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. Marcus is stronger than a human, you see that in his fight against other humans. He’s simply not as strong as regular Terminators.

  2. Or it could be the iRobot syndrome where he’s weak like a human until it’s revealed that he’s a robot (or part robot like in iRobot) and then all of a sudden he’s magically stronger, lol. That aspect of iRobot cracked me up…

  3. @Jess and Ken
    I guess I see your point. I gotta watch the movie again, just to be sure what I’m saying is right. Thanks for your inputs. Peace!

  4. 790, you rule bud!
    Finally someone on here who likes Terminator 3 as much as I do! I admit, it does have its faults and below compared to the epics T1 & T2, BUT that is not to say it is a trash film!

    As for McG, I agree with Cat…plugging in holes after the film comes out one should not do. Stand by the finished product, plug in holes for the dvd release.

    Desire is irrelevant, I am a machine.

  5. Thumbs Up! SK-47

    Lol, Cat, “trademark bubbles”

  6. 790
    I didn’t know what else to call them but they were cool lol.

  7. 790, yeah man!
    its simple, the TX was a prototype sent to kill Connor’s Lieutenants. When she tasted Connor’s blood, her facial reaction was human, an “OMG” moment because here is the primary target within her grasp!

    T3 is cool! Dont hate.

  8. Yeah SK, she was also sent to jump start Skynet,,,

    Great film loved the ending ,,, :-)

  9. And people wonder why Hollywood is “reboot crazy” right now. lol See? If they had jsut rebooted the series after T2 or T3 we wouldn’t be having this discussion. We wouldn’t have to worry about any plot holes :P Reboot it holly wood! Just do it! On a sidenote, I enjoyed the flick. It wasn’t anythign earth shattering but it was a cool action film. The nods to T2 were great and I had to smile when GnR played in the theater and Arnold walked out as the new model. Things went boom, people got shot, big robots walked around…….. no nudity though, otherwise it would have gotten 3 thumbs up.
    Now my one questions is this……
    After seeing Transformers, trailers to Transformers 2, and T4……….. when the hell do I get my Battletech movie???

  10. Begin transmission:
    You made me look bad Mcg. You shouldn’t be too hard to find with that name.
    End transmission:
    Copyrite Microsoft 2029

  11. @Skynet
    haha good stuff! that would be awesome!

  12. Begin Transmission:
    @John Connor, where are you ?
    End Transmission:
    Copyrite Microsoft 2029

  13. It should be “End Line” not End Transmission, lol.

  14. ^
    LOL Ken J, where are you ?
    End Transmission:
    Copyrite Microsoft 2029

  15. DIR.

    >SkyNet, question needing of binary answer input.
    >With Kyle Reese in possesion does one-
    >Use Reese as bait for future leader of resistance-ANSW.0
    >Kill Reese erasing future leader of resistance-ANSW.1
    >Await reply.


  16. @Ken J

    Actually it should be “End of Line.”



  17. Begin transmission:
    These comments are being transmitted from the future.
    Btw, Mr Holtreman, Screen Rant is key to my world takeover, so keep up the good work!
    SK-47, you think Terminator Salvation had problems wait until you see the next two films based on me, SkyNet.
    Peace out,,,lowly humans,,,
    End Transmission:
    Copyrite Microsoft 2029

  18. @Vic, oops, my mistake, lol.

  19. Some great explainations here on the so called plotholes , if McG did do his research which I assume he did, his answer on Kyle Reece should have been clearer AND been made IN the film IMO…

    anyway I like to hear the different theories these holes throw up so its all good..

    All the Terminator films leave these little ‘anomalies’..I found that this site deals with them quite tidely…

    It also offers a clean temporal resolution to the whole saga which I thought TTSCC came close to in a roundabout way..

    I thought the film was excellent and im looking forward to the next couple where they will have to deal with the time travel issues properly..

  20. Du-Dum…Dum..Du-Dum

  21. Thanks for the site link Danny, very cool info.

    I wish they had used your character in T4.

  22. @790, not sure if it was here that you asked, but about the skynet blu ray, don’t buy it unless you try it on your player first, so find someone who has it… It doesn’t run on every player, it was released by lions gate, they can’t do anything right…

  23. Thanks for the heads up Ken,,,

    That’s gotta suck hope you got a refund!

  24. I don’t want a refund, I want a copy that works. Those idiots at Lions Gate better do something right for once in their pathetic lives…

    I went online and saw that I wasn’t the only one with the problem, that a lot of people have it. Most people have the problem where no internet connection caused it to crash, others, like myself, who have a bluray drive instead of a stand-alone player, said it wouldn’t work either, even with internet connection… I’m gonna do more reading about it…

  25. Yeah Ken I’ve noticed a trend that seems to be focused with embedding new/nuisance programs in dvd/video games/home theatre equipment that forcibly promotes upgrading to full internet access. (Case in point, Tivo)
    A lot of the high end Plasma tv’s constantly seek a server proxy. Its a fricken marketing scam !!!

    Just another reason to stay with dvds. The T2 Extreme Special Edition always looks real good on my 26 inch digital tv… ;-)

  26. I think Star Trek is a good explanation of this film (/franchise).

  27. Boy oh Boy,you think this Installment had Plot Holes?… about ….neither Skynet or John could exist without Kyle and the T-800 going back in the first movie, if the destroyed the Time Travel thingy like Kyle said and there was no mention of a T-1000 or a T-800 being sent to 1994, in the first movie then ….well…huh? especially in Sarah’s monologue at the opening of T-2…Double Huh?…although this has since been proven false I remember at the time Thinking if at the Close of T-2 they had destroyed all future tech and Cyberdyne Systems have been blown up, Skynet doesnt get built, therefor Kyle doesnt travel back to 1984, therefor John shouldnt exist..How can the T-1000,T-X, John Henry, Cromarty’s Head, Catherine Weaver ect. travel through time…and Nude to boot?….nothing inorganic can go through..If at the Close of T-3 John realizes that Fate is predestined and there is nothing he can do to prevent it, why in T Salvation is he trying to change the future…Huh????? NOW…..T-3….Well we know that everything has been delayed a couple of years compared to the previous timeline, so how can SkyNet jump the gun and develop a T-800 earlier than expected in T Salvation?

    Just a little point to show that the plot holes in this series have been present since the beginning.

    But most plot holes in T Salvation I can put down to SkyNet could see and hear what Marcus could…..he was bugged, therefor he heard Johns rant about his mother and father

    this series is full of holes…part of the fun is filling them in

  28. @Robocod

    Actually, time travel isn’t as simple as that. There are so many contradicting theories that it will never REALLY truly make sense. But one of them states that you can’t change your own past. Meaning if you send someone or something back into the past, the changed outcome from that will be on a separate timeline. So therefor you won’t notice any change at all. So forming the separate timeline would actually eliminate all of those space/time paradoxes you brought up about preventing your own actions because you’ll only be preventing them in the current timeline, not in the one you were sent back from, so once you’re sent back, that’s it, it’s done and cannot be changed. So only your future can be changed, not your past.

  29. why did they lure john connor to “kill him”, with the imprisoned kyle reese, when they could have just killed kyle reese right there, which would have deleted john connor from histroy? I liked the movie, but there’s a fault in the plot.