No Fate: Immortalising the Terminator Franchise

It’s hard to believe that Terminator 2 will be celebrating it’s 30th birthday this year.  As a sequel, it broke the clichéd convention that sequels were never as good as the original.  Let’s be honest, Terminator 2 was the peak of a franchise that constantly tried to reinvent itself.

The monster that James Cameron and Gale Anne Hurd created burst across various multimedia platforms to be engaged by sci-fi geeks of all generations. The momentum of the franchise was as devastating as Skynet’s initial attack.

It’s a shame that at this point, we are unlikely to see any more movies.  As Hollywood Reporter writes: “Given Dark Fate‘s box office struggles, another film sequel is likely in doubt. While the theatrical window for this Terminator series may be over, perhaps the franchise can find favor with audiences and continue on through a streaming series.”

But as 2021 is such a pivotal year for the franchise, and the action figures just happen to be among our favourites, we want to discuss our favourite Terminator franchise elements,

We must talk about the original

What is interesting about this film is the reception it gets across all generations.  This film is older than some members of the Figure Collector team, and for myself, I wasn’t quite three years old when it hit the cinemas.  But that hasn’t stopped us watching it numerous times throughout our lives.

It was interesting to learn that originally OJ Simpson was put forward as the titular role.  Considering that Arnie and The Terminator are synonymous, it is hard to believe that anyone else would have ever been considered.  However, reportedly Orion called James Cameron and said:

‘Are you sitting down? I’ve got this movie cast: O.J. Simpson as The Terminator and Arnold Schwarzenegger as [Kyle] Reese.’

Considering the imposing bulldozer that Arnold Schwarzenegger was, considering him as anything other than T-800 seems, at this point, ridiculous.

But then, we have the benefit of hindsight.  And, despite the few obvious CGI blunders that were a sign of the age, The Terminator has stood the test of time.

When RoboCop got involved

Before I was ever really sure what The Terminator was about, I owned a Sega Mega Drive.  And whilst I sit with my Xbox One and play the more updated games with more realistic graphics and immersive gameplay, there are still fond memories of the Mega Drive.  For myself, and for many in my generation, this console started it all.

RoboCop Versus The Terminator mixed the two very different franchises in a clumsy, but fun, way.  Cyberdine, in this alternate universe, created Skynet by using RoboCop’s technology.  So yes, in essence, RoboCop was The Terminator’s daddy.

Back at a time when intricate storytelling wasn’t important to platform games, this was enough to set RoboCop on a rampage to end Skynet.  And, for its time, this game was the very epitome of awesome.

When Xbox recently released a massive bundle of Sega games to their platform, it was gutting to see that this hadn’t been considered.

T2-3D: Battle Across Time

Long before 3D movies became a mainstay of cinematic experience, the Universal Studios attractions united Arnie, Robert Patrick, Ed Furlong and Linda Hamilton to create an alternate version of Terminator 2.

Arnie takes John Connor to the future to help destroy Skynet against the T-1000000 and to treat the visitors to the Universal Studios to the ultimate cataclysmic destruction of the future Skynet.  Then, of course, just to keep everything in a nice order, Arnie returns John Connor back to the past where he came from.

The innovation of this cinematic attraction seemed to be lost in the history of 3D cinematic lore.  This short experience was never released in cinemas; however this can be credited as the father of 3D cinematography.

For this very reason, this stunningly interactive theme park attraction deserves an honourable mention in our top 5.

Dark Fate: A fitting end

I remember feeling elated that James Cameron would re-join the Terminator Franchise.  After the absolute travesty of Terminator Genisys, the Franchise looked buried by splintering acting by Emilia Clarke and Jai Courtney.  Genisys, like Salvation before it, was supposed to kickstart a new trilogy.  All it had done was make the franchise look tired.

Perhaps it was this drained feeling that impacted the poor showing at the box office for Dark Fate.  However, if this is the way the Franchise ends, it was fitting.

Skynet was killed off by Cameron himself, replacing it with the upgraded, more malicious and determined “Legion”.  If Skynet wasn’t inevitable, humanity crafting its own destruction through rampant technology was.  The original cast was here to pass the torch to the new blood in The Terminator. 

There might be some hope for a streaming television show in the future following the new breed of Terminator and freedom fighters.  It would be nice to continue along with Linda Hamilton and Natalia Reyes, and it is something Netflix have been interested in the past.

There is hope that it will be back.  The future is not set,

Terminator 2: A cinematic masterpiece

There was never any chance of topping Terminator 2.  No matter what they tried, this sequel had everything.  A complex and yet believable storyline.  A real sense of doom.  It was nothing short of a masterpiece.

Robert Patrick was hauntingly frightening as T-1000.  Arnie was suitably fierce as the “good” underdog terminator.  Everything seemed to fit into place for this film, and for many, it should have been the end.  Judgment Day was avoided, the future should have been destroyed.

This was certainly the peak of the Franchise.

Terminator 2 has aged impeccably.  No matter what generation you are, and no matter which film introduced you to the franchise, this film is the glowing dark diamond in the metallic rough.

It is still hard to believe that this film is 30 years old.

Thirty.

Just let that sink in.

Will he be back?

You have probably seen our collection of Terminator action figures and were set on your own time travelling journey.  You have been remembering the complex and heart-pounding timeline that we have been treated to over the past 36 years. 

Having been a purveyor of all things Cyberdine, we are now at the peak where it is all starting to slip into legend.  The Terminator has a rich mythos, nuanced backstory’s, and can be heralded among the classics.  Is it now time to put it to rest?

We are in a cinematic age characterised by reboots, and the temptation might be to try.  But this is folly.  Any further additions to the Terminator franchise risk cheapening it.  If James Cameron himself was unable to fully revive the monster he created, then it is probably time to hang up those dark sunglasses.

It’s time for us to immortalise Terminator and not to further muddy the waters like Genisys attempted to do.

How do you feel about the Terminator Franchise?

Let us know what you think by commenting below.

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