me and my homies declaring 'Jabba the Slut' best SF-porn of all time on our MySpace page.

Re:Awesome sampling, really (1)

svunt (916464) | more than 7 years ago | (#18584111)

3,000 - there, fixed :D

Why did either one win? (3, Insightful)

edwardpickman (965122) | more than 7 years ago | (#18584021)

Neither one is much of a scifi film they are both fantasy films. It's not a value judgement I enjoyed both they just aren't really scifi films. 2001 and Bladerunner are scifi films. Neither of the films, Star Wars or Serenity, gave more than a passing thought to science. Star Wars had little to do with science and Joss Wedon seemed to keep confusing solar systems and galaxies. Both films were fantasy space operas. Really entertaining but in no way predicting a future that will or could ever happen. Star Trek has faired remarkably well as has 2001 but Star Wars is still fantasy. There's nothing wrong with space operas, they actually go back to the Buck Rodgers era, it's just they aren't science fiction. There's so little real science fiction people seem to be forgetting there's a difference.

What ??? (2, Insightful)

BlueTrin (683373) | more than 7 years ago | (#18584027)

Serenity named top sci-fi movie
Star Wars (...) came second in the survey.
Blade Runner was third, followed by Planet of the Apes, The Matrix, Alien and Forbidden Planet.


I was wondering while reading the article if this was not one of these stupid polls where people would vote for movies with special effects but how can you put Blade Runner in the same category than Serenity and Serenity #1 while Blade Runner #3 ???

For a fan, it would be like comparing The Untouchables with Terminator 3 or any of the latest action movies ...

I wonder how they recruited those so-called sci-fi fans ? Did they poll people who subscribed to Sci-Fi cable channel or put a flyer in Serenity DVD box ?

Serenity best? Not a chance... (1)

letchhausen (95030) | more than 7 years ago | (#18584033)

While I'm a fan of Firefly I didn't think that Serenity lived up to the magic of the series. It has a lot going on but there was something lacking, something sorta flat in comparison to the quirks of Firefly. However in no way can I see this as better than Bladerunner and Star Wars which are iconic in a way Serenity will never be. Just a buncha fanboys hunkering of the latest thing. Which ain't so latest at this point.

3000 people? (3, Insightful)

bushboy (112290) | more than 7 years ago | (#18584037)

It's been voted best by a one magazine with a tiny poll of 3000 readers?

Hardly conclusive evidence, given the fact that 99% of people who have seen Star Wars have never heard of the magazine in the first place ;)

Serenity was excellent, but definately not ground breaking - that's the difference.

Like what about (1)

arcite (661011) | more than 7 years ago | (#18584207)

Bladerunner? -- the best sci-fi of all time

I just watched Serenity on cable and it reminded me of the Babylon 5 movies. If you are a fanboi they rock...but they are hardly great examples of cinematic sci-fi.

Eve will beat them all! (1)

ezh (707373) | more than 7 years ago | (#18584045)

Eve [www.eve.is] will beat them all... Well, whenever they shoot a movie after it... And at the moment of the greatest of battles, when bad guys are about to be totally annihilated, the server claster will crash! And voice behind the scene will say "We are sorry, but the server was working fine. You lost ship petitions are going to be denied".

--
Thou shall pew-pew --From the book of Revelations...

Nothing like stratified random sample (1)

dfoulger (1044592) | more than 7 years ago | (#18584049)

Its clear that SFX took out all the stops in making sure that this was a representative poll.

Its equally obvious that the Slashdot headline writers knew a good headline when they saw one.

I'm sure that Serenity has a loyal fan base. Gosh, there must be at least 2000 loyal fans. I'm equally sure that there are lots of people who feel that Star Wars was a overhyped B movie. Based, however, on my continuing discussions with students in my Media Criticism classes, where Star Wars comes up as a favorite movie series for at least a sixth of my students every semester and Serenity never gets mentioned at all (Firefly did make the cut for two semesters a few years ago), I think I can safely dismiss this survey as meaningless.

In other news... (2, Funny)

denzacar (181829) | more than 7 years ago | (#18584065)

As we head into the new millenium, we'd like to applaud the winner of our voter's choice awaed for the greatest movie of the entire millenium:"POKEMON: THE FIRST MOVIE".
There is still time to vote for the most influential person of the millenium.
The contenders are: Britney Spears, Nostradamus, Will Smith, Michaelangelo (The turtle), and Pikachu!
We now present you the ultimate rock anthem which has stood the test of time, Kid Rock's "Bawitadaba!".

http://www.sluggy.com/daily.php?date=000102 [sluggy.com]

puh-lease (5, Interesting)

Tumbleweed (3706) | more than 7 years ago | (#18584085)

Does anyone think there would even *be* a Mal Reynolds if there hadn't been a Han Solo first?(and yes, they both shot first!)

Despite the depths of mediocrity that Lucas has since sunk to, give credit where credit is due. Star Wars and all the technology that ILM created during the making of the Star Wars films changed the industry forever. Blade Runner certainly changed the look of sci-fi films, but it still didn't have the impact that Star Wars did. I'm not sure that was the overriding criterion for making the list, though.

Serenity was great (GREAT! "I am a leaf on the wind!"), but c'mon, let's not get stupid here. While you don't have to have watched Firefly before Serenity to enjoy it, it certainly helps immensely. The whole Mal/Inara history has much more comedic impact if you have the Firefly backstory. The Rev? A complete throwaway character if you haven't watched Firefly!

The bigger surprise(s) of the list (for me) were what was included, that most fans have forgotten:

Planet of the Apes (the original) and Forbidden Planet. Right on.

Back to the Future? Uhm, I don't think so.

The Star Wars film that most fans seem to think was the best (Empire Strikes Back) wasn't even on the list? That seems a little odd.

Re:puh-lease (1)

Angostura (703910) | more than 7 years ago | (#18584493)

Forbidden Planet for me, every time. Thank God no-one has remade it.

I don't think it means much (1)

edwardpickman (965122) | more than 7 years ago | (#18584087)

It seems to have more to do with people's attention spans than the quality of either film. Ask most young people what their favorite song is and they'll likely mention something current. Ask them again in five years and they may hate the same song, try to find a disco lover alive today. Serenity is fresh in people's minds and Star Wars is 30 years old. Both have devoted followings but it's hard to compare the two. Serenity made a small profit and Star Wars was one of the biggest films in history. If people were voting with their dollars there's no comparision. Ask people ten years from now and probably neither film would have the number one spot.

Heh... Flaimbait +100FP (funny) (1)

jschmerge (228731) | more than 7 years ago | (#18584099)

Its about time a movie with worse cover art [dvdtown.com] beat out Kahn. [images-amazon.com]

Never heard of it. (1, Troll)

udos (986736) | more than 7 years ago | (#18584103)

What is Serenity?

Sorry. I don't mean to sound ignorant or anything. My wife says I already watch more than my fair share of Sci-Fi.

None of my friends ever spoke of it either.

Was this some special interest poll?

I would like to know if it was really good. Maybe I'll rent it.

SFX (1)

a_peckover (228357) | more than 7 years ago | (#18584139)

SFX is basically a Whedon and new Doctor Who fan magazine, which is why I stopped reading it. They are simply polling their own readers, rather than a more general sci-fi audience.

A poll of 3,000 people is hardly statistically relevant, either, when you compare the audiences - the billions (probably) who have seen Star Wars versus the relatively small number who have actually seen Serenity.

SFX's editorial staff have their favourites and they push those favourites. When they were running, the magazine was largely about Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Farscape. Star Trek and Stargate (which were fairly popular at the time) rarely got a word in.

Re:SFX (1)

adona1 (1078711) | more than 7 years ago | (#18584361)

A poll of 3,000 people is hardly statistically relevant

However, most polls/studies are like that. Studies of gaming and violence typically only have a few hundred people taking part, yet are quoted by politicians and /.ers alike.
The best example I can recall recently was in MX [mxnet.com.au] , saying there was a 1 in 214 chance of killing someone if you binged on ice.
How many people did they have in this study? 214. One might call that a statistical anomaly...

This FP for GNNA... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18584155)

So much missing (1)

Leo Sasquatch (977162) | more than 7 years ago | (#18584157)

In what seems to have been a conscious attempt to not have any references to Star Trek, or B5, Joss Whedon threw out so many of the common SF trappings that he envisioned a future that makes no sense. No FTL drive, so they're stuck in one solar system, where all the planets somehow still get enough light and heat to make them liveable. No robots, despite the fact that here in C21, we're making pretty fair advances in that department - ditto no A.I. Serenity itself appears to be able to navigate the spaceways with less computing power than my house. Some people have got city-sized spaceships, others are slaves mining mud. They've got anti-gravity, and nobody seems to have worked out what that means, for transport, and technology in general. Maybe if he'd been given a chance, he'd have explained some of the huge inconsistencies in future episodes, but I doubt it. He wanted to do a Western in space, so he did so, and simply closed his eyes to all the things about the concept that made no logical sense.

Re:So much missing (1)

Fallingcow (213461) | more than 7 years ago | (#18584389)

I watched a couple episodes of the show, and the movie, and didn't really like them, but I'd assumed that that particular bit of ridiculousness was somehow explained in some episode that I hadn't yet seen.

Thank you for you comment, as I may now freely ignore the rest of the series knowing that I'm missing nothing.

I think... (1)

nanosquid (1074949) | more than 7 years ago | (#18584173)

I think that tells you more about the SFX readership than about what the "best" SciFi films of all times are.

As far as I'm concerned like Blade Runner, Alien, The Day The Earth Stood Still, Forbidden Planet, Gattaca, Dr. Strangelove, Invasion of the Body Snatchers, or The Thing have more more of a claim to a top title than either Star Wars or Serenity.

I Blame Pudge (1)

joe_n_bloe (244407) | more than 7 years ago | (#18584263)

Do you think he is up to his old tricks? ;)

Not a single trek film... (1)

bacon55 (853395) | more than 7 years ago | (#18584269)

I don't care what the critics and the hardcores say - First Contact kicked ass.

Drunken Zefram Cochrane piloting the first warp flight, Borg Queen getting some beat down with acid by Data...it was good, very good. Better than Back to the Future, and without a doubt better than the turd mongler Matrix movies. "Red pill, blue pill", how about the cyanide pill so I don't have to watch this piece of crap for another minute longer...

I didn't love Star Wars, it was pretty good, but it's just not science fiction. Because something takes place in space with ships and laser guns doesn't make it sci fi. It was as much fantasy as the Neverending Story with a dog flying in LEO, or the Lord of the Rings with hobbits and wizards smoking the chronic.

Cool! (1)

gordgekko (574109) | more than 7 years ago | (#18584335)

So a bunch of readers of some obscure magazine decided that Serenity, a film that no one watched, is better than a movie that spawned a franchise worth billions, introduced technical innovations that continue to influence film today and -- not to put too fine a point on it -- people have actually seen? Serenity was a decent movie, I agree with its politics and over all it wasn't a waste of money to see but it was a bit of a letdown after the TV series.

Look, I don't even like Star Wars but this poll is yet another piece of evidence why polls are useless. Are they the same people that voted Oasis as better than The Beatles?

Don't take the results too seriously (2, Insightful)

91degrees (207121) | more than 7 years ago | (#18584457)

Firstly, this was just a web poll. There were only 10 options. Serenity was always going to be in the Top 10.

Only 300 people responded. It was pushed heavily on several browncoat Forums. This is just SFX magazine trying to get some column inches (and why not? They are a business after all).
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