Why Did Balisarius Want Kora Alive In ‘Rebel Moon 2’? Did She Kill Princess Issa?


Kora or Arthelais always said that she was a child of war, but she never asked herself the reason why. What does being a child of war actually mean in the grand scheme of things? Balisarius destroyed her entire planet and left no one alive except for nine-year-old Kora, whom he adopted as his own and named Arthelais. We always knew Balisarius was no saint, so why did he save a poor soul? The reason for such a kind gesture was minutely explained in Rebel Moon Part 2, where we came across Balisarius’ real intentions. After such a revelation, it wouldn’t be wrong to say that it was all part of his game, and Arthelais was just a mere pawn.

Spoiler Alert

The second part of Zack Snyder’s epic saga (I have a different term though) focused on the backstories of its different warriors who had arrived on Veldt to save its village from Atticus Noble. Through Arthelais, we found out more about the Slain King and what had led to his assassination. The King of the Imperium, in his lust for power, had annihilated hundreds of planets to become the sole ruler of the galaxy. However, the birth of his daughter, Princess Issa, brought a change in the king’s demeanor. It was said that under the healing influence of his daughter, the King began to see things in a different light and was ready to put an end to the age of expansionism. 

To carry it out, the King decided to convert the last Dreadnought class battleship into a peacemaker that would bear Princess Issa’s royal seal. It would usher in a new age of peace, and therefore the King, Queen, and Princess arrived on the ship, where they were welcomed by a group of senators, including Balisarius. However, before any official announcement could be made, the group of senators circled the King, and Balisarius stabbed him to death. For history buffs, yes, that’s how Caesar was killed on the Ides of March. As the Senators assassinated the King and the Queen, it was Arthelais’ duty to put the final nail in the coffin and assassinate Princess Issa. In the aftermath of such betrayal, Balisarius seized control over the senate and became Regent, the dictator with the entire Imperium army at his disposal. However, the question here is: why didn’t Balisarius kill Issa herself if he hated the Princess so much? And why didn’t any other senator touch her? Why did Balisarius want Arthelais to kill her?

The answer to these questions is quite simple. During the assassination scene, Balisarius himself blurted out the reason for putting the entire blame on Arthelais. She was an off-worlder and didn’t belong to the Imperium. By portraying Arthelais as a traitor, Balisarius wanted to turn the entire Senate against the off-worlds, i.e., the planets on the outer rings, and declare war on them. And he didn’t mean to capture them, but to annihilate them completely and erase their very existence. For Balisarius, war and bloodshed were his only kicks, and he didn’t want the King to put an end to them. Through the assassination of the Royal Family, he not only became the Ruler of the Realm but also declared war on the planets that had signed a peace treaty with the King. Additionally, Arthelais had quite clearly stated the fact that the Imperium army under Balisarius’ rule wasn’t interested in sparing any life for any amount of money or commodity. They would arrive on any planet, loot it like plunderers, and then destroy it through King’s Gaze. So making any kind of deal with the Imperium wasn’t worth it.

Perhaps Balisarius had been planning such an assassination for a very long time, and that was the reason why he had adopted Arthelais in the first place. Being an off-worlder, she would have never gotten a position in the Imperium army if she wasn’t Balisarius’ daughter. Later, Balisarius made her a part of the King’s personal bodyguards and used her loyalty to convince her to kill Princess Issa. Arthelais, on the other hand, had never thought that her adoptive father would ever turn against her and abandon her like this. Arthelais had the chance to kill her father on the spot for branding her as a traitor for the crimes she never wanted to commit. But she wasn’t Balisarius’ daughter in the real sense and therefore handled herself in the most human manner possible and escaped the Dreadnought on a shuttle. Now it brings us to our second question: why did Balisarius want his daughter alive? Why not nuke the entire planet and just put an end to her chapter?

I guess that some people in the Senate still believe that it was Balisarius who orchestrated the assassination of the royal family, as it was his own daughter who slaughtered them. Maybe that was the reason why Balisarius wanted to bring Arthelais back alive and set an example in front of the senate by executing her in the most merciless way possible. Arthelais was a means to end the distrust and gain back the Senate’s confidence. Arthelais’ arrest was part of Balisarius’ grand plan, but before he could execute it, she ran away and became a fugitive. So, bringing Arthelais back alive and finishing the plan is one of the priorities for the Regent. Now that Atticus Noble had already failed to do so, maybe the Regent himself would arrive at the outer belts with a large Imperium to capture his daughter. Arthelais, on the other hand, would begin her hunt for Princess Issa, as per the new revelations made in the Rebel Moon Part 2. Issa’s survival makes her the sole survivor of the Royal family, and her return would mean the end of the Regent’s evil regime. The senate would have to bow down to the Princess, and Balisarius would be stripped of all his titles. But before that happens, a fierce battle awaits the warriors of Veldt.

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Shikhar Agrawal
Shikhar Agrawal
I am an Onstage Dramatist and a Screenwriter. I have been working in the Indian Film Industry for the past 12 years, writing dialogues for various films and television shows.

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