Dan Trachtenberg’s new Predator prequel movie Prey is out now on Hulu, and it’s getting rave reviews. Set 300 years before the iconic 1987 original starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, Prey sees the franchise’s titular alien land on Earth during the time of the Comanche Nation on the American Great Plains. The Predator explores a world where mountain lions, wolves, and bears roam wild and pioneers exploit the land.
We will be getting into SPOILERS for the ending of Prey below. If you haven’t seen the movie, go do that first; you do not want this thing spoiled.
Prey ending explained
Prey follows Naru (Amber Midthunder), an aspiring hunter who seeks to prove herself in the eyes of her people. While Prey is a groundbreaking film that keeps viewers on their toes, it still adheres to the structure of most Predator movies: the Predator (Dane DiLiegro) kills a lot of people until only Naru remains to face it on her own. When the dust settles, Naru makes her way back to her tribe with proof that she triumphed over the vicious alien hunter.
However, a trophy from her hunt isn’t the only thing Naru brings back. During the course of her adventure, she and her brother Taabe (Dakota Beavers) run afoul of poachers in the wilderness. After the pioneers have their own run-in with the Predator, Naru eventually uses her herbalist skills to help one of their translators with a gruesome wound in exchange for a flintlock pistol and instruction on how to use it. The pistol proves a vital tool in Naru’s fight against the Predator, and when she returns victorious, she gives it to the former war chief of her settlement.
It’s then that we get a good look at the pistol, which bears an inscription that should send any longtime Predator fan into full-fledged geek mode. The pistol Naru uses in the film has an engraving that reads: “Raphael Adolini 1715.”
That’s right: this is the very same flintlock pistol that Lt. Mike Harrigan (Danny Glover) is gifted in Predator 2 as a trophy for defeating one of the titular aliens.
This may not be the last time Naru’s tribe faces a Predator
On the surface, this is a pretty cool easter egg. The fact that Naru is given this pistol in 1719 almost certainly means that the translator she helps is none other than Raphael Adolini himself. The 18th century pistol that Mike Harrigan wins as a prize after his fight with the Predator in the second film has long been a point of speculation among fans, and now we finally get to see it when it was actually used by its original owner.
But once you stop to think about it a little bit more…this has some seriously dark implications for the future of Naru and her companions. Though she was victorious over the Predator that stalked the Earth in Prey, this pistol eventually ends up in the possession of another Predator who is an elder of the alien species by the time Predator 2 takes place centuries later.
This means that another Predator visits the Great Plains where Naru’s tribe is located at some point in the future. Knowing how Predators operate, it’s an easy guess that said Predator would end up taking possession of the pistol after killing whoever had it previously. That’s not to say that it would be Naru or the settlement’s old war chief in particular; as things stand, there’s no way to know whether the pistol is lost during Naru’s time or later.
However, there is one big sign that Naru will face the Predators again in her lifetime. While Prey doesn’t have a traditional end credits stinger, it instead has a stylized credits sequence that pay homage to the ledger art used by Native American tribes of the Great Plains to tell the story of her fight against the alien. The entire tale is depicted, from Naru training with her tomahawk to her final battle against the Predator with her trusty dog Sarii by her side. But once it gets to the final scene where Naru drops the head of the Predator at the feet of her settlement’s elders, the artwork keeps going, revealing dark clouds and lightning spreading above them. As some of Naru’s allies point to the sky, three Predator ships appear among the clouds and the scene cuts to black.
This seems like a pretty strong hint that Naru hasn’t seen the last of the Predators. We may never know for sure unless a sequel to Prey is made, but as things stand, what we can be certain about is that a Predator ends up with that flintlock pistol. And that is an ominous sign for the Comanche who have it at the end of Prey.