Fans of the Fox TV series Firefly or the subsequent movie Serenity will recognize this weapon as a Reaver sword, based on the blade acquired by the young psychic River Tam in one of the story’s final scenes. Although details don’t exactly match the sword she brandishes in ads for the movie, construction quality is good, and the movie’s theme leaves some room for artistic variation.
Many of the characters in the story wielded weapons of a style unique to their class or race, but with individual differences, and that customized technology makes this Reaver sword’s design more acceptable. The heavy high carbon stainless steel blade has more of a machete-style weight and shape than the heroine’s sword, but it’s definitely cut in the Reaver pattern. Short for a sword, the strong 11-inch blade brings the total length to only 16 inches — enough for a space cannibal Reaver’s backup blade, but certainly not their full-sized battle blade.
Firefly gained a strong following before the Fox network canceled the series after airing only 11 of its 14 episodes. Creator Joss Whedon also wrote the screenplay for Universal Studio’s movie spin-off — the award-winning sci-fi film Serenity. The movie featured an interesting martial arts blend of swordplay and gunfire with visual elements taken from the American Civil War’s Reconstruction period. Summer Glau, who played the young sword-wielding psychic River Tam, trained in a system derived from Jeet Kune Do along with techniques gleaned from other styles of kung fu, ballet, and kickboxing.
Movie replica sword enthusiasts will also be interested in the Ultraviolet Sword, another unique fantasy blade.