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I recently saw the movie again, and I got this doubt in my mind since they don't specify a reasonable reason of why the Drej want to destroy the Titan and the Human race.

The only thing I know is that they say something like the Drej are afraid of something but they never say what or why.

Is it something related to the fact that...

Cale convert Drejes into energy to activate the Titan? If this is the reason, does this make us the evil one for try to kill this race in order to use the Titan's technology?

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    My instinct is that it was a preemptive strike by the (energy-based) Drej against a species that is planning to deploy a series of energy-consuming terraforming tools.
    – Valorum
    Sep 6, 2015 at 9:07

4 Answers 4

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This is discussed at some length in the film's official novelisation which seems to have been based on an earlier draft script for the film and contains various scenes not seen in the film, notably dialogue scenes involving the Drej.

In short, the research being conducted by Sam Tucker (Cale's father) came to the attention of the Drej Queen. Her spy detected that humanity was about to gain access to the same technology that they use to power their massive hive-ship. Her reaction was swift and pitiless, only they, of all the races in the galaxy, must have access to this technology. Humanity must die

Scout drone Zil-three, called informally "Heshach," prowled through the underground facility on the planet called Earth. ...

The-Human-Sam-Tucker shut off the latch switches and stepped back around the shield he'd gone behind. There on the opposite side of the table sat a box which looked exactly like the one he'd pointed the accumulator at.

"Eureka!" cried Sam. "I've got it!". He leapt up and danced around the room.

...

The Queen at the time had recognized the obvious danger.

Biobods had discovered Artifact technology. Her conclusion had been fast and decisive.

Eradicate them.

So the Earth had been destroyed just as soon as the Alahenena could reach it.

By the time the Drej arrived on the scene, Tucker Sr. had already implemented the "artifact" tech in a ship, the Titan. When the Drej were unable to destroy it, the decision was taken to acquire it and study it to see whether it could be used to make more Drej ships, hence their decision to track Cale rather than merely killing him.


Interestingly, the (licensed) Dark Horse prequel comic 'Titan A.E. Part 2' offers a slightly different interpretation; The Drej have detected an unusual energy signature emanating from Earth. They find this energy irresistible as it will allow them to breed a large number of new Drej. Unbeknownst to them, the energy isn't found in the planet but is in fact housed on an experimental starship, the Titan.

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  • didn't know about the novel! This seems too familiar to the Reapers of Mass Effect history. Sep 6, 2015 at 19:25
  • Alex, well, Titan A.E. pretty substantially predates Mass Effect. And also, there is a long and honorable tradition of sci-fi writers borrowing from each other. Mar 26, 2018 at 19:16
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It's all there in the first scene as narrated by Sam Tucker:

Once in a great while, mankind unlocks a secret so profound that our future is altered forever. Fire, electricity, splitting the atom. At the dawn of the 31st century, we unlocked another. It had the potential to change humanity's role in the universe. We called it “The Titan Project,” and it was a testament to the limitless power of the human imagination. Perhaps that was what the Drej feared most, for it brought them down upon us without warning and without mercy.

This suggests that the Drej felt directly threatened by the Titan Project's capacity to literally rip them apart for the energy to create new planets. However, more broadly they may simply have resented the growing power and creativity of the human race and feared what might be achieved in the future.

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  • I'd prefer an out-of-universe comment. Cale openly states that he doesn't know why the Drej attacked. That alone makes him a pretty poor source.
    – Valorum
    Sep 6, 2015 at 11:00
  • @Richard I'm not sure if an out of universe answer is possible, there's no reference for Drej/Titan A.E. history? Also, Cale doesn't know anything except how to fix stuff, just because he doesn't know why the Drej attacked doesn't mean much. Even wikipedia just says "the creation of the Titan project alarmed the Drej". I think we're just supposed to accept that the Titan project symbolized something that scared the Drej, either our capacity to proliferate, explore, create huge spaceships capable of seeding a planet, etc.
    – Dpeif
    Sep 6, 2015 at 13:36
  • @dpeif - There were several tie-in comics and I'm sure the writers, stars and directors will have done interviews (apparently they did enough publicity to cause the film to flop horribly) so there are other sources than the film itself.
    – Valorum
    Sep 6, 2015 at 14:42
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It's explain in the beginning of the movie that the Drej fear the Titan's power. And we can see why in the last scene: the Titan need to function by absorbing energy. And the Drej are made of pure energy. Therefore they feared to be used as machine enginers by the humans to power the Titan. As it happened

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The reason why they are want to destroy humans is, we are an organic species. They are hate all organic life in universe.

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    Can you provide some details to back up your answer?
    – Blackwood
    Jan 27, 2017 at 19:28
  • This doesn't seem to be the case from the film. The Drej don't attack any of the "organics" at the salvage yard, just the humans.
    – Valorum
    Jan 27, 2017 at 19:46

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