Not Enough Guns in Japan


The solution to the problem? Simply eliminate all guns — if only it were that easy — and rely on other weapons like sword fights against Terminators with blades for arms. “If I was going to fight a Terminator and I don’t have guns, what are the weapons that I could concoct?” Tomlin said.

As for the story, “Terminator Zero” takes place in Japan circa 1997, right around when Skynet’s AI network becomes self-aware. The anime promises to be familiar for fans of the franchise — there will be a soldier from the future sent back in time, plenty of Skynet talk, and a Terminator disguised as a human sent to the past to assassinate a scientist (this time working for a Skynet competitor). Oh, and there are a couple of kids in peril.

This was important for Tomlin, who wanted to tell both a time travel story and a multi-generational saga (a la “The Godfather”) centered on the family with kids. “What I wanted to do, if we get to do multiple seasons, is to see these kids grow up and see who they become,” he explained.

The idea of a “Terminator” story without guns is fascinating. A big part of the appeal of the original movie was seeing Arnold Schwarzenegger as this unstoppable killing machine who could carry a massive machine gun like it was nothing. But taking the guns away also means the Terminators are scarier, as they can attack with anything, becoming assassins more than brutes.

“Terminator Zero” premieres August 29, 2024, on Netflix.

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