The Predator's Ending Explained: [SPOILER], Sequel Setup & What Was Changed

The Predator's ending changes the direction of the franchise. We explain what happens, what it means for the future, and what changed in reshoots.

WARNING: Major spoilers for The Predator ahead.

After The Predator's ending, it looks like the hunter is about to become the hunted. For over three decades, the deadly space game hunters (known as Yautja in expanded materials) have meanced some of Earth's most powerful warriors, hunting them in jungles, cities and purpose-built pyramids, as well as transporting them to space game preserves. Now, though, we're going to bring the fight to them thanks to the introduction of the Predator Killer.

The Predator ostensibly follows a group of mentally-unstable, discharged soldiers - self-dubbed the Looneys - who cross paths with a classic Predator and later the hybrid Ultimate Predator hunting him. Over the course of the film, Quinn McKenna (Boyd Holbrook) and his new comrades learn that the Predators are planning to take our heating planet for themselves, with the classic versions coming to Earth to provide us a way to fight back. By working together - and with no small amount of help from Quinn's autistic son, Rory (Jacob Tremblay) - the Loonies are able to defeat the Ultimate Predator, although only Quinn, Rory and scientist Casey (Olivia Munn) survive.

Related: All 6 Predator Movies Ranked (Including The Predator)

Throughout The Predator, the enduring mystery is what exactly the "gift for humanity" that the Predator has bought to Earth is. It's a static MacGuffin, something all parties - Loonies, Predator, the government and Ultimate Predator - are looking for, even if they don't know quite what it is. It's teased when Quinn saves Rory from Traeger (Sterling K. Brown) on the ship, and is finally revealed in the final scene. But first, what exactly is going on with the warring Predators?

The Predator (Finally) Reveals What The Predators Really Want With Humans

Ultimate Predator in The Predator

At first, it looked like The Predator's major addition to the mythology was going to be the idea of hybridization. The "classic" Predator was enhanced by human DNA, while the Ultimate Predator was so upgraded it stood eleven feet tall and didn't need a mask to temper the species' affronting heat-vision. Early versions of the film even had a sequence where various other hybrids would attack the heroes, but it was cut as part of the movie-altering reshoots.

However, all of the hybridization is just an entry point into what's really going on. In a major retcon, it's revealed that the Predators aren't just sport hunters as Casey alleges, but are attempting to upgrade themselves with every hunt. Pulling the spine of a felled prey isn't about the skulls (although trophies are part of the culture) but to get DNA via the spinal fluid to help better themselves; successfully hunting a species gives the Predator the abilities of that species. It appears that things have accelerated in recent years, with artificial genetic selection leading to the lab-created Ultimate Predator (as seen by Rory in the mask).

That's not the only thing accelerating. As climate change heats up Earth and threatens to wipe out humanity, the Predators are hunting more often in a bid to get as much of our survivalist DNA as possible before we go extinct, with the long-term plan being to claim the warmer planet for themselves. Essentially, the hunting is all part of a bigger alien invasion plot. Not all Predators agree with this, though, leading to the multiple factions seen in the film, and the central MacGuffin: the Predator Killer.

Related: Predators is the Only Worthy Predator Successor

The Predator Killer Armor: What Is It And What Can It Do?

The Predator Blades

In The Predator's final scene, Quinn and Rory are taken to a secret base where they're going to help discover more truths about the invaders. They're shown the gift from the Predator ship, which ejected before the Ultimate Predator's self-destruct. It opens up, revealing what Rory translates as "the Predator Killer". After a slow build-up, it's revealed to be a gauntlet similar to those seem worn by the Predators. However, unlike the one that the McKenna's co-opted, this one isn't designed for the aliens but for humans. When attached - which this one does after being opened - it forms a human-sized Predator armor in a manner akin to Iron Man's nanotech armor from Avengers: Infinity War.

This armor is a sleek silver with piercing red eyes, and a considerably more svelte build to the standard Predator. In terms of weapons and abilities, we see that the Predator Killer has the classic invisibility and, from the multiple tracking dots, several plasma canons. It's presumably kitted out with more than that, and there's definitely room in the pod for some other weapons like the ever-useful staff from Predator 2. Even as is, though, the armaments make it one of the most powerful suits seen yet in the movies, meaning that humans have a serious advantage over any returning hunters.

Throughout the movie, we've seen several humans use Predator tech. Quinn wears the gauntlet and evades capture using invisibility; Rory controls the ship remotely, views a hologram creation of the Ultimate Predator, wears the mask (with the help of tape), and later gets hands-on with the Ultimate Predator's craft; Traeger uses a shoulder canon in the finale (before accidentally blowing his head off); Casey befriends a Hell-Hound and uses invisibility to sneak up on the Ultimate Predator. Clearly, while this is science beyond our current developments, we're more than capable of using it. What the Predator Killer does is give something purpose-built. And that's going to be very important...

Page 2: The Predator Turns The Franchise Into An Alien War

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