I need some assistance understanding the end of The Dark Knight Rises (2012), it doesn't seem at all plausible for me. We see Batman save Gotham City from Bane by escaping the city while carrying the the bomb with the Bat out to sea before it has a chance to detonate.

I can appreciate that he wants to fake his own death and retire for real, and I can believe he fixed the autopilot (when Fox couldn't), but it really did not seem to me that he could have ejected at a safe distance considering the shots prior to the explosion.

If we are to believe that he did get out, six miles before the explosion, judging by the rate of the Bat that would put him about 12 miles out when he landed in the Bay.

So either he has a crazy swim to do, or I'm being too picky.

Am I missing something?

  • 6
    I read a theory that said he ejected early when he was close to the ground (still in gotham) and the scene showing him flying afterwards was just inserted to confuse the viewers.
    – oers
    Jul 20, 2012 at 13:23
  • 7
    Which would be terrible film making IMO.
    – Nobby
    Jul 20, 2012 at 13:44
  • 3
    It might also be Nolan's nod to the ridiculous nature of some comic stories where characters always escape out of impossible situations.
    – Tablemaker
    Jul 23, 2012 at 19:27

2 Answers 2


I am going to make some guesswork on my own here.

So we see the scene where the bomb hits the Traffic signal light/Board for the Highway and takes a dip below as soon as he takes off in The Bat

Second we see Batman flying towards a big building in front of him trying to make the Bat take off and go over it then I remember the scene switching to Blake in the bridge with the Kids.

Then we see Batman creating a way for him blowing the building obstacles (we actually see the explosion and kids gets excited during that scene) . I think this is where I think he made the switch because if he were flying it i think he could've maneuvered it over the obstacle rather than blowing it (remember the scene where he guides the missiles from the tumbler which were fired after him flying skillfully to guide it back to the sender)

So I think he made the eject when he was approaching the time when he was trying to flying above the building and cleared the obstacles with missiles which could hinder it progress with Autopilot and then got away.

PS: I only watched it once so far I could be little fuzzy with the detail of that sequence. Please feel free to correct me.

  • 2
    You make a lot of valid points, and I could certainly agree with the idea that he bailed just before blasting through the building and out into the bay. However, halfway across the water we cut to see him in the cockpit, a contemplative look on his face. Was this edit made to confuse us/sell the idea of his death? If so, that is sloppy and lazy. The only other possible explanation is that the cut to Batman is a close-up, and he might be in a tumbler at this point - but I think we see water outside the window. Not going again, so can't verify this...
    – Nobby
    Jul 20, 2012 at 14:34
  • 4
    I think the edit was to confuse us primarily and we saw multiple tumblers in the movie. Do you think there could an extra Bat (probably the sample shown by Fox earlier in the movie) so he could be contemplating about that while flying in a different place altogether in the other bat after ejecting out like i said.
    – Dredd
    Jul 20, 2012 at 14:48
  • 1
    That works too. I have to say though, I am getting tired of filmmakers making stuff in their film so ambiguous in the belief that it makes them more 'thoughtful'.
    – Nobby
    Jul 20, 2012 at 15:13
  • 4
    I was actually hoping he died. This would have been a fitting ending to his arc and would have carried more weight, plus been the culmination of the hints dropped throughout the three films about ultimate sacrifices etc.
    – Nobby
    Jul 20, 2012 at 16:48
  • 2
    I felt the movie lacked the depth first two had and death of batman would've been ideal scenario for the franchise to end but for lack of better options i might end up watching the movie over weekend again to see if i like it in second sitting.
    – Dredd
    Jul 20, 2012 at 16:58

One more clue that proves that Batman is not dead is the final scene - Alfred has never seen Selena, so if it was his imagination, how could he have seen Bruce with her?

EDIT: Thank to the commentators - Alfred does see her at the beginning of the movie and again when Bruce shows him her profile.

And I feel it's good they didn't kill him. The minute the bomb exploded, I thought that (the) Batman was dead as the first thing that came to my mind wasn't "oh no!" but "Just like Apocalypse!" If they'd stopped there, it would be too similar to it.

Also, if we assume that he didn't use autopilot (which he most certainly did), we can do some math...

He needs to go 12 miles from Gotham City. Let's say he was a further 6 miles inside Gotham, meaning he flied 18 miles in around 2 minutes (I think the timer showed 1:54 just before he flew away). He may not even need to go an extra 6 miles, probably 4 would be enough, considering the Bat is extremely strong and sturdy. Also, after dropping the bomb, it would enter the sea, and that would dampen the effect further.

That comes to 540 mi/hr. A Bowing 777 flies as 560, so I think we can safely assume that the Bat travels much faster. The mushroom cloud could've blocked the view of the Bat, especially if he flew close to (or maybe inside?) the water.

  • 7
    Alfred does see Selena at the start of the movie. She was the maid who tries to get Wayne's finger prints.
    – Dredd
    Jul 22, 2012 at 17:51
  • 5
    In addition, when Bruce first goes down to the batcave, Bruce shows Alfred Selina's record on the batcomputer.
    – user209
    Jul 22, 2012 at 18:15
  • 2
    michael caine explained his character actually saw that scene not his imagination..
    – user3663
    Dec 21, 2012 at 4:14

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