Monday, May 18, 2009

 

Terminator Salvation

Potential Spoiler Alert

Not really a chance of spoilers since I haven't seen the movie, yet. I will see it but right now I am just speculating on what's in the movie so I want people to have the option of not getting their own vision of Terminator saga spoiled. Also, I am going to bring up the book Sandworms of Dune which I have read. Ugh. And I will be spoiling that book for someone. (Or perhaps saving them the grief of reading it.)

If you haven't please watch the really long trailer for Terminator Salvation and you will pick up the idea that there is a robotic person in the movie who is offering John Conner, the protagonist, salvation. I assume this is the survival of humanity. Having just finished Sandworms I couldn't help but put the end of that book together with Terminator, and the Matrix trilogy for that matter.

I think the salvation being offered to humanity will be a merger with the machines. Sandworms ended with a sort of peace between humans and thinking machines with the promise that humanity could better itself by coexistence if not merger. Just looking at the Sam Worthington character suggests cybernetics is the answer to their conflict. The Matrix, Terminator, and even the Dune series became about how to reconcile human and artificial intelligence and the conflict over need for one to dominate the other. So far two of the three stories end with at least a truce. We will see what comes but I have a strong suspicion that the Terminator series will end this way and I find that extremely unsatisfying.

Why all this peace making between human's and thinking machines? Is it a result of the misplaced left wing fetishisation of compromise? Do creative types really dream of a future with their heads contained in glass jars for eternity? I don't know but I for one am hoping our future looks a lot more like Star Trek. Machines which are useful but not smart enough to know they are being used and then resent us for it.

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