List of Firefly planets and moons
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During the short television run of the Firefly series, it was not made clear whether the planets and moons depicted were located in one planetary system or many, although creator Joss Whedon and all licensed products, confirmed that there is no faster-than-light travel in the Firefly universe. The opening narration of the film makes it clear that the planets and moons are in one system with "dozens of planets and hundreds of moons." This is supported by production documents published in Serenity: The Official Visual Companion.
In 2008, a double-sided poster called the Complete and Official Map of the Verse was produced, which depicts the system as consisting of one central star (the "White Sun") orbited by the "core worlds" and several other stars (each of which has its own planetary system).
According to The Complete and Official Map of The Verse, the Verse is also known as 34 Tauri (2020), although it should be noted that the real 34 Tauri is not a star, but an object accidentally cataloged as a star by astronomer John Flamsteed in 1690 which was later determined to be the planet Uranus. A PDF file titled The Verse in Numbers, accompanying the map on its official website, and from which the map is based, states that in 2020 Earth astronomers discover that 34 Tauri, up until that time thought to be a single star, was actually a cluster of five stars and several brown dwarfs, and soon numerous Earth-sized planetary bodies are discovered. Plans to colonize the system were underway by the mid-21st century when conditions on Earth became so bad that it could no longer support human life and humanity needed to find a new home. Terraforming technology, tested on Earth's moon Luna and the planet Mars, was eventually developed to a level capable of increasing the surface gravity of a moon-sized body to around 1G (Earth standard) and hold surface water and atmosphere necessary to sustain life.
The system has five stars and seven brown dwarf/protostars. All the stars orbit the White Sun, which is a class A0 giant, 2.5 times bigger than Sol and 80 times as bright. The "Central Planets" are the terrestrial worlds that orbit the White Sun. Farther out in this system the Red Sun and Georgia share an orbit, along with the worlds orbiting these stars, referred to as "Border Planets". The fourth star Kalidasa and its planets orbit next. After that, the fifth and last star Blue Sun and its planets orbit. Worlds orbiting these last two stars comprise "The Rim". Planets too far away from the biozones of the main stars are sustained for habitability by a series of protostars. The protostars Qin Shi Huang and Lux orbit the White Sun. Murphy orbits Georgia. Himinbjørg and Heinlein orbit the Red Sun, Penglai orbits Kalidasa, and Burnham orbits the Blue Sun.
The number of terraformed worlds in the system is never mentioned in the series though in a deleted scene from the episode "Our Mrs. Reynolds", Captain Malcolm Reynolds mentions to the character Saffron that there are "more than 70 Earths spinning in this galaxy and the meek have inherited not a one." Also, the opening narration of the film Serenity gives us a brief history of the Firefly universe and mentions; "Earth That Was could no longer sustain our numbers; we were so many. We found a new Solar system, dozens of planets and hundreds of moons."
All of the following bodies were terraformed and made to have a standard atmosphere and gravity in order to be capable of supporting human life. During the movie Serenity, the planet Miranda is speculated to be a "black rock" – a planet where no life exists or is possible. A generic explanation (that the terraforming did not hold) is offered to explain it, indicating that this simply happened some times while the terraforming process was occurring.
Planets and Moons featured in Firefly and SerenityEdit
Ariel is a central planet of the Union of Allied Planets. It is the eleventh planet orbiting White Sun. It is home to a major medical center (named Saint Lucy's) of the Alliance's solar system. The majority of the action of the episode "Ariel" occurs on this planet. Ariel is home to a bioluminescent lake that is a popular swimming spot. Mal and Zoe's old war buddy Tracey carried human organs to Ariel, where they were meant to be removed from his body and sold. Ariel could be named after one of Uranus' moons in the stellar system of "Earth that was" which gets its name from Ariel the sprite in William Shakespeare's The Tempest. The crew of Serenity arrives on this planet for Inara's annual checkup.
Beaumonde, the fifteenth planet orbiting the star Kalidasa, is a fairly wealthy planet. The planet is known to have factories and ranches. The Serenity crew arrives here after their heist on Lilac, to share part of their earnings with the brothers Fanty and Mingo. Their port of call is a large Asian city. At the bar called Maidenhead, which was chosen for these dealings, they discover River's Alliance-conditioned fighting abilities. This occurs during the Serenity movie. About seven months earlier, the crew was headed for Beaumonde in the episode "Our Mrs. Reynolds". Beaumonde roughly translated from French means "beautiful world."
Bellerophon, seen in the episode "Trash", is a technologically advanced Alliance world, and home to the wealthy. It is the tenth planet orbiting the White Sun. It has both a large ocean and an empty area of desert climate, complete with canyons, rocks and sand. Isis Canyon is pointed out as the most deserted spot on the world. Bellerophon Estates, large self-contained estates that hover with anti-gravity above the moon's ocean, are described as having "gracious living, ocean views and state-of-the-art security." Durran Haymer, a collector of priceless Earth That Was artifacts, lives in Bellerophon Estates. The planet is named after a hero in Greek mythology. "Bellerophon" is also the name of an interstellar spacecraft referred to in the movie Forbidden Planet, as well as the unofficial name of 51 Pegasi b, the first extrasolar planet around Sun-like star to be discovered.
Haven, a moon of Deadwood, the seventh planet orbiting the Blue Sun, is the home of Shepherd Book, who left the crew during the events of the comic book series titled Serenity: Those Left Behind, and where he resided in the movie. It was also a place of refuge for the Serenity crew. In the novelization of the film, it is revealed that Haven is a mining planet which is often used as a hiding place for those running from the law (for a fee) and is where some smugglers or criminals decide to settle down.
Hera is an Earth-like planet with important significance to the Unification War (according to the "Core and Border Worlds" database included as bonus material on the Serenity Blu-ray disc, it was one of the three leading planets for the Independents' side). It orbits the protostar Murphy, which is the fourteenth planet orbiting the star Georgia. Serenity Valley is located here, where the Independent Faction experienced a crushing defeat at the hands of the Alliance. First mentioned in the episode "Serenity". Hera is named after a goddess in Greek mythology, Zeus' wife and sister. In the closed-captioning for the episode "Bushwhacked," it is erroneously spelled "Hara".
Higgins' Moon orbits Harvest, the fourth planet orbiting the Red Sun, where the primary commercial activity is mud mining which is performed by indentured workers called "mudders". The mud is exported offworld and used in the manufacturing of ceramic components. The bulk of the population are impoverished and/or indentured workers. The moon appears to be owned by a magistrate named Higgins. Jayne became a folk hero to the mudders in the town of Canton due to his role in a botched heist about four years before the time of the Firefly series. The crew visits Higgins' Moon in the episode "Jaynestown."
Jiangyin is a border planet located three weeks away from Persephone, and also nearby Greenleaf. It is the first planet orbiting the Red Sun and is the capital world of that system. Alliance law is known to be upheld here. The crew of Serenity sells a cargo load of cattle here in the episode "Safe". This is where Simon Tam is kidnapped to become the village doctor, and River is accused of being a witch. The planet is most likely named after a city in China's Jiangsu province along the Yangtze River.
Lilac is a moon of New Canaan, the second planet orbiting the Blue Sun (the "Core and Border Worlds" database refers to Lilac as a "border planet"). It is near Reaver territory. From space it appears to have a "lilac" (or purple-ish) color, which presumably it was named for. The Serenity crew land on Lilac to rob a vault holding an Alliance payroll. Lilac is at times roughly ten hours from Beaumonde as stated by Mal.
Miranda is the name of a planet located beyond Reaver territory.[a] It orbits the protostar Burnham, the eighth and final planet in the Blue Sun system. It was home to an Alliance colony with a population of 30 million.
The Alliance experimented on the population to find a way to make people more docile. Experiments with "G-23 paxilon hydrochlorate" (called "Pax") failed: 99.9% of the population became so passive that they essentially lost the will to live. The drug had the opposite effect on the remaining 0.1% of the population, who became extremely aggressive and butchered the Alliance scientists in charge of the experiments. This portion of the population escaped and became the Reavers. The Alliance tried to cover up what had happened on the planet by creating a story that the colony was lost due to failure of the terraforming process. Like Ariel, Miranda shares its name both with a character from The Tempest and a moon of Uranus.
Osiris, the seventh world orbiting the White Sun, is a wealthy core planet where Simon Tam attended medical school and worked as a trauma surgeon, mentioned in the episode "Serenity". Osiris is also likely to be the location of the Tam Family estate shown in various flashbacks in the episode "Safe". Named after the Ancient Egyptian god of life, death, and fertility, "Osiris" is also the unofficial name of HD 209458 b, the first extrasolar planet to be discovered by the transit method.
Persephone is a civilized planet with heavily stratified societal structure. According to the "Core and Border Worlds" database included as bonus material on the Serenity Blu-ray disc, it was one of the three leading planets for the Independents' side of the Unification War. Persephone orbits the protostar Lux which is the last planet in the White Star system. The Eavesdown Docks are located here, a commercial port and Badger's base of operations. The Serenity crew lands here periodically to resupply and pick up work. Simon and River Tam, Shepherd Book and the Alliance villain Dobson were picked up here in the episode "Serenity". Book had been living on Persephone at the Southdown Abbey. The planet was also the site of a swordfighting duel between Malcolm Reynolds and Atherton Wing in the episode "Shindig". Persephone's name comes from Greek mythology as the name of the "Queen of the Underworld" and was an early name for a proposed tenth planet.
Second planet orbiting Georgia. It is a mining world upon which many people are suffering from "Bowden's malady", a degenerative disease. This is where "The Train Job" takes place. Its name is Latin for "queen".
An unsophisticated planet near Persephone. It is a moon of Qin Shi Huang, a protostar orbiting the White Sun, which itself is the eighth planetary body in the system. From space, Santo has a bluish-gray color. Mal and Jayne get into a fight with some slavers here. It is seen in the episode "Shindig". Its name is Spanish for "saint".
St. Albans, the fifth planet orbiting the Red Sun, is an icy world, and Tracey's home planet. Located at times about two days away from the Space Bazaar Sky Plex. There is apparently a single Federal Station located somewhere on the planet, reasonably close to a huge gorge through which Serenity flies in an attempt to outrun an Alliance gunship. Tracey is brought back to this planet in the episode "The Message". It is named after the city of St Albans in Hertfordshire, England.
Triumph orbits the brown dwarf Heinlein, itself ninth body orbiting the Red Sun. Triumph is a primitive and poor world, apparently self-governed with rather unusual customs and traditions. Elder Gomman is the leader of the moon's settlers or, more likely, one small town's worth of them. Saffron was picked up here in the episode "Our Mrs. Reynolds".
Whitefall is the fourth moon of Athens, the ninth planet orbiting the star Georgia. A large percentage of the world is owned by a woman named Patience. Whitefall is said to not be civilization "in the strictest sense." The crew visits Whitefall hoping to sell their cargo to Patience in the episode "Serenity". A security outpost on the planet was later seen destroyed in the film Serenity.
Other planets and moonsEdit
These worlds were not featured on screen but were mentioned either in dialog or featured in other media such as the Complete and Official Map of the Verse, the Serenity comic books published by Dark Horse Comics and the Serenity Role-Playing Game published by Margaret Weis Productions.
Thirteenth planet orbiting the star Kalidasa. Named after Aberdeen, Scotland, a city on the river Dee.
Seventh planet orbiting Kalidasa. It has one moon called Zephyr.
Ninth planet orbiting Georgia. It has four moons, the fourth of which is Whitefall. It is likely named after the city of Athens, Georgia in reference to its star.
A moon of Boros, the third planet orbiting Georgia. It is mentioned in the Serenity Role-Playing Game. It is named after the Greek god of war.
A central planet, the first planet orbiting the White Sun. According to the "Core and Border Worlds" database included as bonus material on the Serenity Blu-ray disc, Bernadette is a staging ground for settler expansion out to border planets. The settlers in "Bushwhacked" left from here on their way to Newhall.
A planet orbiting Penglai, a protostar orbiting Kalidasa and the eleventh body in the Kalidasa system. It has three moons, and appears to have a permanent cloud cover and dense ice rings. Mal's war buddy Monty was caught by the Alliance here. Mal refers to it in the episode "Trash".
Third planet orbiting Georgia. It has a strong Alliance presence. Originally the destination of the travellers picked up by Serenity on Persephone. Mentioned in the episode "Serenity". A security outpost on the planet is seen in the film Serenity.
Third planet of Kalidasa where Mal, Zoe and Jayne try a bank heist while Shepherd Book delivers a sermon to act as cover. Seen in the comic book series Serenity: Those Left Behind. It may be named after a proposed name for Pluto.
Seventh planet orbiting the Blue Sun. It has two moons one of which is Haven. It is probably named after the town of Deadwood, South Dakota.
Dyton is a moon of Greenleaf, the third planet orbiting the Red Sun, and is possibly the home planet of Badger. The colony's inhabitants were likely of British origin, since English accents appear common among people from Dyton. Referred to by River in the episode "Shindig".
The first planet in the Georgia system (the "Core and Border Worlds" database refers to it as a "border moon"). Ezra is a desert world orbited by Niska's Skyplex. Mal tries to sell medical supplies here. Named in the script for "War Stories"
The third planet orbiting the Red Sun with a strong Alliance presence. Said to be located at times to be 10 hours away from Jiangyin. Mentioned in "Safe" as a location likely to have medical facilities.
The fourth planet orbiting the Red Sun. Higgin's Moon is one of its two moons.
A brown dwarf orbited by Triumph, Paquin, Lazarus, and Silverhold. The dwarf itself orbits the Red Sun and is the last body in the system. It may have been named in honor of science fiction author Robert A. Heinlein.
The fifth planet orbiting the Blue Sun. It has one moon, Perth. It is probably named after the London borough of Highgate
Fourth planet orbiting Georgia. Named after County Kerry, Ireland.
A core world and fourth planet orbiting the White Sun.
Londinium is one of the two major planets of the 'verse, (the other being Sihnon). It is the second planet orbiting the White Sun. It is inhabited primarily by colonists from the western continents of Earth-that-was and is the location of the Alliance Parliament. Londinium was the Roman name for London. The name is misspelled "Londinum" in the Firefly Official Companion, Volume One, and is also misquoted as "Ondinia" in the subtitles of Region 2 & 4 DVDs.
Third planet orbiting the Blue Sun. It is where the character Badger was raised.
Newhall orbits the protostar Penglai which is the eleventh body orbiting the star Kalidasa. It was the destination of colonists coming from Bernadette in the episode "Bushwhacked".
The second planet orbiting the Red Sun. It is mentioned as having extensive fisheries, indicating that it may be an ocean world. In "Objects in Space", Inara and Mal discuss the possibility of her disembarking there. Mal also says that everything on New Melbourne "...is either fish and fish related activities so unless you’ve got the overwhelming urge to gut sturgeon, and who hasn’t occasionally?" from this it is concluded that New Melbourne is an oceanic planet, probably named after the Australian city Melbourne, which is on the sea, though pronounced significantly differently.
A planet orbiting the brown dwarf Heinlein and a location mentioned as having a job for Mal and his crew in the episode "Out of Gas."
A moon of Bellerophon, and mentioned by Saffron in the episode "Trash", where she claimed (falsely) to have been sold to slave traders.
A planet orbiting the protostar Lux, the thirteenth and last body orbiting the White Sun, which is also orbited by Persephone. It is a resort world where the crew of Serenity travels after they successfully hijacked the drone in Better Days.
The seventeenth and final planet orbiting the star Kalidasa. It is named after the city of Salisbury in Wiltshire, England.
A moon of the brown dwarf/protostar Heinlein which is the eleventh and final body orbiting the Red Sun. Said to be eight sectors away from St. Albans which is the fifth planet in the same system. The Silverhold Colonies are the jurisdiction of Federal Agent Womack in the episode "The Message".
An agricultural planet orbiting the protostar Murphy, along with Hera and Aphordite. Murphy itself is the fourteenth and final body orbiting the star Georgia. Shadow is where Mal Reynolds was raised on his mother's ranch. The Serenity Role-Playing Game and "Core and Border Worlds" database both state that it was rendered uninhabitable during the Unification War as it was one of the three leading planets for the Independents' side. Mal is quoted as saying of it: "No one lives there. No one can."
The third planet orbiting the White Sun. Together with Londinium, Sihnon is one of the two major planets of the universe. It is inhabited primarily by colonists from China. The planet is highly sophisticated and technologically advanced. It is also Inara Serra's home planet. From space, the planet has a deep red color. The capital city is said to be, according to Inara, "like an ocean of light." Mentioned in the episode "Serenity". The name Sihnon originated from the Greek myth of the Trojan War, in which the Greek man Sinon helped design the Trojan Horse. The name is misspelled as "Zenon" in the subtitles of Region 2 & 4 DVDs.
Theophrastus is shown at the conclusion of the 2014 Dark Horse graphic novel Serenity: Leaves on the Wind. Perhaps alluding to the botanical skill of the Greek philosopher Theophrastus, it appears to be a green and pleasant place.
The second planet orbiting Kalidasa. Formerly a poor and undeveloped frontier planet, the Alliance chose it as a site of a new gearshift assembly factory for military skiffs. Appears in the unaired script "Dead or Alive".
The tenth planet orbiting the star Kalidasa.
- "Sihnon isn't that different from [Persephone]. More crowded, obviously, and I guess more complicated. The great city itself is... pictures can't capture it. It's like an ocean of light." — Inara Serra, Serenity (pilot episode)
- "Earth-that-was could no longer sustain our numbers, we were so many. We found a new Solar system — dozens of planets and hundreds of moons. Each one terraformed — a process taking decades, to support human life, to be new 'Earths'. The Central Planets formed the Alliance. Ruled by an interplanetary parliament, the Alliance was a beacon of civilization. The savage outer planets were not so enlightened and refused Alliance control. The war was devastating, but the Alliance's victory over the Independents ensured a safer universe. And now everyone can enjoy the comfort, and enlightenment of true civilization." – River Tam's teacher, Serenity movie
- Chambers, Jamie (2007). Serenity: Role Playing Game. Margaret Weis Productions, Ltd. p. 198. ISBN 978-1-931567-50-3.
Lacking "faster-than-light" drives, folk found the journey to their new home long and taxing.
- The Complete and Official Map of The Verse by Geoffrey Mandel, published by QM Press
- Whedon, Joss (2006). "Shindig". Firefly: Official Companion, Volume One. Titan Books. p. 122. Although the DVD shows "Titan" in the subtitles, the Official Companion is the actual script.