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I live in Portugal, where movies are subtitled and where the Portuguese language uses gendered pronouns (for example, a male commander is referred to as o comandante and a female commander is referred to as a comandante). In the beginning of Dark Fate, we see

Grace almost sacrificing herself for her commander Dani. We don't see that it is Dani though. However, in Portugal, the subtitles immediately reveal that it is a female commander.

It became pretty obvious who Dani was and why she had to be saved. However, the movie's characters simply state that it's because

Dani will give birth to the next John Connor

and in the end, the twist is revealed. My question is, for English viewers, is this meant to be a big reveal, like a plot twist? Were people surprised at the end, when Dani's true purpose is shown? I lost that reveal surprise, and I'm not sure how obvious it is when you watch the movie without subtitles spoiling you.

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The gendered pronouns reveal something it seems the screenwriters were trying to keep secret.

Grace is initially quite closed lipped about why Dani is important in her timeline. She's adamant that Dani is important, but doesn't actually explain why. This serves to keep the information from both the characters and the viewers. It's a notable contrast to The Terminator, wherein Kyle is freer with the details of his trip and the future.

From her initial appearance in the film, Sarah is presented as somebody who knows what's going on. She's been through all this before, and seems confident in her knowledge of how things will play out. She initially believes that Dani is her equivalent in the new timeline, meant to birth the leader of the resistance, much as she birthed John. She is as surprised by the revelation of the nature of her importance as Dani is.

Both of these characters - secrecy and certitude - seem to be meant to lead the viewers into a twist. It's a one-two punch, faking the viewer with their own preconceptions from the prior films, then changing it up. It wouldn't have been nearly as effective and interesting of a film if the plot was basically the same as The Terminator, just with some new special effects.

  • I didn't even see Sarah or Dani as being surprised. A little more like - ok well... same difference. This was no big reveal per say since the audience basically knew from the beginning Dani must be something important. What exactly is not so important. – Kai Qing Nov 21 at 16:36
  • @KaiQing The fact that Dani is important was never a surprise. The reason is the surprise. The flashbacks (flash forwards?) do not reveal that the Commander is a woman in English, they do in Portuguese. – T.J.L. Nov 21 at 16:40
  • I guess I'm saying that receiving it as a surprise may have been intentionally ancillary. Like the writers knew it didn't matter but if anyone were to be surprised then bonus. I don't think anyone on the planet was mind blown to learn Dani's role as opposed to simply her offspring or some such. My assumption would also be why it wouldn't have been important to alter the subtitling to avoid revealing key details. They explain pretty succinctly why Grace didn't just spill it out in the beginning. Future Dani knew past Dani wouldn't process it well. – Kai Qing Nov 21 at 16:45
  • @KaiQing Feel free to provide an opposing answer. – T.J.L. Nov 21 at 16:45
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    Im not opposing yours – Kai Qing Nov 21 at 17:19

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