Up until now, the specifics tied to next summer’s Terminator: Genisys have been kept in the dark. We knew who was in it, and who they were playing. We heard rumors of time travel, and notions of Genisys that connected back to James Cameron’s original 1984 classic. But the fine points were a mystery we were eager to unravel. Well, the first few clues started to drop, but they aren’t necessarily clearing things up.

Terminator: Genisys is getting the cover treatment by EW, showing off the four younger leads and including an hilarious photobomb by a menacing Terminator. The pics are below, but I want to zero in on some plot twists that EW felt comfortable sharing. They involve the version of Sarah Connor that Game of Thrones star Emilia Clarke will be playing in Terminator: Genisys, and the details are… confusing, at best. According to the magazine, Clarke’s Sarah Connor will be very different than the Connor we have seen in the previous Terminator films, and it all will come down to parenting.

EW reports that Emilia Clarke’s Sarah Connor "was orphaned by a Terminator at age 9." Since that moment, young Sarah has been "raised by [Arnold] Schwarzenegger’s Terminator – an older T-800 she calls ‘Pops’ – who is programmed to guard rather than to kill." This emo Sarah Connor will be, according to the magazine, "a highly trained antisocial recluse who’s great with a sniper rifle but not so skilled at the nuances of human emotion."

I’m not sure how that’s different from the Sarah Connor Linda Hamilton played in T2: Judgment Day. But producer David Ellison explains:
Since she was 9 years old, she has been told everything that was supposed to happen. But Sarah fundamentally rejects that destiny. She says, ‘That’s not what I want to do.’ It’s her decision that drives the story in a very different direction."

What’s unclear, at least in this article, is how this schism occurs on the timeline, introducing this new version of Sarah Connor. EW reports that the movie begins in 2029, where the rebel forces led by John Connor (Jason Clarke) have Skynet on the ropes. As in The Terminator, John sends righthand-man Kyle Reese (this time played by Jai Courtney) back in time to 1984 to prevent a T-800 (Schwarzenegger) from killing his future mom. But Kyle instead will find this new reality, and it will change everything.

The characters in the movie are going to look like this:

Terminator

And this:

Genisys

Love the subtle "JC" patch on John Connor’s arm. And that photobombing Terminator. This cover spread is odd. And the points raised by the EW article are confusing. Not that the Terminator myth follows a linear path. But a trailer might help sort all of this out. Paramount wants Terminator: Genisys to kickstart a new trilogy. Is this a good first step?

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