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Zack Snyder’s Unrebellious ‘Rebel Moon’

How the new science-fantasy movie is the Star Wars story that was never meant to be.

We open on a woman, leading an unfamiliar animal across a terrain of dirt, her eyes carrying the weight of a hard day’s work. In the backdrop of this scene lies an orange planet, huge and glowing in the sky.

From that first scene, I felt somewhat intrigued and excited for the new world I was about to discover. Like many from my generation, and generations prior, I had grown up loving Star Wars (not the 2000s ones though). The characters, the universe, and the compelling plot had all found a place in my heart. I was interested to see how Rebel Moon would play out; what characters would be introduced and how they would react to their environment and those around them.

I have to say, I was sorely disappointed. Rebel Moon follows a young woman named Kora (Sofia Boutella) who is a newcomer in a farming village, and whose mysterious past keeps her rather separated from the village and its customs. Overall, she is content. Until, of course, a conflict occurs. A group of military representing a ruling plant called the Motherworld come to this village, demanding grain in the next 10 weeks.

In Seven Samurai like style, Kora decides to defend this village that has become her new home, gathering warriors to assist her cause.

One of the first problems I had with this movie was how forced the relationships felt. Kora goes city by city, planet by planet, just picking up people who can fight well. We are given no backstory, no holes for the dialogue and the acting to organically merge. The thing that worked so well with Star Wars is how it didn’t force us to see anything. It let its characters and its plot naturally shape together however the audience saw fit. All Rebel Moon gives us is a happier Scottish rendition of Han Solo and about ten unwanted minutes of a guy riding a Harry Potter-esque bird creature.

The second problem I had with Rebel Moon was the acting. Yes, Star Wars is probably not the pinnacle of acting, but as I mentioned before, it makes up for it with its creative worldbuilding and complex relationships. The acting in Rebel Moon was over the top, grim, and sometimes just painful to watch. Sofia Boutella looks like a great Kora on paper, but in film, it seems like she’s constantly yelling and angry. When she attempts to portray any true emotion, it comes off as tacky and boring. The rest of the characters don’t help either, and when they speak it sounds like they’re just blandly reading a cue card from off screen. The only gem I gather, was the voiceover of Anthony Hopkins as a robot.

All in all, Rebel Moon was just not a good film. The pacing was wrong, the story was convoluted, and just in general, it was uninteresting. Sadly, I don’t know if any science-fantasy movie will live up to the mantle that Star Wars created, but for now, we’ll just have to watch in wonder as Rebel Moon continues its ill-fated saga.

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About the Contributor
Lola Melian Lafinur, Writer/Reporter
I write articles about Arts and Entertainment in modern culture (movies, music, etc). My interests include film, writing, and reading every YA fantasy book ever written.
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