Rebel Moon – Part One: A Child of Fire

Rebel Moon - Part One A Child of Fire
A fine Star Wars derivative space opera, with probably the biggest thing going against it is that it’s a very obviously R-rated story chopped down into PG-13.

Rebel Moon – Part One: A Child of Fire

Release Date: December 15, 2023
Runtime: 02:13
When a peaceful settlement on the edge of a distant moon finds itself threatened by the armies of a tyrannical ruling force, a mysterious stranger living among its villagers becomes their best hope for survival.

A former soldier joins the rebellion against the Motherworld in Rebel Moon – Part One: A Child of Fire. After crashlanding on the planet Veldt, former Imperium soldier Kara () has been taken in by a peaceful farming community. However, the solitude is disrupted by the arrival of the Imperium Admiral Atticus Noble (), who is on the search for the rebellious Darrian Bloodaxe () and his sister Devra (), whom lead farmer Gunnar () previously sold supplies.

After a coup against the soldiers Atticus left behind, Kara realizes that she can no longer live in hiding and she leaves with Gunnar to locate the Bloodaxes, as well as legendary General Titus (). Kara and Gunnar secure transport with mercenary Kai () and recruit additional forces to their cause, including nobleman-turned-blacksmith Tarak () and cyborg swordmaster Nemesis (Doona Bae). However, Atticus Noble is fast on the rebels' tail, fulfilling the wishes of the tyrannical ruler of the Imperium, and Kara's adopted father, Regent Balisarius ().

Rebel Moon – Part One: A Child of Fire Synopsis

Rebel Moon – Part One: A Child of Fire is a Space Opera co-written and directed by Zack Snyder (Justice League, Army of the Dead). The film was originally pitched as a more mature Star Wars spin-off before Snyder developed it into its own story. The film stars Sofia Boutella (Prisoners of the Ghostland, Climax, Atomic Blonde) as Kara, a former Imperium soldier trying to atone for her past atrocities. Boutella is joined by Michiel Huisman (Game of Thrones) as Gunnar, a farmer who becomes a reluctant participant in this growing rebellion.

Through stories told by Kara and the mechanical knight Jimmy (voiced by ), we learn the backstory of how the Imperium previously served under the King (Cary Elwes). However, they betrayed and murdered both him and his daughter. Helping to save the planet of Veldt is a way for Kara to come to terms with the horrible acts she committed as a member of the Imperium. However, before she can fight, she needs to recruit a team of people she can trust.

My Thoughts on Rebel Moon – Part One: A Child of Fire

Rebel Moon – Part One: A Child of Fire is merely the first half of Zack Snyder's epic Space Opera, with Part Two: The Scargiver scheduled to come out in April, with Synder already beginning work on Part Three. However, despite the numbering, Rebel Moon – Part One: A Child of Fire ends up being a relatively complete narrative, more comparable to the Episodes of Snyder's main influence in the Star Wars films.

The element that does end up hurting Rebel Moon – Part One: A Child Fire is that for some reason the decision was made to edit the film down to an accessible PG-13 rating and release a longer R-rated Director's Cut closer to the release of Part Two: The Scargiver. However, it is quite obvious watching the film that this is a very R-rated story, partially inspired by Heavy Metal, with the cut material affecting both the film's heavily cropped action scenes, as well as the pacing since it feels that entire sequences, such as one at a Gladiatorial arena, was cut to keep the film at a lower rating.

I almost feel the need to go back and reappraise Rebel Moon – Part One: A Child of Fire when the Director's Cut is released in a few months. As the film stands now, Rebel Moon – Part One: A Child of Fire is a fine film, despite being quite derivative of Star Wars, Heavy Metal, and Synder's other influences, including Seven Samurai. That said, Snyder should be praised for developing an original intellectual property, even if the final end result leaves you with mixed feelings.

Trailer for Rebel Moon – Part One: A Child of Fire

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Sean Patrick Kelly
Sean Patrick Kelly
Sean Patrick Kelly is a freelance film critic and blogger based in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.