When Rebel Moon releases in theaters this week (and on Netflix next week) it’ll mark the end of a 10-year journey. A journey that began with a 2013 rumor that director Zack Snyder was working on some kind of Star Wars movie. That rumor, it turns out, was not true. At the time, Snyder had the idea of taking one of his stories and putting it into the world of Star Wars, but it never got much further than that. You can’t help but wonder though, in the words of another Disney-owned franchise, “What if?”
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Years later, the idea Snyder originally thought could be Star Wars ended up being his own creation, the new Netflix film Rebel Moon. It’s a sci-fi action tale about a woman (Sofia Boutella) who travels the galaxy putting together a team to help a small village defend itself from an evil planet called Motherworld. Basically Akira Kurosawa’s Seven Samurai or John Sturges’ The Magnificent Seven, in space. The trailers make it clear the film is pure Snyder too, with all the stunning visuals and slow-mo action scenes one has come to expect. Speaking with the director about the project over video chat this week, io9 asked him now that the film is done (part one, at least) how he thought the movie that’s coming out would have been different if it was set in a galaxy far, far, away.
“I think in the end, the tone would have been the big difference,” Snyder said. “I think that my natural sort of knee-jerk tone is closer to the more R-rated. I just can’t help myself. And that would have been problematic in the Star Wars universe. There would not have been a brothel.”
Wait, “brothel?” Yes, in Rebel Moon two of the characters go to a bar, filled with aliens, which is where they find a person who has a ship that can take them on their journey. Snyder confirmed that yes, this is very obviously a very direct reference to Star Wars and because of that, he had to spin it.
“I feel like when you go to a bar and you know you’re in a bar, you have to slightly deconstruct it because you’re aware of it,” he said. “And so you make it a brothel. And the ominous overtones in the bar become a little bit more overt, and they have to be, because you’ve got to make a statement about your awareness of where you are. Those kinds of things are absolutely self-aware because, I think, it helps the audiences who are 100% aware of the mythology that we’re kind of toying with. And we have to just walk a fine line with it.”
A fine line that, had it been a Star Wars movie, would have been even finer.
We’ll have more from Snyder in the coming days. Rebel Moon: Part One – A Child of Fire hits select theaters on Friday and comes to Netflix on December 22.
Want more io9 news? Check out when to expect the latest Marvel, Star Wars, and Star Trek releases, what’s next for the DC Universe on film and TV, and everything you need to know about the future of Doctor Who.