Friday, April 19, 2013

Defiance pilot, a collage of the new and nostalgia

Two posts in a week! Normally, I try not to post more than once a week but I have a lot to say this week, apparently!  I'm just so over the moon about going to C2E2 I can't keep it to myself and now I really want to get this posted before the next episode of Defiance airs.
Apologies to those of you that subscribe, I'm not trying to spam.

I'll say up front, I like Defiance and I felt like the pilot was enough to make me want to check out the game.  I couldn't help but notice that it seemed like there were some graphics borrowed the game, and while I prefer not to be able to spot those kinds of things, I do hope it will help the show.  Perhaps they can share?  We've seen too many a beloved sci-fi show crash and burn due to budgetary constraints - especially those associated with special effects. 
While there were some bits that bordered on predictable, it was still fun. I'm not going to get into the nuts and bolts of the plot details because I highly recommend watching it and I don't want to give up too much. I will say that I felt like Defiance had a decidedly familiar feel to it that was, at first, hard to pin down and I think that's due to some similarities with multiple science fiction movies and shows.

The streets of Defiance were rife with Terra Novany Star Wars feels - the town itself had a very Terra Nova flavor to it, but with more aliens - which is very Star Wars. 
Location wise - you can't help but see it:

Terra Nova vs Defiance 
Defiance vs Terra Nova

Then there were the characters - decidedly Star Wars; there were four sets which I could not escape drawing parallels between:

Tarr is the hotter, thinner, paler, crime and pay-off-collecting kindred spirit of Jabba the Hut.

Jeb Nolan is the carbon copy of Han Solo.  The similarities were uncanny - from the gambling and hanging out in bars to dispatching a thug quickly with a short burst of violence which felt a bit like Han shot first.  Ever the reluctant hero, he didn't want to stick around at first, but eventually he did the right thing (Which one am I talking about there?  Ha!  You don't know, do you?  Because it's both!).

Madam Mayor Amanda Rosewater is a lot like Leia, both are beautiful leaders right down to their braids.  Amanda was tough on Jeb and despite being attracted to him, she didn't take any of his scoundrel crap.

Irisa and Chewie.  Both are loyal but deadly companions.  Chewbacca might have better manners than Irisa but there's no mistaking the close roles they play - even in their back stories.  If you are a giant nerd like me, you know Chewie was saved by Han, which is why Chewie follows Han through his escapades.  Han may not have saved The Chew from his own parents, but it flows in the same vein.

Speaking of Jeb and Amanda - I couldn't help but notice that their conversation about Jeb taking off with reward money seemed to echo a parallel universe in a galaxy far far away, by way of the ice planet Hoth with Han and Leia.  Both conversations also happen to take place whilst under the threat of an invasion...

Those kinds of conversations are also very reminiscent of interactions between these two:

 Mal and Inara/Firefly
All that being said I eventually end up here:

Yep.  I went there.  Fire-Def-Star-Nova.  Def-Star-Nova-Fly? Respectively: Mal/Firefly, Jeb/Defiance, Han/Star Wars, Jim/Terra Nova.  Apparently all big damn heroes* are required to have three letter first names.

Which leads me here:

Killing Machines: River/Firefly, Irisa/Defiance

To say nothing of this:

Irisa and Leeloo/Fifth Element

And if I'm going to go there, let's just skitter sideways to here:

Doc Yewell/Defiance and Odo/Deep Space 9

I also found that the post apocalyptic feel lends itself to Mad Max remembrances particularly with the vehicles but also with some of the characters - say hello to these guys:

Mad Max vs Defiance

None of this took away from the fact that I genuinely enjoyed this show, perhaps because Defiance reminds me of things I've genuinely enjoyed in the past.   It was like someone threw a bunch of things I love into a blender and Defiance poured out a spectacular remix - into a giant martini glass.  I will be watching to see where this goes, hopefully it will gel into something we can enjoy for more than one season.

*For those of you unfamiliar with this phrase - it's from Firefly.  Also, shame on you.  Go watch it.


  1. Awesome post! Only minor addition I would mention is all the common pilot plot elements between Defiance and Eureka.


    1. Sheriff with a daughter, replacing the old Sheriff somewhat reluctantly - excellent point!