Every Tuesday Scified will be featuring a Top 10 article from its writers. These articles will be about anything science fiction related; such as Top 10 movies in a sub-genre, Top 10 anti-heroes, Top 10 music scores… just about anything really.
In our first Top 10 Tuesday article we look at what we need to see in the next Terminator movie, due to begin filming in January and set for release summer 2015.
#10 – Explaining the T-RIP
In the last instalment Terminator Salvation the character of John Connor incorrectly ascertained that the factory in which he was fight the T-RIP within was building T-800’s. In actual fact the factory was constructing T-700’s – which are very similar in appearance to T-800’s but are a little more bulky, have metal teeth and whose chassis’ were made using existing materials (steel, aluminium, titanium etc.), as opposed to the T-800 chassis, which is composed of Hyper-Alloy. Also missing from Salvation is the explanation that T-RIP is the only one of its kind, a prototype (Terminator-Resistance Infiltrator Prototype) which was developed at Skynet Central – thus the destruction of that facility set back Skynet’s mass production of unit by quite some time, and having essentially killed John Connor makes the aforementioned T-700 obsolete.
#9 – A Viable “Old” T-800
Repeatedly Arnold Schwarzenegger has stated that he will return as a Terminator in the new movie(s). However, a T-800 with older skin comes across as a lame plot device to allow the actor to return. But there is at least one viable way to have such a skinned Terminator. Terminators have 3 sets of numbers associated with them; their series number (T-800, T-1000 etc.), their model number which determines their anatomical silhouette and tissue sheath (101 = Arnold), and their version number (as seen in T2’s Special Edition scenes). The T-800 sent back from 2029 to 1994 was clearly identified as a version 2.4, and because the T-800 sent back from 2029 to 1984 was identical in appearance to the T-RIP, we can assume it was a version 1.0. The v2.4 sheath looked older that of the v1.0, thus it is possible that skin sheath can be applied to give the Terminator an older or younger appearance.
#8 – The T-850
The next problem with re-introducing Arnold as a Terminator is how to include his character narratively. One possibility is that of T-850 that will be sent back by Kate Connor from 2033 to 2004; the same character from Terminator 3, that come July 4th 2032 will kill John Connor. The character could infiltrate John Connor’s base, Tech-Comm, before being disabled and subsequently reprogrammed as John Connor’s bodyguard. Then come 2032 this reprogrammed Terminator is somehow tripped back under the control of Skynet and turns against and kills John Connor. An interesting role for Arnold Schwarzenegger; good guy - bad guy – future hope.
#7 - Stars Death
In Terminator Salvation many fans found the character of Star as a needless, shameless character addition by director McG to play on the audiences emotions. This is untrue as Star appeared in the very first movie, 1984’s The Terminator in Kyle Reese’s first Future nightmare, where she was vaporized by a H-K Tank she and Kyle were shadowing. This scene needs to be re-shot, to emphasize the next point.
#6 – Kyle Reese’s World Falls Apart
In 2018 (Terminator Salvation) Kyle Reese appears as a hopeful, light-hearted and eager young man, but by 2029 when he is sent back to 1984 he has become a battle hardened yet haunted shell of a man, though a competent fighter. Thus the character of Kyle Reese needs to undergo a downfall, a reckoning – losing his best friend Star will be the first step of this, losing the photograph of Sarah Connor in a Terminator attack will add to it, but we need to see the arc of this character change from a hopeful boy to weary young man.
#5 – Old Faces
Although 3 billion human lives ended on Judgment Day, who’s to say that some old faces from previous installments didn’t survive. Characters such as Danny Dyson, whom would both resent and respect John Connor, or Tim, John’s Guns ‘n’ Roses listening, arcade game playing friend.
#4 – The Victory Discrepancy
This is of course one major discrepancy, and quite frankly the only one in the Terminator franchise, which needs to be addressed – When being interviewed by Dr. Silberman at the West Highland Police Station May 12th 1984 Kyle Reese clearly stated that the Resistance had won the war against the machines before he was sent back (July 11th 2029), yet John Connor is killed July 4th 2032 by the T-850 and it followed the T-X back to Judgment Day 2004 from a newly built, Skynet owned TDE (Time Displacement Equipment) Laboratory in 2033.
So, either Kyle was lying (which seems unlikely), or the Resistance was led to believe they were winning the war before a mass Skynet offensive occurred after Kyle entered the TDE, which is supported by the beginning scene of T2.
#3 – The TDE Laboratory
The events within here are mostly known – John, Kyle and his team enter the Lab as the T-800 is sent back to May 12th 1984, Kyle volunteers to follow to protect Sarah Connor, A reprogrammed T-800 is then sent back to June 8th 1994 to protect John Connor. Presumably at this point John and the remainder of his team, having set the place to explode leave before Skynet, in a sign of desperation sends back the mimetic-poly-alloy prototype; the T-1000, after young John Connor. We need to see all this!
#2 – The Future War
When we all heard that McG was making Terminator Salvation we all hoped that we would finally get an entire films worth of the future scenes from the first 3 movies – we did not. This is what we need, and it is still a possibility. Salvation was set in 2018, 9-11 years before the aforementioned future scenes. Also the T-RIP that almost killed John Connor was the first second generation machine – composed of Hyper-Alloy, fueled by dual Hydrogen fuel cells and controlled by a Neural Network Processor. All the H-K’s seen in the future scenes from the first 3 movies where also second generation; those in Salvation were not – like the T-600 they were made with existing materials and technologies.
#1 – John Connor as the WHR Leader
Quite rightly John Connor was not portrayed as the leader of the WHR (Worldwide Human Resistance) in Terminator Salvation – the surviving military figures took command.
Leading up to the TDE lab scene John Connor should be seen as an outsider, a doubter in the resistances (supposed) upcoming victory; possibly blamed for the destruction of the USS Wilmington and the deaths of Generals Ashdown and Losenko. Yet through his actions in the TDE scene (see #3) and uncovering the truth – that Skynet has led the resistance into a trap and an unprecedented mass offensive awaits them, Connor proves his worth and fullfils his destiny, becoming the leader of the WHR.
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