Terminator: Salvation

Quicktime trailer.

The TV show Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, while occasionally inventive and interesting, vaccilates between Christian allegory so overt that you expect a DRTV version peddling bibles, and a weirdly anachronistic screed against technological progress. Neither can last for much longer without getting ridiculous.

So now we have a tale of “judgement day,” the inevitable climax of any Christian science-fiction story. The ultimate cyborg thing that is the villain will symbolize something or other, and what that is will be the measure of whether or not this movie makes any sort of sense. Does this uber-terminator represent the devil? Or is he merely a symbol of spiritual emptiness, a soul-less creature who represents the worst possible type of human being: amoral, guilt-free, blasphemous to its creator?

Aliens and robots are usually metaphors for some aspect of humanity, so it’s common for their stories to climax with a hybrid creature that drives home the horror of the familar. Some other examples:


The Borg Queen in one of those later Star Trek movies singularly personified (literally) an entity that had been so insidious because of its depersonalization. In TV, things spread out, curl back on themselves, and develop endlessly. In movies, they come to a head. After years of hating “The Borg,” viewers are here enticed to be sexually attracted to it. They couple with it in the form of Data, the good cyborg, so the interface still comes at a comfortable distance.


The werewolf/vampire hybrid in Underworld is a correctional force of nature, arrived after the world of the undead has been consumed by too much politics and arrogance. He’s a new broom in an old house. Nice abs, too.

This trailer for Terminator: Salvation also uses the viewer’s implicit questions about the franchise to generate suspense within it. Does the movie mean the end of the TV show? Do you have to watch one to understand the other?

The key lies in the line “This isn’t the future my mother warned me about.” In other words, everything has changed, and the connection between cause and effect is tenuous. Most likely, the movie will have a sort of Alice In Wonderland ending, where all the events we observe on the big screen cancel themselves out, or something.

Finally, the transition from the small to the big screen tends to often manifest as certain characters or objects literally getting bigger, as if to fill the extra space. This moment in the Terminator: Salvation trailer immediately made me think of Animal’s giganticism in The Muppet Movie:



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