Let's make this easy: You want to know if there are any post-credits scenes in Transformers: Rise of the Beasts. We'll tell you right here: there's one mid-credits scene but no post-credits scene.
Scroll down to dig into the ending of the film, where full spoilers await you.
Transformers: Rise of the Beasts (review) is a fresh start for the long-running series. It’s set in the ‘90s and introduces new Cybertronian factions to the movies like the Maximals and Terrorcons. And it ends with a real bombshell, one that promises to, well, transform the franchise in the years to come.
Let’s take a closer look at the ending of Rise of the Beasts and how it forges a direct link to another iconic ‘80s franchise. Is a Transformers vs. G.I. Joe movie on the horizon? Here’s what we know.
The Transformers Movies in (Chronological) Order
Transformers: Rise of the Beasts Ending Explained
Rise of the Beasts pits Optimus Prime’s Autobots and Optimus Primal’s Maximals against Scourge, a Transformer who serves as the herald of the all-powerful, world-devouring Unicron. This marks the first true live-action appearance of Unicron, a villain made famous in the 1986 animated film The Transformers: The Movie and who was previously referenced in 2017’s Transformers: The Last Knight.
The film ends with one final battle for the fate of Earth, as Scourge and his Terrorcons attempt to summon Unicron to Earth using the combined Transwarp Key. Unfortunately, Mirage is seemingly killed when he shields Anthony Ramos’ Noah from enemy fire and transforms into an exoskeleton suit.
Ultimately, Optimus is able to kill Scourge, but that doesn’t solve the portal problem. Optimus destroys the Transwarp Key and is nearly sucked into the portal as it collapses. It’s only thanks to the combined assistance of Noah and Optimus Primal that Optimus is spared a nasty death. It’s an important reminder that our heroes are strongest when they stand united.
Rise of the Beasts ends on a fairly open-ended note. Scourge and the Terrocons may be dead, but we’re left to assume that Unicron is still alive and will eventually return to threaten the world again. But while the Autobots have lost the Transwarp Key and their ticket back to Cybertron, Optimus is content knowing he’s made some powerful friends.
While Dominique Fishback’s Elena gets some well-deserved professional recognition for her work, Noah’s own future is starting to look up as he lands a new job at a security firm. But not just any firm. When Noah interviews with a mysterious agent played by Michael Kelly, he’s handed a business card with the G.I. Joe logo. Noah, because of his tech experience and relationship with the Autobots, is being recruited into this top-secret military organization. For the first time in live-action, the Transformers and G.I. Joe franchises are crossing paths.
Kelly’s character makes it clear he wants to recruit Noah and the Autobots, telling him, “We’re in the middle of an ongoing war.” We’ll get to what that war might be in just a minute.
For the first time in live-action, the Transformers and G.I. Joe franchises are crossing paths.
Transformers: Rise of the Beasts’ Post-Credits Scene
It’s pretty tough to top the G.I. Joe reveal for shock value, but Rise of the Beasts does save one more surprise for the mid-credits scene. We see Noah working on an old car that’s clearly been spliced together from different parts. No sooner is it fixed than the car transforms into Mirage. Noah has managed to repair his buddy and bring him back to life.
There’s no other post-credits scene after the credits are done rolling, and no other clues as to what’s going to happen now that the Joes have entered the Transformers universe. But the mid-credits scene does at least confirm that Mirage still has an important part to play in a future sequel.
How Rise of the Beasts Sets Up a Transformers/G.I. Joe Crossover
A Transformers/G.I. Joe crossover movie is the kind of thing ‘80s kids fantasized about but probably never expected to become a reality. But this crossover is something that’s been teased in the past. As far back as 2014, producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura called it “a possibility.”
These two franchises may have never crossed paths in the heyday of their respective animated series, but Transformers and G.I. Joe do have a long history together in the comics. Marvel Comics published the very first crossover, 1986’s G.I. Joe and the Transformers, establishing that the Joes and the Auotbots do sometimes exist in the same universe. That was the start of a recurring line of crossovers between the two properties, first at Marvel and then later at publishers like Dreamwave and Devil’s Due.
However, it wasn’t until IDW Publishing acquired the rights to both franchises that Transformers and G.I. Joe became more fundamentally linked. 2016’s Revolution crossover brought together not just those two franchises, but other Hasbro properties like M.A.S.K., Rom, Action Man and the Micronauts into one shared universe. Revolution paved the way for further comics like First Strike, where G.I. Joe’s founder, Joe Colton, declares war on Earth’s Cybertronian residents. That shared universe culminated in 2018’s Transformers: Unicron, as the titular villain finally set his sights on Earth and its united heroes.
Now, at long last, Hasbro looks to be setting up a Transformers/G.I. Joe cinematic universe. In the scene with Kelly’s character, we learn that the G.I. Joe organization is still in its early stages. They’re quietly building up an arsenal and recruiting powerful allies to deal with the war to come. What the scene doesn’t tell us is who G.I. Joe is forming up to fight. Are they worried about their enemies at Cobra, or are they concerned about rogue Cybertronians like the Terrorcons?
It’s worth remembering that, just like how Rise of the Beasts is a period piece set before the original Transformers movie, 2021’s Snake Eyes movie was also essentially a flashback film showing the early days of G.I. Joe and Cobra. Both the Transformers and G.I. Joe franchises are looking backward toward the past and laying the groundwork for the shared universe to come. We may see the next Transformers and G.I. Joe movies jump ahead in time, showing this alliance taking shape before a proper G.I. Joe/Transformers crossover happens in the present day.
Future movies will also have to explain why we never saw the Joes in the Michael Bay Transformers series, since Bumblebee and Rise of the Beasts are both technically prequels to those films. Or perhaps Paramount will pivot away from the Bay series and start treating the newer Transformers films as a soft reboot of the franchise.
It’s possible this cinematic universe is drawing some inspiration from IDW’s Hasbro comics and positioning Unicron as the endgame threat that brings both teams together. Rise of the Beasts could be directly setting the stage for Unicron’s return in a team-up movie down the road. What better reason to bring the Joes and Autobots together than pitting them against a massive robot looking to devour the entire planet?
Producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura has hinted we’ll see more of the Joes in the next Transformers sequel, but that Paramount is only beginning to map out what’s next for both franchises.
“We don't know what the next mission is in a way,” Bonaventura told IGN. “We do this differently, I think, than a lot of franchises is we purposely don't plan the next movie until we've seen this movie play with the audience, so that you can feel the audience. Look, when you introduce the concept of it, what if it had fallen flat? Then what? So we wait to see."
For now, Bonaventura makes it clear the focus is on integrating the G.I. Joe characters into the next Transformers movie, rather than following the Monsterverse approach of building up each franchise individually and laying the foundation for a later crossover.
“I never really know what people mean by a crossover,” Bonaventura said. “So what I'll describe it is it's a Transformers movie that will employ Joes. And so, it will be a continuation of this movie. It'll be a sequel to this movie, and we'll see how much of the Joes fit naturally into it.”
Regardless of what happens next, we’ve just taken our first step into a larger world. We know that a Transformers/G.I. Joe crossover is finally in the cards. And as they say, knowing is half the battle.
For more on Rise of the Beasts, find out how to watch the new Transformers movie, brush up on how to watch the entire series in chronological order and see the entire Transformers storyline leading up to Rise of the Beasts.
Jesse is a mild-mannered staff writer for IGN. Allow him to lend a machete to your intellectual thicket by following @jschedeen on Twitter.