Just finished watching 2001...what happened? (spoiler alert)

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Wolverine

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#1  Edited By Wolverine

I finished watching 2001: A Space Odyssey and I don't completely understand the ending. I'm pretty sure that he flew into Alien territory and was captured by them, but why did he age so fast at the end and why did he turn into that giant creature? Also, that house was a projection in his mind by the aliens right? Please explain as much as you can. Thanks.

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HS21

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#2  Edited By HS21

It was his sled. 

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samfo

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#3  Edited By samfo

Www.screened.com may have a better answer

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McBEEF

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#4  Edited By McBEEF

creature? i thought he turned into a baby at the end?

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diz

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#5  Edited By diz

Doesn't 2010 wrap up all the loose ends?

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deactivated-61665c8292280

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I haven't seen the movie in ages, but the Black Totem is an evolution device, right? Didn't the primates begin evolving into humans once they encountered the Monolith?

If I remember correctly, the film is preoccupied with the advancement of species. It's partly the thematic reason for the conflict between the astronauts and HAL. After Dave survives his struggle against machines--which are growing into sentience and quickly becoming their own subset of evolutionary creatures--he encounters the Monolith and ostensibly experiences a sort of evolution into the star child. Which, I think, is representative of a nigh-perfect sentient lifeform, if it's even a lifeform and not some amorphous, god-like being.

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HS21

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#7  Edited By HS21
@diz said:

Doesn't 2010 wrap up all the loose ends?

No that's 2012 with Cusack. 
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fattony12000

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#8  Edited By fattony12000

The alien/aliens/god/gods/things communicated to him via that dreamstate period, and in the interest of furthering their race/the advancement of the human race/all life in the universe they allowed him to be reborn as one of them, basically. They learnt from him, so they made him learn something from them. 
 
Read the book. 
 
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2001:_A_Space_Odyssey_(film) 
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2001:_A_Space_Odyssey_(novel) 
 
From the book: 
 
"He is brought to what appears to be a nice hotel suite, carefully constructed from monitored television transmissions, and designed to make him feel at ease. Bowman goes to sleep. As he sleeps, his mind and memories are drained from his body, and he is made into a new immortal entity, a Star Child, that can live and travel in space. The Star Child then returns to our Solar System and to Earth. Once there, he detonates an orbiting nuclear warhead. Like Moon-Watcher three million years before him, the Star Child is now master of the world and uncertain what to do next—but as Moon-Watcher eventually did, the Star Child too will think of something."

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FunExplosions

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#9  Edited By FunExplosions
@diz said:

Doesn't 2010 wrap up all the loose ends?

It does, but it's not too great of a film, in comparison with the first. It may be better to just not see 2010.
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MayorFeedback

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#10  Edited By MayorFeedback

Hate to break it to you, but the ending was meant to be ambiguous, to the point that there's a lengthy Wikipedia article about it: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Interpretations_of_2001:_A_Space_Odyssey

Sure it gets "explained" a bit more in the book or in 2010, but as far as the film itself and Kubrick's intentions go, it was all supposed to be pretty nebulous and subjective. Anyone scared by ambiguity isn't going to get much pleasure from 2001.

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LawGamer

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#11  Edited By LawGamer

I remember getting asked this question in a high school film class once. I said that the ending represented a merciful termination of a painfully long, boring and vastly overrated movie.
 
I also remember getting in big trouble for saying that.

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Everyones_A_Critic

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I watched it once and only stuck through the entire running time so I could say I've seen the movie. I kind of hated it. It just seemed overly pretentious and reveled in its inaccessibility to the average viewer. I felt like a giant middle finger was waving in my face saying "Hey, maybe if you were as smart as myself or Stanley Kubrick you'd understand this true masterpiece of a film." Bored the living shit out of me.

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Alexander

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#13  Edited By Alexander
@Wolverine: As mentioned by @drhans: the ending is meant to be open to your interpretation. I myself still haven't fully decided what it's about.
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KillyDarko

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#14  Edited By KillyDarko
@drhans said:

Hate to break it to you, but the ending was meant to be ambiguous, to the point that there's a lengthy Wikipedia article about it: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Interpretations_of_2001:_A_Space_Odyssey

Sure it gets "explained" a bit more in the book or in 2010, but as far as the film itself and Kubrick's intentions go, it was all supposed to be pretty nebulous and subjective. Anyone scared by ambiguity isn't going to get much pleasure from 2001.

You beat me to it, but yes, this.
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NorthSarge

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#15  Edited By NorthSarge

prequel to child of eden?

he is the internet...?

seriously though, i watched this in a college film course. its all a pretty subjective mindfuck. I got out of it something along the lines of: Man may be able to explore the vastness of space (&beyond) with technology, but in the grand scheme of things man is irrelevant and insignificant, a child. since the film starts with the dawn of man, growing into his own, dominating earth; the film transforms as man achieves the ability to go beyond that, but in doing so is no longer a master of earth, but a child of space. endless cycle of mastering one thing to understand that knowing this one thing is irrelevant to the grand scheme.

uh in one sentence.

As man proceeds to completely understand one thing, he gains the realization that man cannot completely understand everything else.

thats what i took away from it anyway.

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CrossTheAtlantic

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#16  Edited By CrossTheAtlantic

As others have said, I don't think there's quite a "right" answer as far as the film version goes.  
 
You should probably avoid 2010, really.

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Bruce

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#17  Edited By Bruce
@Wolverine:  
 
He aged so that he could be reborn as the star child. I read the book two years ago in College, so I can't really tell you more than that.
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SeriouslyNow

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#18  Edited By SeriouslyNow

@LawGamer said:

I remember getting asked this question in a high school film class once. I said that the ending represented a merciful termination of a painfully long, boring and vastly overrated movie. I also remember getting in big trouble for saying that.

I'm sure you felt ever so clever.