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Of all the cinematic visions of the end of civilization dramatized by Hollywood over the decades, one of the most memorable is the apocalypse that is the narrative center of the Terminator franchise: the rise of the machines and their systematic liquidation of the human race. According to the timeline presented in 1984’s The Terminator, Skynet, the intelligent computer program designed to coordinate the United States defense network, became self-aware in 1997 and “decided our fate in a microsecond. Extermination.”


Originally published in the Journal of South Texas English Studies.



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