The Telos of Wall-E

KILL ALL HUMANSHot on the heels of my Platonic eulogy and Brian Mattson’s definitive Noah review, he gives us a Wall-E review which is all about telos:

There is a particular term in the script that sounds like run-of-the-mill fancy “robot” jargon, but is actually a key to the film. When WALL-E first meets Eva, they have what is basically a one word conversation, asking each other:


What’s your purpose? Why were you made? What are you supposed to do? Almost all of the characters in the film have a unique “directive.” WALL-E picks up and packages trash into cubes. Eva searches for organic life forms. Mo cleans up skid marks on the floor, et cetera.

The Earth needs somebody to look after it. That is the unique human calling and responsibility. Nature needs humans. That is not an example of Hollywood’s war on humans; it’s a sensational exception to the rule.