Sarah Connor Is The Real Hero Of The Terminator Franchise

While her son John is touted as humanity’s saviour, without Sarah Connor, humanity would have lost the war against the machines before it even began.

Big props need to be given to Linda Hamilton, the actress who plays Sarah Connor, for the character’s evolution over the Terminator franchise’s entirety. Her acting ability and performance range is astounding for an actor whose major film credits are almost exclusively all Terminator films. While it’s great Hamilton will always be synonymous with Sarah Connor; as a result, it is a bit of shame we never really got to see her full potential in Hollywood.

Since the first Terminator film was released in 1984, it has ballooned into a massively popular sci-fi franchise with fans of all ages across the world. To date, there have been six films, with a seventh planned for 2021 unfortunately cancelled, a television series called The Sarah Connor Chronicles, two web series, novels, comics, and even a theme park ride.

There have been so many games it would fill up this entire page listing them all. Two of the best ones were Terminator 3: The Redemption, released in 2004, and The Terminator: Future Shock (1995). The franchise has also inspired an official pinball machine. Additionally, there is also an official slot game, Terminator Genisys, found on some online casinos in South Africa such as Europa Casino. All things considered, Terminator is one of the most popular modern franchises, and Hamilton’s Sarah Connor is a critical element of that success.

The genius behind Hamilton’s portrayal of Sarah is how she was able to evolve the character through the series of films without it ever seeming like an entirely new person. In the first film, she is more of an everyday woman, she is naturally terrified of the Terminator, but there is still a steely determination to survive and save her unborn son that underpins the whole performance.

So, when she turns into an absolute gun-toting, humanity saving, badass, who has to escape from a mental asylum and eventually kill the Terminator on her own at the end of the second film, it doesn’t come as a shock nor seem out of place because the foundation was laid by her excellent performance in the original movie. The iconic image of Sarah that will come to almost everyone’s mind will be from that second film of her standing in the middle of the desert, shotgun slung over her shoulder, ready to save her son and the world from the machines.

It is a great shame the planned sequel to Terminator: Dark Fate, set for release in 2021, was cancelled because there is no doubt the direction of the new films was set to add a new dimension to the Sarah character. Hamilton reprised the role in Dark Fate and was joined by Gabriel Luna as the new Terminator and Mackenzie Davis as a cybernetically modified resistance fighter from the future.

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The role of Sarah Connor is so important to Hamilton that she nearly did not return for Dark Fate out of a fear of letting her down. “It’s not that I was afraid to let the fans down. I was afraid to let Sarah Connor down,” she said in an interview with the Irish Times.

While still a significant character, Sarah’s role in Dark Fate was more of a mentor passing on the torch than the main hero. Hamilton pulled it off just as well as she did with the first two iterations of Sarah Connor and it would’ve been great to see how that thread wound out. Unfortunately, the film did not do as well as its producers were hoping. It brought in a shade over $261-million at the box office against a budget of around $190-million.

With filming proving to be a real challenge for just about every project in 2020 and no real sense of when the situation might become easier, the decision was not to take the risk and instead pull the plug on the sequel to Dark Fate. This decision is a real shame, but maybe there will be a revival of the idea somewhere down the line. We would certainly be very interested to see where this story arc leads.

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