It’s a sad day when an empire falls, but as history reminds us, often the fall of an empire has been in the works for some time — it’s only the headlines that feel sudden. In this case, the empire is the “Terminator” sci-fi franchise. The tragedy is that we knew the fall was coming when “Terminator Salvation” was released in 2009.

The latest, “Terminator Genisys,” opened in Japan last week, 31 years after the first “Terminator” was launched in 1984. During that more than three-decade run, a total of five movies were made in addition to a spin-off TV series called “Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles.” It has been a long and memorable haul, but it looks about time to pack it in.

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