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The Genisys of a New (and Different Terminator)

Robert J. Sodaro is an American born writer, editor, and digital graphic artist, who loves writing about comics, movies, and literature.

Terminator Genisys

The futures past is now and forever different.

The futures past is now and forever different.

Dawn of a new future

Over the past few years, it has become something of a standing practice for several production houses to reboot some of their more popular film franchises by relaunching them with new (younger) casts in order to keep them alive (and, well, generating more income for everyone involved). Some of these reboots (for better or worse) have included Star Trek, Mad Max, Rocky/Creed, Planet of the Apes, Conan, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Hellboy, The Mummy, Transporter, Ghostbusters, and others. As stated, some of them worked while others didn’t. In 2015 the producers of the Terminator franchise tried their hand at a reboot with the launch of Terminator Genisys which some folks felt was a betrayal of sorts of the previously established storyline. We were not one of those folks.

He's ba-aaackkk!

Hey, he said he'd be back!

Hey, he said he'd be back!

Through the past darkly

The reason for this was that — believe it or not — the alternate timeline that was presented in Genisys was actually set up in the first film, way back in ’84. It was there that we all witnessed Sergeant Kyle Reese (Michael Biehn) tell a young Sarah Connor (Linda Hamilton) when she questioned him about his world, and the future, he responded by stating that he came from (and we quote) “One possible future. From your point of view. I don't know tech stuff.” And there it is. For while the past is set in stone, the future is mutable, and always in flux, and any alteration to an event from a future incursion will inevitably result in the creation of an alternate future timeline.

Terminator Genisys

The future is different

One of these future histories came in 2015 in the form of Genisys, when everything we previously knew, changed dramatically. Here, instead of Kyle Reese returning to the past, to save a naive Sarah Connor, it turns out that she is a well-trained operative who winds up rescuing him an entertaining turn of the events of Kyle’s initial arrival back in the first film. As the film plays out we learn that sometime after the events of Judgement day, (or Rise of the Machines it really doesn’t matter which) everything we knew about not only the future, but the past as well, was different. Arnie was (once again) a good terminator, and he was the one who had come back to rescue Sarah.

Nothing is quite the same

"Come with me if you want to live...!"

"Come with me if you want to live...!"

You'll never believe who is the bag guy this time around

Because, frankly, we know from the first three films that Skynet sent back more than one terminator to kill John, so why do we assume that killing John was the only option? Why not send a terminator back to kill Sarah as a child and shortcut the entire process? Well, that’s the basic plot point of Genisys. Now it is up to Terminator/Arnie, Sarah, and Kyle to stop the new threat of Skynet/Genisys before it comes online. Only the threat this time around is…well while you may know, we’re not going to reveal it here, but believe us, it’s a doozy.

Terminator: Genisys Official Trailer #2 (2015) - Arnold Schwarzenegger Movie HD

Prepare for some hi-octane excitement

Anyways, this new hybrid terminator is every bit as relentless as was Arnie in the first film and he stalks our heroes across the California landscape as he attempts to stop them from preventing Genisys from coming online. As with the previous films, there are some big-budget, slam-bang, high-octane chases — this time involving not only cars and a bus (which crashes in a spectacularly amazing, and totally impossible, fashion), but helicopters, planes, and well, all of the usual fast-paced action to which we’ve become accustomed.

The action heats up!

the-genisys-of-a-new-and-different-terminator

Sarah Connors is seriously hardcore

Still, all of that is just the draw to get us to watch the flick in the first place, there is still a goodly share of expository material and character development along the way. We learn about the new incarnation of Skynet (now called Genisys), about this new, hardcore, badass, Sarah came to be, and how she is teaching Arnie to smile (with less than noteworthy results). And how all of this impacts on Kyle who was fully expecting to drop into the 1984 of the first film, only to wind up in this, slightly askew, mirrorverse, full of people he recognizes, but don’t at all act in the way he expected them to react. (Sort of like how we felt while reading the sequels to Dune only to learn that in each subsequent novel, the good guys and bad guys had always changed.) Yeah, this one really did screw with all of our perceptions of who these people were and what they were doing (which only set us up for how much more whack it all got in the next film).

ladies and gents, Sarah Connor

You don't want to make her angry.

You don't want to make her angry.

All of time is a loop, deal with it!

So, yeah, we really do enjoy time travel films, especially when they are done amazingly well (Predestination, Looper) and play hob with our perceptions of space, time, and reality. Thus, we heartily will state that this incarnation of the Terminator film franchise was quite good. We enjoyed seeing Arnie back as the T800, plus we did rather enjoy the mucking up that was done with the chronology and time stream. Plus, we feel that, given that we now know that time is truly fluid, this franchise could, quite literally, go on forever even if Arnie gets ultimately replaced in subsequent versions as the terminator. Plus, it also opens the door to all sorts of small-screen and/or print versions of the franchise (hint, hint, comicbooks) to be developed and produced.

OK, THIS is really creepy

Arnie as the T-800 should never smile.

Arnie as the T-800 should never smile.

© 2021 Robert J Sodaro