McG Plugs Some Terminator Salvation Plot Holes

Published 6 years ago by , Updated February 15th, 2014 at 4:25 pm,

SPOILER ALERT!!! Most of the debate on Screen Rant‘s Terminator Salvation discussion forum has been over what many felt were glaring plot holes in the film’s story. Questions like “How did Skynet know about Kyle Reese?”, “Why does Skynet need a T-800 when it already has Marcus Wright?” or “Since when are T-800s impervious to molten steel?” have popped up again and again and again.

Well, MTV News recently decided to end the trend of circular questioning by taking some of the most debated plot holes straight to Terminator Salvation director McG, who tried his best to plug them with some logical explanation.

Here are some fan-submitted Q&A snipits from MTV News‘ interview with McG (Again, HEAVY SPOILERS):

Q: In the earlier movies, Skynet is not aware of Kyle Reese. So, why are they aware of him now?

McG: It’s a function of their recon during the dark period, and a function of their awareness of the events that had happened since Kyle Reese traveled back. By virtue of John Connor being alive, that means Kyle Reese did meet Sarah Connor and impregnate her. That data exists, and was brought into the fold at Skynet.

Q: If Kyle Reese had been killed in “Salvation,” what would’ve happened to John Connor? Would he simply cease to exist?

McG: Will he be erased in the photograph, like in “Back to the Future”? That’s an excellent question that theorists have been bandying about for the ages. We play it more simply. Kyle Reese must be kept alive, so he can be sent back in time from 2029 to protect Sarah Connor, impregnate her and she’ll give birth to John Connor who will save us all. And the simplest way to understand that is to protect the triangle of Kyle, John and Sarah. Any deconstruction of that leads to more headache than satisfaction.

Q: How come lava melted a T-800 in “T2,” but it doesn’t in “Salvation”?

McG: That’s not lava. There are different characteristics of molten steels, and that was an earlier steel process after it had been separated from the coke. We went over this with a metallurgist, discussing which metals burn at which degrees. And also, if it had stayed on [the T-800], perhaps it would’ve melted him, but it was frozen quickly enough by the [liquid nitrogen]. Plus, we make the transition from the molten metal to the cooling property so quickly — as a function of the T-800 being on [John] Connor — that it wouldn’t have had time to melt the existing titanium exoskeleton in time.

Q: When Marcus is inside Skynet and learning about how he was created, the visage of Dr. Serena Kogan mentions that he’s managed to do something that none of the other Terminators have been able to. Is Skynet aware of the alternate futures and other events that have taken place?

McG: Skynet is aware of the alternate futures, and the way that we play it is in the spirit of parallel worlds, as theorized by Einstein. We try to pay attention to that approach to a fundamentally theoretical construct. So yes, they are aware of the other attempts on the life of John Connor, and they’ve always subscribed to a bigger-gun philosophy, from the T-800 to the T-1000 to the TX. Now they’ve decided to bring in a machine with enough humanity in it to properly infiltrate the Resistance and lure John Connor to their lair. That’s why Serena speaks of thinking differently, thinking radically.

Q: At the end of the film, is John Connor ever made aware that Marcus was an infiltration unit? Or does the secret die with him?

McG: That’s an interesting question. But I think it’s of very little consequence. What Connor is focused on [at the end of the movie] is that Marcus did come through for him and Kyle Reese. It wasn’t clear, when he gave his word at the riverside, whether that was an example of Skynet using the best of ourselves against us…his action transcends the question, if you follow me.

As I said, these are just a few choice snipits from the Q&A. For more answers to some Terminator Salvation plot and continuity questions (Will John Connor still be killed by a “T-850″ as hinted in T3? And what did Marcus do, exactly, to end up on death row?), you can check out MTV News‘ full Q&A session with McG by either going here or here.

salvation McG Plugs Some Terminator Salvation Plot Holes

Personally, I think McG did a good job addressing fans’ questions about some of the T4 plot holes – although it’s painfully obvious that he ducked that last question about John Connor ever realizing that Marcus is an infiltrator unit. Weren’t prepared for that one, huh McG?

In the end though, it doesn’t matter how well McG fills the plot holes of Terminator Salvation. We, as the audience, shouldn’t ever have to sift through MTV or Screen Rant blogs for these answers – the answers should be clear and stated within the context of the film. Period. The less guess work your audience is left with, the better.

Do you like the answers about T4 that McG is providing, or (like me) do you feel that the movie is solely responsible for filling in all the blanks?

Terminator Salvation is currently in theaters.

Source: MTV Movies Blog & MTV News

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  1. Before I put my two cents in, you should all read this:

    MJ Young intellectually breaks down the timeline of The Terminator movies going up to Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines. He hasn’t included Terminator Salvation in this as it hadn’t been made when he published these articles. He might get to it at some point.

    Here’s what we know of the first Terminator movie:

    1. In the future there is an apocalypse brought on by Skynet, a serve-aware computer program that decides humans need to be wiped out.

    2. After Judgment Day a Resistance is form that fights against Skynet. A man named John Connor emerges as the leader of that Resistance.

    3. At some point John Connor meets Kyle Reese and Reese becomes good friends and a trusted Lieutenant of John Connor’s.

    4. At some point a time travel device in invented, who invented it is irrelevant, what is relevant is that Skynet controls it.

    5. Realizing that it is losing the war (important to make the distinction that the war is not lost, The Resistance has not won the war, simply gaining ground), Skynet resolves to send a the T-800 Terminator back to 1984 to kill Sarah Connor before she gives birth to John.

    6. Here is where it gets tricky. Sarah Connor gave birth to a child, presumably named John Connor. Why John does not have his father’s surname is something that I could never figure out. But John must be Sarah’s son or Sarah must be someone important to him (he was adopted?) in order for John to send someone back to protect her. In the article in the link I provided, he hypothesizes that the Terminator succeeded in killing Sarah, but not before John is born, which is why John still exist at this point.

    7. John Connor sends Kyle Reese to 1984 to protect Sarah Connor from the T-800. Young again hypothesizes that he wants to protect his mother, not himself. His birth cannot be stop, it is inevitable. Much like Judgment Day is inevitable.

    8. Kyle Reese succeeds in protecting Sarah, but fails in preserving John Connors existence. Because whatever version of John Connor Kyle Reese originally knew is now non-existent. He becomes the father of Sarah Connor’s child and completely alters the events to come. Sarah names her kid John because that’s the name Reese told her her son would have. Sarah trains her child to be a military leader because Reese told her that her son would be a great military leader. The John Connor that originally led The Resistance is no more, he doesn’t exist. Taking his place is a man that was given John’s name and given training to lead The Resistance because of knowledge of the future that the original John Connor did not have.

    9. Skynet is developed sooner than originally and by a different company because of the scraps found at the Cyberdyne factory.

    This leads to the events of Terminator 2: Judgment Day where the original Skynet timeline is restored but the John Connor timeline is forever altered and enters into a causal loop.

    • Unfortunately that is incorrect. In the original Terminator 1 it follows the predestination paradox method of time travel. There is only 1 timeline. There are no alternate realities or alternate timelines. Nothing actually changes. Sarah always gave birth to John and Kyle was the father.

  2. As far as continuity problems with Terminator Salvation go, that can’t be helped. That’s just bad writing.