In this film we’ll get our first glimpse of the mysterious District 13. President Snow convinced the rest of Panem that the rebel district was obliterated in the first rebellion, but it has actually been surviving underground in a huge subterranean network for decades.
Life in District 13 is completely unlike anything Katniss has encountered before. Everything runs like clockwork with resources tightly rationed and all citizens over the age of 14 recruited into the military force. Headstrong Katniss has to try to get used to this restricted way of life, which is something she struggles with.
Expect stark surroundings, dull lighting and lots of grey – basically the exact opposite of what you’d find in the Capitol!
Along with the appearance of the new district comes a host of new faces. First up is 13’s no-nonsense president Alma Coin, played by Julianne Moore, who has worked closely with Philip Seymour Hoffman’s Plutarch Heavensbee to orchestrate the rebellion. They have recruited a rebel TV crew to create propaganda, which includes director Cressida, her assistant Messalla, and brothers Castor and Pollux as camera men. On the military side, things are led by Coin’s right-hand man Boggs, who Katniss develops a strong bond with.
For the first time in the series, Katniss will spend most of the film with her hunky best friend. We’ll get to see more of Gale and what drives him as he fights against the Capitol alongside her (Katniss isn’t the only one who’s handy with a bow!). We’ll also see how their relationship has changed through all of the harrowing experiences they’ve faced since Katniss first entered the Hunger Games arena.
Unfortunately with more Gale comes less Peeta. As we saw at the end of the last film, the rebels didn’t manage to help Peeta escape from the wreckage of the Quarter Quell arena. Still in the Capitol’s grasp, Peeta can only communicate with Katniss through highly orchestrated media appearances. Having said that, the films have given us more access to President Snow behind the scenes than we got in the book, so maybe we’ll see more of Peeta here than expected too.
Katniss spreading her wings
Throughout the series, Katniss has become a reluctant symbol for the rebellion. In the first film, her apparent acts of defiance – volunteering as tribute and suggesting swallowing the poisonous nightlock berries to Peeta rather than fighting to the death – are borne out of her desire to protect her sister and Peeta, and her need to survive. In Catching Fire, we saw Katniss try to play down her rebellious behavior during her victory tour, though she couldn’t help but let her true nature show through at times. Without realising it, she had already become a figurehead for Panem’s unrest and was pulled into a rebel plot in the arena that she knew nothing about.
In this film, we’ll see Katniss finally make the choice to fight back against the Capitol and truly take on the mantle of Mockingjay.
Unlike before, there’s no Hunger Games arena in this film. Instead, the whole of Panem becomes a battlefield as the rebel forces rise up and declare war against President Snow. Be prepared for plenty of action and explosions on a bigger scale than anything that’s already come in the franchise.
This film is also just the first installment of the last book in the series, which has a lot going on in it. It’ll be interesting to see where the filmmakers decide to end things before the final film, but whatever they choose, it’s bound to be full of suspense to leave us wanting more!