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. @Iron Patriot

    Go back and watch The Terminator, particularly the nightclub “Tech Noir” scene. A Terminator with an endoskeleton gets knocked back much more by shotgun blasts than a liquid metal Terminator. It’s something called physics. Shoot a solid object, then shoot a gelatin. You tell me which one moves more.

    You’re welcome. :-P

  2. You realize why they didn’t actually show how the TX got free from that collider right? BECAUSE IT’S IMPOSSIBLE! If the magnet is strong enough to hold onto the liquid part, it’s strong enough to hold on to the solid part because, hey, you know what? It’s all metal right?? lol That’s why they don’t really show it, one second she’s stuck to the collider so John can get away, the next second she’s magically free, it’s all BS.

    There was a scene in T2 that was deleted because it was too cheesy, it was a scene similar to the cheesy scenes of the TX gathering intel on the people she wanted to kill. The scene showed the T1000′s ability to analyze the molecular make up of people and objects just by touching. But they deleted it because it was cheesy looking, but in T3, they kept those cheesy scenes, lol.

  3. Thanks for the come back guys, That was refreshing!

    Nice to know you’re out there.

    ..”Excuse me miss, I speak jive”

  4. As much as it pains you Ken, you might need to watch T3 again,,,

    The TX used her skilsaw to disable the cooling pressure on the collider. Once pressure loss was detected the system automatically shuts down…

    That was a real cool scene btw,,,!

  5. @JessSayin, the plot holes in Balls of Fury were immense don’t even ask about Starship Troopers3, yet with enough beer, anythings possible…

  6. Then the TX would have been able to recover her liquid metal part… But didn’t…

    And no, I don’t “need” to watch T3 again, I’d like to hold on to my brain cells, thanks. :-)

  7. The TX did regain all her liquid metal parts, I don’t get your point Ken?

  8. McG your most polished piece of work remains the pilot episode of Chuck.

    He can direct action sequences but if you don’t care for the characters then what is the point.

    What a mess of a script.

  9. @X-SOLDIER,

    Your comments have redeemed this film a little with me. This saga has been complicated greatly with multiple instances of time travel. It would be very difficult for the story tellers to get it right.

    I think that the audience should have been made aware that they were experiencing an altered future as a result of interference of timetravel. This is a complex subject matter.

    If this is the third timeline, then no one is certain how events will unfold.

    I still think that having Kyle captured was a flaw in the storyline, especially, after Skynet became undoubtedly aware of him siring John Connor.

  10. Oddly enough, Being an altered future means that, If and When Kyle goes back to 1984 to protect Sarah and sire John, He will have a different set of experiences and information to share with Sarah than the original Kyle from the first movie.
    This time altering the course of the future once again. This undoubtedly becomes a vicious circle where Kyle will have to go back to save Sarah and sire John and alter the future once more. Over and over, changing the timeline everytime he goes back.

  11. @790, um, wait a minute, didn’t she end up at the bunker entrance endoskeleton only? How did she lose her liquid? I know she did because she was endo only at the end. Thought it was because of the collider… Hey, I won’t deny I might not remember every detail, I do know it was retarded and the more I see of it the more corny it looks. I’ve seen clips of it again and it’s just bad memories coming back, lol. :-D

  12. Since this is an alternate timeline where Skynet is aware of Kyle being John’s father, Skynet may opt not to use time travel and prevent Kyle from returning to 1984.

    This would, of course, put events back to the original timeline. But the Skynet in terminator 4 would still have to deal with it’s alternate reality since Kyle and John are alive.

    I guess the terminator mythology presents so many possibilities that it would be an open ended story no matter what direction the film makers took it.

    Since 1984 is the pivotal point for all of these alternate realities, then the only way that real change could occur would be to send someone back to a time before the first film.

    Since 1984 there are at least 3 realities, therefore different John Connor’s, Kyle Reese’s, Sarah Connor’s and Skynet’s.

  13. Man, time travel just complicates everything, lol. Personally I’m not going to worry about the time travel stuff and just worry about the holes that apply within the one timeline portrayed in the movie. And skynet knowing about Kyle is such a hole since within this one timeline, skynet shouldn’t have a clue about Kyle and his involvement in helping John defeat Skynet. Not to mention, the “time displacement device” probably doesn’t exist yet in this time since it’s still the beginning of the war, so they shouldn’t have had any idea of preventing a past to prevent a future…

  14. Haha!!! No prob, Ken,,, ;-)

    (Here’s what’s up,)
    At the end of T3,,,
    The TX manages to follow John and Kate to Crystal Peak via a standard helicopter. The TX crashes into the bunker and comes at them. The T-101 following the TX then crashes into the bunker as well in an even bigger helicopter crushing the TX in the process.
    The TX looses half of its liquid metal and legs. As it crawls toward Connor in the final scene it has lost 50% of its liquid metal and half of its power. When the T-101 grabs it and pulls it back the rest of its liquid metal comes off, as its malfunctioning bigtime at this point…..
    He then holds it long enough to shove his last power cell down its throat…


  15. What is a T-101?

    Anyway, I liked that scene, the big bunker door was coming down, so the T-800 or 850 whatever they were claiming, goes and holds the door open. The two of them crawl through, and Arnold with one of the hands that was holding the door from crushing them, grabs the T-X. Then with his other hand (I guess 2nd of 3 hands since the door is still being held up?), he goes for his backup power source (I guess 2nd of 3 “power pakcs” since he’s still operational after that comes out), and boom, the invincible T-X is destroyed, and the blast door closes since Arnold’s third hand is now destroyed too along with his 3rd power pack… Yep,that scene was classic, it was the first time we find out that the T-850 has 3 arms and 3 power sources. I guess that was the upgrade from the T-800. Weird numbering though since before Terminator models progressed by even 100′s, not 50′s… Much less changing to a lettering system. The T-1000 was an experimental prototype during T2, and even that had a number, strange… Anywho, very entertaining scene, my friend and I laughed all the way to the car… Then we cried when it sank in what happened… lol just kidding man.

  16. I did forget about the liquid stuff though. Oh well, I wonder what would have happened to a T-1000 if you crash a helicopter into him… Just out of curiosity…

  17. Ken,,,
    “Arnold’s Model T-800 Model 101″
    (what do you want me to call him? ;-) ) First dived under the blast door in T3 and held it up with his right hand. As the TX torso scooted by and grabbed Connor’s leg, the T-101 then supported itself with its shoulders as it conveniently used its right hand to grab the spinal column of the TX.
    It then sacrificed itself as it’s shoulders were slowly crushed as it shoved its last power cell down the TX’s mouth…

  18. “”Arnold’s Model T-800 Model 101″
    (what do you want me to call him?”

    Um, you answered your own question, to shorten T-800 Model 101 you say T-800…

    My motherboard is an Asus A-8NE Revision 2.0, I won’t shorten it by calling it the A-2.0. I call it the A-8NE

    You don’t shorten A-10 Thunderbolt II by A-II or A-Thunderbolt. You say A-10

    You don’t shorten the MP-5 SD5 by MP-SD5, you say MP-5

    You don’t shorten M-16A4 by M-A4, you say M-16…

    Anyway, I could go on, but I’m sure you get the point. But anyway, you never see him rolling over to his side, one second he’s on his back, holding up the blast door, the next second he somehow is rolled over without the door coming down with speed. Imagine holding something up, then shifting the weight from your hands to your shoulders, unless you EASE it into place, doing it fast means there will be a moment where nothing is supporting that object in the switch, so there should be a moment where the object drops at full speed. But it’s just there… Anyway, you might be satisfied with that and how he continues moving, talking, and overpowering the TX despite not having either one of his so-called “power packs” in him, lol, must have been running off capacitors alone. :-P

  19. I understand your point Ken on the door at the end, it just didn’t bug me that much. :-)

  20. In T3 what did Arnold mean by “Desire is irrelevant…I am a machine”.

  21. @Matt, Connor was trying to explain to Terminator that he was they’re friend.
    At that point the Terminator was struggling not to kill him as it had been reprogrammed by the TX… 8-)

    What Connor wanted didn’t matter as Terminator was internally fighting the nano probes…

  22. Would anyone like to comment as to how John Connor didn’t know the existence of T-800 in Salvation BUT somehow fought alongside with one in Terminator 2: Judgment Day?

    Is there something I’m missing?

  23. He knew of the T800, but was surprised that it was already being built was my view of it.

  24. Chris is right, when he saw the diagram and the text T800, he had that look on his face like he knew exactly what that was. I agree that he was more surprised at the timing, not really that it was being developed.

  25. In Salvation, John Conner mentioned about his mother never saying anything on tape about humanoid terminators like he have no idea of the T-800, and adding to this, when John Connor encountered the Arnold T-800, he didn’t recollection of it or am I thinking too hard on this?

  26. Your getting your bots confused. He had no recollection of humanoid bots like marcus. Not the t800. When he say Arnie, it was fear because he knew what it was capable of and it wasnt reprogrammed so he knew he was as good as gone.

  27. @Paul, yah, he was talking about Marcus. He said that seeing Marcus makes him feel like he doesn’t know anything. That’s what he meant, T800′s are not humanoid, they only have living tissue over their endoskeleton, they don’t have organs or emotions.

  28. X-SOLDIER, I’m glad I wasn’t the only one who noticed that they didn’t want to kill Connor or Reese. They had Reese on the table getting ready to be scanned when Marcus came in and pulled the T-800 off him.

    Also, Marcus isn’t stronger than a human, he does feel pain which is why he got his ass thoroughly kicked (and killed) and needed help carrying Connor to the chopper.

    Here’s one: At the beginning of the film when Connor jumps in the chopper and takes off after the HK he doesn’t fasten his safety belt but when the chopper crashes upside down he has to unbuckle it to fall free.

    Loved it the 2nd time as well. You go, McG!

  29. @Paul S
    No where in the movie did they indicate Connor didn’t know of the T-800′s In fact, at the beginning of the film when they dropped down into the hole he had the guy back up on the download and pointed out the T-800′s to the guys standing there. One said: “Is it what you feared?” (or something like that) and he replied, “Yes”.

    He DID indicate that the terminator ‘version’ of Marcus is what he said his mother didn’t mention.