Terminator: Dark Fate – White Savior?

Terminator: Dark Fate delivers a fun, action experience that relies and feeds heavily on fan’s nostalgia, but ultimately lacks the heart present in early installments of the series.

The new Terminator movie follows the recent trend in the action genre of situating movies in locations of political importance. Like the newest Rambo, Terminator: Dark Fate takes place in Mexico. It is positive that a genre mostly known for white casts is getting more diverse; the protagonist Dani Ramos, is played by Colombian actress Natalia Reyes and the film’s villain terminator is played by Mexican-American actor Gabriel Luna. Although the films’ cast is more diverse, the story told still relies on deeply ingrained stereotypes.


This new installment in the Terminator series alters the future established in Terminator 2: Judgement Day. The film scraps Skynet and replaces it with a nearly identical AI institution called Legion. Fans of the series will remember that the terminator faced in the sequel was extra deadly because it was liquid metal; it could faze through walls and regenerate. This deadliness is literally taken in Dark Fate and multiplied by 2, as the terminators are able to split into 2 entities. 

Taken from Paramount Pictures Youtube

This Terminator is tasked with killing Dani Ramos because she is revealed to be humanity’s future savior later in the film. The film utilizes another plot device from Judgement Day in the form of sending someone from the future to assist the savior. This assistance comes in the way of Grace, who is a mechanically enhanced human. This early chase scene in the film mirrors the iconic semi-truck chasing John Connor in Judgement Day through the Los Angeles River. Grace and Sarrah Connor both end up saving Dani from being terminated.

Saviors? Who Saves Who?

Both Grace and Connor do not inform Dani on the entirety of the situation for fear that she is not ready to receive the information. So for much of the film, Dani has no other choice but to follow the two white women blindly. This leads one to question who really is saving who in the film? Is Grace, who in Terminator tradition as a person from the future literally dropped from the sky the “savior?” Or is Sarrah Connor, who arrived just in time as the Terminator was about to kill both Grace and Dani the “savior?”

What is poignant is that Dani’s moment to save both Grace and Sarrah Connor comes in the form of a stereotype. The three women are forced to leave Mexico as the Terminator will stop at nothing to finish his mission. The exit plan comes in the form of undocumented crossing with the help of Dani’s coyote uncle. A coyote is someone who smuggles people across the border usually at a high fee. Dani’s revelation of her uncle’s connection is so perfectly convenient that its actually hilarious. 

Taken from Paramount Pictures Youtube

The women follow through with the plan and end up getting detained right at the point of crossing. They are taken into custody by Border Patrol agents and placed in the cages all too familiar to those living in Southern California.

The Terminator is able to track them down pretty easily and actually makes his way into the facility as a Border Patrol Agent. Again, this action mirrors the Terminator from Judgement Day who transforms into a police officer. Both Terminators are interestingly smooth talkers and charming. They go about unsuspected and utilize the information systems and technology available to the institutions of government.

Taken from Paramount Pictures Youtube

The choice to portray the Terminator as a Border Patrol agent in the current political climate is one that is hard not to dwell on. The current policies which have separated families are done by heartless entities like Terminators. It is also interesting to note however that the Terminator is portrayed and meant to be of Mexican origin. This factor only conflicts the situation when compared to the ethnicity and actions of the other Terminator in the film, Carl, played iconically by Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Carl is a Terminator who was sent from the future to kill John Connor after the vents of Judgement Day. It is later revealed that Carl begins to become more human and even takes on a family. He even regrets taking John Connor’s life after seeing the happiness that family brings one. Carl ends up assisting the three women in the fight against the Terminator. He importantly like in Judgement Day, sacrifices himself to kill the Terminator. While the plot sets up the “savior” to be Dani, the action taken by her guardians leads one to believe that she really possessed no agency throughout the film. Terminator: Dark Fate in attempting to be transcendent ultimately falls back on old tropes and produces a film that prolongs stereotypes. 

Written by: Nils Ljungquist

Untitled Goose Game: Pranks and Notoriety

Untitled Goose Game is an addictively fun puzzle game that fulfills everyone’s subconscious wish to be a mean goose and do whatever the Hell they want with no consequences.

Untitled Goose Game is an indie video game produced by the Australian studio House House. The game allows you to play as a goose, yes, an actual goose, that causes mischief in a small English town. If you are a fan of puzzle games, you will thoroughly enjoy Untitled Goose Game as it manages to deliver a hilarious experience rooted in the simple pleasure of pranking humans.

Screenshot Taken from My Playthrough

The game offers one a small tutorial initially to get one ready to start wreaking havoc on the community. You are able to do things that a regular goose does such as honking, flapping your wings, ducking, and grabbing hold of things with your beak. You must utilize these moves to complete a list of tasks (I believe the list was drafted by the goose themselves, who is likely more sentient than the community would think) per area. New tasks are unlocked when enough chaos is caused. One is motivated to be a completionist in this game because there is nothing more satisfying than witnessing the complete misery of each part of the town you mess with.

From Untitled to Notorious

Screenshot Taken from My Playthrough

Notoriety is the key reward in Untitled Goose Game. One particular task asks that you make the boy (same kid trapped in the phone booth) rebuy his toy plane from the vendor above. Your infamy is made known to the world by signs showcasing your likeness with a no symbol over it in each area. The innate human need for public recognition is what Untitled Goose Game is able to tap into so effectively. The saying goes that any press is good press and that inherently includes bad press. There are many examples on social media of people adhering to this saying as a mantra. They also capitalize on a pranking culture that has existed in the United States far before Ashton Kutcher’s Punk’d hit the airwaves in the early 2000’s.

Social Media Tricksters and Clout Chasers

Screenshot Taken from My Playthrough

The first example of a disciple of the church of bad press that comes to mind is Boonk Gang, who in 2017 became notorious on Instagram for posting videos of himself committing crimes (for the most part theft). His videos which gained a decent following featured a “prank,” consisting of Boonk Gang bursting into laughter after running off with whatever merchandise was being negotiated. Ultimately, Boonk Gang lost access to his Instagram account (surprisingly not for filming crimes but after posting sexual content). More importantly, he lost the platform he had to launch his “aspiring” rap career.

Screenshot Taken from My Playthrough

A more recent example occurred just this past summer involving “food tampering;” A Texas woman was featured in a video shared to twitter showing her opening a quart of ice cream, licking the surface of the ice cream, and putting it back in the freezer. The woman faces a possible felony charge for her “prank” and 15 seconds of fame. “Pranks” of this nature and those of Boonk Gang appear to be done to achieve clout or respect by demonstrating defiance of authority.

While Untitled Goose Game also taps into this need to defy authority, the pranking is done digitally and doesn’t hurt anyone. So, save yourself the trouble and just play this game.

Written by: Nils Ljungquist

Rambo: Last Blood – Illumination of PTSD

Rambo: Last Blood is a film with an identity crisis that aims to highlight the struggle veterans face when dealing with post-traumatic stress disorder.

If you go into the newest Rambo film expecting the action-packed scenes of the 2008 release, you will be disappointed. This movie does not have the exuberant gunplay and the mythical Stallone that we have come to expect. John Rambo clearly shows the signs of wear and his age is at the forefront. The director chose many closeups which admittedly come off a bit silly more often than not. The Rambo presented appears to be in a settled state and is looking to lead a comfortable life. He trains horses if you can believe that and even forges his own blades. These tasks appear to be a coping mechanism for his PTSD.

Taken from Lionsgate Youtube

Prevalence of PTSD in Rambo

PTSD is not something new to the Rambo films. The disorder has been front and center from the very inception of the series. Rambo in First Blood is a Vietnam War veteran and prisoner of war who returns to the United States. In the U.S. he faces harassment from the police force who, on default, considers him an untrustworthy vagrant. The physical abuse (he is hosed down while detained by the police) triggers a fight or flight response and he chooses fight.

Rambo attempts to cope with his PTSD through medication. Without revealing any spoilers, the new film also pits Rambo in a situation that prompts his exit from a semi-comfortable life. He, in one of the many zoom-ins, tosses down his medication and a majority of the action in the film follows this tipping point. This frustration mirrors much of the sentiment veterans still exhibit today.

PTSD Today

Like Rambo in the first film, veterans today continue to return from war not knowing how to adjust and cope with civilian life. The government also often falls short in offering resources to aid in the acclimation process. The fact that 16 veterans take their lives daily, and more than 50 veterans suffering from PTSD and seeking treatment from the Veterans Health Administration committed suicide in 2017 are testaments to the drastic need to improve a failing system.

Taken from Lionsgate Youtube

Though this new installment to the Rambo franchise attempted to merge the internal struggle faced by soldiers found in the first movie with the action and explosions of the most recent movie, the result was lacking in both departments and leaves people wishing that direction went all-in on at least one.

Behind the Mic: Brandon Battaglia

Brandon Battaglia in front of some shrubs by West Commons.

Listeners and fans of KCR College Radio know of the variety shows broadcast on-air. But, what some are not aware of is KCR’s coverage of Aztec Baseball. During the season, commentators, such as Brandon Battaglia, take to the airwaves from Tony Gwynn Stadium. I sat down with Brandon for a special edition of Behind the Mic.

As a new member of KCR, Brandon went ahead and auditioned for baseball commentating at the beginning of this spring semester. First, Brandon was assigned to two games in the beginning of the season – and his performance warranted more appearances. Since then, Brandon has commentated nearly 10 games for KCR.

To get a better understanding of what it’s like to commentate, I had Brandon walk me through a typical game. He and his partner, Sean Nichols, arrive to the stadium about an hour prior to the first pitch. During this time, statistics and information, including topics like “who’s gonna be big in the game” and “players’ backgrounds,” are gathered about the opposing team.

Going into the commentating gig, Brandon told me he didn’t have many expectations. However, he now believes it will all work out.

An avid fan of the sport, Brandon told me, “Watching baseball non-stop is finally paying off with [commentating].” He added that he “just has a really good time doing it.”

In addition to KCR’s live broadcast of baseball games, Brandon has begun covering games for the Mountain West Conference. According to Brandon, he got a call from KCR’s General Manager, Matt Hoffman, to fill in for a game. After a successful broadcast, Brandon and his partner Sean were signed on with the network for the remainder of the season.

Brandon, an international security major, joined KCR in January 2017 as a sports talk show host for “Diamond Sports.” He and Michael Quinn host the show every Saturday at 2 p.m. They equally cover San Diego State teams and professional sports. During the season, the SDSU basketball team was the trending topic on each show. Brandon told me he addresses current player moves, playoffs and other headlines for the NBA and NFL.

Listeners can expect to hear a lighthearted debate about sports between Brandon and Michael. Brandon mentioned that the two try to make the show sound like a normal conversation, adding that “it’s a people’s sports show.”

Brandon has hopes to resume commentating for both KCR and the Mountain West in the 2018 season.

You can catch some of Brandon’s written commentary on Aztec baseball games, and listen to his show, on KCR’s website. For the other games, Brandon’s coverage can be viewed on the Mountain West website.

In addition, you can find your favorite DJs on our KCR schedule.

Featured Image: Brandon Battaglia, a sophomore at SDSU, is optimistic about his future in commentary. Photo by Sumner Shorey.