How 'Oblivion' and 'WALL-E' Are the Same Movie

 When the trailer for the Tom Cruise sci-fi action movie “Oblivion” first came out, people experienced a sense of déjà vu. At first it seemed that way because Cruise was using the same facial expression he’s had in every single one of his films (somehow even including the documentaries in which he’s only an unseen narrator). But it took only a few seconds to realize that “Oblivion” was instead an unofficial live-action remake of “WALL-E,” complete with the following strong similarities. (Please note, there are very minor spoilers ahead.)

 

Both Characters Live on a Ruined Earth They Have to Clean Up

Tom Cruise standing on a destroyed earth and WALL-E roaming through a garbage-strewn earth

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“Oblivion” takes place 60 years after an attacking alien race called “The Scavengers” (as opposed to “The Hoarders,” who keep crowding themselves off their own planets with far too many plastic forks and staplers) were defeated with nuclear weapons, leaving a destroyed Earth for Tom Cruise’s character Jack to clean up. “WALL-E” takes place 700 years after an all-too-effective Buy N Large advertising campaign has turned Earth into a consumer garbage dump, leaving a roaming trash compacter robot named “WALL-E” to clean up. In both movies the moral is clear: We’ve only got between four and 92 years left to watch everything on our Netflix queue.

 

Both Movies Have Surviving Humans Living on a Space Station

Oblivion space station Tet and WALL-E space station Buy ‘n Large

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With Earth in ruins, the surviving humans in “Oblivion” have evacuated to the Tet, a spaceship that resembles the fortune-telling device inside a Magic 8 Ball (which no doubt constantly reads “Outlook not so good”) as they await Saturn’s moon Titan to be made habitable. In “WALL-E” the surviving humans have evacuated to a starcruiser (which fortunately is not run by Carnival Cruise Lines), awaiting the day Earth is habitable once more. In both movies the survivors have no real idea what is going on back home, probably because they are too busy watching the latest season of “The Voice” featuring the jarred heads of Shakira, Usher, and the rest.

 

Both Characters Are Lonely and Like to Collect Things

Tome Cruise in Oblivion collecting a teddy bear and WALL-E collecting a Rubik’s Cube

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With no one around in “Oblivion” except for a girlfriend he rarely sees, Jack wanders the Earth all alone, collecting old books, records, and toys of a bygone civilization. In “WALL-E,” the title robot is the last of his kind, leaving him to wander the Earth all alone collecting Rubik’s Cubes, old VHS tapes, and the occasional bra of a bygone civilization. Neither has any memory of what Earth used to be like but both have the nagging sensation that there were almost certainly far more cupcake, coffee, and Greek yogurt shops back then.

 

Both Characters Are Suddenly Visited by a Mysterious Woman in a Capsule

Tom Cruise finds a woman in a capsule in Oblivion and WALL-E meets EVE

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In each movie the main character’s lonely existence is shaken up by the appearance of a woman from the sky. In “Oblivion,” Jack finds a capsule containing Julia, a woman who looks exactly like the one in his confusing flashbacks. In “WALL-E” the robot spots a woman who resembles a capsule—the robot EVE—and who may look like something he could have seen at the very last Apple Products event. Both main characters are instantly smitten and realize that without any movie theaters or restaurants left their dates will be comprised of mostly staring at each other and getting into a lot of trouble with mysterious forces very, very quickly.

 

Both Characters Find Life on a Supposedly Lifeless Earth

Tom Cruise finds an underground society in Oblivion and WALL-E finds the only plant on Earth

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Along with Julia, Jack finds an underground human civilization, the very first sign of life on Earth that indicates not only is “Oblivion” borrowing from “WALL-E” but also from “Beneath the Planet of the Apes.” As for WALL-E, after years of coming across only garbage he discovers a plant, the very first new sign of life on the planet that he fortunately does not immediately turn into a side salad. In both instances this is both a huge indication that things are not what they appear and that, yes, the filmmakers did indeed write a second and third act for their movies.

 

Both Characters Have to Fight a Government System Built on a Lie

Tom Cruise engages in shootout in Oblivion and WALL-E joins other robots in a fight

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Without giving too much away, both Jack and WALL-E—along with their new friends—discover that things are not what they seem as a deep, dark secret is revealed about the true nature of their mission. They are then both pursued by robots, considered enemies of the state, and must fight to make things right with their loved one by their side. In the case of “WALL-E” that’s accomplished by discovering what it truly means to be a hero. In “Oblivion” that means blowing the sh*t out of everything for the entire third act.

 

Both Star Robots

Headshots of both Tom Cruise in Oblivion and WALL-E

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This isn’t really a fair comparison, since when you gaze into his eyes you can see the depth of true emotion and intelligence in WALL-E.

 Did you see Oblivion? Do you think it's the same as Wall-E? Let us know in the comments!

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