• Terminator 7 should introduce more human resistance fighters, expanding the focus beyond the core heroes like John and Sarah Connor.
  • The franchise should explore other robotic soldiers besides Terminators, such as the Hunter Killers, to add more depth and variety to the threats faced by humanity.
  • Time travel has been overused in the Terminator movies, so Terminator 7 should either send characters from the present into the future war or move away from time travel altogether.

Terminator 7 has several key lessons to learn from the franchise’s past sequel mistakes. The Terminator franchise is the brainchild of writer-director James Cameron, who first gained attention as a filmmaker in 1984 with the low-budget original. After the success of The Terminator, Cameron made the 1991 follow-up Terminator 2: Judgment Day, which stands as one of the most iconic sci-fi and action movies ever made. Unfortunately, the Terminator franchise became considerably rockier with each of its subsequent installments.

Following the commercial failure of 2019’s Terminator: Dark Fate, Cameron revealed that he has had discussions about making Terminator 7. As the creator of the Terminator universe, Cameron knows it better than anyone, making him uniquely qualified to breathe new life into the series. However, there is also much to learn from the other Terminator movies and the TV series Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles to pave the best path forward for the franchise. Indeed, there are 10 very important lessons James Cameron’s Terminator 7 must learn from the previous Terminator sequels.

RELATED: James Cameron Is Right About the Terminator Franchise’s Best Future

10 Terminator 7 Should Include More Human Resistance Fighters

Grace Harper in Terminator Dark Fate and Marcus Wright in Terminator Salvation Are Both Cyborgs

In both its present-day and future war timelines, the Terminator franchise has largely focused on a handful of human resistance fighters, namely John Connor, Sarah Connor, and Kyle Reese. With Skynet being a threat to all humankind, a greater collection of centralized human characters could really enable Terminator 7 to expand the franchise’s focus beyond strictly its core heroes. Terminator: Salvation and Terminator: Dark Fate had the right idea with new protagonists like Marcus Wright (Sam Worthington), Grace (MacKenzie Davis), and Dani Ramos (Natalia Reyes). James Cameron’s concept for Terminator 7 should follow their lead by bringing in more strong human protagonists alongside John Connor.

9 Terminators Don’t Need To Be The Only Threat

Harvester Terminator gathering humans while aiming shoulder cannon in Terminator Salvation

While the Terminators have typically been portrayed as the main antagonists of the Terminator franchise, Skynet also makes use of other kinds of robotic soldiers in its goal to eliminate humans from the face of the Earth. Kyle Reese (Michael Biehn) spoke of Hunter Killers as fearsome machines of death in The Terminator, and they have been periodically seen throughout the series along with other cybernetic killers like Terminator: Salvation‘s Moto-Terminators. A full-blown army of largely untapped machine killers lies at Skynet’s disposal, with Terminator 7 fully capable of sending them onto the front lines.

8 Terminator Needs To Leave Time-Travel In The Past (Or Go To The Future)

Terminator dark fate dani ramos terminator Genisys time travel

The Terminator franchise began with an enthralling concept of a killer cyborg sent back in time to assassinate the mother of the leader of the future human resistance. However, with time travel being integral to five out of six Terminator movies and Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, the idea just does not have the same impact that it did in the Terminator franchise’s heyday. If anything, traveling into the past in a Terminator movie has become tiresome. Terminator 7 could put a new spin on it by sending characters from the present into the future war, or beyond. Otherwise, it is best for Terminator 7 to leave time travel behind.

7 Terminator Should Take Another Shot At The Future War

Terminator: Salvation was the first installment of the Terminator franchise to take place after the bombs had dropped, with humanity now in a pitched battle for its survival against Skynet. While Terminator: Salvation is not one of the more highly regarded Terminator movies, it was still on the right track in diving headfirst into a man versus machine conflict that had only been teased before. Man’s war in the future against Skynet should not be left permanently on the back burner, and it is one that Terminator 7 could bring back into the franchise’s forefront.

RELATED: Terminator 7 Can Still Borrow Prey’s Predator Sequel Secret

6 Terminators Should Be Scary Again

The Terminator 1984

The original Terminator presented itself as a techno-slasher movie, but while the franchise has since been more steeped in sci-fi and action, the Terminators were only terrifying villains in the first two films. The Terminator franchise began to lose much of the scare factor of the Terminators in Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines, through a combination of the Terminators being so familiar and the franchise pulling comic relief from them. Terminator 7 can change that by dialing the fright factor of the Terminators back up to the levels seen in The Terminator and Terminator 2 and bringing back some of their horror movie DNA.

5 Terminator Needs More Practical Effects

Arnold Schwarzenegger in Terminator 2

The Terminator and Terminator 2: Judgment Day were both made when CGI was still in its infancy, requiring the former to rely on stop-motion effects and the latter to use its groundbreaking CGI primarily for the T-1000 (Robert Patrick). Since Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines, CGI has been as constant in the Terminator franchise as it is in most big-budget movies, but Terminator 2 especially showed that CGI alone is not the answer. That first sequel balanced its amazing CGI effects on the T-1000 with excellent make-up and practical effects, and that’s a hybrid approach that Terminator 7 would do well to bring back into play.

4 Terminator 7 Has To Be R-Rated

Arnold Schwarzenegger in Terminator 2 Judgment Day

For the most part, the Terminator franchise has held firm to the R-rated beginnings. However, Terminator: Salvation made the misguided decision to take the series down to a PG-13 rating, with Terminator Genisys following suit. The Terminator franchise is one of the prime examples of ’80s and ’90s action movie classics that embraced R-rated stakes and stories, and chasing the broader PG-13 audience rarely, if ever, works out from that starting point. Terminator: Dark Fate made the wise decision to bump the franchise back up to an R rating, and Terminator 7 should definitely follow suit.

3 Terminator 7 Must Move Beyond Schwarzenegger’s Terminator

Arnold Schwarzenegger looking worse for wear in Terminator 2

Arnold Schwarzenegger is all but inseparable from the Terminator brand, bringing the nigh-invincible T-800 to life as both a villain and a hero. However, Schwarzenegger has also made the wise move to reinvent himself in his latter-day career, with his Netflix series FUBAR and his role as the streaming platform’s Chief Action Officer revitalizing his action hero image to great results. At the same time, Schwarzenegger’s Terminator persona has run its course. The time has come for Schwarzenegger’s T-800 to finally be decommissioned.

RELATED: Terminator 7 Needs To Bring Back Salvation’s Canceled Twist

2 Skynet Needs To Evolve

Helena Bonham Carter as Skynet on a monitor in Terminator Salvation

Back in 1984 and 1991, the idea of a sentient AI program like The Terminator‘s Skynet declaring war on humanity was a truly frightening prospect with the advancements of technology. However, AI has become a part of countless facets of modern tech. With that kind of worldwide change, Skynet cannot be the same kind of faceless threat that it once was in a world where AI is so omnipresent. Terminator 7 needs to give Skynet a true villainous makeover in order to reassert the program as a genuine threat to human existence.

1 John Connor Needs To Become A Leader

Blended image of different actors playing John Connor in the Terminator series.

The Terminator franchise has long emphasized John Connor as the prophesied savior of humanity but has given him surprisingly few chances to live up to his legend. Most of John’s appearances in the Terminator films and the series Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles have been before the war with only quick glimpses of his leadership of the human resistance. Even Terminator: Salvation only showed John as a rank-and-file resistance soldier, with Terminator: Dark Fate killing John off as a child in its opening scene. One way or another, Terminator 7 needs to give John Connor the opportunity to show the leadership skills that make him the heart of the franchise.

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