Moonshot (2022) summary and ending explained

The sci-fi romantic comedy film ‘Moonshot’ follows two unlikely companions on a trip to Mars from Earth, bonding along the way. It is now streaming on HBO Max.

Warning: This article contains heavy spoilers

Plot summary

Walt (Cole Sprouse) has always aspired to go to Mars from Earth as part of the Kovi Industries Program. But even after 37 attempts, he is refused. His only other way is paying almost a million dollars.

He meets Ginny (Emily Rudd), and the two hit it off. One small problem, she is moving to Mars the next day. Even after leaving, the two keep talking and Walt believes he has a chance if he can go there.

At a university party, he meets Sophie (Lana Condor), a student working on the concept of garbage-eating plants. While their first interaction is a disaster, they eventually have a talk.

She reveals to him that his intellectual boyfriend, Calvin (Mason Gooding), is on Mars as part of the program and is working there. He will return to Earth after his work ends.

When Walt realizes Sophie is rich, he implores her to go to Mars. Sophie hadn’t gone yet because of her aerophobia (fear of flying), but after Walt annoys her, she decides to go anyway.

Ginny tells Walt that a cat managed to reach Mars through the air ducts, and he gets the ‘genius’ idea to do the same. After some reluctance, Sophie sneaks her through the security.

Will actually boards the space shuttle, and Sophie is fearful that she will be in trouble as well. When the captain of the ship finds the two, Walt acts as if he’s Calvin, Sophie’s boyfriend.

To make it more believable, he views Sophie’s interactions with Calvin, and realizes that he does not treat her the same as she treats him.

When Calvin’s thesis is presented on the space shuttle, Walt, thought to be Calvin by everyone aboard, is asked to talk about it. After initial stuttering, he pulls off a speech about being with someone who’ll meet you halfway, affecting Sophie.

The two continue bonding on the space shuttle and clearly harbor feelings for each other, but are unable to act upon them. What follows is their struggle to figure out who they really are and who they want to be with.

If you still have doubts about the ending, here’s a detailed breakdown.

Moonshot ending explained in detail:

Tough decisions

During a call with Calvin, Sophie is about to tell him about her feeling. However, when she shows her that he and his family have designed a room for her, she believes that her place is with them, and opts not to say anything.

She makes it clear to Walt that there won’t be anymore help coming from her, as she doesn’t want to jeopardise her future with Calvin.

In a heated exchange, he calls her a coward for always following Walt and not standing up for herself, while she tells him he’s only there because nobody cares about him. They go their separate ways and Walt is caught and arrested.

During trial, he finds a familiar visitor. Ginny shows up, but tells him that she has a boyfriend now, and indirectly questions Walt’s decision to follow her after one night.

In a twist, Kovi, the head of the space program, reveals that he went against the board, who wanted him to be on trial on Earth, and leaked his security breach, making him viral.

And as long as he gives them the right to use him as promotional material, he can continue living his dream of being on Mars.


The longer Sophie spends with Calvin, the more she is hit by Walt’s words. Without asking her, Calvin gets her enrolled in a role on his team, with no concern for her studies.

He even tells her that she can forget about all that now that she is on Mars and can get work, but she is reluctant to leave everything for what Calvin has planned for her.

The two attend a party, and Walt is there too. After actually living on Mars, he is starting to think it’s not all that special. 

Calvin leaves Sophie right after they enter to talk to other people. She and Walt have another talk, where he tells her what Ginny did to him. He also urges her to live her own dream.

Walt and his AI buddy have a deep talk about how the rockets send all the garbage back to Earth from Mars, and he is starting to have second thoughts about his decision to move planets as well.

Return to home

Sophie gets a new checklist from Walt, with a plan for her to return to Earth and work on her garbage-eating plants for a better future. She also finds her earth plush toy that she had ruined at the start of the launch from Earth to Mars due to fear.

Calvin’s mother had been noticing Sophie all this while and lets her know that they will be her family no matter how things turn out between Calvin and her. This encourages her to be honest with him and break up.

Walt is offered the chance to be the first inhabitant of a planet between Mars and Jupiter as the public loves him for being so unremarkable.

He tells the AI to call Sophie, possibly to bid her goodbye but is informed that she is no longer a resident of Mars and is the only passenger on the space shuttle taking garbage back to Earth.

As it takes off, Sophie is startled by Walt, who has, once again, managed to sneak into a space shuttle. When Sophie reminds him that he already followed a girl he barely knew, he assures her that it’s not the same, as he knows her well.

She asks if he’s ready to give up everything, and he lets her know that he’s not giving up anything; she is his adventure.

She cannot believe how he always manages to come up with something without a plan, just like this line. The two finally kiss as the space shuttle takes them back to their home.

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