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  • Writer's pictureAaron Fonseca

The Creator's Explosive Ending, Explained

This weeks Your Nerd Side Show:

When it comes to sci-fi, director Gareth Edwards has a few solid movies. He became known on the indie scene for Monsters. This eventually got him the job to kick off the MonsterVerse with 2014's Godzilla. While his tenure on Star Wars: A Rogue One Story was a bit more controversial, fans still hold him in high regard for his vision. Sure, Andor's Tony Gilroy was rumored to have finished the film in terms of reshoots and helping oversee final edits, but Edwards still had a lot to do with the foundation.

Now, Edwards is leaning into the topic of artificial intelligence in The Creator. Here, he has John David Washington's Joshua trying to help the American military locate a weapon the AI movement created in East Asia. In due time, Joshua realizes it's a technopath named Alpha-0 (or Alphie, as he affectionately calls her). He's deemed a traitor as he tries to use Alphie for a personal rescue mission. The Creator builds to a rousing finale as Joshua tries to protect Alphie, realizing he is on the wrong side of the war.

The Creator Turns Joshua Into a Secret Weapon

Joshua defects and tries to save Alphie midway through the film. He believes she can lead him to his wife, Maya (Gemma Chan), who was an AI sympathizer. Maya grew up with human copies called "sims," sticking to her dad's philosophies on how machines aren't evil. It turns out that America being bombed at the start of the movie wasn't due to AI -- it was a human error, which means the West's war on Asia has been a huge mistake.

That's why when Maya found out Joshua was a spy, she tried to part ways. In the ensuing firefight with the military, Joshua thought Maya, pregnant with his kid, had died. But five years later, the military confirms his wife's alive and recruits him to take out the weapon. In exchange, they'll help him extract Maya from rebels like Ken Watanabe's Harun. When Joshua realizes he was duped via fake footage and that America's a lying, inhumane war machine, he allies with Maya's clan -- a mix of robots and humans -- to destroy the warship (the Nomad) in space that's been blowing up AI-sympathizers. Sadly, the military tracks Joshua down and wipes out quite a bit of the tribe again. The Americans take him and Alphie to Los Angeles, where they task Joshua with killing the bot, as he's the only one who can get close.

However, Joshua escapes the facility with Alphie and heads to Nomad. Due to Alphie hacking and controlling tech with her mind, they hijack a ship and forge a two-pronged attack. The military tries to stop them, but Alphie uses her powers to shut down missile strikes on AI regions while Joshua plants bombs aboard the vessel. He has to make a sacrifice, though, after Alphie gets stuck in a pod without him. He sends her back to Earth as a messiah while he plans to die on the Nomad. The military gets the message loud and clear, never anticipating Joshua could become this weapon against them.

The Creator Gives Its Lovers a Heartbreaking Death

A major twist in the movie confirms Maya was actually the "Nirmata" figure Joshua was tasked with finding and turning over to America. He had no clue Maya was this developer who could perfect human and machine hybrids. Shockingly, she made Alphie in the image of the baby she was carrying. As a result, while Joshua had to pull the plug on Maya's comatose body when he found her tribe, he now had their "daughter" right in front of him. It was all thanks to Maya's embryonic studies. Thus, Joshua caring for Alphie isn't just about saving a kid -- it's about atoning as his squad raided in the opening act, killing most of Maya's people and severely wounding her.

That guilt weighed on Joshua for so long, which is why he hoped to find her, apologize and redeem himself. No matter what, he missed Maya and hated how he kept his secret from Maya. Admittedly, she hid how she made Alphie weeks before as well, but Joshua still carried the burden of their lies. As fate would have it, Alphie would find a Maya sim on Nomad and try to reboot her using the brainwaves they took from her corpse at her tribe's temple. Unfortunately, Alphie departs without the bot coming to life.

But as Nomad blows up and falls to Earth, Maya 2.0 awakens and kisses a damaged Joshua. They embrace in a garden aboard the Nomad, grateful they get one more moment with each other. It brings Joshua's story full circle and completes a remarkable change. Even when he was a spy in Maya's camp, he didn't hate AI. He was just carrying out his duty, but he did hope to find a way out. Little did he know, Alphie would reconnect him to the love he lost years before and the kid he inadvertently destroyed.

The Creator Offers Alphie Freedom and Purpose

Alphie's escape pod concludes the film on a triumphant note on Earth. As she emerges from it, she sees the Nomad crashing and burning. All over the world, AI groups and protesters are celebrating, not to mention various areas that are ecstatic they didn't get nuked. This is the freedom Alphie wanted, having evolved into someone wise beyond her years. She learned a lot from her "father" in terms of war and politics while truly understanding the sentiment of her creator in Maya.

As Alphie smiles, Edwards carves out a perfect ending for the masterful sci-fi thriller. The remnants of Maya's tribe are safe once more, while Alphie believes a new era of peace is dawning. Ultimately, Edwards keeps it provocative yet simple. He continues to work on a common theme in all his films that humans can be monsters. It's no different here, but as Alphie shows when she offers up compassion and empathy to save some enemies who attacked her, forgiving is a part of life. Now, it's up to Alphie to honor the memories of her parents and unite everyone by shutting down machines involved in war.

The Creator is now playing in theaters.

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