Rebel Moon | Has the world already forgotten Zack Snyder’s Star Wars?

Rebel Moon
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Rebel Moon: The Scargiver is hitting Netflix next month, but does anyone care at the moment? A few thoughts.

I was one of the few people who somewhat enjoyed Zack Snyder’s Rebel Moon – Part One: A Child Of Fire. In all honesty, I was very lucky and privileged to have been able to watch it in a cinema, but I did revisit the film later on Netflix.

On a second viewing, the film felt visually murkier and flat. That’s not really Snyder’s fault. Unless you’re willing to fork out more for your Netflix subscription, you’re watching films in worse quality, which definitely harms films like Rebel Moon. What seemed epic on the big screen felt dull on my cheap telly. 

We’re now about a month away from the release of Rebel MoonPart Two: Scargiver. I’m still excited to watch it, the cast alone is enough to make me tune in: but I fear I might be the only one.

Zack Snyder recently made headlines when he went on Joe Rogan’s podcast to discuss his cinematic efforts. He claimed that more people would have watched A Child Of Fire than Barbie, 2023’s highest grossing film. 

rebel moon a child of fire cast
Credit: Netflix

Netflix is very secretive about viewing numbers and there’s no way of ever knowing how many people truly watched A Child Of Fire. Snyder may very well be right here. I doubt it, but who knows?

However, what seems to be the objective truth is that Barbie made a much stronger cultural imprint whereas most people have forgotten Rebel Moon is even a thing. This is in no way an effort to dismiss Snyder’s work; he has a strong fan base who I’m sure enjoyed the film tremendously and if Snyder is happy with it too, then fair enough.

But if you go up to random people on the street and ask them about Rebel Moon, the majority of those people would be thoroughly confused I’d suggest. If you asked those same people about Barbie, they would have an opinion on it or at least know about the film. Barbie was a phenomenon and a huge milestone in terms of proving that women can helm blockbuster movies that feature women and make money. 

In comparison, Rebel Moon generated very little buzz, good or bad. 

Rebel Moon, in all its glory, was largely inspired by the likes of Star Wars. Unlike Rebel Moon, Star Wars was always aimed at kids, which is probably why so many people have fond memories of the whole franchise. Rebel Moon is dark, violent and gritty, but those are rarely the ingredients of blockbuster-y sagas. 

Read more: Interview | Rebel Moon cast talk A Child Of Fire, its Extended Cut and The Scargiver

That being said, Rebel Moon is no failure. Despite the negative reviews, the film was still the most viewed film on Netflix in most countries, and Snyder has also accumulated a large, vocal fan base who have no doubt watched the film several times and are thoroughly looking forward to Snyder’s next chapter in the saga. 

So where does that leave The Scargiver? The ending of A Child Of Fire leaves our ragtag team of heroes back on Veldt, convinced that the war is over, but something tells us this is only the beginning. Ed Skrein’s bad guy was shown to have been resurrected at the end of the first film, so we’re sure he’s back and he’s probably going to be ecstatic that they tried to kill him. We should also be getting more of Jimmy, the robot voiced by Anthony Hopkins. 

It’s just a question if anyone will care?

The marketing for The Scargiver has been non-existent, but Denis Villeneuve’s masterful Dune: Part Two has sucked the oxygen out of the room. Dune: Part Two was marketed as an epic continuation of Paul Atreides’ story and the cast included some of Hollywood’s brightest young stars. 

It’s hard to put my finger on what exactly differentiates Dune and Rebel Moon on paper. It’s mostly tone; Dune is sombre and its themes are heavy whereas Rebel Moon is more violent and action-focused. In theory, Rebel Moon should be the most popular of the two, but Dune is currently making a killing at the box office and we must be getting closer to the official greenlighting of Dune: Messiah. 

One thing that Barbie and Dune have in common, and an element that Rebel Moon is lacking, is that feeling of missing out. If you haven’t seen Barbie and Dune: Part Two, you’ve missed out on something spectacular, something important, monumental even. There is no such urgency to Rebel Moon. It could be the Netflix factor; the film will always be available (well, maybe not always but the foreseeable future at least), so there’s no hurry. 

Rebel Moon Kora
Credit: Netflix

Rebel Moon, which Snyder imagined as a franchise starter, seems to have fallen in between the cracks. It’s not serious enough to feel real, but it’s not silly or entertaining enough to reach Star Wars levels of popularity either. It has swinged for and completely missed the cultural zeitgeist. We doubt the promised director’s cut of the two films will improve things. Snyder has also spoken a lot about wanting to make several sequels, but at this rate, there won’t be anyone to watch them. 

Rebel Moon – Part One: A Child Of Fire is streaming on Netflix now. Rebel Moon – Part Two: The Scargiver is streaming on Netflix from 19th April. 

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