If you Cruise the internet for stuff on the movie Oblivion, there are
all kinds of things said about it..... some are kind things, others are not so kind.
I loved the movie, and thought nothing could top Avatar (besides, I'm losing interest in Avatar waiting for the sequel).
I loved the acting and the actors, they were all perfect fits for the parts,
and I can't imagine anyone else playing them, despite the alternatives
sought after. There are a lot of people out there, for
various reasons, that didn't care for, or didn't like the movie... oh well... That's too bad, it's their loss!
Besides the very cool "objects" in the film, like the Bubble Ship and the
Drones, one of my other favorites of the movie has to be the music. It
is one of the very few movie soundtracks I have bought, and can listen to
over and over. The music compliments the movie to the extent that it
is there, yet it is not (outside of the Led Zepplin soundtracks)..... Most
of the time you are not even aware that music is playing!
The pictures above are promotional posters that were displayed in the movie theaters.
Tom Cruise plays Jack Harper, a drone maintenance technician.... the movie revolves around him. He is tech 49, pronounced 4-9. again, some people
speculate that he is the 49th Jack Harper in a series of techs, but with a hydro-rig in the movie of #267 (and higher), I would say he was number 49 of
a world full of Jack Harpers, all with their own operating areas, and the "radiation zones" set up by the TET to keep them out of each others areas.
Especially when you consider that a 49 and 52 exist at the same time, but in
different zones, separated by the "radiation zones".
Morgan Freeman plays Malcolm Beech, leader of the Scavs.
He's one of my all time favorite actors!
Andrea Riseborough plays the part of Jack Harper's mate
Victoria, or Vika while stationed on Earth in the Skytowers. In the "before" part, Vika was the second in command on the Odyssey spacecraft,
and wound up going into the TET with Jack before the invasion of Earth started.
My favorite line from her in the movie is: Jack Harper: Vika, do you have
any memories? Before the mission. Before the memory wipe.
Victoria: Our job is not to remember... remember?
Olga Kurylenko plays the "imaginary" love interest of Jack Harper,
Julia Rusakova..... until she lands on Earth in the Odyssey spacecraft. Then Jack finds out that she is his wife.
I wonder what they did with the mock-ups of the Bubble Ship and the Drones, and if I can get one?????
One of the first things we see in the movie before the opening credits, is a picture of the TET just before the
Universal logo comes onto the screen. The
logo has been modified from its usual for the movie - it looks rusty, and
the earth looks dead :-) Kudos to the producers for adding these cool
IMHO - The towers are one of the coolest things in the movie.
On the control consoles, they are referred to as SKYTOWERS (see below).
A lot of great shots are presented of the towers in various scenes.
Question: Why isn't the stairway enclosed for inclement weather?
Vika's displays are one of the cooler things in the movie, and one of the most graphic intensive things they did, and the map of 49's territory is shown below (minus the terrain information
it is, the map took about 6 hours to recreate :-)
After watching the movie almost weekly for over
a year, it finally dawned on me that the sign behind the shelf and stereo
system is a sign from the 96th Street subway station in New York City, from
the IRT line.... you can tell from the numbers in the red circles - the BMT
and IND lines use letters. Nice touch, I haven't seen this mentioned
anywhere else, including IMDB! :-)
Speaking of the Hydro-Rigs, what are the numbers of the three Rigs in Tech 49's
267, 492, and 542. How do I know? Even though the number can not be seen
on two of the three Hydro-Rigs, the status of the three rigs is shown off to the left of the huge console screen. However, the only number we ever see on a hydro-rig when we do see one, is 267.
Question: WHO keeps the Hydro-Rigs in working order if Jack fixes the
Cool Stuff: The display consoles up in the "control tower" are loaded with information. On the left is the hydro-rig status, in the middle is a multi-function display
and map, and on the right is the drone status board.
The drone maintenance side when Jack is fixing 166. There's room for information on 18 drones.
Below are some of the FEEDS along the right side of the middle display.
The side consoles that show the status of the TET and it's location around earth. We never do get a good close-up.
Picture of a drone used in the development phase, it's featured in one of
the video shorts:
On set with a mock-up of the Skytower....
From the "how to" video, part of the interview with GMUNK on his screen
design for Vika's Light
Table (that's what the production crew called her
Close-up of GMUNKs development screen for drones:
Wireframe models of the drone:
A lot of thought was put into the "road" (at least that's what I think he
said) signal display for the radio signal the Scavs were sending from the
Empire State Building,
as explained by David "dlew" Lewandowski, lead graphics animator of the film:
One of the biggest complaints about the movie from the naysayers is one of the big premises for the movie: the destruction of the moon. Well, since
none of us can prove whether or not blowing up the moon can produce the results presented in the movie, without it, we wouldn't have the movie, so we'll say it could happen.
I know it's needed to further the plot, but why, after 5 years of flying, wouldn't he already know to avoid flying into a thunderstorm with lightning?
Another thing to make you ask why, which no-one has seemed to pick up on: Jack Harper is fixing drone #109 in the bottom floor of the tower, and when Sally asks Vika about the status of 109, she says
it would be done if they weren't still waiting for parts. Sally replies she knows, and they are doing the best they can. Yet, when Jack goes up to the TET to deliver the bomb,
there is a whole wall full of hundreds of drones (all without numbers, BTW). SO WHAT GIVES?
WHY, WHY, WHY, when the three drones are coming to attack the Scav outpost, as they are getting ready to release drone 172 to bomb the TET, DIDN'T THEY CLOSE THE BLAST DOORS????? I
know, it was needed to further the plot.
I did find it pretty funny tho that as the one drone came into the room where Julia and the others were hiding out,
that the drone bumped the one guy off his feet and down further into the hallway :-)
Details and stuff the producers, director, and everyone else missed (or decided
to not pay any attention to).
One thing that didn't hit me until I had watched the movies more times than I care to admit, it that when we first see Jack Harper leave Tower 49 for the first time, he
passes by the three hydro-rigs, and the one closest to him is #267. Then, after he fixed drone 166 at the football stadium, and is sitting on a ledge taking a snack break, we
see the same three hydro-rigs, but this time, the one closest to him is still number 267. How can that be when we are looking at them from two different directions?
Also notice the difference in the terrain with snow vs. no-snow. And, the orientation of the hydro-rigs is not the same, unless they spin while working.
My buddy Jim Southern who has also watched the movie many times says that maybe Jack is on a ridge on "the other side" of the Hydro-Rigs, something that doesn't show up on the map
we see on Vika's display.... could be, could explain why we see the snow in the "after" scene and not before......
Big ooooops, but not noticeable as we are watching the movie because too much other stuff is going on. When the Odyssey space craft plummets to
earth, it lands in grid 17, HOWEVER, on Vika's display, it is shown landing in grid 25. The accompanying photo shows the grid that is highlighted on Vika's display immediately after the crash.
Details: When we look at the three hydro-rigs above, they are in a straight line. Yet, when we see the three of them on Vika's display console, they are not.
Details: When Beech goes to release Jack and Julia, he opens a sliding viewing port/window in the metal door..... there is no sunlight coming through, yet it is daytime.... ooooooops.
Continuity/Details: After the one hydro-rig is destroyed, when we see Vika's display console the next time, the one destroyed is now gray, but towards the end of the movie, it is again
shown in white! The screen shot below is when Jack is making his observation fly-around the blown up hydro-rig, notice the slight difference in color.
This is the only time they show the destroyed hydro-rig in grey.
Details: When Jack and Julia flee from Tower 49 after Vika got killed, and fly into the storm to lose the drones, the three of them get hit by lightning. However, they recover much, much more quickly
than the drone in the football stadium, or the one that the two Jacks fought over in the desert - both of which needed to reboot. One can only assume that the ones getting hit
by lightning would also need a similar amount of time to reboot and recover,
which means they would have crashed by the time they did.
Continuity: When Beech asks Jack to program the drones, and he refuses and gets shot, we have a nice impact area with burn residue on his uniform.
In most subsequent shots however, it is missing.
Just after getting shot.
Signaling for rescue
(another ooops, the radio is a low power device and would not spark like
On return to tower 49.
When saving Julia after the bubble ship got shot down.
Continuity: When Jack goes to Tower 52, the strap for his gun is not
in the same position (covering up the fact that he is Tech 49 instead of 52)
in the many takes it took to film the scene.
Trivia - Unless you watch the movie like I do, and periodically pause it to take in everything in the frame, you probably didn't notice that the towers could rotate, did you???
The second picture comes from a 28 second clip I found on YouTube of a
deleted scene where Vika is rotating the Skytower.
We all know that Ramble On is not the first song on Led Zepplin 2, right?.......
it's the third song on the second side of the record album, or #7 on the CD
Do you know where the Latitude and Longitude of the homing beacon landing coordinates point to (in grid 17)?
It is New City NY, about 28 miles or so north of the Empire State Building.
When Jack decides to go off by himself to his cabin, the river bed he is flying in is not shown on the map.
After the hydro-rig is blown up, Sally tells Vika that THEY have put the whole operation at risk. Why would she say that when Jack and Vika have no control over what the Scavs are doing?....
it was just plain stupid.
Who really cares why Jack calls the bobble-head Bob? Never gave it much thought either before or after I read the blogs where people brought it up and complained :-)
It's not important.
The gorge that Jack flies down to get to the green valley where his cabin is located, has a pretty good size river flowing through it. however, when we get to the other side of the
"natural tunnel" and into the valley, it is almost all gone. Where did it go?
After 60 years, you would expect more vegetation and wildlife around than is depicted. Except for the lone dog, we see nothing of life outside the green valley where Jack has built his cabin
(you can even hear birds if you're listening with headphones on). Even 10 years after Mount St. Helens exploded, a fair amount of vegetation has regrown around the volcano.....
There sure is a LOT of waste space inside the TET, I think even a machine would optimize it's space, because that way, your ship doesn't need to be as large, doesn't need as much material to be
built, and doesn't need as much power to move around.
How did the TET originally come conscious, build itself, the drones, and figure out how to clone a living organism? and where are the "things" that build and maintain everything on
the TET, we saw no evidence of that or them on our short trip to the center of the TET.
How does the TET know what to make for humans to eat, and how does it manufacture the food, clothing, devices, etc that the Jack Harpers and Vika's use/eat/consume on the towers.
And on the tail of the above question, why would the TET need humans to do anything on the surface, if they have machines (or something else) on the TET to make the drones and the clones?
Why couldn't the TET use them? (I know, we wouldn't have a movie)
Why is the Empire State Building the only tall building left in New York City??? And how did we get enough land shift and movement to cover everything in New York City with 1000 feet of
dirt and rocks? I would propose that any significant movement of the earth like that would also wipe out the Empire State Building.
Are there any more TET's out there in the galaxy or universe that could come to earth?
So what happens to the other Jacks and Vikas once the TET is destroyed, and they haven't a clue as to what happened? How are they going to survive without food from the TET?
Being a techie and electronics person, I have a few key questions which come from my observations:
1) Why would Jack Harper know Morse code, considering even today, in 2013 when the movie was made, it is pretty much an obsolete form of
With the level of technology the TET deals with, there is no plausible reason for the TET to implant that knowledge into Jacks memory.
2) When we get towards the end of the movie, and now realize that the TET is not our "friend", wouldn't it make sense that considering the advanced stage of technological
development it brings along with it, that it ALWAYS knows where the bubble ships are? So how is it that it doesn't know where Jack goes when he is at the cabin on the lake?
3) When Jack takes the bomb to the TET, there are two things I have a problem with:
a) Again, considering the advanced sensing capability the TET has, why could it not sense the fusion power cells and NASA nuclear power source aboard the sleep-pod?
b) When the TET/Sally is asking Jack why he is there, the TET has assumed control of the bubble ship. We know this because once Sally says to proceed, and atmosphere is provided,
we see the ship power up so Jack can regain control of it. So OK, I'm cool with that, until I realize that the TET could have, from the very moment it realized that Jack was
leaving tower 49 after drone 109 killed Vicka, "killed" the bubble ship right then and there. But we couldn't do that, because the movie needed Jack to get to the Scavs
and take the bomb to the TET. A little technical oversight by the producers.
4) Why does the TET not have auxiliary satellites so they can maintain contact with the towers 24 hours a day?
5) How does power from the hydro-rigs get up to the TET? And to the skytowers? Long extension cards? :-)
6) What fuels the bubble ships?
7) Why doesn't the TET know where Jack is when he visits the cabin by the lake in the green valley?
8) Why is the TET still using the GPS satellite network, especially after 60 years of being up there on their own with no replacements or maintenance?
Also, GPS satellites require periodic calibration from a ground station.
9) Why did the flight recorder keep recording the command module communications once it was separated from the rear part of the Odyssey spacecraft, where the recorder is/was located?
10) And speaking of separation..... Why is it that the sleep module could escape from the TET's "tractor beam", and not the command module/front
section? The sleep module was way bigger!
11) Why, with all of the TET's advanced everything, are we/it still using aircraft instruments designed in the 1930's inside the bubble ship
Witness the artificial horizon display in the middle of the panel.
More Cool Stuff
You can buy a 1/48 scale model of the Bubble ship (that's "O" Scale). Thanks to Steven Jones for finding this and passing it along!!!
Yes, we can all agree
that the purpose of the clones is to maintain the drones. Yes, the movie
never answers how anything, much less the Hydro-Rigs were constructed.
However, I would take issue that it is easier to make clones than drones,
mostly because the maintenance of clones is way more intensive and demanding
than that of the drones (ie: clothes, food, environmental, medical
maintenance, and the chance for an sentient being from doing the things that
Jack does to destroy the TET). A drone would not require a Skytower, a
motorcycle, a bed, clothes, food, etc. And besides, who built the
Skytowers? As the reader points out, after the war, did the TET have
the Jack's construct the Skytowers?
Opinions are personal,
and I don't agree that things are terrible and contrived. The reader
probably doesn't watch any sitcoms on TV because EVERTHING is contrived on
them, some more than others. We watch to be entertained, so just sit
back and enjoy. And if young and hungry actors are the only ones worth
watching, Gandalf wouldn't have been the hit he was/is! :-)
My only comment is that
the other screen characters are only there for support in Jacks role to blow
up the TET. Nothing is really needed more than what the producers did.
Maybe if an Oblivion 2 is produced, we can go into those details more.
Also, if the story is not new, where have we seen it before?
My thoughts exactly!!!
THANK YOU :-)
agree, and I addressed the issue above.
Again, I agree, but as
"d-speaksone" says, don't overthink :-) This is why we need a prequel
to the movie!
Everything written on this page is my opinion and comes from my observations of the movie, you may or may not agree with them. I know most are details, and my wife said
I was OCD over them. But it still doesn't take away the pleasure from watching the movie over and over again.
We need a prequel and sequel to the movie!
How can I get one of the Bubble Ship OR drone movie models?