10

We know that Wall-E finds the pea plant and Auto goes out of his way to destroy the evidence. But it looks a bit like those procedures had already been formed in the past.

This begs the question: had life been found on Earth again previously and each time destroyed by the autopilot? Perhaps this is not the first time, but instead the first time the information has successfully been transmitted to the captain and the rest.

  • 1
    For the record, it's not a pea plant. – Valorum Mar 17 '16 at 21:13
  • Odd. Looks like one and I had assumed that the connection with Mendel was intentionally made. – Broklynite Mar 18 '16 at 9:53
  • Correction, it is a pea plant. – Valorum Mar 21 '16 at 1:06
  • Dunno, I guess I always assumed it was a pea plant. It looked like one and given both the classic hardiness of pea plants and use in scientific experimentation and genetics it just made sense to me. – Broklynite Mar 21 '16 at 10:33
  • After a very enjoyable evening watching all of the special features on the bluray, I stumbled upon a concept art pic that confirmed it. I guess it does look a lot like the archetypal generic pea, I suppose /sigh – Valorum Mar 21 '16 at 10:44
12

There are a few contextual clues to suggest that the plant was the first life that any EVE probe has returned, period.

  • The Captain notes that it's the first time in his tenure that a probe has returned positive. AUTO seems compelled to tell him, if only to turn off the warning light.

AUTOPILOT: Probe One has returned positive.

CAPTAIN: Positive?

CAPTAIN: But...no probe's ever come back positive...before.

  • The Operation Manual is covered with a thick layer of dust, suggesting it's been unused for centuries

enter image description here

  • As we pan away at the end of the film, we see that the ground away from the city is literally covered in plants of the same type as the plant that Eve found. This mono-culture (and the lack of positive probes found in the Captain's tenure) would strongly imply that this kind of plant was a recent mutation that has taken hold.

enter image description here

But overall, you're right. There are no specific indications that other probes over the centuries haven't returned positive, and that AUTO has simply disposed of them. Let's face it, he's not exactly stable.

  • Try to mark an answer as correct and get the message "error: this action can not be completed for 1 more second" by which point I could have just checked the answer. Which suggests that SF SE is actually run by a mad AI seeking to protect us against our own will. – Broklynite Mar 17 '16 at 20:58
  • 1
    @Broklynite - Why are you trying to mark answers on SF:SE? That might be the problem :-) – Valorum Mar 17 '16 at 21:06

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