After failing to make a good Terminator movie since 1991’s Judgment Day, even though they tried four times to get it right, the box office disappointment of last year’s Dark Fate may have hammered the final nail into the long-running franchise’s coffin.
Boasting the returns of both James Cameron and Linda Hamilton, Dark Fate was the third reboot that promised to launch an all-new Terminator trilogy in the space of just ten years, but once the numbers were in, it quickly joined Salvation and Genisys on the scrapheap after failing to make it past the first hurdle.
Even though the sixth installment was receiving the best reviews since Judgment Day almost three decades previously, it appeared that fans had been burned by disappointing Terminator movies one too many times already, while general audiences just didn’t seem to care much about the franchise at all anymore.
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Of course, every single sequel has made sure to pay homage to Cameron’s classic 1984 original in some way, with Hamilton’s Sarah Connor becoming the latest person to utter the iconic line, “I’ll be back.” You’d be forgiven for thinking that the line was contractually obligated to appear in anything associated with the franchise in some way then, but Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines actually doesn’t feature the series’ most famous piece of dialogue at all.
The script managed to get around it by having Arnold Schwarzenegger’s T-800 say both “I’m back” and “She’ll be back,” but he doesn’t actually say his career-defining quote at any point. The action legend did say it in the first, second and fifth movies though, while Christian Bale’s John Connor put his own twist on it in Salvation, and while it started to feel a little forced every time we heard it, it’s nonetheless a surprise to find out that there’s one Terminator movie where we didn’t hear it at all.