In Elysium, the secretary of defense Delacort (played by Jodie Foster) intended to overthrow the existing government and install herself as the new leader.

If I understood correctly, her plan was to upload a new version of the computer program that the government uses to manage everything -- and in the new version, she would be designated president.

Is that seriously all there was to her plan? Was the movie really built around the premise that the populace and its existing power structure would suddenly accept Delacort as the new leader just because some computer program said so?

2 Answers 2


People who lived in/on Elysium were the so called high-strata of society, managed by a Government and supported by Armadyne Corporation. The high-tech facility recognized leaders via it's AI. Sort of like a computerized version of Office Leader board. Upon overriding the program, Delacort would be officially recognized as the President.

She did not want Armadyne to create a new program, but merely modify the existing one to make her the President. In return she promised them defense contracts for the next 200 years.

Further, once the system and Armadyne recognized her as the President, there is little anyone else could have done. Neutral people would serve her, while Loyalists to Patel would be in a fix. It simply was a political situation - more like a military coup, albeit much more complex.

The people on Earth, were not much intuited by the workings of the Government, since it resided on Elysium. Hence, at large, the general population would be kept out of reach, both politically and physically. Also, the populace of Elysium were wealthy people who would have sided with Delacort at large due to her pro-stance towards them.

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    Sure seemed not just Patel but all other leaders were opposed to her heavy-handed approach, judging by unanimous vote against her tactics. And what was to stop Armadyne guy from just making himself leader? But most of all, I just can't believe that world's most powerful humans would let some computer tell them who to take orders from. I agree with your answer -- I just can't believe the filmmakers floated such a weak premise.
    – Shiz Z.
    Commented Aug 12, 2013 at 23:11
  • it's the other way round, the story is there, and we have to fit our answers to whatever has happened in the film. Yes, I agree with you about the program being so omniscient that it can change world leaders. But that is what they showed in the film. Or maybe they did not give out more details about the program. Commented Aug 13, 2013 at 5:51
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    @ShaneFinneran I don't see why it's that hard to accept that those people living in Elysium didn't really care who's their president, as long as she's president by official law. Those few who care about it (like the president and his staff, and maybe some citizens) cannot do much about it and all the other Elysians really didn't care (let aside the earthlings that are out of any discussion anyway).
    – Napoleon Wilson
    Commented Aug 20, 2013 at 20:25

Don't forget that Elysium has (is?) a powerful AI system that offers all the robots that, for example, are in charge of security. According to the company's website, http://www.armadyne.net, there are only about 8000 people on Elysium and quite some robots, I presume. So, there is really nothing much the inhabitants could have done.

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