The light on their faces: Mal is cragged, often shadowed, but strong, sad-eyed and kind. Kaylee is round, warm, and open. Sexuality and honesty. River is planed, underlit, eyes hooded. She’s a question. Simon works in angles as well, coolly handsome and hard to connect with - but ultimately he’s a romantic. Jayne doesn’t give a good goddamn how he’s lit. Zoe glows. She cannot help it. Wash is light, playful - often amongst his screens or slightly blown out by the sun of high atmosphere… Inara’s light is complex, like Mal’s. Hiding and beckoning.
-Joss Whedon (Serenity: The Official Visual Companion)
Time for one more clip and one more question. The clip is Mal talking to Simon at the end of the pilot. Mal notes that they’re still flying. Simon: “That’s not much.” Mal: “It’s enough.” Jensen asks Whedon about how “We’re still flying” has become a big mantra for the fan community, asks him again what the fans mean to him. Whedon’s struggling here. He’s overcome, and the fans call out, “We love you, Joss!” Fillion is crying for real, has very red eyes, and now there’s a standing ovation, again, and Glau is crying, and now the actors are all giving Whedon a standing ovation as well. Maher and Glau hug, Baldwin pats his heart to show how touched he is. Whedon: “Only an idiot would actually try to follow that with a sentence. When you come out of a great movie, you feel like you’re in that world. You come out of ‘Brazil,’ and suddenly everything is duct piping and everything’s weird and too much. You come out of certain things, and the world has become that. when you’re telling a story, you’re trying to connect to people in a particular way… The way in which you guys have inhabited this world, this universe, have made you part of it, part of the story. You are living in ‘Firefly.’ When I see you guys, I don’t think the show is off the air. I don’t think there’s a show. I think, that’s what the world is like. I think there are spaceships, there are horses, and our story is alive.” More applause, and then another round follows as the actors wave to the crowd one more time.
Bandit: You gonna give us what due us, and every damn thing else on that boat. And I think maybe you’re gonna give me a little one-on-one time with the missus.
Jayne: Oh, I think you might wanna reconsider that last part. See, I married me a powerful ugly creature.
Mal: How can you say that? How can you shame me in front of new people?
Jayne: If I could make you purtier, I would.
Mal: You are not the man I met a year ago.
Mal: Now think real hard. You been bird-dogging this township a while now. They wouldn’t mind a corpse of you. Now you can luxuriate in a nice jail cell, but if your hand touches metal, I swear by my pretty flowered bonnet, I will end you.
Love. You can learn all the math in the ‘verse… but you take a boat in the air that you don’t love… she’ll shake you off just as sure as the turn of the worlds. Love keeps her in the air when she ought to fall down… tells you she’s hurting before she keels. Makes her a home.