The recent announcement by Paramount pictures to reboot the Terminator franchise has been a long awaited one. I have always felt that the Terminator story never ended with Terminator Salvation and the story arc still had a lot of potential.
Arnold Schwarzenegger, the former governor of California is known for one trademark role during the course of his entire career in Hollywood- one that is of a time travelling cyborg assassin. In the first movie he was the main antagonist and the remaining movies except the fourth one as the main protagonist. The story is a basically simple: Machines take over the daily affairs of the earth and begin to destroy/terminate its creators aka humans. Following huge success in wiping out the entire world in the future, the artificially intelligent, Skynet the parent of all the machines, proceeds to wipe out the remaining pockets of human population, who by now have organised themselves into something called as Resistance.
Once the machines understand that they cannot win the war against the indeterminable human spirit, time travel is discovered and thereby they travel back in time to destroy the human resistance before they were even born. This technology comes into the hands of the humans who try first with sending humans back in time to thwart the cyborg assassins also called Terminators. As the machines develop technologically advanced cyborgs and send them back in time, the humans start to capture and develop some of the earlier models of the cyborg assassins to fight the war for them in the past.
The main premise of these movies is time travel which has been a pet fetish of yours truly for a long time. The ability to travel in time and alter the events to change the outcome of the future is interesting. But as these movies show, that nothing can change the course of events, it can only postpone the outcome.
Terminator the first movie in the franchise was an eerie experience as the scales were heavily tilted in the favor the machines. The human resistance had to send one among them to the past to fight the assassin before he wiped out the leader of the resistance. The human resistance fighter, Kyle Reese also had time to impregnate the mother of the Resistance leader in the future, John Connor. The second and third movies dealt with protecting John Connor as he grew up and postponing Armageddon also known as Judgement Day and then later failing to prevent it in the third movie. The fourth movie was all about events in post apocalyptic world and how the threads are tied into the events of the first movie.
Of the entire movies in the franchise, only the second one stands out for its ‘wow’ factor. The first one was moderately successful, the third and fourth were lazy attempts primarily aimed at milking the cash cow, ie the franchise. The new developments even though might be attempts at a similar exercise, the very fact that keeps up ardent fans like yours truly excited is that this time around the franchise is helmed by the producers of Zero Dark Thirty and other great movies. As an ardent fan I hope that the producers won’t let us down and tell us some awesome time travel, Terminator stories.
PS: This article does not make any mention about the TV series, The Sarah Connor Chronicles, I believe it was an aberration on the Terminator cannon.