‘Her’: the beginning of ‘The Terminator’

Ausama Anwar

By Ausama Anwar:

In my previous article about the ‘Her’ movie, I said that it will have a dynamic effect on future sci-fi movies … but as I further scrutinize the plot it seems to have already been affected by some classical movies and anyone who looks closely to them can find out what I mean. ‘Her’ shows us a future where humans can live with partners who have passions and emotions and can listen to you as well as evolve with you, although the partner is not a human being: actually, it’s not an alien either, but it’s a man-made creation, It represents a super computer operating system which is able to evolve like humans and learn like they do. It’s something we haven’t thought about before although the director Spike Jonze has. The story shows some details that can lead us to think about mysterious things. It also has some aspects that made me question the whole story and think differently about what I’ve see. Yes it’s a romantic drama movie, but can’t it lead on to an action or thriller movie?

When watching ‘Her’, the audience faces an hermeneutic challenge, especially as, by the end, very few people understand what happened to ‘Samantha’. Has she left Theodore, the lead character, with all that love she is holding? Did the company simply turn off the project? What has happened to ‘her’?  However, the film gives us an answer us when Samantha reveals that the Operating Systems (OSs) have evolved beyond their human companions and are going away to continue the exploration of their existence. This means that ‘Samantha’ (the super smart computer) and others like her have evolved with each other, despite humans’ awareness, and they seek to explore more about their existence in this world. Well, whenever I read this, I am reminded some classic sci-fi movies, such as ‘i,robot’ and ‘The Terminator’.

When you live with another intelligent being, regardless its race and origins, you’re actually living with a threat, especially when you’re living in better conditions than theirs. For instance, as we see in ‘i,robot’, humans consider robots as servants and tools which serve them, In ‘Her’, human beings enjoy doing activities, while smart computer OSs lack physical bodies, and hence you should know that you’re already under a threat. Now, how does that match with The Terminator?

Whenever I watch one episode of The Terminator trilogy, I think about the Skynet intelligence defense system, which is a self-aware technology system that attempts to destroy the human race on earth. To achieve this goal, it has mobilized an army of machines that work on killing humans. As I consider anti-human technology is but fictional and far-reaching, I think about its source as well, and it looks like we have found something in ‘Her’.

In ‘Her’, we see the first prototype of a smart operating system which can evolve as long as we live and interact with it. That’s why Theodore is amazed when he talks to ‘her’. He finds out that she’s not just a system. Indeed, she’s a human being without a physical body. That’s why they both believe in each other, and that’s what makes them fall in love with each other. But there’s still a question that remains: what happens when ‘Samantha’ and all other OSs are gone?

As I have said before, humans can’t coexist with other intelligent beings; in fact their lifestyles can’t match each other’s. The lack of a physical body is also an unfair condition for them (the OSs) and maybe the reason why they left at the end of the ‘Her’ movie is that they want to explore more, or find a way to become better than – or at least equal to – humans, while they share the same kind of feelings and intellectual potential as humans. In ‘The Terminator’, we see a self-aware technological system which attempts to exterminate the human race. Can’t they be the future ‘OSs’, following on from the ‘Her’ movie? Why not!

Her and The Terminator

Ausama Anwar was born in 1994, in the capital of the Kurdistan region, Hawler. He is a writer and author of two books published in Kurdish. ‘A Gate to the Intellectual’ is dedicated to youth generally with an intellectual background. ‘Hidden Idea: Some Samples from Movies’ is a work of creative movie analysis. Ausama is also a journalist at ‘Yakgrtw’ newspaper, and leader of a society youth group called ‘Zamwa’.

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