The New 'Tomb Raider' Pays Tribute To Angelina Jolie's Lara Croft In The Best Way

Warner Bros. Pictures

The origin story of Lara Croft in the new Tomb Raider might throw some die hard fans of the game for a loop. In the film, Lara isn't an archeologist (she hasn't even been to college), she's not an explorer, and her interest in uncovering ancient artifacts is minimal. Don't worry, though. Audiences still get a glimpse at the Lara Croft they know and love, just in the Tomb Raider post-credits scene. Spoilers ahead!

Granted, calling the final scene in Tomb Raider "post-credits" is generous, as the fun little exchange is shown right after the end title card "Tomb Raider" appears on the screen. Regardless, the scene's placement in the film is late enough that some particularly impatient audience members might jump out of their seats before it begins. But that would be a shame, as it's absolutely worth sticking around to see.

The Tomb Raider post-credits (or, more accurately, pre-credits scene) finds Lara returning to the pawn shop she went to at the beginning of the film, when she sold the amulet given to her by her missing and/or dead father for travel money in an attempt to retrace his last steps. After a terrifying and very perilous adventure off the coast of China, she goes back to retrieve her amulet, but something else also catches her eye: two big guns.

The final scene in Tomb Raider is clearly meant as an homage to the original Lara Croft, born in the '90s video game, who favored twin pistols. Audiences will also recognize Lara embracing the iconic Tomb Raider braid, a hairstyle she doesn't wear at any other point of the film. Not only is the scene a nice treat for fans of the game and of the 2001 film Lara Croft: Tomb Raider (which prominently featured Lara's two-gun weapon of choice in marketing), it also previews what fans might expect from a potential sequel.

When we first meet Lara Croft in this new Tomb Raider, she's a skilled fighter and quick thinking, but she's not necessarily violent, nor does she have a mastery of any weaponry other than archery. It wouldn't make sense for her to run into anything carrying one gun, let alone two. Instead, she favors a bow and arrow, the same weapon she uses in the 2013 reboot video game. "She doesn't use the dual pistols," said Senior Brad Director for Crystal Dynamics, creators of Tomb Raider, Richard Briggs in an interview with USA Today. "She hasn't gotten to that point yet."

At the end of the film, however, not only is she well on her way to becoming the Lara Croft we all know and love, she's ready to graduate to the big guns — literally. That said, hardcore fans of the original imagination of Lara Croft shouldn't expect to see her actually taking on the appearance of the video game character by changing up her looks. Just because the post/pre credits scene finds Lara graduating in firepower does not mean she's going to be the objectified sex symbol some fans want her to be. And that's a very good thing.

As star Alicia Vikander said herself, this is a new Lara Croft for a new time. "If you would ask boys and girls on the street what they find inspiring or attractive or even sexy, it's a hell of a different answer you would get today than you would have had in 1996," Vikander told USA Today of Lara's new look. She's completely right. This version of Lara may have the guns and the braid, but she's still not the Lara Croft you once knew. She's something new, and that couldn't be more exciting.