INDEPENDENT PLANETS: Cultural Index

INDEPENDENT PLANETS: Cultural Index


The Independent Planets formed from the disillusioned
and far worlds of the 34Tauri2020 cluster to oppose the alliance. This was an attempt
to organize the planets into a resistance to fight for independence from the core worlds
and as such as a mash up of the societies of its member planets. Hello all, Ric here
and this index is looking into the myriad of planets that made up the outer rim and
border worlds of the Firefly series. The Unification War was fought between the
Union of Allied Planets and the Independent Planets from 2506 to 2511 and marked the end
of the Independent movement followed by the official reestablishment of Alliance control
over these systems. However, with the distance from the central planets, these frontier worlds
are alliance territory in the loosest sense of the word and many who inhabit them feel
that the Alliance views them with all the distain of a soiled boot.
First off, let’s define these worlds in basics. The star cluster that that Firefly
takes place in is a series of star systems orbiting a central white star. Those planets
that orbit the white star are known as the “civilized” central worlds while thems
that orbit the outer stars are the border and rim worlds.
The entire cluster was terraformed beginning in the 2200s from colony ships sent from Earth-that-was.
Civilization was settled on the inner worlds first and then humanity spread out from there,
terraforming the myriad of terrestrial moons and planets. This means that the inner planets
are more established, being far older and have a myriad of cities and a high level of
technological development. The outer planets by comparison are far less developed and some
to this day are still undergoing terraforming. The terraforming process itself is very labour
intensive and often creates unexpected problems, such as releasing toxic compounds. Judging
by the stable state of the central worlds, it seems that these issues will eventually
settle, but this doesn’t help the people on those colonies in the now. In the early
days, settlers were dropped off on terraformed worlds with little provisions. This lack of
support inevitably bred resentment. Each of the outer planets is ruled by a Governor
or a magistrate in the case of a moon, who, ever since the Unification War, has been selected
by the Alliance for their pro-unification views. There is usually a token presence in
the form of patrols from the central planets as Alliance vessels seek to maintain law in
the skies. But for the most part, the individual affairs of the planets are seen to by the
local governments who then answer the Alliance Parliament based on Londinium. The Parliament
sets system-wide policy and law with the Prime Minister at the top. Parliamentary seats are
voted for by the communities and those who wish to run are often those who curry favour
and influence with the Alliance. Currently there is a law in effect for 10 years that
prevents former Independents supporters from running for Parliament, a hold-over from the
Unification War. Most governors or even local town mayors employ
private security firms that have an Alliance sanction to operate for security to compensate
for this lack of oversight, however as these firms effectively answer to the local authority,
their actions are often at the behest of thems that pay. This is even truer for the unlicensed
mercenary bands. The Alliance Credit is the technical currency,
but the Independents used the Scrip. Scrips are a stand-in for tender and therefore mostly
similar. However, they lack an official exchange rate and only work in the closed groups who
accept the Scrip. With the fall of the Independent Planets, the Scrip was mostly abandoned. The
less than frequent presence of the Alliance in the Border and Rim worlds leads to the
barter system being implemented as frequently as actual coin as well as numerous local currencies.
Speaking of coin, advanced technology is far more expensive the further out you go due
to the uneven distribution of it and the scarce presence of individuals with the know-how
to maintain such. This meant that there was a substantial amount of so called, “Oldtech”
in play the further out you went. And I mean old. Aside from the odd railway, transportation
in the rim often included Horses and the lack of an electrical grid on most rim worlds meant
that power was a regulated commodity. It was not unusual for residents of worlds like Jiangying
or Triumph to use tools and the like that we see nowadays to accomplish everyday tasks.
Salvage and handmade gear were also a common sight. This led to the rise of entertainments
that didn’t necessitate power, such as cards, sports, dance and other un-YouTube-friendly
activities from reputable business establishments. This coalition of planets mixed the cultures
together, but they were a blend even before that. This originates from the exodus of colony
ships from Earth-that-was diluted after years of cohabitation and travel. The clearest signs
of this are in the common tongue which is a mixture of English and Mandarin, based on
the majority of the two powers that launched the migration hundreds of years ago.
On the outer planets, it’s not unusual to find a blend of cultures together without
even a second glance given, this combined with the strong inclination to oldtech and
a rustic way of life means that the worlds further from the core have a very frontier
feel to them, reminiscent of the 19th century American frontier, this combined with the
early state of most freshly terraformed planets being rather arid made it feel very much like
the “Old West.” However, you could walk into a wooden saloon to find a Geisha waiting
tables while the crowd is entertained by traditional belly dancing. You could walk the docks of
a spaceport, past the myriad of ships seeking passengers and waltz right by street performances
of Japanese Kabuki. The clothing styles were equally diverse,
especially where fashion was concerned with kimonos and kurta seen alongside blazers and
bonnets. Not all the border worlds were as rustic as they appeared however, this is the
26th century after all and many technologies were blended with archaic construction methods,
so a wooden shack might have a holographic window or two while many papers and documents
were in fact interactive scrawling pages of text.
The Verse-wide network was called the Cortex and acted as the communications and news relay
for the entire system. As you may have suspected by now, the further out from the core you
go, the spottier the connection can be, leading to common blackouts and limited communications.
Many on the inner worlds hold the opinion that the Rim Worlds, and even the Border planets
are a lawless land of chaos, rife with criminal activities and unsavoury types. While they’re
not exactly wrong, your everyday citizen is merely trying to get by with little concern
for what goes on beyond them and theirs. A sense of community permeates settlements and
towns, an ideal that the Independent movement was quick to call on to unify these worlds
against the central planets. Independent Planets established a militia
of volunteers, colloquially referred to as the Browncoats who received orders from a
High Command which worked with the High Council, the would-be Government for the Independent
colonies. The unification war was the first major conflict
for the ‘Verse, and they were outmanned from the start. The Browncoats had a moral
righteousness in their cause, but it couldn’t combat the scale of the Alliance. They initially
opened strong with gruella tactics and the home advantage, but couldn’t maintain the
offensive, many regard the battle of Serenity Valley on Hera as the beginning of the end
for the Independent Planets as surrender soon followed along with the dissolution of their
fledgling government. After the war, the Alliance offered to help them rebuild and they did
to begin to help with reconstruction and relief supplies. However, efforts were curtailed
and eventually ended when many in the Core Worlds decided that they’d rather spend
money on themselves than a former “enemy”. This continues the cycle of the frontiersmen
and women harbouring resentment or ambivalence for the Alliance and its central planets.
Many consider those who live there to be stuck up, arrogant and born with a silver spoon
in their mouth, in a way, just as biased as those they claim to be so different from.
The myriad of problems faced by the settlers of the outer planets, alongside the terraforming
efforts, include criminal activities, weather conditions, a lack of steady supply chains,
lack of medicine and Reaver attacks. The fact that most of the prodigious educational
institutes are located in the central worlds also means a lack of specialised professionals
further away from the core. Eventually, as is the way with frontiers, the planets will
be tamed and made habitable for future generations, however that does nothing to alleviate the
problems suffered by those alive to establish the frontier. By the time the Alliance reaches
those worlds to colonise in earnest, there may be a social divide too great to overcome,
leading to another war in time. After working so hard to overcome the many language, cultural
and social barriers that Earth-that-was had, in order to settle the ‘Verse in the first
place, it would be a huge shame to see new walls erected due to neglect.
Thanks for listening to this index on the Independent system’s. While gone, the planets
and peoples that it stood for remain. If you liked this and want to see more, let me know
as I was thinking of doing a breakdown on the firefly ‘Verse itself but as for the
next cultural index, I have two options for you to choose from. Either the hive of Geonosians
from Star Wars or the social Denobulans of Star Trek.
You can vote in the comments below and until the next video, thanks again for watching
and goodbye!

100 thoughts on “INDEPENDENT PLANETS: Cultural Index

  1. This video is definitely from the “this what awesome” dept. Love to see more brown coat 'n' purple belly videos. As for the next one, I dunno, Denobulan, I guess. Thems is what those what aim interested call, 'freaky'.

  2. TAKE MY LOVE TAKE MY LAND TAKE ME WHERE I CANNOT STAND
    I DON'T CARE CAUSE I'M STILL FREE YOU CAN'T TAKE THE SKY FROM ME

  3. Denobulans please…

    Also I'd LOVE to see a more in-depth look at the Verse! 😀
    Browncoats unite! 😉

  4. I would like to see an index on the Tholians some day. i feel like there's a fair deal to talk about there that more casual Trek fans might not be aware of, and given the role they play in certain arcs of STO…

  5. Ahh Firefly… there must be tons of beta canon about it, too. I would love to see more Firefly presented in your usual style of filling the gaps with beta canon!

  6. I my opinion, you hit the nail on the donkey with this vid. I found it most entertaining and I hope you make more for the Firefly series. Such a great show that was cancelled before its time.

  7. Here's a video idea: Why none of the Star Trek or Star Wars planets have hundreds of countries like Earth? I think the most I've seen is two, and they're usually at war for all of their history over some stupid thing that's settled in an hour, or one is enslaved or reliant on the other for some reason. Most of the planets have one culture for the entirely of the world. I understand this simplifies the show, like Stargate does where everyone speaks English…

  8. Personally I will never fully forget Fox for setting up Firefly to fail from the get go. They put the show in the worse time slot on the network, Fox then aired the show completely out of sequence, and 4 weeks in they stated preempting the show for college basketball playoffs.

  9. Actually @Certifiably Ingame I think you got a bit of the lore around the end of the Unification war a bit wrong. From what I read in some of the extended canon the Independents almost won, but the entire higher echelons of the Brown Coats command structure were killed. It's very analogous to the Battle of Gettysburg during the American Civil War. The CSA was very very close to marching on Washington and instead they went to Gettysburg where they were defeated.

  10. I had no idea the "system" was actually a very near orbiting cluster of star "systems".
    I always though the star system was some star with 20-30+ orbiting planets (many with moons).
    Though that always made me confused. "even if terraformed, why aren't the outer worlds absolutely freezing?"
    This video clears things up a bit.

  11. Too bad game for this went bellies up…Firefly was and is one of my favourite tv series,much like Expanse.

  12. I have not watched the Firefly series, so I have to ask: Was there any legal restrictions on immigrating from the outer worlds to the inner core worlds?

  13. Firefly was one of my favorite TV shows in the mid 2000s to bad it was cancelled. They had great set up and I think in time people would have loved to watch it more. But nowadays if after the 1st few episodes a show doesn't do right they cancel it fast. I think after more than a decade it's time they reboot this show….

  14. i personally would like to know more about their ship and how they could travel to other star systems. they didn't have hyper drives or warp tech so how far out could they travel?

  15. For some reason, everyone in this comment section is teaming up for a single species. Nobody has a different opinion.

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