Boosting The Signal: A Look Back At Firefly

They say you never forget your first.
And for me, that first was Firefly.
The first Sci-Fi franchise I found all on my own little onesie, no influence from Family Guy doing a spoof, no slight urging from a friend, no podcast making me warm up to it over time.
Firefly was all me, and all mine.

I grew up watching Buffy, but I missed the show when it first aired because this was the era before the internet and in a time when I would see “From The Creator Of” and not know enough to care what that meant.
So, in more ways then one, I missed the boat.

Now, I distinctly remember the trailers for Serenity when it was still coming soon and thinking it looked so damn weird.
The image of that weird girl, River, with her ballet like twirling and slashing while holding those things that looked like battleaxes always stuck out as something strange and different…and, at the time, not for me in any way, shape, or form at all!

So cut to a few years later and the introduction of Blu-Ray Disc, the cutting edge, the next evolution of home video!
Pre-The Clone Wars, for me at least, walking through the home video section at Walmart and I see this weird lookin’ sci-fi movie cover with its striking looking woman, this intense looking dude, and that beautiful ship.
It only cost $10 or $15, so I took a shot.

Now, for those unfamiliar with Firefly/Serenity, this was a dumbass dipshit move as Serenity is basically the series finale of Firefly.
I don’t want to spoil too much for those of you that don’t know the series and movie, but there are key character deaths, the biggest questions are answered, and I’m pretty damn sure all the mysteries of the series are solved.
So, yes, I watched that first.
But I didn’t give any amount of a shit, I loved it!
The humor, the action, the cast, and most of all the ship itself.
That homey, fully realized, eye-catching, and perfect boat was, and remains to this day, to be one of the biggest selling points for me.

Now, after watching the movie, I definitely felt like I missed something somewhere.
Until I dove into the special features, I never knew Firefly existed beyond the off-handed Family Guy joke about all of the shows that FOX had cancelled.
Those few bonus features opened up a whole new world!
Not long after I found the series on DVD, quickly I watched it and the movie in order.

Recently, I rewatched all fourteen episodes and the movie again and I feel basically the same as I felt over a decade ago, the same as the Browncoats that have been there since the premiere back in 2002.
This was, and continues to be, a wonderfully original series in style, tone, and use of language that was cut down well before it ever got a chance to hit its heights.
But what we were left with still set a damn high bar that most shows still don’t get near.
Pretty much the entire cast has gone on to great success in other shows, some on FOX.

And the quality and cast aren’t the only lasting pieces of this show’s legacy, because this little red headed stepchild of a franchise has rippled through even the heaviest of heavy hitters.
For example, I don’t think a single person can look at Solo and The Mandalorian (both of which I completely and utterly love) and seriously say that Firefly didn’t influence them.
Solo even has the space train robbery for christsake!

Now, in the age of the ever vocal internet, fans have been outspoken enough to warrant multiple comic series and 4 novels, so far.
In Serenity, Mr. Universe said what has become a sort of rallying cry for Browncoats everywhere “You Can’t Stop The Signal”, and that is more than fitting.
But after rewatching the entire show, another quote feels even more appropriate “When ya can’t run no more, ya crawl.
And when ya can’t do that, ya find somebody to carry you.”
We may never get any more filmed content from this franchise, but I’m glad the legacy will be carried on through comics and novels.

Special thanks to @ACFerrell1976 for her continued editorial assistance.

Fitz’s Toy Chest #11: R5-D4

Welcome back again guys. It’s time to open up the toy chest and rediscover another vintage treasure!

This week we’re going way back to circa 1979 to take a look at one of the figures released in 1978 as part of the first expansion of the Kenner Star wars line.

The Kenner line started off with just 12 figures but soon expanded to 20 when they began producing figures for “blink and you miss them” background characters like Snaggletooth, Hammerhead, etc.

Our subject this week is one of the more unlikely additions, since their entire on screen performance consisted of rolling forward a few feet and immediately exploding. While this proved to be possibly the most critical turn in the entire Saga, it doesn’t really do much to make for an exciting action figure.

Today we’re going to take a look at none other than the owner of the baddest bad motivator in the galaxy, R5-D4.

R5-D4
Company: Kenner
Acquisition Year: 1979?
Acquired via: Purchased ???
Years In Possession: 41

When I think back to those early days of Kenner Star Wars collecting, believe it or not the place that I’m reminded of most is Sears.

I can still see the 60s/70s tile on the floor that looked like millions of tiny stones embedded in the floor. The brown metal door frames of the entrance, with the big wide handles, and the snack bar that greeted you just inside the entrance. It had high bar tables and smelled like butter from all the ever present spilled popcorn on the ground.

It was just past this snack bar that the toy section could be found. My palms still get a little sweaty when I think about seeing the old 12 and 20 back figures on the pegs. I can still remember seeing an endcap display containing a pile of landspeeders and cantina playsets.

And it was there that I saw R5-D4 on the pegs for the first time.

Not the most glamorous figure to be sure, but being the only other astromech besides R2 in the original line made him kinda cool. (Even though this figure is 75% the exact same as the R2 figure)

He has the same leg sculp and body as the R2 figure with just a different color scheme (an odd orange color reminiscent of the sauce in Spaghettios)

One thing about the Kenner astromechs is, they weren’t overly concerned with the accuracy of their dome sculpts. Obviously the technology in the 70s didn’t allow for super detailed figures, but these droids only look like their onscreen counterparts in the loosest sense possible. However, that only adds to the charm in my opinion.

R5’s 3 orange “eyes” are just as real in my head canon as R2’s giant blue “eye”. Neither look anything like the film prop, but who cares?

As always thanks for reading, and I’ll be back soon to share some more gems from my personal collection of old ass plastic junk.

Share this post on Twitter with the hashtag #TNBToyChest, and let us know what you think!

The Nerd Blitz Question Of The Week #85

The eighty fifth edition of TNBQotW is upon us, but what could the topic possibly be this week?
Let’s dive in to it and find out together, shall we?

This week, we’re heading again to that most wonderful place known as out side space!
And we want to know: What Is Your Favorite Space/Star Ship In All Of Fiction And Why?

Leave your answer down in the comments below or tweet it to us over on the Twitter time @NerdBlitzPod or by using the hashtag #TNBQotW

A special thank you goes out to the good sir @SteBoost for creating our eye catchingly sexified QotW logo.

Episode 091: Fitz’s Big Meat

5dbd718e1181e.imageIn this episode, the shit is about to hit the fan as one of them is in one hell of a mood…and oh boy, does it show in a big bad way, man, so buckle the funk up!

A Pimp Spot turns into pondering superhero kinky sexy times, hostility of the worst kind, Fitz gets blind sided by a surprise topic, has the biggest meat of his life, and Doom gets to the bottom of the big mystery behind The Cowboys.

We class up this joint by talking about live music in person vs live music that’s recorded, Doom proves yet again that he is the master subtly, then they rail against places that buy shit CAUSE THEY FUCKIN’ SUCK!

*slowly breathes*
…annnywhhhhooooooooo…enjoy the show…

URL: Episode 091: Fitz’s Big Meat
Direct Download: tnb091.mp3

Episode 090.5: Double Butter Ass

rise of skywalkerIn this episode, the circle is now complete as the fellas head out on the road again cause they’re gonna see a Star War GONNA SEE A STAR WAR together for the fifth time ever in this jumbo sized, extra special, reaction filled, three in one, .5 episode!

In this mega sized Star Wars Special we cover our reactions to Season One of the hit series The Mandalorian, try to understand why folks don’t seem to understand the concepts of building tension or slow burn character based storytelling.

Star Wars Episode IX: The Rise Of Skywalker has unfolded and, due to some super wonky time traveling shenanigans, you’ll hear BOTH of our first reactions in one episode for the first time ever…we think…so strap in for one hell of a ride as your favorite unknown podcasters are back with a vengeance!

URL: Episode 090.5: Double Butter Ass
Direct Download: tnb090_5.mp3

The Nerd Blitz Question Of The Week #75

The holidays are upon us, but fuck dat noise, we’re still deep in to the most dense Star Wars season we’ve ever seen yet!
So let’s dive in deep and take a look.

This week, we’re dealing with the fallout of Episode 9 in the most ***NON-SPOILERY*** way possible.
We want to know: What Did You Think Of Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker?

Leave your answer down in the comments below or tweet it over to us on the Twitter @NerdBlitzPod or by using the hashtag #TNBQotW

Special thanks goes out to the good sir @SteBoost for creating our eye catchingly sexified QotW logo.

Twas The Night Before Star Wars

Twas the night before Star Wars,
And all through the house,
Everyone was clearly on edge,
Due to Ep 9 from the mouse.

The internet was ready,
To have its knickers in a twist,
After 2 years of bitching,
They were primed to be pissed.

They whined about Force Awakens,
Screaming and running for mace!
Rian Johnson made Last Jedi,
And they spit in his face!

Rogue One got to slide by,
They did not bitch very much.
Solo wasn’t nearly as lucky,
They cried worse and such.

“My childhood, you raped it!” They sure loved to scream.
All the while not realizing they had turned into a meme.

The dark side was winning,
This seemed perfectly clear.
No one knew how to fix it,
We’d hear whining all next year.

But all had forgotten a most spectacular fact…
Come February of next year,
The Clone Wars is back!

Trust in Dave Filoni,
Use The Mando as proof!
That truth alone should have you through the roof.

And so The Rise of Skywalker has come now,
But please do keep this in mind,
Many folks are sure to love it,
So don’t act like the middle of a great big behind.

Now as our tale nears its end,
There’s something I must say.
Don’t be a cunt tomorrow,
No spoilers on opening day!

Love it or hate it,
This you can’t do.
You must act like Jedi,
Not akin to poodoo.