The Greatest Movie Badasses Of All Time: Sarah Connor

Linda Hamilton's super-ripped, shotgun-toting fatal femme flexes her way onto our list.

The search for the Greatest Movie Badass of All Time is on! MTV News has asked accomplished filmmakers, actors and you, the audience, to vote for your favorites. Now we’ve tabulated the results and found our 10 finalists for the top spot. Who will reign supreme as the Greatest Badass of All Time? Find out on February 6 at 7:15 p.m. when MTV announces the winner live at New York’s Comic-Con and right here at MTV.com.

Until then, we’re profiling the 10 contenders for the Greatest Badass mantle every day, in alphabetical order. Check out our first contenders: “Star Wars” bounty hunter Boba Fett , “Alien” astronaut Ellen Ripley , vigilante cop Dirty Harry , “Die Hard” detective John McClane , Vietnam War vet John Rambo , “Star Trek” tyrant Khan , post-apocalyptic nomad Mad Max and “Wild Bunch” outlaw Pike Bishop . Keep checking back to see if your favorite made the list!

Name: Sarah Connor

Occupation: Waitress, college student, revolutionary

Movie(s): “The Terminator,” “T2: Judgment Day”

Weapons: Really, really big guns

Archenemy: Cyberdyne Systems Series 800 Model 101 Terminator, Skynet, the T-1000

Profile: Her bicep could crush your skull like a walnut. A blast from her cocked-with-one-arm shotgun could take you down faster than an artificially intelligent computer-controlled killing machine from the year 2029. Hell, even her 1997 death from terminal cancer couldn’t keep this badass down; Sarah now stars in a beloved TV show, and her presence will be felt in this summer’s “Terminator Salvation.”

When Linda Hamilton first signed on to play Sarah Connor in the early ’80s, however, it seemed like a standard damsel-in-distress role in a small ($6.5 million budget) sci-fi film. Twenty-five years later, the character is a central part of a blockbuster franchise that now produces “The Sarah Connor Chronicles” at a cost of several million dollars per episode, as well this summer’s $200 million-plus “Terminator: Salvation.”

As the franchise grew, so did Sarah Connor. After being mostly caught up in the chaos of “Terminator” and trying to keep herself and son John alive, she became much more proactive in 1991′s hugely successful “T2.” Picking up 11 years after the death of her lover/protector Kyle Reese, the conception of John and her hydraulic-press-aided killing of the original Terminator sent to kill her, we find Sarah institutionalized at the Pescadero State Hospital.

Prison time has served her well, however, as Sarah has undergone a transformation that makes Optimus Prime look like an underachiever. Her rippling muscles, body-fat-free physique and newfound survival expertise shows a woman who knows a war is coming and is fully prepared for Judgment Day. Hamilton shocked audiences at the time, who had never seen anything quite like her new look.

Although doctors didn’t believe all her talk about futuristic robots and the end of the world as we know it, the prophecy began to come true when a T-1000 comes to kill her, followed closely by a T-800 who says “Come with me if you want to live.”

As it turned out, Sarah didn’t really need the help. Muscles flexed, she nearly kills the T-800, almost takes out Skynet creator Miles Dyson, hijacks cop cars, holds her own in a massive shootout and generally shows that this is one woman whose place is certainly not in the kitchen. And if you dared to tell her it was, she’d likely make you eat the business end of a bullet.

Arnold Schwarzenegger returned for “Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines,” but the film certainly seemed to lack a certain muscle without Hamilton, as it explained that Sarah had died of Leukemia in 1997 following a three-year battle with the disease. Fortunately for die-hard “Terminator” fans, “The Sarah Connor Chronicles” launched on Fox in 2005, giving Kurt Loder one of his favorite badasses — and the rest of us a chance to see all the ass that Sarah (now played by Lena Headey) was kicking in the years following “T2.”

“Terminator: Salvation” director McG has given fans a reason to celebrate, as Linda Hamilton will return to the franchise this summer — a decision that is sure to make us all scream as loud as [url id="http://moviesblog.mtv.com/2009/02/03/you-can-now-dance-to-the-sound-of-christian-bales-fury/"]Christian Bale himself[/url]. The film plans to ignore the events of “Terminator 3,” and Hamilton is likely to provide — at the very least — some voiceovers setting up the film’s plot. Her “new final fate” has not yet been revealed, so here’s hoping that moviedom’s mother of all badasses hasn’t blown away her final Terminator.

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