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All Hail the Glorious Return of Linda Hamilton in the Terminator: Dark Fate Trailer

Sarah Connor is back, baby.

The teaser trailer for Terminator: Dark Fate features Linda Hamilton’s long-awaited return as the iconic Sarah Connor. She steps out of a car in slow motion, firing rounds into the latest cyborg assassin. Is this what happiness feels like? We see much more happen in the trailer, but let’s be honest: We’re all here for the return of the toughest mother in cinema.

There’s a lot to be excited about with the latest Terminator reboot. For starters, it reunites the core trio that made the first two films so excellent: Schwarzenegger, Hamilton, and James Cameron. And while Cameron is not directing this latest installment (Deadpool‘s Tim Miller is taking the reins), he’s clearly got his fingerprints all over it.

Dark Fate functions as a direct sequel to 1991’s Terminator 2: Judgement Day, ignoring Rise of the Machines, Salvation, and Genisys. While your mileage on those films may vary (I’m one of the few who enjoyed Genisys, don’t @ me), it’s a smart move to strip the franchise down to the essential first two films.

Last year’s Halloween made a similar decision to retcon its numerous sequels, which paid off with a tight, uncomplicated story and a return to form by Jamie Lee Curtis. It’s a smart move for both franchises, as it focuses less on sprawling mythology and more on what made those films so indelible in the first place: their charismatic, ass-kicking leading ladies.

The teaser introduces two new women to the franchise: Natalia Reyes plays Dani, a woman targeted for termination, and Mackenzie Davis (Halt and Catch Fire) as Grace, the all-new Terminator sent to protect her, who may be more human than machine. The three women are being chased by the latest sinister iteration of the Terminator, played by Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.‘s Gabriel Luna. We get a look at some terrific new VFX for Luna, who is part black exoskeleton, black liquid metal. It’s a thrilling new upgrade that recalls the T-1000’s groundbreaking special effects.

We also get a sneak peek at the return of everyone’s favorite T-800, Arnold Schwarzenegger, but the focus is clearly on the women of the story and their fight for survival. Like the previous sequels, Dark Fate hopes to launch an all-new trilogy centered around its younger cast, and given this thrilling trailer, Dark Fate looks to succeed where previous sequels have failed.

And if this isn’t a winning formula, I don’t know what is. Like Halloween and even like the new Star Wars trilogy, it’s more clear than ever that audiences want to see beloved legacy characters return to their franchises. It’s the ultimate fan marriage of old and new, something that appeals to young audiences and older fans alike. Besides, cinema can always use more badass women of a certain age.

Terminator: Dark Fate hits theaters November 1, 2019.

(via The Verge, image: Paramount Pictures)

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Chelsea was born and raised in New Orleans, which explains her affinity for cheesy grits and Britney Spears. She currently lives in sunny Los Angeles, with her husband and two poorly behaved rescue dogs. She is a former roller derby girl and a black belt in Judo, so she is not to be trifled with. She loves the word “Jewess” and wishes more people used it to describe her.