For Whedon, keeping the Serenity small was crucial. Production designer Carey Meyer helped design the layout of the ship, and Whedon felt that having too many spaces inside would be contrary to the characters’ exterior nature. Indeed, when we think, say, USS Enterprise-D from “Star Trek: The Next Generation” – the model from which Whedon was clearly and deliberately deviating – one doesn’t necessarily have a good plan for moving through its many corridors and centers of research. More than a thousand people live on board this ship. If a Trekkie were to project themselves onto the Enterprise-D, they would have to rely on the ship’s computers just to find their way back to their quarters or to one of the ship’s many relaxation and recreation areas.

Whedon wanted viewers to see the Serenity and feel like they could move around its cramped interiors, no map required.

“The design of the ship is something that I worked very hard on, and then Carey Meyer worked very hard on. For me, the design of the ship was very crucial just in terms of the idea of ​​a known space; the idea of, ‘We live in this space, and this is where the rooms are, and this is why, and this is where the cargo hold is, and this is why, ‘and there are not fourteen hundred decks and a holodeck and a sideboard at will in the back.It’s very utilitarian.

For the record, the Enterprise-D only has 42 decks, and the all-you-can-eat buffet is probably just the replicator in your room, but Whedon’s meaning is understandable. The Serenity is not meant to be cushy, nor expansive.