Review: Rebel Moon: Part One A Child of Fire

This is going to be short.

Rebel Moon, the new Zack Snyder “was supposed to be a Star Wars entry that got rejected but they made it anyway” film is essentially fan fic OF fan fic.

Star Wars was Flash Gordon redux, with Kurosawa thrown in for movie maven chops.  Now comes a darker, grittier, so-called “more adult” (ok, I’ll be nice) “interpretation”.

The story, at base, makes absolutely no sense in the context of Space Opera.  A galactic empire and all of its trappings is just not anywhere near the same scale as an outlaw band of samurai or Mexican bandidos, and while a small farming community on a single planet may be similar to a small farming community on the border, bandidos do not have the same fire power as a space cruiser.

But you have to buy this premise to proceed with the rest of the story, which is weak, telegraphed and an exemplar of why writers are admonished to “show rather than tell”.  Boy do we get telled a lot.

It’s also nearly impossible (no, it IS impossible) to ignore the Star Wars roots.  It’s also impossible to ignore its Dune, Riddick, Warhammer 30K, GoT and even Guardians of the Galaxy roots.  I would not have been surprised at all if patrons of the Tatooine Bar could be seen playing Fizz Bin in the background.  (Yes, it’s got Tatooine and a bar where all the scum of the universe gather, especially, it seems, bounty hunters.  But there’s no band.  Not even a multi-tentacled alien playing spoons.)

Oh, in the list of (again, I’ll be kind) “sources”, I forgot to mention the Alien franchise.  And maybe even A Clockwork Orange (you can thank the attempted gang rape scene for that.)

The bottom line is, like so many other directors, Snyder seems to think that all an SF film requires are “stunning visuals”.  Characterization and plot are decidedly ignored after thoughts here.

What intrigues me the most about this film however are the Intellectual Property related implications.  In that regard, it reminds me of nothing so much as the “knockoffs” products that often appear around this time of year that offer lesser-quality, thinly veiled and cheaper versions of the originals.  If you were expecting an original Star Wars toy for the holidays but ended up with “Space Battles” figures named “Dan Group”, “Duke Groundruner with Shiny Cutlass” and “Gold-Colored Robot”, you’d probably play with them, but you’d still be disappointed.

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