As mentioned Terminator 2 has all of these factors. It is a typical science fiction film with a twist as there’s quite a bit of emotion involved. For example, the relationship between John and his mother and also John and the Terminator. Moreover it is an action and a thriller too, so it appeals to various people. The story consists of a shape-shifting cyborg which is sent back from the future to kill John Connor before he can grow up to lead the resistance. John from the future, sends a protector too, he is programmed to do whatever he can to make sure young John isn’t killed or harmed in any way.
Science fiction movies are seen as a brilliant depiction of how life could become. When looking at modern films such as T2 it is a breath of fresh air to see women depicted in such a masculine way. No sappy women enter the screen in some sci- fi thrillers there is only strong, clever and dominant women who know how to defend themselves and others.
Sarah Connor had an important role in T2, which impacted and impressed the audience, and allowed the creators of the film to use her and not a male. Her central role in the narrative was strong and very active throughout and her masculinity grew along with her active character.
When looking at the genre of science fiction films, they seem to have leapt ahead in ideas about feminism and masculinity. Alien and Terminator are both films that argue the notion of women being forever feminine and gentle. Sarah’s character behaves differently towards various characters in the film. At first Sarah is frightened of the machine that is set out to protect John. She doesn’t believe that he really is programmed to save her son. However, she learns to work with the robot instead of against it. On the other hand she has the evil terminator who is set out to do everything in its power to eliminate John. Linda Hamilton (Sarah Connor) shows how much she despises it from the moment she sees him. You can see the expression on her face but she is also scared of it and has an idea of what it is capable of. She takes it upon herself to get a gun and shoot the terminator until it’s destroyed. This is a contrast between the relationships she has with the two machines and how her character is both strong and sensitive.
When Sarah is first presented on screen she is shown in a mental institution doing pull ups. She looks scruffy and inhumane. The authorities display her as a mad woman, a psycho, delusional and a dreamer. They treat her as if she’s made up everything about the machines and judgement. She is given medication that she refuses to take so as a result of this she is beaten up and treated like a wild animal. This is not how a female character in a film is normally treated.
Female gender is relevant to this narrative because, if a male character played Sarah Connor’s role then the film wouldn’t be as good. This is because, male characters don’t show as much emotion. A mother and son relationship is more emotive and appealing to the audience and possibly wouldn’t be as driven as this main character.
In general a female’s lead role is portrayed as less strong and more feminine. For example in ‘Star Wars’ the lead role was a wimpy, very feminine and passive character who only worries about her lover. This is how women are normally represented in narrative’s starting from the early films made. This is why Sarah’s character is very important as a lead role and why she is John’s mum, because you can see how much she loves her son and would go to any length to protect her son. This is much better than the cliché of a poor helpless women. The masculinity of Sarah is also relevant because if it was a peuny and skinny female then it would look wrong and non-realistic, and there is no way she would have been able to help defeat the indestructible machine.
Sarah has been a landmark image for many women as she represents the feministic ideals we see in our society today. She shows that these stereotypical females we see in various films can be flawed, because not all women are peony, scrawny, defenceless people who can’t defend themselves. It’s not something you only see in females: you have males who can be described in the exact same way. Sarah Connor’s character is a good role model for someone who stands up for what they believe in and knows that she can do the exact same things if not better, that a man can do. In today’s society women should feel strong and secure about their gender, Sarah is a role model for women today.
Science fiction contains many themes that have been traditionally handed to a male to work with however, certain new types of sci- fi are exploiting the gender issue and using capable and interesting female roles. Female roles can cover a lot of complex characters in a different and effective way. For example, Sarah plays a motherly, loving role as well as a monstrous and murderer role. In the film terminator this is shown when she decides to go and hunt for Dr. Miles Bennett Dyson to kill him and hopefully try to prevent the war between man and robots happening. She sees Dr. Bennett’s son and wife and she can’t shoot him, there is some kind of human emotion shown there which tells the audience that even though she got hold of a gun and set out to take Dr. Bennett’s life she wasn’t able to pull the trigger and kill him.
There are numerous reasons why Sarah stopped herself from pursuing this plan of action, firstly Dr. Bennett’s son stood in front of his father and protected him from the bullet, the young boy started to scream out, “NO! Don’t shoot my daddy! NO! Don’t shoot!”, then John (Edward Furlong) came with the terminator (Arnold Schwarzenneger) and stopped his mum from doing something she will regret.
The representation of women in science fiction films can be seen to be both positive and masculine in some cases. The cliché that women are peony, helpless and vulnerable people who can’t defend themselves is wrong and although some people might fall into this category many don’t. The movies like Terminator 2 and Alien prove that women can be successfully represented in a both positive and masculine way. Ultimately women can do everything men can do. If not better. Ultimately all movies will portray women in their true form…..hopefully.