It’s trite to ask creators “dude, what were you smoking when you thought of that???” But if the creators offer that information unbidden, it’s fair game. In an oral history of T2: Judgment Day on the Ringer, James Cameron explained that fundamental plot concepts of that movie were his molly-soaked galaxy-brain musings. “I remember sitting there once, high on E, writing notes for Terminator, and I was struck by Sting’s song, that ‘I hope the Russians love their children too,’” Cameron said. “And I thought, ‘You know what? The idea of a nuclear war is just so antithetical to life itself.’ That’s where the kid came from.” This wouldn’t be the last time Sting changed movie history: His notes on The Emperor’s New Groove helped ground the ending of that film, as shown in the banned Disney doc The Sweatbox.
From James Cameron’s heart being broken open with a combination of drugs and Sting, came the idea to meet savior of mankind John Connor when he was just a li’l guy. Linda Hamilton insisted on playing Sarah Connor as institutionalized, which then meant John had to grow up in foster care. Other components of the Terminator story were similarly intentional and lofty. The T-1000’s choice of body (a cop) was to comment on, in Cameron’s words, when “we, as human beings, become terminators. We learn how to have zero compassion. Terminator, ultimately, isn’t about machines. It’s about our tendency to become machines.” So, to sum up, the Terminator franchise is pro-drugs and pro-defunding the police. Also pro-Sting.