Terminator: Genisys plot details reveal huge changes to original story

Terminator: Genisys has radically altered Sarah Connor's origin story - but is the film a reboot or a prequel?

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Until now, knowledge has been scarce about just how Terminator revival Terminator: Genisys will fit into the franchise’s grander time-travel narrative. Especially considering that Emilia Clarke’s Sarah Connor appears to be younger than her on-screen son John Connor, played by Jason Clarke. Is it a total reboot of the story? A remake of an earlier film? Or just a prequel to events seen so far?

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Well, now details of Genisys have been revealed – and they contain some pretty huge revelations concerning not only Sarah Connor, but also Arnold Schwarzenegger’s T-800 cyborg.  

According to Entertainment Weekly, Connor isn’t, “the innocent she was when Linda Hamilton first sported feathered hair and acid-washed jeans in the role. Nor is she Hamilton’s steely zero body-fat warrior in 1991’s T2. Rather, the mother of humanity’s messiah was orphaned by a Terminator at age 9.

“Since then, she’s been raised by (brace yourself) Schwarzenegger’s Terminator – an older T-800 she calls ‘Pops’ –who is programmed to guard rather than to kill. As a result, Sarah is a highly trained antisocial recluse who’s great with a sniper rifle but not so skilled at the nuances of human emotion”.

That’s pretty big stuff. If Genisys is indeed part of the original Terminator universe, then it appears that – Doctor Who-style – time can be re-written. In this version, Connor knew about the Terminators all along – conflicting with the events of 1984’s The Terminator, in which she was rather surprised to be brutally hunted by Schwarzenegger’s killer cyborg. Otherwise, it’s a totally new timeline and, therefore, a new origin story for Connor. Time travel, eh? 

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Terminator: Genisys hits cinemas in July 2015.