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Prey's Explanation Of A Key Predator 2 Detail Is A Perfect Piece Of Fan Service

Contains spoilers for "Prey"

In the grand ranking of "Predator" films, the immediate follow-up to John McTiernan's first jungle-based blockbuster might not sit very high on the list. Even so, the alien hunter's rumble in a concrete jungle in "Predator 2" still went out swinging with moments that blew fans' minds upon release. Besides hosting an "Alien" cameo that set up a crossover 14 years in the making (albeit a squandered one), Lieutenant Mike Harrigan's (Danny Glover) victory against his extraterrestrial opponent ends with a fascinating reward.

After narrowly avoiding a nuclear Predator hissy fit like Dutch (Arnold Schwarzenegger) before him, the body of Harrigan's ferocious foe is carried away by others of its kind. As they do so, the leader of the pack hands over a trinket indicating just how long Earth has been a Predator hunting hot spot. It's a flintlock pistol (still in decent condition) with the inscription "Raphael Adolini 1715."

The simple prop worked as a fascinating tease for fans that would be speculated in the years that followed as much as that massive alien skull in the trophy room. Now, though, director Dan Trachtenberg has finally connected the heavily discussed dots with his new prequel, "Prey," which won't just appease fans but also might actually explain how this well-known race got its firepower.

Prey finally locks and loads an official answer to where the Predator 2 pistol comes from

During Naru's (Amber Midthunder) epic encounter with an ancestor of the Predators we know and fear, the Comanche hunter hopeful is captured by settlers who are aware of the threat wandering the land and try to use her as bait. Their attempt ends miserably, with Naru escaping and stumbling across one of the survivors, who gives up the very pistol we'd eventually see in "Predator 2." From there, she spends part of the film trying to figure out how to use the new weapon before resorting to a good old-fashioned booby trap to bring her opponent down.

While die-hard fans may argue that the origins of the gun have already been answered in the Dark Horse comic book short story "Predator: 1718" (which sees Raphael Adolini as a pirate allying with a Predator), "Prey" is official movie canon. "Hang on a sec," we hear you cry. "If Naru kills her Predator, stopping it from leaving Earth, how did the gun end up in 'Predator 2' 278 years later?"

Well, the answer is sketched out in a gorgeous closing credits sequence in Hulu's immensely impressive prequel. What's even more interesting, however, is that by doing so, it hints at a massive development in Predator history in which humanity unwittingly played a part.

Could humanity be to blame for how the Predators got their firepower?

After Naru returns home, severed Predator head in hand, the closing credits recount her story and an interesting epilogue. The last thing we see is Predator ships descending from the skies and making a beeline for Naru's camp. From there, the screen cuts to black, sparing us the details of her tribe's fate but covering enough bases to clarify how the Predators came into possession of Raphael Adolini's pistol. It's a brief and brilliant bow tying everything up that we know of in the timeline and one thing we never considered: the creation of their iconic shoulder cannons.

Among the plethora of origin elements in "Prey," one is that the Predator race wasn't always as geared up as we've seen in previous films. As advanced as they appear to be in Dan Trachtenberg's film (using space travel, cloaking technology, and thermal vision), the one thing they don't look to have cracked that humanity has a lead on is advanced long-range weapons.

With that in mind, could the Yautja that returned following Naru's victory have retrieved what they deemed worth replicating and applied their own high-tech spin on it, with a shoulder strap to match? While there's certainly time for developments to happen elsewhere, it would bridge a gap between Naru's encounter and that iconic scuffle in the South American jungle in the first "Predator" film, in which case ... our bad, guys.