THE VIRTUAL HISTORY OF ARTIFICIAL BEINGS
of death, expressed through the android, which stands in for human- ity.These lines were not retained in the 1992 director’s cut version of the film, but Batty’s final words beginning “I’ve seen things . . . ” are. They suggest that an artificial being can experience and convey events and emotions humans would otherwise not know. Frankenstein’s Be- ing expresses a similar thought at the end of Mary Shelley’s book, saying,“But soon, I shall die, and what I now feel be no longer felt.” Blade Runner also hints at one of Frankenstein’s themes, the artificial being that returns to its “father” only to be summarily rejected. (The Being appeared disguised in an early script for Blade Runne , although the line did not survive into the final version, when Deckard says “I saw an old movie once.The guy had bolts in his head.”)
In the first of the erminator films, the title character is a murder- ous android from the year 2029, when intelligent machines are at- tempting to wipe out the last humans.The machines send the android back in time, to 1984 Los Angeles, to kill one Sarah Connor before she bears a son who will grow up to lead the humans against the machines.To protect her, the future humans send back Kyle, who tells Sarah the model T-800 Terminator is
. . . part man, part machine. Underneath, it’s a hyper-alloy combat chas- sis—microprocessor-controlled, fully armored. Very tough. But outside, it’s living human tissue—flesh, skin, hair, blood. . . . The 600 series had rubber skin.We spotted them easy. But these are new, they look human. Sweat, bad breath, everything.Very hard to spot.
In no uncertain terms, Kyle persuades Sarah that this creature is pro- grammed to kill her with utter implacability:
That Terminator is out there! It can’t be bargained with. It can’t be rea- soned with. It doesn’t feel pity, or remorse, or fear. And it absolutely will not stop, ever, until you are dead.
The Terminator’s construction is remarkably similar to Asimov’s then 40-year-old idea for a humanoid robot, but the Terminator has deliberately been made relentlessly evil—or perhaps the word is amoral, because it is designed to operate like an unemotional machine while appearing human.
The Terminator’s true nature comes into sharp focus in the final scenes. The android survives a stupendous blast from an exploding