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.
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.
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.