Atticus Noble In ‘Rebel Moon 2,’ Explained: Is Balisarius’ Admiral Really Dead?

One of the most interesting kinds of adversaries are the persistent ones, the ones who just cannot be shaken off the trail and continue to hound the protagonists like an agent of Nemesis. Well-crafted antagonists with such dogged determination and zeal for relentless pursuit, like “Agent Smith” of The Matrix movie series and the titular villains of the Terminator franchise, have become iconic in their own merit. In Zack Snyder’s space opera franchise, Rebel Moon, Imperium Admiral Atticus Noble has established himself as such a force by acting as the prime antagonist in the first two entries.


Making quite an impression as a ruthless, sadistic enforcer of Regent Balisarius in the first movie Rebel Moon Part 1, Noble became memorable for his vicious, cunning streak that claimed the lives of many, reminding viewers of the machinations of the iconic Hans Landa from Inglourious Basterds. Despite meeting his end at the hands of Arthelais, aka Kora, by the end of the first movie, Noble was resurrected by the Imperium and resumed his pursuit of the adopted daughter of Regent Balisarius (Kora) in the second installment of the franchise, Rebel Moon Part Two: The Scargiver. The character’s fate at the end of the movie changes the equation between the Imperium and the Resistance in a major way, which we would like to briefly discuss.

Spoilers Ahead


What Was Noble’s Motive to Pursue Arthelais?

During the final moments of the first Rebel Moon movie, a battered, seemingly dead Noble is taken to the Imperium Dreadnought, where Regent Balisarius communicates with him on a psychic plane through a neural link established by technicians. After learning that Arthelais, his adopted daughter, the dreaded Scargiver, has become a part of a resurgency. Balisarius commands Noble to crush the resistance to its core and bring Arthelais to him to be executed. Noble, loyal to a fault, agrees to follow the dictates, as he believes in the jingoistic brainwashing that the majority of Imperium soldiers have been conditioned in as well, that his actions will bring honor and glory to the war machine. He also has no knowledge about Balisarius’ treasonous coup, which claimed the lives of the royal family, and much like other Imperium soldiers, he swears his loyalty to the Slain King without knowing it’s the Regent he is serving who is responsible for his death. 

Apart from honor and loyalty, Noble is also motivated by a personal reason, which is later revealed by Kora: to make a strong enough impression on Balisarius to help him gain a seat at the Shadow Senate, allowing him to prove his worth to his father. Capturing Arthelais will allow him to do so. There might be another possible motivation that drives Noble, as he states that bringing Scargiver to justice will allow him to stand as the savior of his people. This indicates the possibility of Balisarius’ tyrannical machinations plaguing Noble’s community as well, making Noble a victim of the same fate as the Veldt warriors. But his duties to the Imperium keep him tied, and he wishes to earn the freedom of his community by proving himself to the Regent. This is merely speculation built upon Noble’s statement, which might be confirmed if the character’s backstory gets expanded further. 


Is Atticus Noble Really Dead?

Leading the Imperium forces of ‘The King’s Gaze’ Noble reached Veldt to capture Arthelais, which prompted a massive battle between the warrior-led villagers and the Imperium forces. During the final conflict, Noble engaged in an Oracle sword duel with Arthelais in the falling Dreadnought and got stabbed and decapitated at the end. With the Dreadnought destroyed on Veldt and no Imperium forces present there to assist, it is impossible to resurrect Noble a second time, unless there are some mystical gizmos that get revealed later. Whether or not Noble is needed by the Imperium anymore remains unknown, yet Noble’s death and failure to curb the resistance are going to have major implications for the Imperium. 

As a feared Admiral of the Imperium, Noble held substantial power and control, which he exercised with his unhinged brutality, as seen in the first movie when he ravaged the Mireean kingdom on planet Sharaan. As a representative of Balisarius himself, Noble’s strength was a testament to the Imperium’s vice grip over its colonies. More than the actual hold itself, the show of strength and brutality kept the possibility of uprisings in check, despite the resistance trying their best to disrupt the power structure. However, all of this changes with the humiliating defeat Noble’s forces face in Veldt, which is also at the hands of peasants led by a ragtag bunch of warriors. This victory has much symbolic significance, as the myth of Imperium’s power has been shaken, which could result in more oppressed subjects rising up against the tyranny of Balisarius and the Imperium in the near future. With Noble’s defeat and Arthelais learning about the survival of Princess Issa, the Imperium has a substantial challenge in front of it at the moment. The upcoming installments will see Kora and the rest of her warrior teammates venturing to the far reaches of the galaxy to find Issa, and on the off chance of their success, the power structure of Imperium will change drastically. Balisarius’ heinous conspiracy and act of regicide could be exposed with the return of Princess Issa, which could very well destabilize the oppressive Imperium for good. Which means Balisarius will have to take a more direct approach to stopping the resistance, and in the upcoming installments, we might get to see him playing a more direct role in the narrative. 


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Siddhartha Das
Siddhartha Das
An avid fan and voracious reader of comic book literature, Siddhartha thinks the ideals accentuated in the superhero genre should be taken as lessons in real life also. A sucker for everything horror and different art styles, Siddhartha likes to spend his time reading subjects. He's always eager to learn more about world fauna, history, geography, crime fiction, sports, and cultures. He also wishes to abolish human egocentrism, which can make the world a better place.

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