Sarah Connor was not only the mother of the saviour, she was a strong, unerring soldier in the War Against the Machines. She was a figurehead. A leader. It was not hard to see where John’s strength came from.
Kyle Reese loved her.
He had never met her.
All he had were the stories of her and a crumpled photo that for some reason, John Connor had chosen to give him that first time they met. Of course, one does not question the great John Connor. One only obeys, no matter the cost. Kyle Reese knew that he would give his life for John. And for Sarah.
The second time Kyle met John Connor was just as momentous, though confusing. It was shortly after John had led the massive offensive attack against Skynet’s base of operations.
What Kyle did not know was that when John and his team finally entered the facility, they found it dark. Lifeless, save for the lingering sparks of energy given off by a single machine in a large, otherwise empty room. Information flashed on the computer monitor.
Time had come.
Kyle volunteered for the top secret mission, never once expecting to be chosen. He was just a kid who had done nothing to prove himself any more special than the other soldiers fighting at his side. Yet he was chosen above all to perform this task on which their very future depended:
Protect Sarah Connor.
John Connor was not known to show emotion. Not surprising for someone with the fate of the entire human race resting on his shoulders.
And yet there, in that cold room in Skynet’s belly, John chose to forego words and instead, embrace Kyle as if he did not ever want to let him go. Then he walked away, never once looking back.
Kyle, shaken but determined, began to undress. Sparks began to crackle behind him…
Okay so I’ve embellished a little. Forgive me. But that’s the story I’ve romanticized in my head since I read it in Grade 10 in the Terminator novelization. And that’s the story that I’ve been waiting all this time to see.
Sadly, Terminator: Salvation failed to give this to me.
I forgive the film for not adhering to this plot line. The magic of this saga is that there are so many roads that it can take, often, as it seems, foregoing continuity. But such is the nature of the terminotor time line. The future is tangled in the past.
Unfortunately, the movie did not realize this and so, brings us to the massive continuity plot hole that makes this movie fail so far beyond the shiny ‘splodey special effects and sidelined female characters:
JOHN CONNOR CANNOT EXIST WITHOUT THE T-800
But in this film, John had no clue what they were. In fact, this concept was the entire plot. They even went so far as to have him repeatedly referring to his mom’s recorded messages where she somehow forgets to tell him about the T-800s.
There is no excuse for this massive ommission. Nothing to explain it away. John Connor was born because a T-800 was sent back to kill Sarah Connor and Kyle Reese was sent back to protect her.
And where is Kyle in this film? Oh I dunno. You’d think, if your existence was based on your daddy’s survival, you’d keep him under close watch. But John seems to have no active plans to find Kyle until the end.
This isn’t a horrible movie. It has its merits on its own, I suppose (kudoes to the team for the efforts put into the homage to Cameron and Arnold without making it cheesy and corny). And I had big expectations for it, thanks to my highschool dream, so it had far too much to live up to. But when I realized what was bugging me so much about this movie after watching it last night, I realized why I had gotten up feeling so dead inside.