Ahead of the release of Terminator: Dark Fate, Annlyel reveals her love for James Cameron’s groundbreaking Terminator franchise
Science-fiction. It’s my favorite genre in cinema, mainly because the most imaginative stories are often told in the science-fiction arena. You have Star Wars, a space opera set a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away. There are the Marvel movies that depict a world where there are aliens and superhumans, gods and great beasts. There’s ALIEN, a story of humans set in the future who discover the deadliest predator known to man. Then there is Avatar, a story very reminiscent of the world colonization by the Europeans as it tells a story of an alien race whose way of life is attacked by humans because of a rare mineral they live upon. You have the Jurassic Park franchise which is a series that sees humans coinciding with dinosaurs that have been brought back to life. There are films like Arrival, a fascinating reimagining of humans’ first contact with extraterrestrials wrapped up in a subtle love story gift wrapper. Edge of Tomorrow is the exact opposite of a film like Arrival as human’s first contact with aliens becomes a war for the survival of everyone on Earth. A Quiet Place is Tom Cruise’s War of the Worlds if the concept was you had to be utterly silent to stay alive. You have incredible films like Interstellar, a more intimate depiction of saving the world in a bleak future where life on Earth is in peril.
And yet, even with all of these incredible films to think about, The Terminator stands tall above them all with a concept that hits so close to home it can sometimes be worrying.
Thirty-five years ago, James Cameron premiered his first major blockbuster in theaters. It was called The Terminator. Based partly in the future and mostly in the present day (at the time) it told a story that feels more and more resonant with every passing decade: the domination of artificial intelligence. Humans had created a robot so intelligent that it literally decided it was more powerful than humankind and decided to wipe us out. Only through the incredible smarts of the infamous John Connor, was this plan of human extinction quelled.
The Terminator, an R-rated delight of an action movie, delivered something that had never been brought to the big screen before. And the incredible Arnold Schwarzenegger was the actor behind the stone-faced killer whose only goal was to kill Sarah Connor (Linda Hamilton.) Every time I have ever watched either The Terminator or Terminator: Judgement Day I am struck by the brilliance of this story. Unlike other science-fiction films of the 80s’ that have grown corny over time The Terminator actually becomes more and more believable as the technology surrounding us gets smarter and smarter.
Now, am I worried that one day my computer will try to kill me? Of course not. But it goes to show the brilliance behind James Cameron’s storytelling and I truly believe, because it has aged so well and feels so palpable, that is is the greatest science-fiction concept of all time.
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Annlyel James is a prolific Staff Writer for Future of the Force. She is passionate about Star Wars and Marvel but loves a wide variety of movie genres. Follow her on Twitter @annlyeljames where she channels the Force frequently!