Joss Whedon on the end of Buffy Season 8 and the future of Season 9
Our beloved TV show Buffy the Vampire Slayer lasted for seven seasons and then sadly went off the air in 2003 – but it didn’t end there. Buffy creator Joss Whedon continued the story in the Season 8 comic book series, which just finished its 40-issue run. Luckily, Season 9 is on the way and EW chatted with Joss on the project! Woo!
Warning: There are BIG spoilers ahead, so if you haven’t read Season 8, then you don’t want to read this.
EW: So no more magic, huh?
Joss Whedon: [Chuckles] Well, let’s not use hyperbole. No more magic in the sense of not so much entirely convenient magic. I wanted to play with the idea of the world dimming a little bit. Possibly because that’s how I feel about it, or at least this country in the last 10 years. And I wanted to do a little bit of a reset, where things seem more back down to earth. I got very excited when I had a comic book with the idea that I could do absolutely anything. We hit a lot of beautiful notes and I’ve got a lot of great writers working [on the comics], and I’m very proud of it. But at the same time, it’s like, yeah, “You can do anything” is not really the Buffy mission statement. The Buffy mission statement is, “What does this feel like?” So I wanted to bounce it back a little bit to the real world.
Issue No. 40 is clearly setting up Season 9, and makes it seem like it is going to be far more human-scaled.
It will be more like the television show. With the comic, we just sort of said, “Wheee!” Ultimately, “Wheee!” caught up with us in a cavalcade of mythology. It became clear, as it did with the show, that people really liked when Buffy’s adventures reflect what she’s going through in her life [and] what we’re going through in our lives at that age. That was the thing in season 8 that we didn’t tap into as much as I think we ultimately should have.
You did seem to touch on that idea when you, essentially, made Buffy a god with her own idyllic world, and she pretty much rejected it right off the bat.
Yeah. I feel like we’re true to the characters. It was just that very basic mission statement of, “You know what, I’m going through this, too.” Not a lot of people are leading armies. Buffy, part of her charm is that the fact that, outside the mystical world, she was nobody. And it was interesting to put her in that power position and to play on that grand scale. But ultimately, I think the fans more enjoy her when she is the little underdog and not the little overlord.
Not that anybody who’s a Buffy fan should be that shocked that you did this at this point, but Joss, you killed Giles.
Yeah, I did. I did. I have several reasons for that, some of which I can’t reveal because ripples from that event are going to be a part of both [the Buffy “Season 9” comic and the new Angel comic]. Part of it was really just feeling that Giles’ place in the comic book did not sit the way it did in the show. To have this paternal, expositional guy there — it wasn’t really something that played in the comics the way it did when Tony Head [i.e. actor Anthony Stewart Head] does it. I wanted to make all this matter and have something that would send emotional ripples through all the characters. Also, I’m a prick. But I did tell Tony it was going to happen before it did. At first he said, “Oooh,” a little worried. Then I said, “Angel’s gonna kill you.” He said, all excited, “Oooh! That’s great!” [Laughs]
Perhaps the other most controversial choice you made was to enter Buffy into a lesbian relationship. For some fans, that did seem to come oddly out of left field.
You know, I didn’t hear any real objection to that. But I don’t go trolling on websites for people that don’t like me. I’m very fragile, like an egg. We had talked about the idea of Buffy having a lesbian fling as one of the things that does actually reflect where she is in her life, if you consider the events in “Season 8″ to be her college experience. It’s that time in your life where that might happen. We just slammed right into it with a splash page, instead of tenuously inching towards it. And that was largely [writer] Drew Goddard’s call. He said, “You know what? It would obvious to start building toward this, and then seeing that play out, how that would be. I think in a lot of these situations, it just kind of happens, and then you deal with it.” It’s more interesting and it gives us a better opportunity to face the reality of a situation like that.
Read the full interview HERE.
Personally, I loved how the show ended, and while I like that the story has continued I am a little bummed at the massively massive changes. Lesbian Buffy is perfectly fine with me, but Giles dying is heartbreaking! Ah well, my love for Buffy will never die either way.
What do you think of the changes in Buffyverse?