Edge of Tomorrow Ending (2014) Explained: Doug Liman’s Edge of Tomorrow is an intense sci-fi thriller from 2014 starring Tom Cruise and Emily Blunt. The movie is available on Netflix, and we are here to share an analysis of its ending. Edge of Tomorrow packs a lot of different genre elements in the story. Right from intelligent extraterrestrials to time travel, from explosive action scenes to a mature character arc, the film has it all. The impressive juggling act deserves praise for creating a fine balance among its many aces.

Tom Cruise plays Major William Cage, a good-for-nothing soldier who finds himself in the midst of the biggest battle humankind has seen since WWII. His casual and cowardly tendencies have prevented him from ever facing battle in real life. However, he is straightaway thrown into the deep end. By chance, Cage gains the ability to reset the day…hence resting at the edge of tomorrow. The events in the film take place in the aftermath of an alien invasion.

Creatures called “mimics” challenge humankind for the claim to Earth. After a brief victory at Verdun, the world becomes complacent. Resting on their laurels, they must strive to once again lock horns with them. But unbeknownst to anyone in charge, the aliens are secretly planning a full-scale invasion of their race. Edge of Tomorrow is arguably one of the best sci-fi movies from the last decade, and here is a one-stop explainer for its deceptively complex plot.

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Edge of Tomorrow (2014) Plot Summary

Major William Cage visits General Brigham at the United Defense Forces’ HQ in Britain. Cage, whom we see many times on television as the poster boy for “light mech suits” in the opening prologue, is actually a public affairs officer. He joined the military by coincidence but never quite came close to becoming a soldier. Therefore, the sense of occasion is high as he is sent to Heathrow Airport by Brigham as a response to Cage’s apparent blackmail insinuations. Cage now must begin again as a low-ranking private to face battle on the ground with no combat experience.

Cage’s experience goes horribly wrong as he wanders around cluelessly. He only manages to live by immense luck, which runs out as an Alpha Mimic jumps on him and kills him. However, Cage wakes up at the same place and goes through the same pace of events. He is confused but learns more information as he rinses and repeats the events. Eventually, in one of these itinerants, Rita Vrataski asks Cage to “find him when he wakes,” indicating that she also possessed the same abilities as him when she led the UDF to victory in the Battle of Verdun.

What gave Cage the special powers to reset time? Who else can do it?

When Cage died, the blood of the Alpha was consumed by him before he took his last breath. That gave Cage the ability to reset the day, something that only the Omega Mimic has. Dr Carter, who is introduced to him by Rita, explains that the Omega is the brain of the aliens. They withhold hive mentality as Omega controls the smaller mimic drones through the Alphas, who carry all the information to the Omega. Once they have experienced a day, the Omega stores the information in itself.

This is how they are prepared for everything the humans throw at them. Since Rita gained the same abilities before the Verdun Battle, she could understand how to maneuver the mimics and anticipate how the battle would proceed. This gave her an edge and ultimately led to her being labeled as an exceptional warrior. The only way to win this battle is by destroying the Omega. Until they do that, the Omega will keep adjusting the tactics on the battlefield and remain undefeated.

What is worse is that their evil plan is to allow more alien drones wandering in outer space to arrive and take over the world. Once the earth’s climate has been set to their liking, the aliens can simply claim the Earth from the humans for themselves.

How do Cage and Rita discover the Omega’s location?

We see the duo of Vrataski and Cage go through several versions of the same day. Each time, some small detail was left unironed, spoiling the entire plan. Only Cage could retain the memory of what happened in the previous versions and serve as a guide to Rita. She and Carter warned Cage that he would start experiencing visions once he had gone through a certain number of versions of the day at the beach. This eventually leads them to the location of the Omega – a dam in Germany.

Edge of Tomorrow (2014) Ending Explained
A still from ‘Edge of Tomorrow’ (2014)

But the next problem they faced was the beach itself. Due to Omega’s intricate knowledge of the previous versions, it was nearly impossible for Cage to escape the beach with Vrataski unharmed. He had lost hope in between, but Vrataski asked him to keep going. Somehow, they were able to proceed to the next stage of the plan and then on to the next one…until Vrataski discovers that Cage kept pivotal information about that leg of the plan from her. It is indicated he has feelings for Rita and, hence, does not want her to die in the upcoming versions. Cage wanted to spend more time with her, but Rita did not accept it.

What leads Cage to deduce that the Omega is someplace else?

His frustrations grew, and Cage decided to give up. He escaped the Heathrow Airport and made his way into London. However, much to his surprise, the mimics attacked the city soon after the battle at the beach. This forces him to try once again with Rita, this time with the belief that he can take the Omega down. When he reaches the dam, Cage is incredulous to find that the Omega is not there. He finds an ordinary mimic and an Alpha. The latter’s positioning and behavior of the ordinary mimic indicated that it was all a part of their plan.

The Omega had figured out that Cage was coming to destroy it and had the time resetting abilities. Hence, it deceived Cage by giving the impression that it was in Germany. The Alpha proceeds to kill Cage, which would strip him of his abilities, but Cage quickly realizes the ploy and drowns himself. It was a very close call, but he managed to wake up with a clean slate and informed Rita and Crater about it.

Edge of Tomorrow (2014) Ending Explained:

Crater sends the duo back to Whitehall, a.k.a. the UDF HQ, to compel Brigham to give them the final parts needed for the machine. Crater reveals that he had built a prototype to tap into the memory of the Omega directly. But before he could make further progress, he was fired. Brigham now has the parts to complete it. We learn that Cage and Rita have visited him numerous times. But Brigham is obstinate and doesn’t hand over the machine parts to them.

They eventually make a plan to steal the parts and escape the facility. Cage uses the machine to successfully discover the actual resting place of the Omega: the Louvre in Paris. However, there is yet another twist in the story.

Why does Cage lose his resetting ability?

During the chase, Cage is gravely injured. Rita had earlier warned him that if he ever got hurt, Cage should kill himself. If he doesn’t do that, Cage will lose his abilities. And that is how Cage finds himself powerless when he wakes up at a hospital. The doctors performed a blood transfusion on him, which resulted in the Alpha’s DNA being wiped off from his body. This is effectively his final chance to win the war. Rita is still alive and frees him from the hospital.

How did Cage and Rita stay alive after being killed in the final time loop?

They sneak back into the British camp. Cage convinces Squad J to aid them in the mission, and they take a chopper to Paris. However, the Omega is wary of the incoming attack and prepares accordingly. Most of the team is lost as the final remaining soldiers battle on. The final time loop ends with Rita and Cage making it into the Louvre pyramid. They decide to part ways as an Alpha is guarding the Omega. Rita kisses Cage farewell and sacrifices herself to give Cage enough time to kill the Omega.

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The Alpha is too late to understand the plan and almost gets to Cage before he triggers the explosion. When the new day is reset, Cage wakes up in the chopper as he is being taken to the UDF HQ. On the news, he sees Brigham’s announcement that Mimic activity has ceased following a mysterious energy surge in Paris. The war is almost won. Cage keeps his title of Major and meets Rita again. She has no memory of their previous meetings as Cage cannot believe his luck…because he does.

Now, how did this happen? Well, as Cage dropped the belt of grenades into the water, the Omega prepared to reset the day. But it could not do so in time. The explosion happened right before that could happen, and the Omega ended up transmitting its own death 24 hours into the past. This effectively means that neither could the mimics have a do-over nor did the Omega survive the explosion. So, the mimics die a day before the Omega is killed in the explosion, resulting in the ceasing of all mimic activity. Since Cage was independent of the Omega, like many others, he did not die, and as he was alive a day in the past, that timeline remained intact.

Edge of Tomorrow (2014) Trailer

Edge of Tomorrow (2014) Movie External Links: IMDb, Rotten Tomatoes
Edge of Tomorrow (2014) Movie Cast: Tom Cruise, Emily Blunt, Bill Paxton, and Brendan Gleeson

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