Asteroid City is finally heading to theaters, featuring the return of acclaimed director Wes Anderson. As often happened in Anderson’s career, Asteroid City features an ensemble cast portraying characters dealing with unexpected events. If you watched Asteroid City and want to figure out what that ending means, here’s what you need to know. Beware of spoilers if you haven’t watched the movie yet. Here’s the Asteroid City ending explained.

How does Asteroid City end?

Augie Steenbeck, his children, and Stanley Zak leave Asteroid City before the credits.

After the death of his wife somewhere in the 1950s, Augie (Jason Schwartzman) plans to bring his four children to his father-in-law, Stanley (Tom Hanks). A car problem forces Augie and his children to stay in Asteroid City, a desert town, where Stanley then joins him. Augie and his father-in-law aren’t on good terms, as Stanley never liked Augie very much. Strange things happen in town as an alien arrives during an astronomy convention and steals a meteorite fragment. Following the incident, the U.S. government immediately puts Asteroid City under quarantine. Forced to stay closer and talk to each other, Augie and Stanly’s relationship improves. Augie’s son, Woodrow (Jake Ryan), receives a fellowship award for his invention presented during the convention. Eventually, the quarantine is lifted, and everyone leaves Asteroid City.

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Anderson’s latest film is far from being the most accessible and straightforward work in his career. At its core, Asteroid City is a play-within-a-play story of an alien incident. Only that the alien incident is just a part of a fictional play titled Asteroid City by the famous writer Conrad Earp (Edward Norton). On top of that, the movie also features the televised production of Earp’s play. To help watchers distinguish the play and the TV show, Anderson relies on his traditional pastel colors for the first while the second is in black and white.

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