Wonder Woman 1984 ending explained: Conquering deepest desires

Patty Jenkins helmed ‘Wonder Woman 1984’ saw the light of day in theatres as well as HBO Max on the same day, owing to the pandemic. The film is a direct continuation to 2017’s ‘Wonder Woman’.

Set over six decades after the events of the first film, the ‘Wonder Woman’ sequel follows Diana Prince (Gal Gadot) in her quest to lead a dual life as a worker at the Smithsonian Institution as well as the Amazonian superhero. Despite opening up more to the world, she is burdened by a relentless void due to the death of her lover, Steve Trevor (Chris Pine), during the first world war.

However, this monotony is short-lived as an ancient wishing stone, confiscated by the FBI, starts granting wishes to anyone who touches it. Diana accidentally wishes for Steve to be alive again and is shocked to find his conscience appear in a random man’s body.

Things take a turn for the worse when a corrupt businessman, Maxwell Lord (Pedro Pascal) gets his hands on the magical relic.

Is Diana able to save the world and her love from this curious spell?

Wonder Woman 1984 ending explained in detail:

The Monkey’s Paw

The wishing stone is an ancient artefact which is later revealed to be empowered by a trickster god, Dechalafrea Ero. It does grant every wish, but similar to the ‘Monkey’s Paw’ story, takes something valuable from the person in return for interfering with fate.

Diana’s desire to be back with Steve comes at the price of her slowly losing her powers, which makes her vulnerable to everything that couldn’t even faze her before.

When Maxwell Lord takes over the power of the stone by wishing to be imbued with it, he sets off a chaotic chain reaction by granting people’s wishes and snatching their most valued possessions in return.

The answer is clear — the only way to stop this mayhem is to destroy the stone (now Maxwell) or give back what you wished for. Faced with a choice between her love and the fate of the world, Diana, though initially hesitant, chooses to do the right thing.

Renouncing the wishes

Giving up her wish and bidding goodbye to Steve for a second time is a hard pill to swallow for Diana. However, the fate of humanity still lies on her shoulders and she’s got her work cut out.

Maxwell, using his powers, manipulates his way to a secret global satellite broadcasting programme by coming into contact with the President of America. Now, with the entire world watching, he shifts his wish granting spree into overdrive, wrecking mayhem, as global powers threaten nuclear war.

Hell bent on preventing this disaster, Wonder Woman dons a sacred winged armour, previously belonging to an ancient Amazonian warrior, Asteria, and flies off to confront Maxwell. There, she is met with supernatural resistance in the form of her former colleague, Barbara (played by Kristen Wiig).

Seduced by the power of the stone, Barbara had wished to be transformed into Cheetah — a humanoid feline killing machine who is willing to take whatever steps necessary to preserve her newfound power.

Diana manages to defeat her but Maxwell is too much for her to handle. Unable to face him in direct combat, she subtly ties the lasso of truth to his foot and addresses the world via the broadcast. Touching upon the severity of the situation, she succeeds in convincing the planet to renounce their wishes.

The narrative uses this opportunity to send a strong message about accepting the beautiful truth despite wanting more than what already is. It dives into Maxwell Lord’s past with a few scenes depicting his abusive upbringing that fuelled his motivations for power. Finally, Diana’s words pierce through his brain and he too gives up his wish to go back to his son.

With the disaster prevented and the chaos controlled, Diana slowly settles back into her old life with a newfound appreciation for humanity. She eventually runs into the man whose body Steve had possessed, and has a nice conversation with him.

An homage to the classic

The ‘Wonder Woman 1984’ makers have one final treat for the audience via a mid credits scene where a mysterious woman saves a baby girl from a collapsing pole in a busy street. She manages to grab the falling structure with one hand and continues to walk but the mother of the child calls her out to thank her.

As the conversation continues, she is revealed to be none other than Asteria (played by Lynda Carter), the legendary Amazon warrior and the original possessor of the golden winged armour.

On being questioned about her exceptional feat of strength, Asteria explains that she was able to catch the pole using a simple shift of weight which takes a bit of practise. She further teases her identity when she says, “But, I’ve been doing this a long time” before leaving with a wink.

This scene is a special tribute to the original ‘Wonder Woman’ television series from the ’70s in which Carter played the titular character.

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