The teaser trailer for Terminator: Dark Fate offers a first look at the latest installment of the 35-year-old sci-fi action franchise, which reunites stars Arnold Schwarzenegger and Linda Hamilton with producer James Cameron for the first time since 1991's Terminator 2: Judgment Day. Ignoring the events of all but the first two films, Dark Fate introduces in its first trailer two new Terminators fighting over the fate of one young woman before being joined by two familiar faces.
There are plenty of big moments, and big questions, in the first look at Terminator: Dark Fate. Here are the most notable.
A New Threat
The trailer opens in media res with Grace (MacKenzie Davis) frantically driving Dani Ramos (Natalia Reyes) in a pickup truck down a Southwestern highway. Bursting through a wall behind them is Gabriel Luna's new Terminator in a yellow truck, plowing through any cars on the freeway in his way.
Grace leaps to the back and flings rebar at the oncoming threat, impaling him. Unfazed, the relentless villain is revealed to be a solid/liquid metal hybrid as he reforms on his trucks hood in a separate unit, with the endoskeleton still driving in the cab. While no longer canon, Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines introduced solid/liquid metal hybrid Terminators with Kristanna Loken's antagonistic T-X, who was unable to split into two forms simultaneously.
A Human-Terminator Hybrid
Retaliating for her earlier attack, Luna's Terminator flings a piece of rebar, which Grace deflects with her forearm. A close-up shot in slow motion reveals she is covered in synthetic skin.
Later, Grace is seen examined in a hospital with a programming chip implanted in her body. Grace insists she's human, and it's likely that internal conflict will inform her character as a possible human-Terminator hybrid not unlike Sam Worthington's protagonist in the non-canonical Terminator: Salvation.
Sarah Connor Returns
Just when the villainous Terminator is poised to catch up with Grace and Dani, and finish off the young woman, Sarah Connor appears in the nick of time, completely nonplussed as she dispatches the Terminator with a combat shotgun and rocket launcher.
The target of the original Terminator in the first film, Sarah has continued her development into a no-nonsense fighter for the future seen in Terminator 2: Judgment Day. The character died sometime between the events of Terminator 2 and Terminator 3, but, with the latter sequel no longer canon, she is back and just as battle-ready as ever.
A New Target
The new target for the evil machines is a young woman named Dani Ramos, who laments she had enjoyed a normal, unassuming life before the arrival of the Terminators. Sarah finds a kindred spirit in Dani, having similarly lost her innocence in 1984 after being targeted by the T-800.
The theme of machines trying to change the course of history by sending Terminators to the past is a foundational element of the franchise, with Sarah, her son John, and John's lieutenants targeted at various times. What role Dani plays in the future war between humans and machines remains a major question.
The Return of the T-800
Sarah leads Grace and Dani to an apparent safehouse, inhabited by an aging T-800, played by Arnold Schwarzenegger.
The idea of Terminators aging due to the organic components covering their metal endoskeletons was introduced in the non-canonical Terminator: Genisys as a means to explain away Schwarzenegger's own age. While the T-800's screentime in the Dark Fate trailer is limited, he is virtually guaranteed to play a much more pivotal role in the film itself.
An Aerial Chase
One of the more bombastic sequences is a chase between two aircraft, in which one rams into the other, mid-flight. Luna's Terminator is seen using his liquid-metal enhancements to leap over to the other aircraft, presumably transporting Dani.
In many ways, the Terminator franchise has always revolved around putting its protagonists on the run from more powerful opponents, and the trend not only continues here but takes the chase to previously unseen heights, literally.
Fight for the Future
In the closing moments, the characters note the best way for them to win is to survive, another recurring theme in the franchise. Grace is then seen fighting Luna's Terminator one-on-one in what appears to be a factory.
A climactic action sequence in an industrial setting is a franchise trope, seen at the end of the first film in a factory, a steel mill in Terminator 2, and SkyNet facilities in Terminator: Salvation and Terminator: Genisys.
Directed by Tim Miller and produced by James Cameron, Terminator: Dark Fate stars Arnold Schwarzenegger, Linda Hamilton, Mackenzie Davis, Gabriel Luna, Natalia Reyes and Diego Boneta. The film opens Nov. 1.