Many are curious about the new Netflix sci-fi epic, ‘Rebel Moon‘, and its striking similarities to the Star Wars universe. Directed by Zack Snyder, the film presents an intriguing blend of original storytelling with clear influences from the iconic galaxy far, far away. Let’s explore whether ‘Rebel Moon’ was initially intended to be a Star Wars movie and what makes it distinct yet familiar.
Zack Snyder’s vision: From Star Wars pitch to Netflix Original
Zack Snyder, a filmmaker known for his distinctive style, originally envisioned ‘Rebel Moon’ as a part of the Star Wars universe. This ambitious idea, which began over two decades ago, was initially a concept pitched to Lucasfilm. Snyder’s pitch included a story set in space, reminiscent of classics like the ‘Seven Samurai‘ and the ‘Dirty Dozen.’ However, after Lucasfilm’s rejection and Disney’s acquisition of the Star Wars franchise, Snyder’s dream of contributing to the saga took a different turn.
Rather than abandoning his vision, Snyder, encouraged by his wife and producing partner Deborah Snyder, transformed ‘Rebel Moon’ into an original project. This shift marked a significant change in direction. Snyder’s passion for the project led to a richly detailed universe meticulously crafted over the years. The transition from a Star Wars concept to a Netflix original allowed Snyder greater creative freedom, enabling him to build a complex world without the constraints of existing canon.
‘Rebel Moon‘ and Star Wars: A tale of similarities and differences
The parallels between ‘Rebel Moon’ and Star Wars are hard to miss. Both feature a militaristic empire, a rebellion, and a journey of heroism. Snyder’s original pitch, influenced by Akira Kurosawa’s ‘Seven Samurai,’ mirrors George Lucas’s inspirations for Star Wars. This shared foundation led to unavoidable comparisons. However, despite these similarities, ‘Rebel Moon’ stands out with its distinct storyline and characters.
What sets ‘Rebel Moon’ apart is its approach to storytelling. While Star Wars relies heavily on legacy characters and a nostalgic narrative, ‘Rebel Moon’ introduces new heroes and a unique plot. Snyder’s film does not shy away from darker themes and a more mature tone, differing from the family-friendly approach of recent Star Wars films. This divergence highlights Snyder’s intent to create a space epic that resonates with his filmmaking style while paying homage to classic sci-fi tropes.
Here’s why ‘Rebel Moon’ was rejected by Lucasfilm
‘Rebel Moon’ was rejected by Lucasfilm primarily due to its deviation from the traditional Star Wars narrative and universe. Zack Snyder, the creator of ‘Rebel Moon,’ originally pitched the concept as part of the Star Wars universe. However, his vision differed significantly from the established Star Wars canon and storytelling approach.
Snyder’s idea focused on a narrative that was more adult and darker in tone, including elements that he envisioned as being rated R. This approach contrasted sharply with the typically family-friendly, more universally accessible nature of Star Wars films. Additionally, Snyder’s concept did not involve any existing Star Wars characters or closely tied storylines. He wanted to create a completely original story within the Star Wars universe, which didn’t align with Lucasfilm’s strategy, especially post its acquisition by Disney.
After Disney’s acquisition of Lucasfilm in 2012, the company had already established a clear direction for the Star Wars franchise, focusing on building upon the existing universe and characters, particularly with the launch of new trilogies and spin-offs. Snyder’s concept of a standalone, darker, and more mature thematic exploration within the Star Wars universe didn’t fit into this strategic direction.
Ultimately, the rejection by Lucasfilm led Snyder to redevelop ‘Rebel Moon’ as an independent project, allowing him the creative freedom to build a new universe without the constraints of the existing Star Wars canon.
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