I was wondering about the subject myself for the longest time; I don’t know if I’ve posed this question here already or not, but…
Why did Shelby Forthright make this video secret in the first place? Why would it be only for the Autopilot and not for the Captain?
I’ve come up with an answer. However, don’t take my word for it.
It is possible since Operation Cleanup didn’t go as planned, it seemed as if Earth was completely unsustainable at the time. The reason I believe Forthright probably made it a secret directive was maybe because he did believe life would one day be sustainable again, just not in the timing he had hoped for, and to reveal this order to the Captain would probably discourage him/her from sending out the annual reconnaissance with the EVE probes, believing that the planet would never be able to sustain life.
However, just like Operation Cleanup, it backfired to a certain extent, because Forthright did not foresee the repercussions of ordering a machine who cannot think outside his programming to keep everyone locked up in a cruise liner, and the steps it would take to defend the directive. Likewise, he also did not see the repercussions of burning the towers of trash with fire and its affect on the atmosphere. For more on Operation Cleanup, see my topic here.
I also just read an interesting topic on Directive A113 possibly being a hoax by a rebellion against BnL. It also sounds plausible, probably to take advantage of the gullibility of BnL’s clientele, or to prevent them from returning to Earth and ruling it.
But I’d like to hear from you guys on this. Could Forthright have possibly made it secret to continue Operation Recolonize? Some feedback is much appreciated.
My take on this, and I’ve mentioned it a time or two on various threads, is that Auto was Not in complete charge of the ship. He let the captains for 700 years believe that they were in charge. Auto lived a lie that was borne by Shelby’s goof. (this is similar to what happened to Hal in 2001 and the dangers of telling a computer to lie) Auto had to push buttons on the bridge to effect anything, he didn’t have a direct line to the outputs, and these buttons controlled certain aspects of the ship’s computer, but not all. Auto had to have GO-4 toss out the plant because he could not disable the ship’s computer in that area. Could Auto have stopped the EVE’s each year from their sojourns to various locations on Earth? Probably not. If he could, it would have been thru GO-4, and that bot certainly had limitations.
Clearly, the ship’s computer had received info that a plant was on board either from the first connections made to the probe spaceship, or from GO-4’s scan of Wall-E’s EVE in the lineup. GO-4 had to bring EVE back to the bridge so that the computer could scan EVE for the plant, see that it was bogus, and reset things back to normal. Shelby said “Take control of everything” to the Auto pilots, but they really couldn’t. Could Forthright have sent a message directly to the ship’s computer? The messages sent did show up in the computer log. But we really don’t know whether he could have disabled the EVE’s annual missions or the Holo-detector or the ‘Return to Earth’ command once a plant was put in the Holo-detector. So I’m going to assume that Forthright had no direct control over each ship’s computer. Auto doesn’t have that built-in control either, he, like the captain had to push buttons in the bridge. It was a big complicated operation with authority muddled by the BnL president’s directive.
Forthright was a poor executive. I thought in the video that he was so anxious over how badly things had turned out that he gave up on life returning to Earth for such a long time that he thought “what the heck, let’s just give up on it permanently.” He certainly wasn’t a long term thinker, or very bright. His message to Auto was terse, brief, and contradictory over previous established instructions. The idea was to return in 5 years time, and he was making sure that didn’t happen on schedule. So things defaulted to the EVE probe’s, which he didn’t say anything about, but which Auto then tried to override.
So why didn’t he send the message to the first Captain too? It’s like not notifying Congress over some important action: it’s a goof. He was impatient, “Let’s get the heck out of here.” And he knew that the Auto’s could do the job alone (except that Wall-E had other ideas). If Forthright had given the directive to the first Captain, how would that info be passed on to the successors? That info would probably have to be ingrained into the computer’s tutorial of each new captain, or however it was done. The BnL president just didn’t see much into the future to predict that life would return. Forthright had no Foresight.
Wow. You both bring interesting thoughts to the table on this. I probably ought to be able to add something to this conversation, but I haven’t thought this deeply about WALL-E in a while…