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 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.
We know more about the upcoming Terminator: Dark Fate since hearing descriptions of the two clips and montage footage shown at CinemaCon on April 4, 2019. But there is still a lot we don’t know. And one thing has been bugging some fans (not me so much but some of the talk about it kind of does, hence this) above all else. “Where is John Connor?”
I admit, I’ve been a bit nicer in my interactions about this subject on Facebook than I’m going to be here, mostly because getting down to the nitty gritty seems better done in one place. Less energy and time, too.
And, yes, that is there, even if most (but clearly not all, as some are so proud of it, although most of them seem only capable of vile yet boringly repetitive “tr***y” jokes about Mackenzie Davis, which do not deserve any more energy than this) of the fans doing this would not consider themselves being misogynist about it. They likely are first thinking of wanting a beloved character to return. But it is effectively , it is effectively negating the importance of Natalia Reyes’ Dani Ramos. Something which we have seen continually happening in various ways starting with early reports that Mackenzie Davis was the new central character, some even billing her as Dani Ramos, while Reyes’ involvement was largely ignored or reduced for weeks (in some cases months) by many fans and much of the English speaking press. Essentially, these theories precisely reduce the importance of Dani Ramos as contingent on her supposed relationship to John Connor.
Most of the fan theories start with the issue that John has not been mentioned by anyone, aside from the leak that Jude Collie did motion capture for at least one flashback or dream scene of young John. Apparently, this lack of mention must mean John is so important and this is going to be so amazing that they are keeping it a big secret. This leads to a lot of hope in many hearts that Edward Furlong is going to return to the role, in a big reveal. Furlong having gone into rehab last year around the time filming started, has strengthened this hope. Some are willing to face it might be someone else, but again, a big reveal at the end. Usually the idea is that John must be in hiding from Skynet, likely bunkered somewhere.
But not all fans are satisfied just this theory, because there is the “problem” of the Dani having some importance. One theory that “explains” Dani Ramos’s “seemingly” central role popped up in several fora after the release of this behind-the-scenes video that shows (at 0:43) Natalia Reyes wearing a short wig. This theory is that Dani has short hair because she is meant to be a decoy “John Connor” to lead Gabriel Luna’s Terminator from the real thing. This is perhaps the most transparent attempt to invalidate Dani’s importance that I have seen so far. It also makes no sense when, from early filming photos and such, it was clear that long haired Dani was actually being targeted. But, what ever.
But another, more popular attempt, is goes with John more hiding in plain sight and is based on the fact that 28 year-old Mexican actor Diego Boneta’s character has not been named publicly at this point. His character has been noted several times both officially and in his own social media accounts as Dani’s brother. So, obviously he must be John Connor! Uh…yeah. The idea is that Dani is just his half sister, Sarah having married and settled down in Mexico city. Or maybe that happened later and they’re only step-siblings. Or maybe he was adopted or fostered by the Ramos family. But obviously the only reason she could be important is proximity to her brother.
There are so many reasons it seems unlikely. He’s younger than the character, actors are typically actually older than the character for some reas (and the Terminator franchise has itself tended towards this). Boneta also left filming early, when principal filming that included Arnold Schwarzenegger was still going on in Hungary Boneta was in South Africa already filming Monster Hunter. Although he did get a photo in the group released to IGN by Paramount Pictures on April 4, 2019, which I use here, he was not present at the CinemaCon and included in the Ensemble Award (but then Schwarzenegger didn’t receive the award either but was there for the presentation) But the fun part of this theory has been that all of these reasons to doubt can be explained as part of the great ploy to hide the fact he is John.
This theory also feels like it’s negating Boneta’s own Mexican identity. Boneta is the only Mexican born actor in the main cast and it’s clear on his social media that he’s very proud of his culture. Gabriel Luna was born in Texas although he seems strongly connected to his Mexican roots, Natalia Reyes is Colombian. Many of the other Mexican characters are played by Spanish actors, as much of the “Mexican” filming was done in Spain, as well as likely some Mexican and other Latin American actors. While Edward Furlong apparently has some Mexican ancestry and John Connor spent his childhood in Latin American countries, it is a stretch to claim that John Connor is culturally immersed Mexican person. This theory seems to essentially say that the actor’s Mexican identity is just another “Red Herring” to fool us into thinking he’s not John and that’s really …problematic.
However, the Boneta is John theory should now be put to rest, although some are holding strong which is really why I’m writing this, by the descriptions of one of the clips at CinemaCon of what sounds like an amazing entrance by Sarah Connor:
At that moment, a truck speeds into the scene. It does an aggressive slide and out pops…Sarah Connor, who has a huge ass gun. She fills the human-looking Terminator with shells, much like the did at the end of Terminator 2, and then takes a bazooka off her back, and uses it to blow the shit out of the endoskeleton Terminator. “Who the fuck is that?” asks the girl (Reyes/Dani). “I don’t know,” says Davis. – Germain Lussier, “The Terminator: Dark Fate Footage We Saw Featured Some Serious Cyborg Upgrades,” io9 my emphasis
This makes it pretty clear that Dani Ramos doesn’t know Sarah, so obviously not mother/daughter, step or biological. It’s even unlikely that if John were her foster or adopted brother that, if they were at all close, he’d not have told stories. Or that the family wouldn’t know of his past, even if they think the whole time travel and killer robots things was all his mother’s delusion around two men who were trying to kill/save them. I’d think it would far more a “shit, you’re really real!” reaction instead of “who the fuck is that?”
But aside from Dani’s response busting the sibling theory, it’s overall more telling that Grace doesn’t know, or at least suspect, who Sarah Connor is either. If John was still the Great Military Leader Savior of Humanity, if he was one of the targets she was sent to save, she’s certainly have known about his mother and realize “that must be the Great Sarah Connor!”
“Some legend, huh?”
Which brings me to my own actual theory:
Since the events in Terminator 2 pushed back when Judgment Day happens by at least 28 years, John Connor is no longer the Savior of the story. He isn’t the one who saves humanity. Sarah is no longer the mother and teacher of the Savior. I know some fans have said that if John is not centered then the first two movies had no point, but I say that that was exactly the point of T2. Sarah succeeded in her obvious goal to save John from having to bear this burden, even if we now find she failed at stopping Skynet all together. “No fate but what we make,” is the key there. T2 changes their fate.
Dani Ramos is not being targeted by Terminators because she’s somehow in proximity to John, she’s targeted because in the timeline (“one possible future, I don’t know tech stuff”) Sarah and John created she’s the Chosen One. Either the Great Military Leader who Saves Humanity or the ass kicking mother of said leader. Neither John nor Sarah are targeted at all. Sorry, folks, this really is about Dani Ramos.
Yes, this does mean that John may not be in this movie or any that might follow at all (I do see riots if that’s the case, so it might be better if fans got use to the possibility sooner than later). He might be dead. He might be a Senator as in the alternate ending of T2 (he was a kid, as far as anyone knows he was kidnapped by his crazy mother and a guy has an established habit of shooting things up and disappearing, his other exploits are “youthful indiscretions, because he had a crazy mother, which he overcomes”). Maybe no longer being the Chosen One fucked him up and he’s in and out of rehab. Maybe he still thinks he’s the Chosen One and is hiding from Skynet for no actual reason. Maybe he’s an okay guy who just isn’t in the movie or comes in at the end, not because he’s the Chosen One but because it’s the right thing to do. Or maybe he’s an otherwise okay guy, who doesn’t show up at all because he no longer feels that’s his life.
See, that brings up what I hoping for with Sarah. That she no longer is any sort of target for the Terminators, but she puts herself in the fight because …she can. It’s why I am totally good with the idea that she and John are not the Holy Savior Family any more. You might think that I’d be upset with that, but I’m not. I’m fucking excited by this possibility!
Because while she was always a better (for my liking, ymmv) Chosen One than some, because she 1) accepted her Destiny with only minimal whinging at first that she then stopped and went out and learned so she could prepare John, 2) came to question her and John’s Destiny and instead used that training to try to save him from it and 3) did this with no superpowers (I like superheroes, too, they’re fun; but it’s always cooler and far more inspirational to me to see someone “normal’ train up to kick ass). But she still did all of that because she felt she had to. Whether accepting their Fate or storming against their Fate, it was the duty she’d be stuck with.
Now, if my theory is correct, she no longer Fated to fight Terminators. Oh, the whole “Dark” part of Dark Fate is thought to indicate she might feel responsible due to changes her choices have caused. Cameron said that she has gone through much more tragedy that has “hardened” and made her “Maybe less likable, but stronger.” A line that has led to “her choices killed John” theories. But even guilt isn’t the same as Fate. In fact, if you feel that your actions made things worse, it can lead to you inaction rather than action. (Hmmm…we’ve seen that somewhere before, seemed to upset a lot of supposed fans of another franchise)
So when she comes storming into the battle and saves Dani and Grace, she may be doing this without any sense that it’s what she has to do. She may feel it’s what she should do because she might feel it’s her fault. She may feel it’s what she should do because she is one of, maybe, two people who know what the fuck is going on. She does, after all, have a rather rare skill set that allows her to fight killer robots. She may feel it’s what she should do because she’s not a damn bystander hoping someone else will anymore, it’s just her nature. But she wouldn’t be doing this because she’s the Chosen One. Or because she herself or her child is in danger, because if they aren’t the Chosen Ones, Skynet doesn’t care either.
And this would make her even more interesting, make her more relatable. How many of us feel we are Chosen Ones? Well, okay, I know a few people who do but still, really, I think most people know they are not. But we might act on something due to guilt, we might act on something because it’s something we’ve prepared for and we probably all hope that when the shit goes down we would act on something because our nature is to act and not be a bystander.
So if John is still alive in this world, and he may not because that would be an easy (lazy, even) way to make sure Sarah is even more traumatized, and no longer fated to be This Great Military Leader, will he choose to act? Will he show up at the end of this movie, preparing to be in the next ones, because he was trained all his life to fight this and he could be helpful, without be the Savior? Or will he just not.
I do think people should be prepared for the possibility that John is dead. Honestly, I don’t want to find myself in the middle of a violent riot on opening night…I mean, I try to always be ready for things to throw down if they do, but I kind of hope to just have fun that night. But either way, I think some fans need to face that this is about Dani Ramos now, it’s very much not likely that it will give you a surprise twist where John Connor is again the focus. T2 did change the future, obviously, and to be the true sequel to it that we crave, that is something we also need to accept.
I’m not a cosplayer, but I love seeing Sarah Connor cosplay. Okay, sometimes I and friends joke that I do daily Sarah Connor cosplay. I prefer to think I just cosplay the dean of the Sarah Connor Charm School. Which would obviously be influenced by Sarah. But I’ preoccupied by costuming details as much, if not more, than the most authenticity obsessed cosplayer. At least when it comes to Sarah Connor. Of course, this is more so since I took up prepping, so I’m also picky about what is and isn’t practical in wardrobe and props.
There is a lot about what she wears in Terminator 2 that I absolutely love and do wear regularly. Black (although hers was apparently gray but some people think was green) tank tops being number one. Especially when I am feeling buffed, want to show off my tattoos (so very un-Sarah Connor, who wouldn’t take the time or want to be so marked….although Linda has at least one that we know of), as it keeps getting hotter where I live and as my old concert and events cut-up black T-shirts have worn out from years of wear and washings and I just don’t go to things to get them so much anymore (and I have a few special ones I stopped wearing regularly so they wouldn’t wear out so fast). But I also have various jersey material shirts with various lengths of sleeves, so I already have V-neck Ts now unlike the one she is wearing in the new photos. Of course, many, again of all sleeve lengths or none, are our own SCCS shirts. Black (I have long worn mostly black) BDUs I figured I should have some and learned to love extra pockets, I still wear them sometimes but evolved to prefer tactical pants with even more pockets. The covered watchband, I bought one as a lark when I saw it while buying some BDUs because it was cheap. But in black, of course. I have gone through many since because it’s cheaper than replacing the actual watches…and I discovered my watches now last for years instead of dying after a few months and, no, not the batteries, the watches themselves would fry. Now I don’t even remember when I last bought a watch. Combat boots, but I already was wearing combat boots and they are nothing like the low boots (requiring stirrups added on her BDUs) with brass eyelets Sarah wears which I never did see while shopping, tbh. I also like patrol caps on occasion. But I also have baseball type cap and a boonie hat. These are are fairly practical. I obviously am not walking around with an ALICE vest or even pistol belt (I carry concealed, after all). But to this I add a lot of Celtic-styled jewelry, multiple ear and eyebrow piercings. I do like long whispy bangs, but otherwise I have a side shave and scalp tattoo. To be honest, I’m probably aesthetically more Acacia in Lost Girl, than Sarah, it’s really the whole “what would a 2,000 year-old warrior wear today?” Right down to a leather jacket, mine in basic black but decked out with chainmail, family tartan and a bunch of pins and buttons.
So, there, done my confession that I do dress a lot like Sarah Connor, but don’t do full on cosplay. But do think about accuracy and practicality. Because I’m obsessive like that.
This means that since the first photos of Linda Hamilton from the set of the new movie came out, I’ve obsessed off and on about what she is wearing and carrying. And I’ve found a lot, but not all. So this is not definitive…I mean, that would be impossible until the movie is out, anyway. And anyone spots mistakes or can fill in where I’ve not found stuff, please let me know.
Below I discuss the clothing and accessories I have identified, the I haven’t and then the weapons. And a few thoughts on whether I think these seem right for Sarah as we have known her (YMMV), whether I would wear them and some idea for cosplayers.
Clothing and Accessories I have identified absolutely or best possibility (or so basic you have lots of options):
The first is those pants: They turned out to be rather easy to find and I think I did so on first day and this is the one thing I am one I am surest about (aside from the shotgun and the belt buckle, although not the belt) right down to the exact product. The good news is that if you want them either for cosplay or just because you love them, you can get these exact pants (barring any customizing done by wardrobe). These are motorcycle jeans by uglyBros USA , the women’s Olive Motorpool-G. The bad news is that they run about $330. While there are other moto jeans out there that have the stretch panel over the knee and are similar, I am quite positive on this for an exact match especially with the cargo pocket. Just not sure about the split hem over over her boots, as all other photos I’ve found of them have them tucked in.
Do I think Sarah wear them? Honestly, these are great looking pants, but I totally question Sarah wearing them over a pair of tactical pants with, say, 14 pockets. Hoping she at least rides in on a motorcycle. But if this ends up as a Future War movie rather than a stop the war movie, then maybe. I have learned from watching The 100 that moto skinny jeans are the most important post-apocalyptic wardrobe item a woman can have.
Would I wear them? No. I don’t have that sort of money for pants, I like a more relaxed fit and also just not enough pockets.
My suggestions for cosplayers? You can sometimes find “deals” for the uglyBros online, but some of those sites seem pretty suspicious. Sizes are pretty narrow (take the pun there or not), as well, and you’ll want to read their instructions on measuring as they’re, uh, different. The men’s version run slightly bigger but not a lot (men’s also come in a K for Kevlar version, cargo pocket is different, though). You might find some close but not exact searching for “moto skinny jeans” and variations of that, but finding them in olive drab green with cargo pockets might be difficult. A lot depends, of course, on how accurate you are wanting to go, how much money you want to spend and what your modification skills might be on what you choose. But at least you can be pretty sure on what you’re aiming for.
Would Sarah? Sure, why not? Although I admit I do kind of wish she was in a tank again.
Would I? I do already at times. When possible, and it is getting harder all the time, I like sweatshop free options which is why I linked this brand.
Cosplayers? I don’t think this is a problem.
AustriAlpin Cobra belt buckle in polished (sometimes labeled “silver,” “aluminum” or “chrome” by other sellers) finish on olive drab green web belt: This is a sure thing as far as the description goes, I am familiar with this coveted buckle brand. The only ready made belt I have found with this combination polished on OD green is Crosstac women’s Lightening Tactical. but I don’t know if that’s what they got or if they made one. Obviously, the wardrobe department could sew the buckle onto webbing themselves. The Lightening Tactical belt is pricey, but well made tactical and rigger belts with these Cobra buckles tend to be and it does have useful hidden pockets, with or without a knife to put in the knife one.
Would Sarah? Hell, yeah!
Would I wear? Hell, yeah! These are great buckles and I wear tactical belts already and really would love one. Black on black, or wolf gray on black, of course. But I’m looking at that no time soon due to costs, yeah even on Esty which has the best prices on belts, some of them appear really well made. Seriously, these are awesome buckles and is the one thing, other than basic black Ts, that I consider a practical thing that I’m happy to copy from this movie so far.
Cosplayers? If you are putting it on $350 jeans you are probably okay getting an $85-$100 belt. If you were to buy the Lightening Tactical, check their sizing information carefully, they’re strict and no refunds if you mess up. Again, Esty might be an option and you might be able to find one with this combo or get one custom made by someone there. It’s cheaper if you get a single density belt, rather than an actual tactical or rigger double thick and that is probably find for cosplay especially if you’re not holstering a real Shorty from it. A OD green web belt with a different buckle, pained silver (not likely to find that) might work. Or just hide it, which should be easy enough if you do the vest. But it’s a great buckle, so if it’s something you might want to wear enough for the bucks get a good one.
Nixon Regulus Watch in sand. Or so it appears. Really, it seems to be the only thing close. But I also can’t believe I identified it and did so within minutes of looking at watches. Photos of the the watch face she wears are not high rez enough to be completely sure, but the combination of a sand band with square holes and a black buckle of that particular shape, which is what is clear in the promotional photo, with a square faced watch this seems to be the only thing.
Would Sarah? Sure, I guess, it’s supposed to be a good watch.
Would I wear? No way. That’s an expensive watch to kill, so I’d have to wear it in a covered band and I can wear any watch in the covered band so why spend that?
Cosplay? I guess it also depends on how much you want to spend and maybe if you want a new watch. I though military/sport watches in this color would be more common than they are but no luck. That covered watch band (even if OD green with black Velcro is impossible to find as the Velcro matches now) was real handy to hide your watch or not even have one.
Accessories I haven’t identified
Combat boots: I never saw combat boots like she had in T2, either, and think those might have been paddock boots rather than combat boots. These again don’t seem to be combat boots, but look more like engineer boots and I may have identified them, but I”m not sure enough to put in the previous section… they look a lot like these Fryes. But maybe Skynet wants me to think so as these popped up as an ad on FB and I was struck by the similarity.
Would Sarah? Really, I’d like to see black eyelets blending with the boot. I could probably see her in a different sole, but might be just projecting my preferences.
Would I wear? I’ll stick to my Panama sole speed-lacers, although I might try athletic sole tactical boots.
Cosplayers? If you’re cosplaying at a con, I recommend wearing what ever style black boot you are comfortable in and fit your budget. Your pant legs would be covering them, anyway. ETA: Fryes are a nice boot if you’re looking to spend the money, find them comfortable and intend to wear them a lot given the price. Then again, Frye may be in funding Skynet or something. I’m really a bit suspicious.
Aviator sunglasses: I can’t believe I have identified the watch but not the exact sunglasses. Unlike the very unique Matsuda 2089 of T2, these are much more basic aviators. They are distinctive, however, in having plastic/acetate rims that match the lenses, with gold on the outside, no screws showing. This is not uncommon, in itself, but it’s hard to search for (not all sites give very full descriptions of the glasses). One issue is that the early unofficial photos they looked brown lenses like her personal glasses but with brown rims, but the official photos look like they are smoke lenses with black rims. Going with the smoke/black these seem like a close but not exact match.
Oddly, I think I found her own personal sunglasses that we often see her wearing in fan photos off the set, which are aviators as well, but different than the on-screen ones.
Would Sarah? Sure, why not.
Would I? Sure, why not. I do have some little round aviators, and, yes, because they reminded me of the Matsuda pair without being exact copies (which Magnoli Clothiers weren’t making yet). I do prefer wraparound sport glasses for regular wear, however.
The ballistic vest: This isn’t a real thing or it’s seriously obscure. I have searched, I have talked to vets, tactical magazine photographers and others and no one has seen anything like this, some of them have been asking others with gear knowledge. This somewhat resembles a plate carrier with PALS (Pouch Attachment Ladder System) webbing, but without bulk producing plates, of course.. However, while it has standard PALS webbing on the top, the cummerbund, which where you’d hang most of you gear with a MOLLE (MOdular Lightweight Load-bearing Equipment) or similar system, is not PALS. PALS is uniform, 1 inch wide webbing, 1 inch apart, sewn at 1.5 inch intervals; like on the top part which is a PALS panel. Rather than having holsters and pouches hooked to PALS like plate carriers tend to have, this webbing is made to fit the grenades and revolver she’s carrying. I have yet to see a system like that. Also, most vests stop rather high on the waist and if they add more below it’s detachable and goes all the way down to protect the groin and upper thighs.
Costume designer Ngila Dickson does have a good bit of experience in fantasy body armor designs, given some of her past work. I’m not sure why they went with a non-standard design like this, other than perhaps aesthetics. And it is more attractive than plate carriers tend to look. Face it, they’re bulky even before plates are added, let along gear pouches. This is actually a disappointment to me, I’d like to see a more realistic looking vest, even if it was still highly modified for aesthetics.
Of course, I and my sources may we proven way wrong and this thing exists in real life. Please let me know if so!
Would Sarah? I think she’d be more likely to actually wear an actual plate carrier and to use the PALS as it’s meant to be used. But it’s not going to be very useful against a Terminator that can more precisely get a head shot than a human, anyway. Ballistic vests work because for humans aiming for center mass first is the most effective way to stop a person.
Would I? Obviously, not this one. I’ll never say never for an actual ballistics vest, world is looking pretty grim these days.
Cosplayers? You’ll need to make or have made from scratch, or shot for the real thing and then redo it, or go for a more authentic real-life version over an authentic movie version, I guess. Who knows, Magnoli Clothiers might do one up someday.
Thermobaric Grenades: You can see that one has “obaric” written on it and therefore the rest of the word is likely wrapped around each of them. I can’t think of any other grenade related word that matches and if you’re fighting Terminators, I suppose this is a good option.
Would Sarah? Yeah, it makes sense. Not sure it would destroy a Terminator completely, but it’ll mess it up, burn off the skin (of the T800s and the like) to destroy any cover…I see it.
Me? Yeah, right.
Cosplayers may find replicas that can be easily doctored or probably rig something up. Of course any and all fake weapons for cons are subject to particular con rules.
Chiappa Rhino Revolver: not sure what model, will have to wait to see it drawn. but it’s the black anodized finish.
Sarah? Yeah, I guess. They’re good guns, she somehow obviously has resources. Not sure I’d see it as her first choice.
Me? Not enough of a fan for the price. Wouldn’t be my first choice, but if I had the money, it might be added to the collection I would have if I had the money.
Cosplayers? It’s actually easy to find air pistols (which some cons allow) and replicas of Rhinos, although wait to see which model.
Would Sarah? Sure. This baby is expensive, but a nice gun if you need an up close shotty. If she’s in an urban environment, it’s a shotgun she might choose. We know it takes a lot of rounds to affect a Terminator at all and it’s always best to keep some distance, but she might have other concerns than just Terminators.
Me? I’ll stick to my full length Mossberg. Although if I were suddenly flush I might do the Mossberg version, up close works for home defense even in the sticks. Yeah, honestly, I can’t even tell you why I am loyal to Mossbergs except my shotgun was the first gun I ever bought.
Cosplayers, well, good luck finding a ready made replica of gun or holster. If you can make the vest you might be able to replicate the holster. You might be able to doctor up the gun from some replica sawed off.
Anti-Tank Grenade launcher: Not sure on specifics, but maybe someone else has that info?
Would Sarah? Yeah, probably, it should slow down a Terminator.
Would I? Never even thought about it, until now. Obviously if I were in the market I might recognize the specifics of this one. That’s about the real thing though, otherwise see below….
Cosplayers? Actually I think this the best weapon for cons, ever. At least if you are also there to get autographs. Get an OD green document tube or paint one, doctor it up with some bits and stencil some lettering (waiting for more specifics for that) and you have something that probably won’t be banned from any con, it’s just a document tube, and a place to safely carry your photos. Try not to clobber anyone in the crowd, though. So this is one I might do, even if I wouldn’t be in full costume…. if Linda Hamilton,and hopefully also Natalia Reyes and Mackenzie Davis, ever does a con I can get to again, as I have made a poster of that first photo and would love to get it autographed by all three.
Some behind the scenes photos have shown up since filming ended, showing Linda/Sarah wearing a different top, vest and belt (I can’t determine if the jeans are different, yet, but it looks like they might also be different and blue). It would be likely that this is another costume and not just something she wears casually, given the vest.
Shirt is long sleeve, or 3/4 sleeve, Olive Drab Green T-shirt. Neck line is impossible to tell.
Black “ballistic” vest at first glance looks more realistic, being shorter and having features one can find on ballistic vests. But usually not on the same vests. And the wrong end of the buckles are attached to the vest (to remove an accessory attached to these you’d have to do one side at a time, using both hands, instead of using one hand on each, pushing the tabs and pulling it off all at once…and, of course, you’d have to have accessories that have the “female” end of the buckle instead of the “male”).
Belt is pretty basic black leather (or the like) with standard silver buckle.
I do assume that her tattoo is covered either by a watch or make up, as well.
So, that’s what I have at this point. Someday I may make a standard page for this and Again, please feel free to discuss this with me.
“Laurie wasn’t a badass, Laurie was a nerd…She’s smart and she survived and in that she’s badass. But you know, her poking [Michael] with the [hanger] was just an instinct and in this movie, I also don’t want her to be a badass. I want her to be prepared. I want her to still be who she is but prepared; she’s not Linda Hamilton, I don’t have those arms.”
True, it looks like she has her own arms, which look pretty damn strong. This is good as we all know Linda is needing hers while filming the new Terminator. How much of this is just a promo and how much we’ll see Curtis in a tank top is something we’ll have to wait to see. She is wearing one at least once in the movie, as the trailer reveals a scar received in the first movie.
And if Sarah Connor preparing for the storm coming in rather than breathing relief at the end is an influence for the prepared Laurie Strode, well, turn about is fair play. What Final Girl after 1978 can honestly show no influence from Laurie Strode? While many people love to rag on any comparison in such things, to me it’s part of the glue that holds my fangirl heart together.
And I love the idea of Lauire Strode as a Badass Nerd! That needs to be a serious thing! After all, I know I am not alone in being a bookish and physically capable. Brains seriously help with preparation for monsters. It takes both. And given that many of us are geeky movie fans who also read a lot as well as many of us working out and, yes, getting self-defense training that might even include defensive firearms…..this is what we live for! We need soooo many Badass Nerds!
And especially middle-aged Badass Nerdy women!
I am looking so forward to seeing Laurie Strode kick Micheal Myer’s butt this October! You better believe I will be seeing this. Probably many times.
If you haven’t yet or just want to again, you can check out the Halloween trailer here. Then we’ll discuss tank top colors.
Okay, so pretty much everyone I know and, obviously many I don’t but I’ve read them say so or have seen their Sarah Connor cosplay agrees. Sarah wears a black tank top. So Laurie’s green one is a difference. Right?
Well, the reason I feel a need to bring this up, is that not even an hour before I first saw the photo (which was two days after it was posted), I was rearranging my N.E.C.A. Ultimate Sarah Connor action figure and noted to my husband that although in photos the shirt looks black, it’s green. This is also true of McFarlane Movie Maniacs Sarah Connor. But up until this discussion, I would have sworn that the Hot Toys 1/6th figure had a black shirt, but out of curiosity I just shined a really bright light on it and……it’s green. A darker green than the other two figures. And, yeah, you can see that on the website. Somewhere all these licensed action figure makers got word it was a green shirt.
So was Sarah’s tank top black or green? Well, I think someone needs to ask Linda at some point, I volunteer if someone wants to pay for my ticket to….I think Austria at the moment. Or if she does cons after and I can get to one. Meanwhile we do have an answer in screen worn prop listings: Black or green? Apparently it was GRAY!
So…is that a black T-shirt she has this time or not?
So, as a feminist running a physical feminist fan site (that would be the one you are on right now) for Linda Hamilton’s Sarah Connor, I have to break this to you and often to myself: The Terminator and Terminator 2: Judgment Day are not actually feminist movies. They are not really female led, either. Yeah, it sucks. I truly wish I could tell you differently, but I’ve been dealing with this fact for years. Those of you where have been reading recently probably have picked up on this with some of my recent posts.
But, but Sarah Connor is the lead, right? Well, only kind of.
The title character is, obviously, Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Terminator. It is pretty standard for monster movie titles to be or to allude to the monster, which was the case of The Terminator which was a Final Girl horror piece with a twist a the end. Sarah doesn’t breath a sigh of relief that it’s all over after she crushes the monster, while the audience knows better, she heads off to prepare for the fact it’s just starting. She’s also pregnant because the movie also broke the usual virginal requirement for Final Girls. Final Girls are only kind of the lead character, she does win, after all, but really the monster is the star. The Final Girls can even change in each movie.
Schwarzenegger’s Terminator is again the title character, now a franchise name, in Terminator 2, this time as the hero. It’s, of course, handy that it as the T1000 is also a Terminator, the monster still gets in on the title (this, of course, means there was a female title character in Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines, but as awesome a person and actress as Kristanna Loken is, there was no saving that movie). While Sarah is shown as tough and capable and, for many of us, felt like the lead, this time she doesn’t even kill the monster in the end like a Final Girl. She comes close, but is short that last shell that might have driven the T1000 over the edge and into the molten steal It is the Terminator who has to take the final shot. She does then get to kill this reprogrammed ally, but it’s somehow not the same as watching her crush the monster that tried to kill her and did killed everyone she loved, “you’re terminated, fucker!” And now that she is not a Final Girl, being the only fully developed female character in the movie, she sadly fits in the One of the Boys mode far too much.
When I’m not writing about pop culture “strong women” or fitness, I research and write about warriors and gender issues in Old Irish literature and culture. My educational background is in Celtic and women’s studies and it’s been something I have continued to research seriously for over 30 years now. This may seem like an aside, but it definitely connects for me as there are layers of similarity in studying women warriors in both modern media and Old Irish literature. One big one how there are few women warriors in either early Irish or modern stories, yet many, including many feminists, declare that those few mean that women are so well represented that we should just shut the fuck up about it now.
Which, of course, I’m not. Because counting off two, three or a dozen “strong female characters” actually does more to demonstrate that there actually are not that many compared to “strong male characters” which are, of course, usually just called “characters” because male is seen as the default and physical strength is something considered normal for men but exceptional for women. You can’t make similar lists of all the “strong male characters” in either the Irish literature or modern movies and television so easily, there are just too many. Instead people will list their favorites or the best know. And also ignore all the dozens of supporting characters that are male and in roles indicating strength, while even in the background there are few such women. If we need further reminding of the issue, we just need to see how white cis-het men get so defensive about being “erased” when there are “too many” characters (or writers or directors…) who are not white cis-het men. That’s because there are some who truly believe that that white cis-het maleness is the Default Human and everyone else is Other, so they must outnumber everyone all the time. One woman (or PoC or LGBTQ+ person) is “equality,” two is “really pushing it,” more than that is “Feminazi SJWs* Ruining My Childhood!” Even though, you know, the world doesn’t work that way, so why should fiction? And if your world really does work that way, you have created a safe little bubble for yourself haven’t you? Guess what? That means that both your childhood and your current bubble need ruining. Time to join the real and very diverse world.
The other reason not to step back is that we’re usually having to find these characters in works that are non-feminist, even misogynist, and even when not that heavily so were created by men and not from women’s points of view. This is extremely obvious in the Old Irish literature, which we have not only written down by male clerics but most of the translations we currently have were done by men during the Victorian era. The point of view we get these stories from is very male and often hostile towards women. Which, oddly, is part of the reason why the fantasy of women warriors and women’s “strange” equality in early Irish culture is still believed by many, despite the evidence that women were not equal and any living female warriors wold have been outside the culture which is actually the very focus of what I write about on that subject. “If men wrote about them it must be they existed.” Except that it doesn’t work that way, either, and the actual presentation of female warriors in these texts is actually very negative. They are usually the enemies of the hero, sometimes monstrous. If positive, they are veiled as Otherworldly, Outsiders, and serve the hero of the story as teachers who are only warriors to pass the skills on and sometimes sacrifice themselves for his future. Well, kind of like some view Sarah’s role with John and maybe Dani now, which at least is a positive change regarding the gender of the student but it’s making some of us really worried about the possibility of that sacrifice aspect. (blatant self-promotion, this is all total simplification, if anyone is interested in that sort of thing you can visit Scáth na Feannóige)
Yet, while the viewpoint, the lens, that male writers might have see these female characters in was often down right misogynist, some of those women seem heroic to women today. In feminist literary studies there is the concept of looking at how different readers/listeners/viewers of a story see the story through different lenses, only some sharing the same point of view with the writers. Irish literature, among other forms, is being studied through this theory. Women, like Queen Medb of Connacht may have been written in a bad light, but women today and possibly women of early Ireland, often feel empowered by the story of her “unwomanly” ambitions and actions. (for those interested this is my review of what I consider to be the most thorough study of Medb’s story using this theory. Several of my papers on my site linked above as well as the blog linked here examine others)
Whether we are discussing ancient tales or modern movies, the story itself does not have to be written as feminist for us to find feminist messages. James Cameron did not create Sarah Connor as a feminist icon, that is clear in where the movie falls short. Like Medb is now made a feminist icon by feminists own vision of her, feminists, including Linda Hamilton through her amazing performance, made Sarah Connor a feminist icon. That’s our lens, we don’t need to pretend Cameron had the same one.
Today, men still tell most of the stories about women. It’s 2018 and it’s just now that we are really seeing an effort in film and television to even the playing field for women, people of color and LGBTQ+ folk. Oh, just as with characters in movies and literature, yes, we can name women who have held power in Hollywood, including Gale Anne Hurd who played such a vital role in bringing The Terminator to us both as writer and producer, and doing the leg work to sell it, to begin with. But white cis-het men still control things. Some of these men have worked to uplift women, POC and LGBTQ+ colleagues by consciously hiring and centering their voices. Others, as we have seen, continue to treat women directors and writers as if they are mythical, as satirized here. The San Diego Comic-Con had a panel of female filmmakers discussing the very real issues of working in Hollywood today. Some women who have made progress are definitely lifting other women up behind the camera, like Marvel’s Jessica Jones show runner Melissa Rosenberg hiring only female directors for season 2 and again for season 3, which will include the star Krysten Ritter’s directorial debut.
We are now seeing more female writers and directors in action movies, especially comic book based ones which is coming up as we’re finally getting female-led comic book based movies at all. Wonder Woman, which, remember, Cameron infamously attacked as “not really feminist,” was initially written by men, but put in the talented directorial hands of Patty Jenkins who co-wrote Wonder Woman 1984. The upcoming Captain Marvel movie is directed by Anna Boden with Ryan Fleck, both are co-writers along with Geneva Robertson-Dworet (who also co-wrote Tomb Raider), Nicole Perlman, Liz Flahive, Meg LeFauve and Carly Mensch. The treatment for Black Widow was written by Nicole Perlman and it will be directed by Cate Shortland.
Hurd actually co-wrote The Terminator script, as well as producing the first two films. She has been given “characters by” writing credit on Terminator 3, Genisys, The Sarah Connor Chronicles and some of the video games. We’ll see if she gets them with the new movie or not. She should William Wisher is the only other writer credited on Terminator 2, as well as having writing credit on the first one with Cameron and Hurd. But for Cameron’s return to the franchise, he and co-producer David Ellison hired a roomful of writers. All men. And he hired another man to direct. While attacking Jenkin’s Wonder Woman as not as “feminist as T2,” Cameron somehow forgot to include any actual female presence anywhere behind the camera of his supposedly feminist new movie.
I’m not going to say that men can’t write and direct Strong Female Characters or even express feminist ideals. And Linda Hamilton’s Sarah Connor is a strong character, in both the first movie when she’s thrown into a situation she has no preparation for (and was co-written by a woman) and the second where she is more obviously the epitome of the trope. But she is alone as a major female presence in T2.
Terminator 2 should have been a game changer, Linda’s portrayal of Sarah certainly did push boundaries in the hearts and minds of many women. Her physicality, her toughness, her organization, her prepping, even her psychotic break from knowing the truth and being gaslighted by…everyone…was stupendous for a female character. But it didn’t really change the game in movies to the extent it could have. This is likely because for all her strength, Sarah was alone, therefore such a breakthrough was not even considered by filmmakers at the time. And she was presented as primarily the future hero’s mother for all her muscle and skill, with no alternative non-maternal fighting women involved for balance as she was the only fully realized female character in the entire film. Add the cringey faux feminist rant that is shut down by her son and that she needs rescuing in the end, Sarah is a “strong female character” that doesn’t challenge fragile masculinity all that much. Therefore any progress stopped there, where we see similar characters, well, it’s usually clear that she’s One of the Boys.
If we needed more evidence that T2 wasn’t female-led nor feminist, it’s the fanboys who are right now crying over the inclusion of two more female characters and the release of a photo of the three as the first official photo, many who are claiming “T2 was real feminism, this is fake feminism. Because 1) they think they have the right to proclaim what is or isn’t feminism and 2) they think that equality means that men outnumber women at least 3-1. I will note that it’s not just men, there are women out there who even call themselves “feminists” who gladly support this delusion and join in on the attacks. Like the “Sarah alone was real feminism, if there are other strong women for her to work with that fake feminism” I was informed by a guy that he had it on the “creds” of YouTube “feminists” that “SW: A New Hope with Leia alone was real feminism, while four prominent women in TlJ as fake feminism ..and totally erased the men.” So, yeah, it’s not just men who are the problem, some women gladly attack and we are seeing that with Terminator now as well. But we can look at the actual numbers, to see exactly how feminist ANH was in comparison to all the SW movies through TLJ really were; even TLJ fails at reaching 50% of the dialogue being by women. Yet some very fragile men see that as erasure. Meanwhile, I would love to see such a count on T2 and the upcoming movie.
The toxic misogyny has certainly showing up in the Terminator fandom since this movie was announced, primarily at first in the form of ageism because Linda Hamilton is now 61. Mind you, Arnold Schwarzenegger is 71 which has prompted some ageist remarks, but far fewer than towards Linda. The photos of Mackenzie Davis have been attacked since the beginning, often with misgendering or vile tr*nny attacks. There were murmurings of “this better not be Feminazi SJWs* Ruining My Childhood!” again. The release of the photo at top, the first official photo for the movie, of course, has verified that’s what it is for this type and the attacks have been standard. Natalia Reyes had mostly been ignored in the English and other non-Spanish speaking media and social media until then. As she looks more conventionally “feminine” at this point, may save her from some attack. It does make me kind of glad that Hamilton does not do social media (seriously, folks, none of those profiles or pages are her or official, most are straight forward, but at least one person has accounts everywhere claiming to be her, they are not) and Davis does not seem to either. Otherwise, they might end up driven off by the shit like Ridley and Tran were.
But in a way, I’m taking this hysterical vitriol as a good sign. Change is coming, slower than some of us might like, but the tantrums over it make it clear that it’s happening. So it makes me hopeful that despite the lack of women behind the scenes, with three strong actresses playing strong roles, Terminator 2019 might just take major steps towards being an actual feminist movie….as defined by a middle aged feminist with a background in women’s studies who doesn’t really give a flying fuck whether actual feminism hurts certain men’s feelings or not. And if it is and does hurt those fragile feelings, all the better. Women, non-binary and non-fragile men spend money too, and again and again it’s being shown we will fill those seats that the misogynists won’t. And given that Mackenzie Davis appears to be at least part machine, given her apparent surgical scars and therefore may qualify as a Terminator, this may have a female title character.
I am hoping that what we are seeing does indicate that the female fans of Sarah Connor are a considered fanbase this time. That we will, indeed be seeing these three characters be well developed and featured. And that THEY DON’T KILL OFF SARAH CONNOR! I also really hope that we get action figures of all three right off the bat!
*Social Justice Warrior being used as a pejorative is one of the most Bizarro World things I have seen in all this mess. But, see, I’m old enough to remember the term being used as a positive descriptive and consider the idea of fighting for social justice being negative one of the fucking stupidest things I have ever seen. Obviously, I am using it ironically to mock those who use it as a slur here.
*****SPOILER ALERT for what is supposed to be a major spoiler for Wonder Woman, although it seemed pretty obvious. Also a bit spoilery for T2 but given that you are reading this that probably isn’t an issue at this point ****
One of the things that struck me about James Cameron’s tone-deaf rants about Wonder Woman, was that in the first one he said of Sarah Connor “…,she was a terrible mother, ….” This seems a bit odd as it certainly has nothing to do with comparing her to Diana who is not a mother. It does bring home the fact that James Cameron for all his claims of being “feminist” does seem to be a bit fixated on women as mothers. Especially as “terrible mothers.” Remember, he turned Ripley into a “Terrible Mother” who is guilt ridden over missing her daughter’s life and finds redemption in taking care of an orphan. This is just another problematic issue.
First, I don’t really think that Sarah is a Terrible Mother, as such, but rather she’s a mother faced with a overwhelming task to raise a child she knows must face absolute hell and who she also knows she must prepare him for it. This certainly turns her into a dysfunctional mother in many ways, she was not a warm and cuddly mother, at least by the time we see them in Terminator 2. Sarah is not gentle with John, she speaks harshly to him, a harshness she knows is nothing compared to what is waiting for himShe may well have never baked one fucking cookie out in the jungle. She might have at one time. She may have once tucked him into bed with a story, but she undoubtedly included stories of how he was the Savior of Mankind, rather than to convince him otherwise. She loves her child, but she knows the truth, she’s the only one who does, and it refocuses the way she raises her child.
Before T2 happens, Sarah decided she could not have her son face such a horror, nor could she let humanity face it if it could be stopped. She set out to try to stop Judgment Day before it happens. “She tried to blow up a computer factory but she got shot and arrested.” This, of course, means John ends up with another terrible mother as well as terrible father in his foster parents. It cuts Sarah off from John when she knows he is now being told that all she taught him was a lie and that he is even more vulnerable. She wanted to stop what was going to happen to him, but failing that needs to make sure he can still grow up to be the Savior of Mankind.
When they are reunited it is with Sarah’s greatest fear not only happening but walking right into the asylum. Primal terror kicks in to her already high adrenaline drive and she doesn’t seem to register that her son, who she is so desperate to get to and protect, is walking right in with her nightmare and her first response is to flee. It’s only her son who can bring her back to the present and allow her to adjust to the actual information that this nightmare is there to save them and a greater nightmare is now after them. She never responds lovingly to her reunion with her son, his moment of hope that she might is actually a check for injuries followed by scolding him for risking his life for hers. It’s her job, after all, to risk hers for him. She’s on overdrive, she’s still in primal instincts which now have returned to being about protecting her child and assuring he is so far okay. It seems cold, but, honestly, it’s also understandable to me. Apparently, not to James Cameron.
Of course, Sarah returns to the decision to stop John’s (and the rest of the world, all the other children) hellish future. She doesn’t make the greatest choice for that, but she moves forward immediately, leaving her son with a guardian she believes can protect him better than she could. She likely saw herself even more expendable now that a machine can guard him.
Everything Sarah does is to protect her child but also protect the world. He must be protected and prepared to save mankind if she fails, but she will do everything she can to try to keep him from every having to face doing that. She might not be a typical mother, but I don’t see that as terrible.
Hippolyta was charged with exactly the same task, raising a child, Diana, who is the Savior of Mankind. Rather than a time traveler sent back by her child the messenger and father is the God Zeus. Like John, Diana is meant to be trained and prepared for the task ahead and if she fails it could be the doom of humanity. Hippolyta deals with this mission rather differently than Sarah.
Hippolyta might not bake cookies either, but I’m sure she has a servant who does. Despite being queen, she does seem to be a warm loving Mommy who cuddles Diana and tucks her in at night with bedtime stories. Bedtime stories are designed to gaslight this Savior of Mankind into believing she anything but. To lie to her about what the God Killer is. To try to convince her not to want to train to prepare for a battle she doesn’t even know she is supposed to face. Hippolyta tells Diana the story of the Amazons, of the war between the Gods, of Ares’ vanquishing but also that she, Diana, is made of clay with no father. And she speaks of the God Killer as if it were a thing, a sword wielded by the mightiest among them, “and that is not you, Diana.” She is gentle and is dooming her child and all of humanity through her gentleness.
Unlike Sarah, despite not wanting her child to face what she must, Hippolyta never chooses to try prevent it by facing Ares herself. Unlike Sarah, Hippolyta refuses to train her child for what is to come. But fortunately, also, unlike Sarah she is not alone in knowing that Diana is the Savior of Mankind. All the other Amazons know it, but even her sister cannot turn her around, choosing to add to lies by training Diana in secret.
Even after Hippolyta catches them training and is then convinced to allow it, even while she does tell Antiope to train her to be better than even herself, she still does not reveal the truth to Diana. At every turn she claims that the more Diana’s ready to face Ares, the sooner Ares will find her. Even though the less Diana is ready, the more likely she is is to fail. She continues this even as Diana is leaving to seek out Ares not knowing she is the God killer or the real extent of her power.
Both these mothers have a horrible burden to raise a child who is meant to face horrors to save the world. Neither wishes this on their child, but it is their fate as well as humanity’s. Yet while Sarah does everything she can to make sure John is able to fulfill his destiny, then tries to prevent it by putting herself on the line to try to stop Judgment day; Hippolyta does everything she can to prevent Diana from fulfilling hers, yet never tries to take on the burden herself. Sorry, James Cameron, Sarah has nothing on Hippolyta when it comes to being a Terrible Mother.
To be honest, while I lost interest in Cameron’s work with Titanic, although my issues started with True Lies, complete with Jamie Lee Curtis’s character forced to do a strip tease, but I was won back by the underrated Strange Days directed by Kathryn Bigelow. But it was Avatar that completely made me lose any real respect for him. The racist, colonial, misogynist stereotypes are so blatant and so wrong that if we want to talk about steps backwards…well, he is the one actually running, blindly backwards. These are not the movies of the 21st century!
While he claims to want “strong female characters” he is making movies for those 14 to 18 year-old boys he thinks a pretty female lead in armor is meant to draw. T2 was really a fluke when it comes to him having female fans. And he’s losing us fast, here, because NEWS FLASH! a lot of female fans who are into T2 because Linda’s Sarah kicked ass and want to be excited for her return also enjoyed Wonder Woman and do not appreciate being told by some man that we are wrong to!
Cameron’s insistence that he, and only he (and maybe these other men he’s gathered for TReboot) understands “strong women.” But, of course, his mansplaining (because that is what it is) of “strong women,” only proves he does not understand women, strong or otherwise, fictional or real. A man who does isn’t going to go around telling female fans they are wrong for loving a movie that he just is not able to understand. And he obviously doesn’t.
Cameron doesn’t even seem capable of understanding that Wonder Woman/Diana is a this is a 76 year-old comic book icon that millions of girls and women have idolized all our lives. Some for 76 years even! That it’s a big deal that it took that long for the character to get a title movie or, for that matter, only got featured in a male-led DC movie just a few years ago. When Superman and Batman, the other two big name DC superheroes, have had many movie incarnations. That this movie was called a failure by many comic book movie fanboys long before it came out, on every conceivable social media forum. That we’ve been battling to get women-led comic book movies and told that they will fail, because Catwoman and Elektra, which were badly written crap (but so have been many male-led ones), failed so badly over a decade ago. That it was even under promoted until just before it’s release and yet it smashed records! Highest grossing action film directed by a woman. It is just $1 million shy of 2002 Spider-man for a comic book movie and is the highest grossing comic book origin movie of all time. That means no Batman, no Superman, not even Batman vs. Superman with Wonder Woman thrown in, has done so well.
And it is problematic that in 2017 all of this is newsworthy, is a big deal. It shouldn’t be and Terminator 2should have led the way to change in the ’90s. But it didn’t. Perhaps in part because it was not a female-led action movie, Sarah Connor who was the protagonist Final Girl in the first, took a back seat in T2 to the story of a boy and his pet Terminator. There are no other strong female characters (“prepper” Jolanda is off hiding unarmed with her kids instead of teaming up with her husband to flank the intruders, which would make far more sense) or even any actually developed female characters at all. This makes Sarah a Not Like Other Girls/One of the Guys trope (yes, a problem with WW after they leave Themyscira, too) The feminism of T2 is actually shut down by the badly written feminist rant that is, then, shut down by her little boy scolding her! While Sarah finished off the Terminator in The Terminator, she requires a last-minute rescue at the end of T2.
Don’t get me wrong, Sarah Connor’s arch from Final Girl to Warrior was an awesome thing. Obviously! I’ve been obsessing on Linda’s portrayal for 26 years, for crying out loud! But the movie wasn’t perfect and those imperfections make Cameron an utter hypocrite to say a single word about an actual female-led movie. Especially when there are things that are very problematic with Wonder Woman that are not the things he’s noting and things that he hasn’t done a remotely good job with. Like the Not Like Other Girls trope and lack of other, diverse, intersectional female characters after they leave the island.
With such a small number of female-led action movies, we already do not have the diversity that male-led ones do. But Cameron seems to feel that strong women only come in one type, that they should all be Sarah Connor knockoffs. This view is simplistic and one-dimensional, the idea that while male action characters can be, obviously, very varied (unless someone can find me where he said Superman shouldn’t be wearing that sexy, form-fitting costume), strong women must all be exactly alike. And, apparently, totally broken and mothers looking for redemption (he had to turn Ripley, a character he did not create, into a guilt-ridden abandoning mother who finds a second chance with an orphaned child). NEWS FLASH! the mother thing is the least interesting thing about either Sarah or Ripley for some of us.
What is interesting to me about Sarah is that she was a “normal woman” Final Girl who twisted the Final Girl trope at the end of the first movie by heading out to prepare for the future because she knows that the real monster hasn’t even been created yet. Whose arch into Terminator 2 show her as a determined survivalist. Here was a woman who had trained, prepared, organized to prepare her son for a horrible future, and then sacrificed herself in an attempt to keep him from having to face that. I fell in love and identified in many ways, sans the entire mother part, with Linda Hamilton’s Sarah. I thought both Linda and Cameron, as well as co-writer William Wisher and producer Gale Anne Hurd, were utterly awesome. I still have those feelings for Linda, Wisher and Hurd (and it doesn’t hurt that Wisher and Hurd both kindly supplied auction bling to help my chief Terminator Spotter get surgery! Thanks to The Terminator Fans. I am eternally grateful to all three! <3)
Sarah was also a “real person.” You know, as far as action film characters go. Like, say Kyle Reese. Wonder Woman/Diana is a comic book super-powered superhero, like Superman. Not even like Batman whose only super-power is that he’s rich and dysfunctional. In fact, while Superman is an alien, Diana is a fucking Goddess. Okay, the Goddess part is a recent addition to the character in the comics, but even before she was revealed as a Goddess she had been bestowed with “the strength of Hercules, the wisdom of Athena, the speed of Hermes and the beauty of Aphrodite.” So being beautiful is a canonical part of the character, although how she was drawn did change with the ideals of beauty at the time. And as either supernatural Amazon or Goddess, if she wants to come out of a battle with perfect silky hair, she can and always did.
Being a supernatural super-powered superhero, her life story is also vastly different from Sarah’s. Sarah is, I think, far easier to relate to having some sort of vague average American upbringing in the original movies. Diana was born to save the world, in the version used in the movie. Actually, Diana is far more like John Connor than Sarah, born to save the world with a sort of “otherwordly” father, but their upbringings with this understanding were different even beyond one being supernatural and the other being Earthly paramilitary survivalist and if I were to compare Sarah with anyone in the movie it would be with Hippolyta. (Something I will probably do and have now done).
Now I am personally more drawn to Sarah’s “realness”…a mortal woman of our time who turned herself into a warrior and survivalist. Because that’s what I have tried to create in myself even before Terminator 2 came out. Diana was someone I wanted to be back as a child. Hmm, actually at the time she didn’t have superpowers, but had lost them and took up karate, although I also had some older ones. But that doesn’t mean that I can’t enjoy the higher fantasy of Wonder Woman or understand that that might appeal more to other women. Especially with the great, if brief, Amazon training scenes at the beginning.
Bottom line is, many women are fans of both Sarah Connor and Wonder Woman. And Ripley. And The Bride/Beatrix Kiddo. And Furiosa, the Wives and the Vuvalini of the Many Mothers. And General Leia, Rey and Jyn Erso. And others still too few, and sometimes not all that great. And we want more. More Sarah Connor from Linda Hamilton. More Wonder Woman and not just DCEU version. More comic book super-powered female heroes. More down to earth and messy haired and variously flawed mortal female heroes…some who are butch, some who are femme, some who are women of color, some who are queer, some who are trans women…..
Yes, we want it all!
And we don’t want men telling us that we don’t fucking understand strong women. It’s insulting. We do actually know a bit more than you do about strong women.
We are strong women!
*Sketch of Sarah Connor and Lt. Ellen Ripley shushing James Cameron on behalf of Diana/Wonder Woman was drawn by Axel Medellin, who kindly granted permission for use here, and was originally posted Tumblr
I am. But, given my nature as I’ve just pointed out, I’m also only cautiously so. There are several things that make me feel this might not be as great as it could be. Again, I do hope I am pleasantly surprised…but I think there will need to be some changes from information we have for that to happen. It, of course, doesn’t help that for 26 years I’ve wanted this and can imagine what would be perfect….and perfect becomes harder to match once you’ve built it up that long. ~:p
So here are a few things that bother me and/or hopefully will be worked on.
It seems that Cameron is using the phrase “passing the torch” an awful lot in regards to bringing back both Arnold Schwarzenegger and Linda. He noted an (oddly phrased) “eighteen-something” actress being sought for the lead during his announcement that Linda was coming back.
While it’s awesome to have another, even more than one (preferably more than one, really…female action characters are still often token even when they are leads still,) new female character, this sounds an awful lot like Sarah will make a brief, probably Swan Song, appearance and then be done. Or at the very most kept way in the background. But, yeah, killing her off somehow seems likely with the whole “passing the torch” emphasis. This is not what we want!
I can’t speak for all SCCS members, but I’m sure that most want what I want which is to see Sarah centered in this new trilogy, in the entire thing. Yes, with other strong female characters…and some show of diversity. He’s taking about the importance of a older seasoned warrior, but needs to remember that doesn’t mean it’s time to kill that older seasoned warrior. We want new characters and Sarah!
Where are the female creators?
At this point we have production designer Sonja Klaus and producer Dana Goldberg, a Genisys producer appear to be the only women behind the scenes. There is not a single woman in the writers room! Not one! So still far from a balance and the number of those involved in horrid sequels that need to be forgotten is higher to. “…no, not like that!” And still all men in the writer’s room.
We have two female characters mentioned, hopefully more and not one female writer? I can tell you that without input from women female characters tend to fall flat. Yeah, even Sarah Connor could have been better written, although I think Linda’s ability to play her fixed much of what could have gone sour with a weaker actress, in the first place. That Cameron doesn’t even really get women is clear in his assessment of Sarah as a “terrible mother” instead of a mother whose need to protect might have made her less nurturing that he seems to think mothers should be. And he sort of missed the other arch, where she and John find each other again.
If you are going to get another male writer how about William Wisher?
But along with some women!
Seriously, get some female writers! And while you’re at it….
Get rid of Josh Friedman!!!! Now! I mean, fine, let him “Dance with Smurfs” there’s nothing there for him to damage it’s a bad, racist idea all around, but get him away from Sarah! What he did to the character of Sarah Connor was horrific and yet not surprising from a man who said “The flinty heroines played by Sigourney Weaver and Linda Hamilton in the Alien and Terminator movies were well done, but they’re outdated. They’re the first evolutionary step in the female-action genre. I want to see women respond to danger and solve problems differently than men. Otherwise, what’s the point.” (Philadelphia Inquirer June 14, 1995) He should never have been allowed near the character and certainly should not be again!
I also do not want to see all the strong women who are prominent in this be white. Also let’s not have all the writers be white either (I do not know all of these men, so I don’t know whether they are or not at this point, but some WOC are needed to write WOC).
Cameron’s comments about Wonder Woman also bring up concerns which relate directly to the issue of there being no female writers and Friedman believing all women should think the same way and that that is different than men. And that is any idea that all women should be the same ….specifically all “strong women” should be the same… even if these two men are somehow working together while having opposing views of how all women should be. Let Sarah/Linda be Sarah as she’ll have evolved. Let other women be themselves.
Get some women to help figure out how women might actually be rather than what men think they should be.
On the flip side, don’t pit different strengths against each other. Cameron’s WW rant also makes me concerned that we’ll see the “women can’t get along with each other” trope as well. With Friedman involved, maybe even make it about how a woman “who is strong in different ways than men” is better than the “flinty” Sarah.
Just do not fucking do that!
Give Sarah and other female characters a lot more depth than Cameron indicated, in his WW attack, he can understand women have. Sarah wasn’t a “terrible mother” she was a mother focused on protecting her child rather than on nurturing him because of the extreme circumstances. Again, give Sarah a lot of fucking screen time to develop her and ….hire some female writers to help you out with that.
Just don’t forget that there of the multiple fanbases for the first two Terminator movies women who are focused on Linda as Sarah Connor are a strong and loyal one. Many of us were waiting for a hero like her back in our 20s and 30s and found her an inspiration. We still want a hero like her, well,we want her, our age or older now that we’re middle age. We still know we can kick ass and we want to see someone like us on screend doing so. Younger women start to figure out that they will get older, too, and love to see older women kicking ass so they know the always will be able to.
Many of us loved the Vuvalini of the Many Mothers in Mad Max: Fury Road. We loved Robin Write as Antiope and other middle aged (although younger than some of us) Amazons in Wonder Woman, which we’re not happy Cameron felt a need to diss. And we were overjoyed to see Carrie Fisher back as General Leia in the new Star Wars movies, I mean, words just can’t express it (especially now, having lost this not only talent actress but a outspoken, ass kicking woman all around).
But we don’t want to just be cheering briefly for such characters and see them mostly fade into the background and, often, die (of course, most of us want a respectful and heroic death for Leia, but wish fervently that she could have lived through the end of the trilogy). We have no intention of fading into the background ourselves, so we want to see Sarah Connor centered in these three movies.
Kill her off and most of us will not be back for the rest of the movies. It’s that simple. Sarah Connor is the only reason some of us are fans.
Seriously, this could be the greatest thing in movie history for me. Or it could be a shit show. Without women having direct input from behind the scenes, I think it’s likely to end up the latter, even with Linda.
Today, when I start this (but likely not when I post it), is the 20th anniversary of Judgment Day. On Saturday we went to see Terminator 2: Judgment Day in 3D, a rather big deal as the theater was 4 hours away. Also cushy with recliners. And nearly empty so it was almost like having a private viewing with the only awareness of the handful of others a few rows behind was their laughter during quiet funny scenes. I felt the 3D effect was well done, but then I am a big fan of 3D….it does help get my ADHD brain focused, it seems. Something that might have helped given that I’ve seen T2 hundreds of times by now, and usually watch while working out rather than lounging in a comfy recliner. It was a memorable event.
Unlike, it seems my first viewing. Which seems odd for a movie I am so obsessed with. I realized this last year, when I thought about writing something for the 25th anniversary of the movie. It is one reason I didn’t, although the greater one was my focus on trying to save my dogs which meant I wasn’t writing much of anything. It seemed odd. I saw it several times that summer, but I don’t remember the first. I don’t remember if I saw it alone or with someone, although I remember seeing it with several other people at various times.
Mind you, I remember the first time I heard about the movie. A few years ago I wrote this in my personal blog when examining the influence Sarah Connor had on my spiritual path, in the context of discussion going on in the Pagan blogosphere about pop culture in Paganism.
Never having seen The Terminator, I didn’t pay much attention when a friend, a mentor on the warrior path, and his roommate were talking about the second movie about to come out. I seem to remember them focused on Arnie and machines. *yawn* Later that day, I was a bit surprised when I visited other friends (at the time) who were not, AFAIK, Arnie fans anymore than I was, to find that they were all excited about Terminator 2 as well.Then they showed me her photo in a magazine (remember those things? ah, yes, tell me the machines aren’t taking over, after all). Linda Hamilton, dressed in black and with all that muscle.
You know how you don’t know you were looking for something until you find it? Yeah, one of those moments. Or rather it built, I sought out the first movie, got to the new one the first chance I got. The first moment when Sarah is on the screen doing chin ups was probably when it really hit. This was something I was looking for, I just hadn’t known it.
I was into fitness before I saw the movie, working to become as strong as I could, walking a warrior path that I still strive for. To see real muscle on a female character in an action film blew me away….before I saw the movie. So just learning about it apparently superseded the actual first seeing of it….which then gets blurred with all the others. The chin-up scene is inspiring, every damn time, so the memory of the first…it just got lost in there, I guess.
Seeing the scene in 3D, especially after so many viewings on my poor ancient TV that is in the gym, and the poor ancient VHS playing the poor ancient tape that I bough used as soon as it was available after renting it so many times (yup….the DVD player is in the living room….but it might get moved as the T2 tape really is on its last legs…and I do have two different DVD editions) was amazing, all the same. And from there it almost felt like it was the first time….except that I do know it line for line. ~:p
26 years later and Sarah Connor remains my ultimate pop culture icon to this day. When it came out I did think we were about to have a great influx of physically strong female action leads in movies on a similar vein. And we really didn’t. We got a few, but most were not as relatable for various reasons. We had super powered Buffy, corny Xena, potentially fun but not what I was looking for (tbh, the Buffy from the alternate reality appeared like she would have been much more appealing to me). We had quirky Tank Girl, which I liked but didn’t become fanatical about. It wasn’t until recently when Mad Max: Fury Road gave us not just the kick ass Imperator Furiosa but also the Vuvalini of Many Mothers who she came from and also allowed the “victim” wives to reveal their own strengths. And, of course, the new Star Wars movies offered more, including showing the strength Leia which was somewhat overshadowed in the first trilogy despite Carrie Fishers own strength and talent.
Looking back, T2‘s Sarah Connor really should have been more of a step than it ended up being because we needed to move forward from it. I love it, I love both Sarah and Linda Hamilton….but even before seeing it so large and 3D, I knew the movie itself failed its potential as far as the character could have been. Largely this is due to the need for Schwarzenegger to be the hero. While The Terminator, in classic Final Girl fashion had Sarah start off helpless but be the one to kill the monster in the end and then twist the Final Girl formula by showing her having already started the journey to become a warrior and heading on to continue it, T2 ended with her falling short of saving her son and herself and the T800 needing to come in to save them. To be honest, I think T2 without Schwarzenegger might have been far better, to have the Terminator who helped them not be top billed, not be the hero at the end. Sarah should have been the actual lead, but was not.
The movie also fell into the Not Like Other Girls/One of the Guys trope. To some extent as this was a sort of “nuclear family unit” (you can take or leave the obvious pun in there as you wish) thing that is understandable. However, it could have been circumvented a little by more background women in roles that were not so “motherly.” Oh, you have the security guard, but other wise you have Janelle, not a good mother but still considered by the authorities to be better than Sarah, obviously, you had the nurse and you have Jolanda.
Jolanda was, actually a poor portrayal from a survivalist stand point. The oldest child was old enough to hide with the others and be ready to defend them if his parents were taken out. Jolanda should have flanked the three intruders when Enrique confronted them. That alone would have been a huge step. Or, you know, at least have her come out from hiding securing a long gun.
A few obviously female cops might have helped. It looked like there might have been a couple in the stand off outside Cyberdyne….but all recognizable cops were clearly male. There really were female cops in 1991. Hell, there were in 1984 but it was made clear that all the ones in the station in The Terminator were “men with families, children.” Given no real substantial female roles other than Sarah, I feel it fails the Bechdel Test although it’s been given a disputed pass. After all, “Open it or I’ll pump him full of this shit!” is still talking about a man and the guard doesn’t seem to be named. I don’t think “Get on the floor, bitch. Fucking down now!” really counts either. Her greeting with Jolanda is kind of “to the side” and not really a conversation but is the closest thing to giving it a pass.
There are multiple Terminator franchise fandoms, really. I think the two that are hardest to reconcile are the ones focused on Future War and the one, such as the SCCS is part of, that focuses on Sarah Connor/Linda Hamilton as the real lead of the first two movies. We clearly dreamed, when we still had dreams of good sequels (something some FW fans still might dream of, but I think those of us who are only in it for Sarah and only as played by Linda have given up), of far different sequels. Sarah’s story was best told in a continued battle with time trying to reset, with pushing the date of Judgment Day further into the future but still having to fight to keep it from happening. We did get a few okay, if not great sequels in that vein in comics and novels. We got one really horrible TV series attempt. It’s clear by omission that Cameron has no interest in this sort of future for the franchise. Of course, the reset is needed to be considered….we’re now closer to the date when the Terminators and Kyle Reese came through than we are Judgment day. But no Sarah. No Linda.
Coming back from seeing T2 again on the big screen, 26 years older than i was when I saw it the first time. Still in awe of Linda’s strength, inside and out…and feeling a bit old, to tell the truth …I remember a long time debate with myself about the alternate ending showing Grandma Sarah 30 years after a Judgment Day that never happened. Of course, I question the possibility of a Senator John given his mother’s felonies and his own involvement….I suppose it’s possible, he would have been seen as a kidnapped child. But given the blame likely to have fallen on Sarah not just for what she did do with reason but also for murders committed by the T1000 and by the police (Miles Dyson’s death would be put on her and her vanished accomplice, obviously), would she ever be free and not in hiding? Well, that might be workable. We’ll never know.
First I was glad it wasn’t used, it could have been used to end the franchise and I had hoped for at least one sequel not long after T2 with Sarah fighting to keep the Future War from happening. And, yes, one without Schwarzenegger. But, well, we know what happened instead so. … Then I wished to Gods they did end it there. But now I see how much of that was caught in my relative youth. Wanting to see this in my 30s with a 30something Sarah, because by 50 we’d both have withered away, right? ~:p
So thinking about this now, just 10 years from that ending, I can’t help but think how utterly awesome it would be to have had this ending and ….go from there! To have all this “it’s completely over, all is peaceful(ish)” and then time starts to finally try to reset. And Grandma Sarah and Senator John have to find their inner warriors, and we probably find out that Grandma actually has kept prepping and kept fit all along, and fight Terminators from the future. After all, now that I am over 50 and I am still prepping and still training, I so damn much want to watch 60 something Sarah kicking ass!
But, i can guarantee you that James Cameron is not waiting for my advice on this. Not that he seems to be someone who listens to anyone, anyway. But…damn…yeah, this is the sort of thing that is my total fanon now. So I am going to leave this at that thought. I hope those who want to see this and haven’t are able to…in the US some AMC theaters are running it tonight and tomorrow.
**UPDATE: I realized I should update that we were unable to save our Gráinne. The lymphoma was just too aggressive, she went down hill very quickly and had some sort of episode involving either a lesion or a blood-clot to the brain. She regained her ability to walk after the first one, but the vet was clear that nothing could be done. We planned to take her for her last trip a few days later, but she had another similar episode and we took her to an emergency vet in the middle of the night. We probably do not have to mention that we are devastated as is Gleann. **
I reached out to you all a few months ago to save our Terminator Spotter Gleann. Through an auction of Sarah Connor and other Terminator collectibles, a fundraiser and a little help from a dear friend, we were
able to get his surgery and he is doing great. Except for his worry over his packmate Gráinne who was diagnosed with chronic lymphocytic leukemia at the same time we found out about his condition. At the time her numbers were good and we thought it was the only cancer she had.
Not long after he was recovering, Gráinne’s symptoms started showing up, even though her blood work showed her numbers not yet that high. Skin lesions, including on her nose, began to appear and we have now found out she also has cutaneous lymphoma.
This is still treatable with chemotherapy, however, it is far more aggressive and requires CCNU, a more expensive form of chemo. Her prognosis, however, is good if we can get it in time. Time is not on our side here!
In the meantime, my husband broke his leg and as a per diem EMT he has no benefits to help us through that. The timing couldn’t be worse. We need to start chemo THIS WEEK! Should have started already.