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In Spider-Man 2, I understand that Doctor Octopus is being controlled by his tentacles, but what is his actual motivation for rebuilding the "device?" What does he hope to achieve by doing this?

Does he hope to destroy the city? Does he just want ultimate power? Is he trying to prove that he can actually control what he's created?

His motivation always seemed a little vague to me.

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ultimate power i think. Vague memories at the moment. – Ankit Sharma May 21 '14 at 12:58
It's sloppy writing by people who don't know how to write science (or anything else). Nuclear physicists don't just invent beyond-the-cutting-edge prosthetics for the hell of it, that solve both artificial intelligence and computer-neuron interfaces in their spare time while they work out the bugs in fusion power. – John O Aug 3 at 19:54

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up vote 4 down vote accepted

There's a scene where the arms are clearly convincing him that he should build another one, and he isn't able to think clearly enough to realize why that is a bad idea. So I think it's more, "What's the arms' motivation?" My guess is that he built the arms in order to build the device, so when he created them, he gave them the compulsion that the device had to be completed. But I do not think it is ever outright explained in the movie.

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