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In the last battle of DoFP, future Magneto and Storm create a massive explosion (by electrically charging and blowing up the future Blackbird) and destroy a vast amount of Sentinel ships.

This results in a massive amount of shrapnel and debris headed straight towards the mutants which Magneto is able to stop using his powers.

However, Trask mentioned that the sentinels were made out of a special polymer, "no metal". Why would these Sentinels then build their ships out of metal? Why not the same polymer?

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Short answer: The adaptability power used by the Sentinels is being driven by a computerized interface with their exoskeleton. The mechanics of how the polymer and its ability to mimic Mystique's power are not explained, but it make sense there would be a need to use a computer to control the mimetic properties of the polymer.

  • It means the special polymer needs an interface acting to control the mechanized version of Mystique's power. The Sentinels are already using a sophisticated AI to control their powers.

  • Giving this power to an aircraft is an unnecessary expense when all the plane is doing is delivering the Sentinels to the field of battle faster than the Sentinels can fly there on their own.

Longer Answer:

  1. Sentinels can fly under their own power. But they fly slowly in comparison to a decent aircraft. Putting them in aircraft increases their mobility.

  2. Ordinary airplanes are used to get them to the battle and then the Sentinels fly the rest of the way to their targets and fight once they arrive.

  3. Their airplanes being made of metal won't mean much to them even if a mutant can weaponize the material against them because the Sentinels are very tough.

  4. The Sentinel are also depending on their numbers and their engineered mutability to overcome the mutants in the end. Given the desperate plight of the mutants when the movie begins, Trask's methods were simple and efficient.

  • This is a good answer! I don't think we'll ever know for definite, as the movie universe is separate to that of the comics, but it is well thought out and considered and makes sense, based on the information we know. – Kwola-T Oct 2 '14 at 18:15
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I don't think this is ever said onscreen, but my understanding was that it was a function of the later Sentinels' adaptability.

In Trask's day they needed to be non-magnetic so mutants like Magneto couldn't easily destroy them, but in the future they could simply adapt to become a different material (or create opposing magnetic fields, or counter Magneto's power in a dozen other ways), so their base construction parameters became less important.

They were then built with whatever material was best, in this case something that happened to be magnetic, safe in the knowledge that on the battlefield it wouldn't be an issue.

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