In Zack Snyder’s latest flick, “Rebel Moon” (or the full-on title, “Rebel Moon – Part One: A Child of Fire”), there’s this scene right out the gate where this innocent farmer hangs with a hooded warrior in a dodgy cantina. And guess what? Ugly aliens stir up trouble, the warrior shows off their cool fight moves, and bam! They meet a rogue mercenary named Kai, giving off major Han Solo vibes. Yep, this movie lives in a galaxy that’s not too far from the Star Wars one.
Snyder’s tale brewed up way back when he was just an 11-year-old kid fresh off watching Star Wars. But, hey, it seems like Zack Snyder’s hasn’t done much to tweak his idea since then. For 46 whole years, the only question he’s kept is, “What if Star Wars met Kurosawa’s Seven Samurai?” And that’s the Rebel Moon story. Ten years ago, Snyder pitched it to Lucasfilm as an official Star Wars gig. When they passed, he spun it off to have its own lore. But truth be told, it’s still got that Star Wars vibe.
Same-Same, but a Bit Different
Sure, Snyder’s added his own touch to Rebel Moon. Compared to the official Star Wars films, it’s got more gore, more cursing, more partial nudity, and a sprinkle of assault talk. Plus, there are extra lens flares, loads of slow-mo action scenes, a gloomy palette of browns, and way too many clunky, explain-y speeches.
But hold up, it’s missing something important—fun. Rebel Moon tries to be more “grown-up” than Star Wars, but it feels more like a teenage take. It’s not diving deeper into world-building or deep themes. The good guys are good, the bad guys are bad, and their looks pretty much give them away.
The Usual Suspects in Different Guises
Meet the baddie, Admiral Atticus Noble (Ed Skrein). Nope, not Darth Vader. He’s right-hand to the Regent (Fra Fee), definitely not the Emperor—basically a mystical ruler of the Realm, not the Empire. Our hero is Kora (Sofia Boutella), a former Realm soldier now chilling on the Veldt moon, not Tatooine. And when Atticus swings by, demanding grain from the villagers, it’s like a scene from Seven Samurai. So, Kora and pal Gunnar (Michiel Huisman) assemble a squad to fight back.
After picking up Kai (Charlie Hunnam) at a sketchy spot, they zip across planets with Earth-like vibes and somehow find exactly who they’re looking for. Staz Nair plays shirtless Conan, Doona Bae wields non-lightsaber glowing swords, Djimon Hounsou channels Gladiator, and Ray Fisher leads the rebels—nothing too unexpected.
A Little Short on Substance
The movie’s hiccup? Once the gang’s together, they don’t do much. It’s a letdown. The costumes are snazzy, Boutella’s got that tough-yet-appealing vibe, Skrein’s doing the slimeball thing well, and the cast’s trying their best. But sadly, they don’t get the chance to shine.
The story’s flat. No challenges to face, no hurdles to leap, no Death Stars to destroy. Despite the flashy tone, it ends up feeling small, probably because Snyder’s setting the stage for Part Two: The Scargiver, due next year. Part One kinda feels like a filler.
Love for the Underdog
But hey, there’s something charming about Rebel Moon. It’s honestly silly and borrowed, totally fan fiction that makes you want to high-five young Zack Snyder’s. Who knew his scribbles would score millions to hit the big screen? The film’s not much, but it’s a reminder that even the craziest dreams can come true.