‘Rebel Moon’ Part 1 Recap & Everything To Know Before Part 2


I’ll give it to you as it is; I didn’t find Snyder’s Star Wars-inspired space opera of honor and revenge half bad. Sure, there’s that Snyder-core “being extra in every possible way” factor in Rebel Moon. But isn’t that sort of essential to the very existence of films like Rebel Moon? Enough unwarranted apologia, though. If you’ve watched it, a recap should come in handy before you dive into the second part. And if you haven’t, here’s an easily digestible walkthrough that won’t ask you to swot up on the lore.

Spoiler Alert

Who’s the big bad, and what are they up to?

It’s odd to call a clump of moons and planets the main antagonist, but that’s the case in Rebel Moon. Evil is at the heart of the Motherworld, an imperialist monarchy ruling over a group of worlds and conquering everything with a foul, expansionist drive. 1886 kings of the same line ruled the Motherworld before Senator Balisarius got a bit too enthusiastic in his quest for power. The King and his family were slain soon after. The only sad thing about it all is the death of Princess Issa, the kid who was supposed to usher in a new age of kindness to end the obsession with war. As you’d expect, the King’s death meant Balisarius was now the biggest fish. Ever since Balisarius declared himself regent, the moons under Motherworld’s banner have accepted death to be the only normal. All this psychotic creep wants is to kill. Under his rule, worlds were terrorized and destroyed by the Imperial Dreadnoughts and the Realm’s military alike. But it wouldn’t really be an absolute nightmare for the people of the humble moon if there was just one bad guy. As Balisarius’ right-hand man and the galaxy’s most irksome weasel, Admiral Atticus Noble wields a staff and goes around crushing skulls. All he really wants (and knows will earn him that sweet approval from his master) is to find those who fight against the Motherworld—the rebels.

What does Noble want with Veldt?

Seeing the shape of the giant bell that’s supposed to alert the entire village, I wouldn’t call the people of Veldt the best craftsmen. But they’re simple farmers who do their work and sure know how to have fun. They’re pretty chill with accepting outsiders as their own without much background checking, too. Case in point, Kora. Just at the start of the new harvest season, the killjoy Noble shows up, asking after the rebels. The Bloodaxe siblings–Devra and Darrian. It’s obvious that neither the farmers nor their leader, Sindri, have the first clue about the location of the rebels. But that’s not all Noble and his soldiers have come to Veldt for. They want the grain, even if they starve the villagers. For someone who oversees the harvest and even has connections outside, Gunnar’s a real dud when it comes to being a good judge of character. He trusts Noble with the information that there’s enough surplus and practically calls Sindri a paranoid boomer in the process. The first clue that Noble’s not playing around costs Sindri his life. He basically busts Sindri’s head open with the staff–his signature kill. But even that doesn’t tell the villagers that there’s no way that the Realm won’t deplete their resources until they’re all dead. Kora, still an outsider who knows too much to affix herself to the people of a doomed moon, is all packed and ready to leave. The only thing that stops her are Sam’s cries. The young girl is about to be raped by Noble’s pawns when Kora steps in and gives us a peek at her rad fighting skills. But the most amusing thing is an Imperial robot, a Jimmy, switching sides at the last moment and killing off the last remaining threat on Veldt. Kora knows the war’s not even begun yet. And to save the villagers from the wrath of the Motherworld, she’d need to get a number of powerful anarchists on her side.

What’s Kora’s real identity?

Kora could never really camouflage amidst the farmers of Veldt. And how she tackled the Imperial Army pervs only proved she’s lived a very different life. We get to know her when she opens up to Gunnar. She was a child the vicious Balisarius chose to spare while tearing her planet apart. Called Arthelais by her new family of ruthless warriors, Kora was brought up to be a killing machine. The fact that the Realm’s army was encouraged to have romantic ties with each other meant the Motherworld wanted the fighters to have something worth fighting for. It’s a self-aware evil that knows its manipulations are not entirely effective unless it takes it a notch above. Her failure to protect Princess Issa detached Kora from her make-believe purpose of being the bloodthirsty Realm’s weapon. The drive to avenge her planet and her stolen life only adds to her determination to save the people of Veldt.

How does Kora gather her army?

Let’s cut to the chase about Gunnar. He’s got a middleman in Providence, through whom he sold the surplus grains to the Bloodaxe siblings. Sadly, the Hawkshaws, who’re basically bounty hunters in this universe, have caught this man and handed him over to Noble. But a nasty bar fight in Providence proves more useful for Kora than meeting that man would’ve been. Kora’s looking to enlist a disgraced soldier who turned against the Imperium in the battle of Sarawu, General Titus. Thanks to a freaky creature at the bar, Kora now knows that Titus is at Pollux. And a cunning opportunist named Kai is all too eager to help Kora and Gunnar put together an army. On the way to Pollux, Kai makes some rather interesting stops to help Kora grab a number of fierce fighters with a bone to pick with the Imperium. In Neu-Wodi, former prince Tarak’s got quite the showmanship while taming a ferocious bennu—a giant quadrupedal eagle of sorts. That’s some way to pay off his debt to his captor and join Kora. The next stop takes us to the cobalt mining planet of Duggus, where Harmada, a furious ogumo who’s an enormous spider, has nabbed a kid to avenge the ruination of her home by the mines. Killing her isn’t a piece of cake for Nemesis, the part-cyborg swordswoman, but she pulls it off thanks to Gunnar’s sudden instinct to impress Kora. General Titus is a tad more petty and needs revenge if they’re to have him come on board. But persuading him proves pretty easy for Kora. And with revolution running through Darrian’s veins, all it takes is for Kora to be real with him and for him to empathize with the farmers of Veldt. Devra’s not quite feeling it, though, and she bids her brother a cynical goodbye while they both leave Sharaan and head in different destinations. Noble’s found another head to crack on Sharaan, the planet that harbored the rebels. For the crime of charity, which Noble believed killed the King, Sharaan’s destroyed, and its King Levitica dies a terrible death.

What’s Balisarius’ agenda?

Kai’s freshly developed sense of righteousness was always too good to be true. But he’s convincing enough in his lies to keep us from calling Kora naive for trusting him. When Kora and her army arrive in Gondival to help Kai with his supposedly last stolen cargo drop, Noble’s ship, King’s Gaze, is already closing in. Kai was only after the bounty on these special heads. It’s Gunnar’s time to shine as his second moment of courage finds him brave enough to kill Kai. Fighting off Noble and his men costs Darrian his life, but he dies destroying the King’s Gaze and making the path to victory a bit smoother for the remaining rebels. Kora absolutely crushes Noble in a nerve-wracking one-on-one, which ends with Noble dropping to his death after being stabbed with his own staff. But wait, a neural link awaits his corpse elsewhere, and this cyborg Admiral is brought back to life by Balisarius’ science guys. Judging by Balisarius’ threats in that creepy astral plane, Noble’s practically forced to hunt down the rebels at gunpoint. But what Balisarius wants even more than the rest of the rebels’ deaths is Kora back alive. He has much catching up to do with his run-away adoptive daughter, Arthelais. Tarak might come to regret his poetic death wish at the sight of the beautiful Veldt. Kora and Co. better watch their backs.

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Lopamudra Mukherjee
Lopamudra Mukherjee
In cinema, Lopamudra finds answers to some fundamental questions of life. And since jotting things down always makes overthinking more fun, writing is her way to give this madness a meaning.

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