Spoilers! How that chilly Snake Eyes ending sets up an iconic G.I. Joe franchise feud – USA TODAY

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Spoiler alert! The following post discusses important plot points and the ending of “Snake Eyes” so beware if you haven’t seen it yet.

The new “G.I. Joe” reboot “Snake Eyes” (in theaters now) offers origin stories for the title commando and the Cobra ninja Storm Shadow and, by its climax, places them on opposite sides of a global war – though Snake Eyes himself has a ways to go before becoming the familiar character from 1980s kids’ childhoods.

Played by Henry Golding, Snake Eyes is a loner recruited by his new Japanese “blood brother” Tommy (Andrew Koji) into the ancient Arashikage ninja clan, though Snake Eyes is also working for the bad guys, secretly infiltrating Tommy’s family organization in exchange for information on who killed his father. Snake Eyes steals a very powerful gem protected by the Arashikage for the Yakuza gangster Kenta (Takehiro Hira), and while Snake Eyes realizes the errors of his ways – and teams up with Scarlett (Samara Weaving), a member of the G.I. Joe counterterrorism squad – Tommy’s incensed by the betrayal.

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A betrayal tears apart the friendship of Tommy (Andrew Koji, left) and Snake Eyes (Henry Golding) in "Snake Eyes."

Unfortunately for the man also known as Storm Shadow, Tommy’s problems get worse: In battle against Kenta, Tommy uses the gem to protect his family, though in doing so means by family law that he cannot lead the Arashikage. Doubly angered, Tommy storms away from his clan as well as his frenemy.

Soon enough, he’s found a new ally: In a mid-credits scene, Tommy is on a private plane ready for takeoff when a flight attendant brings him champagne. However, the woman turns out to be the Baroness (Úrsula Corberó), an operative with the shadowy criminal terrorist group Cobra, who wants to work with the dangerous free agent: “You lost an army, Tommy,” she says. “But I can give you a better one.”

Is Storm Shadow a man wanting a new clan or does he want to use Cobra’s increasing global influence for his own needs? “It could be a bit of both,” Koji tells USA TODAY. “In my gut it would be leaning towards using them. I think he’s in a very, very dark place at the end of the film. He’s just looking for something to figure out how he can move forward with his stuff.”

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Storm Shadow (Andrew Koji) turns his back on his ninja clan and his best friend at the end of "Snake Eyes."

Which means a serious clash is coming between him and Snake Eyes if there’s a sequel: “To Tommy at the end of the film, Snake Eyes is on the blacklist – he’s irredeemable maybe,” Koji adds. “We’ll find out, hopefully.”

Meanwhile Snake Eyes also gets an offer to join a new crew: Scarlett shows him classified files explaining that his father was a Joe (codename: Brightsword) and he was murdered by Cobra. And like Baroness, Scarlett mentions she could use someone with Snake’s skill set.

“You’re saying I could be a Joe?” Snake Eyes asks Scarlett, who responds that “anything’s possible.” More important for Snake Eyes, though, is making amends with Storm Shadow, and he puts on the signature black helmet and scoots off on a motorcycle before the credits roll.

Scarlett (Samara Weaving, center) explains to Akiko (Haruka Abe) and Snake Eyes (Henry Golding) about his late father's G.I. Joe connection.

The fan-favorite comic-book version of the character not only rocks black headwear – because of a disfigured face – but also doesn’t talk, though Golding’s Snake Eyes is still chatty and sporting the actor’s handsome mug at the end of the movie.

He, for one, is glad to gradually transform into the G.I. Joe ninja people know and love over multiple films should they happen. “Something so transformational and iconic as a disfiguring of the face or loss of the voice, if that happened in the first movie, it’s like, ‘Yeah, OK, That’s cool.’ But if it happens in the third movie, then you’re just like, ‘GASP!’ Mind actually physically blown,” Golding explains.

“Building that is something special. And if we have the ability to really grow the universe, don’t you want to see us take its time and do justice to every aspect of every Joe’s life? That’s something to look forward to.”

The last two “G.I. Joe” movies – 2009’s “The Rise of Cobra” and 2013’s “Retaliation” – were “fantastic and fun,” Golding says, but they didn’t flesh out the Joes’ colorful, action-packed personalities. “To be able to focus on these pure in-depth character profiles such as Snake Eyes, it’s important to growing this franchise.”

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