Thursday, May 14, 2009

Connor vs. Connor

Crossovers and spinoffs have been a part of storytelling ever since Odysseus and Aeneas left Troy going in opposite directions. Perhaps the most popular form of crossover fiction is the sci-fi mainstay "Franchise A vs. Franchise B". Alien vs. Predator. Robocop vs. Terminator. Batman vs. Superman. Star Trek meets the X-Men. Freddy vs. Jason. Army of Darkness vs. Marvel Zombies. Turtle vs. Bunny. I could go on all day. Few such crossovers ever really work, and most of them are just plain silly. But there's one crossover I'd like to propose for serious consideration.

Highlander vs. Terminator.

Now, sadly, I wasn't the first to think of this, but let's think about this for a second. What better fit for a franchise that constantly meddles with time travel than characters that transcend time? It's better than ninjas vs. pirates. It's immortals vs. robots, two character types that are fairly similar, if only on a base level. The only way to really kill either is to cut off the power source (head). Of course, the danger with Terminators is the fact that they're freaking legion, whereas the number of Highlander immortals, by their very nature, are dwindling. So that's a negative.

However, the great thing about the Highlander universe is that the only thing that really matters are the characters. You could drop Connor McLeod (or Duncan or whoever, doesn't really matter) into the Terminator universe without much difficulty. Unless he has the misfortune of being in a major city on Judgement Day, chances are he'll survive the fallout. But then comes the previously mentioned army of T-800s and Lord knows what else.

Here's where things get a little tricky. Unless a Terminator directly witnesses one immortal behead another, it's not going to know enough to do the same to the Highlander. It'll fire away at him, probably hit him a couple times, but it wouldn't kill him. Of course, a T-1000 wouldn't have much problem with that. Remember what happened to Todd in T2. No heads were removed, but the potential is definitely there. Ooh, there's a challenge for the Highlander... Of course, it's doubtful that Connor's sword would be enough to destroy even a T-800.

In my proposed Terminator/Highlander film, there would undoubtedly be more than one immortal. Otherwise, what's the point? Early in the film, Connor squares off against another immortal, only to have their duel interrupted by a Terminator. The two team up to incapacitate the robot, after which Connor catches his erstwhile partner off guard, beheads him and a Quickening ensues. Connor then gains all the knowledge of the other immortal, including key information on SkyNet. Weaknesses, plans, etc. Maybe this other immortal once worked for CyberDyne Systems. Then, Connor finds his way to the Resistance, where he helps John Connor concoct a plan to finally take out SkyNet.

Maybe John Connor doesn't believe McLeod. How could someone know so much about SkyNet unless they were actually a robot? So Connor tries shooting McLeod a few times. McLeod doesn't die. John Connor still isn't convinced. As far as he knows, McLeod is 100% machine. So they come up with a test. They place McLeod in front of a giant magnet. When switched on, the magnet does nothing. Maybe it picks up his sword. But not him. That's enough for John Connor, who agrees to let McLeod help, but still falsely suspects him of being some kind of trap set by SkyNet.

I realize what I just did was tantamount to fan fiction but, really, that's no worse than some of the other dumb crossovers we've seen. I even think this is a better idea than some of those. I think a Highlander would fit right into the upcoming Terminator movie. And really, with the Highlander franchise as labyrinthine and convoluted as it is, would anybody really care?

What do you think?

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