What happened at the end of the new disaster movie Moonfall? Love it or hate it, Roland Emmerich’s latest bombastic, blockbuster, science fiction movie is a truly wild ride of epic proportions, and it will certainly get audiences talking.
Starring Halle Berry, and horror movie legend Patrick Wilson, this bonkers movie depicts a world where our moon is falling out of orbit and heading straight for Earth, the catastrophic impact of which would ultimately end all life on the planet. Among all the chaos, panic, and lunar debris, it’s quite possible you may have missed something that can unlock the answers to the big questions.
Well, never fear, we can explain everything you need to know about the crazy ending of Moonfall, including why the moon was falling in the first place, what happened to the key characters, and what’s next for the Moonfall universe. Naturally, there’s going to be a whole host of spoilers up ahead, so if you haven’t watched Moonfall yet, it’s probably best not to read on, as we would hate to ruin the surprise for you.
what happens in the moonfall ending?
With the hopes of the world resting on their shoulders, it’s down to Brian Harper (Wilson), Jocinda Fowler (Berry), and meta-structure expert K.C. Houseman (John Bradley) to venture into the great unknown and explore what’s actually happening on the moon. The trio head up into space in an old rocket ship, which they assume will allow them to go undetected by the mysterious nanotech alien which is causing all the problems.
The deadly alien robot is able to sense electrical signals and appears to hone in on these, thus claiming its victims prior to this in the movie. Harper, Fowler, and Houseman are equipped with an electromagnetic pulse weapon (an EMP), which they intend to arm and fire at their adversary, once they have lured it out of its hiding place on the moon. Destroy the alien, fix the moon, save the Earth; simple!
Well, it wouldn’t be much of a movie if that plan worked straight away, now would it? Unfortunately, the nano-beast detects the electrical signal from the bomb’s detonator and Houseman’s mobile phone, which he stupidly left switched on! The alien heads straight for the crew, but is stopped just in time as Harper breaks the trigger and the phone.
Now, our heroes need a new plan! Harper decides they should attack head-on, and flies the rover into the moon, deep beneath the lunar crust. As they descend deeper and deeper, the inside of the moon is no longer the rocky terrain we have come to expect, making way for sleek, shiny metal. And, at the heart of it all, a white dwarf being harnessed for its energy. It seems Houseman’s hypothesis was right all along; the moon is a meta-structure!
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But, who (or what) built it, and how, and why? Well, audiences are in luck with this one, as the whole thing was conveniently explained to Harper in a big exposition dump, but let’s break it down, shall we? Basically, the nanotech alien swarm is an artificial intelligence (AI), that was created by an ancient race of technologically advanced humans many lifetimes ago. The AI eventually gained consciousness, rising up against its oppressors and seeking the total destruction of mankind.
The meta-structure moon, and many others like it in the universe, were built by humans as a sustainable and peaceful way of living, but these were obliterated by the AI. The moon, and indeed Earth, were the AI’s final target, and they were throwing the moon out of orbit, to kill two birds with one stone.
But, with the AI, also comes the operating system (OS), a far more benevolent and forgiving piece of software. The OS protects Harper, Fowler, and Houseman, and imparts all of this wisdom to Harper in a creepy augmented reality, taking the form of his son.
As the astronauts leave the moon, the plan is for Harper to sacrifice himself and detonate the EMP, thus destroying the AI and stabilising the moon. Houseman, however, frustrated at being a nobody all his life, decides that he should be the hero instead. He detaches himself from the main ship, blows up the AI, and saves the day.
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The fun doesn’t stop there, though. As Harper and Fowler reunite with their families back on Earth, it is revealed that Houseman has been absorbed by the OS, and has now become part of the moon! The OS tells Houseman there is “work to be done”, which we can only assume means there are other meta-structures to save, and more Moonfall action to come!
why is the moon falling in the first place?
It’s obvious that moviegoers will be wondering what has caused the titular disaster before they see the movie, but a lot of us may still be wondering why the moon was falling in the first place, even after watching the movie. For a schlocky, popcorn movie, the science behind Moonfall is actually rather complicated, and pretty questionable, too.
As we see in the movie, the moon’s orbit drastically changes very suddenly. There appears to be no scientific reason for this happening, but K.C. Houseman, a self-professed doctor of meta-structures, insists that this is proof of what he has been claiming all along; the moon is a huge metal construct, built by aliens. And, he was absolutely right. Well, kind of.
Towards the end of the movie, it is explained to Patrick Wilson’s character, Brian Harper, that an ancient race of advanced humans built many meta-structures, like the moon, to harness the energy of white dwarf stars and provide a sustainable, blissful existence for mankind.
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Unfortunately, another of their creations, artificial intelligence (AI), grew too powerful, gained consciousness, and began to destroy human life and the meta-structures. As their path of devastation widened over time, the AI targeted the moon and planet Earth, with a deadly swarm of nanotech AI infesting the moon. By inhabiting the moon, the AI destabilised its orbit, thus sending it hurtling off course and headed straight for our world.
what happens to k.C. Houseman?
Here’s where the fun really starts! So, alongside the pesky AI, intent on eradicating the universe of humans, there is also the more friendly and peaceful operating system (OS). The OS essentially wants to help mankind defeat the AI, and is the main source of knowledge for our protagonists.
As the space crew flee the moon, drawing the AI out of hiding, Harper and Houseman debate which of them should be the one to sacrifice their life in order to detonate the EMP and destroy the AI. Houseman ultimately wins this argument, and becomes the hero he always dreamed of, by flying off in his own little escape pod and blowing up the AI from the inside.
So, Houseman is dead, right? Wrong! The OS decides to save Houseman, absorbing his consciousness and allowing him to become a part of the moon. While his body, and typical human existence, may be lost forever, the excitable nerd now gets to live on as a strand of the all-powerful OS. And, if the final line of the OS means what we think it means, Houseman could even have a key part to play in the future of the universe and the battle with the AI.
will there be a moonfall 2?
That fateful, final sentence from the OS is very telling as to whether we will see more Moonfall movies in the future. While there’s no official confirmation that we will get a Moonfall 2 right now, the fact that the movie ends with the line “there’s work to be done”, suggests that we are just getting started.
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Indeed, we know that the movie’s director Roland Emmerich originally envisioned Moonfall as a trilogy. And, we can only assume that there are plenty more evil AI swarms out there, terrorising the universe, which means lots more space battles could be on the way.
Moonfall is in cinemas as of February 3, 2022.