Talk:Reaver (Firefly)

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Archive 1

Reaver population percentage[edit]

At least two attempts have been made to change the Reaver percentage of the population from "0.1%" to "10%". We need to be sure of the facts before we do edits like these. I have reverted the latest edit based on the following passage from the novel:

There are people — not people. About a tenth of a percent had the opposite reaction to the Pax.

"A tenth of a percent" is 1/10 of 1.0%, or 0.1%, not 10%. As far as I've been able to tell so far, the novel corresponds quite closely to many of the quotes from the film, but I'll be catching the film again soon to verify this. ~ Jeff Q (talk) 06:55, 16 October 2005 (UTC)

The message in the movie did say "(about) a tenth of a percent." --Pentasyllabic 02:47, 19 October 2005 (UTC)
Just watched the movie and the movie said 10% Jayteecork 02:11, 24 March 2006 (UTC)
Where, and who said it? I distinctly remember her (the Alliance rescue team member from the recording) saying "a tenth of a percent." Since she was the only person (well, not only... you know what I mean) who actually saw the result of the Pax first-hand, anyone else's statement is merely an estimate, and shouldn't be considered fact. EVula 05:06, 24 March 2006 (UTC)

Okay, folks. I'm getting a little testy about having to repeatedly point this out, so allow me to do it very thoroughly this time. Here is the relevant excerpt from the film, spoken by actress Sarah Paulson, who did such a great job as Merly in American Gothic, but was necessarily underutilized in this film:

Dr. Caron: There's 30 million people here, and they all just let themselves die.
[Everyone jumps at the sound of a brutal attack in the distance.]
Dr. Caron: I have to be quick! About a tenth of a percent of the population had the opposite reaction to the Pax.

I'll say it one more time: "a tenth of a percent" is 1/10 of 1/100, which, for those folks who didn't do so well with fractions in middle-school math, is 1/1000, or 0.1%. If you doubt the actual wording, please watch the DVD and speak the words along with Sarah. You will find that if you try to say "a tenth of the population" (leaving out "of a percent"), or try to say "about ten percent" (5 syllables) instead of "about a tenth of a percent" (8 syllables), your recitation will not be in sync with hers. I would add an audio clip of the relevant passage to Wikipedia using the following license tag:

{{fair use in|audio clip of frequently misquoted passage to support citation}}

but at the moment, my stereo-to-computer connections are screwed up. I don't know how else to make this clear. ~ Jeff Q (talk) 03:28, 25 March 2006 (UTC)

After yet another incorrect correction (this one to "0.01%", or one hundredth of a percent), I finally uploaded a sound clip (Image:Reaver (Firefly).percent.ogg) to provide quick verification by readers (listeners?). I'll add it to the article shortly. ~ Jeff Q (talk) 23:48, 15 May 2006 (UTC)
So, if we know it's 1/1000 of the population, and the estimated 30 Million are the 999/1000 left, would it be fair to mention that there were, at least originally, around 30,000 Reavers? --Sauron18 19:21, 31 May 2007 (UTC)
I believe simple arithmetic, which cannot be subject to opinion, would not be considered original research. (It is subject to correct when done incorrectly, and complex math might be another matter entirely.) However, it should be made clear in the text how it was derived from referenced data cited earlier in the text (e.g., "30,000 Reavers (0.1% of 30 million)"), so the figure doesn't itself get tagged citation requested".
But we must also be careful about unsupported extrapolation. Strictly speaking, Caron's quote and the math together allow us to say "about 30,000 people had 'the opposite reaction' and presumably did not 'just let themselves die'", but what exactly does that mean? Did they all leave the planet to become Reavers? Did most of the 30,000 who didn't "just let themselves die" end up killing each other before the population settled on some other activity?
This is the peril of fannish extrapolation, and is often thwarted by the authors' subsequent stories, not only because the specific data was left ambiguous, but because these are works of fiction, and their creators' literary license cannot be expected to conform to hard rules of reality. Best not to extrapolate at all for encyclopedic purposes. (But plug away on the fan sites! That's why they exist. ☺) ~ Jeff Q (talk) 19:19, 1 April 2008 (UTC)

I've just been notified that my sound file supporting the cited reference of "0.1% of the population", etc., has been tagged as orphaned after Arcayne removed it from the article. (It took a bot less than 6 hours to notice this. They're getting really fast about ridding Wikipedia of non-free-use material!) While I believe the use was justified because of the frequent failure of editors to accept the transcribed source material, I'm also in the camp that prefers independent, written sources for important data. Unless there's a fuss about keeping this, I'm inclined let the sound clip be deleted. (I know the magic incantations to properly tag the image if its use is restored here, but I don't want to bother unless there's a solid feeling that we still need it.) ~ Jeff Q (talk) 19:26, 1 April 2008 (UTC)

Jeffq, I am sorry about removing the file, as it was being used to point out an argument occurring here in Discussion, and had little in the way of value to the actual article. It wasn't meant to get your nose out of joint, since you are 100% accurate about your assertions that we need to avoid fannish extrapolation and the original research that comes from bigbrain fans with a pocket calculator and too much free time.
We don't know how many Reavers there were. It doesn't matter. It isn't important. At all. There were enough to move the plot of the series and the movie along, and that is all that is important, just like there isn't a need to know how many clones there are, or who would win a fight between Kirk or Picard (Kirk would beat the snot out of him, btw). It's noise, unimportant to the story or the article. That 1% was infected was a scientific approximation in the absence of an actual headcount, so let's not get crazy here. - Arcayne (cast a spell) 21:23, 1 April 2008 (UTC)
My nose wasn't out of joint about the removal. I thought it was a reasonable action based on the apparent superfluity of audio evidence, which I had brought in last year only because of regular arguments about this point. I might have been a bit more distressed about your apparent belief that I'm anxious to keep this bit of information in the article… except that I've been known to respond to a questionable inclusion argument with a Supreme Court case from time to time. (Your response is quite measured by comparison.) I agree that this piece of information is fairly insignificant and seems to have been treated so by creator Joss Whedon (I don't recall the quantity or percent ever figuring in any other scene in any story). I'm happy to stand down from the state of crazy. (But Picard could take Kirk by fighting smarter. And for the last time, it was 0.1%, not 1%!!! Arggh! Getting crazy again… ) ~ Jeff Q (talk) 01:25, 2 April 2008 (UTC)
Okay, 0.1%, then. Still, that's a lot o' angry to stuff into an irradiated ship without caffeine, soap or lubricant. Gah! - Arcayne (cast a spell) 15:56, 2 April 2008 (UTC)
  • 99.9% of statistics are guestimated on the spot anyway (and with the Reavers busting down the door, Dr, Caron was on the spot). So there were about 30,000 Reavers created by the Pax, hunh. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Naaman Brown (talkcontribs) 18:42, 12 November 2008 (UTC)


Shouldn't this be under plural - Reavers (Firefly)? --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| talk 23:06, 11 February 2008 (UTC)

As there is a dab term and redirect in place to catch anyone typing in the plural version, I think we are fine. - Arcayne (cast a spell) 21:24, 1 April 2008 (UTC)


Anyone else think these Reavers resemble the ideal Nephandi footsoldier army of the future? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:15, 14 March 2008 (UTC)

Unless an independent, reliably published source thinks so, and this published observation is more than just trivia about a single story element of Firefly, there's little point in discussing it here. These pages are used to discuss article content, not fan curiosity. ~ Jeff Q (talk) 19:29, 1 April 2008 (UTC)
Abso-frackin'-lutely. Wikipedia is not a fan forum. - Arcayne (cast a spell) 21:25, 1 April 2008 (UTC)

It says "that rather than firearms reavers will use any sharp object" yet I seem to remebmer in the end of the movie machinguns shotguns and at least 1 dart gun in the hands of the reavers which is correct ?

Links to Border Reivers[edit]

Hello all - would it be worth pointing out that the Reavers seem to have certain similarities with the Border Reivers who terrorised the populations of northern England and southern Scotland during the 13th-16tn century? In addition to the name, the idea of a highly mobile, voracious and violent group attacking and plundering settled communities in a liminal area seems to have some relevance to the Reavers in Firefly/Serenity. Lo, Edinburgh —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:06, 1 June 2008 (UTC)

We've already addressed this in the archive. We need reliable sources that have already published such comparisons, which we could then summarize. Otherwise, it's just original research, which is not acceptable content. So far, we haven't found any sources for this logical possibility. But you're welcome to look! ~ Jeff Q (talk) 07:11, 1 June 2008 (UTC)
I agree with Jeffq here. No sources speaking about this connection means we cannot incude any connection that we ourselves make. - Arcayne (cast a spell) 17:45, 1 June 2008 (UTC)
Thanks for the prompt response - good point well made. Lo —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:51, 1 June 2008 (UTC)
No worries. Thanks for asking for a heads-up first. That was very cool of you. - Arcayne (cast a spell) 04:59, 2 June 2008 (UTC)
Okay, check it. I thought I was the first to find this connection. "LOL." John D. Rockefeller Jr > greenmailer > Border Reivers and then I thought of Firefly. Isn't wikipedia awesome? I find the linking from one page to the other incredible. (talk) 03:05, 11 June 2008 (UTC)
I recall seeing a fan Q&A with Joss Whedom himself who appeared rather surprised when informed of the Border Reivers. The cannibalism aside you wouldn't be crazy for thinking they where inspired by the Border Reivers but unfortunately it seems this is not the case. --Delta-NC (talk) 02:23, 9 August 2008 (UTC)
Quite a coincidence! I wonder if Whedon knows that there's actually an insect known as a firefly? Probably not! (^_^)Gzuckier (talk) 19:55, 30 September 2009 (UTC)
Late to add I guess. But, I came here, maybe someone with an answer will drop by. I had read about the Sawney Bean family and began to wonder if those, and not the Reivers, were Whedon's inspiration. To reave is a verb to plunder, pillage, rob, pirate, and otherwise engage in hideous negativity, so the Reavers could have been thunk up w/o thinking about the Reivers. --Naaman Brown (talk) 17:53, 17 June 2015 (UTC)


I wonder if it's worth mentioning that the Reavers seemed to play a big part in the first handful of episodes, but then didn't appear again in the later part of the series, aside from the movie. Maybe they were going to get focus later? SoulReaverDan (talk) 19:52, 2 June 2008 (UTC)

That's interesting speculation for us Browncoats, but it doesn't really belong in Wikipedia. Sorry. ~ Jeff Q (talk) 07:07, 3 June 2008 (UTC)

The only thing Jayne is scared of?[edit]

Reavers are also possibly the only thing that even Jayne fears, as the mere suggestion of traveling where there is a risk of encountering Reavers makes him extremely agitated, declaring that "Reavers ain't human!"

I seem to remember Jayne being afraid of several things other than reavers - notably, River. I just watched the series and movie again, I believe in the episode after Ariel, River and Simon are talking and River speculates that he (Jayne) is afraid (of them finding out that he tried to sell them to the feds, something which the viewer is able to understand but which Simon does not - given River's mental condition, we don't know if she knows or not). I conclude that Jayne is also afraid of the captain('s wrath). Of course, this is largely irrelevant to this article - what is relevant is that reavers are not the only thing he's scared of. Metalmiser (talk) 03:25, 1 November 2010 (UTC)
P.S. I would edit this to suit what I feel is correct - but I would not have a clue how to! Perhaps just a small change "Reavers are one of the only things that Jayne fears..." would be adequate?

Reavers are the only thing that are shown to have a genuine reaction of fear and panic in even The Operative.

Ghost of Mars seems to be irrelevant[edit]

"Ghost of Mars" was released one year before the first episode of Firefly aired. So I don't think it's in any way inspired by Firefly for obvious reasons. — Preceding unsigned comment added by JKrems (talkcontribs) 03:32, 26 December 2011 (UTC)

I think the general idea predates both productions. It would be nice to have something on the Origin of the idea/theme in the article. I think I have read similar (not just regular space pirates) stories in books. It also reminds me of "Mad Max" and other post apocalyptic horror movies. It certainly is not an original concept. What is fascinating is the concept of degradation of civilization outward in space to this extreme point. My guess would be that the concept dates back into the 70s. This article would actually be justified if it was about the theme and not just some character in a TV show. -- (talk) 18:57, 16 January 2013 (UTC)

Having been through AfD twice this article has already been found to be justified. If an article is released stating what the inspiration was, it would be great to add it. Adding personal speculation on what individuals believe may have been the inspiration for the characters would not be. DiverScout (talk) 19:10, 16 January 2013 (UTC)


Is animalistic the right description for these people? Surely barbaric is more suitable. (talk) 18:48, 9 November 2014 (UTC)

They don't talk, they just act like near mindless animals, that somehow remember how to fly spaceships, altering them to their liking. Dream Focus 20:44, 9 November 2014 (UTC)

Timecode - diffferent version?[edit]


In my DVD version of the film Serenity (region 2-French & Italian), the timecodes are off by about 2 minutes. Any idea why? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:03, 8 November 2017 (UTC)

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