Thu. Jun 13th, 2024

If you’ve ever wanted to watch a movie that could reasonably be described as “intergalactic 300,” then boy does Zack Snyder have the film for you.

Over the course of the two-hour-and-15-minute runtime of Rebel Moon, which begins a limited theatrical run Dec. 15 before streaming on Netflix Dec. 22, a band of space-traveling revolutionaries join forces to rise up against the brutal and tyrannical Motherworld empire—despite the overwhelming odds stacked against them.

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Born from a one-line pitch for The Dirty Dozen in space” that director and co-writer Snyder came up with in college, the $160-million-plus sci-fi epic has been in development for more than 20 years. At one point in time, Snyder considered re-engineering the project to become an entry in the Star Wars franchise. But following Disney’s 2012 acquisition of Lucasfilm, the filmmaker ultimately decided to set his story in an original universe.

The final result is an action-packed space opera shaped by cinematic influences ranging from Seven Samurai to Heavy Metal to Dune to—you guessed it—Star Wars. “I don’t think you can make a sci-fi movie now that’s not going to be compared to a Star Wars movie in some way,” Snyder told Screen Rant of Rebel Moon‘s relationship to the galaxy far, far away.

Friday’s release, Rebel Moon: Part One – A Child of Fire, is only the first chapter in a planned two-part saga, with Part Two The Scargiver set to hit Netflix on April 19, 2024.

What is Rebel Moon – Part One about?

Opening on a peaceful farming colony located on the distant moon Veldt, the first installment of Rebel Moon centers on the reluctant hero’s journey of former Motherworld soldier Kora (Sofia Boutella).

As a child, Kora was forced to watch as imperial forces murdered her family and destroyed her home world. In the aftermath of the slaughter, she was hand-picked by ruthless warlord Regent Balisarius (Fra Fee) to become his surrogate daughter. Balisarius raised Kora in his image, molding her into the Motherworld’s most formidable warrior. But when her ship crash-landed on Veldt a few years prior to the events of the movie, Kora realized she was tired of killing in the Motherworld’s name and took advantage of the opportunity to enjoy a more harmonious existence among the moon’s settlers.

“Not only has she been part of the soldier world she was forced into, but she wanted nothing to do with it and there was no chance she would open that door again, at all costs,” Boutella told Hero magazine of Kora’s motivations. “You can see how she’s trying to escape it….It’s interesting to see the reluctance and inner turmoil in a hero.”

Unfortunately for Kora, when a warship captained by Balisarius’ sadistic emissary Admiral Noble (Ed Skrein) arrives on Veldt seeking to gain control of the moon’s resources, her dreams of living out her life in peace go out the window. With the lives of her settlement’s people hanging in the balance, Kora and her fellow farmer/love interest Gunnar (Michiel Huisman) set out on planet-hopping mission to recruit a band of ragtag rebels to their cause, including former Motherworld general Titus (Djimon Hounsou), master swordswoman Nemesis (Doona Bae), and a brother-sister insurgent duo known as the Bloodaxes (Ray Fisher and Cleopatra Coleman).

What to expect from Rebel Moon – Part 2

Following the getting-the-gang-together-style journey of the first movie, The Scargiver will see Kora and her allies attempt to bring down the almighty Motherworld.

“The second movie is really a war movie,” Snyder told Screen Rant. “At the beginning they harvest the crops, and we have a bunch of stuff in the village, sort of the ‘Why We Fight’ aspect of the movie. We have time for relationships. Then the next thing is the big battle. It’s really fun.”

As for Kora’s personal story arc, Boutella told Hero that Part 2 will reveal more about Kora’s life as a solder and why she was given the nickname Scargiver.

“We find out something quite tumultuous about Kora in the second movie and I wonder how the audience will react to that,” Boutella said. “It took me a little bit to come to terms with Kora, it took me a while to understand her, forgive her and not judge her because I wanted it to come from a place of full compassion and forgiveness for the character.”

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