Terminator: Dark Fate's Sarah Connor Is A 'Bad Grandma With A Shotgun,’ According To James Cameron

Terminator: Dark Fate Sarah Connor toting a shotgun in the sunset

There are plenty of reasons to bring back a character as memorable and important as Sarah Connor is to the Terminator franchise. Among the typical reasons of bringing original franchise fans back under the tent, as well as erasing the series of the franchise’s more questionable follow-ups, there’s one in particular that appealed to series creator James Cameron when he sat down to help craft what we’ve come to know recently as Terminator: Dark Fate.

For him, Sarah Connor not only represents the good old days of his franchise’s vision, she’s also a counterpart to some male actors who have been given the chance she has now to become what he calls a, “bad grandma with a shotgun.” Cameron explained this in the following remarks from a recent interview:

Sure, there are lots of female empowerment characters -- you've got Captain Marvel and Wonder Woman and Black Widow. There's quite a list. How many of them are over 40? Not too many. Gets to be a very short list. Talking about action empowered, action females. There are all these dewy young things. How many of them are over 60? Big fat zero. And now you start looking back through history and how many female action hero prototypical characters that were over 60. Lots of guys. Lots of midlife crisis guys -- you know, Bruce Wilis, Liam Neeson, Clint Eastwood, they're still packing guns into their 80s. How many ladies? Not too many. So I thought, 'This is worth doing, this is a great thing to do.'

Much like the return of James Cameron and Arnold Schwarzenegger to the Terminator franchise in Terminator: Dark Fate, bringing back Linda Hamilton’s female bad ass from the original two films signals the return of the original team that made The Terminator and Terminator 2: Judgement Day so memorable. But in addition, Hamilton can now claim herself as a role model in the same vein as Bruce Willis, Liam Neeson, and Clint Eastwood before her, as Sarah Connor’s return is key to the story that James Cameron helped set out to tell in Terminator: Dark Fate.

This information from James Cameron, who serves as not only a producer but a writer on Terminator: Dark Fate, came from a now-pulled interview that he’d done with Flicks and the City. And in that same interview, in-between mentioning how this new film would be a continuation of John Connor’s story from Terminator 2, Cameron continued to lay down just why Sarah Connor’s inclusion in this latest film, alongside co-stars Mackenzie Davis’ Grace and Natalia Reyes’ Dani, is so important.

As it turns out, in his eyes, Sarah Connor is part of a trinity of the following archetypes he wanted to use in the film’s story:

In the Greek mythology, you have the three female archetypes -- there's the virgin, the mother, and the grandmother. Well, in our society, we discount the grandmother. But in ancient societies, the grandmother was the keeper of wisdom, the judge, the keeper of the values, sometimes the witch, the sorceress, the seer of the future. ... So this is a powerful archetypal figure. You put that together with a known great kickass action hero I think you've got something special and something you haven't seen before. ... She's bad grandma with a shotgun, and you'd better watch your ass.

Information such as this starts to help decode just what Terminator: Dark Fate may be about, as Linda Hamilton is squarely cast in the role of “grandmother” Sarah Connor, bringing new light to a Greek archetype that gets overlooked quite often. Which means that newcomers Grace and Dani are probably the “Mother” and the “Virgin” respectively, as Grace looks to come from an embattled future in order to protect Dani, a virgin in the sense that this is her first foray into the world of Skynet’s covert war against humanity.

How these respective roles will play out, and whether or not Sarah Connor will survive her return to the party in Terminator: Dark Fate are both up in the air. But if James Cameron keeps giving interviews such as this one, we’ll probably get just enough clues to start asking some specific questions pertaining to that very subject.

Terminator: Dark Fate will be released into theaters on November 1, so let the self-ass watching commence!

Mike Reyes
Senior Movies Contributor

CinemaBlend's James Bond (expert). Also versed in Large Scale Aggressors, time travel, and Guillermo del Toro. He fights for The User.