A new trailer dropped today for the sequel/reboot Terminator: Dark Fate which looks to be an attempt to take the franchise back to its roots.
This incarnation brings back James Cameron as producer along with the original star of the Terminator Saga, Linda Hamilton.
Also, just like Halloween 2018, this entry will ignore the last three sequels in the franchise making it a direct sequel to Terminator 2. It’s hard to say whether any of this will work, but having James Cameron’s influence back on board does not hurt.
Plus, he made Tim Miller director, who did a decent job establishing Deadpool in the cinematic mythos.
There’s a lot to unpack within this trailer, so let’s get right into it. Here’s our Terminator: Dark Fate trailer breakdown and takeaways.
Terminator: Dark Fate trailer breakdown
As the footage begins, we hear the character Dani Ramos (Natalie Reyes) speak over the visual of a moving street. She says, ” 2 days ago, I had this nice, simple life. Now it’s a nightmare.”
And as she says the word nightmare, it reveals Dani in the car with Mackenzie Davis’s character Grace and someone else. The footage blacks out to show the Paramount/Skydance Studio logos followed by a haunting choir-ish theme playing in the background.
What is clear from the first 20 seconds of the trailer is that Dani’s character is the new version of the Sarah Connor character type. She has a serious role to play in the future — but in what way remains unclear. Whatever it is, the machines want her dead for it.
As the footage breaks back in, the choir-like music turns out to be a cover of Bjork’s chilling song “Hunter.” The scene then shows a bulldozer break through a wall and into a highway.
The person driving the vehicle is revealed to be Gabriel Luna’s Terminator, chasing Dani and Grace who are in a tiny brown pickup.
The next moments unveil the uniqueness of Grace as well as the Terminator villain. Grace swings out of the pickup in a superhuman manner and begins throwing metal bars at Gabriel Luna’s driver seat.
The footage then shows off the powers of the new Terminator villain as it grabs one of the bars and splits in two. It becomes clear that this version of a Terminator has liquid metal abilities like the one from Terminator 2, only this one has the ability to split like an atom.
The trailer then shows a series of cuts with the Terminator villain jumping out of the bulldozer holding the metal bar and flying towards Grace in the pickup to inflict damage on her, only to reveal that she has some cybernetic properties as well — with the metal bar grazing her arm, without any blood or injury.
After this, the trailer cuts to Grace saving Dani by pulling her out of the pickup before a car collides into it and explodes on impact. With them being vulnerable and on the road, Gabriel Luna’s terminator approaches them while forming his arm into a metal blade.
The music then sings Bjork’s chorus, “I am going hunting, I am the Hunter,” and on the hunter note, Sarah Connor (Linda Hamilton) drives onto the scene, steps out of her car and begins firing ammo at the Terminator. When this doesn’t work, she breaks out a bazooka and decimates the machine.
What can be gathered from this series of scenes is that Terminator: Dark Fate will borrow some elements from Terminator Salvation where, in the future, someone found the way to give a human cybernetic-qualities to help fight the war.
The intriguing part is that Gabriel Luna’s Terminator seems to possess traits from both the T-800 and the T-1000, which is a fascinating mash-up.
In hopes to motivate fans to get excited about this new entry, the trailer then reveals the message, “producer James Cameron returns.”
We then see Sarah Connor, Grace, and Dani in a hotel room, and Grace ask her, “Who are you?” Linda Hamilton’s voice plays over the images saying, “My name is Sarah Connor.”
Mistaking her for a Terminator, Sarah Connor explains to Grace, “I’ve never seen one like you before. Almost human.”
As she says this, it cuts to Grace being taken to a hospital zip-tied and handcuffed to the bed, with the doctors looking at her wound, and her flesh not being the same as a normal human.
Her blood also has a yellowish tint. She then breaks out of her restraints in the hospital bed and escapes. The footage also shows the first moment where she teleports back through time and puts a beat down on three cops.
The moment ends with a sequence of Grace looking at something behind her sporting a bulletproof vest with a voice-over of her saying, “I am human.”
The next section of the trailer focuses on Natalie Reyes’s character Dani and how she compares closely to Sarah Connor in the original. The footage shows Dani laying in Grace’s lap in the back of a truck bed sleeping and Grace asking Sarah why she cares so much about her.
The trailer then cuts to all three of them walking through the woods and approaching a cabin. Sarah then responds to Grace’s question explaining, “Because I was her.”
And as she says this, Arnold Schwarzenegger answers the cabin door.
It’s unclear why the T-800 is in the new film or why he has aged. It could have something to do with the technology involving Grace and how the machines found a way to merge human-machine hybrids.
Either way, it’s great to see Schwarzenegger back in the role that made him famous.
As the trailer builds to a climax, the footage reveals a series of various action clips.
These include Grace and Dani running through a facility with people panicking and running around them, Gabriel Luna’s Terminator taking down two soldiers with his liquid metal arms, an explosion by a police car, followed by a final shot of what appears to be Arnold Schwarzenegger’s T-800 fighting Gabriel Luna’s Terminator underwater.
This montage leads to a climactic finish with an airplane sequence involving two aircraft colliding into each other, with the Terminator villain jumping off one plane and using his liquid metal blades to stick to the aircraft carrying Grace and Dani.
The next shot shows the plane that Gabriel Luna was piloting fall from the sky on fire. As it passes, someone is dangling from a vehicle strapped to the plane that remains flying in the air.
It’s hard to tell whether the person hanging on for dear life is Sarah Connor or Grace.
As the trailer comes to a finish, Dani, Sarah, and Grace are riding on top of a train with a bunch of immigrants and Dani ask Grace, “How do we win?” Grace sits next to Dani and tells her, “We win by keeping you alive.”
After she says this, the preview shows one final battle between Grace and the villainous Terminator, with Grace running at the machine with an ax, swinging it at his legs and face.
The final clip shows Gabriel Luna’s face reforming thanks to his liquid metal abilities and the scene blacking out, revealing the title, Terminator: Dark Fate.
Terminator: Dark Fate trailer takeaways
There is a lot to take away from this brief teaser for the next Terminator. The one question that’s going to be on everybody’s mind is, where is John Connor?
If one were to predict where this story is going, it might be that just because one leader dies, does not mean another will not rise in their place.
It seems to hint that a Terminator killed John Connor and now, a new leader stepped in after his death. Maybe it’s Dani herself, or perhaps it’s her future child.
This idea would make for an interesting spin on the franchise with John Connor no longer being the savior of the future. It would also play within the themes of the future being inevitable. Just because a hero falls does not mean humanity will not survive without that hero.
There also seems to be a curious look at immigration within this footage. Brief shots show some of the characters inside immigration buildings as well as traveling with immigrants through Mexico.
So it makes one curious if the new film will have some refugee/immigrant themes in the context of the story.
The tone of the preview works very well and should get fans excited who have felt abused by the franchise, especially after three mediocre sequels.
That said, we are still far away from the release date, so many of us will have to wait to see if James Cameron can save his own franchise.
Terminator: Dark Fate will hit theaters on November 1, 2019.