Ten years ago this month, on June 27, 2008, a little doe-eyed trash compactor robot fell in love with a probe from an intergalactic cruise ship, and audiences all over the world fell in love with both of them. That robot was Wall-E, and it’s crazy to think it’s been a full decade since Pixar unleashed its love of all things ‘bot stuff on the world. But not everyone saw Wall-E as a charming love story with a strong anti-consumerism and pro-environmentalist message. In fact, one fan theory claims Wall-E isn’t a cute little robot with a love of Hello, Dolly, but rather, that he is Satan incarnate. Does this theory hold water or is it a bigger pile of garbage than Wall-E’s homeworld? That’s precisely what we’re going to find out on today’s episode of The Dan Cave.
[brightcove video_id=”5799418690001″ brightcove_account_id=”3653334524001″ brightcove_player_id=“rJs2ZD8x”]First posited by redditor Vexelius in 2017, the theory claims that while many people view Wall-E as “a messianic figure, someone who has sacrificed himself in order to save mankind, and then comes back from the dead,” he actually has more in common with Satan as depicted in the Genesis. It sounds crazy, but he actually lays out a surprisingly compelling argument to typical readings of Wall-E. Let’s look at the evidence.
In Wall-E, mankind has left their ruined planet behind; they live on giant interstellar cruise ships floating through space. The humans are all incredibly obese and weak thanks to a combination of microgravity, a lack of exercise, a deeply unhealthy diet, and a perpetually sedentary lifestyle. While Pixar intended this to serve as a castigation of things like corporatism, consumerism, and the way we treat our bodies, the theory argues one could view the Axiom and ships like it as Paradise. It is a place without war, politics, religion, strife, hunger, or any of the problems that plague us on Earth. But all of that changes when Wall-E arrives.
When Wall-E arrives on the Axiom, he brings along a seedling he found on Earth, evidence of mankind’s derelict homeworld being able to support life once more. But when parsed through the lens of Genesis, this can be seen as Wall-E fulfilling the role of the Serpent, giving Eve a seedling–or the fruit of knowledge of good and evil–which in turn prompts the Captain to try and bring mankind back to Earth. Previously, the captain was content to lead a life of blissful ignorance, shepherding mankind through an endless pleasure cruise aboard a state-of-the-art paradisiacal luxury liner. But when he was burdened with knowledge, he was consumed by a desire to leave Paradise and bring mankind back to Earth. According to the theory, just as Adam and Eve realized they were naked after eating the forbidden fruit, so too did the Captain lose his innocence.
It all boils down to this, and I quote:
“We have an entity (Wall-E/Satan) who gives and object (Seedling/Apple) to (a robot/woman) named Eve, which starts a chain of events that led to mankind losing a paradise and getting stranded in Earth.”
Indeed, by the end of the movie, mankind has made its return to Earth, but they no longer lead an easygoing, carefree life. Now they must perform back-breaking labor in order to bring Earth back to a habitable state, leaving the relative paradise of the Axiom behind. Inevitably, this will lead to inequity and resource disparity, which in turn will lead to conflict, strife, and jealousy, which will lead to anger, hatred, and war, and perhaps the eventual re-destruction of plane Earth. Then, once more, humans will be forced to leave their homeworld behind, floating through space in search of a better life, seeking the Paradise they lost after the plant-bearer tempted Eve and lead their people to utter ruin.
So there you have it! Wall-E: Destroyer of Worlds, Prince of Darkness, and Scourge of Mankind. But what do you think? Do you dig this fan theory? What’s your favorite Disney/Pixar fan theory? Let me know in the comments below.
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Dan Casey is the senior editor of Nerdist and the author of books about Star Wars and the Avengers. Follow him on Twitter ( @DanCasey).
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