Crater (2023) Ending Explained – Does Caleb say goodbye to his friends?

Crater Plot Summary

In the year 2257, the Earth is no longer a safe place in which to live. Some of the planet’s inhabitants have moved to a mining colony on the Moon, while others have migrated to a utopian planet named Omega.

We are introduced to Caleb Channing, a young teenager living in the colony, whose father recently died in a mining accident. Due to a death benefit clause in his father’s contract, that stipulates orphaned family members should be transported to Omega, Caleb is told by a colony executive that he will have to leave the place he has called home in 3 days.

Most people would be glad for the opportunity to move to a paradise planet but Caleb doesn’t want to say goodbye to his friends. It’s an upsetting situation for him, made even more distressing by the fact that he will never be able to speak to them again. This is because the journey to Omega takes 75 years, during which time Caleb will be cryogenically frozen. When he arrives on the planet, he will be the same age he was when he left the colony. His friends, on the other hand, will have lived a whole lifetime without him!

Still, Caleb isn’t about to let his last few days on the colony be sad ones. Before his father died, he learned of a mysterious crater that his late mother wanted him to see, so he and his friends decide to head out there on one last adventure.

Is this really the last time Caleb will be with his friends? Let’s take a closer look at the movie.


Who are Caleb’s friends?

Caleb’s main friends are Dylan, Borney, and Marcus, each of whom has lived in the colony since birth. They decide to steal a buggy and head out to the crater, even though the colony is in lockdown because of an impending meteor shower.

To get to the buggy, they need the access codes to the garage. The only person of their age who know these codes is Addison, a young girl who has recently moved to the Moon with her scientist father. The boys don’t particularly like Addison and she doesn’t think much of them. But after Dylan tries and fails to get the codes from her, she decides to help them anyway, provided they bring her along on the trip.

The boys agree to bring Addison along – they had little choice really! But during their journey to the crater, it’s not long before they all start to bond.


Do the kids make it to the crater?

After hotwiring the Rover, the kids set out on their adventure.

Before they get to the crater, the boys decide to have a little bit of fun on the Moon’s surface. After donning their space suits, they decide to tether themselves to the buggy and use oxygen tanks as jetpacks to launch themselves into the air.

Borney is the first person to have a go at achieving ‘launch-off,’ despite Addison’s warnings that the attached cable could come untethered. Unsurprisingly, it’s not long before she is proved right as Borney’s cable does come loose. Before he can float away into outer space, the other boys manage to save him by launching themselves into the air but they lose some of their oxygen tanks in the process.

As they now need more oxygen to get to the crater alive, Caleb suggests refilling their supplies at an abandoned outpost that is nearby. On arrival, they realize it is actually a model home, that was once used to advertise the colony as a place to live for the rich and famous.

They replenish their supplies and spend the night there. The following day, they continue the journey to the crater but during the trip, the buggy breaks down. Addison sends out a distress signal but rather than waiting for help to arrive – which could take days – they decide to continue the trip on foot.

After walking a mile or so, they eventually reach the crater.


What do they find at the crater?

After finding a doorway to an underground bunker, the kids discover a room that has a giant tree stuck in the middle of it. Caleb is disappointed as this isn’t the special place that his father had told him about.

However, there is more to the room than meets the eye. The clue to this is on a plaque near the tree that reads:

“On gilded wings, we have reached the stars, but let us never forget the skies we left behind.”

Not long after, they discover a secret button that transforms the bunker into a holographic simulation of a forest on Earth. For the boys, this is the first time they have seen what Earth looks like and they are amazed and astonished by everything they see, including trees, water, and blue sky above them.

This isn’t the only thing that is special about the bunker. After following instructions that had been left to him by his father, Caleb finds a compartment on the floor with a container of his mother’s ashes and a photo of his parents underneath. Caleb places his father’s ashes in there and takes the photo.

Following these ‘special’ discoveries, the teens decide to return to the buggy to take shelter before help arrives.


Do the kids make it back to the buggy?

At the crater, Marcus collapses because of low blood pressure related to his heart condition. His pills are on the buggy so they hurriedly attempt to get there to save Marcus’s life. This race against time becomes difficult when they are stuck in a meteor shower. They all manage to make it back to the buggy alive, although Dylan almost loses his life when he is hit by a meteor fragment that damages his suit.

They manage to give Marcus his pills but it’s not long before they realize their lives are still in danger. Their oxygen levels are dropping and because of the meteor shower, they don’t think help is likely to arrive.

As they sit and wait, they begin to lose consciousness. There is time for Dylan and Caleb to have a heart-to-heart conversation about their friendship and the future but it’s not long before they also fall asleep.

Thankfully, help arrives in the form of a rescue team so the kids aren’t left to die on the Moon. But when Caleb wakes up, he soon realizes that his friends are no longer with him.


Does Caleb say goodbye to his friends?

Caleb and his friends were all saved but on arrival back at the base, Caleb was immediately shipped off to Omega. He is crushed that he wasn’t able to say goodbye to his friends and is even more distraught when he realizes he was put into cryogenic sleep for 75 years during his journey to the planet.

He isn’t able to speak to his friends again but Dylan is able to speak to him. Using a transmitter that he was given access to once a year, Dylan was able to leave messages for his friend.

In these messages, we learn that Addison led a revolution to fight for the rights of the miners and later married Dylan. We discover Borney became her right-hand man in her fight for justice and that Marcus started his own baseball league. And we find out that Dylan and Addison became parents and grandparents.

In one of the final messages, Dylan tells Caleb they never have to say goodbye as their experiences will live on forever in the stories they tell people who come later. He then encourages Caleb to become a master of his own fate and to have more adventures.

It can be assumed that Caleb’s friends are now dead, which is a sad thing for sure. But Caleb isn’t alone on Omega. When walking to the lake, he meets Addison’s brother, who had previously been separated from his sister when he left for the planet with their mother. The kid has heard of Caleb’s adventures with his friends and asks if they were all true. This adds weight to what Dylan said in his message – that their experiences will never be forgotten because of the stories they share.

As the movie ends, we know that there are more adventures in store for Caleb as he and Addison’s brother set off on a journey of exploration together.

 

Read More: Crater Movie Review


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