The premise of Terminator Genisys, which opens in theaters on July 1, 2015, is that it takes place in an alternate timeline, as seen in the film’s trailers, so obviously many elements from the original Terminator film will be different, however, there are still aspects of the story that must stay consistent with the original.
10. The Terminator’s Arrival in 1984
The original movie The Terminator starred Arnold Schwarzenegger as a time-travelling robot with a layer of human flesh, Linda Hamilton as Sarah Connor, and Michael Biehn as Kyle Reese. The plot begins as The Terminator, Cyberdyne Systems Model T-101 seemingly drops from the sky in a hail of lightning and begins acquiring weapons and information on all women named Sarah Connor living in the city of Los Angeles.
His mission: to terminate Sarah and by default, kill her unborn son John in the process.
9. Kyle Reese’s Arrival In 1984
Soldier Kyle Reese is also sent back in time, but with a much more heroic mission – to save Sarah Connor from the T-101.
In The Terminator, the viewer’s first glimpse of Kyle is when he also drops from the sky but onto a dark alley. Since the time machine devised by Skynet can only send through organic material, anyone arriving in the past has to travel in the nude. He steals the clothes of a homeless man in the alley, is immediately spotted by police and a chase ensues. Kyle escapes by ducking into a department store and acquiring Nike running shoes and a rifle from an abandoned police vehicle.
We already know from the Terminator Genisys trailers that the original terminator (sent to kill Sarah) and Kyle will both arrive in 1984.
8. Come With Me If You Want to Live
The first time audiences heard this line, which has been uttered once in every one of the four Terminator movies (The Terminator, Terminator 2: Judgement Day, Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines and Terminator: Salvation) was during the horrifying face-off at the Tech Noir nightclub. Sarah, a damsel in obvious distress, sits nervously at a table in the nightclub waiting for the police to arrive, when the T-101 confronts her. This is Sarah’s first encounter with the cyborg and as she realizes she is his target, Kyle temporarily fends off the T-101, reaches his arm out to Sarah and utters the sentence: “Come with me if you want to live.”
If the trailers from Terminator Genisys are any indication, this line is uttered in a reversal of roles. Sarah Connor, played by Emilia Clarke in this iteration, is no helpless female. With a T-101 protector already by her side, once again played by Schwarzenegger, she looks like a bad-ass as she opens the door of a heavy-duty armored truck and tells Kyle, this time played by Jai Courtney: “Come with me if you want to live.
Schwarzenegger’s T-101 has a number of classic lines throughout the original film, including one where a caretaker at a flophouse he’s staying in smells the cyborg’s rotting flesh as he walks by his room.
“Hey buddy. You got a dead cat in there or what?”
The T-101 goes through a list of possible responses, including “Yes/No,” and “Please come back later,” but ultimately goes for: “F**ck you, a**hole.”
But the most iconic of Schwarzenegger’s lines in the film has to be: “I’ll be back.”
After a car chase through the city, Sarah and Kyle end up at a police station in Los Angeles for questioning. Kyle has already told Sarah her unborn son sent him from the year 2029 to save her from the T-101. She also knows he grew up in a post-apocalyptic world caused by machines turning against people.
When the T-101 arrives at the police station he politely tells the desk clerk he is a friend of Sarah’s and would like to see her. He is told that Sarah is making a statement and he can sit on a bench and wait for her. The T-101 looks around, sizing up the structure of the small room, and tells the clerk: “I’ll be back.”
Schwarzenegger’s deadpan delivery of this line is a huge understatement when he then crashes a car into the room and, machine gun blazing, proceeds to kill just about every police officer at the station.
From the Terminator Genisys trailers, it looks like the iconic “I’ll be back,” will be included in the film.
6. Flashbacks to the Future
Throughout the first half of The Terminator, Kyle has flashbacks to the terrifying future that awaits humanity. Fire has devastated the landscape and human skulls lay everywhere. Advanced planes search the night sky, scanning the surroundings for human survivors. Metal hunter-killers roam the land, flashing red and blue lights.
Humans live a filthy underground existence, as evidenced when Kyle enters a safe house. As he walks by some of the inhabitants he sees two young girls warming themselves by a fire inside a burnt-out television and two boys who’ve just caught a rat for dinner. All the while you can hear people crying and moaning.
These types of flashbacks to the future provide a basis for the importance of ultimately winning the war against the machines and should be included in Terminator Genisys.
5. The Message from John
After escaping the massacre at the police station, Kyle and Sarah stop to rest for the night under a highway overpass. After asking Kyle to tell her about her son, Kyle delivers a message John made him memorize before he travelled back through time:
“Thank you Sarah for your courage through the dark years. I can’t help you with what you must soon face, except to say that the future is not set. You must be stronger than you imagine you can be. You must survive, or I will never exist.”
Frustrated, Sarah says to Kyle, “Do I look like the mother of the future? Am I tough, organized? I can’t even balance my check book.”
Will Kyle even need to deliver this message to Sarah in the alternate timeline of Terminator Genisys? It looks like she’s already well aware of her role as “the mother of the future.”
4. John Connor’s Conception
Whether it takes place in a motel room or in the back of a pickup truck, Sarah Connor and Kyle Reese must do the deed. The entire premise of the series of films depends on it. The Terminator was, above all else, a love story and this important element of the original must be preserved.
In The Terminator, after the cyborg has made several attempts on Sarah’s life, she and Kyle conveniently end up in a motel room, where he finally confesses that he’s never been with a woman and he’s been in love with her for years. “I came across time for you Sarah, I love you. I always have.” Sarah doesn’t reply and instead stares at him, overwhelmed. “Shouldn’t have said that,” Kyle says and then gets up and starts putting pipe bombs into a backpack. Sarah pulls him to her, kisses him and the scene then cuts to the two of them making love. They ultimately conceive Sarah’s unborn son, John Connor.
Without this element from the original film, there would be no reason for any of the events to have taken place. The time travel and targeting of Sarah Connor for extermination is all because of John. Whether or not Sarah Connor is aware that Kyle is John’s father in this alternate timeline remains to be seen.
3. Kyle Reese’s Death
Kyle dies in the original Terminator, in the metal factory where he and Sarah had taken refuge. As the T-101 endoskeleton approaches the pair, Kyle tells Sarah to run. She refuses, until she sees Kyle lighting a pipe bomb. As she runs, Kyle shoves the lit bomb up the center of the T-101. The resulting explosion kills Kyle but only succeeds in blowing off the Terminator’s legs.
Kyle must also die in Terminator Genisys. Terminator fans are not interested in a happy ending for Kyle and Sarah. She must go through the heartbreak of losing Kyle to become the person she is meant to be.
2. Cyberdyne Systems – You’re Terminated F**ker!
After Kyle’s death, an injured Sarah must now fend for herself. The cyborg has survived and crawls after her through the factory.
Sarah ultimately succeeds in destroying the T-101 in a hydraulic press as it reaches for her throat. Just before she pushes the button to crush it, she says: “You’re terminated f**ker!”
The factory Sarah and Kyle fought in was Cyberdyne Systems. Because the metallic arm and damaged memory chip remain, it allows Cyberdyne staff to create cyborgs in the future.
A comparable scene in which evidence of a cyborg is left at Cyberdyne Systems should be recreated in Terminator Genisys for events to progress as they were intended.
1. The Photograph of Sarah
In The Terminator, Kyle Reese is in already in love with Sarah before he leaves his own time period. This is based on a photograph he carried around for years, given to him in the future by Sarah’s son John. Just before he confesses his love, he tells her: “John gave me a picture of you once. It was very old, faded. You were young, like you are now. You seemed just…a little sad. I used to always wonder what you were thinking at that moment. I memorized every line, every curve.” What neither of them realizes is that John gave Kyle the photo because he knows Kyle is his father.
We find out at the end of the film, as a pregnant Sarah sits in her Jeep at a gas station and a Mexican boy snaps a photo of her, that she is recording an audio message to John. She is reminiscing about his father right at the moment the photo is snapped. “For the few hours we had together, we loved a lifetime’s worth.”
A scene involving a similar photo of Sarah needs to be included in Terminator Genisys. Without the photo, there is no real reason for Kyle to time travel to 1984 to save Sarah, the woman he loves.