The Terminator Timeline You Got Wrong

I’ll bet you know everything about the Terminator movies, right? You know that…


the machines, a.k.a. Skynet, sent a T-800 robot to the past to kill Sarah Connor so she will never give birth to John Connor; the leader of the Resistance. However, the Resistance, specifically John, send Kyle Reese back in time to stop the terminator. He saves Sarah.

Then, the machines send back another terminator, a T-1000, to kill John Connor. However, the Resistance also sends back someone… or rather, something… a¬†reprogrammed T-800 terminator¬†robot! But this time, Arnold- I mean, the T-800 robot’s purpose is to save John Connor. They also destroy data (as well as the building) for Skynet housed in the facilities of Cyberdyne Systems. The man behind Skynet, Miles Bennet Dyson,¬†is also killed.

The world is safe, right?

John gets a little older, Sarah dies while fighting another dangerous adversary for which humanity has no defense… cancer…? Ok, sure, we didn’t need her anymore anyway. A third terminator, the T-X,¬†is sent back in time to kill other important members of the Resistance. John’s wife, Kate sends another terminator robot, the T-850,¬†to save John. The¬†T-X¬† is a combination of the original T-800 (containing a metal endoskeleton) and the T-1000 (using the same mimetic poly alloy for the skin), so she’s totally badass. Oh ya, and she’s a she, but can be a he if she chooses to be a he, which she does… or, he does… I think I got lost, hold on.

In the end (which if you really do know anything about the Terminator movies you know is really just the beginning of the machine uprising), John and Kate are locked in a nuclear bunker by the Arnoldnator to save them from the nuclear apocalypse happening out side, know as Judgment Day. With John safe, he can start the Resistance and begin the fighting that started the whole franchise. Yay Hollywood!

And that’s where I stop. The fourth movie was stupid. The new one? Well, it’s not out yet. How am I supposed to know what happens in it? Actually according to Wikipedia, it’s going to be a whole mess of time travel and terminator bots. However, my theory still stands.

So, that’s the story of John Connor. He leads a resistance movement which causes the machines to send a terminator robot back in time to stop him (three times…) so Skynet can take over the planet and destroy all humans. The Resistance sends back Kyle so the machines send back a terminator to stop him… wait, what?

I’ll bet you never thought about that did you?

There are many theories about time travel (including the theory that time travel will never and cannot exist) but we’re going to go with a cyclical theory. Meaning, something will happen in the future to cause someone to go into the past, which leads to events that cause that same future in which someone goes to the past to influence events to lead to the future where someone goes into the past to affect the future so the person in the future will go into the past.

Did I lose you?

The way we have been thinking about the Terminator movies is that the machines wanted to kill John Connor before he could lead any sort of resistance against them. So they send machines back to kill Sarah and then John, with the Resistance sending people or machines back to save Sarah and John. But the reality is quite more complex.

Who is John’s father?

That’s right. Kyle Reese, the man who was sent back in time to save Sarah Connor from the T-800 ends up sleeping with Sarah, and she in turn becomes pregnant with John. If Kyle hadn’t have gone back in time, John would never exist. And if John never existed, then the Resistance would never exist. If the Resistance never existed, then the machine would never had to send a T-800 back in time to kill Sarah because she would never had had John. And even if¬†she¬†did have a child¬†he wouldn’t mean anything as far as history is concerned, because he’s not that child of Sarah’s.

Yes, I am assuming that John would only have about a one-millisecond-window in time when he could have been conceived. Even one millisecond earlier or later, different sperm hits a different egg and you end up with a different genetic composition that makes a completely different person. But also, if Sarah was never attacked by a T-800, she would never have a reason to stop Judgment Day. So even if she did have a kid at a different time, and she named him “John” she would never have trained him or even known to tell him about Skynet, Judgment Day, Arnold-apocalypse, or any of it. As far as she knew, she’s baking a cake for John’s birthday and BAM! nuclear fallout.

Which makes you wonder if a computer program which is self aware and very very very very good at gathering, deciphering, and using immense amounts of data to it’s advantage¬†could be capable of seeing this coming. Isn’t Skynet capable of gathering all the worlds news and information to realize that it actually already sent back three robots to try and kill John Connor? Wouldn’t Skynet be able to collect DNA samples, even as trace particulates from the battle field, to determine that Kyle is John’s father? Wouldn’t it know about plans for the Resistance to send back Kyle, considering they would have to for him to get Sarah pregnant, which would start this whole thing – which actually started because Skynet itself was going to send back a robot to kill Sarah to ensure that she would never have John?

What if…

The resistance sent back Kyle Reese to destroy Skynet? And Skynet sends back the Terminator, not to kill Sarah but to stop Kyle. Kyle finds and partners with Sarah, who the Terminator now wants to kill because she is a high priority target (regardless if she is dead in the future the Terminator is from)… So really, Skynet didn’t start all this mess. The Resistance did!

Which, now that I think about it is of little consequence, because if no one had gone back in time then Judgment Day would have happened sooner and the world would still be overrun by Termi-schwartzes.

So I guess none of this really matters.

-Diggs Out

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