Before the “Simon and Kaylee Reunited!” panel on Friday evening, Jewel Staite revealed on her Twitter feed that attending fans could expect a surprise. In fact, there were two–and the first was the bottle of champagne that Sean Maher uncorked with a swift pop and poured into two waiting glasses.
“We figured that since it’s Friday, and our first Q&A at Dragon*Con, that this was necessary,” Staite explained. “Cheers!” An audience of over a thousand people cheered back.
Over the next hour, Firefly‘s sweetest couple were as charming as ever, and it wasn’t just the champagne. Maher and Staite answered several questions about the cast’s rare and beautiful chemistry on the show, and it was on full display here as the two shared stories, traded jokes, and reminisced about their time working together. They jumped at the chance to reunite in the Warehouse 13 episode “Mild Mannered,” and both said it was as if no time had passed when they met again on set. Staite took credit for luring Maher to his first Dragon*Con; “I love Dragon*Con,” she said with relish. Jewel and Sean, Dragon*Con loves you right back!
The second surprise of the panel was the ringing of Staite’s cell phone with Nathan Fillion on the line. When he asked for her acting advice over speakerphone, she told him to think “WWMRD”: What Would Malcolm Reynolds Do? Claiming he had another important call to make, Fillion hung up on her almost immediately–only to call Maher seconds later. “No, go with your gut,” Maher advised: “What Would Simon Tam Do?” After a few more minutes of tongue-in-cheek phone tag, the Captain bid his crew and the crowd goodbye.
Asked what they wish the future of Firefly had been, Staite and Maher discussed their favorite ideas for the evolution of Simon and Kaylee’s characters. “I would have liked six more seasons!” Staite declared, met with much agreement from the audience. If the actors and fans had had their way, those seasons would have seen Simon and Kaylee’s relationship deepening, Kaylee’s family showing up, and even Kaylee having a baby. “That was Jewel’s idea, but I was really into it,” Maher admitted. He wanted a future episode to open with a pregnant Kaylee shaving too-pretty Simon’s head. Staite perked up at the mention of Kaylee going undercover as a Companion.
The Firefly talk, however, brought a sad tone to the close of the panel. Staite relayed an interaction she’d never forget on the day of the cancellation, when Joss Whedon couldn’t even look her in the eyes as he told them, “I’m so sorry. I did everything I could.”
We never got those six seasons, but the reunion of Simon and Kaylee at Dragon*Con was indeed a delight. Staite even left us with the shocking disclosure that she doesn’t even like strawberries, so Kaylee’s memorable scene in the pilot was a true testament to her acting ability. The stars made their exit with their champagne half-finished–a promise, perhaps, for the future.