Firefly star Jewel Staite coming to Northern FanCon

The Serenity is coming in for a landing at Northern FanCon.

It will light up the tails of Joss Whedon fans that there is indeed a space emissary touching down in Prince George right out of the space western he invented. His show Firefly took off with a dedicated core group of viewers since it made its debut in 2002. Local attendees will get to meet one of the most popular members of the Serenity crew, mechanic and on-board engineer Kaylee Frye played by Canadian actor Jewel Staite.

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She is the latest celebrity guest to be confirmed for the May event at CN Centre.

For those who haven't yet fallen in love with the televised fable, it is, in brief, about a rag-tag crew of a snappy little spaceship that zips around the galaxy in the time following a futuristic civil war. The crew and its passengers were supporters of the losing side. Political tensions, personal issues, and universal storylines spin off from this band of space cowboys.

The result is a show that spun off into its own comic book series, a roll-playing game, a movie called Serenity, and a growing legion of fans that argue the show was cancelled too soon. There has been a Firefly hunger ever since. Its inclusion on the Netflix service has given it a boost with contemporary audiences and given new life to the so-called steampunk movement that the show leans into.

Staite's acting credits also flew into the Hollywood sky based on her Firefly popularity and honed acting skills. It was no surprise, considering she started formal actors' training at the age of six at the Vancouver Youth Theatre where she trained several days a week for several years. This hard work paid off when she booked the lead role in the Disney Channel series Flash Forward and starred opposite a young Hayden Christensen in the Fox Family series Higher Ground.

She was also a regular cast member of Stargate: Atlantis, and landed several roles in feature films and TV programs like Call Me Mrs. Miracle on the Hallmark Channel, Widow On The Hill for the Lifetime Network, Damaged Care on Showtime, Dead Like Me, Mothman, Warehouse 13, Wonderfalls, Space Cases, The X-Files and many more.

She won critical praise and several awards for these performances, and has a deep pool of fans specifically for her work in the fictional engine room of the Serenity. Her Kaylee Frye character was for the Firefly series what Scotty was to Star Trek. Since Scotty's actor, Canadian thespian James Doohan, passed away about 10 years ago, Staite is now arguably the highest ranking engineering officer for all of television sci-fi.

The only one who might be able to settle that for sure is someone with the rank of, say, Starfleet Admiral. If only Staite and William Shatner could somehow end up at Northern FanCon at the same time... wait a minute.

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