Most people re-watch the films they like, often on several occasions. For many people, including myself, the first two Terminator films are probably among the most frequently watched films of all time. And like a book that only gets better with each subsequent reading, viewers are bound to notice things they didn’t pick up on before. Sometimes these can even be parallels from film to film. Combine several viewings with one’s OCD tendencies and even the most arbitrary things will match up. And because these are films that we’ll probably never get sick of talking about, here are some parallels I’ve noticed between James Cameron’s sci-fi companions, The Terminator and Terminator 2: Judgment Day.
Parallels are not a part of my mission.
Both films open with a scene from the future.
Kyle and Sarah make their getaway in a “late model gray Ford” (the film was released in ’84); the car which the T-800, Sarah and John escape with in Terminator 2 is a similarly styled sedan.
Both Sarah (in The Terminator) and John (in Terminator 2) are attacked by the Terminator sent to kill them through the windshield of a car; the main difference being Sarah was attacked from the front of a car and John from the back.
The way the T-800 in Terminator 2 is thrown through the glass in the mall parallels the way the T-800 in The Terminator was shot through the glass by Kyle at Tech Noir.
Sarah (in The Terminator) and John both initially drive cheap, low-end motorbikes. John’s was a dirt bike while Sarah’s was a moped.
Both films end with a shot on the road.
Much of the key stretches in both movies take place at night.
In both films, Arnold attacks three individuals at the beginning; the three punks in The Terminator and three at the bar in Terminator 2 (the man he takes clothes from, the man who attacks him with a pool stick and the man who stabs him).
How dare you pick apart our redundancies.
Both films have three chase sequences, at least one of which (in each film) involves a large truck.
In the middle of both final chase scenes, (one of) the vehicles our heroes use to flee from the Terminator/T-1000 are toppled over.
During these same chase scenes, the person attempting to ward of the Terminator (Kyle in The Terminator, Sarah in Terminator 2) is injured by a gunshot.
During the last act of both films, each Terminator sent to kill chases our heroes with a motorcycle (if briefly).
The primary gun of choice used by the protectors sent back through time (Kyle in The Terminator, the T-800 in Terminator 2) in the first half of each film is a shotgun.
In both movies, Arnold attacks several cops. In The Terminator he kills 17 of them; in Terminator 2 he does it to scare them off without actually killing any.
Both films take place over the course of roughly 1-2 days.
Seriously, how many more can you pick out?
Both films have us watch a (pre-recorded) video of a person who tells of their “visions of the future,” if you will. In The Terminator, it’s Kyle, who’s actually experienced the war of the future. In Terminator 2, it’s Sarah during one of her evaluations in which she sees/imagines the nuclear fire of Judgment Day.
Both films have a brief “FPS shot.” In The Terminator, it’s right before Arnold bursts into the motel room Sarah and Kyle shared. In Terminator 2, it’s in the steel mill when Arnold faces the T-1000 (who attacks right after the said shot).
The first words each protector from the future says to Sarah are “come with me if you want to live.”
Arnold briefly uses a younger male’s voice to disguise himself in both films. In The Terminator, it’s of a cop (1L19); in Terminator 2, it’s of John.
In both films, Arnold loses his sunglasses by actions of a female character (Sarah running him off his motorcycle in The Terminator and a female cop hitting him in the face in Terminator 2). This would be repeated two more times in Terminator 3, both involving confrontations with the T-X.
When Arnold says “I’ll be back,” in both films he returns by crashing a vehicle into a building.
Sarah has at least one nightmare/vision of the future in both films (she has two in the extended cut of Terminator 2).
You think you’re clever…
Both Terminators sent to assassinate send at least one person through a wall.
Both Terminators sent to assassinate also find out where the person they’re hunting is from a phone/transmitted message. In The Terminator, it’s Ginger’s answering machine; in Terminator 2, it’s a cop radio at Miles Dyson’s house.
Including the extended cut of Terminator 2, each film has a scene where we literally get under the skin of Arnold as a Terminator. In the first film, Arnold cuts one of his eyes off himself. In Terminator 2’s extended cut, Sarah and John peel off part of Arnold’s head and drill into his head to access the CPU.
And just for kicks, the black guy in both films isn’t the first one to die!
Know of any parallels between the films I missed? Let me (and others) know below in the comment section!