Shepherd Book

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Name: Derrial Book
Occupation: preacher
Fandom: Firefly, Serenity
Other: Played by Ron Glass
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Shepherd Book is a character in Firefly and the 2006 film Serenity.


Comics publisher Dark Horse released a Book-centric graphic novel in 2010 titled Serenity: The Shepherd's Tale which filled in a remarkable amount of backstory on the character that had only been hinted at in the TV series and film.


Criticisms of Serenity

Some fans were unhappy with the conclusion of Shepherd Book's story in the film, Serenity.

Joss Whedon is a writer who's a bit patchy on death. A lot of the deaths in his work have real emotional impact, while some just leave the reader/watcher annoyed.

Serenity, the film that followed Firefly, has several character deaths in it and some of them lack the sincerity of others. For example, Shepherd Book is their gentlest and oldest character. He's killed offscreen by the Big Bad who are showing their muscle to Mal, Our Hero, by letting him know that no one he loves will be safe now. Book's death in fact has the opposite effect and inspires Mal to take on the Big Bad.

But Book's death is not super convincing. Mostly because his only reason for appearing in the film seems to be to inspire Mal. He's been there for about two minutes earlier on to say 'remember your conscience, Mal!' , then our heroes fly back to find Book's settlement shot up and Book manages to live just long enough to tell Mal that he needs to have faith. Because clearly, it's all about Mal, not the fact that everyone Book cared for in his community has just been ruthlessly slaughtered.[1]


Links and Resources


  1. ^ On Character death by blamebrampton, 28 April 2012. Accessed 22 June 2018.