The teaser trailer for Terminator: Dark Fate was released last week, giving fans their first glimpse of Linda Hamilton back in action as Sarah Connor for the first time since Terminator 2: Judgment Day in 1991. There have been three disappointing sequels since then and it’s understandable if some are a little skeptical about this new one, but James Cameron is back on board as producer and Deadpool’s Tim Miller is directing. When you factor in the long-awaited return of Linda Hamilton, it’s hard not to think this one at least has a chance of finally living up to the first two movies.
One major reason that the last three Terminator movies have been so underwhelming is that Terminator 2: Judgment Day is one of the greatest sequels in the history of cinema. James Cameron took the world he created in the 1984 original and expanded upon it in breathtaking ways. Expectations were subverted by making Arnold Schwarzenegger’s T-800 into a hero after playing the villain in the original and Linda Hamilton got into amazing shape for the role and became a fearless action hero. The filmmakers also pushed the boundaries of CGI from that era to make Robert Patrick’s liquid metal T-1000 into a ruthless killing machine capable of morphing his body into people and objects at will.
The original cut of the movie was well over two hours, forcing James Cameron to cut several scenes. One of them came midway through the movie when Sarah Connor, John Connor and the T-800 spend the night at a gas station after a shoot-out with the T-1000. As Sarah Connor removes bullets from the T-800 with pliers, he reveals that his “neuro-net processor” was set to “read-only” on this mission, rendering him incapable of learning new information to help them along their journey. He then urges them to remove his main computer chip so they could reboot his system and allow him to learn new information.
Once she removes the chip, she nearly smashes it with a hammer before John stops her at the last second. Her desire to kill the machine is understandable. An identical model was sent back in time seven years earlier to kill her and this one is only helping her because it was re-programmed. It would take nothing more than a slight reprogramming to have the thing chopping their heads off while they slept that night. Reluctantly, she keeps the machine alive so it can help them defeat the T-1000 and prove to the world, if needed, that Terminators do exist and she doesn’t belong in a mental asylum.
The scene was in the original cut and Schwarzenegger fought for it to stay in there. “It was shot in a very remarkable way with the mirror effect and all this stuff,” he said in 2015. “[James Cameron] says, ‘I’m gonna take that scene out to shorten the movie.’ And, I said to him, ‘No, no! That’s one of my favorite scenes! You can’t take that out!'” Check out the scene right here.
Cameron got his way, but the scene was included on the DVD as a deleted scene. It does help explain a brief moment later in the movie when the T-800 is about to hotwire a car before John dangles keys in finds by the mirror and says, “Are we learning yet?”
Edward Furlong is not returning to Terminator: Dark Fate to portray John Connor again, but there are reports that some scenes will take place in 1991 and CGI will be used to make the characters look like they did back then, including Furlong’s teenage John Connor. We’ll have to wait until the movie hits on November 1st to see if any of this works. At the very, very least, we’ll get to see Linda Hamilton using a rocket launcher to kill a Terminator at age 62. That alone is enough to get us to buy a ticket even if the Rotten Tomatoes score winds up being a zero.