The "1715" flintlock pistol in Prey's ending is more significant than viewers may realize, solving a mystery in the Predator franchise over 30 years later. Set in 1719, the latest installment in the Predator movie series invites audiences to witness one of the first encounters between humans and a Predator, dubbed the Feral Hunter. Prey has been regarded as one of the best films in the franchise, returning the world of Predator to its action-horror roots.
Prey follows a young Comanche warrior named Naru (Amber Midthunder), who dreams of becoming a hunter. When a Predator (Dane DiLiegro) arrives and is mistaken for a large animal, Naru sees this as an opportunity to prove herself to her warrior brother, Taabe (Dakota Beevers), and embarks on a hunt alone. However, things don't quite go to plan, as Naru and the rest of the Comanche hunters are no match for this Predator. Toward the film's end, Naru and Taabe are taken captive by a group of French trappers to be used as bait. When the Predator arrives and begins taking down the trappers, Naru escapes and heads to the camp, where a gravely injured trapper gives her a flintlock pistol.
The flintlock pistol seen in Prey isn't just any weapon, as the movie reveals it to be the same pistol that previously appeared in 1990's Predator 2. As Naru returns to the Comanche camp at the end of Prey, she passes the Predator's head and the pistol on to the War Chief, Upon inspection, the pistol reads "Raphael Adolini 1715." At the end of Predator 2, a Predator known as Greyback gives this pistol to Mike Harrigan (Danny Glover) after he defeats the City Hunter. In Yautja culture, it's common for Predators to give gifts to humans who defeat or aid one of the creatures in combat. However, the flintlock pistol has always fascinated fans due to the inscription hinting at another story behind it.
After the flintlock pistol's first appearance in Predator 2, audiences began speculating on how the Greyback came into its possession. Additionally, the gift was one of the first clues as to how long the Predators had been hunting on Earth, leaving the door open for a string of storytelling opportunities. Six years after the release of Predator 2, Dark Horse Comics attempted to give the "1715" pistol a backstory with Predator: 1718. The comic stated that Raphael Adolini was a pirate captain whose crew came into contact with a Predator off the coast of Africa. After killing his crew and subsequently attacking Adolini, the Predator is gifted the pistol by Adolini as he lay dying. Consequently, this is how the Greyback is able to give Harrigan the pistol 300 years later.
However, Prey has now disregarded the comic as canon, as the pistol isn't in a Predator's possession just yet. Ultimately, this opens the door for a sequel because the Comanche Nation will need to come back into contact with the Predator if the franchise wants to protect the current continuity. Therefore Naru may not have the smoothest run with another Predator if there is a sequel to Prey, leaving a new mystery to be solved.