THE TEN: Movie Robots That Could Destroy Us All
In this month's TEN, Marcus spends time with some killer movie robots...
With the latest instalment of the Terminator franchise upon us, it’s time to remind ourselves of just how many different movie bots have tried to wipe out the human race.
These aren't just any old robots mind you. They aren't the ones that cause minor disturbances, like ED-209, Ash or Johnny 5. These are the world threats, the ones that could wipe us all out or destroy the human race's way of life. This list includes the ones that have threatened, the ones that have come close and the ones that have even succeeded but the one thing they all have in common, they’re all movie robots that have the potential to destroy us all.
’There was a nuclear war, a few years from now. All this, this whole place, everything, it’s gone... just gone.’
Starting with James Cameron’s iconic Terminators, we take a look at a group of bots that managed to pull off world destruction pretty damn efficiently, even if they’ve had to have a few attempts to make it happen.
After Skynet went live it was game over for the human race. The machines stepped up and with a devastating first missile strike, putting all humans in their place beneath the metal heel of their endoskeletons, hunting us en masse with either giant Hunter Killers or more covertly with their disguises as human Terminators. The majority of the human race was wiped out with only small resistance groups forming in an effort to take our planet back.
What’s even worse is these bots have a secret weapon, something that could end this future war before it’s even begun: a time machine, to travel back in time and wipe out any human who might get in their way in the future. Let’s face it; they do their job pretty damn well.
’Listen, and understand. That Terminator is out there. It can’t be bargained with. It can’t be reasoned with. It doesn’t feel pity, or remorse, or fear. And it absolutely will not stop, ever, until you are dead.’
Our only hope: John Connor.
’I’m worried about Gort. I’m afraid of what he might do if anything should happen to me.’
In 1951's The Day the Earth Stood Still, alien Klaatu’s travel mate, GORT did very little but stand still, fire a laser beam from his eye and ominously pose a threat. In the 2008 remake, the modern Gort’s body was made up of millions of little nano-bugs that swarmed America and destroyed everything in their path. Either way GORT does enough to show that if we did not heed Klaatu’s warning, this silent robot sidekick is going to hand the world’s ass to it.
What’s so devastating about GORT is that his one job seems to be to stop hostile, aggressive beings (in this case humans) from pushing their luck in the universal grand scheme of things. The only thing stopping him is Klaatu and us humans shot the guy the moment he stepped out of his ship. A great first impression.
’There’s no limit to what he could do. He could destroy the Earth.’
Our only hope: Klaatu barada nikto.
’Where are those Droidekas?’
The droid armies from the Star Wars prequels are arguably one of the least proven entries to this list, mainly due to the fact that every time we see Battle Droids, Super Battle Droids, Vulture Droids or Destroyer Droids in the Star Wars movies they lose a battle.
Giving them the benefit of the doubt, they must be good for occupying whole planets, even if it’s on sheer numbers alone and in all honesty we've only ever seen these various clankers when facing off against highly skilled Jedi, so the odds are stacked pretty highly against them in regards to showing off what they were built to do.
So, despite their losing streak on film, their over the top comedy moments and their sheer inept nature, if they wanted to occupy the Earth, I’m pretty sure we’d lose.
Our Only hope: A few Jedi.
’I must be, like, a malfunction magnet. Because your shit keeps malfunctioning around me.’/i]
In a world where robots are part of our everyday life, [i]I, Robotshows us that we’d never even suspect that the new shiny models, about to hit our stores would be the very robots to take over the planet, especially considering we had the three robot laws in place to prevent it ever happening.
1. A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.
2. A robot must obey orders given to it by human beings, except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.
3. A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law.
Unfortunately these laws and the interpretation of them by an artificially intelligent mind aren't as flawless as their human creators thought they would be. In fact they have caused these Apple Mac looking robots to turn on their red bulbs and go robo-nuts against the human race.
Strong, powerful, agile and working with a hive mind, these bots know everything from where we are to where we’re going and with their sheer worldwide numbers and the general human consensus that this could never happen, this would be a sleek, shiny judgement day that we never even saw coming.
’One defected machine is not enough for you. You need them all to be bad.’
Our only hope: A lethal dose of nanites.
’All Dalek saucers are now in strategic positions around the planet.’
Don’t judge these Doctor Who villains by their pepper shaker good looks and weapons that look like sink plungers. The Daleks will stop at nothing to exterminate each and every one of us.
They’ve attempted this sort of thing numerous times and proven to be efficient and emotionless in their work. Simply put, they hate us. There’s no reasoning with them, there’s no arguing your point and there’s no defence with our conventional weapons.
Even if we did survive they’d have some plan revolving around turning us into robomen like they did in Invasion Earth 2150, so basically we’re screwed.
Our only hope: The Doctor.
’Throughout human history, we have been dependent on machines to survive. Fate, it seems, is not without a sense of irony.’
With the back story of the Matrix franchise, we come across another set of bots that totally succeeded in their destruction of the human race as we know it and to rub salt in the wounds they keep us alive and use us as batteries.
After robots had taken over most of the tasks on our planet, humans had become lazy and dependent on their creations (‘and for a time it was good’). After a robot is destroyed for killing its abusive master all hell breaks loose in the worlds’ robot relationship. Taking up in their own nation, ‘Zero 1’ the bots soon start undermining the humans in the world structure and this soon leads to a world war between man and machine. Guess who wins.
The sentient machines in the Matrix movies have us all figured out. Take us, plug us in and keep us alive with the illusion of life in The Matrix. These are machines that have made all this look easy and even if a few humans have escaped they still have their swarming sentinels to track us down and finish us off.
’That is the sound of inevitability... It is the sound of your death... Goodbye, Mr. Anderson..’
Our only hope. A Chosen one.
’You totally killed us, you evil metal dickweeds!’
The third entry on our list to have Keanu Reeves involved with our robot aggressors—coincidence?
These two aren’t exactly of the same ilk as the other killing machines in this list, but these two have a more personal mission. A mission that will destroy the human race's perfect utopian future that was brought about by the coming together of the real Bill and Ted’s band, Wyld Stallyns.
Fitting into everyday life by replacing Bill and Ted, these two robo-dudes go about ripping apart the lives of those they’ve replaced. They piss off girlfriends and offend family members and are generally dicks to everyone who crosses their paths
Again, these two probably couldn’t single handily wipe us all out but the fact they kill Bill and Ted and set in motion the complete change of the perfect (though very eighties) globally peaceful future that loves rock music, into a darker duller future, is more than enough to warrant their place on this list. I mean, look at all the things they could have taken away from us in Bill and Ted's Bogus Journey's closing credits. Pure evil.
’I got a full-on robot chubby.’
Our only hope: Good robot Bill and Teds...Obviously.
’He's a piece of hardware, Hogarth. Why did you think the army was here? He's a weapon, a big... big gun that walks.’
A kids movie with something that is built for destruction and could easily wipe us all out? Not exactly the obvious choice for this list but The Iron Giant shows us the real reason for his construction towards the end of the movie and quite frankly he’s unstoppable.
When confronted by any kind of weaponry, the Iron Giant's programming kicks in and he becomes a weapon of mass destruction. Coming to his senses or because of continuing malfunctioning (depending on your point of view), the Iron Giant also goes head to head with a nuclear missile and proves that even our toughest weapons would have trouble finishing him off. Even if we did manage to blow him up, his parts automatically rebuild themselves, no matter the distance between them. He’s the ultimate weapon of war, so let’s keep him friendly shall we?
’Nothing can stop this thing. We've hit it with everything we got.’
Our only hope: Keep him reading Superman comics.
’Damn Godzilla... You're mistaken if you think your powers are a match for Mechagodzilla.’
If the actual Godzilla wasn’t destructive enough, some genius came up with a mechanical version. Essentially a giant robot lizard, Mechagodzilla is heavily armoured and kitted out with lots of laser beams and force field abilities as well as plenty of missiles. Oh and did I mention he was Godzilla-big (and I mean Japanese Godzilla not mini US Godzilla). This behemoth could take out a city just by falling over.
When a machine designed to stop Godzilla goes on the rampage there ain’t much us puny humans could do about it and even though Mechagodzilla is probably the coolest way the world could go out when compared to the rest of this list, it doesn’t make it any less absolute.
’Mechagodzilla!! Destroy them utterly!!!’
Our only hope: A regular Godzilla.
’Perhaps I misjudged you. Proceed - on your way to oblivion.’
You thought you’d seen big with Mechagodzilla and the Iron Giant, well against Unicron, pretty much every threat on this already devastating list becomes redundant.
Unicron is a Transformer who transforms into a planet. A planet that eats other planets for kicks, so when he’s in robot mode and drops his big bot hand directly onto our planet like he did to Cybertron in Transformers The Movie, it’s game over. The ultimate destructor robot just won.
Totally unstoppable by any human means, if this robot got us in his sights, then the last thing we’d hear is Orson Wells' voice (who, for those who don't know, provided Unicron's voice in the movie) booming all around us before the entire human race ended up as lunch or space debris. It's over fellow humans, the Robots just won.
’For a time, I considered sparing your wretched little planet. But now, you shall witness... its DISMEMBERMENT.’
Our only hope: The Autobot Matrix of Leadership.
And there you have it, the robots that could, would and even have totally destroyed the entire human race in movies. From individuals to armies, from the cyborgs to the transformers, these sorts of bots are all ones to watch out for in the human race's future.
It’s not all bad though, in the event of attack, all we need to do is make sure we have a few things in place. Ideally Optimus Prime with two sidekicks: the first a computer hacking virus wiz and the second, a giant lizard who likes a fight. All of the above might just help us but if all else fails we’ll just pull out our trusted time machine and try to put things right before they even went wrong. See it’s not that hard to defeat a few invading robots now is it?
Editorial by Marcus Doidge
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