Why Terminator Genisys Isn't That Far-Fetched, According To Arnold

Arnold Schwarzenegger knows a thing or two about a future dominated by malevolent thinking machines bent on the destruction of all mankind. After all, he’s played one of them a number of times in the Terminator movies, and he doesn’t the reality of those films is all that far off.

Talking to IGN about the upcoming Terminator Genisys, the former Governor of California revealed one specific thing that the cast and crew kept in mind filming the fifth movie in the franchise: that the world of these films is not as distant as it once was. Schwarzenegger says:

A world that was actually very futuristic and very science fiction in 1984, it has now almost become a reality. That’s the dangerous thing going a Terminator today, we’re not dealing with something that is that far off in the future. So we are there that the machines have totally taken over the world, the machines just haven’t become self-aware.

As dependent as the world has become on computers and smart phones and cars that park themselves, he has a point. It’s becoming harder and harder to go through our daily lives without relying on the internet and other pieces of technology, our various machines and devices have become an integral part of our lives, and as developments continue, like advancements in robotics and artificial intelligence, that role is only going to increase.

Basically, I’m reading this as Arnold Schwarzenegger just told me that the Great War with the machines is nigh, and we better start preparing. So if you have a bunker, maybe start stocking it with food, weapons, and other supplies. Who knows, maybe you’ll prove to be the next John Connor, or maybe Arnold will. It’s been my dream to follow him into battle since I was a kid, so perhaps I’ll finally get that chance.

Okay, I’m kidding about the impending robot uprising, at least a little, but Schwarzenegger does have a valid argument about that future not feeling as far off as it did in 1984. Items that have become commonplace, like those powerful little computers we carry around with us everywhere that connect us to all the information we could ever want, were once totally the stuff of science fiction. As an audience, we’ve become more jaded to that sort of technology, and that is something the genre has to take into account moving forward. We’re not as easily impressed as we used to be, we see footage of robots doing cool stuff on the internet all the time, and it will be interesting to see how Genisys deals with that.

Directed by Alan Taylor, Terminator Genisys revisits key moments from the first two movies of the franchise and shows a rewritten timeline. For instance, in this iteration, Sarah Connor (Emilia Clarke) has been raised by a version of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s T-800, which she calls Pops; and when Kyle Reese (Jai Courtney) travels back to 1984, she’s already a hardened badass, not the meek, frightened waitress from the first movie.

What we’ve see from Terminator Genisys so far has been divisive for fans, but from those people who have seen the movie already, including Terminator director James Cameron, the response has been largely positive. The rest of us will be able to see for ourselves with the movie opens everywhere on July 1.

Brent McKnight