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Monday, 11 March 2013

The Terminator

The Terminator was the movie that put James Cameron on the map. For some it seemed like a bad thing after watching Avatar (me included).  However it hasn't tainted his films none the less.  Before this he was either making B movies or helping John Carpenter with the Iconic effects used in Escape From New York.  This series had its fair share of sequels, comics, games and even trading cards.  All but the last two sequels were praised.  There are various reasons why and I'll tell you my own personal reason I think it tanked, before I get the basic plot out of the way.  For starters I got started on Terminator like other kids in the 90s, by watching the second one, Judgement Day.  I liked it, it had great action and the T-1000 effects were the best CGI on par with Tron, but better.  However upon watching the first I noticed some differences that have haunted me.  See folks, Terminator as cool as it was, it was not meant to be an action movie.  It was meant to be a horror and it shows in the first.  A killer that can't be bargained with, can't be reasoned with, doesn't show any emotions and will not stop ever, until you are dead.  However you guys are gonna lynch me for this but I like the sequels too even if some don't.  But that's not the reason why, the reason for the downfall was the second movie.  Don't get me wrong its a great movie and had its share of both action and horror, however because the action overshadowed what was supposed to be a horrifying aspect of the movies the directors and writers that took over Rise of the Machines and Salvation decided to make it all action. Big damn mistake.

The story goes like so, in the year 2029 there is a war between man and machine.  However one particular man was responsible for turning the tides.  His name was John Connor, so the Machines lead by the most advanced computer defense system, Skynet send their best weapon back through time to erase him from existence.  The Terminator, an infiltration unit, part man and part machine.  However Connor caught on to the plan and sent his best soldier, Kyle Reese to stop him from murdering his future mother, Sara Connor.  The race is on on who would get to her first.

Now Could It Exist In Real Life?

I am not gonna go over the Terminators or AI because I done them to death with my previous entries.  However I am gonna go through something that will haunt you for the rest of your lives if you read this: Skynet.

Imagine a computer that was meant to run all from strategic military, to nuclear defense systems.  However as it became smarter, it also became self aware.  It then sees all of us as a threat rather than the enemies we fight in said wars.  So what does it do it Nukes us All and begins a take over the earth.  Naturally you would think that this went horribly wrong.  However nothing can be further from the truth.  Lucky for us Skynet does not exist.....yet.   However logically it was doing it's job.  It's job was to seek out and destroy all threats to the earth.  Naturally as it learned while going along it looked up all the horrible things we as a race done over the past millenniums, from wars, to witch trials, to creating newer and better ways to kill each other.  It realized that even if it stopped the people it was supposed to, it wouldn't be finished for the people that created it was just as bad. Why else would it be called Judgement Day of all things, because the war was the survivors were atoning for making such a terrible mistake.  I suppose you can say the only wrong it did on it's part was judge us as a whole rather than individuals.  I believe Kay from Men in Black said it best "A person is smart, people are dumb panicky and dangerous animals."  And Skynet doesn't judge a person it judges people and because it underestimated Connor it eventually fell with the people it killed.  However did the humans really win?  I ask because watching the movie, one scene came to mind.  It was a flashback of Kyle returning to a home base for rest.  As he looked for a place to sleep among the people he walked past were: one person eating what little food rations there were, two kids killing a rat for food, and two more kids watching a hollowed out television which had a fire built inside.  The difference between this movie and other fictional war movies is, we know they won, but what will they do after? Their entire country is a nuclear wasteland, much of the crops are ruined and any living livestock would be tainted with radiation poisoning, nothing as trivial as simple entertainment like TV and video games are around to keep them occupied and at the time they have to be on guard since even if the core of Skynet is destroyed, any machines remaining would still try to kill them.

As usual debate, argue and let me know what I missed. Stay tuned for more.

Update: It seems I have been wrong.  Apparently NATO has a series of satellites used for strategic communications.  They even called them Skynet.  God help us all.

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