The ending of Wonder Woman explained

Wonder Woman has left for the world of men — and judging from the movie's Certified Fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes, we'll probably be seeing more of the amazing Amazon for a while to come. But while the end of the movie was pretty cut and dried in a lot of ways, not everything was totally spelled out…and that goes for the real world as well as Diana's. So let's wrap our lasso of truth around this movie and try to get to the bottom of Wonder Woman's ending. Obviously, spoilers await.

Ares undefeated

Diana had a pretty simple objective in Wonder Woman: end all war. Forever. And it totally worked out! War: over.

Well, okay, maybe not. Despite managing to get the best of the mustachioed Ares at the end of the movie and shattering him into a bunch of teeny tiny pieces, there's ample evidence that we've not seen the last of the Greek God of War. While Diana, Steve, and the rest of the gang managed to help put a cap on World War I, we also know that, well, more wars totally happened after this one. Like World War II, to start with.

The point, however, is that unlike most superhero movie villains, Ares is a straight up god. We know from Loki's frequent reappearances in the Marvel Cinematic Universe that you can't keep a bad god down, so don't be surprised if Ares makes a comeback in a future Wonder Woman adventure. Though maybe he'll decide to shave the doofy mustache.

The French Connection

The movie opens with Diana receiving a special package from Bruce Wayne at the Louvre, in Paris. The movie closes in the same place, with Diana putting on her battle armor and jumping into action, very dramatically.

This is all well and good, but it kind of raises a big question: what's going on in Paris that needs her attention? We know from Batman v Superman that Diana is an antiquities dealer, so that helps explain the room full of artifacts that we see in Wonder Woman. However, where's she off to at the end of the movie? Since we'll be seeing Diana next in 2017's Justice League, it stands to reason that something's going down in Paris that needs her unique brand of negotiating. Could it be an incursion of Parademons from Apokolips? Or perhaps she was going to a party later that night, and she just really needed a baguette? Probably the baguette thing.

Secret identity

At the beginning of Diana's story, we learn all about the God Killer sword, a weapon left by Zeus to be used against the resurrection of Ares. By the end of the story, we learn that the God Killer was nothing of the sort, and that the ultimate god-killing weapon was actually Diana herself, since she was actually a demigod, and the daughter of Zeus. But Diana's mother, Hippolyta, pointedly refuses to reveal Diana's true nature. She says she does this to protect her from being discovered by Ares, but that explanation doesn't quite wash, since Ares pretty much seems to know her deal throughout the whole movie. So why keep the truth from her?

The reason, it seems, is that Diana needs to experience the difficulties of war, loss, and love so she can tap into her true powers and defeat Ares. We see in the movie that simply punching the War God isn't enough to make much of a dent. But when Diana realizes her love for Steve, and the value of his sacrifice, she finally believes in the true potential of mankind.

Love, not war, is man's real purpose on Earth.

Well, that, or because discovering she's a demigod makes for a more dramatic reveal near the end of the movie. Either way.

No more wondering

For years, conventional wisdom in Hollywood has said that woman-led action movies were a tough sell, with female superhero movies being damn near impossible on top of that. The fact that the Marvel Cinematic Universe has been pumping out movies regularly since 2008 and none of them have starred a female superhero in the title role is proof that today's movie execs still follow that not-so-golden rule. Wonder Woman is poised to prove all those executives wrong.

Considering the fact that Warner Bros.' DC Extended Universe movies have performed extremely well at theaters despite their mixed-to-bad track record with critics, Wonder Woman is pretty much a surefire hit in the long run. Reviews have hailed the movie's overall quality, with no shortage of credit being given to both star Gal Gadot and director Patty Jenkins for successfully bringing the decades-old superhero to the big screen. While there's really no actual reason that action pictures featuring women shouldn't do well, Wonder Woman proves once and for all that conventional wisdom is actually pretty stupid. And while we're on that subject…

Marvel to match?

In 2019, Marvel Studios will finally release its first female-led movie, Captain Marvel, starring the Oscar-winning Brie Larson in the lead role. That's great, and certainly long overdue…but will we ever get to see Scarlett Johannson headlining a Black Widow film? We've theorized before about why that might not ever actually happen. But given Wonder Woman's success, it kind of makes Marvel look way behind the times—which is nuts considering Marvel Studios' head start when it comes to making quality superhero movies.

Marvel proved they could make a success out of everything…movies starring a raccoon, a talking tree, and a guy who shrinks and talks to ants. Warner Bros., meanwhile, made three movies, and despite pulling in some great cash, critics and fans often agreed that the movies were much crappier than they could or should have been. So how is it that Warner Bros. has figured out how to absolutely nail a movie starring a bad-ass lady when Marvel's first lead superheroine is still two years away? Expect to see Marvel follow suit before too long.

DC's hero

Regardless of the lingering questions or nagging details at the end of Wonder Woman, it seems pretty clear that the movie's set for success. For the first time since the start of the DC Extended Universe, critics agree that Warner Bros. has actually gotten a major DC Comics superhero movie right. Man of Steel, Batman v Superman, and Suicide Squad have Rotten Tomatoes scores that steadily decline from 55, to 27, to 25Wonder Woman's critical performance may have, for both fans and Warner Bros., saved DC's still-young cinematic universe.

The real test now, of course, is whether or not the late-2017 team-up film, Justice League, can keep this new trend going for Warner Bros. Has the studio finally figured out how to successfully translate DC Comics' larger-than-life characters to the big screen? Or is Wonder Woman just a fluke, and we're going to get stuck with more crummy superhero flicks? For now, all comics fans can really do is cross their fingers and hope that the executives in charge at Warner Bros. are paying attention. Hopefully Diana has saved us all…from having to sit through any more disappointing DC movies.