part 1: Peacemaker, part 2: Formal Dresses,
[originally posted here]
Described in the initial show bible as “[the] show’s Excallibur”(Andras, 15), Peacemaker brings to mind Supernatural’s Colt. However while the Colt’s History is neatly laid out via monologue,
Back in 1835, when Halley’s Comet was overhead, same night those men died at the Alamo, they say Samuel Colt made a gun. A special gun. He made it for a hunter. A man like us, only on horseback. Story goes, he made thirteen bullets. This hunter used the gun a half dozen times before he disappeared, the gun along with him… Somehow Daniel got his hands on it. They say… they say this gun can kill anything.
(John Winchester, SPN 1x20)
Peacemaker’s history is somewhat of an enigma. We know this Colt Buntline Special belonged to Wyatt Earp and can put down Revenants, but how it came into his possession and why it can do so it still a mystery. In WE 1x01, sigils/ symbols are shown to be part of the barrel’s rifling.
These symbols glow when it is used to put Revenants down. Also, it seems to have a minds of its own (judging by WE 1x01, WE 1x03, WE 1x13).
There are two colors Peacemaker glows when being put to supernatural-related use (which also tend to show up constantly in the show as a whole):
Yellow orange (for the majority for season 1):
Pale blue (in episode 1x13):
In Wynonna Earp, yellow orange seems to be generally associated with the supernatural and the past, associations that also are applicable to Peacemaker itself. In terms of color theory in general:
LoBrutto (2002, p. 81 - 82) writes that “Warm colors tend to represent tenderness and humanity[…] Hot colors represent sexuality, anger, and passion, as well as physical and visceral heat” and “Yellow signifies the sun or danger.”. While the first does not really quite fit in the context of the Peacemaker, yellow as a signifier of danger (an interpretation shared by Bellatoni) does.
Bellatoni describes yellow as a “contrary color” [associated with warning , obsession, life energy, and anxiety] (2005, p, 41). However, a honey yellow has more positive associations: “It is in this golden light, the light of the late-in-the-afternoon long shadows that memories, dreams, and idylls are visually born.”(Bellatoni, 2005, p. 43).
Considering the Earp Curse, the association of obsession and the past seem fitting. On a more general level, the contrary nature of yellow suits Peacemaker’s nature as something with a mind of it’s own.
According to Bellatoni, “Glowing orange light (and its associations with the sun) can take us on a visceral ride that warms and expands our emotional field. “(2005, p. 112)
Orange’s association with consequences (as in Thelma and Louise) seems particularly apt as well, as the color also appears on the Revenants usually just before they are shot by Peacemaker (Bellatoni, 2005, 130).
Orange as a toxic color (Bellatoni, 2005, 141) is also apt, considering the cycle of violence that causes and results from the Earp Curse.
In Wynonna Earp, pale blue seems to be generally associated with authority and the possibility of peril/ death. Peacemaker’s glow in WE 1x13 to be somewhere between a pale turquoise and a pale blue.
Bellatoni writes “In our explorations of blue-green/turquoise, we found it to be a color that inspired openness and interaction. In the presence of blue-green, students happily chatted away and actually lost their concept of time. In the presence of a paler, cooler blue, they wanted to be quiet and still.”(2005, p. 83).
Taking into account the conversation between Willa and Wynonna earlier in the scene,
I know you don’t believe me, but I’m doing this for you. No more Purgatory, no more Earps, no more curse.
(Willa Earp, WE 1x13)
the association with openness somewhat fits, although the dialogue is filled with sadness, resignation, and regret rather than warmth.
Regarding Blue, Bellatoni writes that : “blue can be a tranquil pond or a soft blanket of sadness. It is quiet and aloof. Year after year, our color investigations show that in a blue environment, people become passive and introspective.” She also goes on to say “it is the quintessential color for powerlessness” (2005, p. 82)
Considering the scene in which Peacemaker glows pale blue, sadness and powerlessness are fitting.
In contrast to Bellatoni, LoBrutto (2002, p. 82) writes “Cool colors represent cold, lack of emotion, and distant feelings. They can also express power and force. “ and that “Blue shades can represent water, sky, ice, or a remote emotional state.” I’m inclined to go with Bellatoni’s interpretation. While power and force is certainly applicable in the context of Peacemaker, lack of emotion is not.
The pale blue also is nearly an inversion of the yellow orange usually associated with Peacemaker, which could be significant as the scene takes place in what appears to be a liminal space (it might be an alternate dimension, considering the Old One).
REFERENCES (thank you to justanotheridijiton to pointing me towards them):
Andreas, E. (2014?) Wynonna Earp Show Bible
Bellatoni, P. (2005). If It’s Purple Someone’s Gonna Die: the power of color in visual storytelling.
justanotheridijiton (2016) Silent Storytelling Color Cheat SheetLoBrutto, V. (2002). The Filmmaker’s Guide to Production Design.