It was an epic slugfest. In the first six hours or so of io9.com’s March Movie Madness Final Showdown, The Empire Strikes Back had a decisive upper hand against the underdog Serenity. Both movies had dedicated fan bases that wanted to see their favorite movie win, but in the end, the underdog, Serenity — the David of science fiction — triumphed over the genre’s Goliath, Empire.
Perhaps the biggest upset in Internet polling history, the greatest cliffhanger in cinematic history was ousted by the love of Browncoats everywhere. As the Captain said, “Love keeps her in the air when she ought to fall down.”
At Unstoppable Signals, we did not take an official stand for or against either movie. We directed fans to our post, “Serenity Versus The Empire Strikes Back a David and Goliath Battle,” to give an overview of the merits of both films. Although we here are all die-hard Serenity and Firefly fans — heck, we were ready to pursue licensing and raise millions of dollars — we could not justify asking even dedicated Browncoats to vote against Empire.
After all, without Empire — and Star Wars for that matter — there never would have been Captain Malcolm Reynolds, the Alliance, or the Firefly-class ship. Without Star Wars, generally, a whole generation of science fiction and epic space fantasy movies and television would never have been made.
Several Browncoats felt the same way, based on comments at the “Help Nathan Buy Firefly” fan page on Facebook. Some said it was like being asked to choose between their children. Others insisted on Empire’s greatness over Serenity, and although they love Joss Whedon’s classic, they pulled the lever for Darth Vader, Yoda, Luke, Han, Chewie, Leia, and the droids.
As a result, Browncoats undoubtedly yielded hundreds if not thousands of votes for both sides of the Final Showdown. But in the end, they chose their true love. It wasn’t easy. For the first half of the poll, Empire was laying siege to Serenity. After pulling out to a net lead of about 850 votes, Serenity clawed its way back, picking up a couple hundred net votes every hour, until at about 10PM EST, it pulled ahead, not looking back.
Although polling had been scheduled to be closed at 3AM EST, io9.com apparently left the polls open. Perhaps it was an oversight. Or perhaps they were surprised with the result. Whatever the reason, the polls were not closed on time.
Ironically, all the extended voting hours seemed to have accomplished was widening Serenity’s margin of victory. When polls were supposed to close, Serenity held a close lead of less than 1,000, with a 51 percent majority. In the end, Serenity beat Empire 13,242 to 10,522, with 55.7 percent of the vote.
It was a decisive win for Browncoats, who motivated themselves against the odds to do something impossible once again. Time and again, they have proven themselves to be up to the challenge of promoting Serenity, Firefly, and all things in the ‘Verse.
It was just one more way of showing their unconditional love. And for that, today, the Browncoats are mighty. Science fiction’s David has beaten its Goliath. There truly is no power in the ‘Verse that can stop the signal.