I saw this movie about 12 years ago (2005) when I was about 8 years old but it probably came out way earlier than that since I saw it on local TV in West Africa. I remember there being a little boy who built a full-sized humanoid robot with wires/cables everywhere. I have a vague memory of this robot sitting in a chair as the boy turned it on. He met some men (I think two friends), they seemed very impressed with what he had built and one of them adopted him and he started to live with them. There was some sort of war/fight and one of the men died. He might have died trying to save the boy but I am not sure. I remember the scene where that guy was cremated with the surviving man standing and watching with his arm around the little boy while looking really sad as dead guy's body was burnt.

The boy was quite young, maybe around 10. I am pretty sure he and most of the other characters were white. I remember really enjoying the emotional bond between him and the guy that 'adopted' him. He would teach the boy lots of things. I think there were flying cars and some advanced weaponry. I also remember the scene where the boy turned on the robot as being very dusty/deserty and crowded.

I really hope this makes sense to someone. I have tried to google for this movie but the only thing that comes up close is AI artificial intelligence. I am 90% sure that this little boy is human anyway so that's not it. I either saw this movie on a black and white TV or it had dull scenery.

This movie started my fascination with robotics and AI. I hope someone recognizes it!

  • 5
    @Phil14 - based on the answer you accepted, be prepared to be open to a whole new world once you read more about this movie and its universe!
    – PhasedOut
    Mar 13, 2017 at 17:35
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    @PhasedOut I am really looking forward to it!
    – Phil14
    Mar 13, 2017 at 19:43
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    Possibly relevant: xkcd.com/1769
    – JAB
    Mar 13, 2017 at 20:27
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    Related: "Movie about an insufferable teenager couple, a detective, some clones, a war and coarse sand that gets everywhere"
    – xDaizu
    Mar 14, 2017 at 9:18
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    Also this one xkcd.com/1053
    – asmeurer
    Mar 14, 2017 at 21:04

2 Answers 2


Could it be Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace?

I doubt you would have missed it, but this strikes me as a very similar scenario. Maybe a low budget "remake" of some sort? It appears they have dropped Jar-jar on the way...

The little boy (Anakin), built a full-sized humanoid robot with wires/cables everywhere (C3PO), then he met some men (I think two friends) (Qui-Gon Jin and Obi-Wan Kenobi).

There was some sort of war/fight and one of the men died. (Battle of Naboo, Qui-gon dies.) I remember the scene where that guy was cremated with the surviving man standing and watching with his arm around the little boy while looking really sad as the dead guy's body was burnt.

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    Well, as weird that this will probably seem to you, I have never seen any episode of Star Wars so it could be! The plot does seem to match. I am going to watch it this evening and mark this has the right answer if it is. Thank you!
    – Phil14
    Mar 13, 2017 at 15:02
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    Seeing this got accepted...I'm having trouble wrapping my mind around the concept of a Star Wars movie needing story-identification.
    – T.E.D.
    Mar 13, 2017 at 16:16
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    @T.E.D. Well, he was 8 years old at the time. I have two distinct memories of watching Star Wars (episode IV) - the first time when I was ~6-8 years old and it was randomly playing on a TV in the babysitter's house while I was running around and playing with toys, and the second time when I was in my teens and watching it deliberately by myself. They feel like two very different movies when I recall each memory in my mind, even though intellectually I recognize Mark Hamil's face and other scenes as being from the same film.
    – Steve-O
    Mar 13, 2017 at 18:34
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    @T.E.D. I know Star Wars is a big deal in the US but where I am from, nobody knows anything about it. Star Gate series is much more popular here as the standard for sci fi because it is shown and reshown on TV. It never occurred to me that it could be Star Wars because all I knew about it were light sabers and Darth Vader, certainly nothing about child robotics prodigies. My memory circled entirely around the boy and the robot, and every time I googled 'movie about boy and his robot', I always got led way off. I hope this explains it a bit.
    – Phil14
    Mar 13, 2017 at 19:36
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    @Phil14 Not weird at all. I'm a moderator here and I've never seen any episode of Star Wars either :-)
    – Rand al'Thor
    Mar 13, 2017 at 22:23

With the exception of the emotional bond, this actually sounds a lot like Star Wars Episode 1: The Phantom Menace.* The story starts off focusing on the person (named Qui-Gon Jinn) who will later adopt the young boy, named Anakin, who they meet on a desert planet by chance. The boy had a robot he built and the people he met were most definitely impressed by what he had been able to accomplish. They then "adopt" him into their order, called the Jedi Order, which is basically a sci-fi version of knight peace-keepers. There are several scenes with spaceships/hovercraft and sci-fi weapons. The entire movie did not take place on a desert planet, but a good portion did. It was not made in black and white, but it definitely could have been broadcasted in black and white. I have attached some pictures from the movie below to see if they jog your memory.

*Note: If this seems like the correct movie, I would recommend seeing this post on the site as this movie is part of a six-part series, and there are now two other movies in the same franchise as well as multiple books and TV shows. I would recommend watching the movies in the order on the top answer and if you like the universe expanding out into the other movies/books/shows. The Star Wars Universe is pretty expansive and a very popular topic in (at least in America, not sure about West Africa) both in pop culture and on the web, including this site!

Anakin and his robot


Some Starfighters

Qui-Gon Jinn, the man who "adopts" Anakin

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    YES, that is the robot! It is much more colourful than I remember but I am certain of it! Thank you. I don't know anyone back home who has seen star wars so it is definitely not popular. I will check out the links. Thanks again.
    – Phil14
    Mar 13, 2017 at 15:29
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    @Phil14 - Its nice to think that there's some idyllic place on earth that knows only Machete Order, and is thus unfamiliar with Ep1.
    – T.E.D.
    Mar 13, 2017 at 16:20
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    @Phil14 The robot only has all the colorful wires because he's not yet gotten his cover
    – Bergi
    Mar 15, 2017 at 9:30

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