Fans love them, Marvel movies are known for them, and they give audiences a reason to stick around once a movie finishes so they can finish off the last of their snacks. I'm talking about post-credits scenes, of course. In today's cinema, they're a commonality; no one ever wants to be that person who gets up once the credits start to roll, only to realize that you're missing out on a few minutes of new, exciting material after the fact. I've been in that boat myself, but I've learned my lesson since and now stick around even in paranoia for every big movie I see. With the last of the Hunger Games movies opening in theaters, I started to wonder if I'd need to for this one, as well — is there a Mockingjay, Part 2 post-credits scene?
It definitely would've been possible, as Mockingjay, Part 1 had a very powerful scene after the credits, as simple as it was without providing any extra character or story content. But when you go to watch Mockingjay, Part 2, which officially opens in theaters Nov. 20, be aware that the final Hunger Games film does not have a post-credits scene. I cross my heart and hope to die promise it doesn't, so I'm saving you the trouble of sitting around uselessly in paranoia while probably drowning in your tears because omg, the Hunger Games is really over, as in, this is it.
As much as it would have been awesome to have some sort of post-credits scene, even one as simple and symbolic like Mockingjay, Part 1's, the fact of the matter is that there's only one way (in my humble opinion) that Mockingjay, Part 2, could have gotten away with doing a proper post-credits scene — that is, if the film was advertising for a Hunger Games prequel. As much as I'd want an actual sequel, there just isn't book material to support one. Katniss' epic story ends in Mockingjay and as a protagonist, she's pretty much gone through everything — what more would there be to drive an exciting, genuinely fresh story line, one that doesn't diminish or overstretch the material of the original Hunger Games series?
On the other hand, a prequel could work (so long as Suzanne Collins herself is charged with penning the script). A Hunger Games prequel film could enhance our knowledge of of the world of Panem as we know it or even answer lingering questions we have about the lives of our favorite District 12 characters and beyond. That said, here are five solid prequel ideas that could have worked for a Mockingjay, Part 2 post-credits scene.
The Hunger Games: Melancholy Lark
Plot: This would be a Hunger Games prequel centered on the love Peeta's father had for Katniss' mother. It would would make for a great movie just to compare the scope of Peeta and Katniss' love to their respective parents. It would be a sad one at that — Mr. Mellark doesn't win Mrs. Everdeen's heart. And in the end, Mrs. Everdeen loses her husband in a coal mining explosion and isn't quite the same ever since. Insta weeping material.
Mockingjay, Part 2 Post-Credits Scene: Mr. Everdeen's voice, singing out into the woods, making all the birds stop in the way Mr. Mellark describes the power of Mr. Everdeen's talent in the books.
The Hunger Games: Capitol Circus
Plot: This prequel would look at the Hunger Games world from the point of view of a young adult living in the Capitol, where the young residing there aren't subject to the horrors of the Games. This way, we'd get a better look into the daily lives, emotions, and motives behind the citizens of the Capitol who are so far removed from the districts. Ideally, the protagonist for this movie would start out in support of the Hunger Games, but grow to realize their truly barbaric, cruel nature for those living in the districts long before Katniss becomes the Mockingjay.
The Hunger Games: The Haymitch Tales
Plot: A movie all about Haymitch! Seriously — from his childhood in District 12 up to when he was reaped for the Hunger Games, the second Quarter Quell, the murder of all his loved ones by President Snow, and his self-destructive spiral into his chronic drinking. Not the happiest of movies, but an important background story nonetheless.
Mockingjay, Part 2 Post-Credits Scene: The announcement of Haymitch getting reaped to participate in the Hunger Games and the look of horror that probably washed over his face thereafter. Boom.
The Hunger Games: When Finnick Met Annie
Plot: Because we all need a reason to believe that love is true and pure, and there is no purer Hunger Games love story than the one between Finnick and Annie. This film would look at both of their bouts in the Hunger Games and the fateful meeting that lead Finnick to Annie, who he inwardly remained true to, even the in the face of being forced to "rent" his body to Capitol citizens by the disgusting President Snow.
Mockingjay, Part 2 Post-Credits Scene: The first moment Finnick lays eyes on Annie from across a room.
The Hunger Games: The Dark Days
Plot: This prequel would act as an origin story, explaining how the world as we know it collapsed and revamped itself into the world of Panem. It would go on to explain the creation of the 13 districts, the Capitol, the status of the rest of the world (if it still exists), and the upsets that ultimately lead to District 13's semi-failed rebellion.
Mockingjay, Part 2 Post-Credits Scene: A snippet of the apocalyptic disasters that played part in the creation of Panem.
So will there be a Hunger Games prequel? Or sequel? No one knows for certain, but there's certainly more material to work with for a prequel, rather an a sequel. I'll keep my fingers crossed that despite the lack of a post-credits scene in Mockingjay, Part 2, a future for the Hunger Games series pre-Katniss isn't off the table just yet.
Want more Hunger Games? Watch Bustle's drunk recap of Mockingjay, Part 1 below: