'Terminator: Genisys': Get Ready for a New Sarah Connor

The Terminator
<p><strong>James Cameron</strong>&rsquo;s <em>The Terminator </em>paved the way for stories featuring a machine-ruled future, with the idea cribbed by <em>The Matrix</em> and others. <strong>Arnold Schwarzenegger, Linda Hamilton </strong>and <strong>Michael Biehn</strong> (Kyle Reese) carried a film that was both big in scope and intimate in its key relationship. The 1984 film spawned a sequel widely considered to be even better than the original, as well as a TV show and third and fourth film installments that were less well-received.</p>
Spoilers: Time travel (and robotic nannying) might be involved

Plot details about next year’s Terminator: Genisys have been released, and they apparently confirm that the movie will reboot the entire franchise — but unlike 2009’s Star Trek, it’s a reboot that isn’t attempting to return to a previous status quo.

Entertainment Weekly reveals that the Sarah Connor in Genisys will be revealed to have been orphaned — by a Terminator, of course — as a child, and “since then, she’s been raised by (brace yourself) [Arnold Schwarzenegger]’s Terminator — an older T-800 she calls ‘Pops’ — who is programmed to guard rather than to kill.” The magazine continues, “As a result, Sarah is a highly trained antisocial recluse who’s great with a sniper rifle but not so skilled at the nuances of human emotion.”

Well, that’s different.

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It’s not altogether unfamiliar, however; an “antisocial recluse” could describe John Connor in Terminator: Rise of the Machines, while the protective Terminator has made appearances in both Terminator 2: Judgment Day and the Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles television series. (Also, a heroine who’s “great with a sniper rifle but not so skilled at the nuances of human emotion” — it’s like she’s a machine herself! I see what you did there, filmmakers.)

Whether this change in the franchise’s mythology will be revealed to be in-story tinkering with the established history of the previous movies, or simply the new status quo without any explanation, remains to be seen; the EW story does mention that the time-traveling Kyle Reese (Jai Courtney) will be surprised by Emilia Clarke's Sarah Connor when they meet in 1984, which suggests some level of time-travel shenanigans behind the change.

If nothing else, this is a rare occasion when fans are likely to embrace such a change in a long-standing property. After all, it’s not as if The Terminator isn’t explicitly based on the idea of changing history and seeing what happens afterward …

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