Rebel Moon - Part I - Child on Fire (Netflix) - 2023


weaver of the unseen
Aug 21, 2007

Netflix concluded its Geeked Week showcase yesterday with the release of the full trailer for director Zack Snyder's Rebel Moon: A Child of Fire. It's the first of two parts (with plans for a third film to make it a trilogy), and Snyder and the streaming giant hope the films will launch a new space opera franchise. There are already plans for a novelization of the film, a four-issue prequel comic, a narrative podcast, an animated series, and a four-player game for the Netflix gaming platform.

As we reported previously, years ago, director Zack Snyder had an idea for an epic Star Wars movie that he pitched to Lucasfilm. That project never panned out for a variety of reasons. But the idea continued to germinate until Netflix got on board. Apart from Star Wars, Snyder has said his influences include the films of Akira Kurosawa, especially Seven Samurai, and The Dirty Dozen. He has set his epic saga in a universe controlled by the ruthless and corrupt government of the Mother World (the Imperium) with an army led by one Regent Balisarius (Fra Fee). The rebel moon of the title is called Veldt.

Per the official premise:

When a peaceful colony on the edge of a galaxy finds itself threatened by the armies of a tyrannical ruling force, Kora (Sofia Boutella), a mysterious stranger living among the villagers, becomes their best hope for survival. Tasked with finding trained fighters who will unite with her in making an impossible stand against the Mother World, Kora assembles a small band of warriors—outsiders, insurgents, peasants, and orphans of war from different worlds who share a common need for redemption and revenge. As the shadow of an entire Realm bears down on the unlikeliest of moons, a battle over the fate of a galaxy is waged, and in the process, a new army of heroes is formed.

So this is a movie that House of Mickey turned down. And it is also an attempt to make another space franchise like SW, ST, BSG, B5, or FireFly. I'm certain Mr Znyder can make it, but I'm not sure on how the audience will take it. My hesitancy is that it has been pretty difficult to make these things because they are so super costly projects. Therefore, it is no wonder that Netflix has put this coming out as a Christmas Special because they're aiming for the big numbers even though March - April timeslot could be more suitable for epic products. Maybe that's why the Part II is coming out in April.

This one comes out on 22nd December.

I am interested on your thoughts because the Expanse took a bit different roll on the agenda than shoving straight into a major war that the audience cannot understand, and because of it, care about. Is this going to be as good as SW New Hope?

This poster is selling it to me more than anything.

There are epic details all around this production. Some that clearly points out to long lines down the history. I hope Mr Znyder gets his wishes come true, and we'll get another great space opera.
The critics seem to be unimpressed with it.
I can see why this one is split in parts as it's clear to me that Mr Snyder is after a franchise. The difficulty with this one is the making of it, because as always making something great requires a lot of work. And this saga has an epic scope. The closest match in the recent offerings I have is the Hunger Games, because similarly to it, Znyder's universe is tied to an almost mystical MotherWorld and their rulers. Ones that are not so benevolent to their subjects.

The narrator gave a reason that the MotherWorld used all its resources to expand, and then its people had no choice but to become conquers or become another lost civilization. Luckily, they were smart enough to invent wormhole technology. Stuff that I'd like to screenshot, but cannot because Netflix has done something to block the shots.

Well, the thing is major is that it's like SW or ST. The MotherWorld became the ruler of galaxy, and they refer to it as a galactic power, but unlike the other ones, this one is a Monarchy. And it has a king. The main character claims that she was a bodyguard to a princess, who wielded a power of resurrection. And that it ran in their bloodline.

Then the evil struck and for some reason the King and his whole family were slain. Assassinated by unknown party, although I have my suspicion on the General Balisarius. One that raised Arthelais from an orphan to be a unique war hero that the General refers as "the one of the most decorated war heroes in the galaxy." The twist is that Balisarius slain her family, and then brought her up as his own.

Personally, to me, that reference points to Marvel's big purple guy, Thanos. But even though he has 'powers,' they are based on technology and not in some random mutation or the Ascension methods. The large audience just doesn't have the knowledge at this point. However, as the story begins, we learn that the King has sent a dreadnought to hunt down rebels. Ones that are claimed to be the ones that murdered behind the assassination plot. And as it happens to be, the ship is running out of food supplies.

So, they stop on a moon. A living one that has its own fauna and flora. They bring down the ship to low orbit and dip it in the atmosphere, before they decent in the village, and ask the farmers for supplies. "10 000 bushels," the general demands, and the audience learns that they can only produce 12k. Therefore, the order is a death order for the village. One that they cannot comply, and yet, it is what they have to do after the general slays the village elder.

To make sure that the villagers just doesn't flee, he leaves behind a small band of soldiers. One's that act like savages. The oppression is their business. You might even think that the village is never going to produce the goods, as the guys are complete pigs. Whole situation culminates when one night they grab a local girl and go down nasty business. It's just they don't know that the MC is lurking in the village and she cannot take it no more. So she marches in their house and puts down the whole band all on her own.

It is the first proper fight sequence, and it shows the MC being a master of gun-fu. After it, she tells the villagers that they are doomed and because of it, the villagers send her and the village boy to recruit a war band. One that can put up a fight, and to lead them they need a "legendary" General Titus, that Baltasarius refers as, "battlefield genius."

So in a way it is lending aspects from countless stories that go all the way back to Greek mythology. Except their band cannot be recruited from the Moon. So the MC and BoyWonder or rather ManWonder travels to a local space-port, where MC enters in the local watering hole. She goes and asks around for Gen Titus location, and in the process the ManWonder gains the attention of a bar thug. Thug grabs ManWonder by the balls and asks, "How much?" and then he goes to tell that "everything is on sale."

There just isn't rules or authorities to keep the law in the rebel moon. Only good will of their people. The MC cannot take it, so she threatens the thug and throws him out. A few moments later the thug return and the audience is given on the best bar fights in the filmed history. It is short and brutal and full of gun-fu. But it doesn't end in MC's victory, as the thug is put down by a thief with a ship.

He offers the pair a way to get to Titus, but his first stop is on another backwater planet to get a barbarian. One that is for some reason honourable as he's paying 300k debt to a rancher. It's just the beast the rancher is farming is the best representation of griffon that I've ever seen. The MC of course doesn't have the coin, but she's willing to bet on the barbarian taming the beast.

It is the taming part that is the best, because it shows that character being truly fearless. Almost like Conan. It's just I cannot get refer it in any other way, especially as the 'barbarian' doesn't ever put on armour. Maybe space barbarians only need a cloak, the loincloth and some boots. The biggest disappointment in him is that he doesn't drag the beast in the cargo hold.

Next one is legendary swords woman, who also makes a show fight by taking down a humongous arachnid drow. I'm referring to the dark elf, because it is the only reference to their half elf, half spider species. Almost as if they are centaurs, but darker, much darker.

With three people and ManWonder in the team, they go to find General Titus in his lowest point outside the gladiatorial arena. You'd think seeing him laying in the gutter, covered in God knows what, that it's a mistake. However, the MC doesn't give, because she has seen him lead. Yet, the General asks, why and the MC gives him a reason, revenge, because the redemption path isn't enough.

Man, people in the Znyder's galaxy hates rulers, and the MotherWorld. So in a way it's the Imperium of Man behaving badly, and in many places you get WH40k references. Yet, ZnyderVerse isn't a really, really bad place. It's not like ST Mirrorverse evil. But it's not a nice one either. You can see it in the latter part of the film, where the last team member gets recruited just before the betrayal.

The betrayal leads to another before the final fight happens. If I'm honest, the bar fight and the taming of Griffon are much better than the final fight, which leaves a lot of open for Mr Znyder to take further. Looking at it overall, it's not a bad film. It's an opening for a saga and maybe to a franchise. Most certainly, it's not a one-star movie. Just roll a fat one, shut your brain off and allow it to take you away for two hours and change.
in a way it is lending aspects from countless stories that go all the way back to Greek mythology.
I wouldn't go so far to say it was derivative, but it doesn't really bring anything new to these types of stories. This part was really just assembling together the band of adventurers.
she's willing to bet on the barbarian taming the beast.
This part wasn't very well written or something was edited out. That farmer has the "muscular guy" "Conan" working for him for several more years yet as free labour until he pays off his debt to him. No one had mentioned a gamble until he did it himself. He's obviously had the big bird in chains for quite some time. Why does he need to involve the rest of them when he could have just made a deal with "muscular guy" alone? And they all agree to the gamble straight away, even "cowardly" farm boy! To me, it didn't look like a good bet, and none of them have any idea who this man is, except the traitor pilot (who they later admit to having never trusting!)

Then they had magical swords used against the spider-woman. Is this Fantasy or Science Fiction? I have to know which.

I enjoyed it mostly, except for the ending. I understood how she got free with farm boy finally showing some courage, but how did the rest get free? And obviously, the evil Admiral has to escape to be able to take part in part 2, but she could have easily made sure he was dead with a staff right through an eye before he fell over the edge. They might have still been able to get his memories back with their technology, but not able to resurrect him. And now they are fortifying the rebel moon farming world with old rifles and in training with scarecrows. Really? How will that ever help them to defeat Battleships and those AI robot soldiers?

On the other hand, I see a plot coming about the AI robot soldiers - the one given the flower-chain headdress - he has morals values and ethics that most of the human soldiers did not. If all the AI robot soldiers are like him and have refused to fight since the death of the Royal family, and if all of the Monarchy behaves in the same way as the Admiral, well I can see them turned to fight instead on the side of the right and good!
I watched it last night. I'd give it a 6/10. It starts strong but peters out in the last half. I would chalk it up to what ails most sci-fi these days. And that is poor character development. Other than our protagonist, they all seem vapid, and most of them are unnecessary to driving the plot forward. You could easily cut out 35 minutes of the film too and wouldn't miss much. Visually it is stunning and the cinematography is top notch. Acting quite good too all around. Just another paint by numbers film with an unsatisfying ending. Nothing more.
Watched it last night and once I came to terms that I was watching a Sci Fi version of The Magnificent Seven, I found it quite enjoyable.
It is enjoyable. I also watched a couple of youtube critics going bonkers at it, and I get their points. However, if they'd have done some research and looked into the upcoming the Part II has a rolling teaser that shows them setting up a defence, and doing things for with the villagers. Part of it feel like those old black and white samurai movies, another like an old school western set in SF environment.

I'm going to bet that Part II is better than one, as this one mostly felt like an introduction to the MCs. And I still can't get that space barbarian out of my head. :LOL:
I wasn't alone on thinking the SW references
After rolling credits on Rebel Moon Part 1: A Child of Fire, you won’t be surprised to learn the Netflix movie began life as a pitch for a new Star Wars film. Director Zack Snyder brought his idea for a “more mature” Star Wars movie to Lucasfilm just before Disney’s takeover of the studio. While that version of what would become Rebel Moon never got off the ground, it freed Snyder to create his homage to George Lucas and Akira Kurosawa’s Seven Samurai completely in his own way, without having to stick to the established rules of the galaxy far, far away. The result is a movie that plays with all of Lucas’ toys but in a much darker universe full of “violence, sex, and swearing.”

Yet, while Snyder goes his own way with some of the material, there’s no question that Rebel Moon still owes A LOT to Lucas’ world. Here are some of the major nods to Star Wars you’ll find in the director’s latest…
I haven't seen this yet, but it seems to be in my wheelhouse. Seen a lot of negative stuff on youtube, but i want to give it a go.

Apparently, there will be a Snyder cut of this in three months time, which i think i'll wait for rather than perhaps being disappointed by the PG13 cut thats on Netflix at the moment.
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: ctg
Watched it last night. It was entertaining, but that's about the only positive thing I can think of to say. The plot was thin, with several silly of not stupid actions. Like asking in a full pub, where they have just witnessed active agents and spies from the Motherworld, if anyone knows the whereabouts of General Titus and other rebels. And then to fly off with a first guy who says he knows.
There was so much NOT said, between MC taking out the soldiers (minus 1 youngster - where did he go?) and her leaving. How did the villagers take her actions? My take would be; we are doomed.
Besides, if you, as dreadnought, urgently need provisions, where would you go? Of course, some small country village!
The characters themselves where mostly taken from the shelf and caricatures. 6/10 (5 for the entertaining part, 1 for the effort)
Luckily, they were smart enough to invent wormhole technology. Stuff that I'd like to screenshot, but cannot because Netflix has done something to block the shots.
Will this one do?

Then the evil struck and for some reason the King and his whole family were slain. Assassinated by unknown party, although I have my suspicion on the General Balisarius. One that raised Arthelais from an orphan to be a unique war hero that the General refers as "the one of the most decorated war heroes in the galaxy." The twist is that Balisarius slain her family, and then brought her up as his own.
My suspicions are on Arthelais. There is something in her recounting of her time as the princess' bodyguard that holds an unspoken disappointment of her expectations of the princess. And why or how else did Arthelais become a rebel? I think the story of the assassination will hold a surprise.