After months of delays Wonder Woman 1984 has finally been released in UK cinemas, allowing superhero fans to enjoy one of their first blockbusters of 2020.
But if you’ve seen the film, you may still have a few lingering questions about how it all panned out. Just what was going on with all those wishes? What did that character do to save the world? And what had happened to Chris Pine’s Steve Trevor by the time the credits rolled?
Well, we’re here to help – check out our breakdown of Wonder Woman 1984’s ending below, but be warned, spoilers will be present from hereon out.
Hey, we mean it – if you haven’t seen the film yet (which especially applies if you’re from a country where Wonder Woman 1984 isn’t out until Christmas Day), look away now! You have been warned…
Wonder Woman 1984 plot explained
In brief, the plot of Wonder Woman 1984 revolves around Diana (Gal Gadot) chasing after the mysterious Dreamstone, an ancient artefact that grants anyone who holds it one wish – but at the price of the thing they hold most dear.
Diana, who wished she had more time with her deceased lover Steve Trevor (Chris Pine) got him back (albeit possessing the body of another man) at the cost of her superpowers, while bookish scientist Barbara Minerva (Kristen Wiig) wished to be more like Diana, gaining super-strength and confidence but losing her humanity.
And then there’s Pedro Pascal’s wannabe billionaire Maxwell Lord, who does something altogether different – instead of making just one wish he wishes to become the Dreamstone (essentially the equivalent of asking the genie of the lamp for more genies rather than more wishes), gaining the ability to grant wishes when touching someone at the cost of his health.
Following this, Max grants the wishes of anyone and everyone he meets, then picks what precious commodity to take from them. Ingeniously, this allows him to acquire the wealth and influence of those around him, right up to the President of the United States, but the quest to take more and more drives him to more extreme actions.
As this continues, the world is thrown into chaos. Max’s acquisition of oil send the market into chaos, various countries become unstable and declare war on one another after he returns ancestral lands to an oil tycoon, and general riots break out around the world.
Wonder Woman 1984 ending explained
At the film’s conclusion, Max is desperate to “touch” more people and grant their wishes to gain more power (and restore his ailing health), and learns of a secret US programme to take over the airwaves of any TV station around the world, intended to broadcast messages during war campaigns to the local populace.
Meanwhile, Diana and Steve have learned from a Mayan expert that the Dreamstone was responsible for the collapse of multiple civilisations across history, and that the only way to stop this happening again is to destroy it (i.e. kill Max) or have everyone renounce their wishes – which would include Diana and Barbara, banishing Steve back to death and turning Barbara back to her old self.
Back at the White House, after taking the power and authority of the US President (in return for giving him a massive new concentration of nuclear weapons) Max has himself taken to the site of the special broadcast, escaping Diana with the help of Barbara, who is desperate to maintain her newfound strength.
En route to the broadcast, Max offers to grant Barbara a new wish (despite her having already had one from the original Dreamstone, it’s possible that Max’s status as a “new” Dreamstone reset the count somewhat), and she opts to become an “apex predator,” even more powerful (and animalistic) than she is now.
Back in DC, Steve opts to insist that Diana let him go, restoring her abilities for the final battle.
“I’ll never love again,” she tells him.
“I’ll pray that isn’t true,” he replies, shortly before Diana strides away, renouncing her wish and then flinging herself into the sky to fly to the world’s rescue (yes, Wonder Woman can fly sometimes), before donning the ancient Amazonian armour that she (handily) kept stored away for just such an occasion.
Beginning his broadcast, Max begins to grant the wish of every person of Earth, causing even more disruption and chaos (and unbeknownst to him, putting his young son in danger) and taking people’s health, power and life force to restore himself. Outside Diana battles and eventually defeats Cheetah (aka Barbara) before rushing in to see Max engulfed in the power of the Dreamstone.
“Don’t you have enough?” she asks him.
“Why not more?” he replies.” You can have it all… you just have to want it.”
Diana tells him that no, you can’t have it all – you can only have “the truth” (a running theme in the film), and uses her Lasso of Truth to broadcast to the world the “truth” of what was happening after attaching it to Max.
In this moment we also see Max’s backstory as he relives it, and he soon realises his own “truth” – his son is in danger. “Save him, Max,” Diana says – and so Max, like everyone else in the world, renounces his wish, returning things to normal and ending the danger.
While we don’t see it this presumably also includes Wiig’s Minerva/Cheetah, who is last seen in her animal form before vanishing from the movie to parts unknown.
Wonder Woman 1984 final scenes explained
In the film’s closing moments, Max runs to reunite with his son, who reveals that he’d wished his dad would come and get him. As he’d already made a wish earlier in the film, this wouldn’t have worked – but Max decides to tell him something important.
“You don’t ever have to make a wish to make me love you,” he says.
The film then jumps ahead a few months to Christmas – yes, Wonder Woman 1984 is a stealth Christmas movie – where Diana is finally enjoying herself on Earth after keeping herself separate from humanity for decades.
And who should she meet among the festivities than the engineer whose body Steve had possessed, wearing the rather snazzy outfit Diana had tried to make Steve wear earlier in the movie. Together the pair note all the joy and happiness there is to be found in the world, before enjoying the sight of a shooting star.
And that’s the end of the film – bar a secret Wonder Woman post-credits scene that director Patty Jenkins has saved for the paying audience – and yes, it is more festive than you might have expected.
Guess there’s a reason they call it the most wonder-ful time of the year…
Wonder Woman 1984 is in UK cinemas now. Want something else to watch? Check out our full TV Guide.