In Serenity (2005), Mal speaks to his crew about a recording that explains an experimental chemical to suppress aggression had been added into Miranda's atmosphere. The population became so docile they stopped performing all activities of daily living and placidly died:

Malcolm: So now I'm asking more of you than I have before. Maybe all. Sure as I know anything I know this, they will try again. Maybe on another world, maybe on this very ground swept clean. A year from now, 10, they'll swing back to the belief that they can make people better.

What does "Maybe on another world, maybe on this very ground swept clean" mean?

I interpret as:

It means they whoever is attacking might attack on another world or on Malcolm's current world. The "swept clean" part means they say the ground is clean and without attackers.

  • This script contains some really horrible writing. They will do what they did there, here. Even if here, the ground is swept clean. [the place no longer looks like it did before]
    – Lambie
    Commented Oct 17, 2021 at 17:35
  • @Lambie I edited my interpretation.
    – Rhea K
    Commented Oct 17, 2021 at 17:39
  • Your interpretation is enticing but now I see the chemical thing, I think it's referring to being chemical free, not free of attackers.
    – Lambie
    Commented Oct 17, 2021 at 17:44

1 Answer 1


Mal is saying that "they" will try to improve people again. Perhaps they will try it on some other planet, or perhaps on Miranda again. By "swept clean" he means after the remains of the previous colony have been removed, and perhaps also after that colony or its fate has been forgotten, or swept under the rug. By "this very ground " he means both "right here in this place" and "on this world".

  • Yes, it's hard to say whether swept clean refers to there being no more chemical agents or whether evidence of the previous colony is all gone. It is so hard to understand. Maybe easier when seeing the movie.
    – Lambie
    Commented Oct 17, 2021 at 17:46

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