Sunday, April 16, 2006

Terminator Which Never Started

A question about the story of the film Terminator has always intrigued me. The other day, I asked this question to the instructor of the Philosophy of Science course. He didn't give a direct answer, very like a philosopher. He, instead, tagged me as a 'believer'. I couldn't fathom his response, hence won't comment on it. I will reiterate my question instead.

The story of Terminator is summarised as follows:

Terminator 1
John Connor is going to be a saviour of some kind of human kind in a futurististic war that's going to happen in 2029 -- humans against AI machines. To ascertain a victory in this war, the machines decide to assassinate John Connor, by killing his mother, way back in 1984, even before he's born. A Terminator is sent to kill Sarah Connor. A soldier from that 2029 war is sent by Connor (of 2029) to save his mom. Lots of violence. Terminator gets destroyed. In the process, the soldier and Sarah mate, conceiving John Connor.

Terminator 2
1992 or something. John Connor is already born and is being brought up by some foster parents as a genius brat. His mom is in some kind of assylum for keeping on talking about Terminator and impending dangers on mankind. The microchip of T1 was recovered and used by an industrialist to found a AI robotics company.
Set on this background, a more advanced Terminator the T1k is sent to kill Connor. A replica of the earlier Terminator is sent by John (of 2029) to save himself from T1k. Similar, more violent, fights happen with the same outcome. T1k is terminated, and the good Terminator is voluntarily destroyed.
A small, but very critical episode in this movie involves that AI robotics company. It is mentioned that it goes on to produce the AI machines which finally turn against human beings in the future. Hence, our heroes, John and Sarah, try to destroy this industry and kill its founder. There attempt doesn't succeed.

My Doubt

Who is the originator of the idea of Terminator? I know, it's James Cameron or someone. No! I mean, in the movie!
The industry is set up with the remnants of a microchip fished out of the remains of T1. That results in the future mass production of Terminator like machines? Terminators are not naturally occuring objects. They have been shown as 'artificial' things -- machines -- conceptualised and manufactured by men. We are habituated to see all engineering creations as having been created by some human mind, some mind at least. They can't just hang around there just like that, and then go around in circles between present and future!

Thank God they didn't show that soldier who comes back to 1984 to save Sarah Connor -- and impregnates her with John -- as John's son or something. My consternation would have known no end then! After all someone has to be someone's father, and cycles are not allowed in parent child graphs!

Well, on second thought, that makes a good subject for a sci-fi flick. A BOLLYWOOD sci-fi flick, that is!


Karthik said...

I think its been inspired by a bollywood sci-fi flick that'll be made in 2029. So you probably shouldn't search for sense.

>>cycles are not allowed in parent child graphs!
excellent comment, that !

Pritesh said...

Veyr genuine doubt Sujju! I have not seen part I but I was unfortunate enough to have watched part II!!!!!! I was left confused! I'm glad I'm not alone! :D

Ayan n' Mrinalini said...

I quite agree with Karthik. Here are a few more twists though,

1. Why not send some one to kil Sarah Connor's mom?

2. If time travel is possible for the machines, and since machines are logical, shouldn't they eliminate the very source of human evolution?

3. Why does the movie always show one terminator being sent to fight another (I guess not many actors wanna beat up Arnold!!). If the machines were logical thinking machines, they should have placed the odds over-whelmigly in their own favor by sending an army and of terminators?

Well... I have a project plan to complete or my imagination seems to be starting a headache (me and all ;) ...

My conclusion (so that I can WIP (Work In Peace)!!) is that this is just another movie made to splurge money and show a whole lot action and feed doomsdaysayers frenzy...

WIP or RIP...

Sambaran said...

Sujeeth, do not be so disturbed by cycles in parent-child graph. I will quote THE MASTER on the same topic here. If you want to sample MASTER yourself, go read h2g2:

"One of the major problems encountered in time travel is not that of accidentally becoming your own father ot mother. There is no problem involved in becoming your own father or mother that a broadminded and well adjusted family can't cope with. There is also no problem about changing the course of history - the course of history does not change because it all fits together like a jigsaw. All the important changes have happened before the things they were supposed to change and it all sorts itself out in the end. The major problem is quite simply one of grammar"