It feels wrong to cut Michael Biehn out of anything, doesn’t it? The guy is a great actor and when it comes to being Kyle Reese he pretty much nailed the part, since, with all respect deserved, those that came after didn’t do a single thing to advance the character. But taking out his cameo in T2 was kind of a necessary move apparently, even if it doesn’t even come close to sounding right. He did make an appearance in the original cut as a vision of him appears to Sarah while she’s locked up in the mental institution. He goes on to show her the world and how it will end if she can’t reach their son, a scene that would be repeated later on in the movie. Thanks to the need for timing and pacing, which are important to be certain, this scene had to be cut out. It also felt redundant apparently thanks to the similar scene that comes when Sarah has been freed and has accessed her weapons cache. Still, seeing him in the second movie would have been nice if only because it would have added even more continuity, but James Cameron was apparently worried that not enough people would have seen the original movie and that, as a result, Kyle’s appearance would cause more confusion than anything. For the fans of the movie that’s kind of a letdown, but the upside is that the scene was restored for the special edition.
Kyle Reese isn’t a complicated character, but he’s thrust into a complicated chain of events that see him being turned into a soldier and raised by John Connor, the man that would eventually become his son by dint of fate. It’s a serious mind-bender when you really think about it since at one point someone had to get Sarah pregnant to have John, but the fact is that Kyle isn’t technically born until much later in the future, and was initially unaware of John or Sarah until he became a soldier. But it also means that their fates were already locked in, which almost destroys or at least throws a stiff argument in the works when it comes to ‘there is no fate but what we make’. When you think about it, that quote kind of goes out the window when it comes down to Kyle being John’s father, since it would mean that fate is a locked thing if they decide it is, but if Kyle wasn’t there in the first place, someone still managed to get Sarah pregnant, meaning that John would come from somewhere, right? It’s a quandary really since the past comes before the present and future, so one has to figure out where the knot is between the present and future, which are respectively the past and present in the Terminator movies when talking about Kyle Reese and John Connor. Is your head hurting yet?
Taking Kyle Reese out of T2 was kind of a preventative measure at best, but Anton Yelchin, with all due respect, was the next best representation since he was still a kid more or less when he was brought in, while Jai Courtney just wasn’t that great of a Kyle. He’s good at some things, but being a part of the Terminator franchise wasn’t one of them. Probably one of the biggest insults to the Terminator franchise though came when Dark Fate was brought in. It was the return of Sarah Connor in all her badassery, but it was also the inclusion of a Resistance soldier that was augmented and definitely awesome when it came to her capabilities, but was more or less just as much of a pain in the backside that Jai Courtney’s Kyle Reese impersonation had been in Genisys. Despite her impressive skills, they didn’t come with much in the way of acting ability or a believable character since this was feminism on display in a big way, as the whole ‘don’t need men’ vibe was loud and clear when it came to the new vision for the future. Plus, changing Skynet to Legion and basically offing John Connor as a big slap in the face to the fans wasn’t a wise move since James Cameron’s insane desire to ignore the other movies after T2 was thought to be a good idea, but it tanked horribly. It almost feels that Cameron forgot just what it was that had made the movies special in the first place since Dark Fate was a movie that many would rank below Genisys, which is a big mark of disrespect given how much flak that movie received. When put into perspective, taking Kyle Reese’s cameo out of T2 is kind of a minor thing to be sure.
At least people still get to see him in the special edition.
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