Time to Upgrade
Bond films have often featured futuristic technologies—jet packs, laser beams, teeny little hidden cameras. But now that a lot of Bond technology is a actually a reality, what's the franchise to do?
They can't totally ignore technology. Instead, they separate tech from Bond himself, making him the brute force and Q the brains of the operation. It doesn't sit well with Bond at first, seeing a key component of his job outsourced to someone else. He has a tense conversation with Q about it:
Q: I'll hazard I can do more damage on my laptop sitting in my pajamas before my first cup of Earl Grey than you can do in a year in the field.
BOND: Oh, so why do you need me?
Q: Every now and then a trigger has to be pulled.
BOND: Or not pulled. It's hard to know which in your pajamas.
Bond lets Q know that he isn't an all-brawn no-brains kind of guy; he just uses a different kind of smarts during his operation.
Technology, then, is seen as something shadowy and sinister. Silva bends technology to his will to cause panic, playing on public fears of cyber warfare. Severine comments on how easy it is to do this in our modern age:
SEVERINE: They abandoned it almost overnight. He made them think there was a leak at the chemical plant. It's amazing the panic you can cause with a single computer.
But when Q tries to fight technology with technology, it backfires, letting Silva into the MI6 systems. It's like a game of rock-paper-scissors: if both parties throw scissors, they're at a stalemate. They need a rock, like Bond, to combat the high-tech criminal mastermind. Bond decides to take things back to their roots: "Back in time. Somewhere we'll have the advantage."
Bond lures Silva far out into the Scottish wilderness, where technology will not help him, to fight him on even ground. On the way out, Bond even drives M in a classic Aston Martin, a callback to Bond's glory days.
Of course Silva blows it up. He has no respect for the past. But that is what ultimately gets him killed: Bond kills him with a knife in the back, literally one of mankind's most primitive weapons. Even Silva's computer couldn't save him. Although if he'd had a backpack with an iPad in it, it might have shielded the blow…