Kora’s Backstory Could Be Even Darker Than She Admits


  • Kora’s backstory in Rebel Moon – Part 1: A Child of Fire suggests she may be hiding darker secrets than she revealed.
  • Kora’s involvement with the Imperium raises questions about her role in the assassination of the royal family.
  • Kora’s potential innocence may offer hope for the survival of Princess Issa and the chance for peace in the Imperium.

Kora’s backstory in Rebel Moon – Part 1: A Child of Fire could be hiding even darker secrets than she revealed. Kora (Sofia Boutella) explained a lot of her history to Gunnar on their journey to Providence on Veldt, but she skipped over a conspicuous aspect, meaning her origin story could be even darker than she admits.

Rebel Moon – Part 1: A Child of Fire kicks off Zack Snyder’s new original sci-fi/fantasy universe on Netflix with a story inspired by Seven Samurai and influenced by a blend of other genres and properties from Heavy Metal to Conanan the Barbarian to Dune to Excalibur to Star Wars. When Admiral Atticus Noble (Ed Skrein) comes to the farming moon of Veldt looking for wheat to feed his Imperium army, Kora begins assembling a team of warriors to defend her new home. She has a dark history with the Imperium and knows what they’re capable of, but the full extent of her history could make her look like even less of a hero.

Related: Rebel Moon Ending Explained In Full, Including Every Scene That Sets Up Part Two

Kora’s Backstory Explained

Kora tells Gunnar about her time with the Imperium, but did she reveal everything?

After Kora defeats the entire squad of Imperium troops stationed on Veldt, it’s clear she has a very particular set of skills she didn’t learn on a farm. She tells Gunnar she was abducted on a battlefield by Balisarius (Fra Fee) who raised her as an adoptive father. She grew up among soldiers Imperium soldiers as Balisarius led them on conquests across the galaxy. When she grew up, she excelled at the Academy Militarium and eventually led Imperium forces to conquer other planets in the same way that Balisarius conquered her planet when she was a child.

Eventually, she became the personal bodyguard of Princess Issa and became close with the Royal Family. There were prophesies about Princess Issa and her ability to give life, and she didn’t initially believe it herself until she saw it with her own eyes, such as when Issa brought a dead bird back from the dead. After the assassination of the royal family, Kora went into hiding, eventually crash landing on Veldt where she lived among a farming community until Admiral Noble arrived with Imperium soldiers to demand they surrender the majority of their next harvest.

Balisarius Implicates Kora In The Royal Assassination

If Balisarius is responsible for the Slain King’s death, and he made Kora their bodyguard, was Kora involved?

Despite her heroic actions to save the farmers on Veldt, Kora’s violent past is a shadow that looms over her. She wasn’t only a soldier of the Imperium, but she actively led conquests of innocent worlds against people whose only crime was living in a place that had resources the Imperium wanted. Fortunately, Kora fled the Imperium after Balisarius had the royal family assassinated and instituted himself as Regent, although the circumstances of their death and Balisarius’ involvement also have even darker implications for Kora.

Related: The World Of Rebel Moon Explained (Including All Terminology)

As Kora tells Gunnar, Balisarius was the one who ensured she was situated as Princess Issa’s bodyguard. Since he was also involved in their assassination, the circumstances created some major concerns for Kora’s involvement in their death. Did she flee Balisarius because she tried and failed to stop him from killing them, or was she herself complicit in some way? Since Balisarius’ reign honors the Slain King, which is blamed on an “outsider,” and he wants to crucify her in the shadow of the senate, it seems like even if their blood isn’t on her hands she’s still the scapegoat for their death.

Kora’s Innocence Could Be a Hope For Princess Issa

Is Princess Issa still alive?

While Kora’s potential participation in the regicide plot is a concerning possibility, the alternative could imply some good news for Princess Issa. Kora said she was a believer in Princess Issa, so there’s a possibility she spared Issa and managed to send her into hiding, which would be another reason why Balisarius wants to find her. If Princess Issa is alive, Balisarius’ claim to power doesn’t only disappear, but the Imperium’s hopes for peace can live anew through her.

Kora suspiciously avoids revealing her role in the death of the royal family when she explains her history with the Imperium to Gunnar in Rebel Moon – Part 1: A Child of Fire, but it’s not clear if it’s because of the guilt she feels for having their blood on her hands, or if it’s because there’s actually a spark of heroism in her history and she doesn’t want to compromise the safety of Issa wherever she’s hiding. There’s clearly a lot more to learn about Kora and the history of the Imperium to be revealed in the sequel, Rebel Moon – Part 2: The Scargiver when it arrives on Netflix on April 19, 2024.

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