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Kate Connor, I Think I Love You

April 10th, 2009

kateToday we kick off the Terminator debate with a look at a fairly recent addition to the robot-smashing team.

Kate Connor (née Brewster) first appeared in Terminator 3 as a veterinarian who wakes up one day to learn that she’s destined to marry the soon-to-be-legendary war hero John Connor. Kate, who barely even knows John, finds herself sucked into some time-travelling robot antics and eventually realizes that when the nukes start flying, you pretty much have no choice but to marry the guy you’re standing next to. And so Terminator 3 ends with Kate and John riding out the apocalypse in a fallout shelter as they begin to organize the resistance.

Originally played by Claire Danes, Kate was one of the better parts of the otherwise disappointing Terminator 3. It was fun to watch the awkwardness that ensues as her prewritten relationship with John unfolds (even if the suggestion that everyone is destined to end up with their one true love was just a little too romantic for a Schwarzenegger movie) and Kate’s incredulity and ambivalence towards robots and destiny wars nicely balances out some of the colder, battle-hardened characters.

So, all in all, I was pleased to hear that they were bringing back this character (who, by the way, is now working as a medic for the resistance and is pregnant with her first child). It seemed highly likely that she could get scrapped with the other forgettable parts of Terminator 3, and that would have been unfortunate, because there’s a lot of potential here… Especially considering that this time around Kate’s being played by Bryce Dallas Howard, who you probably know as the tragically misused Gwen Stacey in Spider-Man 3, or as the lady in Lady in the Water.

Howard is one of the more interesting casting choices in Salvation. She’s cultivated somewhat of a “sweet and innocent” image for herself, and she seems out of place in a gritty sci-fi war movie populated by the likes of Christian Bale and Common. Which is exactly the point, I guess. As the doctor (and a pregnant doctor at that) amidst a group of soldiers, Kate Connor is charged with the task of keeping the hope alive. (Symbolism!) She’s the optimism in the middle of an unwinnable war. Howard, with her cute and bubbly persona, is well suited for the role and I look forward to seeing what she brings to the table.

My one hope for Kate Connor? That McG and the screenwriters spend some time giving her an identity of her own. In Terminator 3 Kate was defined as little more than John’s wife, and that seems unfair for a character and actor with such potential. In other words, I’d like to see Kate Connor become more than John’s baby mama. 

But I’m wondering… is anyone else better suited to play Kate Connor? If you could cast the role, who would you pick?

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  1. Adam
    April 10th, 2009 at 17:40 | #1

    You’re probably right about her needing a reasonable role to add some counterpoint. But this movie is about Batman, (hopefully) the Governator and CGI (robot)ass-whooping. I’m all for balance IF I get the first 3 things, and the balance is not in the form of cinematic Cheesewiz. It’s tough to say who else could have gotten the role. It’s not a big deal, but a non-caucasian may have better symbolized the battle of humanity against the Austro-Californian empire.

  2. bublles
    April 14th, 2009 at 17:14 | #2

    I’d hit that!

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