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    From: J. Michael Straczynski <>
 Subject: Keffer and Corwin
      To: CIS  
    Date: 5/23/1996 3:29:00 PM  

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(blocked) asks:
> What's the point in having Corwin and the ex-Keffer as
> characters? basically useless characters that moves the story
> along and dies at the end?

Not at all. Yes, a character dies...after a season of getting
to know him. To say, "Well, you just put in a character to kill him,"
and citing red shirts, is really...well, a red herring and a
distortion. A redshirt, by definition, was usually a security guard
who was introduced in the same episode in which he was killed, we knew
*nothing* about him, he had maybe 2 minutes of screen time, maybe a
word ("look out!", and then he was dead.

By the definition you apply, anyone who dies in a novel is a
redshirt, since the author knew he was going to be killed off. If you
do a novel about the Civil War, and Lincoln dies halfway through, is
that a redshirt? Many of the characters in The Stand don't make it to
the end...are they redshirts?

I hate to break it to you, but *everybody* dies sooner or later.
For the purposes of this show, some die on camera, some die off, some
die during the story, some die afterward.

Nor was Keffer's character useless; through him, we got to see
the Starfury pilots and learn more about them, we got our first close
look at the shadows, we met the Gropos, and the primary incident that
began to unravel the whole thing -- Keffer's gun camera footage -- came

And Corwin's character is still very much alive, and useful in
the story, so that kinda disqualifies *that*.


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