Pro-Freedom Themes in Joss Whedon's Firefly

Writing for the AFF Network, Sarah T. Hinson provides a lovely overview (“Freedom and Firefly“) of the pro-liberty themes in Joss Whedon’s Firefly (which we’ve reviewed in DVD form and eagerly anticipated on the big screen in September).
The article begins:

At its best, science fiction advocates liberty. While Star Trek lamentably supported a “Federation knows best” mentality, other works like Star Wars and Robert Heinlein’s novels have promoted the dissolution of central rule and the triumph of the individual. For the science fiction writer, space means one thing: freedom. Like the Wild West where men made their own rules and property rights were enforced at the end of a landowner’s shotgun, space has afforded the hope that one day man can move beyond the reach of any government’s oppressive hand.
No recent T.V. series understands this better than Fox’s Firefly, the tragically cancelled masterpiece spawned from the mind of Joss Whedon, the creator of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and its spin-off Angel. Firefly was critically acclaimed, but sadly mismanaged and was cancelled after only eleven episodes aired in 2002. But thanks to DVD sales, Firefly has maintained a steady popularity. It currently ranks at 49 among DVDs on after seventeen months since its release.
The story of the series follows a smuggling ship captained by Malcolm (Mal) Reynolds. Mal and his first mate Zoe fought in the great galactic civil war as Independents resisting the unification of all the planets under the rule of the great behemoth, the Anglo-Sino Alliance. Ultimately crushed by the boot of empire, Mal buys a spaceship that can give him the freedom the Alliance threatens to steal. He tells Zoe that with the ship, “[We] never have to be under the heel of nobody ever again. No matter how long the arm of the Alliance might get, we’ll just get a little further.” And one gets the feeling that, while Mal, Zoe, and the other independents lost the battle, they will never give up the war.

See the full article for more. Via Instapundit.