Gareth Edwards’ name currently is associated with Star Wars, and once he delivers on his standalone spinoff movie -- Rogue One -- in 2016, it’s likely his moniker will be linked to that galaxy far, far away for the immediate future. But before he climbed aboard an X-Wing fighter and jetted off to George Lucas’ universe, Edwards dabbled in monster movies – specifically the indie hit Monsters (in 2010) and the mega-smash Godzilla reboot in 2014. It was his large-scale but character-driven work on the summer-movie extravaganza that likely earned him a gig on Team Star Wars. But his ending to Godzilla ensured that he’d be back with the King of Monsters… some day.
Now that Godzilla is making its way to HBO, we want to break down what happened at the end of the movie, and discuss what the events might mean for the future of this healthy-again franchise. Let’s look deep into Godzilla’s ending – as well as the monster's inevitable big-screen future.
Spoiler alert - this article contains details about the end of Godzilla. If you haven't seen it yet, it's available to rent, and will be premiering on HBO this weekend.
What Happened At The EndGareth Edwards’ Godzilla concludes in the rubble of what is left of San Francisco. The city by the bay has been decimated by a lengthy battle between a reawakened Godzilla and two MUTO (Massive Unidentified Terrestrial Organism) – insect-like creatures with flat-smooth heads and spider-esque legs that were contained in a secret research facility but had been set free. Godzilla essentially had saved Ford (Aaron Taylor-Johnson), our human hero who was on a boat, attempting to take a warhead out to sea and away from the populated city. Godzilla breathes his icy-hot fire down the remaining MUTO’s throat (see above). But as Ford collapses on the deck of the boat, he sees Godzilla collapsing in the ruins of San Francisco. We assume that he has died, succumbing to the war wounds absorbed in the massive battle.
The following morning, however, as San Francisco wakes up to recovery, Dr. Ishiro Seizawa (Ken "Let Them Fight" Watanabe) is staring longingly at the mythic creature he has been tracking his entire life. Like us, Seizawa assumes Godzilla has died. Only, the beast suddenly wakes up. He stumbles to his feet, and lets out a triumphant roar. As the creature lumbers toward the ocean, survivors in a nearby stadium look up at monitors, where a news feed posts the crawl, "King of the Monsters – Savior of Our City?" Which poses an interesting question, post-Man of Steel. Superman (Henry Cavill) is taking a ton of heat for the destruction he levied on Metropolis in stopping the rampage of General Zod (Michael Shannon). And he’ll continue to take heat as Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice rolls along. Or so the trailer suggests. Why, then, does Godzilla get a pass for decimating San Francisco?
Anyway, Alexandre Desplat’s Godzilla score turns triumphant as Godzilla returns to the Pacific Ocean. The camera pans the waters as the creature’s back-scales skim along until, finally, he disappears beneath the surface of the ocean and – presumably – swims back to his lair, waiting for the next threat to emerge.
Watch the whole thing unfold below:
Was there a reason Gareth Edwards spared his creature’s life? Let’s analyze the conclusion on our next page.