The Ending Of Battleship Explained

Hollywood has a long history of adapting popular intellectual properties as big, loud blockbusters. Studios are keen to bring in the moolah and making movies inspired by popular pre-existing entertainment often seems like a risk-free bet. Sometimes, though, things don't quite pan out. When Universal Pictures unleashed "Battleship" in 2012, they probably felt that an adaptation of a longstanding board game was a great idea — especially considering that its premise lent itself to war movie tropes. That said, the "Battleship" film took some liberties with the game's concept (which is arguably fair considering that the game has been around since 1931), replacing the traditional warship-versus-warship scenario with an alien invasion storyline. Aliens travel in battleships of their own, so it's not such a far-fetched notion when you think about it. Plus, an alien-themed edition of the board game was even released to coincide with the film's release. 

Unfortunately, "Battleship" sunk at the box office, and, as Rotten Tomatoes pointed out, critics concluded that the film was "too loud, poorly written, and formulaic to justify its expense. While many regard "Battleship" as one of the worst movies of the 2010s, some movie fans might argue that "Battleship" is an enjoyable piece of popcorn entertainment that delivers bombastic action and thrills. Either way, "Battleship" was released with long-term goals in mind if the film's ending is anything to go by. 

The hero matures and proves his worth at the end of Battleship

"Battleship" is all about the spectacle, but there is enough character development throughout the film to remain invested in the hero's journey. When Alex (Taylor Kitsch) is first introduced, he's a screw-up who just can't stop getting into trouble. This leads to him getting into a fight with another officer, which upsets Admiral Terrance Shane (Liam Neeson). Alex risks being expelled from the naval unit, and it's going to take something big for him to get back in his commanding officer's good graces. 

The good news is that the alien invasion comes along before Alex can be dismissed, and it gives him the opportunity to prove that he can be a mature young man. Following an action-packed battle with the creatures from beyond the stars, Alex ultimately saves the day by blowing up their mothership and destroying their equipment. This earns him a Silver Star and an offer to command his own ship eventually. At its core, "Battleship" is a story about one man who's out to prove his self-worth and prove that he's capable of overcoming his faults, mainly because he wants to win his girlfriend's hand in marriage.

The closing moments of "Battleship" also suggest that the filmmakers had plans to make a sequel which would have seen Alex tasked with more responsibilities now that he's a proven hero. And if the post-credits sequence was anything to go by, that was probably the plan.

Battleship's post-credits scene sets up a sequel

Alex and co. assume that the Earth is safe at the end of "Battleship," but the alien threat hasn't been eradicated by any means. The post-credits scene swaps the United States for the Scottish Highlands, revealing three school kids and a handyman who discover a crashed alien pod. Naturally, they open it and an alien hand comes popping out, causing them to run away screaming in terror.

The change of location, coupled with a surviving alien, was a clear sign that "Battleship" was supposed to be the start of a potential globetrotting franchise. Peter Berg confirmed as much in an interview with MTV News as well. After acknowledging that "Battleship" flopped hard at the box office — which he blamed on the film being released around the same time as "The Avengers," which was a massive success — the director revealed that he'd love to helm a follow-up movie someday. "'Battleship' is a film that I would definitely like to do a sequel to. I loved making that film. I had a great time with it," he said.

Berg didn't share any information about what the story for "Battleship 2" could entail, though the first movie gives viewers enough clues to make viable predictions. Most of "Battleship" is about humans trying to prevent the aliens contacting their home planet. Therefore, it's safe to assume that the surviving extra-terrestrial would have touched base with its allies and inspired a revenge mission.