Why did the Scavs disguise themselves when the drones seemed so keen on killing a dog?

Jack had to order it down, then losing confidence in his ability to do so, tried to chase the dog away to safety.

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    I think the explanation in the movie confuses two things: whether Scavs fool drones by looking alien, or by being stealthy (using parts of stealth tech as armor). I think the actual explanation is the latter; only Jack mistakes them for aliens. Without spoiling the movie too much, the drone controller obviously knows they are not aliens.
    – Andres F.
    Jan 10, 2014 at 12:43
  • @AndresF. ditto my reply to your other comment.. By the way, if you can think of a good reason it was about to kill the dog, that would be superlative.. I can think of 'a reason' but I'm not sure it is 'good'. The Tet wanted all the resources, and any living thing consumed them. Heck, maybe the rest of the planet wasn't so much dying from resource shrinkage, and more that it wanted to sterilize the planet. But it was focusing on the most dangerous animal first.. Jan 10, 2014 at 13:19

2 Answers 2


Scavs wore the disguises because the drones detected Human/living life forms, the disguises made them look like robots or like nothing that has life. This is explained in the movie.

  • IIRC, there was mention of scavenging an old stealth fighter?
    – Matt
    Jan 10, 2014 at 17:36
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    Jack asked them why they used the disguises, they then explained it to him. Jan 10, 2014 at 17:38
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    The problem with this is stated in the original question: the drone was willing to kill the dog, before Jack sent the animal away. So an animal disguise probably won't work. Also, the drones are effectively killing Scavs when they can see them -- which means they understand Scavs are hostile targets -- and since Jack knows the Scavs are the "enemy", the controlling AI behind the drones must also know this. I think it makes more sense for the Scavs' armor to be used for stealth, not animal/robot disguise.
    – Andres F.
    Jan 11, 2014 at 6:27
  • The drones want to kill all life forms Jan 11, 2014 at 8:22
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    I have become convinced that in this answer lies the truth. The drones wanted to kill everything that lived. The Tet was closer to being a Berserker Probe than a materials raiding craft. The materials might also have been useful for energy or replication, but its primary goal was to extinguish life. But I don't think that making themselves look like robots would've helped much. The Tet would have figured out soon enough that objects moving unnaturally (uphill, or against the wind) were possibly life-forms, the idea of stealth tech. was to remain hidden from the sensors of the drones. Jan 19, 2014 at 6:22

As stated by Morgan Freeman's character, the outfits that the Scavs wore helped hide them from the drone's attention, probably by masking or blurring the heat signature to look like the surrounding landscape. Full coverage does make them look alien or, as Spencer VDE described it, like robots, but is also likely necessary to prevent any heat leaking out when being observed (presumably, they vent it when they don't think they're being observed).

As to why the drone doesn't notice movement, presumably they freeze in place when drones are spotted in advance, thus becoming just oddly-shaped rocks from the perception of the drone.

On a side note, his mention of it being derived from stealth aircraft technology is likely either a bit of Hollywood Science or a misconception on his part. Stealth aircraft are built to deflect radar primarily, and require almost complete cleanliness. A single human handprint can ruin the stealth profile of the plane. In the dusty desert environment they're in, it would be pretty much useless for that purpose. That said, stealth aircrafts do have aspects of preventing heat escape, so it may be a partial truth.

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