Christopher Nolan's Tenet Extended Prologue Footage Explained

The first trailer for Christopher Nolan's highly-anticipated new movie, Tenet, was released online [...]

The first trailer for Christopher Nolan's highly-anticipated new movie, Tenet, was released online this week, giving audiences the first look at the upcoming espionage thriller. However, that trailer isn't the only bit of footage being released to the public this week, you just might have to shell out a little money if you want to see more. An extended prologue of Tenet is attached to IMAX screenings of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker this weekend. The roughly seven minute scene sets the stage for what's to come in the movie without giving too much away.

If you aren't able to see Rise of Skywalker in theaters this weekend, but want to have some idea of what happens in the Tenet prologue, we've got you covered. We've only seen the prologue once, but we'll try to break it down as best as possible.

The whole prologue begins with terrorists taking over a Russian opera house, firing guns into the crowd and barking demands. Outside, John David Washington's character is in the back of a van with some other soldiers/agents and the Russian guards hand them patches to put on their arms. The Americans are woken up and sent into the Opera house, seemingly to stop the terrorists. However, it's clear that there is another objective in play.

Washington's character gets to the upper levels of the house to retrieve a man who is part of the same organization he is, though no details about that organization are given. They each speak a code to one another and try to make it out. When Washington is stopped by a couple of soldiers dressed just like him, making it clear that he's on his own mission, another soldier takes them out and speaks the code to him. He's not the only one.

The man they're trying to save swaps clothes with the other soldier so he can escape undetected. Washington and the other soldier, now in plain clothes, run back into the opera house to toss the bombs that were planted up into the rooms on the upper level, saving the unconscious crowd in the room. When they get back out to the van, the Russians freak out because the man in plain clothes isn't the one that they were supposed to grab.

It doesn't make a lot of sense on its own, but this prologue does a great job of laying the groundwork for the world that Nolan has built with Tenet. Not to mention the entire sequence is filled with non-stop action, some of the best of the director's career.

Tenet hits theaters on July 17, 2020.