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In the movie Moon, Sam is told a rescue ship is coming for him. But from later events, we know that

The corporation had been hiding the fact that they were using clones as slave labour. So they would never have let Sam off the moon.

So what was the "rescue" mission going to do?

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  • 2
    As much as the answer is obvious, it doesn't deserve a downvote :)
    – Andres F.
    Sep 17, 2013 at 12:45

2 Answers 2

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They never planned to rescue him. It was a lie. You basically answered your own question. If a Sam discovers the truth or lives about three years he must be eliminated and a new Sam will be installed / activated.

"Sam" has been there long enough for the systems to become corrupt and show images from his past existences. There is no rescue plan. That is the whole point.

The "rescue" crew are armed because they are on a salvage / reset mission. They kill any Sams that are aware of their situation or are over 3 years old. They only show up to keep the business running, not to help the current Sam. Sam is no different than a screwdriver or tire to them.

Thanks to Plutor, also, for answering this in a different form.

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  • And yet, we did see a spaceship coming in Sep 17, 2013 at 12:23
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    @ShantnuTiwari, "If a Sam discovers the truth or lives about three years he must be eliminated". The ship was coming in with someone to eliminate the now-outdated clone and reset the system/base.
    – phantom42
    Sep 17, 2013 at 12:44
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    @ShantnuTiwari Yes, but it's not a rescue ship. Most likely a cleanup squad.
    – Andres F.
    Sep 17, 2013 at 12:44
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    Yes, makes sense. In the last scene, when the cleanup crew open the old Sam's buggy, it looked to me like they were holding a machine gun. @Meat Trademark, do you mind adding these points to your answer, viz that the crew were coming to eliminate the extra clones? Sep 17, 2013 at 20:03
  • @Shantnu Tiwari - Done. I hope it does justice to your request. Sep 17, 2013 at 20:15
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First, let's look at what the company said the "rescue squad" was coming for.

From the script.

OVERMEYERS

We don't want you to take any unnecessary risks. You're too important to us.

THOMPSON

You're to stay put, understand?

OVERMEYERS

It's an order.

THOMPSON

It's an order, Sam. From Lunar. Stay put.

OVERMEYERS

We're going to send a Rescue Unit to tend to the stalled harvester and get the base back on its feet.

--snip --

THOMPSON

Yeah, you resting up, Sam? You'd better be you bastard.

OVERMEYERS

Enjoy it while it lasts! We've got good news.

THOMPSON

The Jupiter Program had to be put on hiatus, so we've got a few free pairs of hands --

OVERMEYERS

We've managed to secure you a Rescue Unit ahead of schedule.

THOMPSON

Rescue Unit Eliza.

A SHOT/STILL PHOTO of Rescue Unit ELIZA. A meaner group of sons-of-bitches you have never seen. These guys make the rescue team from Apocalypse Now look like The New Kids on the Block.

OVERMEYERS

They've been stationed on Goliath 19 for the last couple of months.

THOMPSON (O.S.)

Eliza's been in transit for the last day....we expect them to reach you in approximately 14 hours.

OVERMEYERS (O.S.)

Commence to jump for joy!

THOMPSON (O.S.)

You'll be back to work in no time.

Now back on OVERMEYERS and THOMPSON.

OVERMEYERS

Eliza is bringing you something special, Sam. Compliments of the company.

THOMPSON

A hooker!

OVERMEYERS

No not a hooker. What's wrong with you? It's a little something to drink, Sam, that's all, our way of patting you on the back for all that you've been through.

THOMPSON

In the meantime, keep resting up, and hang in there.

OVERMEYERS

Yeah you hang in there, Sam. Over and out.

The "rescue crew" Eliza is supposedly coming to fix the harvester and "get the base back on its feet." Sam 2 doesn't believe them.

SAM 1

They're sending a Rescue Unit? Why?

SAM 2

To fix the stalled harvester. They didn't think I was up to it.

SAM 1

Then I'm going back.

SAM 2 gives SAM 1 a perplexed look.

SAM 1 (CONT'D)

I've done my three years. That's it for me --

SAM 2 is shaking his head slowly.

SAM 1 (CONT'D)

What?

SAM 2

Is that what you really think?

SAM 1

I've got a contract --

SAM 2

You're a fucking clone! You don't have shit!

At once SAM 1 and SAM 2 ROCKET to their feet -- right in each others faces, on the BRINK of BLOWS.

SAM 1

I'm going home!

SAM 2

You're not going anywhere!

-- snip --

SAM 2

I've been thinking. That Rescue Unit -- Eliza -- they'll be here in less than fourteen hours. I don't know about you but I'd like to figure out where we stand before they get here.

SAM 1

Absolutely.

SAM 2

Ostensibly they're coming to deal with the stalled harvester. We both know that isn't true. (then) They're coming to dig your body out of that rover. They think you're in there.

-- snip --

SAM 2

If that Rescue Unit finds the two of us awake at the same time, they'll kill us both for sure.

Sam 2 doesn't believe them. But he is not just being paranoid. Gerty confirms the danger.

GERTY

If the Rescue Unit examine my memory banks they will discover what has taken place over the last week. As you know I record everything. If they are suspicious, the first thing they will do is search my memory banks, and this would put you in considerable danger.

So, while it is never explicitly stated exactly what the "rescue" crew of the Eliza intended to do when they arrived, it is heavily implied that they were coming there to kill any active clone(s) they find (possibly using the "drink" mentioned) and reset the system/station.

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  • The script you're quoting from is not the same as the "shooting" script. Some scenes and dialogue are different from the movie. The same logic applies though. Bad news for "Sam." Sep 17, 2013 at 18:18
  • @MeatTrademark If you've got a link to the final script, I'd be happy to update the answer when I have a chance.
    – phantom42
    Sep 17, 2013 at 18:26
  • I do not have one, nor was I disagreeing with you in any manner. "Leaked" scripts often differ from the scripts used on set. Not all script drafts end up online. Even if there is no difference in the "shooting" script, rewrites can happen in the editing bay. I hope you did not take offense at my comment. I compared that script to the movie and they differ enough to not be an authoritative reference about the movie. No plot points or anything major differs; just some scenes and dialogue, as I mentioned. I wouldn't worry about updating unless you plan to transcribe the film. Sep 17, 2013 at 19:24
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    @MeatTrademark I didn't take offense at all. I'd just like to have the most accurate answer I can.
    – phantom42
    Sep 17, 2013 at 19:44

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