Terminator: Genisys packed a number of unanswered questions leading up to its eventual release. With no clear-cut sequel happening right before it, we didn’t know where, exactly, the story would take up on the timeline. And with the addition of so many new faces, we didn’t know how classic characters from previous installments – from Sarah Connor to the T-800 – would be used.
Well, Paramount dropped the first trailer on us today, and it quietly answered a number of key questions while also clarifying – slightly – the movie’s convoluted narrative. Do yourself a favor. Watch the trailer one more time.
Then devour these 15 important facts we pulled from the footage screened today! Starting, of course, with:
We'll Get To See Kyle Reese Volunteer for his initial mission
This is interesting. In the first Terminator film, Kyle Reese reveals to Sarah Connor that he volunteered to go back through time to protect Sarah. Of course, Kyle ends up impregnating Sarah, leading to birth of John. Heavy. But this trailer reveals that we'll get to see Kyle volunteer to do the mission. "Sir. Let me save her." It's a big moment for the story.
We will see Skynet launch. Again.
It does feel, to a certain extent, that the trailer for Terminator: Genisys is touching on familiar beats from the previous films. We see Kyle actually traveling back in time, and we’ll get to the Arnold flashbacks in a second. But this screengrab suggests that, just as in Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines, we will see the deadly Skynet program launch again. The machines are winning!
Some version of the Terminator gets to Sarah at a young age
This, however, is very new – and spins the Terminator myth on its head. From what we knew, Sarah Connor’s first interaction with a Terminator occurred, roughly, in her 30s. She was hunted by one, and eventually became a hunter in subsequent sequels. But here, we see young Sarah Connor being carried by what looks to be the back of Arnold Schwarzenegger. A T-800 gets to pint-sized Sarah? That confirms what we had been hearing.
Los Angeles has been destroyed
This probably goes along with the launching of Skynet, but the trailer opens with devastating looks at scorched earth that reveals the Hollywood sign on repeat viewings. Judgment Day, it seems, has arrived on this timeline.
John Connor has taken a beating in the future wars
It’s unclear how much of Jason Clarke we’ll get in this installment. He’ll be a big part of the opening scenes, I imagine, where we see the toll this future war has taken on the leader. But after he sends Kyle back in time, this movie likely will belong to Sarah Connor, the Terminator and Kyle Reese. John likely will return for the already announced sequels. Speaking of Sarah…
Sarah Connor is more ‘Judgment Day’ than ‘The Terminator’
I guess when you cast Emilia Clarke, you are hoping to get more of a Grrrrrrrrr-lie girl action hero, the kind of character Linda Hamilton went on to play in T2: Judgment Day. And based on the above shot, I think it’s safe to assume that’s the tone Ms. Clarke dialed into during the shoot.
Somehow, Arnold kills … Arnold?
We have been hearing that the timeline will be altered in Terminator: Genisys, stopping specifically on the scene at Griffith Observatory when the T-800 first shows up in our era. Well, it happens. Only this time, a different Arnold is waiting. With a shotgun. "I’ve been waiting for you." Killer line.
That new police officer possesses the liquefied tricks of the T-1000
This is yet another throwback to Judgment Day, and we’ll later see the predatory cop transforming fully with full-body liquid metal. But this shot looks EXACTLY like Robert Patrick’s nearly unstoppable T-1000 from Cameron’s incredible Judgment Day, and I’m sure that’s not accidental.
Sarah might have her own teleportation device
Right after she triggers a switch in the trailer, we see this glowing ball of light, which looks like a makeshift time-traveling device, located in a warehouse. A smaller version of the one John uses to send Kyle back. Could the son somehow have also sent schematics back to his mom, so she could move around the timeline with ease?
Stopping Judgment Day remains the chief plot point
Because if it hasn’t been broken in the previous four films, why fix it now?
Someone who LOOKS like Arnold on a motorcycle is chasing Sarah’s schoolbus
It’s more the SOUND of the motorcycle engine that calls to mind, instantly, the fantastic motorcycle chase Cameron stages in Judgment Day. There’s no reason to believe that Arnold would be chasing Sarah Connor on a motorcycle. Heck, it MIGHT be that cop from the earlier screen grab. But I think the back of this menacing character looks like it might be the T-800, and that audio cue really tipped me off.
Oh yeah, the action will shift to San Francisco
Despite the fact that Kyle Reese clearly transports to Los Angeles, and we get the Griffith Observatory scene, the action in the trailer showcases San Fran, and its Golden Gate Bridge. I’m not entirely sure why. Because it worked really well for the Planet of the Apes series?
We'll get to see Kyle Reese's naked exit from the future.
In Terminator, Kyle Reese explains that when it comes to time traveling, "you go naked." The trailer reveals that this is literally the case, as opposed to stepping into the time travel machine clothed and ending up naked at some point through the process. Genisys spends time with a naked Jai Courtney – giving an awkward, naked bro shake to Jason Clarke – before traveling back in time in this new trailer.
Finally, Terminator really ages, has white hair…
It has been discussed that the T-800 will be able to age in this movie, and the trailer provides visual proof. Arnold, right before delivering his signature line, gets to Da Choppa! and has his white locks blowing in the breeze. It’s a cool image – almost as cool as him nose-diving through a helicopter blade. Wait, is that the end of the movie?
… but Matt Smith was completely absent
His character’s supposed to be a well-kept secret. They must be keeping it for a little bit longer, because the good Doctor Who wasn’t even in this trailer (unless I blinked and missed him). There’s plenty of time until the movie opens on July 1, 2015. I’m sure we’ll see him in character… eventually.
Managing Director at CinemaBlend. ReelBlend cohost. A movie junkie who's Infatuated with comic-book films. Helped get the Snyder Cut released, then wrote a book about it.
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