Prey ending explained: What is the meaning of the pistol?
Everything you need to know about the climax to the Predator prequel. **WARNING: Contains spoilers for Prey**
The fifth standalone movie in the Predator franchise, Prey revolves around young Comanche hunter Naru (Amber Midthunder), whose enthusiasm to prove herself as a warrior thrusts her into a battle for survival against the Predator.
The feature builds to an epic finale in which Naru accomplishes her mission, before the end credits suggest there could be another encounter between Naru's people and the Predator race.
So, read on to have the Prey ending explained, and discover the Predator 2 Easter egg that sets up a Prey sequel.
Prey ending explained
For the most part, Prey is a refreshingly easy film to follow, a rather stripped-down tale that sees the Predator pick off various members of Naru's tribe – not to mention a few wild animals – as they embark on a hunt for a mountain lion.
But things begin to get a little more complicated when Naru encounters some French fur trappers, who duly take her and her brother Taabe hostage.
Little do these Frenchmen know that the Predator is on their tails too, and the murderous extraterrestrial soon arrives to kill them, eventually leaving Naru as one of the only survivors – with Taabe sacrificing himself to save her.
And so, with her life still intact, Naru lays a trap. In observing the beast throughout the film, she has intuitively worked out a way in which she can defeat it – utilising two of its weaknesses.
First of all, she has surmised that the Predator will only attack someone it does not believe poses a threat, and equally vitally, she's made a note of its preferred mode of killing – a shooting device in its helmet.
The first step of her plan is to kidnap one of the surviving French fur trappers, leaving him for the Predator as bait, while she waits in the wings in disguise.
"You think I'm not a hunter like you and I'm not a threat," she tells the trapper. "But that's what makes me dangerous – you can't see that I'm killing you, and it won't either."
As she imagined would be the case, the Predator falls right into the trap, arriving almost instantly to brutally kill the Frenchman – with Naru then sneaking up and grabbing his helmet before the two begin to engage in a fight, Naru aided by her loyal – and remarkably able – dog Sarii.
Eventually, she leads the Predator to a marshland where it begins to sink in the mud – a nice throwback (or throwforward) to the first film. When it emerges it attempts to shoot Naru, but is unaware that she has placed its helmet directly opposite it, it is only able to succeed in shooting itself.
With her mission accomplished, Naru returns to her tribe with the Predator's disembodied head as a trophy and is showered with praise for her efforts. It doesn't seem like her warrior skills will be underestimated again any time soon...
What is the meaning of the pistol?
One aspect of the film's conclusion that might not be so immediately apparent to fans concerns the pistol that Naru picked up during her adventure, which she was handed by one of the French traders after she helped him deal with his injuries.
When she returns to her tribe having killed the Predator, she hands over the weapon to her elders and the audience sees that it bears the name Raphael Adolini.
While that will mean nothing to casual viewers, die-hard fans of the Predator series will note that this means it is the very same pistol that was handed to Danny Glover's Lieutenant Mike Harrigan at the end of Predator 2, linking the two films together.
Speaking about this and other references to other films in an exclusive interview with RadioTimes.com, director Dan Trachtenberg explained: "It's a lot of fun having this movie have an interaction with fans of the franchise.
"Obviously the mud pit sequence has an interaction layer there, there are other things that a number of our characters say that are very relevant to what they're experiencing – and you wouldn't know that they are allusions to previous moments in the franchise, but if you're a diehard fan, you will recognise them."
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