Jena Malone‘s alien spider-warrior generates a curious mix of unsettling feelings in the new teaser trailer for Rebel Moon. She is one of the few major characters from Zack Snyder‘s space epic whose identity has remained a secret ever since the filmmaker revealed most of the other players in an exclusive Vanity Fair first look earlier this summer. She’s also, inarguably, the weirdest and creepiest of the bunch.
There’s something mesmerizing about the elegant design of Malone’s Harmada, a giant arachnoid whose allegiance in this far-flung galaxy isn’t immediately clear. Is she friend, foe, or something in between? Snyder himself shares some exclusive new insights into who—and what—Harmada is, and where she turns up in Rebel Moon.
The new teaser also reveals what each part of this two-part saga will be subtitled, in addition to confirming when the second half will make its debut. (Though there’s still no word on when Snyder’s plan for a harder-edged R-rated—or perhaps unrated—version will be released as well.) The first chapter of Rebel Moon is titled A Child of Fire; it will hit Netflix on Dec. 22. The second half will be called The Scargiver and will debut on the streaming service four months later, on April 14, 2024. “The Scargiver” is revealed in the trailer to be a reference to Sofia Boutella‘s fugitive Kora, who helps set off the galactic rebellion when the farming moon Veldt, where she has been hiding from the Imperium, is conquered by the armies of that tyrannical government.
Malone’s spider-queen Harmada turns up in the story when Kora ventures off-world in search of a team of specialist warriors to help fortify her peaceful little village’s uprising. “Kora used to be in the Imperium, and she’s like, ‘Guys, this ends badly for everybody,’” Snyder tells Vanity Fair.
Kora and her pacifist farmer friend Gunnar (Michiel Huisman, of Game of Thrones) hire a starship pilot named Kai (Sons of Anarchy’s Charlie Hunnam) to travel with them around the galaxy to recruit their menagerie of fighters. One of these worlds is an urban, industrialized world called Daggus.
“Daggus is a mining colony, where there’s a cobalt mine, and the sort of space cobalt that we use is highly treasured by the Imperium,” Snyder explains. “So, the deal that Daggus has made with the Imperium makes it kind of a freelance company of the mother world. It’s like Standard Oil or something.”
The mean streets of Daggus has its own cyborg protector known as Nemesis (South Korean actor Doona Bae), who wields twin fire swords. “There’s not a huge military presence there because it’s part of the mother world, so Nemesis is able to navigate the alleys and nooks and crannies of Daggus,” Snyder says. “She’s been sort of protecting the exploited workers of that world.”
Her high-temperature swords are powered by her mechanical arms, which explains one of the stranger shots in the teaser trailer—when she appears to amputate her own limbs in a moment of crisis. (Who does that?) The removal of her organic arms was a ritualistic choice made long ago. “These swords are powered by the gauntlets that she holds. The gauntlets are these ancient [artifacts] from her home world, and part of the rite of passage of being a warrior in her world is you have to cut your arm off, and then you put these kind of robot arms on. That allows you to wield these molten-metal blades,” Snyder says.