“If you remember the ending of 2001, you weren’t there, man!” Let’s cut through the acid haze and recall that Stanley Kubrick’s space WTF ends with a trippy montage of black monoliths and swirly colors and GIANT SPACE FETUSES. But, guess what? It actually is an ending.
Script co-writer (and sci-fi legend) Arthur C. Clarke originally penned a voiceover that explained all the images and their meaning. The monoliths were machines built by aliens to speed up our evolution, and when Dave passes through one and comes out the other side he is “reborn” as a member of the advanced alien race. Kubrick, however, jettisoned Clarke’s V.O. and just went with “Whoooooa!”