She’s only a waitress. Who knew she would give birth to a son who would become the leader of the resistance? In this edition of Women Who Wow Wednesday, tough-as-nails Sarah Connor of the Terminator series takes center stage.
Linda Hamilton was 27 years old when she played Sarah Connor in the film The Terminator. Originally written for a 19-year-old, director James Cameron (Aliens, The Abyss, Avatar), having been impressed with Hamilton’s audition, tweaked the screenplay to allow the part to fit the actress. It was a decision that would pay off big time in the future of The Terminator franchise.
A vast chasm exists between the character Sarah Connor in the movie The Terminator and Sarah Connor in Terminator 2: Judgement Day.
In The Terminator, released 1984, Kyle Reese, played by Michael Biehn, travels from a post-apocalyptic future to rescue the mother of the leader of the resistance against the machines. Kyle finds himself in a disco, the same place where a machine, played by Arnold Schwarzenegger, steadies its laser-sighted gun on the target—Sarah Connor. In a bevy of bullets, Kyle stretches his hand to Sarah and says, “Come with me if you want to live.” From that point forward, the movie is one grand chase sequence that never lets up.
The film depicts Sarah as a vulnerable woman, weak, almost to the point of sadness. She relies on Kyle for her escape. She needs him and can’t run without him. Her countenance is that of a flower whose pedals are ready to blow away.
In Terminator 2: Judgement Day, however, the fragile Sarah Connor of The Terminator is replaced by a strong and powerful, tough-willed juggernaut of a woman. No longer does she need anyone. From the very first frame of the film, the audience discovers Sarah is one not to be messed with. She’s buff, agile and a determined fighter with intense convictions. Her mission: Destroy the machines.
Years on the run made Sarah this way. She taught her son John everything she knows. Always be prepared for the machines. Always look before doing anything. Never assume anything. Be strong. Be a leader. The future is counting on you, John. Never give up. Never, ever give up, John.
Imprisoned in Pescadero State Hospital may have proven to be the perfect breeding ground for honing Sarah’s skills as a future resistance fighter. Strapped in a bed, she had ample time to think of how to best defeat the coming storm—the invasion—when machines finally become self-aware, sentient. That hatred for the machines is what makes Sarah protect John at all costs. Humanity depends on him.
But then, something happens. Another machine, a terminator, is sent from the future to protect John. The very machine trained to maim and kill humans was there to protect John with its life.
For a moment, Sarah didn’t trust it. Only for a moment. She then realized John needed a father figure in his life. The T-800 could provide that.
Huh, a terminator as a father. Who would have thought?
Sarah the parent let go. John had come to his own. His own mindset. His own man. His own life.
She did well.
Sarah Connor. Fighter. Mother. Friend.
What do you think of Sarah Connor? Have you seen any of the original Terminator movies?