As science fiction fans well know, sometimes the villain is not a person, or even an identifiable species. Often evil is a faceless, soulless corporation, bent on intergalactic market domination.
Skynet is the real bad guy in the Terminator. Not a giant faceless corporation, although it was created by one. Rather, Skynet evolves from being an AI programmed to manage a global military to a self-aware entity that can access every computer on the planet and uses that connectivity to wipe out humanity--reprogramming servers, drones, robots.
In the original Terminator series, Skynet is a presence, that uses the terminator (Arnold Schwarzenegger) as its instrument and programs it to kill Sarah Connor and her son.
In the newest manifestation, Terminator Genesys, the story changes a bit. Key to the change is the way Skynet itself alters. Its intelligence takes human form in the body of a terminator (Matt Smith). Now Skynet goes from a conceptual evil to a real physical presence we can see, taste, smell and touch.
Maybe we need our villains to be human in appearance. Maybe that's the only way we can believe they've been truly destroyed. A corporation or an AI interconnected to all things, perhaps, can keep being resurrected again and again.
What do you think? Do villains need to be human or humanoid?
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