- Betrayal and personal trauma drive the actions of the characters in Rebel Moon – Part 1: A Child of Fire, with Kai choosing to sell out the rebels for his own gain.
- The character Jimmy’s mysterious appearance at the end sets up a larger character arc in Rebel Moon – Part 2, providing a tease for what’s to come in the sequel.
- Admiral Noble’s resurrection and his conversation with Regent Balisarius on the frozen lake introduce advanced technology with potentially ethereal or extradimensional properties. This technology may play a crucial role in the sequel’s plot.
Warning: Contains SPOILERS for Rebel Moon: Part 1 – A Child of Fire.
At the end of Rebel Moon – Part 1: A Child of Fire, Kora and her band of rebels defeats Admiral Noble, but a cliffhanger ending revealing Noble’s resurrection sets up for an even bigger battle in the sequel, Rebel Moon – Part 2: The Scargiver, on April 19th, 2024. Rebel Moon – Part 1: A Child of Fire is the newest franchise launched by Zack Snyder and Netflix. From a screenplay by Snyder, Shay Hatten, and Kurt Johnstad, Rebel Moon – Part 1: A Child of Fire features performances from Sofia Boutella, Ed Skrein, Charlie Hunnam, Djimon Hounsou, Anthony Hopkins, and more.
When the Imperium comes to a small farming community on Veldt demanding they feed the imperial war machine, a former Imperial soldier, Kora (Sofia Boutella), seeks warriors who can help her defend her new home from the tyranny of Admiral Atticus Noble (Ed Skrein) and Regent Balisarius (Fra Fee). After gaining passage from a bounty hunter, Kai (Charlie Hunnam), Kora recruits former General Titus (Djimon Hounsou), swordfighter Nemesis (Bae Doona), warrior Tarak (Staz Nair), rebel leader Darrian Bloodaxe (Ray Fisher), and rebel fighter Milius (E. Duffy). The new team narrowly escapes the betrayal of Kai, ending in a cliffhanger set-up for a massive battle in Rebel Moon – Part 2: The Scargiver.
Why Kai Betrayed Kora and the Team
So much for Kai’s talk of honor.
At the end of Rebel Moon – Part 1: A Child of Fire, Kai betrays the team, selling them out to Admiral Noble and the Imperium. Multiple rebel fighters die, but thanks to Gunnar finally finding a spark of courage, many of the team members manage to escape. The betrayal ultimately costs Kai his own life. Like the rest of the rebels they recruit, Kai’s planet and people had been devastated by the Imperium, so why did he betray them to Admiral Noble instead of joining them? Even if he wasn’t interested in risking his life by taking a stand alongside them, he could have let them fight back on their own.
Revenge is a major theme of Rebel Moon and each of the characters have a very different relationship with it. While Titus only joins the team thanks to the promise of revenge, Nemesis cautions “There is a difference between justice and revenge.” Kai tells Kora the Imperium devastated his planet, so he has just as much reason to be motivated by either revenge or justice, but his personal trauma has made him a nihilist instead. He doesn’t think it’s possible to defeat the Imperium, so he’s going to exploit any opportunity to enrich himself, and rounding up some valuable rebel fugitives is one of the best ways for him to do that.
What Happened to Jimmy at the End of Rebel Moon?
Why is he wearing antlers on his head?
The Jimmies are noble robots created long ago to serve the slain king (Carey Elwes), but in his absence, they have no purpose and refuse to participate in violence at the behest of any member of the Imperium under Regent Balisarius, even in self-defense. After Kora fights off the Imperium soldiers on Veldt before going to track down the other warriors, Jimmy stays behind. Jimmy isn’t seen again after Kora leaves Veldt until the very end of Rebel Moon – Part 1: A Child of Fire when he’s shown in a wheat field wearing a cloak and elaborate antler headgear without explanation.
Jimmy’s antler tease is a major setup for Rebel Moon – Part 2: A Child of Fire where Jimmy will have a larger character arc, although it’s also an element of Rebel Moon – Part 1: A Child of Fire‘s cut down PG-13 version. In the longer R-rated cut set to release on Netflix later this year, Jimmy will have more scenes fleshing out his character arc on Veldt and explaining a sort of awakening his character goes through, but without those additional details, the scene at the end of the movie is merely a tease for what comes next in the Rebel Moon sequel.
Did Noble Really Die?
And how did he come back to life?
After Kai betrayed the team and sold them out to Admiral Noble and the Imperium, Kora defeats Noble and he falls off the platform to the planet below. If it wasn’t dead before he fell, he certainly was afterward. Despite his mortal predicament, he’s taken back aboard the Imperium Dreadnought, The King’s Gaze, where he’s hooked up to a machine that brings him back to life. The exact nature of what happens to him isn’t clear, but Deborah Snyder teased some sort of advanced medical technology during Screen Rant’s visit to the Rebel Moon set, and Noble is shown plugging himself into some kind of mysterious device earlier in the movie.
While the machine Noble is plugged into is clearly technological in some capacity, there may be more to it than that as it may also have an ethereal, mystical, or even extradimensional property to it. At the start of the movie, an Imperium dreadnought is shown coming through a portal of blue energy that resembles the energy used by the machine to revive Noble. Since the same machine also transports Nobel’s mind to a sort of astral plane or other dimension where he speaks with Balisarius, it seems like the two technologies may be somehow related.
Who is Noble Talking To On the Frozen Lake?
Where was Noble at the end and what was the blue electricity?
Before Noble is resurrected, he’s transported to a frozen lake where he converses with Regent Balisarius. Last time Balisarius was before he became Regent of the Imperium, and now he’s more than a decade older with a beard. It’s not clear where this conversation actually takes place, although it doesn’t seem to be an actual physical location because Noble’s body is no longer injured and he’s fully clothed. It could be a digital realm like the Matrix, an astral plane, or even an alternate dimension. Wherever it is, Balisarius has a level of control over it, shattering the ice with electricity using his staff and sending Noble back.
There’s clearly a lot going on with the ice plane, but on a functional level it could just be a means the Imperium uses to communicate across long distances. The opening of the movie shows the dreadnought coming through a portal featuring similar energy, so there’s likely some sort of relationship. Even if it’s simply Rebel Moon‘s alternative to hologram communication, that’s only a partial explanation of what’s going on, since it seems to also be related to Noble’s resurrection, meaning there’s a brain-body interface, interstellar travel, and medical application of the technology.
Rebel Moon Sequel Setup Explained
Rebel Moon splits the classic Seven Samurai plot into two separate movies.
Rebel Moon – Part 1: A Child of Fire ends with a cliffhanger after Kai betrays the team, Darrian Bloodaxe and all his Rebels other than Milius die, and Noble is killed by Kora before being resurrected. Kora’s origin flashback revealed she was an important figure in the Imperium army and Regent Balisarius was like an adoptive father figure to her. Now that her identity is revealed, Balisarius commands Noble to go and retrieve her alive. After she defeats him in hand-to-hand combat, the stakes are even higher, since Noble’s conquest against the farming village on Veldt is personal.
The surviving fighters recruited by Kora including Gunnar, Nemesis, General Titus, Tarak, and Milius all return to Veldt where Jimmy will also join them. Since the Rebel Moon story is heavily inspired by Seven Samurai, it’s pretty clear they’re going to train the villagers to defend against a counter-attack by Noble and the Imperium in Rebel Moon – Part 2: The Scargiver, although Snyder loves to subvert genre tropes and expectations, so there’s still a lot of mysteries to be revealed in the sequel when it releases on Netflix April 19, 2024.