Character-Driven Conflict in "Firefly"

Firefly is among the best television ever created. If you're a nerd then you'll probably like it.

Spoilers Ahead

We like characters who create conflict because stories are about conflict and we like characters who drive their own stories. That's why Professor Moriarty is more fun than Sherlock Holmes.

Firefly exemplifies the technique of using characters to drive story.


Mal is a soldier on the losing side of a failed civil war.

Zoe & Wash

Zoe served under Mal in the civil war. As a soldier, Zoe is her woman doing a man's job. Wash is a wimpy pilot. He feels like he isn't manly enough.


Inara is a courtesan.


Jayne is a mercenary. He likes sex, guns and money.


Kaylee is the engineer.


Simon is a doctor.


River is a crazy teenage girl experimental super soldier.


Serenity is their ship.