Warning: spoilers ahead for the ending of Alita: Battle Angel follow. Anyone looking for closure at the end of Alita: Battle Angel was left sufficiently wanting. The cyberpunk adaptation film from James Cameron and Robert Rodriguez left off on a massive cliffhanger, begging the question: was this all just set-up for a sequel? Well, sort of. There is meaning to Alita's ambiguous final scene.
Based on Yukito Kishiro's manga series Gunnm, Alita: Battle Angel stars Rosa Salazar as the titular cyborg with a human brain. The mechanical warrior spends the majority of the movie discovering her past as a 300-year-old badass fighter, the last of her kind from the last sky city Zalem in the sci-fi dystopian future. Before the end of the movie, she upgrades herself to a Berserker body with the help of her adoptive father Ido (Christoph Waltz) and falls in love with the human Hugo (Keean Johnson), who was subsequently hunted down by Alita’s enemies. Despite Alita and Chiren (Jennifer Connelly) saving his life after an attack by turning him into a cyborg, he falls to his death trying to climb to Zalem thanks to an attack from Zalem overlord and surprise bad guy, Nova.
The purpose of her final moment in the film isn't explicit, but it definitely has to do with avenging Hugo’s death. Alita decides to get to Zalem, and Nova, the only way she knows is possible: winning Motorball and becoming the top champion, which should earn her ascension. She aims to finally meet Nova (played by Edward Norton in a surprise, uncredited cameo), the mysterious scientist from Zalem who wielded control over all the humans and cyborgs on Earth with the ability to transfer his consciousness into theirs. Beyond behind being behind all the attacks on Alita (and Hugo), which would be enough to justify her aims, Nova also knows more about her past than she does.
The final scene of Alita: Battle Angel sees Alita gearing up for a fated Motorball competition, determined to win and finally arrive in Zalem to confront Nova. Of course, instead of showing her inevitable success in an epic Motorball action scene, that's cruelly where the credits suddenly began to roll. We never see Alita get her revenge on Nova for controlling her life and killing Hugo. We also never learn why Nova was so interested in Alita’s life and his connection to her past, or how she ended up in the junkyard after her attack on Zalem with her fellow warriors. However, the books on which the movie is based hold tons of answers — which means that yes, this entire final scene is basically a trailer for the possible Alita sequel.
If that Alita: Battle Angel sequel happens, these questions and more will surely be answered. But for now, fans will just have to speculate on whether or not Alita will finally get her revenge (or, you know, read about it in the manga series).