- Many character backstories were cut from the initial release of Rebel Moon: Part 1, but will be explored in Rebel Moon: Part 2.
- Admiral Atticus Noble has a darker and more violent opening scene in the extended R-rated cut, along with additional character development.
- Aris, the Imperium soldier, has a bigger role in the extended cut and will participate in the defense of Veldt. Jimmy’s backstory, including his transformation, is also explained in more detail.
Warning: Contains SPOILERS for Rebel Moon: Part 1 – A Child of Fire (including the extended edition).
Netflix’s decision to release a two-hour PG-13 version of Zack Snyder’s Rebel Moon – Part 1: A Child of Fire ahead of the extended 3-hour R-rated version of the movie means some character backstories were cut from the initial release. While the shorter runtime covers the entire plot efficiently, it’s been criticized for feeling incomplete with occasionally awkward cuts in the action to navigate around R-rated violence to maintain the PG-13 rating.
When it comes to Rebel Moon‘s characters, more prominent characters like Kora (Sofia Boutella) and Balisarius (Fra Fee) get more development, while characters like Nemesis (Bae Doona) suddenly jumped into the story with little fanfare. Additional details on these characters will come in the sequel, Rebel Moon – Part 2: The Scargiver before the arrival of the extended cut, but the Rebel Moon – Part 1: A Child of Fire novelization is based on the same script as the extended cut, meaning it may include additional details about what additional character development to expect from the full extended R-rated version of Rebel Moon – Part 1: A Child of Fire.
Rebel Moon Wasn’t Missing As Much Character Backstory As You Think
Most of the backstory will be in Rebel Moon – Part 2: The Scargiver.
Some characters in Rebel Moon – Part 1: A Child of Fire received hasty introductions and seemed to be missing backstories, but that doesn’t mean they’ll all have more development in the extended cut, due to arrive in the summer of 2024. In fact, many of their backstories were saved for exploration in Rebel Moon – Part 2: The Scargiver, so even the novelization is scarce on additional details for some of the main characters. Even so, some major characters and minor characters have some big reveals, with the exception of Jimmy (Anthony Hopkins), who has an entire character arc of his own on Veldt.
Noble has more violence (and sex) in the longer R-rated cut of Rebel Moon.
Admiral Atticus Noble’s (Ed Skrein) opening scene in Rebel Moon – Part 1: A Child of Fire was a chilling introduction to the character, but Zack Snyder already teased the extended edition’s alternate opening scene is “all Ed [Skrein],” and the novelization gives an even darker peek at just how brutal Noble can be. Taking place months before Noble ever comes to Veldt looking for grain, Noble’s new opening scene features the admiral landing on the planet Toa in search of the Bloodaxe siblings. When the king refuses to cooperate, Noble decimates the whole planet and kills the royal family in a brutal and sadistic way, making his arrival on Veldt even more chilling.
In addition to the new opening sequence, Noble has some extra character development, including a much more explicit glimpse at his hookah use and his relationship with the tentacled creature glimpsed in the PG-13 cut. While the PG-13 cut teased some kind of sexual purpose behind the tentacles, the extended cut will be far more explicit about his relationship to the creature, making an uncomfortably full use of the cut’s R-rating.
Aris, The Imperium Soldier, Is a Lot More Important Than You Thought
Aris was an Imperium soldier with a small part, but his backstory is a much bigger deal.
Aris (Sky Yang), the young Imperium soldier on Veldt who stood up for Jimmy and tried to protect Sam in the granary before Kora showed up has a lot more significance than the PG-13 cut revealed. In fact, he’s the son of the king whose family Noble kills in the opening act, who Noble forcibly recruited into the Imperium military. After the other Imperium troops are killed and Kora leaves with Gunnar, Aris befriends Sam and Jimmy, giving him a much bigger role in the extended cut and also setting him up to participate in the defense of Veldt when Noble returns in Rebel Moon – Part 2: The Scargiver.
Jimmy Has An Entirely Cut Subplot in Rebel Moon’s Longer Cut
The extended director’s cut of Rebel Moon – Part 1: A Child of Fire explains why Jimmy is wearing those antlers at the end.
In the two-hour PG-13 cut of Rebel Moon – Part 1: A Child of Fire, Jimmy stays on Veldt when Kora and Gunnar leave to search for warriors, and he isn’t seen again until they return, when he’s gone through a total transformation, standing in the field wearing an antlered headpiece with a staff and a cape. Zack Snyder’s extended director’s cut of Rebel Moon – Part 1: A Child of Fire will reveal a lot more of Jimmy’s backstory here, revealing his journey away from the farming village into nature in a quest for meaning, his discovery of the deer carcass, and his realization that he is not ruled by his programming alone, giving him a sense of free will.
Kora’s Backstory Will Have a Lot More Details
Kora’s backstory is a lot darker than the PG-13 cut of Rebel Moon revealed.
Kora got more backstory than anyone in Rebel Moon – Part 1: A Child of Fire, but the novelization provides additional details about her past, fleshing out much of the same story already glimpsed. For example, in the PG-13 version, it could be inferred that Kora had a role in the assassination of the king, queen, and Princess Issa, but in the novelization, Balisarious explicitly tells Noble that Kora, or Arthelais, killed the royal family in cold blood. Whether she actually pulled the trigger, or Balisarius is using her as a scapegoat isn’t clear, but there’s clearly a much more complicated backstory for Kora yet to be told.
Rebel Moon’s Big Bad, Balisarious, is a More Looming Villain
Balisarius only has a little more backstory, but his presence is felt.
Balisarius is briefly mentioned in Kora’s backstory before he gets a full reveal on the astral plane at the very end of the PG-13 version of Rebel Moon – Part 1: A Child of Fire. In the novelization, Balisarious gets a lot more development through Kora’s backstory and a few other mentions. There’s still a lot to learn about him in Rebel Moon – Part 2: The Scargiver, and he could still be a big villain beyond that, but his looming threat will be far more clear with the arrival of Zack Snyder’s extended, R-rated director’s cut of Rebel Moon – Part 1: A Child of Fire.
Rebel Moon: Part Two – The Scargiver