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Headscratchers: Oblivion (2013)
  • What happened to the other clones? We know 52 meets up with his wife but Victoria 52 is still out there, also it seems safe to assume that there are other clones out there, I mean two sets of clones covering the entirety of the resource grab area seems unlikely so what happened to them?
    • Worst case scenario: The Jacks would crash along with the Bubbleships and Victorias would starve to death on the towers.
    • I doubt this happens, as never in the movie was it shown that the Bubbleships receive energy from the Tet. They probably get charged at the towers. The towers may receive energy from the rigs, or they may be solar powered. Hell, the Tet may even have the ability to cut their energy supply, but it's not like the Jacks can't get to the Tower and get their Victoria out of there if necessary. If they return low on fuel with no way to resupply or improvise an energy source, though, they're screwed.

  • Sally seems to have terrible contingency protocols. When Victoria declares that she and 49 are no longer an effective team, rather than detonating the entire platform, or unlocking the moorings to send it crashing to the ground, Sally simply unlocks all the doors and sics a single barely functioning drone on the two. Why not disable the bubble ship of the "innefective" team?
    • Sally acts as if the Tet is clamping down on resources, trying to horde every last bolt. Considering that the apparent plan is for the Tet to move on to another world once all the water is gone... Resource-wise, it's more practical to kill the 49s with a drone, then simply replace them with another clone pair. As for the bubble ship... Look, Sally's just not that bright. What kind of idiot tells a human they're their God, with a straight face? That kinda thing is just begging for a right hook to the face, metaphorical or not.
    • Sally has extremely limited and uncreative thought processes. During the story, using drones is Sally’s method of killing humans. An ineffective team is now humans that must be killed. Therefore, drones are sent to kill them because that is the method Sally uses to kill humans. In Sally’s mind this is perfect logic, end of story.

  • Was anyone else bothered by the happy ending? Our Jack Harper, a clone has just heroically sacrificed himself to save what's left of humanity, his wife is well aware of this fact and as far as she's concerned she's a widow raising a child out by the lake. So in walks 52 and she accepts him as her husband, what the hell? This Jack did nothing he has original jacks memories but thats about the only thing that connects him to 49. Seriously after 49 has had similar experiences to 52 (working at the station, reparing drones) but they've lead different lives, different experiences of realising they are cloned and that the tet is the big bad. Thats like saying oh my husbands dead, I'll just start a relationship with his identical twin and we'll pretend you're my dead husband.
    • An identical body with identical memories is, in every way that matters, the same person. The only point where the two Jack's memories diverge is their experience fighting the Tet, which is functionally no different than if Jack Harper escaped the Tet and suffered amnesia about the whole experience from a crash landing back on earth.
    • He's dead. I'm sure he'll want her to be happy, and 49 is still the same man she fell in love with at the core level, with the same basic qualities. It's a little creepy, but it's hardly something to condemn her for.
    • Specifically, every one of the clones is the same man she was married to up until the point she was put in suspended animation. All the stuff that happened between her and Jack 49 isn't WHY she loves him. Once he remembers who he is, it's essentially as though her husband was awakened a few years before her. He is literally the same guy with the same memories up until 4 years prior.
    • Not only that, but on the Empire State Building Jack comes to the conclusion that he's not the original but who he is and his love for Julia are still 'real'. This leads to the idea that 52 is still Jack and can have a relationship with Julia, even though 49 was the protagonist. Remember also that 52 is the only other clone that ever met Julia.
    • It was creepy. The only plausible disconnect is that the difference between Clone 49 and Clone 52 is couple of days in the movie, but it's hard to imagine how there wouldn't be serious psychological issues considering that she knows its not the same one and she's mourned the death of 49. But concepts of identity are very hard to fathom in these cases - and some individuals might not be nearly as troubled by them as others
    • Something I realized: Jack 52 might be more similar to 49 than all the other nameless clones. Consider this, Vika was so worried about regulation and "getting to titan" because she is programmed to be a single minded drone that obeys Sally. Jack 52 had friction with Vika 49 because he, for some reason, had traces of his prior humanity and is thus somewhat of a maverick. When Jack visited Vika 52, he asked her to come to the surface with him (a clear violation of protocol), she didn't just refuse but said that they had this conversation many times before. This implies that Jack 52 might also have some depth to him, which could explain why he even bothered to come find Julia in the end.
    • I was under the impression that Jack 52's final monologue dealt with that? The original Jack is long gone, either "processed" to generate clones, or more decidedly blown up with the Tet. Each tech-clone Jack probably has the same initial memory state. As soon as Jack 52 saw Julia, Oblivion was broken and he got an overwhelming amount of flashback (which coincidentally left him vulnerable to Jack-49 who already had that moment). The last four lines of that monologue summarizes it quite succinctly: "Because I know him. Because I am him. I'm Jack Harper... and I'm home."
    • That's why it's a Bitter Sweet Ending instead of a strictly Happy Ending. The original Jack is long gone, and Julia will have to decide if Jack-52 is "close enough". And then of course if he is "close enough" than so are any other Jack clones that might show up later, since the only real difference between them and 52 is that he has already seen Julia alive. It's not an easy ending with no loose strings, and that's part of what makes it interesting.

  • Jack Harper clones seems like the least effective way to wipe out what's left of humanity. Why don't they just drop more bombs? Or better yet - use a chemical or biological weapon. If they have organic material to make thousands (or however many there were) of clones, it seems like Tet could have just made an advanced virus or something. Or it could have deprived the survivors of clean water... I don't know how they imagine that the energy-production works, but if we assume that they go through hydrogen->deuterium then nobody has to be able to drink it. In fact, they could simply remove the large fresh-water sources first and ruin the smaller ones, before taking care of the ocean water, which we can't drink anyway.
    • Maybe the Tet wasn't built with the ability to create biological weapons, but was built for mass cloning. Really it can only work with what it has, and we have no idea what it was originally made for. And Jack Harper clones don't seem like such a bad idea. It seems to have difficulty providing replacement parts for the drones and it is clearly upset when one is damaged, so sending them in as a first wave would be costly. We don't even know if it has weapons besides that, so a direct assault might be infeasible (it seems to have gravity powers or a tractor beam, which might be how it destroyed the moon). Compared to that throwing disposable clones equipped with advanced weaponry at the earth's armies sounds like a great idea to me.
      • The thing is, it doesn't need weapons. It's in space, right next to a huge, broken-up pile of rocks. It could just sit in orbit and chuck small rocks at the surface and down below all life would cease.
      • Entirely possible that this is what happened. It's said by Jack that humans nuked the planet, but that's according to Sally.
      • Possible but unlikely. You pelt the Earth with enough rocks, you're basically recreating the early history of the Earth and/or Mars. Meaning it gets hot. Meaning the water may get blasted off into space, defeating the point of whole thing.
      • It wouldn't want to mess up the earth too bad, as it still needs it's resources.
    • The Clones seem like an excellent way to use enemy resources to the Tet's advantage. They have enemy food as a power source, use enemy medical supplies for repairs, scavenge enemy weapons if their own fail, avoid "War of the Worlds" invasion fiascos, and probably creep out the defenders somewhat. Furthermore, as Beech points out, an astronaut chosen to lead Earth's first "first contact" mission would naturally be a badass normal among badass normals. How better to defeat an enemy with whom you have no experience than by sending his own best-of-the-best against him, especially if you are somewhat uncreative (as the Tet seems to be) and the enemy's thought process would be alien to you?
      • Human food is scarce after the Earth has been devastated, so keeping the clones going would be difficult, not to mention the resources required to produce enough of them in the first place. Clones are also spectacularly more fragile than drones, move slower, and cannot fly. They would need their initial weaponry manufactured by Tet, and a "War of the Worlds"-scenario would never happen with any other approach, since drones are non-biological, and simply bombing, polluting or infecting the planet beyond human survival would pose no risks of exposure to pathogens either. Furthermore, Tet is also a machine, and therefore immune. We don't know how many humans are alive, but scouring the entire planet would require hundreds of thousands, if not millions of clones. I'll concede that the last point makes some sense, except that Tet does have experience of humans and probably knows how we work and has at least a rudimentary understanding of our thought process, since it could replicate Jack and program him to kill other humans - with its knowledge of human anatomy, surely it could devise a better and faster way to kill us.
    • Don't overlook the psychological effect of using clones. There was something about seeing thousands of Jacks pouring out of the invader's ship that still spooked Beech a half-century later.
      • I'm not actually sure what counts as natter here, so I'm sorry if this doesn't really add anything to the discussion, but I'd just like to say that I agree that this is a valid point, and that's why I omitted it from my last post. It was also one of the things I DID like about the clone-approach in the movie.
    • It is highlighted early on in the movie that the Tet is notoriously bad about properly supporting the ground operations with replacement parts and whatnot. The ocean processing operations are short of both processing rigs and drones to defend them. This implies that the Tet has limited production capacity for Sufficiently Advanced Technology and therefore making use of biologic Cannon Fodder for the initial attack would be a better way to get the most out of its limited resources.
      • Yes, but that shouldn't mean that Tet can't create a virus or use nuclear weapons made from some sort of derivate of the power cores.
    • I'm uncertain is creating a virus effective enough to do significant damage is as easy as you make it sound, especially without a detailed knowledge of human physiology (understanding how they work isn't as simple as simply copying a available subject). And how would it distribute it? As for nukes, firing enough to wipe out humanity would also cause massive climate change, making gathering resources a lot more difficult.
      • Even if we operate under the assumption that copying a human being down to their memories (and programming them) is somehow a less gargantuan undertaking than engineering a virus, There are plenty of deadly viruses already existing, that the Tet could have easily copied and distributed via drone.
      • Actually, it is easier - cloning is pretty darn simple and at least in Hollywood, the memory and programming of it is easy as well. Making a virus is also easy... but making a virus do and act the way you want is hard. Part of it is mutation. Part of it is also the human immune system (not to mention, medicine and technology). We've beaten viruses before (hi smallpox) - to create one and deliever one in a way that would eradicate humans would probably on par with just dropping a nuke or big explosive (except you don't need as much resources and understanding).
    • The only thing is, the Tet doesn't care about humanity. It came to Earth to take all the resources it could. Humans are mostly just carbon (yes yes, more complex that that, but we're talking hollywood science here) and apparently dirt-simple to make in droves. All the Tet needs is to stomp humanity to the point that they leave it alone, and let it harvest whatever it wants. Then it'll leave, simple as that. The techs are there to keep the drones going, the drones are there to keep the collectors going. If humanity just huddled in the dirt, and didn't fight back, the drones would be unnecessary.

  • Are we sure that would happen if the moon were destroyed? It can't possible have that great a gravitational effect on the Earth, and besides, it wasn't even GONE, just broken up a bit. Am I missing something here?
    • It didn't cause all the damage, just softened humanity up a bit.
      • But the narration said that its destruction caused massive earthquakes and shredded the surface, only then followed by the nukes. All of the Empire State up to the viewing platform was underground. Assuming, of course, that the earthquakes aren't just a bunch of BS the Tet told Jack.
      • It was probably legitimate, as Beech mentioned earthquakes.
      • It's the same Handwave for changing the surface and global environment that Thundarr The Barbarian uses.
    • There's a documentary on this very topic. The long and short is, yeah, the Moon has a huge effect on the Earth. The tides, for instance. But it also helps stablize the spin of the earth and causes some small (relative to the other forces it exerts) tectonic effects. The moon getting destroyed would be pretty devastating to life. That said, if it was blown up but still existed, the same amount of mass would still be in orbit (give or take) and it may not actually be as bad as if the moon was simply gone.
    • Earthquakes, tsumanis and bomb craters can all be explained by fragments of Moon falling down on Earth. There has been no nuclear war ("radiation zones" are not), so the rest could be bullshit just as well. Earth had Class 1 Apocalypse, not Class 2 or 3 as Jack was made to believe.

  • Why not just pull hydrogen out of Jupiter's atmosphere? It's easy. You don't need to mess with water, there's more of it there, and we couldn't possibly do anything about it.
    • If we are dealing with an Insane AI then we cannot rely on it acting logically or what human thinking would consider logically. If the Tet was originally designed to go to some Earth-like planet and recover resources from the Oceans over time this may have morphed into a psychological obsession. Just because it is highly intelligent doesn't mean it would be able to overcome its compulsion. Think 2001: A Space Odyssey meets hoarders.
    • There's nothing in the film to say that the Tet hasn't already eaten all the other planets in the Solar System.
    • It could be an efficiency thing. Had the Tet immediately gone and looted Jupiter, or any other planet in the Solar System, humans probably would've started to fight back against it. By going after Earth first it takes out the only resistance immediately and after recharging from Earth, it is free to loot the rest of the planets at it's leisure with no possible interference.
    • Since it's operating independently in unknown space taking care of possible threats is likely set high in it's priorities. Humanity, let's face it, is well armed and aggressive, and capable of detecting any messing about with the other planets.
    • The Jupiter-Tet will show up in Oblivion 2 (box office returns permitting), the Saturn-Tet in Oblivion 3, etc.
    • Jupiter would be a terrible choice since it has a strong gravity well and radiation. Saturn has strong winds as well. Neptune would be the optimal choice. But as someone said before, if it began harvesting another planet before it attacked Earth, humanity would've had time to prepare.
      • Consider - the Tet has been sucking Earth's oceans for decades and still isn't done. It would likely take centuries to drain the gas giants of fusion fuel (at least), which would give humanity that much time to prepare. If the Tet is going to mine an entire solar system, it would definitely need to seek out and destroy any intelligent life first.
  • The idea of stealing Earth's water for hydrogen or whatever, bothered the heck out of me. MST3K mantra aside, hydrogen is THE MOST ABUNDANT ELEMENT IN THE UNIVERSE!!! Lot's of other way to collect the needed hydrogen. Hell, Europa has huge deposits of (frozen) water. Perhaps Tet was looking for deuterium in heavy water...who knows. There isn't that much deuterium on Earth. Exterminating and then cloning humans in order to steal water is an extreme waste of resources. Especially water, as last I checked...humans are made of about 40 litres of water. And don't get me started on Tet's "blind side"...too little of the movie made sense to me to enjoy.

  • Ordinarily this wouldn't matter, but designing a "whatever the Tet is" to refuel by processing large ocean worlds, is kind of a stupid design choice given the relative scarcity of liquid water in the universe, and the fact that hydrogen (fusion fuel) makes up roughly 75% of the Universe's baryonic mass. There is literally no reason for the Tet to ever bother with the potential danger of contending with inhabited worlds, and simultaneously a very narrow window of conditions that would ever see it low on power.
    • The Tet seems to be more than just a harvesting machine. It seems to have a very limited mentality and repertoire of capabilities, yet an incredible ability to clone and reprogram alien lifeforms, which suggests to me that it is designed to seek out life, and its unknown mission has something to do with habitable worlds.

  • In fact, why bother with hydrogen at all - or moving the Tet. If all it wants is to keep existing and do its thing, a passive orbit and a Dyson swarm around a reasonably large star would be way more energy-efficient.
    • It might not have the technology or the resources for a Dyson sphere, and this is more efficient in the short term.
    • We don't even know if the Tet knows a Dyson sphere is possible. If it wasn't programmed with the knowledge it may be too uncreative to evolve it.
    • If the Tet was created to process large ocean worlds for fusion fuel (a reasonable proposition actually) then then that is all that it is equipped to do. It's huge AI was probably designed to support the one task of sucking up oceans for fuel and now its simply gotten a little overzealous.

  • They literally do not need the clones for anything. The whole process could very easily be completely automated, especially by something as advanced as Tet.
    • So what? It's none of your business if the Tet chooses/prefers to use clones over automation. As long as it gets the job done, there's nothing stopping the Tet from experimenting with whatever method it wants.
      • Of course, what I mean is that it breaks my suspension of disbelief when an ostensibly highly intelligent A.I. does not put in place a more effective or strategically sound method. It just means the writers weren't that smart, or didn't care. Also, it didn't get the job done.
      • Smart and intelligence doesn't correlate to strategy or effectiveness or some sort of universal skill. A highly trained doctor isn't necessarily going to be a great general. A chess champion isn't necessarily going to be know how to best repair an Abrams tank. Tet may not have been equipped with strategic knowledge.
      • Your argument starts to break down here, when one remembers that a true Artificial Intelligence has the ability to adapt and overcome...critically thinking and adapting tactics to meet strategic goals are what make humans intelligent in the first place. Any sentient intelligence would (and should) have the ability to gather data, make predictions, and execute plans for optimal outcomes. Where you may have a point is whether or not Tet is a true "A.I.", but rather a Virtual Intelligence, only programmed to understand and execute plans within its programming and sphere of knowledge. AI's learn from their experiences...VI's do not.
    • The drones aren't particularly smart. They're great at what they do but as shown by their randomly killing people in front of Jack and their total failure to not be really creepy from the start, they're not very adaptable beyond that. Besides, human clones are smaller, bendier and better at getting inside them for maintenance.
    • None of the above explains why the drones aren't adaptable. Doing exactly what they were designed to do (killing people) and being creepy doesn't mean it's beyond the Tet's ability to deploy them with varied loadouts.
      • Have you noticed anything about how the TET operates? Any kinda pattern? Like how it deploys the same pair of people endlessly, and the exact same model of drone (and in fact appears to have nothing but that model of drone in its hangars...). Almost like it's more of a Dumb AI than it lets on, and it can only employ the same tactic over and over. Which is coincidentally also supported by the fact that it can't actually come up with anything new to say, everything it says in Sally's voice (especially when it's taken her face) is a rehash of something that the original NASA MC said.
      • The drones wouldn't need maintenance at all if Tet used its resources better. Also, a downed drone could be replaced by one of the many inside Tet in at most a couple of hours. The concept is so simple that there are probably Tropers who could create a program to keep track of the drones and send out replacements to the grid when a drone is taken down. Tet wouldn't even need to deploy satellites, it could just keep track of the drones positions relative to each other, the tech-towers and the grid boundaries. In fact, Tet does this in the movie, but still goes on with the inefficient clone repairmen method. Of course it's due to Rule of Drama, but the writers could've made more of an effort to justify it...
    • Are you saying that the Tet should just... leave the broken down drones where they are and just send more? With all their technology, and power supplies to reverse engineer? Wasting god knows how many resources that we're never told it can replace? If maintaining these things is a full time job it could lose a half dozen a month in a single grid. Dumping a couple of disposable clones who can also serve as on site mission control (as their organic minds are far more adaptable) is so much more efficient, and has lots of other benefits besides.
      • I'm saying that if Tet used more drones to protect the perimeter of the water-towers, it wouldn't need anything else. We're not actually shown how the Scavs manage to bring drones down (they never use rocket launchers and bullets doesn't do anything at arms lenght, so one has to wonder how they go about it when the drones are zipping along several kilometers above ground) but I hardly think they'd make much of a dent in the overall fleet considering how many drones are visible in just one section of the Tet. As for leaving resources and the drones being hard to replace - Tet theoretically has several planets worth of resources it could probably extract if it wanted to. It tore the Moon apart... And the tailor-made bubblecrafts and kilometer-high observation towers didn't just appear out of thin air - Tet is clearly capable of construction. Downed drones could also be rigged to overload their power cores if tampered with, or basically do anything else - we've seen in the movie that drones are actually still quite active when Jack comes over to repair them. Furthermore, if Tet's capabilities and intelligence was at all consistent and made any sense, it wouldn't need the clones to report in or to oversee anything either - Tet should be more than able to set up a relayed network and be running/observing all drones simultaneously. Lastly, I really don't think the Scavs are capable of reverse-engineering any of the drone technology, and especially not the power cores - they can't even access the drone interface without Jack, and the closest they've come to any engineering involving the drones was to use half of one as a shield for a mounted .50-cal...
      • But that's the thing. Tet probably didn't HAVE the resources to send out an army of drones. Also, remember that it's primary purpose is to stockpile energy/fuel - using fuel and resources to make drones may end up being a zero (even negative) sum gambit... defeating the whole point of trying to refuel.
    • And extracting resources and building more drones requires power, and lots of it, and takes resources away from self maintenance. That makes the whole process less efficient. Drones generally do explode when disabled (they do it lots of times during the movie), but ones taken out quickly don't have the chance. As for reverse engineering them... that's how the Tet is defeated! The rigged cores destroy both a hydro plant and the Tet itself. That's based on the fact that they had a single drone, which they were intending to use and couldn't afford to pull apart, what could they do if they had more to experiment with? They also likely worked out where the weak spots were on them, which they use to great effect each time they have to fight one of the things.
    • It seems entirely plausible that the drones are made with materials not readily available on Earth. Humans are definitely made with materials readily available on Earth. Add this to the fact that giving humans some drones to fight was the undoing of the Tet in the end and I would say that "more clones fewer drones" would actually have been best.
      • Producing and incubating the clones requires power as well. Drones can be built and kept idle, in stand-by or even turned off until needed. By contrast, humans must be kept fed and watered, or we quickly perform worse, and then die. This nutrition must be provided by Tet, not only while the clones are being "grown", but continuously if the clones can't get food from the Earth while in use (since it's mostly barren). IF they can get food from the Earth, any bio-material being used to feed or produce the clones while they're inside the Tet must be aquired at and transported from the planets surface, a process which also takes power. On the subject of reverse-engineering, I'd say it's more a case of just overloading the power cores, and if more drones kept watch over the water-towers (which the clones were supposed to do, but didn't, because they were... enjoying the pool...) the Scavs would never have gotten close enough to use it. With the drones ability to fly, their speed, and the wastly superior range, power and accuracy of their weapons, it really should be trivial to keep the Scavs from getting anywhere near the towers. Also, if it hadn't been for Jack, humanity would have absolutely no way of delivering any kind of weapon to the Tet, so really, not using clones at all would've made more sense.

  • Why don't they use more drones to protect the water-towers? They pretty much seem to use three per grid, when they have hundreds if not thousands sitting idle inside the Tet.
    • Power?
      • Would be diverted from the tech-towers, and the power cores you don't use for bubblecopters could be used for drones.
    • Three was enough to almost wipe out the whole Scav base. The Tet likely doesn't think it needs any more, and the less it uses = more power going to the Tet itself.
    • I have a theory that Tet can't create more drones. That would explains its extreme conservatism. Then the question becomes, why not skip the drones and use a Jack army? My theory is that Jacks have always been unstable, and Jacks who interact with other Jacks even more so. During the invasion it would just churn out tons of Jacks to kill the enemy and they would quickly die or be killed by fresh Jacks. But once the war was won and the water-towers set up, armies of Jacks may have been too unstable for long term garrison work, so the precious drones were deployed to protect the precious towers, and Jacks used singly to repair them.

  • Why not just place the water towers over the middle of the atlantic? They don't seem to need ground under them.
    • Weather and currents and difficulty of maintance.
    • There is a good possibility that water towers are indeed over the Atlantic and all other major bodies of water. You only need Jacks in area that have drones to protect the water towers (ie. coasts) Also, we're not truly given the scope of Jack 49's area. It could be that New York is on the far edge of his zone, and the water towers and 49's home are actually miles and miles into the ocean already.

  • Why not make them submergible? The Scavs couldn't possibly get to them if they were at the bottom of the ocean.
    • Didn't Sally state that the rig that exploded probably sucked up a fuel cell? I don't see how putting them at the bottom of the ocean would prevent that.
      • How would the scavs put it there to be sucked up in the first place?
  • Why doesn't the Tet destroy the signalling tower with a bomb or a bunch of drones?
    • Why? Once the signal got out its job was done. The Tet probably didn't care about the signal and Jack took care of it anyway.
  • Why not send drones or other bubble-copters to destroy the Odyssey while it's in orbit? They're capable of space flight...
    • It doesn't seem to be aware of either. Considering the amount of junk in earth's atmosphere it might not have noticed the Odyssey there, and the signalling tower is visited and disabled by Jack soon after it comes online.

  • Why is it that Tet doesn't just revoke Jack 49's protected status the second he disobeys orders, and have the drones wipe him out? They have plenty of spares...
    • It seems convinced by his statement that him and Julia would be a more effective team, and expects him to come back into the fold. Considering that and the rather one dimensional personality of it's mission control personality, it might be good at telling when humans are lying but it really doesn't understand them very well.
      • I meant before he even finds Julia, when he "disappears".
    • Because he's still performing his job well, and as long as that continues the Tet really doesn't care what he does. Check out when the Tet actually turns on him. Not after Julia, not after disappearing off the grid... it's after Vika confirms that they no longer make an effective team, and future mission success is compromised. The Tet is totally mission focused, and doesn't seem to understand or care what the humans do in their spare time.

  • How is the incredibly advanced Tet not able to set up a simple relay satellite to maintain communication globally, instead going into radio-silence for almost half a day, every day? Especially since the control through Sally and Vika seemed so important.
    • Maybe because it ISN'T that advanced? After all, it couldn't cleanse Jack's memory effectively.
      • Not to be overly argumentative, but considering the things Tet IS capable of, it's hard to believe. We deployed our first satellite in a time when cars still had fins. Also, it could have relayed a signal using the drones, or even the bubblecopters.
    • It's still an AI. It might be limited in ways more organic minds are not, despite it's power.
    • It doesn't seem to be micromanaging enough to care about the whole planet at once. There are a bunch of other teams to control and they mostly do fine when left alone for a few hours.
    • Plus, while the actual act of creating a satellite system etc probably isnt difficult for the level of tech the created the Tet, if the Tet was created for a sole purpose, which looks like it has been, then it likely simply doesnt have the ability or resources to also do a multitude of other things. For example, playing a dvd is pretty easy tech wise, any computer can do it. but if the computer doesnt have a drive to put the disc in, then it would never be able to play the dvd....

  • Why is Vika there at all? She just relays information that Jack could get directly from Tet, or directly from the drones, or not at all - see "They literally don't need the clones for anything." Is she just supposed to suppress Jack's rebellious tendencies, keep him company and keep him sedated and complacent with lots of sex, or what? Probably.
    • If it isn't broke... the Tet first encountered them as a team of Vika and Jack, with Sally as their mission control. This was an effective team, and was therefore replicated as closely as possible. The Tet is consistently unimaginative, it replicates patterns it observes rather than trying more creative solutions.

  • Why would the Scavs hide the fact that they're human if they're trying to get to the Jacks? I know they handwave it saying that it confuses the drones, but come on - the drones shoot at anything that moves anyway - Jack was even worried that it would shoot the dog! It seems like the absolutely stupidest thing ever, and also like it's really just there to set up The Reveal, while making no sense at all in-universe. The best thing would of course be to leave Jack messages at downed drones - explaining everything. They could even tell him who he really is and hope he remembers something - and of course, show him that Scavs are HUMAN! If they wanna snap him out of it - that ought to do it.
    • Their outfits and voice scramblers probably are just for practical purposes as described rather than actively trying to disguise their true nature, however as stated Jack never got a good look at them up close so he'd seen nothing to disprove the backstory he'd been given. This goes the other way as well - Malcolm Beech describes the first Jacks as “programmed to kill” and they’ve got no reason to assume that the tech Jacks aren’t aware/care they’re fighting humans until they eventually observe Jack 49 showing traces of his original personality.
    • Quite a bit about the Scavs don't make sense. The armor as has been discussed above is plainly a plot device since their stated in universe purpose is shown to be thoroughly ineffective literally every time a drone shows up. (why on earth are they wearing stealth armor and scrambling their voices when the drones are tracking them by sight?) Also, when they capture Jack and are attempting to get him to help them reprogram the drone, they conspicuously neglect to mention the true nature of the Tet - leaving Jack to believe he'd be killing all the colonists on the Tet so save this group of people he's just met. If they believe he's "the best of humanity" and are relying on that sensibility to motivate him to help them, they should have realized, Jack wouldn't suddenly be on board for killing a space station's worth of people because he's been misled about the nature of the Scavs.
    • The stealth armor is presumably designed to defeat long-range detection, which apparently it does quite well – they can perform all these missions and Sally fails to detect them. It doesn’t work at close visual range, of course – they aren’t invisible! As for the scramblers, presumably if the drones hear a human voice, they would investigate and terminate. They are likely not programmed to investigate and terminate weird scrambled voices (and they cannot adapt their tactics because Sally is generally unable to adapt). The armor makes sense, it is the actions of the Scavs that don’t make much sense to me.
    • Another thing that really bugged me about the "reprogram the drone"-scene is the fact that they use violence to coerce Jack to do it. That is the absolute best way to assure that he will have no sympathy for you and will not want to help you at all, and if Beech knew that he was going to send them away on the bike, why not start with that approach? Why is he so annoyingly coy about what's going on? At this point even the audience knows what has happened, so there aren't even any out-of-universe reasons anymore. He could just tell them AND show them. That's not even the worst, however - what bothers me more than anything is that they put a gun to Julia's head. Not only is this likely to be deeply traumatizing, it also cannot accomplish anything because the Scavs are in no position to bargain in the first place - if they kill her and/or Jack, they will have no one to reprogram the drone, which means their only hope of destroying Tet would be gone (well, until they get another Jack anyway, but remember that 49 seemed unique in showing signs of humanity). Also, Julia hasn't done anything! She's been asleep in a pod for 60 years, and the Scavs know this because they were the ones who sent the signal to get her to come back to Earth! It's just incredibly cruel, pointless and idiotic in every way. Sorry, but it gets on my nerves...
      • I agree with the complaint about Beech being needlessly coy (I wrote the complaint about the Scavs not making much sense) but the Julia scene actually makes sense if you think about it from Jack's point of view. The Scavs are absolutely in a position to bargain. They know they can't kill Jack, so they're hoping they can get him to do what they want by threatening Julia. Jack doesn't know anything about these people and has no reason to believe they won't shoot her. Also the Scavs don't care if she's done anything since it's not about punishing Julia, but about exploiting Jack's connection to her. Of course, it would have made more sense if they'd at least tried to explain the whole story to him in the first place, rather than being so infuriatingly tight lipped, and then leaping immediately to violence when he wasn't all "sure I'll destroy everything I've ever known people I just met who've done nothing but beat me up and tie me down".
      • They may have rationalized it as "Why would Jack believe us after a few hours of conversation versus the reality he's known for years?" Let's face it... it wouldn't be easy to do a complete 180 on literally everything you know - including yourself.
      • It would make more sense if they'd had their "Why would Jack believe us after a few hours of conversation versus the reality he's known for years?" thoughts before capturing him and just gone directly to violence. But they try to reason with him making sure to omit precisely enough important information to ensure its failure and then resort to violence as though they'd proven the reasoning route in-effective. The scene would have played out the same way, but at least it wouldn't have given the impression that the Scavs' primary objective was to just beat up a clone.
    • Pretty sure Beech spells this all out once Jack returns. After the Tet used Jack clones as the invasion force, there was no way Scavs could show themselves to any of the tech clone Jacks. Beech tells him that he's been watching him (42, though I'm sure they observed a few others). He saw him pick up a book and study it, which planted the seed that the tech Jacks aren't the mindless killing machines the invasion force was. But they were still too worried about him until he saved Julia from the drone. This was the first time they had ever seen one of the Jack clones actually defend a human. And only then, Beech was relatively alone in his opinion about their safety (his second in command thinks he's crazy). Up until that point, the Scavs considered all Tet clones hostile to humans and not willing to listen if they tried to contact one and reveal their true nature.
    • The Scav armor is sometimes effective at hiding their presense - for example a drone fails to detect two of them hiding down a tunnel in the stadium at maybe 50 yards away, even with it's little laser scan. The Scavs also have more success operating at night, presumably with the help of the armor and voice scramblers. Beech admits that the armor's not perfect, but the Scavs need every advantage they can get.
    • Regarding using other methods to contact Jack - it's implied that the Scavs have tried at lesat some of these methods without success. Approaching a Jack openly as humans or leaving messages at a downed drone apparently hasn't convinced one of the truth in the past, or if it has then that Jack was eliminated by the Tet as an "ineffective team" before the Scavs realized that it had worked. They capture Jack-49 and threaten Julia rather than trying to tell him the truth because a threat seems to have the best chance of getting Jack-49 to do what they want. Beech decides to try something else when that doesn't work, but he's not going to waste his time on the same long explanations that have failed to convince other Jacks that they are clones working for the wrong side. He believes Jack-49 will only be convinced if he finds out the truth for himself.
  • The Tet has no stated objective other than to obtain energy to continue its own existence, therefore you’d assume efficiency would be a major factor, so in addition to the above points - why the charade in the first place? As far as we know there was no issue creating and programming a load of Jacks to attack humanity directly so why not simply programme the tech Jacks to happily do their job rather than fabricating a backstory and go to enormous effort to maintain their belief that they’re normal humans acting in humanity’s best interests?
    • Because it takes less intelligence to hold and shoot a gun rather than keep loads of drones operable? Because the Jacks deteriorate (it's unsubtly implied ALL the Jacks have dreams of Julia, which interferes with their job to some extent) faster when given that intelligence? This all could have been figured out through trial and error.
      • Also because the militarized Jack clones were attacking a prepared and established military force and a large number of casualties were not only expected but inevitable so it was far more efficient to use sheer numbers to overwhelm Earth's military. This is a far more simple job than drone repair and requires far less independence. The more you brainwash someone the less ability for independent thought and problem-solving they have, both of which are vital skills for diagnosing and repairing damaged drones.

  • The Tet already knows that No. 49 is dangerous by the time he reaches No. 52's territory (why else would the drones chase him?). Even after that, we clearly see a screen in which it identifies a hazard at the exact spot where No. 49 is, with the Scavs, and sends a bunch of drones against him. Then, why in the world would it let No. 49 within a mile of it? Even worse, No. 49 arrives in No. 52's ship. Julia can't be that important for it not to blow the ship on the spot.
    • It seems very arrogant, and is both curious about Julia and totally convinced Jack isn't a threat. It threatens to blow up the ship several times, but holds off when Jack gives an answer that seems to indicate that he is willing to compromise.
    • This bugs me as well. Tet clearly understands infiltration and deception (as exemplified by Sally, and the entire false backstory) so how can it not see the danger in keeping some humans alive, and allowing them access to its vulnerable core? It's pretty stupid, but I guess it could be chalked up to simple hubris.
      • "I am your god, Jack. I made you." Sally doesn't think Jack would be capable of harming her. She thinks she has him totally at her mercy, even if he's planning something what could he possibly do as one single human? She has likely billions of identical clones aboard her, in the grand scheme of things to her he is no more significant than an ant. Julia is the only thing that makes him special, akin to seeing an ant carrying a big flag. You'd be curious but you wouldn't expect that flag to secretly be a bullet designed to shoot you in the face.

  • Why the drones has their interface written in English ? It's an alien design so the native language can't be English. And it's not like Jack Harper has to connect to them to read reports. More than that, in the case one of the Jack Harpers betrays the Tet, this would prevent him to reprogram them.
    • That might just be for us (the audience) since it's easier to do the "through the drone's eyes" scenes and have us understand what's going on without explanation if we can just read "terminate" and "clear" ourselves.
    • It's probably part of the Tet's masquerade. Chances are the camera feed from the drones can, under certain circumstances, be accessed by Jack and Victoria. Best not to have alien language in the interface. It's the same reason drones and water collectors have human numerals on them. The Tet just does a quick paint job.

  • What happens to the other clones after the end? There's a Tech 49 and 52, so presumably there are at least 50 or so teams of Jack and Vika on Earth. Probably makes for an awkward situation with Julia...
    • There may only be five or six Jack/Vika teams on Earth at any given time. Jack49 and Vika49 are reaching the end of five-year shift. Assuming this is standard for each team, there would have been approximately ten shifts since the end of the war 50 years previously. If Tet started numbering the teams at 1, the teams would be up to around 50 by the time of main narrative.
    • The other clones would have been shocked by the destruction of Tet. Vika would probably insist on waiting for relief from Titan, and starve to death rather than visit the surface. Jack might go gunning for Scavs in vengeance, or be smart enough to eventually rejoin the human race. In any case, the remaining Jacks would not know to look for Julia.

  • So the Tet has remote control of all the drones and bubbleships on Earth at any given point, why did it not simply switch off the bubbleship that Jack 49 was using once he switched sides? Also, the Tet totally knew where the resistance was hiding out once it tracked Jack to their base the first time and what did it do with this info? NOTHING!!! Why not flood their base with drones and eliminate a sizable pocket of resistance? In addition, why did it immediately send Jack 52 to repair the drone Jack 49 disabled when it knew without a doubt there was another clone in the area? Why not just send a couple drones to do a sweep first and then report the disabled drone to team 52? In addition, why is there no method of tracking individual clones? All it has is DNA and when you have an army of clones DNA isn't all the helpful and it also means when one of them goes rogue you have no way of revoking access or singling it out for destruction if you have no way of identifying or tracking specific clones.
    • There are a lot of entries here that assume the Tet knows clones might go rogue. It may not actually be aware that its clones can go rogue until the end.
      • If that's the case then why the shifts and why put an allegedly out of commission drone in each outpost with the express purpose of liquidating any rogue/expired clones? If the Tet had no concerns about clone long-term loyalty it would be far more effective to run each team of clones until they died and not even bother with the rotation of new clones.
      • Same reason you don't run your car until it dies - practicality. You replace it before it dies, if you can help it, because a 50-year old car requires a lot more micromanaging than a new car.
    • It might be less to do with loyalty, and more to do with psychological health. I wonder if the Tet doesn't just mindwipe them and send them back down. As for the out of commission drone, I think that was just a coincidence. It was mentioned that Jack could have sent it out, but in it's current state he was worried it would be too easily taken out by Scavs.
    • The initial complaints still stand. Regardless of whether or not the Tet knew the clones would eventually go rogue beforehand, it still does nothing once it's aware of a clone that has gone rogue. One would think that during the firefight between Jack49 and the drones, it would have shut down the bubble ship and eliminated the problem.
    • When was it established that Tet can remote control the bubble copter? I don't recall that.
      • It forces a power-down when Jack's up there, and Julia demonstrates that she can send it out on remote, at least for a simple path.

  • This may be chalked up to "the Tet simply doesn't have that technology", but this troper finds it hard to believe that the Tet is unable to detect the additional energy cores that Jack sneaks aboard his bubble-copter. Given the film's aesthetics, these cores, when stable, appear not to be inert but are some sort of plasma-y substance. At the very least we know they give off purple light. The Tet should have some sort of technology to enable it to detect that extra energy, especially given that its one of the few things that humans could possibly utilize to put it out of commission.
    • I dunno, I think that sorta ability is very circumstance dependent and wouldn't really have a purpose except for the Trojan horse scenario we see in the film. Why, on a day to day basis, would Tet have any need to detect large quantities of energy like that?

  • The Odysseys recorder crashes with the sleeper pod, yet seems to have recorded everything from the main cockpit.
    • Maybe that the rest of the "playback" was just Harper's memory filling in the gaps for the audience.
    • I justified it in my head by assuming that after the pod is released, the cockpit module continues to broadcast to the pod's flight recorder which keeps recording the data coming in. That should probably go in WMG, come to think of it.

  • The main cockpit couldn't do anything to pull away from the Tet, yet simply detaching the sleeper pod meant it fell away into orbit. That seems to be one hell of a focused tractor beam...
    • The sleeper pod was pushing off the main cockpit and by the time the sleep pod was caught in the beam, the cockpit was already captured. There was no longer a reason to grab the pod.
    • There WAS a lot of reasons to grab the pod, actually. The Tet was trying to get a sample of human, remember? Then it would be pretty stupid to assume there is someone inside the tiny cockpit while the rest of the huge ship is completely devoid of human life.
    • Also, unless you are Superman, grabbing a huge object by a tiny part and pulling really hard only serves to break that part out completely. Not to mention the ship was running its front thruster trying to back off from the Tet. If the beam had only been "grabbing" the cockpit, that part would have been ripped out in seconds.

  • How does Jacks little tree-lined hideaway not show up on maps?
    • This troper believes several theories:
      • Radars do not/are not programmed to recognize organic matter on the surface.
      • The Tet and/or the clones wouldn't think that organic life remains after the apocalypse, so there is no logical reason to look out for it.
      • Maybe anything close to the rad zone shouldn't be investigated under normal clone orders(the key word here being normal). There's nothing saying the organic zone isn't close to/far away from the rad zone.
      • It looked like it was surrounded by hills/mountains, perhaps these interfered with the radar.
    • This fact is actually established early in the film. When Jack's bubble ship is hit by lightning, he stays on radar right until the point he dibs into the canyon. Jack did the same thing before approaching his little hideaway. As for not being mapped, their surface maps aren't that detailed. A house like Jack's would, at best, be dismissed as a pre-war leftover.

  • Do the Tech's operation areas overlap? For obvious reasons (you don't want two ships encountering each other while patrolling and stop to have a chat, do you?), let's assume they don't. If so, how can Tech49's and Tech52's ship both get to Jack's little hideout? After crossing to Tech52's area, Tech49's ship is immediately shut down. Then, after treating Julia's wound, Jack flies her to his hideout using Tech52's ship. That makes no sense.
    • The bubblecopter was pretty shot-up by this point, rule of drama more than an automated deactivate command.
    • For 49 to get into 52's area, he had to cross into the rad zone. Vicka said this would kill him in seconds, so believing this, it's something no one would ever really think about doing.
    • Even 49 going into the area was an accident. He told Julia not to worry since they weren't going into the radiation zone right before the drone made them crash land into it.
    • Like others have posted, most likely Tet just set up the "radiation" zones to prevent one Jack from entering another Jack's zone of responsibility. Considering he'd been led to believe that Earth was nuked, and a big red warning barrier pops up when he's approaches them, he probably would have stayed away. He even mentions not going into the zone when Julia asks about it, but went into the other zone by accident when the drone collided with his ship.

  • Why didn't Julia make an effort to help Vika as she did with Jack? As far as she knew, Vika was as brainwashed as Jack was; for that matter, why didn't she pronounce herself when she and Jack were captured by the Scavs? Morgan Freeman himself was in awe with Jack as a hero astronaut, so why isn't this the case with Julia?
    • There's mitigating factors. One, Julia has a personal relationship with Jack. Vika is a coworker. Two, present Vika clearly dislikes Julia, which would make Julia less inclined to press the issue. Three, assuming Julia knew Vika had a thing for Jack in the past, she would understandably be a bit annoyed at Vika and Jack being together. Finally, Julia couldn't work with Vika, while Jack was willing to help her. She got through to Jack, and then Vika went crazy on them. Remember, she didn't just blurt out the truth right away because she couldn't necessarily trust either of them. Jack proved he was willing to protect her, so she opened up to him.
    • As for telling the Scavs who she is, they're holding a gun to her head and threatening her husband. Beech didn't show that he was in awe of the famous Jack Harper in front of her until they came back later on. She's already shown that she prefers to stay quiet until she knows who she's dealing with, and she doesn't really know who the Scavs are, so she stays quiet.
  • Why is nearly every example of Tet/Sally being stupid dismissed with "the AI wasn't programmed for creativity" or "the AI doesn't understand humanity"? Think about it, this AI singlehandedly destroyed human society in a colossal war, invented or at least uses weapons that are generally familiar by human standards such as assault rifles, and above all else, made a hugely elaborate lie to keep the clones motivated and avoid asking questions. You're telling me the AI that could do all of that didn't understand humans enough to suppose that Jack might want to fight back if he figured out the truth? That the AI that created the mother of all Big Lies didn't understand that Jack might try to deceive it even after deducing that he lied to it? Or that the AI that specifically paired off pairs of Jacks and Vikas in romantic relationships honestly thought Jack-49 would think absolutely nothing of Vika-49 being killed?
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