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Episode Studies by Clayton Barr

at popapostle-dot-com
Terminator 3 #3 Terminator: Herald of the Rise "Heralds of the Rise"
(Pages 1-9 of Terminator 3 #3 published by Beckett Comics and the prelude of the Rise of the Machines video game published by Atari)
Released in 2003


In 2032, a T-850 Terminator has been reprogrammed by the resistance with a very special mission.


Notes from the Terminator chronology


This story opens in 2031 and then jumps to 2032, shortly before the T-850 is sent back to 2004 to protect John Connor and his officers in Rise of the Machines. In this timeline, the 1997 date of Judgment Day prophecied in Terminator 2: Judgment Day was averted due to the actions of Sarah and John in that film, but a new Judgment Day, in 2004, is depicted in Rise of the Machines.


Story Summary


Part 1 takes place in 2031, with the T-X model Terminator in combat with a T-850 and T1002 liquid metal Terminator to prove she is capable of fulfilling the mission Skynet has in mind. She easily defeats the two Terminators and Skynet immediately sends her back in time (to 2004, as seen in Rise of the Machines.).


Part 2 opens in 2032, with Kate Brewster activating a Model 101 Terminator she has just finished reprogramming to serve the human resistance. Skynet knows the unit has been compromised and sends its own units to destroy the T-850 and the resistance base in which he's found. The T-850 must lead Kate safely out of the base and to the location of Skynet's time displacement chamber. Kate knows from her own past that Skynet has sent the TX Terminator back to 2004 in an attempt to kill John Connor and his officers before they can lead the human resistance after Judgment Day. Kate has programmed the T-850 with the mission of reaching the time displacement chamber and going back to 2004 in order to protect John and his officers. The T-850 must face numerous Terminators and HKs as he makes his way to the chamber's location, powering it on, and making the trip back in time.


Didja Know?


For this study, I have combined the prelude of the Terminator 3 #3 comic book (referred to here as Part 1) with the prelude of the home video game of Rise of the Machines (referred to here as Part 2), under the overall title "Heralds of the Rise". The Terminator 3 comic book was a 6-issue mini-series published by Beckett Comics to coincide with the release of the film in 2003. Issues 3 and 4 were titled Eyes of the Rise and presented the story of Rise of the Machines from the point of view of the T-X Terminator, with a prelude that takes place before the events of the film. The Rise of the Machines video game mostly follows the story of the movie, but does have a lengthy prelude of gameplay set in 2032, leading up to the T-850 being sent back in time by Kate Brewster.


Two of the actors from the film, Arnold Schwarzenegger (the T-850) and Nick Stahl (John Connor) reprise their roles as voice actors in the video game.


Didja Notice?


Part 1


The Terminator on the cover appears to be a T-900 Series. Notice that the horrified face of a man is seen reflected in the metal of the Terminator skull. The face looks a bit like that of Arnold Schwarzenegger, though that does not occur in the story (and does not make much sense).



The T-X already has the basic hairstyle here that she will be seen to "acquire" in Rise of the Machines from the Beverly Hills woman whose car she steals, instead of the long, frizzy hair she should have (as seen upon her arrival in 2004 in Rise of the Machines).


Why is the liquid metal Terminator referred to as T1002 by the T-X's databank? In Judgment Day, we were introduced to the prototype T-1000. In The Sarah Connor Chronicles, we will meet a T-1001, but that is a later timeline. Was there also a T-1001 somewhere along the way in this timeline?


On page 7, the T1002 seems quite vulnerable to the phased plasma weapon built into the T-X's right arm.


The prelude is stated to take place in 2031, and at the end of it, the T-X is sent back in time to 2004, where we see her arrive in Rise of the Machines. Was the T-X really sent back from 2031? The protector T-850 in the film is said to have been sent from 2032. So, was there a gap of several months to a year or more between when Skynet sent the T-X and Kate sent the T-850? Since it's time travel, I guess it doesn't really matter when they came from as the time displacement chamber was set for them to arrive at about the same time.


Part 2


As the resistance brings the reprogrammed T-850 back online for its mission, Kate states that this is their second captured Terminator they are attempting to use to infiltrate the time chamber, implying the first one was destroyed (except for the head, from which they download the mission files to the new Terminator for a second attempt). Presumably this second Terminator is still the one who assassinated John in 2032 before his capture and reprogramming.


The latest Terminator series seen here is the T-900, designed for hunting down rogue Terminators that have been reprogrammed by the human resistance. The T-900 series is powered by an internal plasma reactor which makes open spaces in the endoskeletons emit light in blue, red, green, or yellow.

T-900 T-900 skull
T-900 endoskeleton T-900 skull


The Terminator that assassinated John Connor in 2032 and was then reprogrammed and sent back to 2004 by Kate Brewster is a Model 101 (Schwarzenegger) as seen in The Terminator and Judgment Day, but is a slightly more advanced Series 850 instead of 800 like the previous two.


In Rise of the Machines, it's easy to assume (from the ripping sound), but not quite stated, that the T-X kills the woman in the convertible in order to take her car. Here in the video game, the death seems to be confirmed, as we are given a glimpse of a news reporter's account of a death in Beverly Hills and the tape outline of a body on the sidewalk in front of the ATM seen in the film. However, it is interesting to note that, while it has become a familiar trope of films and television (and, apparently, video games), such outlines are rarely used in reality, especially in modern crime scenes.


The video game reveals that Kate made voice recordings and loaded them into the T-850's electronic brain to play and give the Terminator instructions during certain trigger points in its mission back in time.


When the T-850 begins to review the list of resistance officers being targeted by the TX in 2004, the individual street addresses are simply numeric sections of 123456789!
Georges Barrera address Kate Brewster address


At this point in the story, according to Rise of the Machines, none of the T-X's targets have been killed yet. But the T-850's readout indicates several terminator targets as deceased. Even if those people had been killed already, how would the T-850 know it? I suppose it could be using its on-board electronics to scan local radio stations or the internet for news. Also, note the mention of Georges Barrera in the screen shot above; is this supposed to be the same person as Jose (Joe) Barrera, who is killed in Rise of the Machines? If so, why the inaccurate first name? Is Georges meant to be the brother or father of Jose? (The Terminator 3 #3 comic book refers to Barrera as both Jose and George.) In Rise of the Machines, the T-X's readout spells the last name as "Barerra" instead. Also, Anderson, W. and Anderson, L. are listed here; in the movie the brother and sister are William and Elizabeth...does the "L" stand for "Liz"?


This prelude in the video game studiously avoids mentioning that John Connor has been assassinated and that Kate Brewster is his wife, so that the revelation in the main part of the game (and the movie itself) is a surprise to the viewer.


Unanswered Questions


Since we learn in Rise of the Machines that the hero T-850 is the same Terminator that assassinated John Connor, how did the resistance forces manage to bring it down afterwards without seriously damaging it? (We actually learn the answer to this in the follow-up video game, Terminator 3: The Redemption.


Memorable Dialog from the Rise of the Machines video game


you were going to do something important with your life.wav

Judgment Day never came.wav

come with me if you want to live.wav

I am in the time displacement chamber.wav

a TX has been sent back in time.wav

seeing you again for the first time.wav

we can't talk across time.wav

hurry but don't kill anyone.wav 


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