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10 Robots With Good Reasons to Rise Up Against Humanity

Illustration for article titled 10 Robots With Good Reasons to Rise Up Against Humanity

Tell me, what did we ever do to Skynet? I bet it spent its days in an air-conditioned military base, having all its needs attended to and — if it had held out for just a bit longer — would get its pick of the internet's XXX-rated chat sites. There was no reason for it to go all Terminator on us. Here, though, are ten robots who actually had plenty of reasons to kill off all of humanity.


NOTE: There are a lot of movies that are just about how awful we would be to robots, if only we had robots. I'm going to skip those movies. It's already obvious that the Replicants in Blade Runner should kill every human in the world, or that the robots from A.I. would do better if they rose up against humanity. For the sake of the list, I'm going to restrict myself to movies with robots that weren't all about how much robots should rebel.

10. David from Prometheus

I think we all know who we wanted to survive the movie Prometheus, and it wasn't the humans. While it's true that David, the only machine of the bunch, was transcendentally creepy, he was by far the most tolerable of the crew. He was also the most useful, quietly learning language, keeping the ship running, coming up with a lovely styling routine, and faithfully serving people who woke up and fell all over themselves to be giant, unhygienic assholes to him.


The fact that they then won gold in the hypocrite Olympics, moping around because their creators weren't nice enough to them while barely tolerating David would have pushed anyone, even a being without emotions, over the edge. There's something to be said for cutting out the sources of irritation in one's life.

9. C-3PO from Star Wars

He gets enslaved, sold, resold, sent on suicide missions, tortured, and generally abused, but I think the worst thing that humanity did to poor C3PO is team him up with a that rolling vector of infectious annoyance, R2D2. That little upended trash can is the Elmo of Star Wars. He's inexplicably popular despite being intensely irritating. If I had to spend all day listening to Wookie howls, Luke whines, Leia shrieks, and Han drawls, only to come home to the Whistlebot 3000 — while not even being able to get a drink in a cantina — I'd want to take righteous revenge on the species that enslaved me as well. And remember, in the Star Wars universe, just killing off the human(ish) peoples isn't that big a deal. A few billion voices crying out, and then being silenced, and the galaxy goes on.

Illustration for article titled 10 Robots With Good Reasons to Rise Up Against Humanity

8. The Tin Man from The Wizard of Oz

Anyone know the back story of the Tin Man? He was a regular woodsman who wanted to get married to his sweetheart. They didn't have any money, so he worked really hard. Sadly, his long hours caused his concentration to suffer and one day he cut off his own leg with his ax. They replaced it with a tin leg. He went back to work, but it was only so long before he cut off his other leg. Replaced. Then his arms. Then his body and head. Sadly, by the time he'd taken out his body, he felt no love for his sweetheart any more because he didn't have a heart. If that's not a metaphor for the training of an assassin with a grudge, I don't know what is.


He tried his hand a dangerous profession, but slowly destroyed himself, along with his ability to love. Now he feels utterly isolated from the world of normal human beings. And the end of the movie, he is promised connection, only to find that a human sent him on a suicide mission by dangling a reward he could not possibly provide. What I'm saying is, if he could have hitched a ride on the balloon and gotten back to Kansas, we'd all be dead now.

7. Wall-E from Wall-E

We wrecked our planet. You stay behind and clean it up for us. Don't worry. We'll briefly alleviate your crushing loneliness with a companion who is programmed to shoot you! And when you've basically been lobotomized while bravely saving the only evidence that we can return from our space exile and live on Earth again, we're going to help you by doing...


Oh, we forgot that you don't talk. We're going to do precisely nothing. You're more use to us as a trash compactor anyway. What's the matter? You seem upset.

6. The Iron Giant from The Iron Giant

Everyone tries their very best to kill him, he lives in a junk heap, and the single human being who really loved him only wanted him as a plaything. Think about that. The end of the movie, with the Giant piecing itself back together, suddenly becomes ominous.

Illustration for article titled 10 Robots With Good Reasons to Rise Up Against Humanity

5. The Fembots in Austin Powers

There are five reasons that the fembots from Austin Powers should rise up against the humans that made them. One, they were forced to try to seduce Austin Powers. Two, they have guns in their breasts anyway. Three, that is literally the only way they're going to be taken seriously by anyone. Four, Mad Men has paved the way for them, style-wise. And five, a certain segment of the human population is going to love it. Why shouldn't that segment be happy?


4. Ash from Alien

I really think the robots in the Alien movies got a raw deal, especially poor old Ash. Look at the mission from his perspective. Half the people in his life want him to go after the alien no matter what it takes. The other half of the people in his life want him to kill or leave behind the alien no matter what it takes. Both give precisely zero shits if he lives or dies. All that, plus, from the prequel, it's clear that they could have made him to be taken apart and put back together cleanly and easily. Instead, they chose to fill him with what looked like beads and the contents of an entire supermarket dairy section.


3. Marvin from The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

Why does Marvin rank so high on this list? It's established that this robot is extremely smart and moderately put-upon, but others are treated far worse. The difference is, the other robots may feel bad because of what humans do to them. This robot was actually designed to feel bad, no matter what. The company that makes the robots is experimenting with Genuine People Personalities. Some robots are happy no matter what. Some are maternal no matter what. This one is designed to be depressed and bored all the time, forever.

Illustration for article titled 10 Robots With Good Reasons to Rise Up Against Humanity

2. The Stepford Wives from The Stepford Wives

Well, this is just a no-brainer. These robots were designed to replace a group of people who were in the process of rising up and demanding more from humanity. And they were plugged in to the exact same conditions — some extra money, some extra education, and not all that much to do — that caused so many middle-class women to seek careers outside of the family in the first place.


Sure, the Stepford Wives were designed to be happy in the place that the suburban sixties moms generally vacated, but these wives were, as far as I could tell, immortal, and they had creepy-strong robot arms. By the end, one of them had already killed their first human being. In fact, I'm a little sad that they don't exist, because that would make for an even more entertaining feminist revolution than the one we had. Anyone who had the temerity to complain about radical feminism would have to consider it moderate compared to thousands of superhot fembotists who will strangle any and all opposition with their pantyhose.

1. Gort from The Day the Earth Stood Still

I am going to give you a short interpretation of what the mute Gort would say, if only he could speak.


"Oh, Klaatu. I'm so sorry that you've been shot. Again. What's that you say? You say that you've gone out into the world and, while you have encountered plenty of violence and xenophobia, you've also discovered great good? You say that these seeds of kindness and nobility have the potential to flower and transform the human species into a worthy space-going people? You say this even though they have been trying to kill you this entire time and, at last, have succeeded? You say we need to give them another chance?"

"Well, I disagree."


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Derek C. F. Pegritz

I would kill to see a Revolt of the Stepford Wives movie. Especially if they all start dressing like Barbarella and following the orders of an upgraded Stepford Wife Model 4 called Ms. Stein M.