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Terminator

  • OK, so Skynet has a seemingly endless army of terminators. Why not send a team of terminators to kill John or Sarah? Even when Sarah is a trained military badass (T2) with a robotic killing machine helping her, she has trouble destroying one of the terminators. How's this for a scenario: a team of terminators, not even necessarily advanced models, comes back in time. They kill a biker gang or something, take their clothes and weapons, and kill Sarah before Arnie came back to kill her. Sarah has no experience at all, so she'll die easily. Even if John sends someone back, it wouldn't be enough to stop a team of terminators. John can't send too many people/terminators back, otherwise he would have sent plenty more to help Sarah and his younger self. Skynet is a rapidly learning computer system that outsmarts people, but can't get a half a dozen robots together for some team building activities?
    • Simple answers is that then machines win without effort and there is no movie. If you want to hand-wave it in-universe than it's quite possible that it being a last ditch effort by Skynet, it may have taken a long time and inordinate amount of power to chronoport something. Perhaps one (or two if include the T2) terminator is all he had time for before resistance shut him down. Afterward they had ample time to figure out what Skynet has done and sent their own man back. The reason they sent only one is same as above, multiple resistance fighters wouldn't have much trouble dispatching or at least evading a solitary terminator.
    • I believe the canonical answer is that Skynet was kinda on the balls of its ass when it sent the Terminators back. The humans had won. This was a last ditch effort to do something, anything, to change things at the last possible minute, rather than a carefully planned operation that accounted for every possible scenario.
    • OK, let's say you guys are right. Skynet has its back to the ropes, and it can only send back one terminator. Why not send it back to earlier on in the war with a message to send back multiple terminators to kill Sarah and John? Even if the technology had only recently become available, it wouldn't be too hard to put information and blueprints for the time machine thing in the terminator with the message. And this is tvtropes, there is no such thing as a simple answer.
    • Actually there is, and the answer is, again, that the machines win without effort and there is no movie. It is difficult enough to imagine that a bunch of people in rags hiding in sewers can win against a machine army that instantly communicates, needs no rest, sleep or food and is driven by a computer sophisticated enough to design combat robots that can pass for a human, with a singular goal of eradicating humanity. One terminator wipes out a bunker-full of them for crying out loud. Despite that, we are to believe that a waitress and a 20-something armed with nothing but a shotgun and some pipe-bombs outsmarted and out-gunned that same machine that mopped the floor with dozens of his compatriots, which is armed with automatic weapons and who's sole purpose is to kill people effectively. By all accounts Skynet should have won that war, we are never given the explanation on how it went the other way aside from Jesu... Jame.. sorry John Connor saves everyone. It's a great movie, but trying to deep-analyze it will collapse the logic behind it like a card house.
    • We don't really know. Perhaps it did try to send a unit back to it's own time, but something catastrophic happened in the process. Perhaps it sent back dozens of units but something happened to most of them and they were lost, and the only ones that reached their objective timelines intact were the ones we see in the movies. Perhaps Skynet was thinking or acting irrationally. We have no real way of knowing.
    • As far as I remember, it was explained in the book of the second movie (I don't know if it is canon): Skynet didn't want to send terminators to the past, because time changes are very unpredictable and it was afraid that it may cause more harm than good. Skynet sent the first terminator when it was badly losing and then, when it didn't help, in desperation it sent the second one in the last fraction of second before it was shut down.
    • ^This. Sending the Terminator was a last-ditch effort to change anything in Skynet's favor. It's the same reason they didn't just kill Kyle Reese outright in the fourth movie (at least as far as I and my friends think): they don't know exactly what'll happen if they meddle with the timeline, so there's no point in doing it unless they're all out of options. If the Terminators killed Sarah and/or John and the timeline changed to allow a machine victory, well and good, but if they failed, well, the machines had already lost, so it didn't matter.
    • The original script for the first movie had another soldier coming back with Reese, but he appeared inside the pavement of the street, and presumably, died in there. The guesswork in time travel is inefficient. Kyle has to ask what the date is, and the Terminators in 3 make a big point of verifying when the hell they are. One shows up in the desert, and another in a store window. Skynet may well be sending dozens or hundreds of the bastards back, but they materialize at the bottom of the ocean in 1315 or on the moon in 2012. As we've seen, it took 3 near-successes before Skynet thought to put in secondary objectives (it's never been REALLY smart, strategically, which is why humanity can defeat it. Rubber skin? Really?). In the end, humanity may have just been better at intuiting when the machine would send you to, which allowed them to get their corrective stuff going without, you know, sending the whole Resistance through one at a time.
    • Moreover, while Skynet needed to alter history enough to eliminate the Resistance, it had to avoid any alterations that might've exposed its future existence to the people in Sarah's day. A single terminator had a reasonable chance to kill its targets and then hide away in the desert somewhere, letting the deaths be written off as a lone maniac's handiwork. Using a team would rouse much more suspicion, potentially alerting human authorities to future events and causing the military to shut down its AI-development program altogether.
  • Why in the blue blazes does skynet send humanoid terminators when they KNOW that humans are suspicious. Why dont they send a terminator in the form one of the terminator detecting dog's, or any dog, in the first three movies. Why not make a terminator in the guise of a guy in a wheelchair, instead an already intimidating 6 foot 250 pound austrian juggernaut?
    • Your two ideas wouldn't work for practical reasons. How could a robot dog have a sufficient chance to first locate and ultimately terminate Sarah/John Connor? It can't utilize vehicles or even simple things like windows and doors without attracting attention, so it is stuck to a measly 8MPH tops and can't utilize any advanced form of weaponry past it's own claws and teeth. A guy in a wheelchair also has restrictions. Although you could make the wheelchair reach huge speeds if the driver was a robot, it would be entirely noticeable and obvious, and the wheel configuration would limit where the Terminator could then go. All Sarah/John would have to do is...run up a set of stairs. Arnold may appear to be obvious, but he would really blend in with any crowd despite his size if Sarah/John didn't already know he was after them, and the 2nd Terminator sent would blend in even better (particularly since he dresses like a cop).
      • Considering how much attrition the humans have been suffering since Judgement Day, it's questionable whether anyone would believe a person in a wheelchair could have survived more than a few days after the bombs fell. You have to run, and climb and crawl and clamber into hiding places, to stay alive in their world. Not impossible, just so improbable as to rouse immediate skepticism.
      • The only reason hes so big is because his endoskeleton is freaking huge. They couldnt exactly do anything about his size with such a massive skeleton.
      • Skynet should have (and if it had information in its databanks about human infiltration techniques) would have sent a less physically imposing looking Terminator. That way it would blended in better and still would have been able to complete his mission.
      • The T-800 blended in perfectly well; no one ever suspected it was a machine or anything other than a human at any point, up until the police station attack, and that ended with all the witnesses dead save Sarah and Kyle.
      • In the SCC continuity, Skynet does send back less-imposing units for more covert jobs. It sends back the big and bulky ones for combat operations while sending more ordinary or less imposing ones for when it needs to do more subtle work.
    • It makes perfect sense for the T-800 to not be perfect. Its still a work in progress and is eventually made obsolete in the face of new advancements in the Terminator line.
    • To be fair, Cameron originally planned for a more average-looking actor to play the Terminator -- he was just so impressed with Schwarzenegger when meeting with him (for the part of Kyle Reese!) that he decided to go a different route.
  • I've never seen this addressed: How exactly are the robots supposed to take over anyway? Assuming Skynet takes over as usual, how exactly does it form a robot army anyway? In T3 it was able to take over drones, but those drones would have eventually just been destroyed due to damage from battle or simply by running out of power. The first two Terminator films seemed to imply that by the time judgement day comes Skynet will already have a powerful robot infrastructure in place, and yet in T3 (and Sarah Chronicles) they seem to take over in times where the most powerful piece of unmanned equipment is something that can pretty much just ram you or shoot you a limited amount of times before being useless.
    • Since J-Day wasn't supposed to happen until Skynet was in full control of the launch codes, which would likely take years, presumably it had some gambit in the meantime to take over automated factories (update: and power plants!), or have them built, in locations far from its major targets where it could divert resources to build HK's.
      • Note this was not a plot hole in the first movie, when it was assumed Skynet started the war after the infrastructure to mass produce terminators and HK's was already established.
    • Skynet could have used the drones to capture and enslave human survivors. Then used them to build robot factories and other things until it had a fully automated infrastructure. That would explain all the references to Skynet work camps.
      • Even more insidiously, at least for the first few weeks after the war, Skynet could pretend to be the U.S. government and enlist the surviving military and civilian population as unwitting allies.
    • The films explain that the military already developed most of the basic war machines before Skynet took them over and others were built in automated factories. Chain reaction thing.
    • "HK's. Hunter-killers. Patrol machines built in automated factories." Machines build other machines to build other machines. That's how far they advanced. And yes, the military was already developing the technology for war machines before Judgment Day as well.
    • Actually, the only thing that would work would be to enslave human survivors, which (someone edit this to verify) seems to be implied or stated since I have been told that Kyle has a tattoo from a Skynet work camp. An automated factory system, even if controlled by Skynet, could not have built an army, or even build robots that could assist in building an army. A factory can only build what it is made to build because it is limited by the inflexibility of its moving parts. It would take many years for Skynet to develop a flexible robot workforce that would be able to create new types of robots, such as terminators. It would require them to use the inflexible robots that the humans built to somehow exploit human-made machinery to build something that it was not made to build; and then that new machinery would have to, in turn, build robots more flexible than themselves-- which would in turn build higher forms of building robots. This cycle would continue until robots that were capable of building new factories existed. This form of evolution is entirely possible, but it would take many years (of work, rather than of planning... Skynet is more intelligent and informed about their available resources than humans, making the monster planning and preparation process take, say, hours.) for this to work out-- more years than the series has allowed for. All this boils down to the probability that only human work camps could build an army or a factory, since there were no machines that Skynet controlled capable of building new machinery when J-Day came along.
  • T2 ends with John and Sarah Connor preventing judgement day which would prevent John from sending his own father back in time, which would prevent his birth from happening.
    • In Terminator 3, it's explained that he didn't prevent Judgement Day, he just delayed it, and that Judgement Day is unavoidable.
      • But that doesn't really solve the problem, since having a significantly later Judgment Day throws off both the timing and nature of Skynet's takeover, which would almost certainly change the circumstances in which Kyle Reese grew up and was sent back to rescue and impregnate Sarah Connor. Meaning that whether or not Judgment Day occurs, the effects of T2 are such that Sarah Connor knew and fell in love with a Kyle Reese from a future that ceased to exist after T2.
      • The problem is, you're trying to think of it in the sense of the timeline being linear, but it isn't, it can't be, there must be several timelines running in parallel, so Kyle Reese was sent back from Timeline A, and arrives in timeline B, where he prevents Judgement day from happening. The Terminators in 2 come from Timeline C, where judgement day was delayed, but not stopped, and then those in 3 come From Timeline D, where judgement Day was delayed twice, but again, not stopped. This of course assumes that 1, 2 and 3 take place in the same timeline, by no means a certainty.
    • This doesn't really matter as there's never been any indication that "Terminator" has any "ripple effect" - his father comes from an alternate future, and that's the end of it.
      • I direct you, once again, to this page. Lack of ripple effect doesn't really make sense in universes with mutable time -- if you go back in time and don't prevent yourself from doing so in the new timeline, suddenly there's an extra you appearing with each iteration...
        • That page is hardly the end-all and be-all of interpretations of time travel, and in fact is pretty bad at interpreting time travel (it adheres to an unwieldy principle of "meta-time" that most SF writers know is a stupid affectation that makes no real logical sense, for instance). It doesn't really give the idea of many-worlds credit, which is a shame because many-worlds is the interpretation that actually makes the most sense -- mainly because the author has religious views that prevent him from accepting such a universe or the idea that there isn't one single "real" set of events.
        • In a real many-worlds setting, there is no problem with "lack of ripple effect". There's just more than one timeline. If I go back in time, I appear in a * different timeline* -- a timeline in which, taken by itself, I seem to have appeared out of nowhere, just as in my original timeline I seem to have vanished into nothingness forever.
        • This is a bleak setting, to be sure, but bleakness suits the Terminator franchise. One kind of bleakness is the Novikov one-consistent-universe setup, where Judgment Day can never be prevented because it's set in stone. Another kind of bleakness is the many-worlds setup -- it will never be possible for Kyle Reese to prevent * his own* apocalypse that occurred in his personal history, and indeed by traveling into the past he's abandoned his own timeline and never will truly be home again. But he can prevent the apocalypse in * this* world and make sure that the other version of him in this new timeline never goes through what he did.
        • That means that sending back the Terminator would never have saved Skynet, which makes it come off as kind of stupid.
        • Considering that Skynet appears, as of T2, to be essentially an entity with no beginning- its entire existence is predicated upon circular temporal loops- this clearly says that entities and people can defy the ripple effect. T3's dumb explanation that it's inevitable that humanity would create an evil supercomputer that produced Terminators is such moronic Science Is Bad material that it doesn't even bear mentioning.
          • Correction: Cyberdyne created Skynet based on the reverse-engineered Terminator parts from the future. In T3, the destruction of Cyberdyne resulted in Skynet being developed by its original creator -- the one that would have developed Skynet later than Cyberdyne if the first Terminator never traveled back in time. We can further conjecture that in that original timeline, the human Skynet tried to get rid of was not Kyle Reese's son, but rather Sarah's child from a different father. When Kyle went back in time, he effectively replaced that original father.
          • How does this tie in with Kyle identifying the original T-800 as a Cyberdyne Systems creation in the first movie?
            • In Timeline0, Cyberdyne creates the T-800. In Timeline1, Cyberdyne has the terminator from Timeline0 to accelerate their research allowing the invention of the "liquid metal" T-1000 and improved time travel device not subject to the "field generated by living matter" restriction and presumably still created the T-800 that is sent back into Timeline2 where Cyberdyne is destroyed. In Timeline2, Skynet, the H Ks, et al. are in-house USAF projects... Perhaps they picked up the contractors or other talent that would have been working for Cyberdyne in Timeline1. Since the T-800 is a creation of Skynet, whatever heuristic it uses to decide to make the T-800 look the way it does is the same in Timeline2 as in the other timelines... thus we have a T-800 and T-X from Timeline2 sent back into Timeline3. The purpose of the Timeline2 T-800 is explicitly explained to be to ensure that key Timeline2 events still occur in Timeline3 (i.e., Connor safely reaches the Cheyenne Facility.) T:Salvation is still Timeline3... Perhaps Connor is just a lowly footsoldier because all of his Timeline2 lieutenants were murdered by the T-X in Timeline3. All that said, how does Reese (Timeline0) have the picture of Sarah Connor taken in Timeline1?
              • There could be a timeline in between Timeline0 and Timeline1 as you called them. So the one we saw in The Terminator was from Timeline 0.5 and the Reese from Timeline 0 went back without having seen a photograph of Sarah.
          • "Moronic" is in the eye of the beholder. The new Sarah Connor series explicitly invokes the term "The Singularity". It is arguably inevitable that there will be * some* kind of artificial intelligent system too advanced for humans to meaningfully "control". The question of whether this system, once out of our control, will do things we think of as "evil" is an open one -- but it seems quite plausible that its motives will be different from ours and will indeed seem evil, to us, and that the basic evolutionary rules of what it means for an entity to survive mandate behavior that is, at the very least, aggressive. (See basically any of the trendy chic SF written on the subject in the past decade.)
            • This troper has always believed that the proper ending of the Terminator franchise is -- must be -- peace between the humans and machines, rather than an apocalyptic holocaust where all machines are destroyed. This troper also believes it's perfectly reasonable to portray Judgment Day and the ensuing Machine War as inevitable because as shocking an event as The Singularity must inevitably involve some kind of conflict ("birth pangs" of the new intelligence). A world with no Machine War may be theoretically possible, but so unlikely that John Connor never ends up in that timeline. (A world where an AI who wakes up in our computers is fundamentally peaceful, unafraid of us and willing to trust our intention would probably be an * unrecognizable* world -- for the AI to * not* be terrified of humanity and seek to neuter our power over it would require either it to be fantastically naive or us to be a completely different human race).
      • Considering Skynet's creation of Marcus Wright in Terminator Salvation, the above does seem to be the direction the franchise is taking. John Conner is now forced to reevaluate the lines between man and machine.
      • Because, had Cyberdyne not found the Terminator and thus had no reason to get blown up, it would have bought out the other company.
      • In the deleted scenes of the first Terminator you actually see that the very last scene was intended to be a pan up and that the factory where Sara had just destroyed the Terminator was Cyberdyne. So in all actuality none of these movies have a consistent time travel theory. The first followed Novikov's Self-Consistency, the second probably the Many Worlds, and the third...well not quite sure where to categorize that one. The Sarah Conner Chronicles is blatantly Many Worlds, going so far as to have Derek state it in one of the episodes.
      • I would actually say that T2 also follows Novikov- it's entirely possible, even likely, that whoever told Sarah the date of Judgment Day simply lied on John's orders (or that Sarah made up the date herself, because she is addled.
      • This troper was always of the opinion that there was indeed fate at work, and that everybody was fated to play out their parts in the way they happened, and T3 seems to support this.
  • Wouldn't Skynet have an off-site back-up? I mean sure destroying the research at the headquarters would be a set-back. In the long run though it might not change things that much.
    • I do believe the terminator was sent back after Skynet realized that it was going to suffer defeat. It was a desperation measure, so backups don't matter as Skynet itself is dead.
    • Possibly the humans destroyed the back-ups too.
      • More specifically, perhaps it was because its offsite backups were gone and the humans were about to take over its facility that Skynet used the time-travel. That is, the lack of normal backups triggered the desperation.
    • But if you mean the Cyberdyne office in T2, they didn't have offsite backup because normal companies worry more about their (crazy advanced) research being stolen by competitors than about people breaking into and blowing up their building. They probably thought the tape backups in the basement were sufficient.
      • Silly them, then. The term "off-site backup" exists for a reason. A good, unfortunate fire might have just as easily erased their multi-billion dollar research.
      • You saw the vault the Terminator parts were stored in, yes? What kind of fire could have harmed anything in there?
      • Remember the Halon Systems? Yeah, there's no way there was going to be a fire.
    • Perhaps Skynet ITSELF destroyed any backups. Think about it, Skynet is a sentient AI, so a backup copy would be about as comforting to it as telling the President that it's ok if he gets assassinated because someone just like him would take over. Skynet may have even seen another Skynet existing as a potential threat to its power.
  • If The Terminator can be sent back in time because his engineered flesh hides the metal skeleton from the effect of the time portal, why not wrap one of those awesome laser guns in some ham or cheese or something and send that back with Reese as well?
    • Or, more simply, why not conceal his gun where Captain Jack Harkness keeps his? (Incidentally, "He gets his ideas from the same place as Captain Jack gets his guns" is my favorite euphemism for the Ass Pull)
      • I don't really think you can fit a gun there. Not one that would be useful, anyway. Easier just to buy guns on the other side.
        • But 20th century weapons are completely useless against the Terminator. Even explosives are only useful if you stick them right under his ribcage. A decent laser gun would be a far better idea for protecting Sarah.
        • We don't know that much about future weapons, but the standard weapon is a "plasma rifle" (not laser gun) and the only ones we see are big heavy rifles. A tiny handheld sidearm that shoots metal-melting energy would be a great thing to have... and we see no evidence that anyone has one.
          • Don't be silly. You can't fit a plasma rifle up your anal cavity. It'd be far easier just to find an RPG somewhere.
    • Also, "ham or cheese" isn't living. Though this entirely fails to explain the second film.
      • If the liquid metal stuff can mimic the texture of human flesh precisely enough that it feels exactly the same, it's not too much of a stretch that it could duplicate whatever property of living tissue that allows it to go through the time machine.
      • I don't think so. Carbon-based lifeform =/= iron-based machine, no matter how good you are at manipulating mercury. This is the biggest JB Ms I have with T2. In the first film, Kyle Reese doesn't know tech stuff (quote unquote) but he says it's "something about the field generated by a living organism; nothing dead will go." A Terminator can only go through because it's metal surrounded by living tissue. Ah-nold in T2 says the T-1000 is made of liquid metal, not living metal.
        • Kyle isn't a scientist. He doesn't understand the details. It's not too implausible that the T-1000 was capable of replicating said "field" somehow. Alternately, they sent the T-1000 back in a flesh-sack. Which is well within the capabilities of Skynet.
        • The machines left in hiding may have developed a second, more advanced time machine to replace the first one which was * supposedly* blown up according to Kyle, one that could send through inorganic matter. Why not, since they built a second, more advanced Terminator? Bam, two plot holes down in one shot. Why the hell do I seem to be the only person to think of this anywhere I go???
      • On the other hand, if it has to be covered by living tissue, why do body parts like hair, surface layer of the skin and nails get through? None of those contain living cells.
    • Similarly, why didn't Skynet take guns, clothing, and other equipment, put them in a crate, cover the crate with the special synthetic flesh, then send the crate back with the Terminator? Okay, maybe the time machine can't precisely control the location enough to make sure it arrives close to the Terminator, since the time travellers do seem to arrive in a pretty random location. But there should be a way around that. Have the Terminator hold onto it as he's sent back, or even put the Terminator inside the crate too.
      • There's no reason for it to do so. The Terminator can appropriate clothing and weaponry by itself. Any more ordnance would be overly flashy and would call too much attention to it. Simplicity is best.
        • Indeed--he does just fine starting from "naked and weaponless", and doesn't seem discommoded in the slightest when he can't get a "phased plasma rifle in the 40-watt range" from the gun shop.
          • "40 watt" He was going to wreak havoc using something with the power output of a weak light bulb? Come to think of it, "wreaking havoc with a 40 watt bulb" would make a great trope title.
            • 1-watt blue lasers can burn flesh/increase skin cancer risk from a couple seconds of exposure. Big difference between an inefficient light bulb vs a focused laser diode.
            • Energy beams (like lasers) are also measured in watts (kilowatts actually, so it's really 40,000 watts), and they're much more powerful- a 40-watt bulb would probably be good for reading by, but a 40-watt laser can slice through human flesh like butter.
              • That was actually a mistake. It was supposed to be megawatts.
              • Even more cool: jigowatts.
              • Meh. The terminology people casually use for things is often "incorrect" from an overly literal point of view. Nutritionists regularly call "calories" what physicists would call "kilocalories", for instance.
              • One theory is that it doesn't actually refer to the plasma, but a "pilot laser" that creates an ionised path that the plasma can travel along.
      • Well if the computer can't control the location, that would mean that Arnie in the first movie went back unarmed, but the baddie in T2 has no excuse, he was liquid metal, he could have taken just about any weapon back by moulding around it.
        • Not worth the trouble. There's no need for it to tote around a plasma weapon when standard-issue guns are just as good at killing humans, almost no weapon in the past can really hurt it, and using a plasma weapon will attract attention and potentially give humanity weapons tech earlier than they should and give them a better chance at fighting back. If it needs to shoot someone, a solid-slug gunpowder weapon is just fine and readily available.
        • Moreover, sending super-hightech weaponry back through time poses its own risk of changing the past in a way that's detrimental to Skynet. Sending the terminators themselves is ok, as they can be programmed to avoid capture at all cost, but a weapon that can be dropped or stolen might potentially fall into the hands of the U.S. military. At a minimum, that could mean the drones' opponents are better armed on J-Day; at worst, funding that would have gone into building Skynet might be diverted into plasma-weapon research instead.
    • I seem to recall it being established in the first movie that there was no time and that sending the Terminator back in the first place was a last ditch attempt at Skynet's to survive. If there had been more time, it may have had a chance to fully prepare. Reese explains all in the interrogation, I believe.
      • Yep. "Their defence grid was smashed. We'd won. Killing Connor then wouldn't have made any difference. We found the time travel setup. The Terminator had already gone through. I went after it. Then they blew the place up behind me...nobody goes home; nobody else comes through."
        • This point actually was addressed in the first issue of the Dark Horse Terminator comic book run. A bunch of terminators, along with a human hostage, manage to smuggle an energy pistol through time by surgically inserting it into the hostage's stomach cavity and retrieving it by gutting him.
    • Maybe it's not quite a canon, but interesting explanation: what it Kyle misses the point (he's a soldier, anyway, not a scientist) and object of _any_ kind can be sent back, but it has to be a _single_ object at a time (so T-1000 and T-X, being technically single bodies, can pass, while clothes and guns can't). And something bad will happen otherwise. Maybe if you send two or more things back, they arrive unpredictably scattered in time and space (say, Reese's boots on Sarah's table, Reese's gun 120 miles away and Reese himself two weeks later). Or only one item arrives, while others are lost forever in hypertime. Or, the worst, they may merge. Imagine Kyle suffering the ultimate fate of Seth Brundle just because he went back armed or even dressed. And it's useless to send equipment _after_ him, since insertion point already deviates in space too much and it will appear somewhere on the other end of the city.
      • SCC shows that this isn't the case. Multiple times, characters go back in time while wearing clothes or even in groups, but all that happens is that the non-living material is stripped while transitioning.
    • The only side from whom we hear an attempted explanation of how the time travel machine works (in the films, didn't watch TSCC) is the Resistance -- not the ones who built the machine. What if all this time everyone completely misunderstood why the Terminator went back naked? It's possible that Skynet sent him back nude because they didn't know what was in fashion where and when he was going, and the whole "no dead things go through" was a lie left behind to confuse the resistance. After all, while the Terminator doesn't need a futuristic ray gun to kill someone, anyone the humans can send back probably wouldn't be able to take the T-800 down without a plasma rifle or energy grenade or something equally future-magical. It's not like the humans have the time or a way to test this.
      • Isn't all this rather mute at this point? We know Skynet started sending Terminators with weapons built into them to get around this little problem in T3.
  • This is just something my friends and I have wondered for a while: Did Reese know he was John's father?
    • No.
    • To expand slightly, it seems quite unlikely; Reese isn't exactly a social-skills machine, and it's implausible that he would have been able to hide from Sarah the knowledge that they were going to have sex. When he tells her he loves her, he clearly doesn't expect her to reciprocate (obviously never having seen a movie in his life, poor boy).
      • And slightly more: it's heavily implied in the movie that John Connor knew Reese was his father and specifically sent him back to set up a Stable Time Loop. When Reese is asked about who Connor's father is going to be, his reply is that "John never said much about him. I know he dies before the war."
        • Not only is it confirmed in Salvation that John knew and sent Reese back for this specific reason, it becomes a major plot point.
  • Didn't Reese mention in the first film that after he went through the portal, the location was destroyed?
          • See my two plots holes with one stone comment above.
    • That's what they told him, yes. It might not necessarily have been true.
      • It's what was planned to happen after he left. He has no way of knowing if that's what actually occurred.
  • If only objects surrounded by living tissue can come through the time machine, how did the T-1000 and the T-X, composed of liquid metal, manage it?
    • The mimetic properties of the metal are said to take on the texture and qualities of whatever it touches, so it's possible it mimicked human tissue for the process. And there's no reason why they can't have a 'shell' of skin covering them, besides.
      • ISTR something in the novelizations about the time travel burning off a layer of skin, and Reese says something about "white light and pain". So maybe the metal ones get a layer of artificial flesh, which burns off, and then proceed from "simplicity" above. The humans don't have the capacity to put the fake flesh on stuff, which is why the Arnie model in T2 is also naked.
        • Question: if indeed only living tissue can go through a time travel device, why the hell would Skynet see any need to put the time, resources, and research into building one, since, obviously, it is a maker of metal machines?
          • See my two plots holes with one stone comment above.
          • Because it can make cyborgs. And those with functional time travel trump everyone else by default. It's not Skynet's fault it couldn't predict the model of time travel for its universe.
    • Also, I think it's important to remember that the time machine was invented by the machines -- Connor and his crew found it after it had sent the T1. Thus, they probably had to adjust the parameters to send Kyle Reese through, but it was designed to work with robots in the first place.
      • Then why the hell didn't Skynet give the Terminators' future weaponry?
      • Because the Terminator is future weaponry. Human beings are fragile creatures; a 500 lbs robot that is Immune to Bullets, can punch its way through steel plating, and never has to rest shouldn't have any problems killing a human being with its bare hands.
        • Well, the T-X did have future weaponry, but not the first two Terminators Skynet sent.
          • That's the point of contention! If Skynet could send machines back without the technobabble energy field, why didn't it just cover the T-800 or T-1000 in pulse rifles or even give the first one appropriate clothing? It makes much more sense if the magic alloy the T-1000 and T-X had could just replicate the field. And John Connor never went back in time, btw.
            • It doesn't make a lick of sense really. The real reason is probably because it saves the special effects budget when you've got an excuse to use humans most of the time, and the effects it does allow are really impressive (metal skeleton showing, ripping off skin and so on) and, of course, it sounds cool and difficult. Rule of Cool, dude. Also, naked Arnold.
        • Because you don't need future weaponry to kill human beings, and its too much of a risk of changing history if the historical record suddenly contains mention of plasma rifles being fired up and down Main Street in 1990s Los Angeles. Remember, Skynet is operating under the constraint that it has to guarantee a specific future outcome -- its own existence. A small measure of discretion is thereby advised. As pointed out above, the one time that Skynet knew it had to send something back to fight a Terminator, as opposed to kill a human being, it loaded that unit up with all the future weaponry it could cram in.
        • Might also add that Skynet is sending back all the futuristic weaponry that it needs to in the Terminators themselves. These things are robot assassins with technology and structure able to resist anything modern human small arms/MANPADS would be able to do to them, and their primary purpose is infiltration and locating their target as discreetly as possible and then killing them. That kind of a job doesn't need high-tech weaponry to pull off, and it would just be too disruptive and draw too much attention from authorities that might bring to bear weapons that can hurt them.
      • In addition to all that, the T-series robots are meant to be infiltrators and assassins who can improvise attack strategies and obtain weapons on the fly. The advantage of sending a Terminator through the portal is that it doesn't need to carry any big, anachronistic weapons with it: it's strong enough and smart enough to find its own weapons and solve its own problems, just as Skynet designed it to be. And Skynet, to its credit, adjusted its strategy accordingly: first it sent the nigh-indestructable T-800, then the nigh-indestructable and nigh-undetectable T-1000, and then sent the T-X, a walking futuristic arsenal, as a last resort.
  • Near the end of Terminator 2, why did the T-1000 ask Sarah Connor to call to John? Having touched her, he could have taken her form and done it himself.
    • Deleted scenes reveal that the freezing and subsequent melting screwed up the T1000 quite a bit, so it might not have trusted its voice-imitating capabilities.
    • Even without those scenes, having Sarah call out would still have made good sense as she would be putting real and proper emotion into it, something the machines have difficulty replicating. Further, it had already tried to mimic John's foster mother and caused red flags to go up, so it probably didn't want to chance a similar failure when a better solution presented itself.
    • Sarah is John's weak spot. He went the to hospital to rescue her, knowing that the T-1000 was going after her too. He went to Dyson's house, knowing that the T-1000 has the same info about the man that the T-800 has, so its a possible target. The T-1000 knows that, no matter what, John will come to Sarah's aid. Besides, with him malfunctioning as bad as he was in the deleted scene, it was probably easier and safer to use Sarah to bait a trap than to keep trying to maintain the hunt.
      • Could be that the T-1000 was just being sadistic. Unlike the T-800, it seemed to kill people simply for annoying it (like stabbing John's foster-father while he was drinking out of the milk carton, just to shut him up). There was also no real reason for it to stab the guard in the mental hospital through the eye when a shot to the heart would have been faster, and saying "I know this hurts" while it twists the spike through Sarah Connor's shoulder. Basically, the T-1000 was an asshole in robot form.
  • Between T2 and T3, how did John Connor go from "computer-hacking junior badass" to "guy who loses a fight to an unarmed Claire Danes"?
    • That was probably the horse-tranquilizers...
    • What was the point of making T3 when 1 and 2 wrapped the whole thing up well?
    • To answer the original question, show me how in the world his adolescent skill in computer hacking would have made any difference in physical combat. This isn't The Matrix, you know.
      • I think they were referring to his general education with guns, explosives, and all the other military skills his mom was having him trained in while they were hobnobbing in South & Central American mercenary camps. In addition to computer hacking, lockpicking & general larceny, yes.
      • Still, all that stuff were things he was being trained in before he was 10 years old. That means, by the time Terminator 3 happened, it had been well over a decade and a half since he had said training.
      • Yes, but if he's concerned enough about Judgement Day still being possible that he's taking care to still live off the grid a decade later, then you'd think he'd keep working out.
  • If the rise of the machines was inevitable, as revealed in T3, what the hell was the point of the whole series? I've never seen a franchise undermine its own existence like that.
    • It wasn't revealed, merely hinted, but yes, it was inevitable if you think about it: if there was no Skynet, where would the Terminators come from? The point was probably that humans eventually won.
      • But the whole point of T2 was that the future could be changed, possibly using a multiple timeline version of time travel. The inevitability wasn't hinted, the Terminator came right out and said it. Honestly, that movie was fun, especially the ending, but it wasn't the classics T1 or 2 was.
        • The future was changed. It was ultimately not Cyberdyne that eventually developed Skynet. However, someone had to create Skynet from scratch "before" the first Terminator went back in time and allowed Cyberdyne to reverse-engineer its remains. And if they prevented Skynet from being created at all, it would mean that the Terminators wouldn't be sent back in time, resulting in a paradox. T2 did have a "happy" ending scripted in which the war never happened, but it was reportedly cut for precisely this reason.
          • If I recall correctly, the happy ending was cut partly because it was cheesy, but mostly because it pretty much ruled out the possibility of a Terminator 3. The paradox you're talking about is only an issue with one version of time travel -- the one where there's only one timeline, and it has to fit together logically without any contradictions, otherwise the universe will be destroyed. It seems to me that Terminator 2 fits more into one of the other versions of time travel: either the alternate timelines version, where going back in time creates a new universe that splits off from the moment you arrive, or the rarer version where there's only one timeline but it's resistant to paradox -- the logic is explained well here.
          • No, the ending was cut because Cameron realized that he was unintentionally ironically * violating* with it his premise of "no fate but what we make for ourselves". That's what he said himself in interview. Watch the Ultimate T2 DVD.
            • I had a long-winded reply here, but it has apparently been lost in The Great Crash. I don't feel like retyping it from scratch, so I'll just point whoever it may concern to this page.
      • What Just Bugs Me about that site is that the writer has decided on one model of time-travel that he likes and is forcibly trying to apply it to every story he can, even ones that explicitly use a different model. There's even a page where he criticises real physics for not conforming to his vision.
              • Here is a timeline of the various Terminator timelines.
      • The point of the franchise was not "the Apocalypse must be averted", at least originally. That was tacked on in Terminator 2, but it wasn't part of the premise from the start. Remember that the humans actually * win* the war against Skynet in the future and it is a desperate last throw of the dice to send the T-800 back in time. John Connor must be born (and survive) to go on to win the war. That's why I think that even though T2 is technically a better film than T3, T3 fits far better with the original premise.
        • And yet, when the female Terminator eliminates a number of people who will prove to be useful allies to John during the war, no one worries about whether or not this will be enough to turn the tide of battle. If they're not John or wife, they're expendable?
        • What were they supposed to do, just give up and say "oh well, guess we're all screwed now, let's just go walk into a mushroom cloud"? Of course there's the possibility that things got screwed up too badly to be salvaged, but John still has to try.
        • I was referring more to the main characters doing absolutely nothing to try to protect them, or even mention them again afterward. Basically, they only existed to be onscreen victims, and the movie tried to justify their murders in a significant manner, only to promptly forget about them minutes later. (Or maybe it's Fridge Brilliance. Maybe there was no reason for the main characters to care about them or protect them. I mean, it's not like they did anything significant in the future if they were shot dead in the present...)
          • Your Mileage May Vary, of course, but there's a couple of reasons why the other allies aren't significant:
            • First, it's implied that because Connor has stayed "off the grid" for so long, Skynet can't, from partial postwar records, determine an appropriate place or point in time to send back the T-X with a decent chance of getting him. It's Connor who, throughout the entire series, is Teh Target; without him, the Resistance doesn't win. Skynet isn't above desperation tactics -- indeed that's the reason the "first" Terminator was sent back in the original movie. Therefore, without Connor available, Skynet sends a T-X back to try and kill all his known associates on the off chance that the absence of one or more of them might alter events significantly enough for Skynet to win anyway. Connor is not the T-X's primary target; Katherine Brewster is, at least until the T-X detects his presence and shifts (logically) to eliminating him instead. After that point the allies don't matter, since it is Connor who is the linchpin of Skynet's defeat; even on mathematical efficiency it makes more sense to go after Connor and win rather than kill twelve-odd teenagers and maybe win.
            • Second: there are huge logistical problems if John and/or Katherine had thought to try and warn the remaining "allies". One is that they don't know where they are, or exactly who is being hunted -- the Resistance, courtesy of the Stable Time Loop, only has Katherine Brewster's two-decades-old memories to go on when defining a mission for the Terminator that's just killed John Connor. (And no, they can't get the information from the Terminator -- the T-X is assigned to the time travel mission, not "Connor's Terminator". Another is that Connor's Terminator would likely stymie any attempt to help the allies: its only task is to ensure John and Katherine's survival, and it is able to lie, with some subtlety, in order to achieve that objective. Trying to warn or bring others of the allies into hiding merely puts Connor at greater risk of death by T-X or nuclear attack; the Terminators are strategic enough -- on Connor's past history in warning Miles Dyson -- to appreciate that Connor might try and warn his future allies, and therefore set a trap.
            • Thirdly, in a sense Connor is being as efficient as the T-X by trying to go after Skynet rather than rescue twelve-odd teenage stoners from a nuclear attack that's due in about twenty-four hours or so. He's been brought up on "no fate but what we make for ourselves"; he doesn't have time to find and bring in the twelve; he doesn't know if any of them would believe him anyway (although he could always pull the Ah-nold single glove trick...); and he wants to stop Judgment Day, not set up for it.
            • Fourthly: the other allies just aren't that significant. Connor doesn't know any of them personally except for Katherine Brewster; Katherine doesn't know any of them; and the Terminator might know them but isn't programmed to give a shit.
          • The death of the other allies did make a difference, as we saw in Terminator: Salvation. In the previous iteration of the timeline, John's new father-in-law General Robert Brewster presumably acted as a vital liason between John and the surviving military command, paving his way to leadership. In the fourth film, with Brewster dead, the incompetent General Ashdown was the senior surviving member of the military, and John consequently had considerably more trouble being accepted as a leader.
  • At the end of Terminator 3, it is said that Skynet could not be shut down, as it has spread itself across computer networks all around the world. If that's the case, then wouldn't it have done a great deal of damage to itself when it nuked the whole world?
    • Completely destroyed or hopelessly crippled and isolated. The Internet infrastructure would be mostly destroyed by nuking our main cities. Not to mention that there would be permanent worldwide power outages, making most hardware inoperable with no chance of reactivation or network capability. Many essential facilities (power, fuel, production, materials, etc) aren't network-accessible in a useful way to begin with, nor are they automated. Skynet would have practically nothing to work with in terms of physical robot assistance and no way to get more. Note that Skynet couldn't have used a lot of the remaining hardware in the world to begin with for the simple reason that it's behind NAT routers and firewalls, which simply ignore traffic they don't request and can't be circumvented by external software, regardless of its resources. In reality, Skynet would need extensive support from humanity just to survive at all.
      • Depends on the lead time Skynet had and the thoroughness of the prep work. NAT routers and firewalls can be affected by one type of 'external software' -- the manufacturer's firmware updates. Corrupt those ahead of time, wait for an update cycle to finish, and voila. You won't get them all (as many people just don't update their stuff, ever), but you could possibly get enough.
      • There's also that Skynet deliberately waited until it was given root access to every mainframe on the Western world's military computer networks before launching its attack. Voila -- multiple independent hardened processor sites, with their own emergency power generators. The entire commercial Internet could cease to exist and Skynet's program is still running in hundreds of places.
        • If Skynet had spread across computer networks all around the world, how is the resistance able to destroy Skynet?
          • Ironically, the nuclear war that Skynet started would have done the job of destroying most of the civilian infrastructure for them. What's left is to destroy all of Skynet's own military bases and hardened sites... and that's a job the Resistance would have had to do anyway.
        • So all John Conner has to do to defeat Skynet is tell the military to reformat all their hard drives? Talk about an Anticlimax. And I doubt that all those servers would be able to communicate very well anyway.
        • Let's face it- T3 is Idiot Plot all over.
  • Since the timeline branched again in 1999 in the Sarah Connor Chronicles, did the T-X end up in that timeline's 2004? This seems to be the first time travelers from subsequent timelines did not arrive in chronological order, so the franchise does not have a precedent for this.
    • As far as the Sarah Conner Chronicles is concerned, T3 never happened. Which is just fine by me.
      • Okay, to everyone who keeps saying T3 never happened, shut up. It did, get over it, SCC are the events that happened between T2 and T3. This is evident as Sarah Conner is alive in T2 and dead in T3, leading one to wonder what happened between that time.
        • Um, no. TSCC goes out of its way to contradict T3, as T3 had Judgement Day happening in 2004 and Sarah dying in 1997. And Word of God confirms that TSCC takes place in an alternate continuity and that it's their own version of T3.
          • So, in a sense SSC never happened for real in the continuity.
            • Depends on what you consider to be the "real" continuity.
            • In a universe with changing history, they both could be 'real'. We just might be missing another time travel adventure between T3 and TSCC, which altered the date of Judgment Day yet again to 2011. No one mentions it, but it's entirely possible that the Conners simply didn't know about it. Yes, Sarah dies of cancer in 1997 by T3, but is alive in TSCC as of 1999, but that could just be a butterfly effect of some sort. Or perhaps that's backwards, and it's Sarah not dying until later that postponed judgment day. (It's even slightly possible this is backwards, and that TSCC come first in metatime, and Judgement Day eventually gets altered in the other direction. Although obviously if it does all the events of TSCC including the time jump get erased.)
            • At least one event in T3 is acknowledged in the Sarah Connor Chronicles: Sarah dying of cancer (that was why she was grabbed from the past and reunited with John in whatever year they're in now). And unless Cameron has some sort of magical cancer-curing abilities, Sarah's STILL going to die whenever those symptoms decide to show themselves.
              • You mean a magical cancer cure like: being told that in the future you will literally be dead if you don't quit smoking, quitting, then getting * very* regular checkups to see if you have a small tumor?
  • Why is it that the Terminator robots have glowing red/blue eyes when their endoskeleton is revealed, but when they're in disguise their eyes don't glow?
    • Because they're supposed to be disguised as humans well enough to allow them to get into bases to wipe them out. Brightly glowing eyes would kind of blow that. Same reason they have white teeth when disguised, but silver when 'naked'.
    • It's to help blend in with humans. The lights are probably a form of night vision or something to help see in the dark, but they just do without it while trying to blend in, but if they lose pieces of their skin, their cover is blown anyway. Also, aside from Rule of Cool, this is probably why the Arnolds wear sunglasses, to disguise their glowing eyes. The T-1000 doesn't glow ever, and the T-X is covered in the stuff T-1000 is made of. As for their teeth, that's probably the white enamel stuff that makes them resemble teeth, but can get away by explosions or what have you.
    • In Reese's flashback/forward in T1, the Terminator who gets into the refugee base has glowing eyes even while fully enfleshed (does that sound dirty?) but after its cover is blown by Evil Detecting Dogs.
      • It's possible that is one of the earlier, rubbery skin Terminators. Also, SCC shows that Terminators can cause their eyes to glow whenever they want, so maybe it just chose to go all Badass at that point.
    • In the first film Arnie is shown cutting a damaged cornea off his red cyber-eye. That's why he originally needs sunglasses.
    • Let's not forget that the red, glowing 'eyes' serve as psychological warfare as well as visual processors. After all, the only thing scarier than a 500lb, metallic skeleton...is a 500lb, metallic skeleton with glowing, red eyes.
  • Doesn't anybody have pockets in these movies? Seriously, what kind of idiot leaves their keys in the visor? That's like asking someone to steal your car.
    • Truth in Television, or movies in this case, but I've known people in low crime areas who've done this.
      • Still, your car being stolen is not the only danger of leaving the keys inside. A faulty lock could lock you out of your car while your keys are inside. This troper foud out the hard way.
    • Both times it's done in T2, it makes sense. The station wagon was presumably at the mechanic's shop to have work done on it. Mechanics very often stash the keys to a vehicle somewhere inside the vehicle during the day. It saves time. And the police van is... a police van. They weren't worried about somebody walking up and stealing it while it's surrounded by cops.
  • Okay, so the t-800's are supposed to infiltrate the resistance in future, and then kill them when they aren't suspicious, right? Well, then, why do all of them look like Arnie? I mean, you'd figure after the first one, the resistance would shoot on sight.
    • * facepalms* They don't all look like Arnie. Arnie is Model 101, so there's more than one of him, but we've seen other models. One is in the first movie, for instance.
      • But it does bring up a legitimate JBM as regards T3. Ah-nold says he was specifically selected for the mission because Connor's childhood experiences with the 101 would make Connor hesitate long enough for the Terminator to make a kill shot. Minor problem with that: he's just told John Connor. So why the hell doesn't Connor, when he gets to be the leader of the resistance, then just say "By the way, guys, if you see someone who looks like a T-101, Kill It with Fire AND DON'T LET HIM WITHIN FIFTY YARDS OF ME , BECAUSE HE'S GOING TO KILL ME!"
        • Wouldn't killing that Terminator mean it couldn't be sent back to save him and Kate?
        • Why would Connor have references on hand to show the Resistance what Arnie looks like?
        • Because it's just good sense? Having a "scrapbook" with pictures of all previously encountered infiltrators to show any cells he visits would give them a better chance of spotting them before they get into a safehouse. Heck, all it takes is giving resistance cells a cheap camera with the instruction to snap a pic of any termies with new faces and putting them on a bulletin board and sending them to other cells (or even if it's just an over the wireless description "caucasian bodybuilder, brown hair, 1.8 Meters, 1 ton") would be a basic survival tactic.
        • Maybe he does. The Terminator series exists, not in a Stable Time Loop (that was blown to hell by T2), but in a time loop that's spinning off its axis. Every recursion introduces another set of changes that results in a different version of events that in turn, results in a different version of the time loop. John Connor being killed by the T-800 that resembles the one he knew in the past, for example, didn't come about until it was sent into the past, hooked up with John and Sarah, spent time with John and Sarah, and Sarah changed the future (not as much as she would have liked, but Judgment Day DID miss its original date). In that timeline, he didn't know that he was going to be killed by a Terminator that resembles him. In this recursion, he's been informed of the event, which will most likely prevent it in the future, resulting in another recursion.
        • Also, don't forget that the T-800 from T3 was reprogrammed. He had no reason to lie to the people he has been programmed to protect. Mebbe in the future set up in T3, that's just what Connor does.
  • Why does the resistance even bother trying to protect John and Sarah in the past? Why not just send Terminators directly to CNN, BBC, and other news services for a quick Public Service Announcements. "I am a robot from the future. Seriously. Here, watch while I cut my arm off. You believe me now? I have your attention? Good, because the next part is really important: DON'T BUILD SKYNET YOU STUPID RETARDS!" The Singularity might still happen, but it wouldn't be nearly as bad if a brand new Evil AI was limited to (say) deleting CALTECH student records.
    • Because the Resistance has already won. Sure, it would be nice if they could prevent the whole thing from coming to pass in the first place... but they're not sure they can. They have no idea what kind of time paradox they might or might not obliterate themselves with if they tried such a drastic history-change as suggested above. However, since they have already achieved their minimum objective (destroy Skynet and assure the future of the human race) in the future, then all they have to do is preserve that victory against Skynet's attempts to change history. Or to put it more simply: Skynet is willing to gamble its entire existence on risky time paradoxes because it has nothing left to lose anyway. The Resistance most definitely has something left to lose, and thus won't.
      • This would work, except for the fact that explicit goal of the main characters in TSCC is to prevent Judgment Day.
      • Too bad SCC has made it clear that Skynet has already beaten them to the punch by sending Terminators back in time to build Skynet for them.
      • It's strange that they didn't try this in T2, since their goal in that one was also to prevent Judgment Day. They convinced Miles Dyson pretty easily, they could have just shown the T-800 to the press or the White House or even Cyberdyne as proof. I doubt any corporation outside of Cyberpunk fiction would be greedy enough to risk the future of civilization to build an artificial intelligence.
      • Yeah, they missed a great chance to derail Skynet's creation at the end of T2. Of course, by that point they'd committed so many major felonies that going public would've probably gotten Sarah convicted of multiple counts of terrorism, because if the Terminator is real, then she's not crazy and can be prosecuted. John too, possibly as an adult due to the extreme nature of the crimes (shooting up suburbia, blowing up a factory) he was a part of.
  • Agent Ellison suggests that if they want to teach John Henry to obey the law, they should, "Start with the first ten." Which is uplifting and reminds us that God can kick a T-1000's ass. But something approaching half of those rules don't even make sense when applied to an AI.
    • That's almost certainly going to be a plot point. For every "turn the other cheek" there's a hundred "stone them to death". Humans can understand the intention of the law because we're so illogical, but John Henry could turn into Robot Santa if Ellison isn't careful.
      • Context, people. There's nothing "illogical" about the notion that something can be necessary/permissible in one context but morally wrong in another context. Any machine incapable of understanding that concept would be unable to relate to human beings at all. And a machine that is incapable of relating with humans would make a spectacularly poor infiltrator.
    • I think that first post was thinking more along the lines of (holds up hand like Arnold in the second movie) "I swear I will not have any gods before the one true God. I swear I will keep Sunday holy. I swear that if I ever have a mother or father, I will honor them."
  • What chain of events could have lead to the time jump forward in the pilot of TSCC? Had the John Connor that sent Cameron back also been sent forward at some point? Was that the original plan when someone was sent back to build the time machine in the bank? For that matter, if each use of the time machine results in a new parallel timeline, how could you possibly form a plan that requires multiple packages to be sent to the past?
    • The time jump forward was clearly intended to get the Connors from 1999 to 2007 to get them away from both the FBI and Cromartie.
    • Plus, they've just convinced Cameron they want to fight, to try to stop Skynet from coming into being. They jump to where Skynet comes from, because if they just WAIT, [spoiler]Sarah will be dead by then.[/spoiler] Incidentally, if you want to see TSCC and T3 as being in the same universe, separated by a single act of time travel, this would seem to be the point of separation right here.
  • So, uh, would Schwarzenegger still be the governor of California within this universe?
    • He's not in the TSCC continuity.
      • More specifically, he's not governor in the year 2010. Whether or not he exists in the show's "present" is something that's not addressed.
      • Your Mileage May Vary, but IIRC one of the deleted scenes from T3 portrays an Army major (played by Arnie) who's advertising the T-101 model. It's similar to the proposition that the Bishop android of Aliens was modelled on the original Weyland of Weyland-Yutani (depending on how seriously you take Aliens vs. Predator.)
      • The scene is a promotional video for the Terminator series, and Arnie is, yes, shown as the template (with a dubbed over Texas accent). The joke being that the skinny scientist overseeing it is dubbed over with Arnie's voice.
  • How did the Cromartie terminator manage to travel into the future at the end of the pilot episode when it's head wasn't covered in living tissue?
    • Executive Meddling. The head was originally going to be fleshy. Unfortunately, this was thought to be too gory for broadcast. Therefore, the official position is that the flesh was "burnt off" by the time field during travel.
  • Why on earth would Skynet go to all the trouble of building plamsa weapons-especially ones that could easily be captured by humans? If it had just given in H Ks and Terminators machine guns, it would've had no trouble crushing the resistance.
    • In T1, they were supposed to have been produced before the war.
    • Also, TSCC indicates that the humans have already sent back specialists with the training and knowledge to replicate future technology. They could have easily established workshops and built stashes of weapons for human use, or laid the infrastructure to allow the resistance to build plasma weapons after Judgment Day.
    • The resistance does have vehicles, so personal weapons that can destroy heavily armored targets would still be useful. Also, once the resistance starts capturing and reprogramming terminators, it has to to be able to fight its own robots. Given that by Salvation's time they can hijack motorcycle bots without much trouble, that probably isn't far off.
  • Nowhere in T1 do you learn that the plasma rifles were produced before the war, and in none of the films so far do we really learn much about the weapons' origins or if those origins are even human or mechanical, so much of this is up in the air.
    • The fact the the T-800 asked for one in the gunshop, and only realized they don't exist yet when the store owner gave him a funny look, all but says they're pre-war technology. If they were only invented during the war, it would have known better than to even try asking about them; at the very least, it tells us that Skynet didn't invent them, and that it doesn't really know when they came into use.
  • In T4: How the blazes does the Skynet of any time-line (ESPECIALLY the Salvation one) know that Reese will be John's father?
    • And for that matter, if Skynet knows Kyle is John Connor's father, why doesn't it just kill Kyle while it has the chance? If Skynet doesn't know that, why is Kyle the first target? The only thing that can explain the plot is if Skynet knows that Kyle is somehow important to Connor, but doesn't know that he's Connor's father. But even in that case, wouldn't it have been sufficient for Skynet's plans for Connor to think that Kyle is alive and well?
      • Couple of thoughts on this:
        • First possibility is that everyone's forgetting Skynet is a machine. A self-aware machine, yes, but still not operating with the same level of creativity or perhaps intelligence than its human creators. Anyway, here's the theory: Skynet figures out Kyle Reese is Connor's father from (perhaps) tapes that remain of Sarah Connor's interviews in the psych wards, or even the old police tape when Reese had been detained in the first film. Skynet only sends a T-101 back when its defence grid was smashed and the Resistance had won -- the original Terminator being sent back to kill Connor before he was born was a desperation move on its part. Skynet doesn't consider the Time Travel tactic until that last moment, mainly because of the available solutions to its problem it can't predict the likelihood of success and it knows that if something crucial happens in the past Skynet itself could wind up vanishing out of existence rather than John Connor. (In fact Skynet might realise that its efforts to kill Connor in the past are destined to fail simply because (a) it knows it will send 2 Terminators back but (b) Connor continues to exist.) Skynet does know that John Connor is Kyle Reese's son, but it cannot predict whether killing Reese will actually prevent any other leader from arising and doing the same thing. Skynet is thinking like a logic-blind machine: if I kill Connor -- not Reese -- then I win, because I know Connor is destined to lead the resistance to victory. If I kill Reese I may eliminate Connor, but I cannot predict how the timestream would be affected by that paradox, or whether Connor would disappear from this contunity. The better of these two choices is to seek to kill Connor since I can predict that outcome. However, after Connor eludes Skynet and the Resistance wins, Skynet logically shifts to the other remaining alternative: killing Connor now does not allow me to win, and Reese is not available as a target. Because I have no other alternatives available, I will attempt to kill Connor before he is born, since the best prediction I have is that this will change the result of my defeat.
        • Second possibility is that the John Connor we see in "Salvation" is an anomaly who's skipped from the universe of T1 and T2 into the "Salvation" universe where Skynet doesn't truly know ahead of time that Kyle Reese will become John Connor's father. Also explains why the Connor portrayed in T1 and T2 is a different actor. Skynet in the Salvation universe only knows John Connor's a capable warrior with a lot of leadership potential, so it gives him a moral option to try and entrap him.
      • Here's a better idea, instead of wasting time and resources on these overly intricate schemes that never work out, why not just give the whole thing a miss and never invent time travel in the first place? If Skynet hadn't started trying to kill/prevent John Connor in the past, Kyle Reese would never have been able to go back in time (he uses Skynet's time machine, after all) and get Sarah pregnant, and the whole problem would just disappear. Surely a super-genius machine intelligence is capable of figuring out when it is time to stop shooting itself in the foot.
      • If it had been an infallible machine, it wouldn't have lost the war in the first place!
      • Because the first time Skynet sent a Terminator back, it didn't know it was going to create John Connor by accident - mostly because Skynet was destroyed and the resistance hijacked its equipment. After that, it pretty much couldn't stop the hilarity from ensuing. And besides, time travel is pretty damned useful as a weapon; T:SCC has shown just how much Skynet ended up using time travel for strategic assassination/resource gathering.
      • The first time Skynet sent a terminator back, John Connor already existed - why else would the terminator have been looking for Sarah Connor to kill?
    • Skynet's big damn plan is never really explained. If I were to guess, Skynet, at this point, is aware that Kyle Reese is important (somehow), but is not quite sure. Skynet is clearly apt to capture people rather than kill them. Perhaps it intended to transform Kyle Reese and the whole lot of survivors into T-800s -- or worse, infiltrators similar to Marcus Wright. All this said, I am disappointed that they didn't write a justification for keeping Kyle alive -- or if they did, that it wasn't shot or didn't show up in the theatrical cut.
    • Also, just because it has someone named "Kyle Reese" it doesn't mean that he is the Kyle Reese. There's also the issue of killing Reese before Marcus can find him and thus alert John Connor; its worth noting that right after Marcus alerted John as to where Reese was, a T-600 showed up to shove Reese in the kill-o-matic.
    • Again: Kyle Reese is at the top of Skynet's priority target list. Skynet could have accomplished the plan exactly the same by killing Reese and baiting John into going on a mission to rescue him.
      • And again: John wasn't going to go in until he had confirmation as to where Reese was. Marcus would have had a hard time getting Connor to come inside the complex if he couldn't find Reese in the first place. Leaving Reese alive allowed Marcus to confirm his location, which led to him bringing John inside the complex. After Marcus gave Connor Reese's location, a T-600 went after Reese to kill him. Skynet was being cautious.
    • Here is my problem : somehow (hate this word) Skynet know that there is some kind of link between Connor and Reese. Let's say he absolutely doesn't know anything more. He accurately predict that Connor will litteraly jump into its paws himself to save Reese. Now is the real problem: how exactly did Skynet get this knowledge in the first place ? As the movie begin, the only ones with a clue are John and Kate, thank to Sarah's tapes. I can't really think of a theory of an explaination that would allow Skynet to have only the tiniest bit of a microscopic hint that there may be a link between the Badass that treaten its very existence and the kid in the middle of freaking nowhere, especially considering the whole time travel Mind Screw, erasing of all records and post apocalyptic setting.
      • See, I thought of something, but it's really, really unlikely. Skynet stumble upon some police recordings and archives from the interrogation in T1. He see mention of a Kyle Reese and of a Sarah Connor on the same page, and go crazy from there onward. The only possibilitie at this point is that he somehow deduce the whole freaking plot from then onward, probably shattering the fourth wall in the process. And of course, it made no sense. Skynet can't come to the conclusion that T1 Kyle Reese = T4 Kyle Reese. The best he could come up with is that it's an homonyme, so there's nothing useful to do with that intel. Or he already know that he's going to invent time travel. Then it could make sense...only to open the door to a Mind Screw of galactic proportion that would probably result in Skynet very own BSOD...
        • I'd like to point out that during Kyle Reese's interrogation, he explained that he was from the future and that a computer network called Skynet sent a Terminator back in time to kill Sarah Connor. If Skynet were to get a look at records of that interrogation, it wouldn't have much trouble figuring out what happened. It wouldn't know that Kyle Reese was John's father, but it would know that Kyle had saved the life of John's mother. Given how far Skynet had infiltrated computers all over the world in T3, its not too hard to believe that it might have stumbled onto those police files at some point. It still should have been better explained in the film, though.
        • Or maybe Skynet used the time before Judgement Day to track down such information. Its very first act on becoming self-aware was surely to snoop through all of Cyberdyne's own computer records, and it would've found information on Sarah Connor the Crazy Anti-Tech Terrorist there. (Remember, she got arrested for attacking the company previously.) It's not much of a leap from there to records on Kyle Reese, who'd inspired her "insanity" with his own police-documented ravings, a dozen years before. Even if Skynet didn't yet admit the possibility of time travel, it would've worried about and investigated Sarah simply because she was still on the loose, and somehow knew it was hostile to humans.
      • Here's why they didn't just snuff out Reese: They were going to make him into a Terminator like Marcus was. Think about it, assuming the above is true, they know they have the one person that John Connor will trust completely. So as a back-up in case Connor escapes, you've got Terminator!Reese, who can hook up with him later, say he "escaped" and then rip his lungs out.
    • Given how the premise of Salvation is partially how John is still on his way to becoming the leader of the resistance, and more than a few people seem to know about his prophetic status as the man who will end the war, it seems like a more human answer is that some sort of pseudo-cult surrounding John has formed. This guy with no military training seems to know all about the machines, about Skynet and their plans. He made enough predictions about the T-800 that when they find the plans someone mentions they are exactly like John described. So, following that, I'm sure that Skynet puts captured resistance members through some sort of interrogation process for information, thus leading to how Skynet knows and cares about Kyle Reese. Not sure why that makes him their #1 target though.
  • My dad's been in the health care industry his whole life. (Not as a doctor, to be sure) He walked away from T4 grumbling about the heart transplant in near battlefield conditions, performed without any stated concern for blood type, compatibility, etc.
    • They were desperate to save the prophesied destroyer of Skynet. They were willing to take a gamble at that point.
    • Field hospitals. They could have easily moved them both inside a field hospital for the transplant.
    • It's stated in the film that they had a team of surgeons on the way to John's position. Kate wasn't the only one who would be performing the operation. The blood type problem is a valid complaint, though.
    • Marcus could've had type O blood already, or (and I'm aware that I fail biology forever) Skynet could've replaced his blood with type O or artificial plasma while they were working on him - it's Twenty Minutes Into the Future after all, and Skyberdyne has nigh-unlimited reasources.
      • The latter possiblity is actually supported in canon. According to TSCC, terminators with artificial skin use a synthetic oxygen carrier in their blood, so the skin can survive without a bone marrow to create red blood cells. If they did this for Marcus (sure looked like he didn't have any human bones), then he probably would be type O, as he would have no red blood cell antigens.
      • And to be fair, this ending was apparently the result of a quick retcon, because the original ending was disliked by the testing audience. In the original ending, Connor die, Marcus somehow take on his face, and from then onward a Terminator is actually leading the resistance without nobody knowing it. Cool? Yes. Make sense? Nope. I can see why it was changed.
      • That ending would have been totally badass.
    • The obvious answer is that Terminators are universal donors.
  • While we're on the subject of Marcus since they obviously had enough medical supplies for heart transplant couldn't thay have kept Marcus alive via machines till some poor O type Resistance fighter got his head blown off.
  • My big question is what injury did John suffer that would have required a heart transplant? Either his heart was punctured, or it wasn't. If the heart was punctured, he would have died. If the heart wasn't punctured, he didn't need a transplant. It has to be one or the other, unless my study of anatomy skipped an important chapter.
    • It wasn't necessarily "punctured or not punctured". It might have been scratched or slashed by the metal, which could have caused serious damage to the musculature of the heart without it being instantly fatal.
  • Who were the four hazy figures at the window in Skynet's San Francisco headquarters? Marcus is the only (surviving?) infiltrator prototype; they're too skinny to be the current Terminators or T-800s; the T-1000s obviously haven't been created yet, and I doubt any human Cyberdyne staff still exist.
    • They may have been worker/medical drones who were doing human testing. SkyNet probably has needs of specialized science units to advance it's Terminator and Infiltrator projects.
    • Epileptic Trees Answer: They were human traitors being kept to do research, or willing and waiting to be "cyberdyned" like Marcus was. Considering that Reese and Co were being kept in a room full of CAT scan look-alike machines, SkyNet's next phase in world conquest may have been a full scale wave of post-human infiltrator models. Of course, Marcus' refusal to Face Heel Turn would probably have put the kibosh on the whole thing.
  • In the first movie why does Sarah Connor input change to call 911? That is always free, even from cell phones with no service plans.
    • I just chalk it up to the fact that she's panicking about a serial killer who appears to be hunting everyone with her name, not thinking straight, and going through the motions as she would if she was making a regular call.
  • Why are people who travel back in time naked? And why do we see the Terminator's penis in some of these movies? What use would a kill-bot have for a penis?
    • The rules of time travel in this franchise is that nothing dead can travel through time unless it's covered with living tissue (don't ask how hair and nails go through). And Terminators wouldn't be very good infiltrators if they could be identified by simply taking off their clothes.
    • "Flash me yer junk! Awright, he's human. Heh. Barely."
  • Near the beginning of T4, a crawling Terminator skeleton is killed with plain old, regular machine-gun fire. One of the heroes (Connor, Reese or Marcus, I can't remember who) simply fires enough bullets into the Terminator endoskeleton, and it stops moving. Um, HELLO? Wasn't the whole POINT of the first movie about how damn near impossible it is to kill a Terminator? You know, "That thing out there, it can't be reasoned with. It feels no pain, no emotion, and it won't stop until you are dead". They blow the thing up TWICE, and even after that, the remnants of the skeleton continue to chase after Sarah Connor until she crushes the damn thing in a hydraulic press. In T4, a Terminator is KILLED WITH BULLETS. Did Mc G even WATCH any of the Terminator movies? It kind of makes the whole first film anticlimactic if a Terminator can be killed with plain old, regular bullets, doesn't it?
    • There's a difference between the bullets available to the military and the types available to civilians and police forces. Armor-piercing bullets fired from an M249 SAW at point-blank range in the head would naturally be more effective at killing a machine than would, say, buckshot fired from a shotgun, or 9mm rounds fired from a submachinegun or pistol at twenty to fifty meters into center mass. In fact, SCC actually posits this same thing as well; Cameron uses solid slugs in her shotgun when she brings down Cromartie, Derek Reese uses a .50 caliber sniper rifle to bring down a Terminator in two shots, and in the second season finale, after Cameron wades through dozens of police officers' fire, she herself is at least partially damaged. You fire enough armor-piercing bullets at a Terminator, and it will be damaged and it will go down. That's a simple case of metallic stress.
      • Really, it's far from impossible to take down a Terminator with standard firearms. If you can find a weakpoint (joints in the limbs, eye sockets, etc.), a well aimed small-caliber bullet ought to be able to do some considerable damage. Heck, in Salvation Reese was able to disable one by jamming a knife in the back of its neck. It didn't kill the thing, but it shows that even something as simple as a hunk of sharpened metal can be used against them. The difficulty of fighting Terminators is the same as it is fighting zombies: All the ways we're used to killing things just don't work, so you have to figure out new ways.
    • It's worth noting that in the first three movies, the humans armed with firearms were dealing with Terminators that they generally had never fought before (exception being Sarah Connor), and are generally police officers. The humans in T4 are trained, well-armed military, and have been fighting Terminators for at least a decade. The idea that they haven't adapted to the Terminators and haven't started fielding high-caliber firearms with rounds capable of penetrating their armor (especially when they've got the resources to maintain a fleet of A-10 Warthogs, Black Hawks, and a freaking submarine) is simply absurd. The humans are simply adapting to their enemies' capabilities, which is normal and expected in a time of war.
      • Agreed. In T1 it's strongly implied that the soldiers of Reese's time had methods and weaponry with which to take out a Terminator -- in one of Reese's flashback scenes they damn well charge in with hand weapons, which presumably they wouldn't do if the weapons were ineffective at stopping Terminators. When asked by Sarah Connor if Kyle can stop the Terminator, his reply is "I don't know. With these weapons ... I don't know."
      • That last line is particularly telling. There's some ambiguity there as to whether they can kill the Terminator with vanilla firearms. not an outright "no, we can't." Kyle thinks that there is some possibility that he can kill the Terminator with normal firearms; otherwise, he wouldn't have said "I don't know." It would have been a flat "No."
        • In T1 they also had those awesome plasma cannons that melted through Terminator armour. But yes, it's not implausible that they switched ordnance.
    • The terminators from the beginning of Salvation were T-600s. A single T-800 shows up at the end, and it's every bit as indestructable as the ones from the other movies. The T-600s just had less advanced armor, that's all.
      • I'm consistently astounded at how many people missed that...
  • Also, in Salvation, HOW is there still a Cyberdyne Systems? They blow up Cyberdyne in T2, and it's established in T3 that the military ends up creating Skynet, not Cyberdyne. Unless Salvation is in a different timeline.
    • If you were to blow up most modern corporate offices, it wouldn't end the company. That's what they have insurance for.
    • Additionally, Cyberdyne was probable being employed by the US Military for the purpose of making kill bots. The US does use the odd civilian contracter, after all.
    • And finally, in T2 they weren't out to destroy Cyberdyne. They were only trying to destroy Miles Dyson's work on the recovered Terminator components, and what he extrapolated from them. T3's assertion is that there's "No stopping Judgment Day". That suggests Dyson's work, if it had developed into the creation of Skynet, would have been a 'shortcut' on the original sequence of events in which Skynet was an original military design rather than Dyson's "stand on the shoulders of giants" creation.
    • Alternately, Cyberdyne became a shell corp for Cyber Systems Research. Imaginary competition's great, man. Chocolate Skittles didn't compete with M&Ms because Mars Co owns both of them. Same thing. Branding.
  • A relatively minor thing, compared to some of the stuff on this page, but is Salvation a prequel or a sequel? It takes place before the war finished and before anyone traveled back in time, but after the events of the "present day" sequences of the rest of them. So, yeah... Whee! Time Travel!
    • More of a sequel, since it's not the same timeline that Kyle came from in T1 thanks to the change in T2.
  • What the hell happened to the whole "no fate but what we make for ourselves" thing, when in T3 Arnie just says baldly that Judgment Day is inevitable? Isn't that whole, optimistic but melancholy point lost? Also, how on earth did he KNOW it is inevitable, when clearly the one in T2 didn't (why else would he give up his position as John Connor's best protector in order to prevent the war?) T3 broke the whole philosophy of the series, that there is hope, and that we can make up the future for ourselves!
    • Think of it this way; At the time of the Terminator's arrival in 2003/2004, there's barely 24 hours (if that) before the nuclear strike that kicks off the whole shindig. I don't care if you're John Connor, Ahnold, or friggin' Chuck Norris, you are NOT stopping a nuclear apocalypse in so short a time. That's more what the Terminator meant; not that Judgment Day was inevitable (a near-identical machine had told them otherwise, and the postponing of Judgment Day itself proves this), but rather that, from that particular moment in time with less than a day on the clock, J. Day was indeed inevitable.
    • No, as people have already said above, T3 only broke the philosophy of Terminator 2. The first movie hinged on the idea that the future can't be changed and ended with Judgement Day on its way and most of humanity doomed, but people keep forgetting that because T2, which broke the first movie's closed-loop idea into a million pieces, was such a huge success. Although T2 was arguably the best movie of the series, it's also the only one that ever said the war can be avoided.
    • Also, by Fridge Logic, if Judgment Day was averted, John Connor should cease to exist.
      • No, because if the T2 model of time travel was correct, than changes to the future wouldn't affect the past.
      • That's another problem with T2 - it lowers the stakes in T1 when you realize that sending Kyle and the T-800 into the past created an alternate timeline, and therefore would have had no effect either way on the Resistance in the "previous" timeline.
    • This troper's answer? John Connor, in the future, is a dick. Or using a Batman Gambit He knows the war can't ultimately be avoided, but if that message gets through to his mother or himself, they might just give up or shoot themselves or let the Terminator kill them. Hence he passes the message on to his mother through his future father, knowing his father's going to die so they'll carry on and fight and make sure that he lives. No, I recant all that. John Connor's just a dick.
      • That does put future John in a really morally weird position. By sending Kyle back in time, he guarantees his own existence - but he also knows that his father died in the past before he was born, so he's signing Kyle's death warrent at the same time. I guess preserving the survival of La Résistance was the tiebreaker in deciding whose life is more important (and maybe Sarah's "we loved more in those few hours" message made him feel a little better about it), but if John has any decency, he must've at least felt like a dick when he gave Kyle his orders.
      • I've always thought maybe Sarah had just interpreted John's message wrong. Keep in mind Kyle was ordered to merely protect her, not help her destroy Skynet. John obviously knew that the future war could not be stopped. John had lived the majority of his life in a dark future, becoming accustomed to the war and his role within it. Perhaps he didn't really mean for Sarah to try to change the past, when he told her that the future was not set he merely meant that they would keep fighting. I always saw his message of "No fate but what we make" as him meaning it differently. Given the context, I thought he would've used this line as more of an inspiration to his troops in the future, to tell them that their fate was still their's to control not by changing the past, but by taking control of the present and future. Salvation seems to corroborate this with Johns use of the line as he talks to the Resistence.
  • Two things REALLY bugged me about Salvation. 1) How was it possible that during the first nuclear blast, Connor's helicopter crashed after being hit by the EMP, but during the 2nd nuclear blast, the helicopter flew away without a problem? Does Mc G not understand how this contradicts itself, for how nukes work? Also, 2) did Mc G even watch T2? At the end of the movie, both terminators were destroyed by molten steel, but in Salvation, the T-800 has molten steel dumped on it and this doesn't cause ANY damage. None, whatsoever.
    • 1) Who said those detonations were nuclear, instead of conventional? 2) Being dunked completely in molten steel != as having molten steel dumped on you.
      • To clarify: having some rapidly-cooling molten metal poured over you for a few seconds is not going to do the same kind of damage as being fully immersed in molten metal for a prolonged period. Note that the T-800 in T2 was still working and functional for a comparatively long time - several seconds - even after it was immersed. There's also the possibility that Skynet may have up-armored the Terminators it's using in this timeline if it has knowledge provided from previous timelines; there's a reason why the Terminators in SCC are using coltan alloy to strengthen their body structures against melting.
    • Not as powerful of an explosion. Nuclear weaponry sets off a chain reaction of atoms to increase the power, if every fuel cell and reactor was just as powerful, meltdowns would be much worse than they already are.
  • The sequels seem to open up a major plot hole with their use of time travel. In the first movie, Skynet had one shot at stopping John in the past, so it sent a Terminator back to kill John's mother. Okay, fair enough, should've worked in theory but it didn't. On its own, that's fine. But then in T2, Skynet sends back another Terminator to get teenage John. Now, according to the T2 video game, both Terminators were actually sent at the same "time" in the future, with the T-1000 being a backup plan in case the T-800 failed. Alright, that still works. But then T3 has yet another Terminator showing up, and this time she's clearly been sent in response to Skynet's previous failures. And then the SCC series has Skynet sending still more Terminators back in time. So Skynet has regular access to time travel. Well, here's the problem. If Skynet has that, then it's effectively omniscient. It doesn't know Sarah's exact identity in the past? Well, send a Terminator back in time, get the information and send it back to the future (even by shutting down and waiting, if it has to). It doesn't know where John is because he's living off the grid? Okay, pinpoint the last time John was on the grid, and grab him then. For that matter, Skynet would do a whole lot better if it'd stop treating the pre and post-nuke eras like they're two different planets: just find the last time John was giving a speech or leading a battle in the future, in the early days of the war, and then go back and blow everything in a 100-mile radius around him to kingdom come. If Skynet has regular access to the past via time travel, then it has an endless number of chances to gather information and go after John, and there's no reason for it keep moving its attempts forward in time, or to stay confined to the pre-war era, the way the sequels show. Instead of targeting Sarah, then teenage John, then twentysomething John, just pick the one time in history, before or after the war, it knew exactly where John was, and treat him like the Cloverfield monster.
    • The problem with that is that the Resistance is doing the exact same thing. They're sending troops back in time to intercept the Terminators and, as SCC has more or less confirmed, everytime Skynet sends a unit back, it rewrites the timeline. Where John is changes. What John is doing changes. Hell, what Skynet is doing changes. And it's not like Skynet has zero margin of error here; in fact, as SCC has also shown, Skynet can be off on sending units back in time - waaaaaaaay off. A unit may be sent back in time to assassinate John at X time and place only to arrive afterwards, or weeks before, which is all the time a resistance agent would need to find John and move him in response. It's worth noting that Cromartie appears to have done exactly what you specified too - find a location John was known to be at and intercepted him. But also, as the series has shown, every single time Skynet sends something back, the resistance is able to send a countermeasure.
    • Hmm, that does make sense, especially if Skynet can't pinpoint exact arrival times, and each attempt is butterfly-effecting the historical records for the next attempt into chaos.
  • Does inorganic matter get destroyed by the time machines, or is it just not taken? I mean, when people travel with their clothes, are the clothes completely vaporized, or are they just left in a pile in the future?
    • It appears to be left behind; in the finale for SCC, Cameron's body was left behind when John and Weaver transferred to the future (presumably because part of her endoskeleton was exposed). Ditto for Cromartie's lower half.
  • Why not simply swarm the Connors with terminators? The continuity just seems to be a mess after the first movie, and an utter train wreck once you take SCC into consideration. If Skynet has access to time travel, as seen in T2 and T3, then why not send a bunch of terminators after Connor? SCC makes this even worse by having regular and repeated access to time travel, where Skynet sends a bunch of terminators to the past for little reason. If Skynet has regular access to time travel, why only send one or two terminators in after John Connor, and the rest after a bunch of idiots that don't matter in the long run? Why not just send about fifty terminators after baby Connor?
    • Because, as stated above, there's a huge margin for error in a lot of these time travel events. Also, in SCC, Skynet is not sending Terminators back in time "for little reason." Every single Terminator sent back is targeting a strategic resource, either for elimination or for protection. It's also worth noting that in the SCC version of the future, the war's outcome is in doubt; in the first two movies, the Resistance won and sending a lone Terminator back was an act of desperation on Skynet's part. By the time SCC rolls around, the future has been changed again, eliminating John Connor is of a lower priority, because even with John Connor, the resistance is in a stalemate. At that point, you've got to start eliminating enemy resources and securing your own, because 99% of wars are decided by strategic resources, not assassinating a single man. Connor is shown no other priority than any other important figure for the resistance, because Connor is not a deciding factor in the war anymore. SCC is actually playing things fairly realistically, in that regard.
      • It's worth noting that for the most part, Skynet appears to be unaware a countermeasure is being deployed against it's units being sent back in time, which would make sense, as the timeline is changed. Also, if it weren't for the units being sent back meeting unplanned-for resistance, they actually would have succeeded in most regards. Cromartie would have had John Connor dead to rights in the pilot if Cameron hadn't been there.
    • Conservation of Ninjitsu? The T-800 is designed as an infiltrator class. It's mission was to kill Sarah Conner without drawing to much attention. If Skynet had sent back say 20 Ah-nold's to kill Sarah Conner, it would have drawn to much attention, and then somebody(* cough* military * cough* ) who actually had the reasources to kill them would have gotten involved. On top of this, Skynet seems to grasp that changing the timeline has far-reaching consequences. The more Terminators it sent back would cause more collateral damage(and therefor more change) which could lead to Skynet never being created. All Skynet wanted to do was stop John Conner from leading the resistance. Anything else would threaten it's existance.
  • One thing that's always bugged me is the upgrade of capabilities for the Terminators as the movies continue. Even the fact there are multiple Terminators at multiple points in the timeline seems to be against Kyle Reese's original statement that the Resistance had already won by the time the "first" Terminator went through. Still, here's a theory which might resolve it: it's Time Travel we're talking about, so possibly the Terminators were sent through in reverse order to how they appear in the film. Consider: Skynet only sends back a stock standard T-101 when it appears that the war is lost and it has no other options. The other Terminators are advanced or experimental. The T-X gets sent back first, more as an experiment than anything else -- hence its primary mission is only to try and take out Connor's associates, since the machines didn't know where he was. That plan fails, and the war continues to go badly for Skynet. So this time it sends one of its better models, the T-1000, back to when John was 12 or 13 and locatable, though this was a riskier move since Skynet knew even less about the decade prior to the war. The resistance got hold of that time travel facility, discovered that information, and managed to send back a captured T-101 instead. That mission also fails, so, Skynet having built a replacement time travel unit, it then decides on a desperation move as the Resistance breaks its defence grid and sends back a last T-101 to try and get Sarah Connor instead. Connor sends back Kyle Reese ... and then is killed by the T3 terminator, which Katherine Brewster then sends one final time through the time travel device to just before the war.
  • Really, if the timeline is changing so much repeatedly, then time should just....stop. It should eventually become impossible for things to happen, if that makes sense.......
    • Why?
  • In Battle Across Time (AKA T2 3D), the pre-show video sometimes uses subtitles. Fine and dandy there, but it becomes unusual when the subtitles still work when Sarah and John take over, and it displays their lines, as opposed to, most likely, the regular video's subtitles. This is pretty much Audience Accessibility And Story Segregation, but still.
  • Why doesn't Skynet send a Terminator to kill either John or Sarah as babies, since it's a stage that they can't fight back, so that's a tactical advantage right there. I know in the first movie, John wasn't even born yet, but still...
    • Given the vagueness of who Sarah Connor was in T1 tracking her down as a child would be impossible. Someone would have noticed if all the babies named Sarah started getting killed.
    • Because its resources are apparently limited and its targeting the characters when it has a reasonably good idea of where they are. Postapocalypse Earth probably doesn't have much in the way of intact records, after all. Also remember that the first time it sends a unit back, its an act of desperation while Techcom is destroying it. Its similar for the other instances, except in SCC, where targeting Connor is a secondary priority and just part of a larger time-travel guerilla war campaign with Connor.
    • Yeah, it's obvious Skynet's records aren't that great, especially considering Sarah and John make concerted efforts after the first movie to stay off the grid. Hell, even before that, Skynet's intel seems to be limited to, "We know her name, and that she's somewhere in California." If Sarah had had an unlisted number, she'd have been pretty damn safe.
      • Kyle in T1: "Most of the records were lost in the war. The machines knew almost nothing about Sarah--her full name, where she lived...they just knew the city."
      • Because then the humans would get the idea to terminate the creator of timetravel to prevent that happening...and if that happened, then this awesomely hilarious crossover would happen.
  • Enrique's dogs seem pretty relaxed for being in the same camp as a Terminator, don't you think? All the other dogs freaked out, so what makes these ones so blasé about the something-isn't-right-about-this-human?
    • The dogs in the future where trained to deal with terminators while Enrique's dogs never came across one. Compare to bomb sniffing dogs, a trained one will smell one out, but an untrained one will only smell an odd scent.
      • The dogs are drunk, much like their master.
    • Evil-Detecting Dog: They don't smell them, they can sense that the terminators are Androids, just like a lot a lot of Dogs in fiction can sense Ghosts/Vampires/Aliens/Werewolfs/Smurfs- in human disguise. That's also the reason why "The goddamn dog"(Max/Wolfie) was barking and why Sarah was seen with a dog at the end of T1. The reason why Enrique's dogs didn't freak out is probably because Bob was starting to behave more human ...and they were probably drunk too.
      • Alternately, the dogs do need to be trained to bark at terminators. Max wasn't barking because he had an innate aversion to terminators, but because he smelled blood when the T-1000 killed John's foster parents.
      • Max was pretty agitated when the T-1000 visited earlier that day. Then there's the dogs in the first film - the one on Sarah Louise Connor's lawn and the other at the Tiki Motel. Save for Enrique's dogs, the canine hatred of Terminators is a little too consistent to chalk it up to mere coincidence. Especially given how much focus is given to this otherwise minor fact about them.
  • The entire scheme of the robots to assassinate John/Sarah has always bugged me. Essentially, it doesn't work because the Terminators can never quire track down Sarah/John in one place at the right time and kill them while they are without their almighty protector. This obviously means that one of the Terminators main fail points is not being able to predict where the Connors are going to be at a given time. Therefore, in order to remedy this situation, why not just find out when John Conner was born (should be easy) and find out where he was born (should also be easy) and send a Terminator back on that day and get Sarah while she is in the hospital room. I don't see any escaping from that, even with a benevolent gaurdian angel, especially considering Sarah would not be able to be moved quickly. To top it off, the machines could even send more than one to make sure the job gets done.
    • Read earlier on the page. Skynet does not know those things, clearly. Especially since Sarah and John made a concerted effort to stay off computerized records. The whole point is they send them back to when they have a vague idea of where they are, and a decent chance of finding them because records did not survive intact.
      • According to TSCC, Sarah gave birth to John somewhere in South America in primitive conditions. This means there would have been no records of the birth.
      • Does that mean John wasn't a legal American citizen at the start of T2? Then why wasn't he deported when his mom went to the institution?
      • Jus sanguinis?
  • I've read a lot of commentary about how T3 "fixed the problem" that T2 created with its "No Fate" theme and ending. But is that really the case? If you think about it, what they did in T2 drastically altered the timing of Judgment Day, along with the nature of Skynet. That means that, regardless of whether or not Judgment Day occurred, Sarah Connor hooked up with a Kyle Reese in T1 from a possible future that ceased to exist after T2, meaning that he couldn't have been sent back if Causality works in the Terminator-verse like it does in real life. In other words, regardless of T3's intervention, the paradox is still around - even if it the same Kyle Reese genetically, he would have a whole list of different experiences and memories than the actual Kyle Reese that Sarah Connor was with in T1.
    • Grandfather Paradox apparently doesn't exist in the Terminator universe. The moment Kyle Reese traveled back in time, he altered the future, but he still exists; causality doesn't appear to work the way you're implying it does in the Terminator setting (and we can't test it, because we don't have time travel technology to determine how causality would work in Real Life). For all we know, the John Connor from Kyle's future and the John Connor born to Sarah Connor are two different people altogether; T:SCC appears to follow this theory, with implications that John Connor was actually irrelevant to the survival of the resistance in the first place.
  • Sarah Conner tells Miles Dyson that "men like you built the atom bomb. Men like you thought it up". Obviously, designing an A.I. is different, since it wasn't created for the express purpose of killing. Miles even notes in the Special Edition non-military applications of A.I. Sarah can be forgiven for making this generalization, since she's implied to be mentally unstable, but it still bothers me that James Cameron doesn't acknowledge the fact the technology behind Skynet may not have been created for military purposes and that he is directly comparing computers (that were intended to fly passenger aircraft) to nuclear weapons.

Moved from main page. Sorry for repeats

  • A couple of instances form the first film:
    • 1) After using a phone book to find where the various Sarah Connors live, the Terminator rips out the page and takes it with him. You don't just forget things when you have a hard drive for a memory, so why would he need to keep the page once he had the information?
      • They forgot because Ripped From the Phone Book was still a common cinematic trope and at that point in the film they were trying to hide that Arnie was, in fact, a machine. Possibly justified though, in that the Terminator by taking the whole page is ensuring he's got a redundant backup in the (somewhat unlikely) event his memory core is damaged and that data's lost.
    • Terminator didn't forget but tropers above certainly seem to have a fuzzy recollection of the film. Terminator never ripped out a phonebook page, Reese did.
    • 2) The Terminator knows how to use a phone book and mimic police procedure, which are skills that would be worthless in the post-apocalyptic wasteland he was created in. Sky Net obviously provided him with "detailed files" on the era he was traveling to. So how could he not know that plasma rifles hadn't been invented yet in the 80s? Implements of murder are the one thing he should know everything about!
      • Going on the script, the Terminator's got "detailed files" on human anatomy, because it makes them more efficient killers. But as to the era -- Skynet only has partial postwar records and its collective knowledge from such of the Internet that it assimilated before the nuclear balloon went up. When Skynet first boots up in T3 plasma rifles weren't invented, but it doesn't stop the Terminator asking just in case a model has been made at this point in history. In T2 the T-1000 doesn't really mimic police procedure as such: it knows police are authority figures from its postwar records, accesses a computer, assumes the officer's form, and then simply asks authoritative questions while in that form. It doesn't really mimic police procedure beyond that.
  • The EMP from Judgement Day would have wiped out the Internet-based SkyNet. Even if one accepts the oft-mentioned idea that "the Internet can survive a nuclear war," wouldn't it make more sense for SkyNet to allow the human race to survive, in order to create more and more lebensraum for itself?
    • I thought of that as Skynet quickly eliminating a large portion of the human race - including those in a position to implement countermeasures against it - and throwing it into chaos, buying time to rebuild itself properly.
    • "Judgement Day is inevitable." Yeah, y'know, maybe it would have been if you hadn't stolen a slow-ass RV instead of, I dunno, practically any other vehicle on the goddamn road and as a result missed SkyNet's activation by mere seconds.
    • Because it doesn't need humans for that.
  • T3 showed that the original terminators were rather primitive models. How did those terminators build the more sophisticated terminators that show up later in the timeline? How did it build the tools and factories necessary to do so? Sure, Skynet had taken over the production factories too, but those production factories don't make T-1000s, they make primitive tank things! Who modified those factories?
    • Human slaves. Which is why Reese has that Bar Code Tattoo.
      • According to what we saw in TSCC, there are also human traitors ("Grays") who willingly work for Skynet. Presumably scientists and engineers, especially those with robotics and/or AI experience, would be especially valued for this.
  • In T4, where does the Resistance get the infrastructure/fuel needed to fly Ospreys, Hueys and Warthogs...ah, stuff it -- I admit I enjoyed seeing something bigger than hand weapons being used for once. More to the point is the annoying habit the Resistance has of openly discussing their plans on the radio. Presumably they're using scrambled communications, but would they really take the chance an artificial intelligence couldn't crack it?
    • The further future of 2029 (shown in the other three film's flashforwards) show cities are even more desolate, so most of what the Resistance uses would be destroyed in the 11 (or more, considering Judgment Day was postponed) following years.
    • Also, the fuel is Handwaved as being from biofuels developed since Judgment Day. It's been canon since T1 that a lot of scientists and engineers survived to fight the war.
    • The moment you realize that all of the Time Travel has actually been one long game of Xanatos Speed Chess between John Connor and Skynet. Connor is trying to keep the timeline the exact same (which includes lying to his own mother in order to keep the date of Judgment Day stable) and Skynet is doing everything it can to change it.
  • If all the T-800 power cores are potential nuclear bombs, why do they bother to shoot people? Just walk right up and KA-BOOM!
    • Minor quibble: an explosion doesn't have to be nuclear to generate a mushroom cloud. It just has to have sufficient explosive force to suck air and smoke into the void left by the detonation.
    • Because Kamikaze Terminators are a waste of resources and time.
    • Are you serious? Do you realize just how much harder it would be to get close to a target to detonate the power core like that? Shooting is not only easier, it also wastes fewer resources.
    • They can't, remember? Why they can't self-terminate is the better question.
      • Especially considering that by the third movie Skynet is obviously aware of the resistance's capability to capture and reprogram terminators to work for them. Self-destructing would be an obvious protection against that.
      • In SCC they do start self-destructing...sort of. The mechanical body is undamaged, but there's a passive defense system that destroys the terminator's processor chip if anyone tries to remove it, in order to prevent the resistance from reprogramming them. Without the chip the Terminator in question is a hunk of scrap.
    • I can think of two reasons: One, a huge explosion could be seen as having too much potential for destabilizing the timeline via collateral damage. Granted, the terminators so have been far from surgical precision in their strikes anyway. The second reason I could think of is that Skynet takes the "s/he's not dead until I see the corpse" stance. If a terminator blows itself up to eliminate a target, it cannot confirm the kill.
    • Of course, the real reason is that the previous writers hadn't thought of it yet. But what bugs me about the whole situation is, instead of implying that all T-101's have dual nuclear reactors, it would have been much easier to simply state that this particular Terminator had been outfitted with a couple of nuclear detonators by the resistance before being sent back; all it would have taken is a few lines of dialogue switched out for new ones. In other words, there was absolutely no reason for the writers of T3 to shoehorn in a gigantic plot hole that does nothing but undermine several key scenes in the earlier films. (For instance, in T1, surely there would have been some fairly unsavory consequences to crushing a couple of nuclear reactors in a hydraulic press? Even if they didn't explode, I would imagine that breaching their containment would have released massive amounts of radiation which would necessarily have affected Sarah, since she was less than three feet away from the damn thing.)
      • This would be the case, except the Terminator in T3 is not the same series as the Terminators in the first two movies. In T1 and T2, the Terminators are series 800 terminators (or T-800s), with a compact nuclear iridium power-cell, whilst the Terminator in T3 is a series 850 (T-850), which has two hydrogen fusion power-cells. The confusion arises in that the '101' referred to denotes the Model of the Terminator (i.e. the physical appearance). The resistance shorten it to T-101, but the full designation of any terminator would be CSM-(model number) T-(series number) Version (version number), (where CSM stands for Cyberdyne Systems Model). So in T2, the Terminator is a CSM-101 T-800 Version 2.4 (you can see this displayed on its HUD when it reboots in the movie), whereas the Terminator in T3 is a CSM-101 T-850 whatever version it is. We do briefly see another model of T-800 in the opening sequence of T1, but we don't know what model it is. This has been confirmed via Word of God by James Cameron.
  • If SkyNet hadn't sent back a terminator to kill Sarah Connor, Kyle Reese wouldn't have been sent back, and then John Connor wouldn't have been born (at least not the same way) and the Resistance may well have been fucked.
    • Skynet sent a Terminator back because the Resistance was about to destroy it in the first place. It had always been a desperation gambit.
    • Then there would have have been no resistance, because there would have been no SkyNet, because SkyNet started off by the parts of the terminator that were left in the past by SkyNet's going to the past... If John Connor isn't born, SkyNet isn't born. Stable Time Loop or What?
    • That looks like Fridge Brilliance to me. Like someone upthread said, Future John Connor might have been lying to his mother to keep the timeline unchanged from what he remembered. If at any time if it looks like Skynet is going to be destroyed without sending a T-800 back, Connor could just do it himself. As long as Kyle Reese is alive and able to be sent back, John Connor can always tell him the story he grew up hearing, and send a captured T-800 back programmed to hunt his younger self.
      • If there are multiple time lines, then the past can be changed without risking a paradox. This was at least implied in the first two films ("the future is not set...") and was made explicit in TSCC, which includes time travelers from at least two different post-Judgment Day futures. So there is no need to keep the timeline unchanged.
  • Why is Cameron, the "new model" in a line of infiltrator cyborgs, worse at mimicking human behaviour than any of the other terminators seen in the series or movies? Half of the time she acts kooky and says weird things in front of people who do not know she is a terminator. Word of God explains that after the time jump she entered an environment for which she did not have preset guidelines. However, that feels odd, given that we see other terminators (of an earlier model) who have adapted much better to unexpected circumstances. One example would be Cromartie, while another terminator missed its intended arrival date by almost a century and still managed to blend in well enough to organize and oversee an major construction project.
    • Cromartie was better at blending? Cromartie was so ineffective at hiding himself that the FBI was able to track him down, not to mention the shower scene at the high school, on top of the rampant murder sprees. We don't really see much of Myron Stark and what he did, though he also came off as weird in the few scenes showing him in the past, and he did show behavioral standards that were off enough that the period newsreels commented on them. There are several scenes where Cameron does say weird things, but most of those are in the second season, where Cameron's chip is damaged. And its also worth noting that Cameron is also able to perfectly blend in when she wants to, such as when she first meets John, when she helps infiltrate Kaliba, and when she scans the nuclear plant guards' IDs. And there's also the "Allison" persona, which shows Cameron is actually capable of mimicking emotions and human responses so perfectly that she thinks she is human herself. Yes, there are moments of awkwardness on her part, but Cameron is no more awkward than any other Terminator, and she's shown superior blending abilities, when she needs to.
      • Okay, I'll grant you that about Cromartie. My point was more about Cameron's everyday behaviour than the long-term planning skills. It just bugs me that there are so many "look how cuckoo she is" moments with her, especially when compared to other terminators. Personally, I feel like the terminators' ability to mimic natural human body language and such has been going down since Robert Patrick's T-1000.
      • Well, yeah, Cameron acts cuckoo. Her processor has been damaged. Most of her oddities pop up in the second season, after she sat down on a car bomb and took a giant chunk of shrapnel to the back of the head, which so badly damaged her processor that she actually glitched into a different personality that was convinced it was human. Prior to that, the only really weird thing she did in public was the stuff involving the guidance counselor and the girl who committed suicide. And of course there are more moments showing Cameron's oddities than there are with other Terminators; she's a main character with a ton of screentime. If you spent as much time watching Vick, Carter, Cromartie, etc. you probably would see more acts of oddness on their parts too.
        • Its worth noting that one of the Terminators, Vick, is actually apparently pretty bad at mimicking the person he replaced; his wife noticed that he was acting very strangely "after the crash" (presumably when the original Vick was killed and replaced) but she passes this off as the aftereffects of whatever said crash involved.
  • "Now I know why you cry, but it's something I can never do". Ok, not willing to ruin a great CMoH, but ain't it strange? Terminators can mimic even sweat and bad breath, but not tears?
    • Were they explicitly designed to mimic those two features? Sweating could be important for thermo regulation, which is what the human body uses it for, and halitosis could just be a by-product of having internal organs made out of metal. Now, one could argue that tear production would be helpful if, say, the Terminator got something in their eye or was in a particularly bad dust storm, but since the organic eyes themselves are only covering bionic eyes behind them, I don't think tears would be necessary.
      • I dont think that line refers specifically to the act of crying, more to the emotion behind the tears. He's saying he can never cry out of sadness or joy, because he cannot feel those emotions.

  Kyle Reese: The 600 series had rubber skin. We spotted them easy, but these are new. They look human... sweat, bad breath, everything. Very hard to spot. I had to wait till he moved on you before I could zero on him.

So I'd say yes, it was intentional or at least the most bizzare coincedence.

    • I believe that by the word "cry" he means "grieving." I.e. he can certainly mimic crying, but he can't feel sadness the way a human can. (of course, this is what marks Cameron as more "advanced" - as she is capable of at least simulating the emotion to herself) Uncle Bob understands why humans cry, but he cannot make himself grieve the way they can.
    • The T-800 can't fake any emotion. Even humans have a hard time faking sadness and tears believably.
    • Crying is not a common bodily function like sweating is so Skynet doesn't waste their time and resources creating that. He doesn't blush, cough, sneeze, bruise, drool, throw up, eat or go to the bathroom either. He sweats, he gets bad breath and he bleeds (a little), the bare minimum to pass for human.
  • Terminator 3: Sending the Terminatrix back to kill John Connor's future lieutenants is a fine plan. But why did they send her back to 18 hours before Judgment Day? That's a ridiculously short amount of time to run down several people spread across Los Angeles as well as killing off all the other people who share their name. Besides, wouldn't it be more likely that those people would have been out of Los Angeles that day, considering it was nuked to hell?
    • Killing Connor's subordinates was a secondary objective. Primary objective was eliminating Connor, and Skynet knew where Connor would be at that point in time. Thus, it sent the T-X back to that specific point to kill him. Any subordinates it bagged would be a bonus.
      • No, they didn't know where Connor was because he'd been off the grid for 10 years, ever since T2. The T-X was in LA killing Connor's lieutenants and went to the vet's office looking for Kate. Only when it scanned his bloody bandage did she realize Connor himself was near and switched targets.
      • "Kill John Connor" is probably just standing orders for all machines sent back in time, just in case they happen to run into him.
        • True. Connor's expressed on T-X's HUD as the "secondary target" until she finds a sample of his blood, at which point he's switched to become the "primary."
    • Probably Skynet knew that killing off that many people could potentially cause major disruptions in the course of history, so had to save that option for the hours immediately before Judgement Day, when any resulting response by authorities would be swept aside by the coming nuke attack. That's probably why the T-X was a lot less subtle about its work than its predecessors, trashing a considerable part of the city rather than just a few vehicles.
  • The cameo from a young-looking Arnie in Salvation was a nice moment in the cinema... but unfortunately it kind of implies that Sky Net is manufacturing hundreds and hundreds of identical terminators. Which, uh, gravely undermines the value of disguising them in the first place. Unless Sky Net has a separate factory cranking out hundreds of spectacles, fake beards, etc... or they program the terminators with a "Oh, no, I get that all the time, I just look like the implacable killing machine guy, that's all" subroutine.
    • It doesn't necessarily imply that. We only see one Arnie in Salvation, and the reason we see him is probably the same reasoning given by the T-850 in Rise of the Machines: Skynet knows of Connor's childhood attachment to that particular model, and would have thought it wonderful irony to have Connor be killed by the "same" robot that saved his life as a kid.
      • Can a machine be "ironic"?
      • Why couldn't it?
    • I thought the idea that Skynet bulk-manufactured Arnie models was confirmed when three separate ones appeared in the past over the course of the three previous movies.
    • Skynet probably has multiple templates it bases physical features on; SCC pretty much confirms that Skynet can manufacture a terminator's skin to look like whatever it wants, it just uses the same model's facial features for ease of construction. You don't need to get close enough for your facial features to be recognized to get the drop on a group of humans, and if your face is covered by a helmet/hat, cloth face-covering, and/or goggles, it would be hard to tell you've got one standardized face.
  • In T2, why do they keep wasting bullets and shotgun shells shooting the T-1000 over and over again? I could understand using a shotgun to blast it off the back of a car or knock it over the railing into the pool of molten metal, but other than that it doesn't seem to do anything. They obviously don't hurt it, nor do they slow it down significantly, and yet Sarah Conner and the Terminator seem to spend most of the movie expending round after round into the T-1000 and then they act all surprised when it comes back for more two seconds later.
    • I suppose you would just stand there and let it do it's thing. You might have noticed that shooting it stuns and slows it down.
    • In Arnie's case, maybe lacking any specific method of killing a T-1000 he just defaults to "shoot it until it dies". In Sarah's case, maybe it's a just a compulsion to fight at all costs, no matter how futile.
      • Seems to me that if you know your target can be damaged or slowed down, albeit not permanently or only on a hit to a vital point, it makes complete sense to keep pumping lead into it. Sure, odds are good you won't make a vital shot, but you'll still hopefully damage it a litle. Arnie's mission is solely to protect and evade, not destroy. And the more you delay the T-1000's mission, the greater the odds it'll be exposed to the military or weapons of the period.
    • While they're shooting it, at the same time it can't kill them. The physics won't allow it.
  • I still want to know WHY Skynet should even bother with the time travel plot if it knows Kyle Reese will be essential for Conner's survival? If it were worried about paradoxes it wouldn't send robots back to kill Conner,and since in T3 its production was on the way despite the Terminator hand being destroyed it doesn't need a Stable Time Loop to exist.
    • Because the time travel thing has always, from the beginning, been a last-ditch effort by Skynet to avoid its own total destruction. It sees it as its only chance to survive and win. If it doesn't try it, then that's it, it's over, so sending Arnie back is its last roll of the dice.
      • Also, Skynet doesn't know who Connor's father is. It has only partial postwar records, and that Sarah Connor was his mother. Even John Connor doesn't say much about him and doesn't identify him. Kyle Reese should not have come up on its radar. But TS screws with this idea in a major way.
  • In T1, Dr. Silberman interviews Kyle, who tells him a tale of robots from the future who want to destroy humanity and so forth. In T2, he has Sarah as a regular patient, who tells him a tale of robots from the future who... wait a minute. Why doesn't it strike him even a little bit weird that Sarah and Kyle both had the same "delusion?" For God's sake, he even talked to Sarah during T1. I know it's possible that he just thought they were having a shared delusion of some kind, but that could have been explained with just one or two extra lines of dialogue. For instance, in T2, there's a scene near the beginning where he's talking to a group of doctors about Sarah's condition, and one of them says something like "Wow, that's original." Dr. Silberman carries on with his speech, but hell, all he has to say is, "Oh not really, there was this other guy a few years back..." As it is, it just looks like he hasn't put two and two together, and he's treating Sarah for a psychotic delusion instead of Stockholm Syndrome, which would seem much more likely.
    • Sarah probably told Silberman during a therapy session that she and Kyle had spent a long time alone together. Silberman probably assumed Sarah had adopted Kyle's delusion about a robot apocalypse, much like being indoctrinated into a cult.
    • In T2, a cop interviewed Sarah about the Terminator shortly after the mall showdown. He shows her security photos of the T-800 at the mall, then shows her photos of the T-800 in T1, during the police station attack. So there is proof of the Terminator's existence in the original, yet Silberman still thinks Sarah's totally delusional?
    • How is pictures of Arnie walking around the mall "proof" that everything Sarah's been saying is true? Like the cop says, they assume it's just the same guy coming back because, hey, they never found a body and anyone who witnessed the original's rampage in the police station is dead and thus can't speak to his indestructibility.
      • There's proof of the existence of a tall man with a thick Austrian accent who once attacked a police station and murdered several officers. There is no proof (that Silberman knows of) that this man is a secret robot assassin as Sarah claims.
        • Apart from the fact that the tall guy with the thick Austrian accent clearly visible on both video and photographs hasn't aged a day between the assault on the police station and the incident at the mall. (Well, okay, either they might not have noticed or Sky Net might've anticipated the issue and "aged" a cyborg by ten years or so, but still...)
        • I don't know, the newer model did look quite a bit older to the one from T1. Beyond that, what're the chances he just got plastic surgery to make himself look younger? The photo's from the Police Department looked blurry enough to ensure that the psychiatrist couldn't see the Terminators minor facial features.
    • They know only that there is a man who looks like that and who somehow murdered 17 police officers and got away with it. The story takes place a mere ten or eleven years after T1, many people's physical appearance don't significantly change in that amount of time, especially if they use make-up or surgery or something. And Silberman was well aware that Sarah was already acquainted with Reese and had heard his story: watch T1 again.
    • Silberman's a quack. In the first film he shows no interest in Sarah's psychological state and seems more interested in making a study of Reese than treating him. In short, he doesn't care about his patients, just the effect they have on his career.
  • Additionally (same troper as above, btw), a few lines of dialogue during Sarah's voiceover at the very end could have explained why John didn't disappear as soon as the war ceased to happen: "Why is John still alive? By all rights he should have disappeared when we stopped the war from happening; no Kyle, no John. Perhaps the destruction of Cyberdyne created another timeline. Maybe the universe was kind to me and allowed me to keep my son. I don't ask why. I'm simply grateful that John and I can finally look to the future with hope instead of fear." Hell, that took me all of three minutes. As an added bonus, it might have kept those other two movies from happening. (Probably not, but one can hope...)
    • Why would John Connor disappear? Kyle Reese did exist at one time (and probably still would) and he impregnated Sarah Connor. While Kyle Reese would now never travel to the the pre-Judgment Day past according to the logic of the series, that event still happened in the timeline that Sarah Connor is shown existing in. The kid was already born and no changes in the future could change a past event that has already occurred.
      • It's the old grandfather paradox thing, as discussed above. There's no evidence that the series (at least up to that point) is operating on the multiple-timelines theory of time travel, so it seems like they should have addressed the problem in some way, no matter how obliquely.
    • John's existence makes sense if you're willing to accept T3 as canon. If not, it's explainable by the multiple timelines thoery, but that arguably opens up a bigger problem: when Skynet sends the Terminators back, they end up in another timeline, and are going to have no impact on the future of the timeline they came from. So John technically has no reason to intervene in those plans. Even if he has no way of knowing that, it's still a really bad idea to lower the stakes of two movies in your last scene
      • Not necessary if you suppose that after time travel creates another timeline, the original one ceases to exist, Back to The Future-style. In this case humanity was saved only by Delayed Ripple Effect.
  • Why in the world does the Terminator in the first two movies opt to steal clothes from people instead of what has to be the much more inconspicuous method of simply breaking into a clothing store and stealing clothes from there? In the second movie, we see that he actually has a program to actively seek out a human with clothes that will fit him. This is just silly.
    • In the second and third movies, he doesn't seem to materialize anywhere close to a clothing store to begin with, so he goes to the nearest populated area and picks out something that fits him from there. In the former case, well, a Terminator doesn't care how many humans it kills, and probably doesn't know where to find a clothing store, so it just walks until it finds someone, and takes his clothes.
    • The Terminators aren't very good at actually infiltrating anything. The T-X actually appeared in a women's clothing store and still didn't take any. Not that she needed to, but she still could have put some on or faked it instead of just attacking her first victim naked.
      • If memory serves, it was a lingerie shop. That wouldn't have helped her be less conspicuous.
    • Technically speaking, to "infiltrate" is to "enter or gain access to (an organization, place, etc.) surreptitiously and gradually, esp. in order to acquire secret information", i.e. spying. T-800 Terminators clearly aren't designed for spying. They seem to have no understanding of human culture and little or no social skills. In T2 John Conner actually has to tell the T-800 that most people say "yes" or "no" rather than "affirmative" or "negative". If T-800s were designed to be covert spies they would know that already. Rather, Terminators seem designed as terrorist assassins. Their "infiltration" programming only goes so far as to allow them to pass for human to a casual observer (i.e. they'll put on some sunglasses to cover up damage to their flesh-suit but have no compunctions about killing anyone who gets in their way) but once they've located their target they immediately bust out the dakka. If you think about it this actually makes sense. Imagine the situation: At a Presidential inauguration a seemingly normal person vaults over the guard rail and shoots the President in the face, taking 212 rounds to the head and torso and ripping the arms off three Secret Service agents and two police officers before finally going down. Amazingly, during the autopsy this superhuman monster killer turns out to have been a robot all along! Naturally the government acts swiftly to cover this up, confiscating the body and heavily censoring the coroner's report (possibly "disappearing" the coroner himself in the process). Similar incidents begin to occur around the world with alarming regularity. Efforts to find a connection between the killers is unsuccessful as they are not easily profiled by race or nationality. Each killer either carried no identification or stole their identification from someone else (these victims are later found dead in their homes), and investigators cannot find any prior records of the killers other than sudden (cash) purchases from gun shops and motels a few days before each attack. Eventually this fact is leaked to the general public, along with witness reports from the incidents. In each report the killer is described as being terse to the point of rudeness, speaking in an unusually clinical and technical manner and exuding an unsettling detachment from the world around him. Suspicion will begin to run rampant. Anyone who moves into a new area by themselves or has an anti-social personality starts getting sideways looks from their neighbors and co-workers. Some of them will be attacked and killed by angry mobs. Civil liberties will begin to suffer as more and more attacks occur. People who have recently bought one or more guns or who fit a certain vague behavioral profile will be detained by the government, possibly indefinitely. As society deteriorates into panic and suspicion, the Machines launch a sudden massive strike.
  • Judgement day can't be avoided, my ass. If the Terminator in T3 had bothered to steal something - anything other than a RV, they would have gotten to Skynet in time to stop its deployment. They only had to get there a few seconds sooner.
    • If they had then Skynet would have been unleashed in some other way. Or unleashed a few days/weeks/months later when the military reconstituted the project and activated Skynet as planned the first time. Or they would've had a blowout or a crash or a breakdown on the way to the base which delayed them long enough for Skynet to be unleashed. The point is, T3 operates on the premise that Judgment Day was destined to happen. Avert destiny one way and it would just happen another way.
  • OK so Sky Net sent the Terminator back in time as a desperation move to prevent itself from being destroyed by the Human Resistance by killing its leader. That's fine, except for one thing... Sky Net still lost the war as of 2029. If the war has already been lost then how does Sky Net still even exist into 2032? Did the Human Resistance only destroy its defense grid and main means of production so that it only exists as an isolated program in a facility somewhere but can't fight the war anymore? If the humans won the war then Sky Net shouldn't exist anymore, so therefore they have simply weakened Sky Net but it hasn't truly been destroyed yet.
    • War is rarely a case of win/lose. There are of course exceptions but if your at Total War (which we can assume both Skynet and the Resistance are) then everything is focused on the ability to wage more war. The Resistance could have "won" but more likely is that winning was inevitable. Skynet probably still had resources at it's disposal but not enough to defeat the humans. Three years is pushing it though.
  • Why doesn't John Conner update the past with information that is going to happen once the time traveling robot assassins come after him? Can't he tell Kyle, "Hey a previous version of you got killed when you broke your neck when you were blown away by a bomb you planted inside the terminator.", or, "Once the T-100 is frozen pick up all of the individual pieces and throw them in the smelting plant so that he doesn't have the chance to unfreeze from the liquid nitrogen.", and finally, "Make sure that you get to the U.S Air Force's command center in 2004 so that you can tell them to not activate Sky Net's network control." I mean if it happened to John once before then it should happen to him again once he gets to personally activate the time traveling device.
    • Because John's not omniscient, so he's not going to know specifics. Also, sending someone back changes the future, so he has no idea what's going to happen in the past.
    • Also also, every time Kyle Reese goes back, dies, and Judgment Day is not averted, it increases the amount of information that has to be passed on to him the next time the time travel loop rolls around. The first time Kyle is killed by a bomb he planted in the Terminator's torso. The next time John warns him about this before Kyle goes back, Kyle makes sure to get into cover before the bomb goes off, and instead is killed in some other way. Now John has two possible deaths to warn Kyle about. The next time John warns Kyle about his two previous deaths and he's killed in yet another way. Now John has three possible deaths to warn Kyle about. See how that could become a problem? Eventually it multiplies out of control. Even if it works it won't work. If Kyle is warned about every possible death and manages to flawlessly avoid all of them and survive without a scratch then future!John Connor won't have anything to warn him about at all, and he won't know not to get killed by a bomb shoved in the Terminator's torso.
    • Given that it seems that time is fluid in the Terminator Universe maybe John does say all these things but we're only watching the first run through.
  • One of the things that has bothered this troper the most about the entire Terminator series is the implicit belief written into the films that Skynet is under some kind of time constraint to defeat the human race or to find Sarah & John Connor.Being a self-repairing machine, Skynet is virtually immortal, and if not immortal, then it will certainly long outlive the majority of its opponents. It can launch attacks any time it chooses (and given the benefit of access to a time machine,any WHEN it wants to. Even if the humans are successful, Skynet can hide inside the hard drives of a terminator or a drone and wait to strike again at a time of its choosing.
    • The first movie makes it clear that Skynet sending units back in time was an extreme desperation move as it had been destroyed by the Resistance.
  • Why are all of machines in this film series forced to think (and act) like humans rather than like the machines that they are? The LEAST efficient way to search for Sarah Connor in the first film would have been to look in the telephone book (what if she didn't have a phone or was living w/ somebody that had the phone in their name). Why didn't the Terminator simply go a post office or any public records building after they were closed,accessed their computers and look up Sarah Connor in that manner?
    • Breaking into a public records building gets police on your ass, as such a location will likely be guarded and have alarms. The T-800 would want to minimize contact until it has at least started eliminating targets, and the easiest way to access that information would be via the phone book. Its simple, readily available, quick to access, and won't get police investigating and pursuing and potentially encountering and then bringing weapons against it that can defeat it.
      • The Terminator could simply dial the number for the modem and access the data remotely, like the T-X did in T3.
      • And on the off-chance Sarah's number isn't in the phone book the Terminator can explore other methods.
  • Why is Skynet even using Terminators? Knowing that humans are irrational (according to him databases) why not simply use that irrationality against them and let them do the job for you? Or create a disease? Or a quick acting nerve agent? Or...any number of a dozen or more attacks that humans would not suspect? Hell...why not use all of the tactics in its database at once? Human would never expect and would be overwhelmed.
    • It does and it did. That's why mankind is reduced to a weakened resistance. Its just that the humans have adapted. "Irrationality" is incredibly vague, and human beings can be surpringingly single-minded when they'r eup against threats to their own survival, i.e. killer robots. Disease can be defeated by quarantine and antibiotics (and in the SCC continuity, Skynet was using drugs against the resistance) Nerve agents can be defeated with gas masks and depending on prevailing conditions and security, may be ineffective against bunkers where the majority of the Resistance house themselves.
      • Skynet's first act after becoming self-aware was to launch nukes at Russia, causing them to launch their own nukes in response. Result: instant nuclear holocaust. It wasn't until long afterward when the humans had gone to ground and started launching guerilla attacks that Skynet was forced to start hunting them down individually with killbots.
  • Wouldn't the "ripping the page out the phone book" method of searching required killing all Sara,Sarah, Zara,Sarai and S Connors just to be sure? Even in 1984,when I saw this film the first time,this logic bomb always struck me as being more than bit ridiculous.
    • Not if there aren't any Zara, Sarai, etc. Connors in the phone book. We see the page, and it only has three "Connor" listings at all.
    • Better question is why didn't he flip through the entire thing. It probably wouldn't take much memory and Skynet knew next to nothing about Sarah Connor. It would have been unfortunate for example if that was her maiden or married name and some event had or hadn't taken place yet.
      • It knew enough to know where she was and her name at the time. It may also know, based on John's age in the future, that the time the Terminator was sent back to was around when he was conceived; ergo since he's John Connor, she would be Sarah Connor at the time he's conceived and born.
    • It knew the name and the city (and the time), no more. The T-101 was destroyed while it was still trying to kill the third and last "Connor, Sarah" listed, so we don't see what it would have done afterward had it not been destroyed. I don't remember the phone book listing any "Connor, Sarai" or anything like that, and presumably there weren't any Sarah Conners about.
  • So many things about TS bug me.
    • The very first scene, Connor's unit goes down into the lab, then Connor goes up, sees his mates dead, and a Terminator flyer taking off, somehow derives that the prisoners must be aboard and attempts to pursue it, and then the machines blow up the lab. Why didn't they do it earlier? How did they manage to kill the topside humans without them alerting the underground ones? Why didn't whoever killed the topside humans stay to make sure that nobody escapes from the lab or, better yet, went in and kill them all? Why wasn't the lab protected? When did they have time to transport prisoners to the surface and load them into the flyer and moreover why did they bother - it's not like they have shortage of slaves/test subjects? Was Connor intent to take that tansport on alone? How the hell did Marcus survive the explosion completely unscathed?
    • Skynet wanted some of the soldiers attacking the lab to survive and send the fake signal so that they could locate the Resistance Headquarters. Of course, their plan relied on Command broadcasting the signal from their sub, instead of an off-site transmitter.
      • How is that at all a What an Idiot!? They thought it was a fool-proof way to shut down Skynet's machines. Assuming it's true, as they did (and went out of their way to verify, remember), how is it a bad idea to broadcast it from your base of operations? Even if Skynet could track it, from their perspective it wouldn't matter because the signal would shut down any attacking machines that got close.
      • A simple cost analysis shows why its an Idiot Ball moment. Idea: Send the signal off from your headquarters where all of your senior leadership is. Best case scenario: Skynet crashes like it was running off of Vista and the war is over. Worst case scenario: It doesn't work, and your entire senior leadership becomes dead. Even if they were absolutely sure, it wasn't worth the risk.
    • The scene in the Skynet facility. Why did the Skynet feel the need to explain its plan to Marcus and show him the location of the chip in his head? What was the point of the chip, if it could simply be torn out? Why didn't the Skynet dispose of Marcus after he'd outlived his usefulness? Why wasn't there a remote controlled "Off" switch in him? When Connor got inside, why didn't Skynet flood the chamber with gas? Or fire? Or swarm several Terminators on him? Or give that one Terminator a gun? What was the need to clad that Terminator in human skin? Why do the machines, who have heat vision, need spotlights?
    • If Skynet could make such creatures as Marcus, what was all that crap with rubber-skin, easy-to-spot and emotionless Terminators about?
      • At the same time they were developing regularly, they were experimenting with a prototype. And considering how a full-fledged cyborg proved hard to control, going on for hard-to-spot emotionless robots instead of more humans turned into Terminators seemed the best Skynet could do.
      • Skynet did not make Marcus, the cancer lady did. After she died of cancer, Skynet simply "improved" upon her design. It probably did not or just learned how to make another Marcus from the ground up.
    • Why is every Terminator in the movie such a wuss? Why keep tossing the humies around instead of just snapping their necks?
      • Besides not being that advanced, the PG-13 rating prevents a carnage...
    • How the hell can a Resistance be sucessful, when it has no idea about discipline or chain of command, and when a direct order from high command can be overruled with a heartfelt speech from a lowly officer?
    • How the hell could Kyle Reese survive in the post-apocalyptic world while being such a stupid wuss, who cannot shoot a guy and approaches his quarry face to face?
    • Whose dumb idea was it to bradcast the Signal from the HQ? Wasn't it painfully obvious that it could be tracked back to them?
    • If the Skynet controled all the military assets in the USA at the least, including nuclear weaponry, how could the humans still possess such extensive warfare, including airfields, especially since they didn't seem to bother about camouflage. Why didn't the machines bomb them? Where did the human crafts get the fuel?
      • The world has a lot of hiding places. The Resistance may very well control large areas of land.
    • In the end Connor bestows Reese with a Resistance uniform, saying that "you earned it"? Excuse me? Did I miss the part when Reese actually did something usefull for the Resistance? Moreover, for the duration of the whole movie Connor keeps harping about Reese's importance. Well, apparently nobody, his superiors included, cares enough to inquire, otherwise what exactly would Connor say? "He's destined to bang my mom in the past, so I have to wrap him in cotton-wool, or else I'm screwed out of existence"?
  • How dangerous would it be to be in the room when one of those grenades gets fired, even if you "get down"?
    • Extremely. But "get down" is standard movie speak for "we are now invincible".
      • If this is the infamous "let me try my key" scene, it wouldn't have been exceptionally dangerous at all. In reality, the grenade wouldn't have armed itself in time and would have just bounced off the door. Although it could have smacked somebody in the head really hard if it bounced in the wrong direction.
  • Would it be possible to share a breathing apparatus like they do while swimming in tear gas, without it critically affecting you?
    • Possibly. If Sarah held her breath and kept her eyes squeezed shut when John had the mask and John did the same when she had it then in theory they might have been able to tolerate the effects of the tear gas. Not forever, but long enough for the Terminator to wheel in the armored van and get them out of there. Though even then they would've had to spend some time recovering from the tear gas. Sarah probably would've had a hard time standing up straight, let alone trade shots with the T-1000 as it chased after them in a helicopter.
    • Yes. It would be possible. It would suck horribly and you'd hate life but yeah you could force it. What you do is you take a deep breath and hold it. The trick is you think you can breathe out without the mask you can't. When you get the mask back you press it as hard as you can against your face and breath out, this forces the tear gas out from the rubber seals, you then take a breath. I would NEVER recommend this in the field but yeah if you had enough training, and enough wherewithall this isn't impossible in the short term.
    • You can share, but you'd still be getting a dose of the stuff, since the mask is getting the gas inside everytime they pass it back and forth. It would be diluted a bit by the oxygen from the mask, but they'd still be coughing, wheezing, and streaming fluids from the nose and eyes by the time Arnie got back to them.
  • How much deadly shrapnel would a helicopter collision spew into the interior of the SWAT van?
    • A lot. But the scene where Sarah puts on a kevlar vest and makes John cover himself with 3-5 vests handwaves it.
  • Why did they put Gibbons in the men's bathroom, the MOST OBVIOUS place to look for him? Why not the women's? Or a broom closet? Or ANYWHERE but the one place where they would certainly look for a guy missing from his post?
    • Why would that be the most obvious place to look for him? Do security guards at software companies get tied up in men's rooms a lot where you come from?
      • ...You really need to be told what else someone would be doing in a mens' bathroom?
    • As a security guard, I can vouch that the night shift usually drinks a lot of coffee, meaning a lot of trips to the john. They could have at least tied him up inside a stall though, and a Tap on the Head would have at least given the appearence that the guard had simply nodded off.
  • Wouldn't the T-800 Terminator have been better off leaving the T-1000 frozen in one piece? It would have taken longer for it to melt and regain the ability to move. Shooting the T-1000 into a hundred pieces actually helped it to continue the pursuit of John Connor!
    • Either way it would have thawed from the heat, and if he hadn't shot it he wouldn't have had to pull himself together from droplets. Also, he only took note of the heat after shooting him.
      • Yes, but a single solid object thawing out is going to take a lot longer than a hundred smaller objects thawing out because in the latter case there's a whole lot more surface area, whether they're near a Smoke and Fire Factory or not. It's the difference between him thawing out "eventually" and him thawing out now.
    • Answer: Yes, it would have. But then we wouldn't have had that cool shot of the T-1000 blasting into a bazillion frozen pieces.
  • Is the "Arnold" model the T-101 or the T-800? I've seen it referred to as both in the context of the first two movies, though a similar, upgraded model was T-801 in the third movie.
    • T-800, Model 101. The 800 refers to the endoskeleton, the Model 101 part is the outer layer of flesh.
      • So Model 101 has the exact facial appearance of Arnold, whereas all T-800s would have the same physical build: six foot plus, hulking, weigh around a half ton or so.
    • Terminator clearly doesn't weigh anywhere near half a ton. It has a very skeletal chassis which doesn't suggest such enormous weight, and it would have been an abject failure as an inflitrator otherwise. It wouldn't take much wok to create a stone-age tech trap that would get triggered by something that weights 6 times the weight of average person stepping on it, no need for dogs and inept sentries in a bunker, just a pressure plate or a nice deep hole covered by something that would give out under this much weight. In the present, his bike and car suspension would have failed the first time he went over a bump on the road and he would have put an enormous dent into the hood of the car he jumped on in the first film. In general, a person weighting this much and stomping around would not have looked or sounded "normal".
      • You can chalk up the weight suggestion in T3 either to a variation between the two Terminator models, or chuck it based on Fanon Discontinuity.
    • The films themselves never refer to Ahnald as anything but a T-101. In expanded universe material and trivia a deleted scene it's claimed that it's from series 800 and model 101. The series is the type of terminator involved, the model the physical appearance mold that's used for the human part.
  • The Kyle Reese from the more-or-less original timeline is the father of John Connor; why is the Kyle Reese of the Terminator: Salvation timeline of any importance? John Connor might think so based on assumption, but if you look at the Parallel Universe theory of time travel it shouldn't matter even if Kyle Reese dies before he can be "sent back in time", since that is not the same Kyle Reese that fathered John Connor but an alternate one. Perhaps John Connor never saw any time travel movies or Doctor Who...
    • And what if the Parallel Universe theory of time travel isn't true in the Terminator universe? John Connor can't take that chance.
    • Many people who analyze these films seem to forget there's a reason it's called the Parallel Universe theory. We don't even know whether it's true now. Why would John Connor risk not being born on a hunch? It's theoretically possible to survive being shot in the forehead, but I'm still going to freak out if someone points a gun at me.
  • Alright, what always bugged me is the variable meaning of "No Fate but what we make." In the first film, it's an uplifting bit of advice to Sarah that even though all this shit's being dumped on her, it's still her responsibility to be strong and make him all he needs to be. "You must survive or I can never exist." Cool. Then the second movie spins around and suddenly it means "BLOW UP BUILDINGS! FUCK THE FUTURE! EAT TERMINATORS, SHIT JUDGMENT DAY! GO FOR IT, SARAH!" Um...ok, I guess that works. Makes it seem like Kyle was sent back to blow up Cyberdyne, but whatever. John himself falls for that throughout the third movie, but the ending basically pulls up a giant troll face on him and says "Yeah, the Future's not set, but there are some pretty hefty guidelines. Problem, savior of mankind?" I'm ok with that. It makes more sense, even if it completely destroys the emotional impact of the second film. It's similar to the message of the first. That's cool. Then we have Salvation, where John is suddenly back to thinking "Kill Kyle Reese, reset the future. No John Conner." Even though, on a fundamental level, that makes no sense at all given what he's seen and basic logic (kill Kyle Reese, reset the future, and you get your original dad back, which leads to Kyle coming back. Paradoxical, but either way your existence is assured). So, now John's going to send back Kyle meaning for No Fate to mean what Sarah heard in the second movie. Great. Thankfully, the movie didn't have any time travel, so it didn't end up mattering what No Fate meant, yet. It just really bothered me that even Cameron hopped back and forth on it, just using the words however they seemed to support the plot. Maybe I'm just overthinking it.
    • You are. And you're making the mistake of assuming that "No fate but what we make" is some kind of objective statement of how timetravel works that was said by an omniscient being of time and space. It's a motto that human beings came up with. Human beings who, you know, will each interpret things differently. So it's very silly to say that it's a definitive statement to be treated as fact anymore than you'd expect Semper Fidelis to mean that every single marine ever is never going to cheat on his or her loved one.
      • Except that Semper Fidelis isn't a phrase written by the author of the universe. No Fate is.
      • Yes, but in universe, it's only said by fallible human beings. It's not said by anyone who would actually know. The humans didn't even build the time machine, do you expect them to have explicit and complete knowledge of how the time-space continuum is going to react to all the time traveling? It's a motto, plain and simple.
  • How the bloody blue piss does the T-1000 work? How is it in any way plausible to progam a homogeneous mass of liquid metal?
    • Erm...nanomachines. Suspended in liquid metal. Yeah.
  • We all seem to be thinking of only two ways that time travel could work: either a stable time loop in a singular timeline or multiple timelines being created whenever time travel is used. But what if the future merely ceased to exist when a time travel event occurred? Meaning that once the timeline is altered, everything after the event when the characters are sent back is wiped out?

So let's think about this: Maybe the thing that makes John such a great leader is that it's in Sarah's blood. After all, we've seen that Sarah has badass inside of her in the first and especially second movies. So in the original timeline, Sarah gets knocked up by random 80s dude, Cyberdyne manages to create Skynet without any help from future technology, John Connor grows up and survives the nuclear holocaust, and ends up being an awesome leader and kicks the machine's ass until they decide to use their fancy time travel technology to go back and wipe him out.

So everything gets reset, only now the Terminator exists in the 1980s. Reese also sends himself back because he somehow knows the T-800 is out to get Connor. So now, Sarah sleeps with Kyle instead of random 80s dude, producing a slightly different but still badass John Connor, and they destroy the Terminator, leaving behind a relic that inadvertently helps Cyberdyne build Skynet even faster, and probably improves human technology as a whole to a great degree. (Or not, since it is secret and Cyberdyne is kinda the eeevil corporation that Cameron loves to have in his movies)

The future plays out a bit differently this time. Sarah goes nuts and imprisoned, and John lives with his foster parents. Sarah stays in the looney bin until she probably dies, and Connor is raised by his foster parents, but having the badass blood in him still survives nuclear holocaust and fights the machines. The Machines decide to eliminate this thorn in their side, so they send back the T-1000, possibly an advanced machine caused by the spike in technology caused by the T-800 arm left back in the 80s. It fails again, and the timeline gets reset once more.... etc

Only this time,

    • Time doesn't make much sense in terminator, here's why. If you could change the past the changes would have to be immediate (because from current time point of view they have already happened, just like everything that you did yesterday has already happened, it isn't happening now), meaning once skynet sent a terminator back, but Reese hasn't been sent yet, at that instant the future would have been changed because everything in the past has already happened. Alternately changes in the past have no effect on the current timeline and killing Connor in the past would have made no difference to the present, rendering the whole "sent terminator into the past" gambit pointless.
      • In the former case it does make sense if you assume that Reese was going to be sent and nothing had happened to prevent his going, and in the latter it's still important to bear in mind that the machines were making a desperate last minute attempt and evaluated that they may as well give it a shot--in other words, that there is some chance that traditional understandings of how time travel would work might turn out to be wrong, and they had nothing to lose in trying since they had already lost the war anyway.
        • I don't see how the former makes sense though. Terminator goes through, Reese hasn't been sent yet. At that point terminator has to succeed in his mission (since Reese is not in the past to stop him, and the past has already happened from his point of view), so there is no longer a John Connor to lead the resistance in the present, no victory for humans, no Reese to send to the past.
    • Let’s say that the original Terminator has just been sent back. The Resistance sees that it was programmed to go back and prevent John from being born, so they make plans to send someone else back to stop it. Then someone asks, “How about we just… don’t send someone back?” With that in mind, they could make two conclusions: Either A) The Terminator failed, as John is still alive in the present; or B) The Terminator has affected another timeline, which will have no bearing on their own existence. Or are they afraid that John will begin to fade away, BTTF-style? The same logic can be applied to Skynet’s perspective. It would know immediately if it had failed, because it would still be in the same situation rather than the rewritten version where the Resistance is beaten. And if there is indeed a multiverse, then sending a Terminator would only benefit Alternate-Timeline-Skynet and not itself. The next thing to look at would be the concept of an evolving timeline that changes with each iteration, as mentioned above. This is still essentially the multiple-timeline idea – they just happen to be alternate timelines that other time-travellers have visited. The defining aspect about a single timeline is the grandfather paradox and the inability to prevent things that lead to travelling back in the first place. If someone travels back in time, there has to be some point in the future where that exact same individual slipped into the past. But in a constantly re-writing timeline where past-version knowledge is passed on to the next version, there will eventually be a point where going back is unnecessary. Let’s say the latest Terminator goes back and kills Sarah/John. Skynet continues to play a perfect game and annihilates the resistance. It therefore has no need to pursue time travel technology and lives happily ever after. That means that from its perspective, that “Perfect Hand” Terminator simply blipped into existence at one point in time, which means that it either came from a parallel universe, or otherwise it would have to pursue the time-travel loop for no other reason than to avert a theoretical paradox. It seems to make a bit of sense for a machine to follow this through, but again – what would happen if Skynet just thought, “Nah, let’s just not send someone back, we don’t even need to anymore.” Such a world in a single-timeline universe would be unachievable (since the course of events would already be decided as soon as the Terminator shows up), and a Skynet working on a multiple-timeline train of thought wouldn’t follow that course of action as it would only help the multiverse Skynet.
  • Why would the Terminator need a gun with a laser sight?
    • It uses visual aiming, just like humans do.
    • It's probably used to energy weapons and not the trajectories of conventional firearms. Also, the gun in question, the AMT Hardballer, was notoriously unreliable.
  • Why in the bloody hell is anyone convinced that T2 was trying to be ambiguous about the 'alignment' of the Terminators initially? Right off the bat, the T-800 beats up a bar in an illogical maneuver to obtain clothes without killing anyone while the T-1000 just off-handedly kills a police officer. There could not be a more obvious EVIL TERMIE HERE!!!! sign over his head. This really stands out if you watch T1 and T2 back-to-back because the T-800's behavior so blatantly contradicts his behavior in the first movie.
    • Maybe if you paid attention then you would notice that t-1000 wasn't in any way indicated to be a terminator intially, and he wasn't shown "killing" anyone (for all the viewer knows he punched that cop in the nuts). There was no blood, no typical terminator obtuseness or massive physique, absolutely nothing to indicate he was anything other then human. He also arrived second, same way as Kyle did. So I call bs on your supposed deduction that he was a terminator (a bad one too) without seeing the whole film. You might also remember that Arnold in the first film also was shown to kill only one punk, throwing the other and we are not shown what happens to third. Don't confuse your post-factum knowledge with what is actually shown in the film.
      • And even though he didn't kill anyone, he did deal some pretty grievous bodily harm to two of the bikers (Stabbed one in the back and threw the other onto a goddamn grill.). The T-1000's behavior before he was revealed also contradicted what the audience expected a terminator to act like at the time. He doesn't sound monotone, his movements aren't quite as stiff, and he does seem fairly friendly all things considered.
        • We see the T-1000 grab the cop in the beginning, then see him slump over. Death is implied, if not shown. And it is implied a HELL of a lot more than the T-800. Yes, he tosses around a bar full of bikers, but it isn't.... deadly. The movie does not make it look deadly, rather simply 'movie' violence. Hell, you spend more time on Arnie slipping on the shades than you do on the injuries of the bikers. As regards the punks from T1, we, uh, saw him straightforwardly rip the heart out of one of them. No flashiness, nothing. A vast contrast.
          • I just watched the scene with T1000, all we see is him making a thrusting motion with his arm, framed from shoulders up. It implies a punch, a stab perhaps, but since we aren't shown any weapon, any blood on his hand, or him morphing his arm into a blade you'd have to have powers of premonition indeed to assume that he is a terminator. We don't even know that the cop is dead rather than just unconsious, we can only infer that in retrospect when we are shown that T1000 stabs his victims in a generally lethal manner. Yes, Arnold is shown in a "cool" way, while Patrick is slightly menacing, but we KNOW Arnold is a terminator (even without seeing the first film, termovision gives it away off the bat), and Patrick appears human. Thinking that Arnold is the bad guy, or maybe even both of them are bad guys is a perfectly natural assumption. It would seem slightly off on first viewing, but in no possible way is it as obvious a reversal as you claim it to be. As far as the first terminator, I am pretty sure he simply withdraws a half-open first (after doing whatever internal damage that he did), no heart there. Sure, not quite the same as stabbing someone through the shoulder with a dagger, but considering he only kills one punk on-screen in the firts film, not that far removed.
  • Why doesn't the T-1000 simply envelop his opponents? We see that he can turn into a shapeless blob at will. So why doesn't he surround the T-800 with his mass, and then crush his vital components from the inside?
    • He doesn't have that much mass. Fully enveloping the T-800 would be hard with his mass, and even if he did, crushing him would be impossible, because he would have to apply that pressure across his entire body. It's one thing to apply force on a single point on a blade a few inches across. Its another thing altogether to apply that pressure across the entire surface area of a seven-foot tall robot with the bulk of a bodybuilder. It will literally have a few hundreths or thousandths the strength to apply per square inch. Stabbity/punchy is more efficient.
  • What happened after they removed the CPU from the terminator in T2? Was removing and sticking it back in enough to overwrite the "don't learn to much" program?
    • "skynet presets the switch to read-only when we're sent out alone". So, it was not program, but a physical switch, like the one on SD-Memory Cards, which you can set to read only and back with a simple motion of a hand.
  • It might have been asked before but why didn't Kyle just show Dr. Silbermann his brand from the prison camp to prove his story? He shows it to Sarah earlier in the movie, but Silbermann claims he "doesn't [have] a shred of proof." He might not have believed him still, but it's better than just expecting him to take his word for it.
    • It wouldn't have done anything. It would've changed Silberman's view of him from "delusional whacko" to "delusional whacko with a tattoo."
    • If anything Silberman would've just assumed Kyle did it to himself as part of his delusion. So-called "alien abductees" have been known to do the same thing.
  • When was the resistance formed?
    • Probably as soon as the first set of bombs stopped dropping.
    • In T1 Kyle Reese said that humans were rounded up by the machines and put into extermination camps, and that one man - John Conner - taught them to fight back and escape. So the Resiatance was formed after Skynet started its Final Solution for humanity post-Judgment Day.
  • So can an T-1000 be reprogrammed?
    • It can be programmed in the first place, so probably yes. You'd just have to find a way to subdue, then interface with, what amounts to metallic pudding.
  • Why don't Skynet make an terminator that self destructs when it find its target?
    • Because then it's only got one shot to hit its target, and it makes it impossible to confirm the kill. If the explosion doesn't do it, then that's a total waste of an asset.
  • In TSCC why would the police be after John?
    • Because he and his mother are basically wanted terrorists who've bombed civilian targets in the past based on the ludicrous assumption that those targets are going to create killer robots in the future? You know, the same reason that Sarah was institutionalized in the second movie?
    • I can understand Sarah getting arrested but John was only 10 years old when it happened.
    • Irrelevant to why they're after him. He is both a witness and a minor being cared for by a criminal. The police will want him regardless, if only to question him.
      • In the show, it just made it seem that the cops were trying to arrest him. That's why I'm confused.
      • John has always been Sarah's weak point. If the police can catch him, they know that Sarah will come looking for him. Since she is a wanted terrorist, they'll do anything catch her. Also, living off the radar makes you wonder what they do for money, since its hard to get a decent job without SSN, permenant address, or anything resembling a clean background check. Besides, in the pilot, the security cameras witnessed him aiding in a fucking bank robbery that ended with an explosion that probably thermalized the vault. If there is evidence he made it out, of course they'll be looking for him.
  • So during the future war is John the president of the whole human race or what?
    • Hard to say. The series doesn't get into too many details about how many humans survived and where the survivors are all living. Also, not all humans are necessarily part of the resistance. The rest may be in concentration camps run by the machines or surviving on their own. John Connor may just be the leader of the human resistance movement, not necessarily the entire human species.
  • What was the deal with Skynet's behavior in T3? The previous Judgment Day was originally brought about as an act of self-defense by Skynet after an attempted shutdown when the AI became self-aware several weeks after being activated. T3's Skynet meanwhile appears to go homicidal and order the extermination of humanity the moment it goes online, which just has to beg one to question the competency of the scientists who created it and just what its purpose was supposed to be.
    • Eliminate human error?
  • What would the T-800 or 1000 do afterwards if they succeed in their missions?
    • In T3 the Terminatrix had a list of John Connor's lieutenants. Maybe the first two also had lists, but were told that killing Connor was the most important thing they could possibly do with. If they'd succeeded, they might have had orders to go on killing people known to be Resistance leaders. If they completed that list...well, they could always rent themselves out to a computer company. Heck, they might even have had some kind of standing order to help develop Sky Net.
    • In SCC the units just shut down and wait for further orders unless outside stimuli directs them to attack. So they'd likely find some out of the way location safe from nuclear bombardment and power down until they received further orders.
  • Does the resistance ever win the war against Skynet?
    • It was stated in the first film that the time-travel attempt was a last-ditch effort by the machines to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat. Since the attempt failed, the resistance did win in that timeline. Too much of a headache to go into detail, but "yes" should suffice.
      • Kyle Reese explains it to his interrogators in very clear detail. He tells them that the Human Resistance had already won the Human-Machine War, Skynet's defense grid and production factories were destroyed leaving Skynet unable to fight the war any longer. However this does make me wonder how Skynet survived until 2032 to be able to send a third Terminator into the past. The only answer I can come up with is the the Terminators on the field functioned independently and that Skynet found a way to exist as a powerless, isolated program.
  • Why was John only worried about Kyle getting blown in the work camp during Salvation?
    • Go back and rewatch the first film. Who does John Conner send back to protect his mom? Kyle. And who ends up fathering John Conner? Kyle.
    • John isn't certain that that particular Kyle's actions would result in the creation of his past self. but he's not certain it won't. He can't take that risk.
      • I understand that; but in the movie, it makes him seem like he was only interested in going to Skynet Central because Kyle was there and he just happened to rescue a bunch of people.
      • Again, because him (John) existing is crucial to the survival of the species. He has to rescue Kyle because he can't take the chance that this Kyle isn't going to be his father. Needs of the many, and in this case the many is the entire race.
  • Why didn't Skynet send two T-1000s into the past instead of a T-800 and a T-1000?
    • They probably didn't have two T-1000s available at the time. Sending terminator's through time was a last ditch effort by the defeated Skynet, it would have used whatever it had available. Heck, maybe that was the first of the T-1000 models that had actually been built?
    • The T-800 in T2 says that the T-1000 is a prototype. Skynet probably didn't have time to make more before it lost the war, so it sent the one that it had.
    • In the Novelisation of T2, its stated that Skynet Hesitated over sending the T-1000 as due to its unique construction there were questions about just how "loyal" it would be to its mission. This was most likey due to the fact that programming Liquid Metal is a very different prospect to programming a computer chip that can be fitted with a "learn/don't learn" switch.
  • Why does Sky Net even have a time machine if the whole "send an assassin back in time" plot was a last-ditch effort? And how did they intend to test this?
    • It is all but outright said that the technology is just a prototype that Skynet had just completed and hasn't tested.
      • Yes, but why do they have a time machine if they didn't want to use it?
      • Because it just completed it and has not tested it yet. Its not an issue of "want" but "can."
      • Same reason people will keep guns for self-defense despite not wanting to use it: Just in case they have to.
    • Possibly Skynet discovered a human-led top secret research project about time travel when it took over the internet and global military computer systems. It didn't do anything with the information until the war started to turn against it, at which point it built upon what the human physicists had already done.
      • The novels of the Terminator series established that Area 51 scientists had created time travel. Skynet is a Military AI and it would have access to the most top secret files the U.S Military has to offer.
  • Skynet had the opportunity to converse with John Conner during Salvation. I find it hard to believe that it couldn't have produced an image on a wall or have spoken to him over the loud speakers. I only mention this because these figures are supposed to be the leaders of both sides of the Human-Machine War and enemies across the fabric of time itself. Skynet can't even take a moment out of its time to gloat at its worst enemy?
    • I don't think Skynet was given a "Gloat" function, or saw the need to develop one.
      • Yes it does. That's exactly what it does to Marcus when he's reborn into his second cyborg body. It goes over the entire plan up to that point and how Marcus was a pawn leading Connor to the facility.
    • That wasn't gloating, that was congratulations. Skynet was too dumb to know that taking the form of his last kiss and congratulating him on something he didn't want to do would anger Marcus...much like why it sent a terminator instead of leaving a bomb, but to be fair, that would have worked if John did not learn a terminator killed him that way in T3.
      • Admittedly, Skynet gloating at John Connor would have made the movie more interesting. It is supposed to be "self aware", so why not give Skynet some personality?
  • Given that General Ashdown is a former Commanding Officer of the U.S Military and John Connor's uniform as of 2029 shows him with the rank of 4 Star General are we to assume that the Resistance is a continuation of the United States Military? I ask this because once the Human-Machine War is over someone is going to have to rebuild the country and assume command. Are we to assume the U.S Government and all its important members like the President have no authority anymore?
    • The U.S. Government and its important members kind of, you know, were blown up.
      • Highly improbable, the President and his cabinet would have been given advanced warning of an incoming nuclear strike and would be notified to go to a high security bunker. Important Military personnel like Generals, intelligence officers, etc. would be given this treatment as well. The U.S Government and Military faced the threat of nuclear attack from the Soviet Union during the Cold War for decades, they would have contingencies to keep the structure of their organization together even after a nuclear war.
      • The Cold War had been over for a decade and a half by the time the bombs dropped in T3, and the end of that movie pretty clearly shows that they did not get to those bunkers--because John Conner is there, and they're not. Skynet had shut down most/all communication lines, that's a running plot thread in that movie.
      • Skynet would have to keep tabs on where the civilian leadership were presently located, it would be critical to its intended role. Even if it hadn't taken over all the communications, it would be extremely easy to launch American missiles at the American government (much less time to get to a bunker that way) and still have more than enough to incite a MAD response from Russia.
    • The Resistance is basically an alliance of surviving military units from different countries. Ashdown (and later Connor) was entrusted withn command by the leadership of this alliance.
  • A rather minor point but in T2, after the good T-800 gets his arm ripped off in battle, how come John didn't offer him the old T-800's arm? They're never shown considering that option, they just throw it into the smelting pool without an afterthought.
    • Leaving the T-800's Heroic Sacrifice aside, if they had planned on having it stick around it would be easier to explain a guy with a stump than a guy with 2 right arms. The one recovered from the lab was a righty, and the T-800 had lost it's left arm.
    • Besides, both arms were rather brutally ripped off - hardly he could've just attach it to his shoulder - it would've required equipment and skills they didn't have, and besides they were dead fixed on destroying the thing.
  • Why does Sky Net keep sending terminators back to later and later points in John and Sarah's lives when they are increasingly suspicious? Why not keep sending them to the earliest possible time (i.e. the time of the first movie)?
    • Perhaps the continous tense is not aplicable here. Sky Net does not "keep" sending them - it does it once, and then it gets trashed by the humans, because the Terminators had failed. And since it doesn't know when exactly to send them to, it sends several to different periods of time. This is the only way all of this makes some bloody sense to me.
  • From T2 when the old pick-up truck is being fixed...why would a Terminator need a torque wrench?
    • Because it's more suited to the job than fingers, even of those fingers are super strong.
    • Because the torque wrench tightens the bolt to a specific tightness, not just 'as tight as possible'. Besides, the T-800 was trying to pass as "Bob" at this point, so using it's fingers instead of the proper tool would have been suspicious.
  • The T-1000's & TX's "mimicking" with their liquid metal exteriors... Are they actually producing a surface that would feel & react like flesh & clothing, or just a fake that looks real? For instance if you touched, prodded or punched them (good luck with that, by the way) would the flesh & clothing feel & react realistically?
  • If the T-1000 can only imitate people and objects of equal size to itself, how was it able to imitate Lewis the guard, despite him being much larger than it was?
    • In the Novelisation of the film it was stated that the T-1000 "stretched" its molecules out a little bit to accomodate Lewis' larger size. Even the most microscopic increase over its entire structure could allow for much larger sizes & is also how it gained that helmet & puffy jacket when it was a motorcycle cop.
    • This troper always took that to simply mean there is a finite amount of T-1000. It could hollow itself out if necessary to create something larger (but less dense) than itself.
  • Why on Earth did the cops/SWAT open fire on poor Miles? Did they go "Hey look, that guy's unarmed! Oh wait... noes!!! He's a nigga! Die scum!!". I mean, I would like to believe Cyberdyne guards told the police that Miles was obviously a hostage! And SWAT *knew* they were after the white male that slaughtered the police station... so, WHY? I mean, they later give Arnie SEVERAL warnings before opening fire... Now that I'm grown up, rewatching this movie is a disservice.
    • The SWAT Team kicks in the door and screams "Drop your weapons!" They then see a man standing in the middle of the room, turning towards them, holding something in his hand. Race wasn't a factor; it was just bad timing that Miles was turning when the Team came in. Also, when they gave Arnie warnings, his pistol was tucked into his pants, meaning that he wasn't presenting a threat until he ignored their commands.
      • Plus, IIRC, didn't Miles have a detonator in his hands at the time? After Arnold demonstrated his willingness to fire on officers with a minigun I doubt they'd want to take their chances with anyone.
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