procrastination, heresy, and navel-gazing.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Terminator Messiah

A few weeks ago i did a thing on Christ-figures in films. Some are more obvious than others, but things to look out for are sacrifice, taking the punishment others deserve, healing, having the initials J.C.; having a beard even seems to cut it in some films.

But for my thing on Heroes on Film, i thought i'd do the Christ-figures in the Terminator films.

firstly, a brief synopsis of the three films (at this time i hadn't seen T3, which filled in a lot of gaps):

  • T1 T800 sent to kill Sarah Connor
    Kyle Reese to protect her because of the child she would bear.
    He would be the messiah of the Humans against the machines
    He ends up fathering a son, called John Connors
    Don’t miss the JC initials
  • T2 T800 now the Cyborg Messiah,
    sent to protect the Human Messiah from the T1000
  • T3 JC now the messiah he was predestined to be

These films deal with Ontological Paradoxes, that is,
An ontological paradox is a paradox of time travel that questions the existence and creation of information and objects that travel in time. It is very closely related to the predestination paradox and usually occurs at the same time. (definition from wikipedia)

c/f The End of Eternity by Isaac Asimov, written way back in 1954 - an amazing read if you can get a hold of it (mine's in a box at my parent's place in Canberra if you want to grab it)

“Critic Richard Corliss has...pointed out that the story parallels that of the New Testament, with a soldier from another world (the archangel Gabriel) visiting a woman (the Virgin Mary) to announce that she is to be mother to a messiah (John Connor has the same initials as Jesus Christ). She flees with him into the desert, where an angel of death becomes a protector/father.”

From Holy Aliens to Cyborg Saviours: Biblical Subtexts in Four Science Fiction Films, Anton Karl Kozlovic

In T2 that is.
The Cyborg Messiah takes over from the Human Messiah, taking the fore-front, and the many Christ-references.
with his wounds in his side, his Bullet Holes that Sarah needs, like Thomas in John 21, to check for herself.
The Terminator is killed by the T1000, but is resurrected, and then redeems humankind.

I guess, tho I haven’t [hadn't - ed.] seen it, that T3 is the next step, where the messiah (human John Connor, JC) takes control, on, of course, Judgement day, where he returns in power to rid the earth of evil once and for all.

For those interested, there is a fourth in the tubes, called Terminator Salvation: The Future Begins, in an odd tribute to science fiction history (in the End of Eternity), although in all probability this has more to do with the predominant US millenialist theology.

Each generation gets the cinema they deserve.

addendum - coming to Australian television screens is Terminator: the Sarah Connor Chronicles, which may or may not be any good. it's a nice idea, despite her dying inbetween the 2nd and 3rd movies, unless they give some explanation, like she had to hide herself so no terminator would be able to use her to track John. i dunno.

now for some Christmas silliness - watch this, v.v. funny h/t to locusts and honey

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