Terminator Pseudoscience

For those of you that caught yesterday’s “Monday Funny,” I have to say, I really did come away from this latest installment of the Terminator franchise with an “eh” feeling. Aside from it being another restart, just like the Star Trek block buster, the obvious qualms with poor character motivation, scripting, acting and the like, the point of departure for me had to do with the science in their science fiction.


My snarky comment about the combustion engines is my techy side coming out and it’s a good lesson for writers of sci-fi and fantasy. When you are postulating what might be, be sure you really explore possibilities to the point of practicality and believability.


We are asked by the writers to believe that artificial intelligence grows to the point of becoming self aware. They continue to develop and advance technology to the point of creating life-like cylons (oops, wrong sci-fi). They have huge transformer style robots, gravity defying hover robots, they even develop the ability for time travel in the not too distant future of the current movie timeline. But, and this is where my tree hugger side comes in, they are still using outdated technology when it comes to their sport bike chasers.


Sure, those bikes were pretty cool, but come on. Am I to believe that these advanced robots think that it is practical to continue to harvest and refine fossil fuels, a limited resource, so that they can then pump petrol into combustion engines that need oil changes, engine maintenance and all of the other headaches that go along with the combustion engine design? Is it so off base to assume that they might have been able to make the advancements in battery technology that we supposedly lack? How did the old robots work? If I remember correctly, the nuclear power was something new, and I sure as heck don’t remember seeing any exhaust pipes coming out of the old Terminator’s butts.


So there you go, explode your science, whether it be pseudoscience of the future or magic in mystical realms. If guys can walk around saying “Shirack” and have light appear, why bother making candles? This merits a much closer look, and eventually it will, but for now I think this is a good writerly thought to keep in the back of your mind while you’re going about your process. 


Anonymous said...

Hey man, tred lightly. Star Trek RAWKED!

We trekkers can ignore the plot holes because of "OMG! The nods!"

David Noceti said...

Yes, for being a version of Star Wars peopled with Star Trek characters that acted like Star Wars characters, it was awesome. :)

Post a Comment