Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)

“Watching John with the machine, it was suddenly so clear. The terminator would never stop. It would never leave him, and it would never hurt him, never shout at him, or get drunk and hit him, or say it was too busy to spend time with him. It would always be there. And it would die, to protect him. Of all the would-be fathers who came and went over the years, this thing, this machine, was the only one who measured up. In an insane world, it was the sanest choice.”

A few movies will always hold a special place in my heart, Good Will Hunting, Forrest Gump, and Bloodsport among them. What’s a little curious is that, in these last couple of weeks, we have been bombarded with a number of trailers to sequels that tap into that same sense of nostalgia. Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens is a prime example of this. Jurassic World is another. And then, there is the trailer for Terminator Genisys, which apparently looks to rewrite the history of the franchise.

WARNING: Possible spoilers below for Terminator Genisys

As a young child, easily one of my favorite movies was Terminator 2: Judgment Day. It’s definitely debatable that this movie was far too gory and too violent for a kid that age, but I loved it. It had cool “cybernetic organisms,” plenty of memorable one-liners and some truly amazing special effects that were far ahead of their time. And then there was one Arnold Schwarzenegger in the prime of his action and sci-fi movie career.

It was the best for so many reasons.

With Terminator Genisys, scheduled for release on July 1, 2015, the timeline gets a little reset. Instead of Kyle Reese coming back to protect a young Sarah Connor against the T-800 as in the first Terminator film, the new Sarah Connor (played by “Khaleesi” Emilia Clarke) has been “raised” by another Schwarzinator and they’ve already “taken care of” the Terminator that was sent back to kill her. Based on what we can gather from the official trailer embedded below, Sarah Connor has had the older Terminator as a father figure and primary guardian in her life since childhood.

Now, consider the quote at the top.

That was uttered by Sarah Connor in Terminator 2 as she looked upon the Schwarzenegger T-800 spending time with young John Connor. He was bonding. He was a protector and a provider. He may be a cold, heartless machine, but he is also the only “would-be” father “who measured up” and was “the safest choice.”

This would almost sound like foreshadowing, except there’s no way the writers would have even conceived of the fifth movie in the franchise yet. Even so, in Teminator Genisys, precisely what we get is a Terminator as the “ideal” parental figure, albeit for Sarah instead of John.

Completely rewriting history through time machines and alternative timelines could be considered blasphemous to some. And many of us were sorely disappointed by Rise of the Machines and Terminator Salvation. I remain cautiously optimistic. Here’s hoping that Genisys returns this franchise to its former glory.

Come with me if you want to live. They’ll be back.