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Terminator 2: Judgement Day – The Hero’s journey breakdown

Ordinary world

Sarah Connor is in a mental institution and John Connor is a juvenile delinquent.

Call to Adventure

The T-800 is sent back in time to protect John Connor, by John Connor’s future self, from the new model terminator the T-1000

Belly of the whale

The motorcycle truck chase in the drain where John is nearly killed.

Refusal of the call

John refuses to follow the T-800 instructions and instead insists they rescue his mother Sarah from the mental institution first. T-800 doesn’t want to do this because he thinks it’s a risky move.

Supernatural Aid

Sarah has been John’s mentor all his life preparing him for when he must lead humanity in the fight against the machines.

Crossing the First Threshold

Rescuing Sarah from the mental institution

The Road of the trials

They go on the run with the T-800 and begin teaching him to be more human

Meeting with the Goddess and Woman as Temptress

I don’t think either of these stages are used although you could look at the relationship between T-800 and John.

Death of the mentor

Sarah decides to leave John and let the T-800 be his father. In an insane world this is the sanest choice.

Atonement with the Father

Sarah can’t kill Dyson when she is face to face with him, when John arrives he sees the humanity in his mother and instead of seeing her as a psychopath that he described her as at the start of the story, he now tells her he’s always loved her. He sees her as a mother.

Apotheosis

The T-800 cuts the flesh off his arm as proof that he is from the future and then tells Dyson the story of everything he is about to do which results in the deaths of three billion people. It’s imparting God-like knowledge of the future.

Ultimate Boon

They destroy Cyberdine, all the tech and Miles Dyson is killed. Ending any chance of Skynet coming to be.

The Magic flight

The T-1000 chases after them and the final battle in the metal factory.

Rescue from without

The T-1000 recovers from the shot gun blasts but T-800 appears with a missile launcher which strikes him in the chest and he falls into the molten hot metal.

The crossing of the return Threshold

John must say goodbye to the T-800 and live his life without him. At first he refuses but ultimately accepts it.  This stage more or less is blended with the next stage.

Master of two worlds

T-800 can’t self terminate and asks Sarah to do it for him. He now knows why John cries but he can never do it himself. The best way for him to protect John is to die.

Freedom to live

The future is saved and filled with hope “If a machine can learn the value of human life, so can we.” 

 

Terminator 2; Judgement day takes on the challenge of being a sequel by introducing new characters and giving the old characters that we knew from the first film new goals and challenges rather than just repeating the same story from the first film like many, many, many other cash-in sequels do.

Meeting with the Goddess and Woman as Temptress missing? There was a cut scene when they pulled the chip out of T-800’s head and Sarah wanted to destroy it and kill him but John refused to let her do this. This could serve as the Temptress moment and John could serve as the Goddess for the T-800 as he inspires him to be a hero. That’s my best guess but feel free to include your thought below.

 

You may also want to look at

The Terminator Hero’s journey breakdown

The Terminator Save the cat beat sheet

 

the-terminator

The Terminator – Save the cat beat sheet

Opening Image – Machines crushing human skulls. Machines dominating humans in a futuristic world of no hope.

Theme Stated – Sarah’s co-worker says “In a hundred years, who’s gonna care?” It implies that what they are doing today is unimportant but soon we are going to find out that we do today is going to be important for the future.

Set up – The Terminator and Kyle Reese arrive from the future, one to kill, the other to protect Sarah Connor, a waitress.

Catalyst – The Terminator kills a woman named Sarah Connor and Sarah sees it on the news.

Debate – She ignores the first incident when one of the other Sarah Connors is killed but panics when the second one is killed and calls the police.

Break into two – The Terminator attempts to kill Sarah and Kyle jumps into to protect her. “Come with me if you want to live.” Sarah makes the decision to go with Kyle to get away from the Terminator.

B-Story – The love story between Kyle and Sarah.

Fun and Games – A couple of chase scenes trying to escape The Terminator and exposition revealed through action.

Midpoint – They are taken into police custody. Sarah is told by the police psychiatrist that Kyle is crazy and she begins to believe them, however, the Terminator blasts his way through the station killing everyone. Kyle finds her and she clings to him for her life. For the rest of the film she is totally committed to believing Kyle.

Bad Guys close in – They run away and hide from the Terminator who returns to his hotel room to repair himself. (I know, this is the opposite of  Bad Guys closing in because they are putting distance between themselves and the Terminator but I think the mid point of the film is definitely Sarah committing to Reece and trusting him completely with her life. But where does this leave the beat of Bad guys close in? You could argue I suppose that the Mid point is when they are taken into police custody and it’s a down moment but I think it fits better. Please feel free to argue you point in the comments section if you have a different opinion.)

All is lost – Sarah unknowingly gives away their location thinking she’s talking to her mother.

Dark Night of the soul – Sarah is down, she worries that the Terminator will never stop until he kills her. Kyle tells her he’s always respected her as the woman who trained John and more importantly that he’s loved her all this time. They make love.

Break into three – The Terminator has tracked them down to the hotel

Rally the troops – They construct weapons with the supplies Reece bought.

Storm the castle – Another chase involving hand made dynamite, crashing and swapping vehicles, eventually blowing up the truck the Terminator hijacked.

High tower surprise – The Terminator emerges from the fire of the truck.

Dig down deep – They run into the factory and must battle the Terminator’s skeleton

Victory or defeat – “You’re terminated f@cker!” and crushes him to death. (Removed from the theatrical cut was the scene where Cyberdine engineers discover the chip and the hand of the crushed Terminator)

Final image – She’s alive and preparing for the war against humanity with the unborn child inside her. There is some hope for the future.

 

Compare with

The Terminator  – The hero’s journey stages

linda-hamilton-as-sarah-connor-in-the-terminator

The Terminator The Hero’s journey breakdown

Ordinary world

Sarah Conner is a waitress

Call to Adventure

Reece rescues Sarah from being killed by The Terminator

Refusal of the call

Reece tells her the story of the rise of Skynet and how two soldiers have been sent back in time, one man, one machine. One to kill, the other to protect, but she doesn’t believe this and tries to get out of the car.

Supernatural Aid

Reece comes from back from the future to rescue her with the aid of a time travelling machine and special knowledge that comes from having arrived form the future

Crossing the First Threshold

They go on the run from The Terminator

Belly of the whale

Reece is arrested and she falls asleep in the police station until The Terminator arrives and kills everyone. Reece is wounded.

The Road of the trials

The Terminator chases them and the trials are trying to avoid capture whilst at the same time Sarah is trying to come to terms with the situation she is in. And, of course, like all love stories the trials involve the two characters falling in love and the obstacles in the way of that.

Meeting with the Goddess

Reece is her love interest; he admires her for the woman she is about to become even though she’s just a waitress and barely a fully-grown woman at this stage.

Woman as Temptress

The police tell her that Reece is crazy and it’s all some made up story. She’s confused but inclined to believe them. If she does believe them then it will pull her away from her journey.

Atonement with the Father

This was cut out of the film but it’s when Sarah looks up Cyberdine in the phone book and wants to attack it and do to Skynet what it is trying to do to her son John.

You can watch it here

Apotheosis

The Apotheosis is flipped on The Terminator, he impersonates Sarah’s mother and gains special knowledge as to her whereabouts.

Ultimate Boon

Reece and Sarah make love and she becomes (although as yet unknowingly) the future mother of John Conner, leader of the resistance.

The Magic flight

The Terminator arrives at the motel and chases them again. They throw their home made grenades at him and the fight ends when the truck crashed and The Terminator is engulfed in flames.

The crossing of the return Threshold

Reece is injured and can barely stand, The Terminator is bashing down the door, suddenly we see a side of Sarah we haven’t seen yet. She yells at him to get to his feet and drags him up so they can escape. Giving us a glimpse of what the future Sarah and mother of the resistance leader is going to look like.

Death of the mentor / Rescue from without

Reece sacrifices his life in an attempt to blow The Terminator up. Although the explosion doesn’t kill The Terminator, it breaks it in two and gives Sarah a precious advantage so she can kill it.

Master of two worlds

“You’re terminated fucker.”

Freedom to live

She drives down the road, pregnant with knowledge of the storm that’s coming for humanity.

 

 

This is perfect story telling, both as a stand alone film and also when looked at within the context of it’s sequel T2.

Compare with

The Terminator – Save the cat beat sheet