‘Rebel Moon’ Part 2 Movie Recap & Ending Explained: How Did Kora Become A Fugitive?

Finding acceptance in one’s own self is the first and most important part of redemption, which is the central theme in the recently released Rebel Moon Part Two: The Scargiver, the second movie entry in Zack Snyder’s space opera franchise. Set in the fictional galactic empire centered on Motherworld, the first part of Netflix’s Rebel Moon 1 managed to draw viewers’ attention thanks to the narrative similarity it shared with Seven Samurai and Star Wars: Rogue One, uniting a ragtag group of warriors to stand against a cosmic dictatorship, but the lack of originality in Snyder’s vision made for a rather forgettable experience. Releasing shortly after the release of the first part, the sequel had a chance to expand the lore by utilizing the creative freedom provided to the makers, but it ends up venturing merely knee-deep into the past lives of the key characters showcased in several tedious slo-mo montages in the director’s trademark desaturated color palette. 


Aside from some of the action sequences, which once again are mostly derivative, to say the least, Rebel Moon Part 2 doesn’t have much to offer, either narrative, visual, or even world-building-wise. With its short two-hour runtime being divided into two segments—buildup and final conflict—Rebel Moon Part 2 turns out to be an even more disappointing installment than its predecessor. Despite that, future installments will continue to be developed regardless of public reception, as multimedia adaptations based on the Rebel Moon lore have been greenlit a long time ago, keeping in sync with the nauseating tendency of franchise-building culture in mainstream fiction. 

Spoilers Ahead


Why Did Noble Decide To Return To Veldt?

The movie opens with the narration of Jimmy, the sentient android who formerly served the role of the protector of the royal family of the Motherworld but failed to protect them during their assassination. During the events of Rebel Moon, Jimmy arrived in the Veldt with Imperium soldiers. At the agrarian village of the Veldt, Jimmy bonded with a local girl named Sam, and to protect her from Imperium soldiers, the robot chose to defect from the Imperium at the end, settling in the wilderness thereafter. 

Jimmy briefly narrates the events that transpired during Rebel Moon,  detailing how, in order to protect the village from Imperium Admiral Atticus Noble’s clutches, Kora and her close friend and love interest Gunnar had gathered warriors from across the galaxy who shared a common anti-Imperium stance, and during the battle of Gondival, the group managed to lay waste to Noble’s forces, with Kora delivering the deathblow to the Admiral. However, Noble was resurrected by the Imperium, and the tyrant supremo of the Motherworld, Regent Balisarius, learned Kora’s true identity to be Arthelais, his adopted daughter, a formidable warrior who had defected from the Imperium after the assassination of the royal family. With the goal of capturing Kora and executing her, Regent Balisarius had commanded Noble to take the necessary actions, and as the sequel begins, we find a revived Noble redirecting his vassal, the Imperial Dreadnought ‘King’s Gaze’ back towards Veldt. 


How Did Kora Become the Imperium’s Most Wanted Fugitive?

On the other hand, along with the brave warriors—General Titus, Prince Tarak, Assassin Nemesis, and Bloodaxe Resistance member Millius—Kora and Gunnar return to their village, and upon learning the details of Noble’s defeat at their hands, the villagers hail them as heroes. However, Private Aris, the only surviving member of the Imperium army stationed in Veldt who had joined the villagers erstwhile, learns from Commander Cassius of ‘King’s Gaze’ about their plan to return to Veldt to take the harvest within five days. As Aris shares the news with the group, Kora is in disbelief, as the death of Noble should have driven his forces to return to the Motherworld. However, General Titus rightly guesses at the possibility of Noble’s survival, realizes that the grain might be of seminal importance to the Imperium, and decides to address the villagers through an empowering speech. Titus urges them to use their grain as a means of protection from the Imperium and mentions that the villagers will be trained in the art of military warfare by the group to stand their ground against Noble and co. 

Having a night to spare before preparing for an impossible conflict, Gunnar and Kora spend time together, and in their private moments, Kora shares the sordid account of her past, which led to her living the life of a fugitive for so long. She reveals that during her days as a member of the Imperium, when she was still known as Arthelais, she was assigned to protect Issa, the benevolent, divine princess of the royal family, who was presumed to be the reincarnation of mythical Queen Issa the lifegiver. Issa’s presence marked a change in her father’s perspective as he gradually shifted the Imperium’s aggressive world-dominating modus operandi to a tolerant approach of peaceful coexistence. Almost like the  Mauryan Empire Ashoka, who was moved after witnessing the violence of the War of Kalinga, and motivated by the precepts of Buddhism, changed his stance completely to opt for a peaceful approach to serve him kingdom. The sudden change in the king’s perspective drew the ire of Arthelais’ adoptive father, General Balisarius, who equated the change as an insult to Motherworld’s glory and planned a coup to put an end to the royal family. While Balisarius himself took the initiative to kill the king and queen, he entrusted his adopted daughter to take Princess Issa’s life, a heinous act that she remorsefully performed eventually after being assured of Issa’s forgiveness in her dying moment. However, Balisarius betrayed his daughter and turned on her, willing to make Arthelais the scapegoat to put the blame on the assassination, which prompted her to flee, living a life in hiding until she came to Veldt, and find a new life as Kora. Since then, Kora has tried to escape her past and even considered giving up as a form of repentance for her action, but Issa’s forgiveness has motivated her to continue her efforts for survival. 


What Motivates the Rest of the Team to Rise Against the Imperium?

During the short span of time until Noble’s return, Titus and the rest of the warriors help the villagers harvest their grain through reaping, gathering, threshing, and finally turning the grain into flour—their shield against the upcoming assault of the Imperium. Their assistance lets the villagers form a bond of trust with them, and during a celebration ceremony, the village girl Sam acknowledges the warriors by gifting them individual emblematic banners. An action that moves them deeply and allows the martial training to be conducted in a better manner than expected. By digging a hidden trench across the fields to ambush Noble’s forces and using flour and grain as buffers to prevent an aerial strike, the village prepares as best as it can to tackle the Imperium juggernaut, and Jimmy, sporting horns of snow elk to indicate his changed life, observes everything from afar. Titus decides to bring in Kora’s dropship, which could play a vital role in the upcoming conflict. 

The night before the Imperium’s arrival, the warriors gather to discuss the best course of action, and Titus decides to lay bare his past as an act of strengthening the bond among his comrades. He recalls how, as a former general of the Imperium, he was instructed to rain fire over a colonized realm after their attempt to gain independence—and order which he had refused, and his cavalry followed suit. This resulted in Titus and his troops getting detained and rounded up for execution, and a desperate Titus offered his life in exchange for sparing his men—ultimately to no avail, as the Imperium incinerated his troops as a brutal punishment for Titus’ insubordination. A grieving Titus remarks that whatever happens in the battle, he will never make the mistake of surrendering to the Imperium ever again.


Motivated by his confession, the rest of the team share their past as well. Prince Tarak shares Motherworld’s tyrannical actions of razing his homeworld to the ground, leaving him as the only survivor of his royal family, who has been on the run ever since. Nemesis is another victim of Motherworld’s oppression; she was formerly a member of a peaceful fishing community that was burned in the Imperium’s wrath, leading to her losing her family to the tragic assault. Since then, she has used her ancestral oracle steel sword and gauntlet to hunt down Imperium forces, as vengeance eventually consumed her soul and mind. Millius, who was displaced from her home, which met the same fate as other civilizations under Imperium’s grip, was rescued by the major force of resistance—the Bloodaxe siblings. Everything they had held dear has been snatched and wrecked by the all-consuming machination of the Imperium, and a sense of shared grief unifies them more than anything else. Titus, who is seemingly aware of Kora’s past, asks her to share her piece as well, but Kora doesn’t reveal much aside from mentioning that once upon a time, she served the Imperium. The villagers and the warriors are finally united, prepared to sacrifice their lives for the ideal they believe in and to protect everything they love.

How Did Kora Win The Battle?

On the day of Noble’s arrival, Kora goes to hide her dropship to keep it out of the sight of the Imperium Dreadnought and meets Jimmy, who shares his newfound sense of purpose, a sense of gaining his identity anew, ever since he decided to protect Sam from the lecherous Imperium soldiers. Kora mentions how both of them are much alike, designed to kill for the Imperium, and therefore, their uniting against their tyranny is what the Imperium fears the most. Before departing, Jimmy comments about the impossible odds stacked against the Veldt resistance, casting doubt over the chances of their success. 


Eventually, the Imperium Dreadnought arrives on the horizons of Veldt, and Noble and his troops descend into the village in their dropships. Kora tries to negotiate a deal for one last time, urging the Admiral to take the necessary amount of grain and leave the planet, as she isn’t willing to sort the situation out by exchanging blood. Noble spits on her proposition, asking Kora to surrender instead in exchange for the lives of the villagers. Kora almost agrees to the deal until Gunnar signals the villagers to initiate a guerilla attack, scattering Noble’s forces and gaining the upper hand in the conflict in the process. In the village longhouse, Nemesis protects the women and children who were being targeted by Imperium forces, and Aris and Sam help her. Foot soldiers and gigantic battle automations are deployed, which get countered by Titus and Tarak’s fierce attack. As Noble prepares to retreat, Gunnar and Kora rush towards her dropship and manage to infiltrate the Dreadnought under the guise of the dropship being a battle-damaged Imperium vessel. 

The Imperium cavalry continues to pour in, making it troublesome for the villagers to keep up, and Millius shows bravery in destabilizing multiple automatons, thereby prolonging the battle, which was almost turning into a one-sided affair. However, suffering significant causalities, it becomes impossible for the villagers to push through any longer, and like a mythical savior, Jimmy enters the battle, disrupting Imperium forces for long enough to let the villagers regain a fighting chance. On the other hand, Kora and Gunnar set charges across the Dreadnought, and as Noble learns about their presence on the vessel, he commands his forces to obliterate the village along with their harvest as he has found a much better offer in the form of Arthelais to present to Balisarius. However, as Noble confronts the duo, the charges detonate, sending the Dreadnought hurling towards the ground. During the final conflict, Gunnar gets badly injured but manages to assist Kora in killing Admiral Noble once and for all. The duo escape the falling vessel using Kora’s dropship, and after a crash landing, Kora is elated to see the last remnants of the Imperium’s forces getting demolished by a surprise aerial attack of Resistance forces led by Devra Bloodaxe. However, moments later, she is devastated to see Gunnar breathing his last, as after everything they have gone through together, he was unable to witness his homeworld triumphing over the tyrannical forces of the Imperium. 


With the war ending with a definitive victory of the Veldt resistance, the Imperium receives a major blow, as the triumph will inspire rebels across the galaxy to take up arms against the despotic Balisarius. However, like every war, the battle of Veldt has taken its toll. Den, Nemesis, Gunnar, and many other villagers, who have fallen on the battlefield were not lucky enough to taste the freedom their struggle has earned. As the village mourns their deaths, Devra mentions memorializing the fallen warriors through the tales of their bravery and honor—a statement that triggers Kora’s guilty conscience, as she believes herself to be bereft of these two qualities. A heartbroken Kora finally confesses her identity to the villagers as Arthelais, the adopted daughter of Balisarius and killer of Princess Issa, and Titus comforts her, stating that he knew about her truth. He also mentions that Kora shouldn’t burden herself with guilt that much, as Princess Issa, who is beyond death, had survived the assassination attempt. Titus inspires her to continue the fight against the Imperium, with redemption found in finding Princess Issa as her new goal. Devra and the rest of the warriors promise their assistance in Kora’s fight, and Jimmy, who has finally found her purpose with the news of Princess Issa’s survival, pledges to stand by them as well. In front of the funeral pyre of her fallen comrades, Kora’s resolute face reflects her hope for a better tomorrow as the movie comes to an end. Upcoming entries of the series will focus on Kora and the warrior group’s attempt to find Princess Issa, which can become a momentous event in the fate of the galactic Imperium as Balisarius position as supreme regent will be in jeopardy with Issa being a witness to his heinous act of regicide. 

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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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