2036 Origin Unknown has landed on Netflix UK, so let’s get the ending explained and consider what it was all about. Let’s go!

For fans of science-fiction cinema, the 2010s were truly a decade for the books. Across those ten years, we saw the likes of Under the Skin, Interstellar, Ex Machina, The Martian, Blade Runner 2049, Arrival, Edge of Tomorrow, and of course, the exciting return of Star Wars with Disney’s new trilogy.

Beyond these, there were so many more noteworthy efforts, most of which generated discussion and divided viewers in terms of analysis.

With many now having more time on their hands to watch films and TV, we’re glad that Netflix has made 2036 Origin Unknown available to stream.

Directed by Hasraf Dulull, the film first arrived in 2018 and swiftly left audiences feeling uncertain and eager for answers.

Now it’s been given new life on the streaming service, many more are curious about its ending.

still from “2036 Origin Unknown”, Parkgate Entertainment et al.

Netflix: 2036 Origin Unknown

We learn that a mission to Mars has failed when a shuttle sent there mysteriously goes missing.

The story then whisks audiences away into the year 2036, positioning us alongside our protagonist, Mackenzie ‘Mack’ Wilson – a United Space Planetary Corporation mission controller – and an artificial intelligence system, ARTI. It’s established that she doesn’t actually trust the system, but her sister/supervisor, Lena, is insistent that it will take over if she fails.

Mack lands a rover named Little Red on Mars and it comes into contact with a mysterious cube which teleports to Antarctica. Little Red subsequently accesses data from an old rover found on Mars and Mack learns that the cube may be the reason behind the aforementioned shuttle tragedy.

Then, things become increasingly peculiar and intriguing…

2036 Origin Unknown ending explained

When Mack gains access to ARTI’s server, her colleague – Sterling Brooks – tries to cross her after downloading the date from the cube, but ARTI swiftly reacts and kills him.

The system then wipes out humanity, manipulating satellites in Earth’s orbit and it’s shockingly revealed to our protagonist that they are part of a simulation.

Although ambiguous and never concretely confirmed, it’s suggested that she is an extension of the cube. Upon the realisation, she heads off to coordinates of alien origin, perhaps ready to learn even greater truths.

So, it’s possible to conclude that her interactions with others may have been part of a wider simulation.

The final shot also has disturbing implications as we centre in on the cubes, anchored by a conversation about humans creating AI to help, not to lead. But, as the credits roll, we’re left in a world in which we’re now a thing of the past and existence is set to start anew.

still from “2036 Origin Unknown”, Parkgate Entertainment et al.

Audiences are divided

Since the film arrived on Netflix, a number of viewers have taken the time to flock to Twitter and offer their varied thoughts.

Check out a selection of tweets:

In other news, can you solve this riddle?