The Terminator

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The Terminator

The Terminator is one of the most popular robots of film. There are actually two models of Terminator: the metal skeleton covered by human flesh (technically a cyborg) first seen in The Terminator (James Cameron, 1984); and the liquid metal, shape-shifting new T-1000 introduced in the sequel, The Terminator 2: Judgment Day (Cameron, 1991). Both were created by Stan Winston, following Cameron's designs. The older Terminator (Arnold Schwarzenegger) comes from the near future to kill Sarah, the mother of the still unborn John Connor, who will become the guerrilla leader that fights the rebellious machines in a future war. In the sequel, this evil Terminator becomes the fatherly protector of mother and son, saving them from the murderous T-1000. The Terminator films have appealed to the popular imagination thanks to their special effects (especially the infographics of the sequel) and the magnetic presence of Schwarzenegger in the title role.

—Sara Martin

Further Reading:

Jeffords, Susan. "Can Masculinity be Terminated?" Screening the Male: Masculinities in Hollywood Cinema. Ed. Stephen Cohan and Ina Rae Hark. London and New York, Routledge, 1993, 245-261.

Mann, Karen. "Narrative Entanglements: The Terminator." Film Quarterly. Vol. 43, Winter 1989-1990, 17-27.

Rushing, Janice Hocker, et al, editors. Projecting the Shadow: The Cyborg Hero in American Film. Chicago, University of Chicago Press, 1995.

Telotte, J.P. "Chapter 8: The Exposed Modern Body: The Terminator and Terminator 2." Replications: A Robotic History of Science Fiction. University of Illinois Press, 1995.