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At the end of Oblivion we watch a flashback to when the astronauts are captured by the alien spaceship. Jack and Victoria are in the cockpit talking to mission control, and mission control says "you are an effective team".

Obviously, the alien spaceship was listening into the broadcast as that phrase is repeated throughout the film.

Did this statement by mission control seal their fate?

We don't know what would have happened had control not said the phrase, but I'm left wondering if the alien has always used native life as a tool or if this was a special case.

The alien was capable of destroying the moon, and using our own nuclear weapons against us. It seems strange that it would be dependant upon Jack and Victoria to complete it's objective.

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up vote 8 down vote accepted

I took that quote in the flashback as simply a reveal that, all along, the Tet's version of mission control was just a spliced-up recording.

In other words, I think it was supposed to be an "oh my gosh!" moment for viewers, as it's kind of an odd phrase, so viewers would recognize it in the flashback as something the Tet had been saying in the present.

I agree that it seems odd that such a competent, well-equipped alien would need to use humans like it used Jack and Victoria. But without that premise, there wouldn't have been any story, I suppose...

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I really like this answer. I think you're right in that it was a reveal moment for the viewers. I think there was a point to the film about the Tet using our best people (the Astronauts) against us. I would've liked to have learned more about it's motives for that. – ThinkingMedia Aug 5 '13 at 11:22

You may want to take all this a few steps back. I agree that given the achievement so far, Tet aliens shouldn't need such a trick. But remember something else narrated by [Freeman] about the attack and invasion itself: thousands or millions Jack were shipped to earth, brainwashed as the clones they were, armed and equipped with the sole mission to annihilate humanity. We never actually see those Tet aliens. We're not even sure about their complete appearance or material presence. Nerds would say Tet is an IA surviving in space by scavenging for resources for power. Military would say Tet is an advanced outpost doing the preliminary job of cleaning - or collecting. Now who would say that whatever Tet is, the words sealing the lie and fate for Jack and Victoria could also be a warning? Here's come the steps back. Mission control being revealed as a lie, conspiration fans would be happily saying that this is a lesson for any watcher: question yourself; question your actions and question the "that's how we did it so far so why changing now ?" You never know who would be smart and vicious enough to turn your best intentions against yourself.

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As nobody else answered the question, but went on to give opinions about other things, of course when she answered "no" it sealed their fate, how can you even wonder?

Obviously there are way more deeper issues and questions and this movie is not about answering questions and nor should it be. It's left to be open to interpretation and I like movies like that

But yes as hokey as it may sound, every time Sally would ask Vika (and keep in mind she only asked Vika, never Jack if I remember) Vika would always answer yes. To answer no was basically like hitting the self distruct mechanism in which the drone would wipe them out and another "mop up crew" would take over.

We can only assume there has been some 50+ stations given their number, either scattered about the globe or built / setup once upon a time, maybe hidden from each other within false radioactivity zones, one can only guess. But who / what built the platform stations in the first place, the Soldier Jacks? Certainly the drones couldn't. Did the water siphoning devices also come out of the Tet? Is the Tet 100% automated and non organic, hence the need & only reason for the abduction & cloning of the Jacks & Vika's? Some of this seems pretty clear but again a lot of it is open to interpretation or possibly left that way for a possible prequel or sequel. Part of me hopes so but another part of me doesn't as this movie is great and stands well on it's own. It would be a shame to see it go down like the Alien or predator movies where they just didn't know when to stop and call it quits...

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