This article discusses the ending of the HBO Max film Moonshot, which will contain spoilers.
Ready Steady Cut film critic M.N. Miller called Moonshot “an utterly predictable romantic comedy dressed up in science fiction trappings.“
In Moonshot, a young coed named Walt (Five Feet Apart’s Cole Sprouse) falls for a beautiful college student with big eyes named Ginny (Fear Street’s Emily Rudd) before she leaves for Mars the next day. He wants to chase her, and his dreams, to the giant red planet. He has applied to the Kovi Industries Student Mars Program a dozen times, and has have been rejected every time.
Walt is a dreamer and has his head in the clouds. In contrast, he meets Sophie (Lana Condor from the To All the Boys series), who has her head stuck in the books. She has a boyfriend on Mars and refuses to go to parties – even if they are thrown in her own dorm. When Walt sees her later at the cafe where he works, he uses his powers of persuasion and manipulation to convince her to see her boyfriend, Calvin, by booking a flight to Mars, despite her fear of traveling to such a destination.
From there, Calvin sneaks on the flight. Of course, instead of alerting the authorities on the plane, poor Sophie goes along with the ruse. Why? Because she is so afraid of being accused of being an accomplice. If so, they will be jettisoned out of the ship and into the sun. Which, you know, seems extreme.
Finally, the classic romantic comedy tropes. Also, themes of ideals versus greed, along with issues of classism, appear. Walt and Sophie begin to develop real feelings for each other. Like most road trip rom-coms, when they arrive, there is a moment of “will they or won’t they” before they depart, or a fight reveals passion and honesty. Either leaves room for the allure of an unfinished romance.
HBO Max film Moonshot ending explained
The latter happens. Walt reveals he only has “been” with Ginny for a short while (which is still a stretch and stalking may be more accurate at this point) and calls him selfish for endangering her future. He calls Sophie a coward for not facing the truth about her relationship with Calvin – it has no chance of working. (Even in previous scenes, her boyfriend’s mother practically ordered her to live an everyday college life).
Walt is arrested and brought to Leon Kovi (Zach Braff) when they depart the plane, the man responsible for Mars. The Elon Musk type inspires his character. An arrogant capitalist who didn’t start the colony on Mars to save people but to save the rich who have been primarily responsible for our planet’s downfall. He also reveals that the reason Walt was able to stay on the ship and not be caught until it landed was that they chose to watch him and see how their security was while gambling on how far would get. (A convenient explanation for a huge plot hole). He can avoid charges if he becomes the company’s puppet to advertise to potential buyers on earth.
So, both are great crossroads. It becomes evident that Calvin has no intention of returning to Earth with Sophie. Ginny rejects Walt, and the idealism of the Kovi Industries Student Mars Program has lost its luster. However, Walt and Sophie are bonded by their idealism to save Earth and not abandon it. Subsequently, they reject great offers on Mars but independently of each other.
The film ends with the most classic rom-com trope of all. When Walt hears Sophie is leaving for Earth, he chases her by becoming a stowaway on the ship again. He reveals his true feelings for her, and they kiss.
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