Confused Views: See ya later, Terminator

Matt works out that he might not be the ideal person to tackle the future of the Terminator franchise. But he's willing to give it a go...

“I don’t get people. What’s their appeal, precisely? They waddle around with their haircuts on, cluttering the pavement like gormless, farting skittles. They’re awful.” Charlie Brooker, Dawn Of The Dumb

Defense network computers. New… powerful… hooked into everything, trusted to run it all. They say it got smart, a new order of intelligence. Then it saw all people as a threat, not just the ones on the other side. Decided our fate in a microsecond: extermination.”  Kyle Reese, The Terminator

“It’s in your nature to destroy yourselves” The Terminator, Terminator 2: Judgement Day

It’s time for me to come clean and admit to what I’m sure many of you have suspected for some time. I’m not really a person. Rather, I’m a Hatebot 3000, a misery machine sent back from the future to whinge, complain and witter on about rubbish. I am unable to compute happiness, laughter or love. I have been observing you humans and developing an understanding of what you do, so that I can best exploit your weaknesses and make you upset. I know now why you cry, but it’s something I can never do. Lucky me, eh?

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Erm, not really.

Good old Den Of Geek. There are some really cool sci-fi articles on here sometimes. I’m sure I’m not the only one who read the excellent Terminator paradoxes article last week. It made me think about time travel for a bit, but then it made me think about myself as a writer.

I can read an article like that, follow it and enjoy it. But I wouldn’t ever write one because I know I wouldn’t be able to follow the theories through. Rather, if I start writing about The Terminator it usually only takes about three or four lines before I start questioning what his bum looks like once his ‘skin’ starts rotting.

Do you think they bothered giving him a cock? The endo-skeleton doesn’t require one. The human look was only to help the machines fit in unnoticed amongst humans, but based on the films he hardly seems likely to waggle it about at a party.

What would have happened if Kyle Reese had farted right before he travelled through time, but then completed his mission, and thus negated his reason for time-travelling and making it so that he had never needed to fart in the first place? Would the future still smell of farts? And if it never happened, would someone from the future, without knowing why, feel the sudden urge to giggle at some unseen prank? I’d like to think so.

These are the sort of questions I find myself asking because, well, I’m silly. In fact, and I suspect a few of you may have already guessed this, I’m a Sillibot 3000, a moron machine sent back from the future…

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Anyway, there was a time last year when I found myself thinking seriously about The Terminator franchise. I was sat in a dark cinema watching Terminator Salvation. Nothing about that situation seemed funny to me. Robot penises, cyber assholes or farts disappearing into the space-time continuum couldn’t have raised so much as a giggle from me. I haven’t seen the film again since, but I was certainly unimpressed.

I found myself questioning what I’d do if someone came to me and said, “Matt, we’ve been reading your column and we think you’re the man to take on the Terminator franchise. Do with it as you will. No cock jokes.”

The easy sequel would be to send another Terminator back in time. The idea would be to send them back even further in an effort to kill one of John Connor’s great great great great great grandparents.

To be honest, I question why they didn’t do this in the first place. By going back to the 80s they risked being foiled by all of the guns we had knocking about. Go back a while further and suddenly having super robot Terminator strength is a considerably more valuable asset. Granted, it may take a while longer to locate the Connors, but what are they, in a rush? They’re a good couple of hundred years away from their deadline.

The problem with that scenario is that, well, it would make a terrible film. Plus it’s flawed with all sorts of plot holes, is really quite stupid and the time period would make it very difficult for an Arnie-type Terminator to score a decent pair of sunglasses.

What I think I would like to explore is the reason machines turned. If an army of robots are going to destroy society and slaughter or imprison every person on Earth, I’d quite like to know why. After thinking about it for about fifteen minutes, while Christian Bale was screaming at a pregnant woman and a toaster, I came up with a theory.

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Perhaps it’s a case of poor wording. These robots get told to eliminate the biggest threat to humans, and it turns out to be us. Y’know, because we’re a self-destructive bunch of bastards.

As a direction for the franchise, I like the idea of the heroes battling against the odds, through harrowing ordeals with emotionless murderous cyborgs, only to discover that they’re the villains themselves. That’s what I feel cinema should be: bleak, accusatory and depressing

I originally started writing this column up a little while ago. I explained the idea to a friend, who nodded knowingly at me and then asked, “Oh right. Yeah. Like I Robot.”

“No, not like I Robot! Wait, what?” I responded. Then I went and watched I, Robot. Yeah, like I, Robot. Shit baskets.

I had to disregard that idea because it was linked to Will Smith, something I simply won’t stand for. I still liked the idea of exploring what had caused the apocalypse and so started to consider what alternative causes there could have been.

I don’t like the idea that the robots just turned on us. It doesn’t make any sense to me. Plus, you can see from the films that Terminators all clearly do follow orders. I don’t recall a scene in any of the films where a machine decides it’s sick of chasing John Connor about and just wants to sit in the park for a bit. They do as they’re told. The only way it could work is for one supercomputer to become self-aware and tell the soldier Terminators to get killing. This is what Kyle Reese talked about, but he was a simple lad and there’s a good chance someone just told him that because the truth was too complicated for him.  But then we’re starting  to drift back into I, Robot territory and I, Robot was rubbish.

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If not that, then maybe the robots had been controlled/programmed by a person hell bent on the destruction of mankind. Based on the sum of these columns, you could astutely deduce that person as me. What an ego trip this has turned into. I’ve been handed the reins to a billion dollar movie franchise and rewritten it’s mythology in a way that makes me, essentially, the overlord of the world.

It’s become apparent to me now that I’m probably not the best person to take over this series. To be honest, I’ve never watched the third film or any of the TV series and despite watching the first two recently, I can’t really remember much about them.

There’s actually a good chance that some of these things feature prominently in the films for all I remember. Plus, I’m incredibly lazy. In fact, and I suspect a few of you may have already guessed this, I’m a Lazibot 3000, a creation of Skivenet sent back from the future…