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The Canon of the Terminator saga

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Since the release of the first Terminator film, the universe of the Terminator has been expanded through novels, comics, video games, additional films, theme parks, and a TV series. Fans all over the world have also contributed with fan fiction into various medias, but as it is not considered official they are not listed in this article.

Our intention is not to decide what is canon and not. There are a huge number of products that can be considered part of the Terminator saga; some products more loyal to the original vision or to James Cameron's work than others. All are presented below as different layers of canon.

Beside The Terminator and Terminator 2: Judgment Day, which are made by James Cameron and therefore are considered true canon, this wiki merely presents all sources for the Terminator series, working from the canon of the first two movies and out to the other sources. The different layers below are not to be used to determine if a product is more or less canon, but only how "far" it is from the original.

Level 1

These projects involved Terminator creator James Cameron.

Level 1.1

Project listed above with alternate endings to its original

  • Terminator 2: Judgment Day - Directors' Cut release, directed by James Cameron. The alternate ending of Sarah holding her future granddaughter changes the whole ending from an uncertain future to a set future which in which Skynet is gone. Some fans of the films consider this alternate ending to be a dream sequence of Sarah, showing what she wishes the future will be. According to this theory, the alternate ending doesn't change the uncertain future from the original Terminator 2: Judgment Day release.

Level 2

These projects have been somehow "blessed" by James Cameron.

  • Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines - Arnold Schwarzenegger, who is very loyal to the creator, does act in the movie. Schwarzenegger first refused to act in this movie without James Cameron directing. Cameron advised Schwarzenegger to take the job and demand nothing less than 30 million dollars for the role. It is said that, at one poin, James Cameron did consider making a T3, but he has since stated that everything that he has to tell about Terminator was told in the first two movies.

Level 2.1

  • Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines - A deleted scene showing Gen. Robert Brewster watch a promotion video for Cyber Research where Sgt. Candy (Arnold Schwarzenegger) details the next generation of robots in warfare. This scene implies that Sgt. Candy was the model for the terminator series 800, Model 101.[1]

Level 3

These projects were made by companies who bought the rights to the Terminator franchise. There is no connection to people who previously worked on the Terminator movies.

  • Sarah Connor Chronicles - C2 Company is one of the production companies on this TV series, and is the same company who made Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines. Writer Josh Friedman of the TV show stated that the story in the TV series would be more loyal to the original movies, and it would be in a different timeline than the events of Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines (now an alternate future). Executive producer James Middleton confirmed in Variety that the series would contain a link to Terminator Salvation.[2]
  • Terminator Salvation - Later news stories reported that the rights of the Terminator franchise had been sold to Halcyon Company. It is said the plot will take place years after Terminator 2: Judgment Day and focus on an older John Connor in his role as Human Resistance leader. Writers connected to the project are John D. Brancato and Michael Ferris, same as Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines.

References

  1. DVD special feature, Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines
  2. 'Terminator' Re-tools, Published by Variety

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