Kai In ‘Rebel Moon,’ Explained: How Did Kai Die?

The first installment of Zack Snyder’s Rebel Moon sees Kora, aka the Scargiver, leaving her village with her potential love interest and fellow farmer named Gunnar to find insurgents and convince them to protect Veldt against Atticus and his savage army, who are known for devastating everything in their path. Kora made many friends along the way, including Nemesis and Tarak, but was betrayed by Kai, her alleged tour guide, who harbored sinister intentions. 


Spoilers Ahead

How Did Kai Meet Kora?

Rebel Moon introduced Kai, played by Charlie Hunnam, as a freelance trader and bounty hunter who earned his living by capturing those with a massive prize on their heads. Kai met Kora when she was fighting several criminals whom she had angered by not selling Gunnar to them. In the battle, Kora was caught off guard, and it was Kai who jumped in and saved her life. Kora told Kai about her mission to find General Titus, who had gone into hiding at Pollux, after he was deemed a fugitive for taking up arms against the evil king. Eventually, their numbers shrank over time, and Titus had to surrender. Unfortunately, the Motherworld massacred the majority of his men, forcing Titus into hiding. This made Titus a high-value target in military terminology with a massive bounty, one that could make you rich.


Even though Kora and Gunnar had very little to pay him off, Kai agreed to help them gather the soldiers they needed. Before taking Gunnar and Kora to Bullex, Kai made several stops along the way to pick up several fighters who would be more than happy to join the cause. These men and women, as Kai said, checked out for all the qualities Kora was looking for: perpetual hatred for the Motherworld and a desire for revenge and protection. The first stop the trio made was at the settlement at Neu-Wodi to pick up Tarak, a wanted fugitive with a long list of crimes against the Motherworld. On Neu-Wodi, Tarak was enslaved by a man named Hickman, thanks to a massive debt. In lieu of buying Tarak, Hickman offered Kora to make a bet that if Tarak was able to mount and pacify the feathered beast, his debt would be squared. However, if Tarak lost, Kora and Gunnar would become Hickman’s new slaves. Fortunately, Tarak mounted and pacified the beast and earned his long-awaited freedom. However, when Hickman tried to ride the beast, he was killed by its sharp claws. 

After Tarak, Kai took the group to a cobalt-mining planet called Daggus to pick up an excellent swordswoman named Nemesis and have the opportunity to see her spring into action. Nemesis was tracking a giant humanoid spider named Harmada who often kidnapped children and murdered them. Harmada abhored humans more than anything because the forces of the Motherworld invaded Daggus and transformed it into a fiery pit. The damage to the ecosystem was so severe that it robbed Harmada of any chance of laying eggs. Thus, Harmada often picked up human children and murdered them to satisfy her desire of vengeance. A battle ensued, and Nemesis emerged victorious.


Once Tarak and Nemesis were onboard, Kai took the group to their next destination, Pollux. After the war, Titus had taken refuge there and had become a gladiator in the arena of Castor. Titus was dangerous, and the last bounty hunter who went looking for the general ended up with his head on a pike, now serving as a macabre warning for others. The group found Titus drunk, lying in the streets, with his face buried in the dirt. Kora offered him a chance to redeem himself, and the erstwhile General Titus agreed. Last but not least, Kai took Kora and the others to King Levitica’s kingdom to enlist Darrian Bloodaxe, another most wanted fugitive who had been a constant headache for Motherworld, especially Atticus. Darrian and his men were the same insurgents who kept attacking and plundering his supplies.

Why Did Kai Betray Arthelais?

We were all fooled, as Kai actually had no intention of helping Kora and her villagers defend themselves from the Motherworld. Like he had himself said multiple times, Kai was an opportunist and just wanted to carve out a huge payout by cashing in on Kora’s mission. During their first meeting, Kai recognized that Kora herself was the most wanted fugitive in the galaxy, who once went by the name Arthelais. So, in the guise of helping Kora enlist warriors, Kai was secretly planning to have them captured, as everyone in the group was a wanted fugitive. For instance, Tarak Dacimus was a prince who had killed many of the top brass of the Motherworld to avenge what they did to his planet. Nemesis was no different and wanted to kill many Motherworld officials to avenge her children’s deaths.


Even though Kai had a tragic past that involved his planet getting obliterated by the Motherworld, he still chose to betray Kora. Motherworld didn’t just destroy his homeworld; they tortured every man and woman and left them clinging to their lives while the army blasted them from low orbit. The devastation of his planet taught Kai one thing: never to side with people who aren’t going to win. Kai had no honor and chose to only look out for himself. For him, the Motherworld wasn’t a threat but a business partner with huge rewards to spare. Kai knew Gunnar was in love with Kora and tried to force him to extract all the intel from Kora’s brain via a sharp drill, which would’ve left Kora dead. Kai promised Gunnar that he would spare his life if he killed Kora, but Gunnar turned the drill against Kai and killed him.

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Rishabh Shandilya
Rishabh Shandilya
Rishabh considers himself a superhero who is always at work trying to save the world from boredom. In his leisure time, he loves to watch more movies and play video games and tries to write about them to entertain his readers further. Rishabh likes to call himself a dedicated fan of Haruki Murakami, whose books are an escape from his real being.

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