‘Edge of Tomorrow’ Ending & Time Travel Explained

Published 4 months ago by , Updated September 29th, 2014 at 9:02 am,

Edge of Tomorrow Ending Spoilers Edge of Tomorrow Ending & Time Travel Explained

Based on the Japanese novel All You Need is Kill by Hiroshi Sakurazaka, Edge of Tomorrow tells the story of Major William Cage (Tom Cruise), a man who is forced onto the front lines for a major military operation against invading aliens known as “Mimics.” Untrained and unprepared for combat, Cage is killed within minutes – only to wake up 24 hours earlier with no choice but to relive (and die) the same day over and over.

Like many time travel (or time loop) stories, Edge of Tomorrow relies on heady exposition and mind-bending sci-fi ideas which may confuse certain moviegoers. For that reason, we’re here to help breakdown the Major Cage’s ability to “reset” time, as well as explain the film’s ending. Our discussion is going to be full of SPOILERS from here on out – for both Edge of Tomorrow and the All You Need is Kill source material. READ NO FURTHER unless you’re all caught up. You have been warned.








The Source of Time Looping

June Preview Edge of Tomorrow Edge of Tomorrow Ending & Time Travel Explained

In the opening moments of the film, we learn that Major Cage is a government-sponsored talking head who refuses to document the UDF campaign “Project Downfall” from the front lines. Branded a deserter, Cage is forced into military service (as part of J-squad) on the eve of a massive offensive, waking up at Heathrow airport in handcuffs (the starting point for the time loops he experiences throughout the film).

In spite of rigorous planning and secrecy, the Mimics see the attack coming and the offensive turns into a massacre – wiping out humanity’s last line of defense. On the ground, Cage watches as J-Squad and UDF war hero Rita Vrataski (Emily Blunt) are mercilessly slaughtered by orange-tinted Mimic drones. During the fracas, Cage comes face to face with a blue colored “Alpha” Mimic, exterminating the creature as its acidic blood rains down on his face, killing him. That Alpha blood gives Cage the ability to “loop” (aka reset time by a day).

Edge of Tomorrow Aliens Rita Vrataski Edge of Tomorrow Ending & Time Travel Explained

Through countless trial and error attempts, Cage manages to befriend Vrataski and her physicist confidant Dr. Carter (Noah Taylor) who explain their theories on Mimic physiology. Carter asserts that the Mimics, named for their uncanny ability to adapt to human military strategies, are a highly-evolved hive mind capable of controlling time. At the center of the collective is the “Omega” Mimic, an extremely large and powerful creature that serves as the brain of the Mimic force but is hidden far away from the battlefield for its own protection.

Where the normal orange-colored Mimics are basic workers/pawns, sent into battle for the sole purpose of killing enemies, the Omega also employes the use of the blue-tinted Alphas, who serve as the eyes and ears of the Omega on the front lines. Unlike basic Mimics, Alphas are precious to the collective, and thanks to their direct link to the Omega, contain the head creature’s time-controlling essence in their blood. Should an Alpha die, the Omega resets time but retains the knowledge of everything that went wrong on the battlefield – allowing the creature to make tactical adjustments accordingly, and gain an upper hand in the new time cycle.

The highly-evolved power to wind back the clock is responsible for the extraterrestrial’s unrelenting adaptation to human military efforts, as well as the reason Mimics were able to see Cage’s invasion force coming: because the Omega had already watched it all happen in a previous timeline, and had mapped out a different strategy following one or many resets. In effect, the Omega is able to turn any fight that it experiences into an elaborate trap – until Cage inadvertently hijacks the time-loop ability.


The Rules of Time Looping

edge of tomorrow tom cruise Edge of Tomorrow Ending & Time Travel Explained

At the time of his first death, Cage is drenched in the blood of a dying Mimic, essentially transferring the Omega’s time control ability to Cage. After saving her on the French battlefield, Vrataski reveals that she had experienced the same looping phenomenon during an assault at Verdun, but subsequently lost the ability after she was severely injured and bleeding out. During her time looping, she worked with Dr. Carter to understand how the time reset ability actually worked – attempting to find out if it could be transferred to others via physical contact, blood, or other bodily fluids.

The pair came to the conclusion that only one organism (Mimic or Man) could be in charge of the reset at any given time – meaning that when Rita acquired the ability, the Omega no longer had control, giving Vrataski (and later Cage) a temporary edge. The Alpha blood also caused Vrataski (and eventually Cage) to have visions of the Omega’s hidden location, and Dr. Carter surmised that if they could find the creature in time, before a reset, they could wipe out the entire Mimic invasion force – since the creatures were all extensions of the Omega. As it turns out, Vrataski and Cage’s “visions” were actually traps, planted by the Omega after it had figured out who was in control of the loop – by drawing Rita (and later Cage) to an isolated location, the Omega hoped to reclaim its looper blood, so that the Mimics could regain control of the time reset.

Edge of Tomorrow Alpha Mimic Edge of Tomorrow Ending & Time Travel Explained

Cage manages to survive the Omega’s trap (by drowning himself) and the encounter encourages him to revisit an abandoned piece of technology that Dr. Carter had built – based on the appearance of Vrataski’s original visions – to track the Omega by hijacking an Alpha’s connection to the Omega. After a number of resets, Cage and Vrataski successfully acquire the gadget, and Cage uses the device on himself (since his body contains Alpha blood), quickly locating the Omega. Yet, during their attempted escape with the device, UDF infantry destroy their getaway car, leaving Cage injured and bleeding out. He awakens hours later with an IV pumping fresh blood into his arm, having lost the ability to reset time – just like Vrataski had months earlier.

As a result, control of the loop reverts to the Omega - but, unless an Alpha is killed, Cage and Vrataski still have time to travel to the creature’s location and destroy it. The pair enlist the help of J-Squad, who Cage manages to convince of the time loop (thanks to the countless hours he’s spent with each of them in prior loops), and the soldiers set out for Paris – where the Omega is concealed underneath the Louvre. No longer able to reset time, Cage and his team only have one shot to kill the Omega, and are tasked with the added challenge of not killing an Alpha. As mentioned, should the team kill inadvertently kill an Alpha, the Omega would reset time, and Cage would not retain any of the memories of his previous exploits.


The Ending Explained

edge tomorrow tom cruise emily blunt1 Edge of Tomorrow Ending & Time Travel Explained

J-Squad is killed-off one at a time while escorting Cage and Vrataski to the Lourve - where entry to the Omega’s lair is guarded by an Alpha. Vrataski sacrifices herself in order to distract (without killing) the Alpha, while Cage tries to destroy the Omega, which is hiding in a flooded portion of the parking garage. As Cage swims downward, he is impaled (and mortally wounded) by the Alpha, who spears him through the chest with a tentacle; in spite of his injury, Cage manages to release a cluster of grenades. The explosion kills the Omega, and since it is the brain of the Mimic collective, its death causes the remainder of its kind on Earth to wither and die, putting an abrupt end to the alien invasion.

Even though Cage survives the detonation, he is doomed to die – that is, until the Omega’s blood, rising through the water, seeps into his wound. As Cage dies he regains control of the Mimic’s ability to reset time – this time waking up hours before he was ever arrested (his usual start point in the loop). Furthermore, certain actions from the previous loop are retained – while others are not. The Mimics are dead following an unknown event (unknown to everyone but Cage) below the Louvre. Yet, J-Squad and Vrataski have all been resurrected, with no knowledge of their role in eliminating the Mimics during the prior time cycle.

NEXT PAGE: Time Loop Paradox Explanation >

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  1. Why didn’t they reset after the vision in the car chase? As soon as Cage had the vision of the Omega in the car chase Vrataski should of reset him. Then they could have started fresh and went directly to kill the Omega. Am I right or did I miss something?

    • Rita was knocked out first before Cage was captured.

  2. I have a Ph.D and still can’t devise a credible explanation. And finding credible explanations are an obsession of my nature. It’s one of the reasons I’m usually frustrated by time manipulation plots. But then I think, so what, this film was entertaining as hell–a perfect mix of comedy, romance, sci-fi, and action adventure.

    • I have a Ph.D. as well and I can’t stand people who say they have a Ph.D.

    • Why is having a PhD even relevant? I’m sure your PhD in liberal arts can explain this fictional time-travel phenomenon you pretentious arse.

      • BS = Bull Sh*t
        MS = More of the Same
        PhD = Piled Hip Deep

  3. I assumed the reset went to Cruise who had the power to enhance the reset to a previous time (say a day earlier than before). He then used his previous knowledge (and resetting as needed) to single handedly kill the Omega again. This time he didn’t reset it so time progressed normally into his formerly repeating day.

    But I admit its just a guess to neatly tie the loose ends as neatly as possible.

  4. Resetting requires that the Omega be living in order to process the information needed to alter the timeline from the reset point in the past. How, if the Omega was killed, can the reset still occur when killing the Omega in the future evidently also killed the Omega in the past. In short, the reset information could not be processed in the past or future, thus Tom Cruise should have died… FOR REAL… at the end of the last reset.

    • The Omega is what manipulates time through all the mimics. Cruise’ character essentially became the Omega when he killed the alien Omega… soooo, the mimics cannot survive without the alien Omega, but the humans timelines (and lives) are linked to Cruise. This is how the humans can be reset, but all the mimics are still dead.

      • If that was the case then when a Mimic reset occurred then all the mimics would be alive again but all the dead humans would still be dead and would not repeatedly fight the day over and over…

        • I think the alpha that dies resets the day and everyone is alive from that point…that’s the reset power they have.

          When Cage was infused with the alpha’s blood he died and then reset instead of the alpha…so it seems like the alpha was the only being to actually die.

          That is the only odd thing for me…I can see Cage now having the reset but the alpha should still be alive. Anyway, following that logic – where Cage dies in really the same way vs the omega – it makes sense that only the omega dies during that reset…and then the rest die subsequently because they need the omega.

          They followed the same logic for sure…I guess the one creature that should be resetting doesn’t get to any more and is therefore the only one that dies?

          So that explains that….my only problem is that Cage obliterated both the alpha and omega…allowing him to gain their blood to be able to reset. I think that he would need to die first with their blood to reset before they reset….right?

          Are they suggesting that particles of the alpha or omega were still *alive* long enough for Cage to die first and get the reset?

          • I’m not sure if Cage is dead before the Omega.
            But I know, if the Omega dies, so does the Alpha (because they’re linked)

            So does every alien.

            Then, we suppose Tom travels back in time, in the point he wants, then he kills the Omega (but it’s not showed) and he wins. Then, he meets Rita again.

            Or, maybe, the Omega is dead, so does every alien, but Tom has got some alien blood on him; so he has got the power to “travel” in the time. His consciousness travels in time, but the Omega can’t relive again, because it hasn’t got its power anymore. Like, the Omega lives in a kind of parallel dimension, and if it dies in this one, so it dies for good, like it has never existed.

            As for the power (that one in the Omega’s blood), I think since you’re touched by this blood, whatever if the creature that owned this blood is dead or not, you can get the power. (remember when TOm is touched by the Alpha’s blood; the creatures dies, but Tom is touched by its blood and relives the day). So, yeah, the “particles” were still alive.

  5. Just watched the DVD release. The reset at the end of the film makes some sense. The battle at the louvre appears to take place hours before the battle on the beach. The new reset point is also several hours earlier to correspond.

  6. ok wow when me and my dad were watching this movie we were completely stumped now.. we got a theory!

  7. if you guys go read the mange it will make more sense…

  8. if you guys go read the manga it will make more sense…

  9. That was well explained and useful. Thanks.

  10. At the end I think Rita knew what happened because when seeing Cage she ask him: what you want? I mean, at that moment Cage was wearing his Mayor suit, a sergeant would never talk to him in that way!!!

    • The problem with that theory is that I was under the impression Rita was a member of the British Armed forces and Cage was a memeber of the US Armed forces which only means extending courtesy to foreign higher rank (as they are linked by UDF) but not required. Cage displayed that “courtesy” is only extended to a degree until you “disagree” with the direction of the other soldier. Yes he was locked up and stripped of rank but for blackmail (in spite of his commaning officer giving the General command over Cage) not disrespectfully addressing another higher ranked officer. I think she was reset like everyone else but like the other times his story would make perfect sense to her.

  11. Well here is my theory. When Cage first obtained time travel it was at the beach. So dying brings him back to where he is laying in handcuffs.

    Then he loses his power which means he loses the ability to travel back to that state again.

    Then Cage recruits J squad hours before the battle on the beach happens and head to Paris. When he kills the Omega its takes him back earlier than when he killed the Alpha at the beach. Which is why he wakes up in the helicopter.

    • Thank you. Best explanation yet

  12. Actually the ending can be explained pretty decently, as I will do now.

    Cage has just INJURED the Omega, and bathed in its blood resulting in him absorbing “something.” When the Alpha was first killed, it lost the ability to reset the day, but not only that, we never encounter it again on the beach. The Alpha might have actually died in subsequent resets as well, since it lost what could have been a vital part of its physiology, not just the link to the Omega telling it when to reset the day. After all, for Cage to keep his abilities in a new reset, the original creature must have physically lost something (this appears to be the only tangible carry over to new resets as well).

    Notice I said injured in bold above… Return to the moment Cage has just absorbed the blood of the Omega. Cage needs to die BEFORE the Omega does for any of this to make sense. After all, the Omega cannot resurrect itself right? Therefore it must have been mortally wounded, but still able enough to reset time after Cage dies in the Louvre. The Omega was resurrected as well, but it was missing something that it needed in order to live (Cage having gained it instead), and thus it dies once the day was reset again.

    To me, there are actually more glaring plot holes than the ending.

    The first is that the Omega would be able to react to what Cage does in every new reset. The fact that the Omega can send a vision to Cage means that it is learning and adapting just as he is – were this not the case, it would check the same sequence of mimics every time (the physicist said it was scanning its network to find the one with the reset power) and never find Cage (since it did not on the first day of his reset). Because the Omega is the brain of the mimics, the rest of them should have had some ability to adapt to what Cage was doing.

    I still found the movie entertaining, and this being the only plot hole I can think of (something I seem to be adept at finding) is pretty amazing, considering how easy it is to screw up a plot with time travel in it.

    • I agree. The Omega could just revert the time when it died. Therefore, Cage absorbed the Omega’s blood and died before the Omega did. This reverted the time back to Cage on the helicopter and since the Omega was heavily wounded and was not tangible to the effects of time variations, it is still heavily injured in any point in time after that attack (kind of confusing). With the Omega injured, the Mimic army could no longer fight since the Omega was the brain of the invasion.

  13. In this movie CAGE dont have the ability to revert time. Dying of cage sends a signal to the omege which reverts time. CAGE always wakes at the same place that may be due to omega always reverts time to the certain point before the battlefield. Unfortunately for CAGE he is knocked out during that time.

    In the climax during the fight, omega, just like always, alloted some time to revert back which happens to be CAGE arrival to the Millitary squad.

    Omege could be living outside the normal time continuum.

    What bugs me is no one can reset the time, they can only travel back in time but cannot reset the time.

  14. I disagree with you ending theory. I think this…
    The reason he wakes up in the helicopter is because this time he has managed to steal the spikey thing, get J squad and kill the Omega in Paris all before the next day. Where as every other time he dies on the beach or sometime the next day.

    So the reason it resets to the helicopter is quite simply bcs he dining get to the next day bcs he killed the Omega before the day ends. :)

    • Not true. He was crushed by the truck the day before the battle took place and also he was shot by Rita the night before the battle about a billion times during their training. You are all dumb. It is a plot hole. Deal with it… they are allowed since it isn’t real!

      • Yes, and every time he reset to the point the Alpha would have reset to if he had not taken its place. It makes no difference what the time is when Cage dies.

        No plot hole and internally consistent in the movie.

  15. Why attempt to explain this one? Can we just accept the ending was poor writing?

    • Nothing to explain. It wasn’t poor writing. Unlike a lot of modern Hollywood movies this one was internally consistent and didn’t muck up the time travel.

      Very impressive, and I hope it starts a trend. Not many movies reward paying attention like this one does.

  16. So let’s see if this may make sense. When he wakes up in the helicopter after destroying the alpha, we do not necessarily know that this is the start of his big reset. Maybe he was waking up from a nap. Maybe he restarted earlier, destroyed the alpha and that’s why everyone at the camp saluted him with respect. Maybe he was the one who had the idea to take out the alpha underneath the louvre. Considering he still had his rank, he made the right decision to choose that moment where people might take his ideas more seriously. So my theory is that he went back before his helicopter ride, made the decision to destroy the alpha as major and all was well. That’s as close as I can get without repeating every other theory.

  17. ‘The pair came to the conclusion that only one organism (Mimic or Man) could be in charge of the reset at any given time – meaning that when Rita acquired the ability, the Omega no longer had control, giving Vrataski (and later Cage) a temporary edge.’

    That’s completely inaccurate. The Omega reflexively resets at the death of any Alpha, with Alpha blood in them, Vritaski and Cage simply trigger the same reflex. The ability is lost when the Alpha blood is flushed out of them by transfusion, which would prevent their deaths from triggering the reflex.

    The film wasn’t really that confusing, but if you make up stuff that was never there to pad out an article, it will quickly become so.

    • So true!

  18. The fact I am reading this is a testament to the fact that film rocked. Cruise is awesome and the film ties together well enough to be spectacular. For the record, I subscribe to the timeline limit theory whereby the death of the omega resets Cage to the earlier chopper wake up where he doesn’t desert.

  19. it can also mean that there is an uber-omega somewhere in the galaxy that restarts time whenever an omega dies.

    • I am with you, Ceto. It makes for a great Part 2!!

  20. My theory is this: what if there is an even more powerful controlly super brain -beyond the Omega. By killing the Omega, but absorbing some of its blood, brain, shiny liquid, Tom Cruise joins an even bigger loop? So loops within loops – he now has to work out what the even bigger alien force is. Now, if this was not the producers intent, then I claim the copyright to the sequel!

  21. The only reasonable explanation is that they tried to match a happy ending where he survives, and still is the hero. And it just doesnt make sense with the plot. For the ending to make sense the omega would have to be alive. And if it is wiped out from existance it is hard to explain the rules of retroative killing, would the invasion have ocurred, how many other things would disappear or have to appear retroactively if the killing rippled through time. At least a lot of the events that happened due to the omega would have had to been erased, making Cage not be in that situation at all

  22. I too was a bit confused at the ending after seeing the movie at the theatre. I just watched the DVD and I will sum up what I think is a logical explanation as to what happened – at least logical within the framework that the writers have created.

    First of all let’s address the different reset time. My theory is that the reset point is fixed 24 hours before the FIRST reset upon gaining the power. Subsequent resets after that revert to this arbitrary time (unconscious on the tarmac) even if the deaths occur soon after awaking (e.g. the truck squishing). Cage then loses the power, and gains it back after dying with the Omega, thus resetting back 24 hours, which would be when he was asleep on the chopper.

    Now for the fact that when Cage awakes on the chopper, the mimic scourge seems to be dead or dying and offering little resistance. Someone else on this board already has that figured out. The Omega skips town in an act of pure self-preservation, knowing that the battle can’t be won due to it’s location being known, and it’s resetting power being usurped by Cage. This is actually a pretty decent explanation and explains why Cage is a bit bewildered when he learns that the war is essentially over.

    I will add that it could be argued that the Omega can be self aware enough that it knows that it no longer has the power – this is consistent with earlier in the movie. Also, it is possible that the Omega is aware of this much earlier as it is the one who loses the power (as opposed to an Alpha) and may be more directly and quickly linked with Cage. Because of this instant recognition of something amiss, the Omega senses it’s own demise may be imminent, and makes a tactical decision to abandon the invasion of this particular planet.

    And by the way, this is not a time travel movie. Cage does not travel back in time where he might visit himself. All of time is moved back like the rewinding of a tape. A subtle yet nonetheless important distinction that cleverly avoids the normal paradoxes involved with time travel, e.g. the classic if I go back and kill my father, he never sires me, therefore, I can’t go back and kill him, therefore he sires me etc., etc.

  23. According to Einstein time is a local phenomenon. Hence, when one looks at the night sky, one is looking back in time. Since the discovery of black matter, which is related to gravity in that gravity affects it and it affects gravity, I would surmise the the Omega control of local time extends to all of space/time which lies within gravitational limits of the most massive object locally: the sun. That is, time would be reverted to the extent of the gravity of the sun coupled with local dark matter and and all other all matter that produces a gravity field, i.e., our solar system out to and including the Kyper belt and the Ort cloud at least, and perhaps as far as the area of space/time under Sol’s influence is negated be another field of equal or greater gravity. This would prevent the nasty problems of erratic gravitational effects if, in our solar system, Earth were the only our planet involved in the reversion. Given our hero’s slow learning curve, Earth and other planets would likely be tossed out into interstellar space were it otherwise.

  24. This is great, but there is a slight plot hole as mentioned here:

    • That site is wrong. There is no explosion reported in the news.

      • @Jesper:

        It depends on what you classify as an “explosion”:

        “Just before sunrise this morning… a large surge of energy was detected in Paris.”

        Not sure if that’s a plot hole but it does pose the question on how does that event occur if Cruise is not there in this timeline. Unless like I’ve seen in other explanations, the destruction of the Omega occurs in all timelines because it was the “anchor”.

        • Well, yes, if I didn’t know what words mean I might get that wrong. But I do.

          It’s not a plot hole. The same kind of surge is seen when Cage destroys the Omega, before he gets filled with its blood and hijacks its reset, taking its place in space/time and thereby destroying it.

          Perfectly consistent within the other events of the movie, and no plot hole. And no explosion reported.

          • @Jesper:

            So “a large surge of energy” cannot be considered an “explosion”?

            Incontheevable! :)

            • Tell me, when was the last time a news agency reported “a large surge of energy was detected earlier today” when they meant an explosion?

              Never, you say? So why did they start at the end of the movie? Just to confuse everyone?

            • A lightning strike, for example, is “a large surge of energy”. Would you classify a lightning strike as an explosion?

              You saw what happened in the movie when the Omega was destroyed. A surge of energy moving outwards from its position, apparently the energy it contained and used to control the mimics with. That energy looked more like an electric surge than anything else, except for its slow speed. It certainly didn’t look like an explosion.

              Now, where would the explosion come from? Why would events suddenly shift to something unexplained (an explosion), while the description matches what exactly happened when Cage destroyed the Omega, only shifted back in time to when he took its place, destroying it?

              What sense does it make to claim that the new agency actually reported on an explosion, even though they stated energy surge, just to invent a plot hole where none existed until that claim was made?

              • The point is (regardless of the term being used) is that if the Omega power “rewinds” time (as another poster described it), how can that event occur after the reset?

                If I’m understanding what the other poster and article is saying, if going back in time can prevent previous future events from happening, then how is it that the event in question (explosion, surge of energy, “electric surge”) still happens?

                Unless, it is parallel timelines that are anchored by the Omega so that anything that occurs to the Omega happens regardless of who resets what, where, and when.

                Trying to argue over the technical terms of an “explosion” and how “news agencies report events” is irrelevant. It’s a movie, when was the last time you saw time traveling aliens attack earth?

                • Uh, yeah, the words used are totally irrelevant. How could I be so stupid as to pay significance to those!

                  The Alpha is destroyed when Cage takes its place in time.

                  So, to is the Omega.

                  And that is why the same energy surge we see when Cage destroys the Alpha in Paris is seen again when he destroys it by taking its place in space/time.

                  And that is why paying attention to words matter.

                  • It seems you are saying that him waking up moved the energy surge to that point in time. I can see that.

                    No need to get angry, just trying to have a discussion.

                    • Why don’t you read what I write instead of what you think it seems I write?

                    • Maybe you should write your next movie with less ambiguity. :)

  25. “At the time of his first death, Cage is drenched in the blood of a dying Mimic, essentially transferring the Omega’s time control ability to Cage.”

    WRONG. You repeat this point throughout that Cage is given the ability to control the loop like the Omega. WRONG. The blood just caused him to become like an Alpha in that when he died the Omega reset time like with the Alphas.

  26. “At the time of his first death, Cage is drenched in the blood of a dying Mimic, ”

    ITYM “dying Alpha”?

  27. The one hole, if any, is how he looped back to an earlier time than on the the tarmac at Heathrow. Several good theories have been suggested, the one I like best being that his reset point is established the first time he dies, as some fixed point before that death, and having it be a time when he is unconscious makes some kind of sense, kind of like rolling a database back to a checkpoint. (By the way, it would be weird if that duration were exactly 24 hours — why would an alien care how long an Earth day is?). Once he loses the “magic blood” that reset point is lost too. When he dies in Paris, he resets to a new time, again a point while he is asleep, and also early enough to avoid the mistakes that caused him to end up on the tarmac; i.e. in the helicopter, which was the last time he slept.

    Notice that when he wakes up on the helicopter for the second time, he smiles. Because he is surprised to be alive? Or because he now knows how to defeat the Omega, and is about to go and do so?

    Now, I’d need to see the ending again, but I don’t recall how much time passes between Cage waking in the helicopter and the announcement of a “power surge in Paris” and the Chinese and Russians advancing without resistance. The simplest explanation is that after he gets off the chopper, Cage goes to Paris, kills the Omega without getting killed himself (and of course he has as many shots at this as he needs, resetting to the chopper each time). Then he cleans up and goes to find Rita, (who is still training even though the invasion is off.)

    This explanation requires two assumptions not shown onscreen:
    1) How the far back the resetting mechanism goes, and
    2) That after dying when first killing the Omega, Cage resets, then returns and kills it without dying himself, thus ending the loop.

    Now, (2) is a pretty big thing not to show us. However, it seems to be a logical necessity, and is a smaller assumption than many other theories (e.g. the Omega is “extended in time” and once dead, stays dead.)

    Of course, the reality is probably that the writers wanted a happy ending where Rita is still alive, and didn’t worry too much about the logic…

    • Cage doesn’t go to Paris when he wakes up in the helicopter. Why should he? The Omega is destroyed by him taking its place. He has nothing to do in Paris. He wakes up and goes to see Rita, is what he does. That is the only logical thing for him to do, and perfectly consistent with the rest of the movie.

  28. @Jesper: I don’t understand why you keep asserting that “Cage takes the Omega’s place”; what is there in the movie to support that interpretation? Other than the fact that you didn’t spot the first dead Alpha in the same place after Cage killed it once, there’s no reason to believe he “takes the place” of the Alpha that he kills (and actually, I think he kills the same Alpha again in a later loop: he jumps into the foxhole that J Squad are sheltering in just as it emerges, kills it, and runs off again, leaving them astonished).

    And even if that is true, why would that cause the Omega to disappear in a puff of logic hours before Cage kills it? What in the movie suggests that killing an Omega works retroactively like that?

    For this theory to work it seems like you have to invent a lot of stuff about how the looping works and what the role of the Omega is that simply has no support on screen.

    The idea that Cage wakes in the helicopter, goes to Paris, and kills the Omega without dying himself (however many tries that takes), and then comes back for Rita requires no new assumptions beyond what is shown on the screen. It’s the most parsimonious explanation.

    • If Cage takes the place of what he, well, takes the place of, then there is no “puff of logic” anywhere, merely consistency. And if he doesn’t, there is nothing in the movie supporting that he doesn’t.

      If he dashes away and does a lot of heroics off screen that is extremely inconsistent with the movie, utterly confusing, and makes absolutely no sense – plus it does not add up, since that would require Cage to land, get to Paris, kill the Omega, and get back in time to see J squad practice and meed up with Rita.

      Unless his second killing of the Omega would allow him to reset with it dead – which begs the question, why would that require a *second* killing after the one he already did?

      It doesn’t add up at all that he did that detour. In any way at all. Plus, there is no way he’ll get through all those defenses and kill the Omega on his own – how would he manage that, when he barely could do it backed up with a whole squad plus Rita?

  29. At the time Cage landed, Vrataski lost her powers for the last time. Once ahe had her blood transfusion and she died finally, time no longer reset. It moved forward (in her case. IOW. time went forward at that moment. When Cage died the last time, but absorbed teh Omega’s blood, he went back to the last time that time was reset before his FIRST time. Since she lost the power at that point, it reverted back to the moment teh mimics regained their reset abilities.

  30. Well, he’d only keep it until his blood was swapped out.

    That doesnt only happen through transfusions though. After a certain amount of time, the blood in his veins would be replaced by new cells, essentially purging him of the power. So even if he did keep it, he wouldn’t keep it for the rest of his life.

  31. Let us say the Alpha’s blood contained some constiuents (ex. special particles) which grant to time travelling ability, and which ultimately seeped into Cage’s blood and cells.

    Cell building blocks are recycled to make new cells. Similarly, the special time-travelling particles also recycled into the new cells.

    Transfusion would remove these special particles dissolved in the bloodstream, thereby removing the time reset ability from a person.

  32. After a long hard think, this is what I think happened.
    The omega can reset time and everything around it, reincarnating everything it is more powerful then.
    But it can recarnate itself. So when it dies it dies permanently. Its blood was transferred to cage when it died. and when cage died he reset time again. With ought the reality of the omega being alive.

  33. After a long hard think, this is what I think happened.
    The omega can reset time and everything around it, reincarnating everything it is more powerful then.
    But it “cant” recarnate itself. So when it dies it dies permanently. Its blood was transferred to cage when it died. and when cage died he reset time again. With ought the reality of the omega being alive.

  34. This is what iI think happened. When everything restarted no one died. Not even the mimics. The biggest difference is, everyone now knows where they are. They wont be going to that beach, they will be going to the actual base, in Paris. How they came to know this i don’t know, so everything is restarted now they now where they actually are and going to attack them there

  35. Think Of it from the Omega’s point of view and the ending as a last ditch contingency plan to allow the Omega to retreat.

    Let’s say the the only being unaffected by the time reset is the alpha, or any being, that initiates the time reset. This means that when the death of an alpha occurs the only way that the Omega is made aware of what happened is by having the Alpha tell the Omega what happens. This would explain the necessity of keeping Alphas on the front lines.

    We also know that the Omega has some kind of subconscious, or telepathic link to all the Mimics and the time resetting Alphas. We can also assume that Cage has established a link with the Omega. How else would that interface contraption that the doctor made be able to locate the true location of the Omega otherwise. We can even deduce that it took time for the link between Cage and the Omega. (Or more accurately, Cage time) Perhaps as Cage became more aware of his ability and the existence of the Omega his connection to it was triggered. Once triggered the Omega would be aware that something was awry and would then react accordingly.

    We can assume the Omega is intelligent and aware of the possibility of humans using the time reset ability because it happened once with Rita and it prepared traps to lure out the time resetting humans in order to strip them of the power. If this is possible other contingency plans are also possible. Plans that would take into consideration the possible death of the Omega. (If a connection relays info to the Omega why not attack Cage at the base? Because killing him would accomplish nothing and preemptively attacking the humans to get to Cage would compromise the Aliens effort to eliminate humans as they attacked. Perhaps this was the Aliens last hope to finish off mankind.)

    Did the Omega know that Cage was disconnected? They killed the Omega as soon as they were able to locate it. Did the Omega have time resetting abilities? Obviously, if it passed them to Cage. We do know it was Cage that initiated the final time reset. And if Cage is reconnected to the Omega then the Omega is aware that Cage will win. So the Omega uses Cage to initialize a reset or whatever.

    One final reset from Cage and everything goes back to the past. Cage tips the past Omega that he kills it via renewed connection and the Omega bugs out. The reported power surge is a result of the Omega leaving planet and we have the possibility of a sequel.

    Nailed it. I win!

  36. I’ve read most of the responses here, and pretty much every single explanation has some massive internal contradictions with the movie, or the rules it established.

    I can live with that. It’s time travel, and no explanation will never be able to make sense of that. However, the only major problem I had with the movie is why Vrataski didn’t kill Chase the second that he revealed to her where the Omega was (Louvre). Instead, she decided to continue the car chase, and they eventually crash, and she goes unconscious. Pretty s***** decision making on her part, and an insanely stupid risk to take. She should have kill him right away, so he’d start the day fresh with knowledge of where the Omega actually is, and no need to take the huge detour and pickup the contraption.

    I haven’t read a single response that addresses this. Why didnt she kill him? Why did she keep driving? Even if they DID get away unscathed, that would be an infinitely worse scenario compared to starting the day over and saving a shitload of hours.

  37. The only possible internal consistency violation is if the Alpha isn’t actually destroyed by Cage taking its place on the beach the first time. It appears that it is, as that Alpha does not appear either by the beach or anywhere near there again, even though it apparently was the one leading the Mimic defense there.

    And yes, I agree with the whole car chase scene. Yes, Cage was surprised that they actually got the gadget that time – so surprised he appears stunned by the turn of events – but they should have been savvy enough to just act then and there to find the Omega and then kill Cage.

    I have no response to that one. I doubt anyone does, unless there is a chunk of script which was taken out explaining it.

    But that’s about the only issue I have found with the movie. Everything else adds up.

  38. I actually think the way it is it feels natural. People act on habits and experience. You can’t really fault them for not suddenly getting smart and acting outside of their frame, a frame that has carried them so far through the uncountable times of Cage dying accidently or on purpose.

    I mean if they were smart they should have tested the device right away while still in the office. Then reset and try it one more time just to confirm that the Omega hasn
    ‘t gone somewhere else. Then reset again and go for it.

  39. I agree with you but to play devil’s advocate a little bit…, maybe she lost her gun? NOW SHUT UP!

  40. “Why did Rita continue to drive instead of killing Cage as soon as he used the device that told him that the real location of the Omega was at the Louvre in Paris?”


    “Why did Cage wake up on the helicopter during the last reset and not at Heathrow like all the prior resets?”




    “Why was the Omega dead after the last reset?”



  41. They were trying to get back to the scientist in order to use it properly & were forced to wing it out of desperation; thought that was fairly obvious

  42. I have one that I’ve had since the beginning.

    If the Mimics know that the blood carries the power of time reset, why even send the Alphas into battle?

    Just watch the other Mimics fight, if the tide turns against them, kill the Alpha like Rita does to Cage.

    That would kill the whole core of the movie, but logically, if you have that power, you protect it.

  43. I am not sure..

    But the helicopter landings did not happen on the same day / time :)

    The first landing happened after 08:40h AM (big ben)
    And it is cloudy

    The second landing was around 12:30h PM (big ben)
    Sunny and shadow of the “nelson’s column”