News of Linda Hamilton's return to the Terminator franchise has excited many fans of the film series. Although Sarah Connor was killed off in Terminator 3, it's important to realize that her influence extended far beyond Terminator 2, when she truly shone as one of the first female action heroes. Linda Hamilton proved that you didn't have to be sexualized or rely on a man in order to be a truly motivational action hero, and that's why she, above all others, is truly the coolest female action hero.
Hamilton won the hearts of women everywhere who watched #T2, when it proved in 1991 that a woman could be as badass as any man with just this scene:
Why Linda Hamilton And 'Terminator 2' Mattered
For years, women had been portrayed as delicate creatures generally in need of rescuing by strong, burly men who were cast as heroes. With Linda Hamilton and Terminator 2, James Cameron changed the game. Gone was the fragile Sarah Connor we'd met in the original Terminator — while Sarah Connor did kick some butt by the time the end of Terminator rolled around, it was out of self-preservation and out of preservation for the child she was pregnant with.
Here she is at the end of Terminator:
And now here she is in Terminator 2:
It was one of the first times that a female star had ever buffed up to take on a role in a film — and it was stunning. It was also one of the first times any woman from the '80s realized that to be a hero, we didn't have to have a gorgeous dress or perfect makeup — we could be just as rough as the boys, shoot rifles and handguns with accuracy, intend to kill instead of harming by accident and not use our sexuality to advance our own causes.
Linda Hamilton as Sarah Connor held her own easily with Arnold Schwarzenegger during #Terminator2, and it had nothing to do with her star power. It had everything to do with her preparing to be the counterpoint to his new and reformed Terminator, as well as to illustrate just how extensively Sarah Connor had transformed since the end of the original #Terminator. She needed to be the character that could hold her own to save herself and her son, and it was clear that she didn't always need a musclebound man-machine to do it.
Women noticed, too. Some made it their goal to eventually look like Hamilton did at the start of T2. Such is the case with Leva Bates, who has cosplayed Sarah Connor at times in her wrestling appearances. Indeed, Hamilton's interpretation of Sarah Connor in Terminator 2 changed the way women were perceived when they were put in heroic roles in films. Now that Hamilton's return has been announced, with #Terminator6 being hailed as a direct sequel to Terminator 2, people are well and truly excited in spite of Sarah Connor's death in Terminator 3.
So far, the untitled Terminator 6 is slated for a 2019 release, though with producer James Cameron's noted attention to detail, that could shift. No matter, the fact that the coolest female action hero is returning to the franchise is reason enough to start counting down the days until Terminator 6 premieres.
For those of you needing a Linda Hamilton/Terminator 2 temporary fix, here's Sarah Connor realizing that the Terminator is actually the ideal father figure for her son John. That's another reason why Sarah Connor was so cool as an action hero: she was as multifaceted as they come, with more than just smart remarks and an ability to shoot to bolster her rep.
Are you excited for Linda Hamilton's return to Terminator? Let me know in the comments down below.