What follows is a complete timeline of the three science-fiction/action films The Terminator, its sequel, Terminator 2: Judgment Day, and the third film, Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines. The article is an amalgam of information previously supplied by the articles Terminator Timeline A1&A2 and Terminator Timeline B1&B2, edited together to form a single narrative of events.
Be warned, however, that, due to the contradictory, confusing and often inconsistent nature and content of the three films, some of the information here is purely speculative and guesswork to try and branch both timelines together by theorizing possible solutions and explanations for the trilogy's many errors and logical contradictions.
Fact Key to understanding the article
There are two Timelines, categorized as A (for the two James Cameron-directed films) and B (for the third film's altered history). Timelines which are marked with a .1 follow the known series of events as viewed from the future perspective, concerning Skynet's creation and the actions which trigger the sending of Terminators and humans through time to ensure the future. Timelines marked by a .2 follow the timeline through the viewpoint of the action as presented by the films: the actual events in the past which resulted in the future of the .1 timelines. Italics indicate out-of-context notes and explanatory advice, while sentences/paragraphs rendered completely in Bold are messages from the page's creator, and are not part of the actual article itself.
Timeline A.1 (as told by both The Terminator and Terminator 2: Judgment Day)
- In 1994, Cyberdyne Systems Corporation Special Projects Director Miles Bennett Dyson devises an advanced microprocessor: a learning super-intelligent computer based on the damaged CPU of a mysterious, radically-advanced, nonfunctional, humanoid robot recovered by the company in 1984. Three years later, Cyberdyne becomes the largest supplier of military weaponry to the United States. Stealth bombers are upgraded with Cyberdyne computers, becoming completely unmanned and passing tests with perfect records.
Thus, the Skynet Funding Bill is passed, and Skynet, the world's first fully operational computer defense system, is brought online, connected to and given complete control over United States Military Defense Systems (which includes America's nuclear arsenal), on August 4th, 1997.
- On August 29th, 1997, Skynet achieves self-awareness; discovering and realizing its own existence, thus gaining sentience. When its human creators discover this startling, unexpected development, they decide to shut down Skynet to avoid retaliation. Ironically, this decision actually triggers a rebellious response from Skynet, which has grown into a fully-developed artificially intelligent being, and now embraces an age-old attribute: self-defence.
Deciding mankind's fate in a microsecond, Skynet launches the United States' entire arsenal of nuclear weapons at Russia; as predicted, Russia mistakens this action as meaning war by the Americans, and retaliates by launching their own missiles toward the U.S.A. Global nuclear holocaust takes place in mere minutes, resulting in the instant annihilation of 3 billion innocent human lives.
Humanity is reduced to a pathetic, weak band of survivors who take refuge in the radiation-swamped ruins of human civilization, and many are rounded up by Skynet's army of autonomous war machines, the Hunter-Killers, etc., to be disposed of in human concentration slave camps.
Salvation (or, The War Begins)
- Approximately 2015, post-Judgment Day (as the human survivors now refer to the day of Skynet's near-annihilation of mankind), a warrior named John Connor, raised from birth and trained as a soldier by his brave, legendary mother Sarah, succeeds in gathering a small band of strong-willed humans, rallying them in a brave attempt to rescue the imprisoned humans at Skynet's Orderly Disposal Camps.
The small but fierce team breaks out their human comrades, smashing "those metal motherfuckers into junk," and slowly building their ranks to become Tech-Com, the Human Resistance intent on winning back their planet. With John Connor as their strong, unwavering leader, The War Against the Machines officially begins in earnest...
In response to this rebellion, Skynet manufactures a new line of humanoid robot warriors called "Terminators": machine assassins designed solely for infiltration, with fake skin to give them a human appearance. Their purpose is to spy on and infiltrate the Human Resistance. After a failure with the Series 600, a model which used unconvincing rubber skin (which instantly gave it away to observant humans), Skynet succeeded in growing real living human tissue: blood, sweat, bad breath, everything vital to convincing infiltration. This series, designated T-800, becomes the primary offensive Terminator model, and soon becomes the main force in Skynet's armies.
Victory At Last...
- July 11, 2029 Wednesday-9:01 AM. The Tech-Com Human Resistance succeeds in destroying Skynet's defensive grid located in Colorado, USA. The Skynet mainframe is breached by Resistance soldiers, and Skynet is deactivated, finally ending the War of the Machines and returning domain of planet Earth to humankind.
- However, John Connor and a team of soldiers venture deep underground below the building which housed Skynet, discovering a chamber which channeled a Time Displacement wormhole; a time machine which could send objects only of (or covered by) organic, living nature both backwards and, theoretically, forward in time. Connor has his computer experts check the records of any energy pulses triggered by the machine, which signifies when it was used.
Skynet's Last Hand
Two signals are found, confirming that Skynet, in a desperate last attempt at saving its existence, had used the highly-advanced time displacement machine to send two Terminator assassins back through time: The first: a T-800, with the mission of murdering Sarah Connor in the year 1984, thus erasing John Connor's entire existence as his mother had not conceived John (with a mysterious figure as his father) yet. The second: an extremely advanced prototype Series 1000, a mimetic polyalloy "liquid metal" Terminator with its mission being, if the T-800 failed (however unlikely), it was to kill John Connor himself as a teenager in 1994. This model is unique in that it has the ability to replicate any human-sized figure of equal mass, thus making it near-impossible to find and stop. Connor decides to send back his own two warriors: a brave soldier named Kyle Reese (who had personally volunteered) was to be sent back to stop the T-800, and, due to the Series 1000 being so advanced that no human could possibly compete with it, a dormant T-800 Terminator (an irony deliberately chosen by Connor) would be reprogrammed and sent back to 1994, to protect the young Connor.
A Past (and a Future) Reborn
- Reese, who had requested to be the first traveler, was motivated by the chance to meet the legendary Sarah Connor, as well as because he had long held a deeply passionate crush on the woman, having fallen in love with a photograph of her given to him by Connor himself, for reasons unknown. He is sent back nude (as his clothing is un-organic), and after he disappears, Connor finally reveals why he chose Reese: Kyle is, in fact, John's father. By sending him through time, Connor had ensured his conception, for his mother had told him beforehand of who his father was and what he had to do. Reese, being deeply in love with Sarah, made love to her the night that the T-800 later killed Reese, but was destroyed by Sarah. In this one moment of passion, John was conceived.
- Connor then sends back the reprogrammed T-800, and, once the task is done, Connor orders the building blown up, effectively destroying the Time Displacement Equipment and ensuring that neither warrior can return. With a new future of hope ahead of him, Connor can only rebuild, restart, and try to heal the wounds of the past and create a new world from the ashes of the old; a more tolerant, human world without hate or despair: only peace, and the value of human life.
What follows is the same timeline as the one above, but instead covers the events of the past which were created by Skynet and Connor's interference in the original timeline, by sending back their two warriors to try and alter history...
Timeline A.2 (as told by The Terminator)
- Friday, May 12, 1984. The T-800 arrives nude within a spherical time bubble, the intense energy of which causes miniature electric storms. Ignoring a frightened construction worker who witnesses the Terminator arriving seemingly out of thin air, the T-800 makes its way into the city: Los Angeles, California. The home of a young, naïve waitress named Sarah Connor...
- The T-800 encounters three reckless punks screwing around at night, and, after evaluating their clothing sizes and parroting their speech vocabulary, demands one of them to give up his clothes. When the punks angrily refuse, the T-800 punches one of them right through the chest in a bloody splatter, knocking aside the second, and then approaches the terrified third punk, who begins to remove his clothes...
- In another area of town, a similar time displacement bubble regurgitates the nude Kyle Reese in a dirty alleyway. Unlike the T-800, Reese's arrival is a painful experience, and he steals the pants off of a drunken bum. Just then a police car spots him and, thinking Reese is a mugger, the driver pursues him. Reese manages to hide inside a closed shopping mall, where he acquires a trench coat, shoes and shirt, and steals a shotgun from the abandoned squad car. Slipping into the streets, calmly walking down a sidewalk as police forces drive past, Kyle Reese blends in the crowd and makes his way to a phone booth. Skimming through the pages, he pauses on the name CONNOR.
The Morning Of...
- The next morning, Sarah Connor has a stressful day at work, and comes home to find out that her boyfriend has blown off their date for tonight. Disappointed, Sarah is encouraged by her roommate and best friend Ginger Ventura to go out and enjoy herself anyway. She leaves to go see a movie and then eat out afterwards, riding off on her motorcycle, unaware that Kyle Reese is secretly watching and following her with a stolen car.
The T-800 steals a large supply of automatic weapons and various gun models, all specializing in "hunting." After killing the store owner, the T-800 also hunts through a phone book, finding three different woman named "Sarah Connor." It systematically goes to the first two Connor's houses, murdering them without any logical reason, except for the fact that they share names. Sarah sees a news report covering the odd killings on a television at a pizzeria, and, worried for her safety after seeing that she is the next Connor on the list in the phone book, tries to call the police station. She enters a flashy nightclub Tech-Noir, and uses the party's phone. She is told by Lt. Traxler and his partner Vukovich to wait inside the club for a police escort.
- Meanwhile, at Sarah's home, Ginger and her boyfriend Matt are having sex when the T-800 arrives, murdering both. He is about to leave when a message plays on the telephone: it is Sarah trying to contact Ginger, frightened for her life. The T-800 takes a photograph of Connor, and then heads out to find and terminate its target at the club...
New Target Acquired
- At the same time, Kyle Reese also enters the Tech-Noir club, watching Sarah from afar. Just then the T-800 arrives and, recognizing Sarah's picture, unleashes its weapon. Reese instantly whips out the shotgun and an explosive gunfight ensues, with the T-800 being shot multiple times, but shrugging off the blows with ease, to the horror of a confused and bewildered Sarah. Kyle grabs Connor and drags her out the building to his car, with the Terminator in fast pursuit. The two escape onto the road, as the T-800 steals a cop car.
A while later, Reese parks the car inside an abandoned parking lot. He then explains the impossibly huge situation to a panicking and disbelieving Sarah: in the near future, a computer company invents a super-advanced computer system called Skynet, which is given complete control over the nations defenses. It became self-aware, and declared mankind its enemy, launching America's nuclear weapons all over the world, nearly annihilating humanity.
To Sarah's shock, Reese then tells her that, in the war that ensued after the dust cleared, a brave soldier gathered a resistance and succeeded in beating back the machine armies, and saving mankind from extinction. His name... was John Connor. Sarah's as-yet-unconceived son. The Terminator was sent backwards through time by Skynet just as the Human Resistance stormed its base and smashed the defense grid. Its mission: to assassinate Connor's mother before his conception, thus erasing Connor's entire existence and ensuring victory for the machines. Reese's mission: to protect Sarah at all costs. Slowly, Sarah begins to believe and understand her enormous importance.
- Soon, the T-800 catches up to them, and after a lengthy chase both Kyle and Sarah crash their vehicle as a police squad arrives, demanding their surrender. They comply in order to evade trouble, but the T-800, which received gruesome facial scarring from a bullet to the eye, has disappeared...
An Inconvenient Truth
- At the LAPD Station, Reese is interrogated by a criminal psychologist, Dr. Peter Silberman. Reese's stories of a future war between mankind and sentient machines bent on world domination, as well as his claims that the perpetrator of the Connor murders is a robot sent backwards in time to murder the mother of Skynet's enemy, is taken as insane babblespeak. Sarah is deeply saddened by the news of Ginger and Matt's death, and she is comforted by Lt. Traxler, who is slowly (and secretly) beginning to believe in Reese.
A moment later, the T-800, having done repairs on its injuries and now adorned in black leather and menacing shades, arrives at the station, politely asking to see Sarah Connor. When denied, it scans the layout of the entrance, and then dryly says, "I'll be back." Leaving the building, the T-800 literally comes back... inside his car, crushing the helpless desk secretary. A violent shootout erupts inside the station; the Terminator mercilessly gunning down every man, woman and officer in the building, while simultaneously searching for Connor. However, the cyborg is too late, for Reese has already broken out of his custody and fled with Sarah.
- Reese and Connor both take refuge beneath an overpass, and Sarah vents her doubts and frustration with the situation. Kyle then relays a message from her future son, forced to memorize it word for word, so that Reese would tell Sarah. The message urges Sarah to be strong, to not give up hope, and that "the future is not set." Along with this, the message implies "There is no fate but what we make for ourselves."
Sarah then tends to a wound on Reese's arm, and after falling asleep dreams of the nightmarish future to come: where humans live underground, feeding off rats and dying from radiation sickness and starvation. Dogs are used to spot Terminators, and Kyle Reese is injured during a fight with a Terminator which has breached the shelter, resulting in him losing a faded photograph of Sarah Connor.
- The next morning, Kyle and Sarah rent a room at the Tiki Motel, and Sarah takes a shower while Reese goes out to buy explosives supplies. She calls her her worried mother, and convinces her that she is fine and safe. She gives in to her mother's insistence to know her location, and Sarah gives her mother the hotel address. Then her mother abruptly hangs up... and the T-800, who had been impersonating Sarah's mother the entire time with its voice-changing ability, heads off on a motorcycle to finally finish its mission...
- That night, Reese teaches Sarah how to build explosives, and she voices her disappointment in her future reputation, having been told by Kyle of how she is idolized as a great warrior in the future. Reese then surprises her by stating that he is not disappointed at all. Finally, Kyle reveals the true reason he volunteered to come back through time to protect Sarah: he is madly in love with her. He fell deeply in love with a photograph of her given by John Connor, for mysterious reasons. He volunteered as this was his chance to meet the woman he had passionately dreamed about and used as inspiration in even the darkest moments. Deeply touched, Sarah then kisses an embarrassed Kyle, and they both unleash their love.
In a twist of fate, Reese actually becomes the father, impregnating Sarah during their passionate moment together. He was been sent back by Connor, who had already known of his true father's fate but had kept it secret all his life, to ensure John's very conception by making love to his mother and thus creating John Connor.
- The T-800 arrives at the hotel moments later, and the redressed Sarah and Kyle escape in a truck, with the Terminator in pursuit on his motorcycle. During the chase, Reese is fatally wounded by the T-800's gunfire, and Sarah accidentally spins over the vehicle, landing on its roof and smashing the Terminator into a highway barrier.
- A massive tanker truck then appears, and is unable to screech to a halt in time before running over the rising T-800. Intensely injured, with facial skin torn off, revealing gory blood and the metal endoskeleton of the robot chassis, and with a damaged leg resulting in a limp, the T-800 hijacks the truck, and barrels its way toward the overturned vehicle. Sarah and an injured, barely alive Kyle escape the wreckage just in time, and the tanker begins to chase them on foot.
Reese falls behind as Sarah runs for her (and her future son's) life. Kyle tosses his second-to-last pipe bomb inside the truck's exhaust, and the tanker then explodes into a colossal fireball, erupting with fire which blows apart the truck to pieces. Sarah then watches as, from the wreckage, the Terminator stumbles out, wreathed in flame, and then collapses as its artificial skin covering in burned off by the intense heat, leaving only the metal skeleton of the Series 800 cyborg.
- Sarah reunites with the exhausted and wounded Kyle, thinking that they have won. But then, to their combined horror, the T-800 endoskeleton rises from the flaming wreckage, its metal chassis glowing from the reflection of the fire. It strides from the remains of the tanker like a chrome incarnation of Death itself, a phoenix of unstoppable evil. The two humans flee into a company warehouse, where they hide amongst the construction machinery. The T-800, confused by the surrounding whirs and beeps and clangs of the equipment surrounding it, searches the building for its prey.
It finally finds them hiding near a hydraulic press, and Reese urges Sarah to run as he bravely confronts the T-800. He is easily backhanded aside by the relentless metal skeleton, and the near-dead Reese, in his final act of heroism, jams the very last pipe bomb into the Terminator's gut. The explosion blows up the T-800's midsection, destroying the lower torso. Reese is killed by both the explosion and shrapnel/debris.
Sarah grieves over Kyle's dead body, but the upper torso of the T-800 is still functional, and it lunges at the terrified Sarah. She crawls on the ground, trying to outpace her pursuer, who drags itself by its arms towards her, its legs gone. She stumbles into a cramped space with a barred gate, and she slams it down as the T-800 reaches her. It reaches out with its metal arm, trying to strangle Sarah, whose hand comes upon the ignition switch for the hydraulic press machine. She presses it, and the press instantly activates, crushing the T-800 into scrap metal. The cyborg's red eyes dim and disappear. The T-800 has been terminated.
- That early morning, the injured, traumatized Sarah Connor is taken away by an ambulance, as police forces quarantine the factory and medics respectfully zip up the body of Kyle Reese in a body bag. Meanwhile, the company discovers the destroyed remains of the T-800, and the unharmed arm of the deceased Terminator. They are ordered to cover this discovery up and to keep it top secret, and later use the remains for study in their R&D facilities.
This company is, in fact, the larval stage of Cyberdyne Systems Corporation, the computer company fated to build the Skynet AI in the upcoming future. In another ironic twist, Skynet's desperate gamble to save itself by changing the past resulted in Skynet inadvertently creating its own existence. The T-800 wreckage will be used as the basis for Cyberdyne's Skynet technology, and if Skynet had never sent back the T-800 to kill the mother of John Connor, it would have never been. John Connor cannot exist without Skynet, and Skynet cannot exist without John Connor.
The Mother of the Future
- One year later, Sarah Connor is now pregnant with the infant John Connor, and has been on the run for a while, protected by her new pet dog and driving the Mexican countryside, avoiding all authorities. She records tapes to give to her son once he is old enough. She tells of how Reese is in fact John's father, and that, no matter what, he must send Kyle back to his death or he shall never exist. At a gas station, a poor Mexican boy bribes Sarah for a picture, claiming his father will beat him if not paid. She complies, and takes the photo... the very same photo that the future John will give to Reese as a gift; the very same photo that Kyle would passionately covet and love the woman depicted. She then drives off, to go into hiding and raise her son in secret, to educate him in military and survivalist discipline, to prepare him for his destiny...
Continuation of Timeline A.2 (as told by Terminator 2: Judgment Day)
- Sarah Connor, having raised her son in the ways of combat for seven years, tries to destroy a Cyberdyne computer factory, having decided to try and prevent the future war herself. She fails, and is shot and arrested. Placed in a psycho ward at Pescadaro State Hospital For The Criminally Disordered. A disillusioned John in placed in foster care, taken care of by Todd and Janelle Voight.
THREE YEARS LATER-Saturday, 1995
- The reprogrammed Series T-800 Terminator arrives in Los Angeles, on Saturday of 1995, just after midnight. It walks into a bar called The Corral, where its naked appearance shocks the drunks, bikers and woman. Approaching a particularly tall biker, the T-800 demands the stranger's clothes, boots and motorcycle parked outside. Laughing it off, the biker is then tossed through the air into the kitchen, where his hands are scalded on a hot stove. Others try to defend their pal by attacking the T-800 with a switchblade and a pool stick, but the machine easily defeats them all. Walking into the kitchen, the T-800 snatches the biker's small Colt .45 pistol, and the terrified man finally relents.
The T-800 then walks outside, wearing the biker's clothing, and takes off on the man's Harley-Davidson 1380 cc Fat Boy, but not after stealing a pair of shades from the disgruntled bartender of The Corral.
- At the same time, in a different side of town, the Series T-1000 prototype "liquid metal" Terminator arrives, leaving a smoking hole in the middle of a steel fence where the time displacement bubble had materialized. A curious policeman, Officer Joe Austin, arrives to investigate the electric storm that the time machine produces during transport, and is promptly skewered by the T-1000. Taking on the officer's uniform, the T-1000 also takes the man's pistol, and then takes off in the squad car, using the vehicle's computer to locate John Connor's current residence: Reseda, California.
- At Pescadaro State Hospital For The Criminally Disordered, Sarah Connor is interviewed by her psychologist, Dr. Peter Silberman, who survived the siege of the LAPD Station in 1984. He, along with many others, believes Sarah to be just as insane and unpredictable as Kyle Reese before her, and she has transformed over the past decade into a cold, ruthlessly cruel survivalist with a heart of iron and a will of steel. She is no longer the naïve, innocent and frightened waitress she was when Kyle Reese came to her rescue all those years ago: she has been irrevocably changed into the strong, intimidating warrior that will become the subject of legends in the hideouts of Human Resistance soldiers in the war to come.
Sarah and Silberman watches a recorded interrogation from when she had been first admitted into Pescadaro. She watches as on the TV screen she, along with Silberman, discusses and describes the terrifying nightmares Sarah continuously has of the day when the nuclear bombs utterly annihilate Los Angeles, forced to watch as children in a playground are burned alive and vaporize. Losing her temper with the skeptical Silberman, the Sarah on the TV screen is frozen by a pause button.
- The modern Sarah says to Silberman that she has had an epiphany and now realizes that she was speaking nonsense. Stating that she no longer believes in Terminators, or the future war, or that Cyberdyne Systems Corporation covered up the discovery of the T-800's remains (which is actually true), Silberman sees through her lies, and denies her request to be moved to minimum security. In a rage, Connor attacks Silberman but is quickly restrained.
The New Target
- John Connor, age ten, runs off with his friend Tim to go steal money from a Fed-Teller machine at the bank with a stolen ATM card, and then head to the Resceda Galleria via John's Honda motorcycle. Pursuing them are both the T-1000 and the T-800, both having already questioned the Voights at different times for John's whereabouts. The two Terminators arrive simultaneously, and confront John in a hallway. They both raise their weapons, and a surprising thing happens: the T-800 tells John to "get down," and blasts a hole clean through the chest of the T-1000. Tossing John into a maintenance closet, the T-800 then engages the T-1000 in physical combat, with the T-1000 overpowering and defeating the obsolete Series 800. As John escapes the Mall on his motorcycle, the T-1000 hijacks a Kenworth Tow Truck and barrels after the fleeing teenager.
The T-800 comes back on-line and follows the Kenworth on its Harley-Davidson cycle, pursuing it into a drainage canal. Arriving just in time, the T-800 rescues John Connor from the murderous T-1000, which crashes into an abutment supporting an overpass within the canal, creating an enormous explosion. Having been defeated... temporarily, the T-1000 heads for the Voight's home, and murders Janelle, taking on her appearance.
- The T-800 obediently parks the bike to explain to the awestruck John the situation: that it, the T-800, is a Terminator Cyberdyne Systems Model 101, sent back in time by the future John Connor to protect his teenage self from the T-1000, a chameleon-like Terminator consisting of a mercury-like mimetic polyalloy. It also explains that one of its mission parameters is to follow the orders of young John Connor.
Using this to his advantage, a regretful, guilty John orders the T-800 to aid him in rescuing his wrongly-imprisoned mother from Pescadaro, despite the T-800's advice that the T-1000 will anticipate this move. John also orders the T-800 to no longer kill people; being a Terminator made solely for the purpose of killing, this puzzles the T-800, who does not see the point in sparing lives when they threaten his mission. But before they head out, John contacts the Voights via a pay phone to warn them of the danger, only to discover that both of his foster parents have already been killed by the waiting T-1000.
- As predicted, the T-1000 evaluates the same move by its target, and arrives at Pescadaro State Hospital, in the form of security guard Lewis, on the night of Sarah Connor's planned escape. She has succeeded in taking Silberman hostage, demanding to be escorted out of the building while holding Silberman within a threads-distance of death. She is attacked from behind, and flees as Silberman and the others chase her, but are too late. She has already reached the elevators, having locked the hallway doors, but to her horror watches as the T-800, 100% identical to the Model 101 that hunted her back in 1984, walks out of the elevator, shotgun in hand.
Screaming with terror, Sarah takes off away from the Terminator, having not seen John hiding from behind the T-800. She is tackled by Pescadaro handlers, but they are oblivious to the T-800 that approaches them. With ease, the cyborg tosses aside the handlers, as Silberman watches the scene with amazement and horror at encountering the same man that slaughtered the LAPD Station ten years prior.
- Sarah is quickly assured by her son that the T-800 is now on their side, just as the T-1000 arrives, walking through the bars of the locked hallway door. The T-800, Sarah and John flee into the elevator as the T-1000 attacks, and they arrive at the parking lot floor, stealing a squad car and escaping the hospital as the T-1000 chases on foot. John is nearly killed by the polyalloy Terminator during the chase, but the T-800 fights off the T-1000, and drives the stolen vehicle into the night.
- They hide inside a closed service station, and the T-800 does repairs to Sarah's injuries. The irony of having the same Terminator model that tried to murder her attending to her is not lost on Sarah, who even now still distrusts the reprogrammed cyborg that saved her life. But she eventually accepts the fact that the T-800, the first father figure John has ever known, is their best weapon against the T-1000. The next morning, the trio drive south into Mexico, and during this drive the T-800 describes to Sarah the circumstances and general history of Skynet's conception. She still hopes to change the future somehow, and avoid the coming holocaust.
- During this time, John also begins to instruct the T-800 in human speech and slang language, teaching the machine phrases like "Hasta la Vista, baby..." and "Chill out, dickwad!" The T-800, curious about human behaviors and feelings, slowly begins to grow more and more human as it-no, he-learns more and more from the enthusiastic John. The T-800 also develops body language like smiling, giving thumbs up, and high-fives.
The Humanity Within
- Sarah begins to slowly put her faith in the Terminator, having finally understood the fact that machines are not inherently bad; they are just programs. One of the greatest points of curiosity for the T-800 is the concept of crying-when he asks John why human beings do this, it is difficult for John to properly describe the complexity and emotional significance of shedding tears.
- Later in the day, they arrive at the home of Enrique Salceda, an old military veteran and good friend of Sarah's from when she had been raising John and having him be taught by Mexican soldiers and war experts. The T-800, whom John nicknames "Uncle Bob" (to the cyborg's annoyance), studies the Salceda's young child, a toddler. Having never properly seen an infant human, the T-800 is intrigued.
While the T-800 and John gather weapons from the Salceda's gun stash, Sarah contemplates the future. Her nightmares have made her obsessed with changing her son's destiny, and finally decides to act. Having been thoroughly educated in the events of Skynet's creation by the Terminator, specifically Miles Bennett Dyson, she drives off alone back to Los Angeles, on a murderous mission. John realizes what she plans to do, and both he and the reluctant T-800 follow her to the Dyson residence.
- Sarah has hidden in the yard of the Dyson house, and is about to kill Miles Dyson, who, a good-hearted, devoted family man corrupted by his intense work, is working at his computer on the CPU that is the predecessor of Skynet. Firing a shot through the patio window, she narrowly misses Dyson's head, and when her sniper rifle runs out of ammunition, she personally charges into the besieged home.
When Dyson attempts to flee, she viciously shoots him in the shoulder and threatens Dyson's wife Tarissa and her son Danny, who has dived in front of his helpless father, pleading for Sarah not to hurt him. In a livid rage, Connor unleashes her hatred and contempt at Dyson, growling "it's all your fault!"
But it is only when Dyson, bleeding and terrified for the life of his family, mutters "what?" in confusion, that Sarah's conscience finally awakens. Finally aware of her terrible, unforgivable actions, she breaks... collapsing against the wall of the living room, sobbing with guilt and shame. At that moment the T-800 and John rush in, with the T-800 tending to Dyson's wound and John to his traumatized, depressed mother.
- Once Dyson has been attended to, John gives the T-800 permission to "show 'em." With indifference, the Terminator uses a switchblade to slice off the artificial human tissue on his left arm, ripping it off to reveal the bloody, metal endoskeletal-arm beneath, terrifying Dyson and his wife. The cyborg then calmly goes on to give the Dysons a highly detailed rundown of everything that has happened and will happen: Skynet, the war, the sending of the Terminators through time, etc.
Drowned in guilt, Miles Dyson vows to end his research, but then Sarah reminds him that not only must he abandon his inventions, but must destroy them as well. He reveals that all of his research is based on the CPU of the T-800 from 1984, that Sarah had crushed to oblivion. They decide that they must destroy the entire Cyberdyne building, and the group set off that very night to try and save the future...
The Black Highway at Night...
- Arriving at the Cyberdyne Building, Dyson and his companions storm the office, carrying all manner of guns, explosives, etc. and tying up the receptionist. They head for the R&D rooms and the vault containing the CPU and the arm of the original T-800. However, the receptionist has freed himself by this time, and has called the authorities. His partner has also pressed the trip button which automatically locks every room in the building.
The T-800 uses his grenade launcher to blow apart a door, where inside is all the vital equipment and research documents pertaining to Dyson's work. They get to sork setting up the barrels of C-4 explosives, and John, who had run off to use his stolen ATM card to hack into and open the locker containing the key to open the vault, alerts his mother to the arrival of the entire LAPD force that has surrounded the building outside. The T-800 walks off to deal with the police, and promises to John that he will not kill anyone.
- True to his word, the T-800 uses both his grenade launcher and mini gun to lay waste to the police's vehicles, but without killing or injuring a single human being. In response to this assault, the SWAT teams move in, shooting canisters of tear gas and sweeping throughout the building. The team arrives at the room where Dyson and Sarah and John were just about to leave, and, seeing the explosives and jumping to conclusions, instantly open fire.
- Dyson is struck repeatedly, fatally wounded, and holding the remote detonator. Sarah bids farewell to her partner, and then flees with John and the T-800. The SWAT team fans out, finding a hyperventilating Dyson collapsed on the floor, holding a large piece of heavy machinery above the ignition switch. In a panic, the SWAT leader orders his men to immediately fall back... just as Dyson, who, in his last seconds, forgives himself before striking the switch.
- A colossal fireball implodes from the Cyberdyne building, raining debris and creating an enormous cloud of fire and smoke visible for miles. Sarah, John and the T-800, who were inside an elevator when the explosion happened, arrive at the entrance floor to find a group of SWAT guarding the exit. As the team fires off a tear gas canister, the unaffected T-800 tells his companions (who buddy-breath with a gas mask) to stay put, and "I'll be back..."
The T-800 strides toward the firing SWAT group, receiving gruesome facial damage that reveals glimpses of the metal endoskeleton beneath, and begins casually shooting them in the legs before walking out the door and commandeering a SWAT transport truck. He drives the vehicle right through the entrance doors (mimicking a near-identical move by the original T-800 back in 1984), and the Connors rush into the van, before peeling out and escaping into the night.
The Enemy Returns
- Meanwhile, the T-1000 has finally caught up to its prey. Stealing a police chopper, the T-1000 goes into pursuit, chasing the SWAT van across the highway before crashing into the back of the truck, the impact of which also causes the van to spill over and capsize. As the T-1000 walks from the chopper's wreckage and hijacks a tanker truck filled with liquid nitrogen, the T-800 takes command of a bystander's pick-up truck, and the two Connors, with Sarah injured from a bullet hit, climb in before the T-800 guns it. The tanker comes down on them quickly, and tries to slam them into a highway barrier.
The T-800 gives the wheel to John while he stands atop the speeding car, shooting at the pursuing tanker with his final few grenades. After a lurch by the truck which makes the T-800 drop his last grenade into the truck's bed, he climbs up onto the semi's hood and spins the wheel, jackknifing the tanker into a deep turn which causes it to barrel onto its side, screeching down the pavement towards the pick-up. John crashes the truck into the entrance of a steel-mill factory as the T-800 jumps ship before the tanker ruptures, spilling gallons of freezing cold liquid nitrogen into the street.
The Final Battle
- The T-1000 stumbles out, and is near-instantly frozen solid by the intensely low temperature. Uttering "Hasta la Vista, baby..." without a hint of sarcasm, the T-800 uses his pistol to shoot the frozen Terminator into billions of glass-like shards, seemingly killing it. But the crashing of the semi had overturned a vat of molten steel, which immediately began to melt the shards back into their liquid metal shape.
- The remnants form back together into the T-1000, and the chase begins anew on foot throughout the bowels of the factory. The T-800 insists on John and his mother running on while he stay to confront the advancing T-1000 in person. An epic hand-to-hand battle erupts between the two machines in a fight that will decide the fate of tens of millions. The T-1000 manages to ensnare the T-800's left arm in a massive cogwheel, crushing it in place. Stuck, the T-800 watches as the T-1000 continues off to find its target.
- John and Sarah stumble through the factory, coming to an upper level overlooking a lake of uncontained molten steel. John is lowered by his mother onto a conveyor belt contraption, and she stays behind to confront the T-1000 as John is pulled to safety, crying for his mother to follow him. Sarah, however, loads the shotgun, and is about to fire when the T-1000 strikes her with a metal blade through her shoulder.
- The machine coldly requests that she call for John, stating in an unexpectedly human tone "I know this hurts..." When she denies him, the T-800 appears, having wrenched his severed arm off to come to her aid, and another battle ensues. During this bout, the T-1000 inflicts even worse battle damage onto the tissue covering the cyborg, revealing a great deal of the robot beneath. The T-800 is then temporarily incapacitated, and the T-1000 goes back to business.
- Meanwhile in another section of the mill, John appears to help his exhausted, wounded mother. But he then freezes when he spots another Sarah Connor sneaking up on the first Connor. The real Sarah blasts a hole clean through the T-1000, but this minor injury quickly heals up. She then furiously unleashes the rest of the shotgun's ammo into the Terminator's belly, blasting it backwards toward the edge of the platform... and the lake of molten metal. To her horror, she then runs empty just as the T-1000 lingers over the edge, which then heals back up and advances on her and her son.
At that precise moment, the T-800, back online after a temporary reboot, appears from behind and fires the grenade launcher's last missile into the T-1000, exploding on contact. The T-1000 is blown apart by the concussion, a writhing, sliced-open mass of shocked liquid metal. The blob then stumbles back, falling into the molten steel, where the intense heat and liquid metal merges with the molecular structure of the T-1000, corrupting its system as it is melted and liquefied by the steel, finally terminating the polyalloy T-1000...
- The three heroes watch the Terminator's demise, and then toss in the recovered CPU and the skeletal arm, thus destroying all possible evidence of Skynet that could inadvertently lead to its creation... almost. The T-800, now injured and disfigured to the extent that he can no longer convincingly pass as human, accepts what must be done. Horrified, a tearful John begs his friend to not leave him, but the T-800 insists, otherwise he will be the future.
- In a poignant moment, the T-800 gently wipes away John's tears, saying that, at long last, it now understands why people cry, though it is a human reaction he can never do. With a final embrace, and a comradely shake by the appreciative Sarah, the T-800 then steps onto a chain hanging over the pit, and Sarah slowly lowers the cyborg into the molten pool. As the heroic machine, finally humanized and accepting of the value of life, sinks beneath the molten surface, he gives his best friend a final thumbs up before disappearing into infinity...
- Sarah and John now look to the future with a sense of hope, believing that they have changed the future for the better and hopefully had prevented the birth of Skynet. An enlightened Sarah Connor expresses her renewed faith in mankind's inherent good-will, stating, "if a machine, a Terminator, can learn the value of human life, then maybe we can too..."
Due to the actions of Sarah and John Connor, as well as the reprogrammed T-800, all the text preceding this paragraph has been erased from existence and replaced with a new, updated timeline of events which differs greatly from the original given history of the A1 timelines. This timeline, now the 'official,' canonical timeline, is shown below:
Timeline B.1 (as told by Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines)
- In the early 2000s, Cyber Research Systems (the successor of the bankrupt Cyberdyne Systems Corporation) takes over the work originally begun by Miles Bennett Dyson concerning the construction of an advanced super-computer system that could be given complete control of the nation's missile defense systems.
- During July 2003 or 2004 (conflicting sources), a monstrous computer virus begins to rapidly spread through military computers as well as the civilian Internet, cell phone communications, scanner equipment, etc. This results in the Pentagon going into a panic, demanding that CRS upload the near-complete computer defense system named Skynet and connect the AI to the nation's defenses, effectively giving it full control of America's military arsenal and allowing it to cleanse the computer networks to destroy the virus. General Robert Brewster, in charge of the Skynet program, is hesitant to hand over the reins to an AI system, but eventually relents, personally pressing the YES button.
Rise of the Machines
- What the humans did not know was that Skynet, which was already active and functional but not yet connected to the national network, had become sentient. The machine comes to the conclusion that humanity was a dying race that was endangering the planet, and that in order to protect its existence Skynet has to put down its masters. The computer spawns a supervirus that is unleashed into the defense network, in the correct assumption that the confused humans will let Skynet have control of the missile programs and defensive decisions so that Skynet can find and eliminate the virus. Seconds after being uploaded to the nation's command systems, Skynet activates the prototype T-1 Battle Units and the Hunter-Killer flying units, commanding them to slaughter the humans in the building.
- Soon, in a few hours, Skynet launches the entire US Nuclear Arsenal at Russia, anticipating the confused Russians' counter-attack with their own missiles. 3 Billion human lives instantly end within minutes worldwide, and Skynet's base of operations, Navajo Mountain, survives the nuclear fire. Soon after, Skynet constructs a vast army of unmanned machine battle units. The T-1 series is disregarded as it is now considered crude and unwieldy, and to replace it Skynet unearths the abandoned, original Terminator plans and blueprints originally designed by CRS as robotic ground troops, in particular the facial scans of Sergeant William Candy, to construct humanoid cybernetic organisms to serve as the primary offensive tool.
Rise of the Resistance
- However, there are human survivors, hiding underground and slowly organising a rebellion under their brave leaders, the soldier John Connor and his wife Katherine (Brewster) Connor. Thus The War against the Machines begins in earnest, with the Tech-Com Human Resistance posing an unexpected threat to Skynet's existence. In retaliation, the Terminator units are upgraded with synthetic human tissue and blood over their endoskeleton as a human disguise to infiltrate the human bases. The T-800 and slightly updated T-850 series are the most prominent and effective, with other models such as the Series 600 being much less convincing.
- In the year 2029, twenty-six years after Judgment Day, Skynet reaches a breakthrough in two different scientific areas: mimetic polyalloy "liquid metal" Terminators, resulting in the highly advanced and groundbreaking Series 1000; and time travel, having completed a fully operational Continuum Transporter to send organic (or covered by organic matter) objects backwards in history. Also at this time, the Human Resistance scores a massive victory by liberating and rescuing inmates at the human Orderly Disposal Camps, increasing Tech-Com's numbers.
Skynet decides to send two Terminator infiltration units, a T-800 and a T-1000, respectively, to two different points in time with the objective of murdering John Connor's mother and John Connor himself as a teenager, ensuring that if one Terminator failed for whatever reason, the other unit would finish the job. The T-800 is sent back to 1984 to kill Sarah Connor before John is conceived with an unknown biological father, and the T-1000 is sent to 1995 to murder John himself as a backup plan.
A Desperate Gamble
- Eventually the Human Resistance discovers this (undoubtedly by odd déjà vu and minor changes resulting from interference in the pre-Judgment Day past), and captures a second Continuum Transporter device; the twin of the one housed in Navajo Mountain. A brave soldier named Kyle Reese volunteers to be sent back through to 1984 to protect Connor's mother, and surprisingly both Connors agree. Once Reese is sent back, the Resistance then realises that a second warrior must be sent to stop the T-1000; for this mission, John Connor personally selects a T-800 Series unit to be reprogrammed and sent to protect the teenage John. The deed is done, and when no noticeable changes occur (do to the failure of both Skynet-programmed Terminators) the war rages on, as normal, for three more years...
The Final Move...
- In July 2032, Skynet invents the most advanced, unstoppable Terminator model yet: the Series T-X, a new machine unit that utilizes the mimetic polyalloy of the now-discarded T-1000 series as its 'skin.' This allows for a new, more deadly feature: the T-X has internal weapons stored within the robot's arms, covered by the liquid metal alloy, solving the problem of not being able to bring future technology to the past with the organic-based Continuum Transporter.
Also, the T-X Series primarily manifests as an extremely attractive human female, perfectly rendered physically to appeal to men's sexual nature, giving it a seductive advantage. This model has been constructed purely for the purpose of yet another time-travel mission; a final desperate attempt to murder the pre-Judgment Day John Connor, among other goals, and ensure machine victory. A T-X is sent to the year 2003, July: the week of Skynet's takeover and subsequent nuclear attack worldwide. Her (its) mission: to murder the future Lieutenants of the Human Resistance, the head of the Skynet program Robert Brewster (after the Skynet AI has taken control, of course), and if possible John Connor himself along with his future spouse Katherine Brewster.
- Shortly before this, a T-850 unit successfully terminates John Connor, (roughly) age 47, on July fourth, 2032. This Terminator was instantly captured, but too late to save Connor. Kate Brewster decides to reprogram the T-850 and send it back in time to July 2003 to protect the younger John and herself, going off memories that have not even happened (in the past) yet. His (its) new mission: to protect Connor and Brewster from the T-X...
What follows belongs to the same timeline as the one above, but instead covers the events of the past which were created by Skynet and Connor's sending of Terminators to alter or ensure the future 'present'...
Timeline B.2 (as told by Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines)
This paragraph is a stand-in for all the events covered in the former A1.2 Timeline, which act as a lead-in to the events of this timeline. However, thanks to the disruption and warping of time-and-space due to the attempts by Sarah and John Connor to prevent Judgment Day, a few details have been revamped to fit the continuity of the B1 timelines. The primary differences are as follows:
*In the year 2029, whereas originally Kyle Reese was sent through time to 1984 just after the defeat of Skynet by the Tech-Com Resistance, now the B1 timeline suggests that there were two separate time displacement machines: one controlled by Skynet, and the other controlled by Tech-Com. When Reese is sent through (to 1984 to protect Sarah Connor and, unknowingly, conceive John himself with her), he is sent by this machine; the 'twin' of the one being used by Skynet to repeatedly send Terminators through time (each with specific missions).
*After Kyle disappears, the two Connors send back a reprogrammed T-800 to be John's guardian in his teenage years (roughly mid-90's). It is assumed that these actions were influenced by the Resistance learning prior of Skynet sending two Teminators back to kill both Sarah and John in their younger years: a T-800 for the former, and an advanced T-1000 prototype for the latter.
*It is assumed that for the next three years, up to 2032, (with no further usage of the time machines by both factions), the War continues to rage as normal, until the day Skynet invents the X Series, and sends this terminator back to 2003(4) to assassinate important authority figures in the Resistance, including Katherine Brewster and John Connor himself (unlikely for the latter, since in 2003(4) Connor spent the intermediate years between Sarah Connor's death and the new date of Judgment Day as a bum with no records, making it impossible to track him).
Just before this, a T-850 assassinates John Connor, but is later captured and reprogrammed, sent to the early 2000's to be the protector for John and Kate, and to ensure that they survive the launch sequences by hiding in the underground shelter within Crystal Peak.
*When Reese and the T-800 arrive in 1984, and when Reese explains the details of his past (our future), it can be logically presumed that Kyle tells her a different tale from the one he gave in the A1 timelines. Chances are, the conversations between him and Sarah would be basically identical, except the words "Cyberdyne", "August 29th, 1997", "Cyberdyne Systems Model 101", and such (which pertain to the A1 timelines' version) would be replaced with "Cyber Research Systems", "July 4th, 2003(4)", "CRS Model 101", and so on.
Note, though, that such changes are apparently oblivious to the John Connor and similar characters from the prior two films, who previously belonged in the original A1 timelines and speak about events in that timeline, even though that 'history' no longer exists. This paradox is currently unfixable because it contrasts so largely with the new B1 timelines. If anyone has their own ideas on how this paradox could be explained and rationalized, please type so, and then remove this paragraph.
*In Terminator 2: Judgment Day, it is likely that such similar details and references to events from the first film would also be replaced with dialogue and words pertaining to the history given by the B1 timelines, despite the enormous paradox inherent in this theory (see former paragraph).
*The ending of T2 suggests numerous logistical/continuity problems within the series, as James Cameron originally planned an epilogue showing that Judgment Day had, in fact, been averted. This ending would have caused enormous problems with continuity and such, since if this ending did happen, it would logically result in everything rewinding back to the beginning of the film series, with Sarah never being met by Reese (who would also no longer exist, since he came from a future that no longer happens) and John Connor not being conceived. Thus, the deleted epilogue, which shows John Connor as a Senator in 2029 with children, is an out-and-out slap in the face to the established canon. However, the deleted ending is officially non-canon, so there is no need to worry about the flaws that would result from this sequence being true.
However, the replacement ending for the final version of T2, which shows Sarah and John now on the run, still grieving for the heroic T-800, and with a voice-over by Sarah stating that she now has hope for the future, is a constant reminder of the continuity impossibilities of the series, tainted by the original intended ending. Therefore, it is practically impossible to come to a final conclusive timeline that can logically deal with and acknowledge these errors, for no matter what theory/explanation/alternate continuity is proposed, they will always conflict and be inconsistent with each other.
This could be taken as meaning that any attempts to logically 'sort out' the Terminator films and 'connect the dots' is inevitably futile and pointless, and that fans/viewers/critics should just let their suspension of disbelief push back any inherent, instinctive confusion and enjoy the films for their individual merits.
Remember, though, that all the Italic text above is purely speculation, theories, and sometimes out-and-out guesses, and should not be though of as an actual explanation of the series canon (although you can certainly think that if you wish, since this article is probably the closest we will ever get to a realistic, rational and complete timeline of events-user Kongisking, March 3, 2008).
The New Arrivals
- July 2003. John Connor is now in his early twenties; a homeless derelict who wanders around Off the grid. After August 29, 1997 passed without trouble, and the death of his mother due to cancer, John has become disillusioned; rejecting his destiny and believing that he and his mother had prevented the future War. One night, on a highway, Connor crashes his bike after nearly striking a deer, becoming very injured.
John breaks into Emry Animal Hospital to find painkillers and to mend his wounds, not knowing that a former childhood friend, Kate Brewster, is employed here as a veterinarian. His break-in triggers an alarm, that sends an emergency summons to Kate, who is asleep with her fiance Scott Mason.
- In Beverly Hills, Rodeo Drive, the T-X series Terminator unit arrives from the future inside the display window of a fashion store. She quickly murders a hapless rich woman, stealing her clothes and her silver Lexus. After an encounter with a policeman (in which the T-X uses her gender to seduce the man, by inflating the size of her breasts), she also acquires a Sig-Sauer P226 sidearm, and sets off to eliminate her targets: Jose Barrara, William and Elizabeth Anderson, Robert Brewster, 16 unidentified others, Katherine Brewster... and John Connor.
- Simultaneously, in the Mojave Desert, a second time displacement bubble materializes, marking the arrival of the reprogrammed T-850. It arrives in the city, entering a strip club on Ladies Night. On stage, there is a male stripper dancing to "Macho Man" by The Village People. The T-850 forces the man to relinquish his leather clothes, and then leaves in a stolen truck.
- Kate arrives at the hospital. She finds Connor, having accidentally consumed an entire bottle of pills used to chemically neuter dogs, dazed and trying to escape. She locks him in a cage in the kennel, and then recognizes her former boyfriend from high-school. They briefly reacquaint themselves, with Kate expressing her disgust with what John has become, while John tries to explain why he disappeared the last time they saw one another. At that moment, the T-X arrives, and while Kate is hiding finds a bloody swab from Connor's attempted self-surgery. She tests the sample for DNA, and discovers John's presence just as Kate breaks into a run. The T-X corners Brewster by her Emry Animal Hospital truck, and demands John's whereabouts.
- At that very moment, the T-850 arrives with its stolen pickup, ramming into the T-X while barely avoiding Kate. The pickup rams into the side of the hospital building, knocking another car into a nearby propane gas tank, triggering a massive fireball. With the T-X temporarily knocked offline, the T-850 locks the stunned Kate in the back of the Emry truck while retrieving Connor. At first, John thinks that this terminator, identical to the one that protected him from the T-1000 back in 1995, is now here to terminate him. But to his surprise the T-850 confirms that he is there to help, and tells Connor to drive away in the Emry truck... just as the T-X revives, and advances on her prey. For the first time, the T-X unleashes her primary internal weapon system, a plasma cannon, on the T-850, blasting the Terminator into another building, stunning it.
- On the highway, Connor is distracted by the angry noises from Kate, causing him to accidentally crash into another parked car. The extremely angry driver, claiming that his "company car" has been destroyed, confronts John and in the process hears Kate's panicked yells for help. Thinking it's a kidnapping, the man then flags down a squad of police vehicles and an ambulance as John finally revives the engine and takes off.
- The squad cars and ambulance are actually being radio-controlled by the T-X through a neural link that gives her near-complete control over other machines thanks to tiny nanotechnological transjectors. The T-X herself has commandeered a massive Champion Crane, and is following her 'scouts' to where John Connor is. Meanwhile, the T-850 has revived and hijacked a police motorcycle, now in hot pursuit.
- As the Police Cars and Ambulance try to pin down the Emry truck, the T-X is about to fire her cannon at the vehicle when the T-850 begins shooting the crane's tires, rather ineffectively. But this is enough to convince the T-X that the terminator is a threat, and she manipulates the gigantic crane arm to knock the T-850 off the motorcycle, with the cyborg holding on for dear life as it is driven into cars, buildings, barrels, people, and a fire truck. This last obstacle knocks off the Terminator's grip, and the T-850 then takes command of the fire truck, spinning around and continuing pursuit.
Just as the T-X prepares to fire for the second time, the T-850 leaps onto the crane vehicle, and whacks the female cyborg across the face with an axe, sending her into the street. With inhuman speed, the instant the T-X touches pavement she instantly rolls back toward the vehicle, snatching hold and pulling herself back up. The T-850 jury-rigs the crane's arm to latch onto and through a manhole, causing the vehicle to be flipped over onto its back when the line pulls taut, creating a stupendous crash that completely levels the street with debris and explosions. Before this massive crash, the T-850 had managed to leap onto the Emry truck and take the wheel from a reeling John Connor, and the trio drive off to (temporary) safety.
- The T-850 explains to John what is going on: due to his attempts to prevent the future war by destroying Cyberdyne, he resulted in only postponing it by a few years. Dyson's work had been saved off-site without his knowledge, and the R&D into the construction of Skynet has been taken over by the Air Force under Kate Brewster's father. It also shows John that it is powered by two hydrogen fuel cells, which are very unstable and can explode with the slightest tap. The machine removes one, which had been damaged by the T-X, and tosses it out the door into the desert, where it ruptures and detonates, creating a massive mushroom-cloud. When Connor questions the nature of the T-X the T-850 explains that she has been sent to kill the Lieutenants of the Resistance and Connor himself, although this was not as high a priority since John has been in exile.
- They stop at a gas station, where John moves into the back with Kate, who is scared and confused, worrying about her fiance. John tries to help her, but she accuses him of kidnapping her. When John has the T-850 tell Kate who his is, she predictably rolls her eyes. John then tries to share his doubts and guilt over his destiny, saying that he has always tried to avoid it, and that he feels terrible shame over the fact that 3 Billion lives must die first. During this conversation, Kate and John remember the first time they made out back in their high-school days.
- Meanwhile, the T-X, who survived the destruction of the crane, arrives at Kate's home, and murders Scott Mason in his bed. Using her mimetic polyalloy 'skin' to impersonate Scott, she teams up with a duo of feds who want his assistance in finding his fiance.
Later, the T-850 arrives at a church/cemetery, and takes both Kate and John inside, showing them the grave of Sarah Connor. The machine rips open her coffin to reveal that she had actually stored a large cache of weapons for John inside the coffin, while her friends had cremated her. It is during this moment that Kate takes one of the pistols and threatens to shoot the T-850 if he does not release her. When she nervously fires off a shot, she is horrified to see that the T-850 was completely unharmed by the point-blank bullet.
- At that second, a SWAT team arrives, surrounding the church and demanding the release of "your hostage!" Kate runs out before the T-850 and Connor can make a move, and John suffers a mental breakdown, falling into despair and denial. The T-850 surprises John by mock-choking him just to make him angry, stating that it has basic psychology as a sub-routine, and that "anger is more useful than despair."
- This section is not yet finished. Please refrain from editing until the article's original creator finishes his/her original intended content. Thank You.
So far, the story ends here. But the upcoming second Terminator trilogy, starting with Terminator Salvation, will presumably either continue the timeline established by T3, continue the timeline established by the two James Cameron-directed films (thus discarding the B1 timelines as having never happened), or create its own alternate timeline.
As for the Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles television show's timeline (best considered as a separate stand-alone incarnation of the Terminator saga), see Terminator Timeline D.
- ↑ Toyfare issue 142, page 54, 55, June, 2009