San Diego Comic-Con is off to a great start with the first panel giving fans a sneak peek at what lies ahead in the upcoming film Terminator: Dark Fate, including the return of Eddie Furlong in the reprisal of his role of John Connor.
This means that for the first time since the release of Terminator 2: Judgement day, our three main protagonists are back together for the next chapter in the dark saga. While previous installments of the series have been mediocre at best, we may be seeing something special here with James Cameron back for the first time in decades, and Tim Miller involved as well. During the panel, Miller spoke about a key point for the film: time travel. Miller stated:
“The time travel, for me [sic], I loved Endgame I think it's fantastic... however, I feel like time travel with multiple realities loses some stakes. If you can change time and it can be anything... I feel like you lose a little bit of the dramatic stakes. So, in the Terminator universe, there is only one timeline. If you change something in the past, it rolls forward and changes something in the future.”
With that in mind, Miller states that the story of Dark Fate is largely centered around the consequences of Sarah Connor destroying Cyberdine at the end of Judgement Day. How does the future unfold afterward? Since the panel also teased that Connor’s character is that of a Terminator hunter, it seems that something made it through, but perhaps to a less destructive Judgement day.
There are so many paths that the movie could take, as it is set 27 years after the events of Judgement Day. Disregarding the crossover stories featuring Superman, Robocop, and Alien vs. Predator, there are some solid options to consider. NOW Comics offered a fascinating look into a potential story with their release of a 17-issue miniseries in 1988, which is interesting not only because of the story it tells, but because it released years before Judgement Day.
Terminator: Burning Earth could also be adapted for film and features a much older John Connor as well. In that story, Skynet seeks to effectively deal with its human problem by attempting to launch nuclear weapons across every inch of the planet, ensuring humanity’s demise.
However, if Miller and the rest wanted to give everyone a total shock, they could include the twist seen in Terminator 2029, whereby Kyle Reese from the original Terminator film is revealed to have survived his injuries, has been a prisoner for years, and now has unfinished business as a much older man. The actor who played Reese is Michael Biehn, and seeing him appear on screen would be an absolute shocker to one-time lover Sarah Connor, and son John Connor.
At the end of the day, the cast and production team look to be closely knit and all-in on the project. Diego Luna was seen handing Arnold Schwarzenegger $20, as he had bet that Miller would not be throwing around F-bombs of profanity, which of course we all heard quite often in his excitement.
Terminator: Dark Fate released on October 25, 2019.