The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug’s cliffhanger ending is one of the most climactic finishes to a Middle Earth film. Why is Peter Jackson torturing us?

At a press event attended by Hypable, The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit director Peter Jackson was asked about the decision to end Smaug where they did, and if the decision was affected by turning The Hobbit into a three-part movie.

“We did talk about it a lot. There was certainly a lot of discussion about it,” Jackson admitted. “It was just an opportunity. It was just a chance – it’s very rare that you get to do films back to back whether it’s two or three films and to be able to just end on a cliffhanger.”

Playing with the press, Jackson assured everyone that it’s worth the wait until next year. “We have shot – I do know what happens in the next film [laughter], and you’ll see that in a year’s time.”

He also explained that viewers shouldn’t complain, because other cliffhangers have made you wait much longer. “I remember when I was – I must’ve been 17 or 18 years old – I remember The Empire Strikes Back had a big cliffhanger ending and it was like three years before the next one came out.” By comparison, “We’re being pretty generous. And actually, as a Breaking Bad fan I was hanging out a long time for that last half season this year. That was a big gap too.”

‘Desolation of Smaug’s’ ending

Spoiler warning. The Desolation of Smaug’s ending occurs after the titular dragon escapes from the Lonely Mountain and flies towards Laketown where he plans to wreck havoc. The camera then cuts back to Bilbo who asks himself what they’ve gotten themselves into. Cut to black.

Jackson revealed in a recent interview with EW that before they split the movie into three films, Part 1 and Part 2 were going to be split right after Bilbo and the Dwarves see Bard the Bowman’s silhouette in the distance. The second movie would’ve picked up with their journey into Laketown.

There and Back Again the final film in the trilogy, opens in theaters December 2014.

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