Joss Whedon says in his DVD commentary that the culture of the “Firefly” universe is a fusion of American and Chinese cultures - that sometime in the coming century, China will come to be a dominant cultural force in the world on par to the U.S.A. (Actually, a shrewd bit of foresight, since the series & movie both came out BEFORE China’s sudden rise in ecomomic power.)
Many of the signs are written in Mandarin/Cantonese. Characters often make chinese-language exclamations (likely profanities), showing that at least one chinese language is as familiar to the characters as english.
Well then, how come there were never any asian people on the show?
It’s been a while since I’ve watched it, but I can’t remember seeing a single asian person in any of the episodes. If chinese culture is so all pervasive as Whedon might suggest, where are all the chinese?