Readers have probably figured out that I’ve been pretty psyched for Terminator: Dark Fate from the moment it was revealed that Linda Hamilton was at long last returning as Sarah Connor. I was so psyched by the first photos, both official and unofficial, that were revealed that I ended up obsessing on every detail (which eventually lead to this run down of Sarah’s clothing and gear which I intend to update in the near future). Every photo reveal has gotten me more excited, Linda again looking so awesome as Sarah.
Of course, I’ve been anxious for months waiting to actually see Sarah Connor in action. I mean, it’s still rather early (except for Disney movies and some others with toy tie-ins where the first trailers are mostly to sell toys, not the movie) for a trailer. But we’ve known about this for soooooo long. There was hoping when it came out that Terminator: Dark Fate, newly officially titled, was going to be featured at CinemaCon and the cast was be awarded Best Ensemble that the following day we’d get something. We got more photos, we got descriptions of the footage shown, but as that wasn’t even a trailer we had to wait.
So this week has been a huge deal for me, from the moment Arnold Schwarzenegger posted on his social media that the trailer was 48 hours away. The next morning we got the first official poster, featuring Sarah Connor, with the road reflecting both the endings of The Terminator and beginning and end ofTerminator 2: Judgment Day. It’s minimalist, stark even, which a perfect echo of where Sarah is likely at this point. Yes, this goes on the gym wall very soon!
This was really the best sign I could have asked for, to see Sarah/Linda centered as completely as this. A sign that they know that for many of us, this really always has been about Sarah Connor. That we’re here for her, not the machines which all movies following T2 seemed to be based on. Oh, there are those who are, of course. Most of them seem to already hate this movie, however, so probably it is wise not to focus on them. Oh, they’re giving us a new Terminator model that is more advanced, able to not only shape shift but split in two, and a new hero who is apparently a true cyborg, an enhanced human …maybe. But the machines are not the focus I have….I’m here for the continuation of Sarah’s story. And the beginning of Dani’s.
And yesterday morning, when I woke up early (considering my habit of keeping late hours, which I had not managed to curb the night before) so I’d have this computer up and running and pointed at the YouTube premiere page, I was blown away by a trailer that did, indeed, center around these women’s stories, with no lack of action.
Even having heard the descriptions of footage seen at CinemaCon, even with all the anticipation I have had for this, I will admit I was emotionally shaken by seeing Sarah Connor step out of that truck to kick Terminator ass. I have watched it several times and get choked up every single damn time! I’ve waited so damn long for this!
Of course, the trailer is being trashed by the toxic dudebros, sometimes apparently for the opposite reasons they were previously claiming it was going to suck for. Haters gonna hate. But I don’t have a single complaint (other than the movie being over 5 months away, of course).
Nothing is given away except one death that I think most of us expected but does blow the “Diego Boneta is secretly playing John Connor” fan theory out of the water, which is good as it was getting real old and needed to die. It’s hard to call this a spoiler when it was so obvious from the day the casting was revealed. To some of us. A “point of no return” death is an expected trope here, Ginger in The Terminator, John’s not-exactly-beloved-but-they-were-home foster parents in T2.
Other than that, little is revealed. We get imagery that indicates that Arnold Schwarzenegger is playing a Terminator, we know nothing more about his character yet. We see things that indicate that most of what was hinted at already about Sarah Connor and Grace now is likely but we really learn very little. We certainly still have no idea where John Connor is.
I might not have chosen the rather haunting, dirgey even, cover of Björk’s Hunter ( vocals by John Mark McMillan, arrangement by Matt Wilcox) but I felt that they used it well. While faster paced and industrial might have been what was expected, of course, I felt that the way it was structured the music enhanced the action scenes rather than undermined them and added a sense of sorrow, longing, pain to the teaser. Oh, I’d still be getting misty over seeing Sarah again, but I think the music intensifies it. As it’s the first trailer, just a teaser, we probably were never going to get Junkie XL’s scoring yet. Possibly it’s not ready, likely they also want to keep it under wraps. Maybe they even hoping that those who are still somehow expecting Brad Fiedel would hate this so much that they’ll be more accepting of the change. I doubt it will work, of course.
We also got a behind-the-scenes video, which gives us a bit more insight, again focused on the fact that this is all about Sarah Fucking Connor!
No, not everyone seems happy, but all the consensus among die-hard Charm Schoolers and other Sarah Connor fans has been, over all, positive. And after decades of feeling like we were “on the fringes” of the Terminator fandom (again, we didn’t even get Sarah Connor action figures until 2004!….but we’re expecting one, along with Grace and Dani, soon from this one!) it’s also really good to see James Cameron, Tim Miller and all noting that this is about Sarah Connor!
Shout-out Richard Kisielka for collecting and sending us the photos used here. He has also sent some close ups of items to help with the cosplay blog post and page (some confirming already that I was right about the watch despite lack of detail previously…), so that will be getting some updating soon.
I’m also working on a more detailed post on my thoughts and, yes, feelings about “old” Sarah Connor’s return and what it means to me in my midlife.