Everything Rebel Moon Sets Up For Part Two 

You know the drill by now, people! This article contains spoilers for "Rebel Moon."

It wouldn't be a Zack Snyder movie if every aspect of the plot was wrapped up in a neat, tidy bow by the end, now would it? Messiness and a refusal to abide by most genre conventions might as well be the divisive director's calling card, and "Rebel Moon" is only the latest example of Snyder's typical storytelling approach. The movie's full title, of course, is "Rebel Moon – Part One: A Child of Fire," which puts a flashing neon sign over the fact that nothing about this epic space opera was meant to stand alone in a single, self-contained film. Part of that was the influence of Netflix, but something tells us that the filmmaker would've pulled a similar stunt no matter what. And more power to him, honestly!

Of all the aspects worth digging into from "Rebel Moon," however, none will likely drive more discussion than speculation of what will come next. (You can read my review for /Film here.) The film does a reasonably capable job of focusing on one main story while filling out the world with additional details that could factor into future movies, which is a far cry from "Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice" (ugh, that title) hitting pause in the middle of the plot to give us a series of random teasers for other members of the Justice League. Regardless of whether you feel this was handled to perfection or yet another example of clunky sequel-baiting, there's no shortage of loose threads and dangling setups hinting at possible directions that "Part Two" will take.

The Imperium strikes back

Everyone loves a good villain. Zack Snyder must agree, because despite having every reason to kill off Ed Skrein's Admiral Atticus Noble for good, he chose to move heaven and earth to bring him back from the dead for another round. "Rebel Moon" builds to an epic climax where Sofia Boutella's Kora finds herself in a mortal struggle against the ruthless Admiral. Thanks to her strength, wits, and drive, she severely wounds Noble and seemingly puts an end to his threat forever ... until reinforcements find him in an Anakin-like development, patch him through to an otherworldly conversation with Regent Balisarius (Fra Fee), and bring him back to life.

In retrospect, it seems clear that "Part One" was setting him up to be a recurring villain along the lines of Darth Vader or Baron Harkonnen. Although there's obviously a greater antagonist pulling the strings behind the Imperium, there's no telling how Noble's return will throw a wrench into the victory achieved by Kora and her rebels at the end of the film. None of the good guys were under any delusions that their unexpected win in battle would singlehandedly make the harvest moon of Veldt safe, mind you, but now Noble will be even more motivated to burn Veldt to a crisp. There's nothing scarier than a villain on a personal mission of revenge and, although they don't know it just yet, the heroes of "Rebel Moon" have one that they'll need to deal with all over again in "Part Two."

There's also the matter of Regent Balisarius, the ruler of the Imperium to whom Noble answers. He's even more incentivized to defeat Kora and her insurrectionist cell, and seems willing to stop at nothing to make it happen. Snyder's version of Darth Sidious, perhaps?

Myths and mysteries

You may have noticed that your first viewing of "Rebel Moon" was a little ... overwhelming. That's mostly because Snyder dumps entire history books worth of world-building and backstory on viewers, pretty much from the opening seconds. That helps lend a mythic and epic feel to the adventure, but it also leaves all sorts of question marks for concepts and characters that were only ever hinted at in "Part One." As much as Kora offers up her own origins to her bestie Gunnar (Michiel Huisman) in a series of flashbacks sprinkled throughout the movie, there's still a lot we don't know about our main hero. We witness her memories of being taken by the Imperium as a child and raised as a soldier in their vast army, but there remain quite a few missing pieces surrounding the exact circumstances of Kora abandoning her post and becoming a deserter.

And then there are the mystical elements introduced by her relationship with Princess Issa (Stella Grace Fitzgerald), a royal child who seemingly had the ability to create life. "Rebel Moon" places a whole lot of emphasis on Issa and her symbolism as a "redeemer," mostly through the exposition provided by the robot Jimmy (performed by Dustin Ceithamer, voiced by Anthony Hopkins), which doesn't quite go anywhere within the confines of "Part One." The brief flashbacks we see of the mysterious figure of myth, however, hints at much more extensive developments in store. Given Snyder's obvious interest in mythology and magic, we'd be shocked if the sequel doesn't address these legends — as well as Kora's dynamic and possible thematic parallels with Issa — in much greater depth next time around.

The fate of Veldt

All roads lead to Veldt. Okay, not really, as the eponymous rebel moon sure seems cut from the same cloth as Tatooine or Jakku — in other words, a backwater world that few except criminals, nobodies, and castaways in search of new beginnings would ever call home. But the planetoid does provide this new franchise with its title, suggesting that it will play a larger role in the epic war to come. After beginning on Veldt and staying there for most of the first hour of the film, "Part One" loops back around and finally concludes back on the moon as Kora and her conquering heroes return to make good on their promise of protection. Admiral Noble may be out of commission (for now, at least), but the Imperium is due to pay them another visit. This time, expect the inhabitants of Veldt to be ready.

To offer up pure, unsubstantiated speculation for a moment, it's hard to imagine "Part Two" restricting itself solely to the setting of Veldt. In all likelihood, we're in for another planet-hopping adventure, but with an even bigger scope and scale. It'll be interesting to see how Snyder balances the action on Veldt, which provides much of the stakes, versus further expanding the universe of this new sandbox. Maybe the moon becomes the location of a rebel base of operations, or perhaps the main mission for the sequel involves keeping the Imperium from invading Veldt at all costs. The possibilities are endless, and we'll find out what Snyder has up his sleeve when "Part Two" arrives in April of 2024.

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