The final scene of The Sopranos has been debated and celebrated ever since it originally aired in 2007. Now creator David Chase has written about the scene extensively for DGA Quarterly.
A recap of the scene (in case you'd forgotten): Tony goes for a meal with his family. He arrives first by himself, followed by his wife and son. The very last shot is the door of the diner opening and Tony looking up. We do not know if it is his daughter Meadow arriving or one of his enemies walking in to kill him.
On why "Don't Stop Believin'" was playing.
Tony's flipping through the jukebox; it's almost like the soundtrack of his life, because he sees various songs. No matter what song we picked, I wanted it to be a song that would have been from Tony's high school years, or his youth. That's what he would have played. When I wrote it, there were three songs in contention for this last song, and 'Don't Stop Believin'' was the one that seemed to work the best.
On framing this shot with his family.
This is the last shot of the family, or the three of them anyway. Framing is extremely important. I think it makes you feel so much below the level of verbiage and words. What they're talking about is how good those onion rings are. For me, food is always central to a feeling of family and to a feeling of security and happiness.
And the signficance of the screen turning to black.
I never considered the black a shot. I just thought what we see is black. The ceiling I was going for at that point, the biggest feeling I was going for, honestly, was don't stop believing. It was very simple and much more on the nose than people think. That's what I wanted people to believe. That life ends and death comes, but don't stop believing. There are attachments we make in life, even though it's all going to come to an end, that are worth so much, and we're so lucky to have been able to experience them. Life is short. Either it ends here for Tony or some other time. But in spite of that, it's really worth it. So don't stop believing.