Having proved itself a worthy Predator prequel film, the Prey ending wraps the movie and its major themes up nicely, while also establishing where it sits in the grander franchise. Prey has a number of themes that run throughout the film, chief among them being that people should follow their calling, regardless of what tradition may dictate. These themes tie in nicely to the greater Predator franchise, which Prey references even as it sets up to continue its own path via a potential sequel.
Starring Amber Midthunder as Naru, the Prey setting places the characters in 1719 North America, in a story that may well be the first-ever expedition of the Predator race on Earth. Naru is a Comanche who feels the call to being a hunter within her tribe, but is hindered by the traditional role she's meant to take. Naru's brother, Taabe (Dakota Beavers), believes in his sister, even as he doubts her resolve to become a warrior. When the Predator arrives and begins killing the creatures of the land, including humans, Naru is the only one to suspect it to be the work of something they haven't seen before, which sets her on the path to discover and destroy it.
As the Predator in Prey is slowly revealed, taking on the likes of snakes, wolves, bears, Comanche warriors, French trappers - and, ultimately, Naru - it becomes evident that a balance is beginning to shift between predator and prey. Midthunder's Naru reveals herself to be the smartest of her fellow warriors, as she studies her adversary in a way that the Predator in Prey studies its own targets. Naru completes her rite of passage in becoming a warrior for her people, taking on something far more fearsome than they could have ever imagined in the Prey ending, which takes care to leave the door open for more battles to come.
Naru's brother, Taabe, fights off the Prey Predator at the trapper's camp, injuring the creature and then sacrificing himself so that Naru can escape, saying to her, "This is as far as I go. No more. This is it. Bring it home." While captured by the trappers earlier and being used as bait for the Predator, Taabe reveals that he captured the mountain lion using her original plan, saying that she had weakened it and that she could always see what he missed, meaning that he might not have killed the beast had he not used Naru's plan. Taabe realizes that although he is a great hunter, Naru is smarter and more cunning than he is, ultimately putting his faith in her when he knows that the Predator in Prey is about to kill him, knowing that she has the best chance to put an end to the threat.
Naru knew her location well, as she had recently escaped from a mud pit nearby the trappers camp earlier in the film. She also noted early on that the Predator's laser sights on its mask would send the projectiles he fired directly to where the lasers pointed. Stealing the Prey Predator's mask was a massive part of her plan, as was a series of traps, including the use of human bait to lure the Predator in, a similar plan the trappers used earlier. However, the trappers didn't realize that the Predator doesn't want unarmed bait, it wants to hunt, which is why Naru gives the trapper she captures a gun.
Naru studies the Prey Predator, watching how it thinks, moves, fights, and kills, ultimately figuring out how to use all of its strengths and weaknesses against itself, while putting together a plan built from her own experience, creativity, and cunning. Naru's plan at the ending of Prey was to wound the Predator further by distracting it with another prey (in this case, the captured trapper), steal its mask, then bait it after her where a series of traps waited, including the mud pit, where she positioned the mask to lase the Predator and kill it with its own technology. Naru is constantly observing, thinking, and planning, never using brawn over brain, showing that a true hunter is one that knows its prey.
Once Naru realizes she has the Predator in Prey trapped and that the final kill stroke is inevitable, she utters the line that her brother taught her early on, which is the same line he utters before sacrificing himself to the Predator so that she could escape. "This is as far as you go. No more. This is it," she says, just before the Predator essentially kills itself with its own technology. The line is what Naru's brother told her to say when she is about to kill her prey when hunting, which is fully realized in the moment that she takes down the Predator at the end of Prey. Her brother accepted his fate when hunted and killed by the Predator, which is what prompted him to say the phrase to Naru - and her repeating it when she has bested the creature is the phrase coming full circle back to her.
The flintlock pistol that Naru uses at the end of Prey, which is taken from one of the trappers, has an inscription that reads "Raphael Adolini 1715", which is the same pistol from the Predator 2 ending. In that film, once Danny Glover's LAPD detective Mike Harrigan takes down a Predator that has been killing in L.A. aboard a Predator ship. A group of Predators, including an Elder Predator, appear and take away the body of the deceased Predator. The Elder Predator tosses the same flintlock pistol to Harrigan, saying "take it", which he does, later noting the inscription. Although Naru gives the pistol to their tribe elder after killing the Predator, it's obvious that the pistol gets back into the hands of the Predators at some point, seeing that it's given to Harrigan by the Elder Predator some 300 years later. However, in the Prey ending, it's left in the hands of the Comanche, leaving a mystery of its journey back to the Predators, while also serving as a piece of connective tissue to the franchise itself, linking the Predator films together with a single item.
The Prey movie ending has Naru telling her tribe that they need to move their camp as "there is danger nearby" and that they need to move to "easier protected ground". The Predator that Naru defeats in Prey is shown as being dropped off by a Predator ship early on in the film, which suggests they can easily return (if they aren't already nearby). This notion is compounded by the Prey end-credits animation, which suggests a fleet of Predator ships would be coming to attack her tribe after killing the Predator. It could also simply suggest that more Predators are coming, not necessarily for revenge, but simply because the events in Prey signify the first hunt for the alien creatures, which resulted in a death of one of their own, meaning it is now deemed a challenging hunting ground teeming with worthy prey in the form of human beings.
The ending of Prey plays with title's double meaning and duality of the terms predator and prey, as Naru struggles with her desire to be a hunter instead of a gatherer, while discovering what it takes to achieve that goal - making her both the predator and prey, as well as the alien she fights filling both of these roles. "You want to hunt something that's hunting you?" is a question posed to her by her brother early on, and resonates throughout the movie. When Naru is given her chance by taking down a dangerous mountain lion, she seemingly fails the test, but it turns out she was more cunning and smart in her plan to kill it than originally thought. She applies her lessons learned from that experience and finds her confidence restored as she evades the Predator alien multiple times, studying him, learning his strengths and weaknesses throughout the film, before applying her knowledge to trap and kill it. In the Prey ending, Naru experiences a shift as she becomes the predator and the Predator becomes the prey, completing her journey in becoming a hunter and warrior.