On Tuesday, theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking told the BBC that the development of artificial intelligence could lead to the extinction of the human race. The problem, Hawking elucidated, is that human adaptation takes too damn long. “Humans, who are limited by slow biological evolution, couldn’t compete, and would be superseded.”
The development of a technology capable of evolving and wiping out humanity? Impossible.
Meanwhile, on Wednesday, Paramount Pictures released the first trailer for Terminator Genisys.
The Terminator series debuted in 1984 and depicts a future battle between humanity and artificially intelligent robots who travel back in time to kill the mother of the boy who will grow up to lead the human army against the robots. To stop her death, the boy-now-military leader sends a soldier back, too, to protect her from the terminator. Got it?
Thirty years later (for us, not the future (I think?)) it appears the battle continues in, with the robots and humans unfolding the exact same plan to kill and save Sarah Connor. With the stakes, just like Hawking predicted, are very high: “If we die tonight,” says John Connor, “mankind dies with us.”
It all may sounds ridiculous if you’re not a fan, but back in the 80s and 90s, the Terminator series was great sci-fi stuff.
The updated Terminator looks to be taking the path of J.J. Abrams’ Star Trek reboot, throwing continuity out the window in favor of an entirely new timeline. This time, when John Connor sends a soldier back to protect his mother, he finds Sarah Connor (Emiliia Clarke) working together with the old terminator (Arnold Schwarzenegger to fight against what appears to be a new, old terminator (?). Whatever is going on, Sarah Connor helpfully informs us, “The time John sent you to no longer exists.”
And voila: reboot.
As this unfolded in the trailer, I began by wondering how this might all come together with the first four films. But in these days of commercial franchise stretch-ulation, does it even really matter? Seriously, just look at this digital one-sheet? Who cares about continuity?