Date: October 16, 2020
“The Terminator series is probably one of the best known sci-fi movie franchises, it’s generated three billion dollars worth of income in its liftetime, about twice the nominal gdp of Saint Lucia. Thanks for that Wikipedia. It features not only five films, but also comic books, TV series, videogames, toys and other merchandise.
Here I’m just looking at the films, and how they have inevitably changed over the 31 years the quintology has existed, and they have changed a lot.
The Terminator was made in 1984, and is about a cyborg sent from the future to that year tasked with killing the mother of the not yet conceived leader of the human resistance fighting against Skynet, a very unfriendly Artificial Intelligence. At the same time Kyle Reese, a soldier from the future, is sent back by the resistance, to stop this cyborg – a terminator, played by Arnold Schwarzenegger – a metal skeleton coated with real skin, free from morality, fatigue, and body hair.
Cameron came up with the idea several years before after having a dream about something kind of resembling what we would know as a terminator. I remember reading once that it was also based on a story by Harlan Ellison – the science fiction writer, and I assumed that it was based on I Have No Eyes and I Must Scream, a short story about a malevolent AI that has purged the world of all humans with the exception of a handful of survivors that it tortures for its own amusement.
In fact it’s not that at all, Harlan Ellison thought The Terminator was a rip-off of a episode of Outer limits he’d written in 1964, adapted from an earlier short story in 1957, about two soldiers 1800 years in the future who accidentally get sent back in time…”