First if you really want the best experience of the upcoming Terminator film, don’t watch any trailer, read any article. I wish I was in your shoes.
However, if you can’t help yourself, at least watch the trailer without seeing icons, header images or descriptions. I’m not going to embed it but link to it so you can just watch it without, um, spoilers (yes, spoilers in a trailer… I know).
Watched it? Good.
So let’s go through it.
First, bros everywhere. White men fighting back against overwhelming force – the plot of basically every Hollywood blockbuster. You’ve already got the hint that this is a “reboot”. Yay. Another one? So the first part of the trailer shows the same beats as the original film: scarred John Connor, time machine, soldier volunteers to save Mommy Connor.
Then we see the main evil time-travelling Terminator is a T-1000…. who is played by Korean actor, Lee Byung-hun.
OK, diversity. That’s… unexpected and fucking cool. And he’s amazing.
Then a truck comes jack-knifing through a wall, apparently in time to save our “main hero” soldier bro. The door flings open and at the wheel is a woman, who promptly shoots the T-1000. With the voice of some sort of queen – or, ahem, Mother of dragons – she splains to the dude that if he wishes to continue to not die, he ought to accompany her. Some of you might know the reference.
She then commands him as a soldier.
So, after the boring reboot introduction, we have a Terminator who is not white; we have the white male hero being saved by a woman, who is more badass than anything he’s so far demonstrated.
Then you find out the Governor of California raised Sarah Connor, because… time travel.
Yeah, there’s a lot here. And it’s amazing. I usually make a point of not watching trailers for film, due to spoiler territory and enjoying films more with ignorance. But I couldn’t help seeing this as a sign of progress; see, it’s not just being “PC” and ticking of boxes of – gasp – including people who aren’t white dudes. It’s that all this, almost by definition, seems to mean breaking the mould; it means we can have an interesting lead character, who, by the way, is a woman.
Nothing would be shocking if this was yet another major film which featured almost no one who wasn’t the lazily accepted “core demographic” of action films/video games/comics – instead they recognised that Sarah Connor is one of Hollywood’s best female roles, they recognised there’s no reason to cast yet another white male actor to play the role of a fucking liquid robot (however cool he is).
This little trailer should give us hope, like a small robot hand reaching out as it’s swalloed by boring paint-by-numbers summer blockbuster affairs.
PS: Yes, “Genisys” is a silly name.