Sand in the Gears is a 4-issue story arc and serves as the official prequel for the motion picture Terminator Salvation. The story is set in 2017, one year before the events set in Terminator Salvation. The comic is later collected in Terminator Salvation: Movie Prequel.
In the upcoming Sand in the Gears from IDW Publishing written by Dara Naraghi and drawn by Alan Robinson, we'll get a glimpse of what life is like for the rest of the world once the machines take over — and before John Connor is the leader of the resistance — starting with the first issue, due for release January 2009. Naraghi hopes to avoid paradoxes when he fleshes out a different part of the post-Judgment Day world. "I get to play in my own sandbox, with a lot of new characters who won't be in the movie," Naraghi said. "There's a lot of breathing room."
The four-issue run takes place in 2017, a year before the events of Terminator Salvation. "In the film, John is straddling the line between being a soldier in the resistance to becoming the leader he's been told he has to be," Naraghi said. "He's struggling with the responsibility. Does he want it? In the comic, he's still just a soldier, taking orders as opposed to giving them. But his persona and actions are starting to have a strong effect on the people around him." The people "around him" aren't actually in his immediate physical presence — Connor's started doing nightly radio broadcasts to communicate with surviving humans around the world. Those people include a resistance leader named Elena Maric, a former LAPD officer now waging a campaign to fight the machines' takeover of an auto plant in Detroit, and Bem Aworuwa, the former lead engineer of an open-pit uranium mine in Niger, Africa. "The films are always set in and around Los Angeles, and I wanted to show what was going on in the rest of the world," Naraghi said. "What are other people doing?"
Since the machines have taken over the existing manufacturing plants — and need uranium for their fuel cells — people who can disrupt the supply chain are crucial parts of the human defense. But it's not easy for them to unite, despite their common goals. A French doctor at the mine, Lysette Gravois, though valuable to the survivors for her medical training, is nonetheless considered an outsider. Yusuf Al Mansur, another character at the mine, is an illegal immigrant from Syria. Jackson Parker, a former factory worker in Detroit, just wants to take care of his family but is dragged into the resistance kicking and screaming.
"This lets me play with the themes of human prejudice and class distinctions that people have to overcome," Naraghi said. "Acceptance and prejudice don't mean quite the same things when every day is a struggle to survive."
- Elena Maric - Resistance leader and former LAPD officer
- Bem Aworuwa - former lead engineer of an open-pit uranium mine in Niger, Africa
- Lysette Gravois - French Doctor
- Yusuf Al Mansur- an illegal immigrant from Syria
- Jackson Parker - former factory worker
- John Connor - Resistance Soldier (voice only, not yet a leader)
- Open-pit uranium mine in Niger, Africa
- Auto plant in Detroit
- ↑ There is a type on the magazine, naming it Terminator: Salvation Movie Prequel, positioning the semicolon the wrong place.