Monday, July 2, 2007

New Serenity DVD

Well, this article came to my attention via the Expanded Universe blog written by Thrawn.

Now I love Firefly/Serenity. Both the movie and the television series. Frankly, I think the way that Fox treated Firefly, by jumping its timeslot all over the place to the point where no one could keep track of when it was coming on, was one of the stupidest decisions that they had ever done-and Fox has done some stupid things over the years.

I own the DVD's for both the TV show and the movie. No surprise there, me being a spec-fic junkie and all.

Yet, I have to wonder at Universal's decision to spit out this special edition DVD.

Why did they do it? Is there a sequel in the works? If so, then they have managed to pull the biggest prank on a fandom since RotJ was in filming, as there are absolutely no rumors about one being produced.

Frankly, I can't help but expect that this is merely an effort to get more money out of a devoted fanbase. It's kind of sickening the lengths businesses will go to exploit the fans of spec-fic series. Universal knows that the devoted fanbase will purchase this for one of two reasons:

  1. They truly love Serenity, and want to own the additional extras
  2. They want to support Serenity in a bid to get another movie made
The fact that Universal is playing with the fandom in this matter irritates me to no end. Mainly, because I know that it works so well. I find myself reading the description and wanting the extra features. Luckily, I'm self-aware enough to realize the way I'm being played here. It also helps that I've become something of a cheapskate over the past decade, and can't think up a good enough reason to justify the purchase, and sadly enough, despite knowing that I am being played, I tried to think up a reason.

This is the point where my wife would once again call me a "freak." Of course, she says this even as I buy her the next season of Gilmore Girls on DVD. In her own way, she is just as much a geek as I am. Just one that is more socially aware and accepted. But that's just one of the reasons why I love her-she balances me out, and keeps me from turning into the Comic Book Guy from The Simpson's.

And I mean that literally as well as figuratively. I've put on a few pounds these past few years.

Anyways, as I said, I'm annoyed the way that businesses are treating fandoms. You see it here with Serenity. You see it with Harry Potter (I still remember my amazement at seeing a hardcover book, costing about $15, entitled What will happen in Harry Potter 7 that described itself as a novel offering speculation concerning the seventh and final Harry Potter novel). You even see it with Star Wars (my rant about the Galactic Heroes figures, and then the Prequels in general).

They know that they have a loyal fanbase which will purchase all this trash that they keep throwing at us, but what is sad, is that despite the fact that spec-fic fans tend to be very smart in general, we keep doing it. We keep allowing ourselves to be walked over and abused this way.

What worries me, is I'm stuck wondering if we do so because we love the various series so much or if it's because we refuse to stand up for ourselves, afraid that if we don't buy every little thing that has the logo of our favorite fandom on it, that the license holder will suddenly stop producing materials for us.

I know I refuse to be a completist. I will buy the occasional figure, but will leave most on the shelves. I don't buy all the little stupid trinkets, heck I wouldn't own the Star Wars M&M statuettes if my mother-in-law had not purchased me them for Christmas. Yet that aside, I find myself being an EU completist. I purchase every piece of SW literature I can get my hands on, despite some of it being... well less than stellar.

And that's where my worry listed above truly comes from. I have to wonder about myself-do I really love Star Wars so much that I feel the need to buy every Star Wars novel, short story collection and TPB I find or am I just purchasing them because I want them to continue to be produced. Is is some odd combination of both?

What's sad is that I still don't have an answer.


RJ said...

I think the key is focusing completism on those aspects of fandom that you really do care about. When I saw the story about this Serenity DVD, I thought: "Hmm, interesting, but I have no interest in more extras."

On the other hand, when the Original Original Trilogy came out on DVD, I was all over those even though I already had them on DVD. Those were a must have for my fandom. (Whereas some people saw it as nothing but a Lucas money grab.)

In the same sense, we have a bunch of Galactic Heroes for my daughters, but I'm not too concerned about different paint jobs (although I do randomly have a few variations).

These businesses are only screwing us if you are allowing yourself to feel screwed. Completism can be a dangerous thing. These companies are smart enough to know that we're out there and take advantage of it. And more power to 'em.

Thrawn said...

It's a combination of the two for me. And I'm looking forward very much to hearing the commentaries with the cast/director and director. That alone would be worth the double-dipping IMO.

Stephen Wrighton said...

RJ: And that's a good point. But, are we, as a fandom, not endorsing the less.. well good, aspects of a franchise by being completists?

Thrawn: *nods* but would it be better to just rent the DVD to be able to watch the commentary just once? Frankly, I never watch the cast/director commentaries. They hold no true interest for me, but I'm obviously a minority on this, judging from the number of DVDs that have them ;)

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