Warning: There are spoilers ahead for Terminator: Dark Fate!
Linda Hamilton reprising her role as Sarah Connor was obviously a big part of Terminator: Dark Fate’s appeal. But fans were even more taken aback earlier this year when it was announced that Edward Furlong would also return as John Connor for the first time since Terminator 2: Judgment Day in 1991. Of course, anyone who saw Dark Fate over the weekend knows that Furlong’s appearance was brief. And it probably wasn’t what most moviegoers were anticipating.
The film’s opening scene picks up shortly after T2’s conclusion. Sarah and John are celebrating their recent victory over Skynet and the T-1000 on a beach. Unfortunately, their relaxation is cut short when another T-800 shows up and pulls a shotgun on John, killing him. While speaking with The Hollywood Reporter, director Tim Miller revealed how they decided on this course of events. Apparently, unceremoniously executing the would-be leader of the human resistance wasn’t a difficult choice to make.
“You’d think it [killing John off] was probably a controversial decision, but it really wasn’t,” said Miller. “There was a lot of talk at the really early stages of should this new savior be someone who was connected to the Connors? Should it be John’s daughter or something like that? Which I was always against, because I’m just not a fan of the Chosen One sort of movie as much as I am of a hero sort of rising to meet adversity, who could be an everyman or an everywoman.”
Miller went on to explain how John’s death was the best “rocket fuel” for Sarah to begin hunting Terminators. Moreover, it provided breathing room for new faces like Grace and Dani to carve out their own space as characters.
“They are not going to be able to have their moment, or come into their moment, with John hanging around,” Miller continued. “There’s just no good way to do that. Everybody was in pretty strong agreement, and the way to start it, was really, you want to have this dramatic impact. You want to slap the audience in the face and say, ‘Wake up. This is going to be different.’ I feel like that accomplished that. I hate the violence of it. I hate the idea of a kid being shot, but the dramatic fuel that it gives the story is kind of undeniable.”
Do you think Miller and company made the right choice by killing off John Connor? Let us know in the comment section below!
Recommended Reading: Terminator: 2029 to 1984 (Graphic Novel)