Zack Snyder has already made his mark on two landmarks of the movie genre landscape—the superhero story and the zombie apocalypse—and he’s about to conquer a third: the space opera. The director has just launched an ambitious new sci-fi epic entitled Rebel Moon, the first installment of which is now streaming on Netflix.
Rebel Moon – Part One: A Child of Fire introduces viewers to a galaxy ruled over by the Motherworld, a colonial power dedicated to the conquest of new planets and expansion of its territory through the militaristic Imperium. When we first meet our hero Kora, she is a field commander fighting on the side of the Imperium, where she earns herself the nickname “Scargiver.”
Years later, Kora is trying to live quietly and forget her past on the neutral world of Veidt. But when Imperium forces attack, she must once again pick up her weapons and put together a ragtag team of warriors to resist the encroaching Motherworld’s armies.
Snyder wears his influences on his sleeve, and so the DNA of iconic films like Star Wars and The Seven Samurai is evident in A Child of Fire, from the highly technologically advanced, fascist-coded Imperium to the gang of misfit fighting a seemingly hopeless battle for freedom. But the story is woven through with more intricate pieces of worldbuilding, such as the myth of Princess Issa the Redeemer, narrated by android knight Jimmy (Anthony Hopkins). In these flashbacks, Issa is shown to have mystical powers, introducing a Force-like element to Snyder’s own take on Star Wars.
How does Rebel Moon – Part One: A Child of Fire end?
Things look pretty dire for Kora and her team in the final act, as they do battle against the Imperium to defend Veidt. Their side suffers at least one casualty, and it seems as if Part One of this new franchise is going to end in defeat—until Kora goes head to head with the enemy leader Atticus Noble, a vindictive general with whom she has history, and emerges victorious.
This victory, however, is shown to be shortlived. Unbeknownst to Kora, Noble is rescued by Motherworld and in the last moments of Rebel Moon, we see him being brought back to life, eyes snapping open and gasping for air. Just in time to cause more trouble for our unlikely heroes in Part Two: The Scargiver, which hits Netflix in April 2024.
Philip Ellis is News Editor at Men’s Health, covering fitness, pop culture, sex and relationships, and LGBTQ+ issues. His work has appeared in GQ, Teen Vogue, Man Repeller and MTV, and he is the author of Love & Other Scams.