McG Plugs Some Terminator Salvation Plot Holes

Published 5 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. It’s actually quite weird that how suddenly the terminators suck at fighting a single human like Jonh Connor in a fist fight in the Terminator Salvation.
    In the Salvation the T800 appears to make only a few throws and pushes at John and Kyle too though it had a perfect spot to kill John as the terminator appeared behind both of them.
    A real t800 or a t1000 could kill any human with one punch lol, Just like in the beginning of the T1.
    And…Skynet base isn’t supposed to have some inteligelly desinged cool looking rooms like the place where Marcus Wright was at and in the end the whole Marcus character was a bit of a useless character in t4, it would have done better without him I believe.
    In the end the Movie was ok… not clearly as good as I expected by what the trailer showed.

  2. Yoka, You’re comparing the T800 and skynet against each other with an 11 year gap for “upgrades, modifications” and such. The t800 in salvation was the first one, in t1 there were probably a good 200 upgrades made in between the 2.

  3. Okay, I just finished watching Salvation for the second time, on Blu-ray, and I can confidently say that McG does not know what the hell he’s talking about. None of his so-called answers make sense. But more importantly, he wasn’t asked the right questions. Questions like:

    1) As many people noted, if Skynet captured Kely Reese, and knew he was John’s father, why didn’t they just kill him instead of imprisoning him, thereby negating John’s very existence?

    2) Where did the information about John and Kyle come from? How could Skynet possibly know about everything that happened when the Terminators were sent into the past to kill Sarah Connor and John? They haven’t been sent yet! Time-travel hasn’t even been invented yet as of the events in Salvation! None of the Terminators survived to tell the tale, so where the hell is this so-called data coming from?!

    3) If, the base that John is “lured to” at the end of the movie is a Terminator factory, why is there only 1 Terminator trying to kill him?? Shouldn’t there be an army of Terminators there? Tons of T-800′s with Arnold faces coming off the assembly line and smashing John to bits? And even if they only made one so far, which is too ludicrous to fathom, shouldn’t there be T-600′s and hunter-killers and a shitload of other Terminators there, all hell-bent on killing John? Ridiculous.

    4) Everything that led Marcus to John and to Skynet was completely by coincidence. He could have just as easily decided to ditch Kyle and Star after meeting them, which he almost did, or not met Blaire, who led him to her base where John was, or been destroyed by John, which he almost was. The idea that he “infiltrated” John’s group and led him to Skynet is based on a bunch of coincidental choices and meetings he made in the movie. He could just as easily never had ran into Kyle, and just continued to wander the landscape until he got smashed by a giant robot. So, how could Skynet claim that he was part of their plan to lure John to them? It makes NO F’ING SENSE.

    Whoever scripted this movie is an idiot.

  4. You’re not understanding the movie obviously.

    1) He was being harvested with many of the other humans to be build into Terminators – thus the reason he’s strapped down. Skynet would be better off if it was able to kill him, and make him into a Terminator. That way he could either kill John later, or possibly even kill Sarah Connor if he was sent back in time.

    As for the, why not kill Kyle to make John Connor disappear? It doesn’t work that way. It’s just like if you killed Zachary Quinto’s Spock in the new Star Trek, Leonard Nimoy’s old Spoch wouldn’t disappear. They’re the same person from different timelines. Bringing Kyle to Skynet was to force John Connor to come to them.

    2) It’s cause you’re not understanding the entire concept of how time travel creates cascading Timelines. This is addressed in the Q&A here: 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.

    3) John Connor has survived Judgement Day against entire armies of Terminators in past timelines, and was only ever successfully killed by a single T-800. Thinking about this in a machine’s terminology: you could have him fight 1000 Terminators which have shown a 0% success rate, or a single T-800 model 101, which has shown a 100% success rate when specifically programmed to Terminator John Connor (discluding the brief reprogramming of the model 101 during T3). That’s why Skynet sent the 1 Terminator – it’s thinking like a machine.

    4) Not coincidence. Marcus was motivated by his programming in his chip, while “he” (his brain) was kept unaware of what he was doing to give him 100% believability in his mission. His motivations are not entirely his own until he finds out about his chip and destroys it at the end of the film. He was moving in a direction that Skynet sent him.

  5. I understand the movie just fine – it’s just that the movie’s logic makes absolutely no sense.

    1) Your Spock metaphor doesn’t work because you’re talking about two versions of the SAME person from different timelines. Here, we’re talking about John and his FATHER. If Kyle isn’t alive to be sent into the past to impregnate Sarah Connor, John will never be born. Sarah says as much during the movie in the tapes John is listening to. She talks about whether she should tell John that Kyle is his father and whether that will affect his decision to send Kyle back. And she says that if he doesn’t send him back, John will never be. John also says similar things the whole movie. His entire motivation in saving Kyle from Skynet is so that he can send him back later and be born!! Thus, his speech to all the soldiers on the radio about how if one bomb is dropped on Skynet before he can do what he needs to do, all will be lost. Eliminate Kyle = John will never be born. Therefore, Skynet should’ve terminated Kyle’s a$$ the moment they laid hands on him.

    2) Thank you for regurgitating McG’s nonsense. It still doesn’t make sense. You can’t just say “Skynet is aware of the alternate futures.” HOW are they aware of the alternate futures? Do they have a freaking crystal ball?? And if they’re aware of the T-1000 and TX being sent after John, why aren’t they making those models right now? It’s BS.

    3) You’re still making the argument that Skynet knows the outcome of every different timeline. Once again – how could it possibly know that? How could they know that in the future, or in some alternate future that might have been, they send a T-800 to kill John Connor? Not possible. And when did John ever fight single-handedly against an army of Terminators? Judgment Day was when the bombs went off, not when the Terminators attacked. It’s ridiculous to think that a single man could fight through an army of Terminators. He barely survived the one. Even a computer could figure out that the more Terminators you send after a target, the more chance of it being killed is. This is just silly.

    4) Okay, Marcus was motivated by his programming. So, he was motivated to wander into L.A. and yell at a T-600 who started firing on him, knowing that Kyle Reese would come to his rescue. Kyle Reese, whom Skynet hasn’t been able to locate or kill this whole time so far. Then he was programmed to listen to Kyle’s radio, so that he could know who John Connor is. And then he was programmed to decide to follow Kyle’s directions into a Terminator ambush so that Kyle Reese could get captured. And then he was programmed to be in the vicinity of Blaire who happened to parachute out of a shot-down plane near him. And then he was programmed to elicit Blaire to suggest that they go to her camp to see John Connor, whom he didn’t even know she worked for. And then, of course, his programming made him go to Skynet to rescue Kyle, and talk John into coming with him. Are you F’ing kidding me?

    Also,

    6) You can’t get stabbed in the freaking heart and still be alive for a heart transplant. It will kill you instantly. And for a heart transplant to work, which is pretty dicey no matter what, you need to match blood types and heart size to some degree. I guess they did all that testing on the fly while John was lying there with a steel rod jammed through his aorta.

  6. At the very least skynet would be aware of past terminator attempts because of archival news footage. It googled john connor and saw a life being on the run and lots of property destruction and deduced that somehow terminators have been targeting him his whole life and nothing worked up until that point.

    And the whole kill kyle, kill john thing wouldnt necessarily prevent johns birth, it would create another timeline where kyle was not johns father, but john still could be born. Kill young john before he is in command of the resistance then the resistance would be morally lost and fall easily in skynets eyes preventing another 11 years of fighting and allowing it to fully take over.

    I’m gonna go watch BTTF where time travel and alternate timelines makes sense.

  7. If Skynet knew that John would still exist even if Kyle was killed before he could insiminate Sarah, then why send the first 2 Terminators back in the first place? That timeline would still exist if Sarah was killed, right? This makes no sense. These are computers, and the logical thing for them to do was to kill Kyle which means John would not be born; just as they didn’t have this Einstein insight of timelines in the first 3 movies, they shouldn’t have it in this one. The movie fails miserably on this.

  8. As far as we know before the first movie kyle was not johns father, so the first movie you kill sarah, you kill john. Second movie kill john outright, 3rd movie kill those around john so that his team is not that strong.

    Killing kyle doesnt gurantee johns destruction only killing him or his mother before johns birth would truly gurantee it.

  9. Jesus Christ! Last time I checked you need both sperm and an egg to make a baby! This is Biology 101, people. A person is composed of DNA from both the mother and the father. If Kyle is not John’s father, then John would look, act, and BE completely different! If someone else wound up knocking up Sarah Connor, she probably wouldn’t have even named him John! He would be some 5’4″ shmuck who cleans toilets for a living and was blasted to death during Judgment Day. No Kyle = No John Connor as leader of the resistance!

  10. Is it that hard to wrap your head around the fact that before t1 happened the possibility exists that someone else fathered john connor?

  11. 1) This is two things:
    A) How the Timeline’s work.
    B) Sarah/John Connor’s (mis)understanding of Time Travel.

    If the Terminator’s kill Sarah Connor/John Connor in the PAST, he wouldn’t be born for when Judgement Day will inevitably occur (as we’ve seen, Judgement Day is unable to be prevented), and THAT’S how Skynet will win the war, NOT by making him vanish from the future where he defeated Skynet. Due to the way that Skynet acts in creating Marcus, it correctly understands the way that Timetravel affects timelines, whereas John does not. Another reason why threatening to kill Kyle Reese will get John Connor to come to Skynet.

    - The John Connor we see in TS is the one who was conceived in T1, and encountered Terminators in T2 & T3. He is NOT the same John Connor who T1′s Kyle Reese met in his Future, because -that- Judgement Day was changed when they blew up Cyberdyne in T2. It’s been heavily theorized that the John Connor that is talked about in T1 was not conceived by Kyle Reese.

    http://terminator.wikia.com/wiki/Timeline

    2) Again: Cascading Timelines. Skynet in T3 takes over local, private, & military internet. This includes to police files, news footage, & information from the events in T1, T2, & T3. From this, it’s got most all of the data it could ever need. Not all the development on the Terminators seems to have been done by Skynet, and even research takes time given limited information. It’s only just become capable of creating the T-800 (the only model that’s EVER killed John Connor) so that’s why it’s a race to create that model first – it’s top priority. There’s not reason to create t more advanced & complicated models that BOTH failed to kill John, when the T-800 was able to kill him. Also – the Resistance isn’t yet using Terminators, so there’s no reason to build a T-X, which was primarily an anti-terminator unit.

    3) John Connor has survived fighting against the Terminators & defeated Skynet in the future before, and this includes his survival against both a T-1000 & a T-X. There’s no need to pour overwhelming resources when there’s a model that’s close to creation that’s proved successful in the past (and at least halfway in this movie).

    4) Marcus was motivated by his programming, that’s what makes him appear & actual believably human. It wasn’t proven that he’d meet Kyle Reese. This is more chance for the sake of the film. There’s nothing to indicate that he KNEW he’d run into Kyle Reese, but from him picking up the jacket at the beginning, he’s working to integrate himself into the Resistance. Upon confirming the target as Kyle Reese with the little flying Terminator, the plan worked into another route to leading John Connor to Skynet. He’d still have gone to save the Prisoners either way, even if Kyle wasn’t among them. Either way, this gets the John Connor into SkyNet against the T-800 that’s capable of killing him.

    6) There’s a very low survivability for physical heart injuries, but people have received stabbing heart injuries & survived > 20 mins to be rushed into a hospital. There was someone who had a barbed stingray spear lodge into his heart, and as the muscular action in his heart kept going, had it pass COMPLETELY THROUGH his heart, before undergoing surgery to close the hole & survived. With Marcus’ enhanced, fast-regenerating tissue, it’s hard to say that this point in the movie is far from believable.

  12. Chris -

    Is it that hard for you to wrap your head around the fact that if someone else fathered John, he would have different looks, a different personality, and in all likelihood, a different name, since Sarah only named him John because Kyle told her his name was John? Not to mention, John wouldn’t be nearly as good a leader, because he wouldn’t have the training his mother gave him had the events of T1 never happened, and he wouldn’t have all the knowledge about the Terminators.

    X-Soldier -

    1) This statement makes no sense: “If the Terminator’s kill Sarah Connor/John Connor in the PAST, he wouldn’t be born for when Judgement Day will inevitably occur (as we’ve seen, Judgement Day is unable to be prevented), and THAT’S how Skynet will win the war, NOT by making him vanish from the future where he defeated Skynet.”
    The entire point of the movies is that Skynet is trying to kill Connor so that’s he’s not around in the future to lead mankind to victory. How would making John Connor not be around for Judgment Day, when they drop the bombs, win the war for Skynet? His presence or lack thereof when the bombs are dropped doesn’t do sh-t for Skynet. it’s the John in the future that beats Skynet and wins the war. That’s what Skynet cares about. Watch T1 again.

    2 & 3) Okay, even if they have all that info from the past, they still don’t know that the T-800 kills John Connor, because that didn’t happen in the past. That happens in the future, as Arnie tells John in T3. And even if they did know that, which is impossible, even a computer isn’t stupid enough to think a sigle Terminator has more of a chance of killing Connor than a bunch of Terminators. In fact, if they analyzed the data, they’d see ho many times single Terminators failed to kill John in the past, and go with the logical conclusion that more Terminators = more chances to kill him. And even if all that was true, it’s a freaking Terminator FACTORY. As soon as the one Terminator was offed by Marcus, another one or two or a million should have been right around the corner, ready to jump in!

    4) Marcus put on that jacket because he was naked, and it was the only thing he could find. He didn’t even kow what the armband was, what the Resistance was, or anything. And please don’t tell me that the programming made him pick that jacket because IT knew it was Resistance clothing, but didn’t let Marcus know, because that is just far-fetched beyond belief. So, what would have happened if Marcus hadn’t met Kyle and hadn’t heard John’s voice on the radio? North America is a pretty big place – he could easily have just wandered East or North and wound up who knows where and never have even met John Connor. How would Skynet have used him then? Doesn’t make sense.

    5) What about ABO compatibility of the donor, not to mention variable size of the heart?

  13. Here, let me explain this in gross amounts of detail so we’re at least understanding how the timelines / storylines play out. I threw this together kinda fast, so there might be some minor errors:

    • Timelines get screwed up, and changed by affecting things in the past .
    • Storylines are continuously following the characters, and happen all in one long progressive series of events THROUGH varying timelines.

    —————————–
    The Terminator STORYLINE.
    —————————–

    Terminator: 1 Kyle Reese comes back in time after Judgement Day to protect Sarah Connor from a T-800, and knocks her up with a son – John Connor, so that he can become a general in the war against the machines, and help the humans win. (Note: In order for John Connor to exist AT ALL – Kyle Reese has to travel back in time from the Apocalypse where John Connor’s already alive, and knock up his mom. This isn’t a paradox, it’s just later down a storyline of events where John Connor’s already alive, and the Apocalypse HAS happened.) Kyle Reese & Sarah Connor have a kid, and surve against the Terminator.

    This leads to –>

    Terminator: 2 An older John Connor is now protected by a T-800, and being chased by a T-1000. During this, he rescues his mother from a mental hospital, and destroys the CPU & Arm from the first Terminator, thus stalling the events of Judgement Day. (The stalling of Judgement Day means that the future TIMELINE that his father Kyle Reese in T1 came from won’t be the one that John Connor in T2eventually experiences, because the events have been changed and pushed back).

    This leads to –>

    Terminator: 3 An older John Connor is still on the run. His mother (Sarah Connor) died of cancer. A T-X is sent back in time to assassinate some of his generals in the past, and ultimately try to kill him as well. Another T-850 is sent back to protect him. He meets Katherine Brewster, and manages to escape to a fallout shelter. By this time, the military technology created Skynet already, and Judgement Day happens – the bombs fall, and the future apocalypse happens. The war against the machines & Skynet begins.

    This leads to –>

    Terminator Salvation.

    ________________________
    Terminator Timelines
    ——————————————-

    ~Timeline 1~
    • Skynet goes active, Judgement Day (August 29, 1997).
    • John Connor is a general in the resistance.
    • A T-800 is sent back in time to kill Sarah Connor.
    • Fights & sends Kyle Reese back to protect his mother.
    • A T-1000 is sent to the past to kill John Connor.
    • A reprogramed Terminator is sent to the past to protect John.

    ~Timeline 2~
    • A T-800 arrives (from Timeline 1) to kill Sarah Connor.
    • Kyle Reese arries (from Timeline 1) and saves Sarah Connor.
    • The T-800′s severed arm & CPU are left behind.
    • Kyle & Sarah have a child – John Connor.
    • Sarah Connor is committed, John goes into foster care.
    • A T-1000 (from Timeline 1) is sent back to kill John Connor.
    • A reprogrammed T-800 (from Timeline 1) is sent back to protect him.
    • Sarah Connor & John escape, and meet Miles Dyson.
    • Miles Dyson’s research on the arm & CPU are stopped.
    • Judgement Day (from Timeline 1) is postponed.
    • Sarah Connor dies of Cancer.
    • John Connor meets Kate Brewster.
    • A T-X arrives (from Timeline 2) to kill John Connor & his generals.
    • A reprogrammed T-850 arrives (from Timeline 2) to protect John.
    • Several of John Connor’s generals are assassinated by the T-X.
    • Skynet goes active – Judgement Day occurs (July 25, 2004).
    • John Connor & Kate Brewster survive in a fallout shelter.
    • The T-X & Terminator are destroyed.
    # A T-800 is sent back to kill Sarah Connor.
    # Kyle Reese is sent back in time to save her.
    # A T-1000 is sent back to kill John Connor
    # A reprogrammed T-800 is sent back to save him.
    • John is killed by a Terminator T-850
    • Skynet sends back a T-X to kill John Connor & his generals
    • Kate reprograms the T-850 and sends it back to protect John.

    ~Timeline 3~
    • A T-800 arrives (from Timeline 1) to kill Sarah Connor.
    • Kyle Reese arries (from Timeline 1) and saves Sarah Connor.
    • The T-800′s severed arm & CPU are left behind.
    • Kyle & Sarah have a child – John Connor.
    • Sarah Connor is committed, John goes into foster care.
    • A T-1000 (from Timeline 1) is sent back to kill John Connor.
    • A reprogrammed T-800 (from Timeline 1) is sent back to protect him.
    • Sarah Connor & John escape, and meet Miles Dyson.
    • Miles Dyson’s research on the arm & CPU are stopped.
    • Judgement Day (from Timeline 1) is postponed.
    • Sarah Connor dies of Cancer.
    • Marcus us put to death, and taken by Cyberdyne.
    • John Connor meets Kate Brewster.
    • A T-X arrives (from Timeline 2) to kill John Connor & his generals.
    • A reprogrammed T-850 arrives (from Timeline 2) to protect John.
    • Several of John Connor’s generals are assassinated by the T-X.
    • Skynet goes active – Judgement Day occurs (July 25, 2004).
    • John Connor & Kate Brewster survive in a fallout shelter.
    • The T-X & Terminator are destroyed.
    • TERMINATOR SALVATION
    # A T-800 is sent back to kill Sarah Connor.
    # Kyle Reese is sent back in time to save her.
    # A T-1000 is sent back to kill John Connor
    # A reprogrammed T-800 is sent back to save him.

    • Common Events
    # Since it happened in Timeline 1, it doesn’t mean that it’s performed in every Timeline.

    Therefore, if you kill Kyle Reese from Timeline 3 during Terminator Salvation, John Connor is still alive, because his FATHER is from Timeline 1. (Essentially Skynet lost in Timeline 1, but by attempting to kill Sarah Connor in Timeline 2, SkyNet would ultimately win the war). This also shows how the cascading timelines work for Skynet to learn about it’s past attempts on John Connor’s life. They happened in the past i.e. Before the current timeline, even though it was a later year than TS.

    • Right there, in the first part of your story line, I’m sorry my friend but the Terminator story has been paradoxical since the first movie. IN order for this to work, well it doesn’t work! How can Kyle Reese be sent by John Connor from the Future if Kyle Reese never existed in the present to impregnate Sarah Connor? The John Connor from the first file who sent Kyle Reese would have had to be a different John Connor, in a sense that his father could not have been Kyle Reese, it would have to be someone else. IF Kyle Reese would have been sent in the past by John to save his father (a different person than Kyle Reese) then there would be no paradox, as Kyle Reese would have to protect Sarah and her future lover who would have then impregnated Sarah so that they could have had John.

      It’s impossible in science fiction even to have someone from nowhere be send down in the past to impregnate a woman who will give birth to a new child. It HAS to be a different father, otherwise this will never work.

  14. Okay, so what is your point? That killing Kyle Reese wouldn’t erase John from existence because there is some unknown Daddy from Timeline 1 that would impregnate Sarah and make John anyway? If that’s your point, then you’re still not addressing any of my arguments. Like I said, if someone else impregnates Sarah Connor, they’d look, behave, and BE someone totally different from John, because they’d have someone else’s DNA. And I don’t believe that the moviemakers even meant for that to be true, because John himself says over and over again that killing Kyle Reese would kill him. I am quoting John Connor in TS right now, from the scene when he’s talking to his wife: “Kill Kyle Reese, reset the future, no John Connor.” He spends the entire movie trying to rescue Kyle because he needs him to be born. And I think that the John Connor in T1 is this same John Connor, becaue in T1, John has that scar across his left eye, and the filmmakers in TS have the T1 scratch John across his left eye so that he’ll have that scar. If the Connor in T1 is a different Connor, where did heget that scar from? He coincidentally got scarred in exactly the same place in a totally different way? BS. The filmmakers are trying to wrap everything up so it’s nice and neat, but it doesn’t work at all.

  15. Yeah, upon looking that over, I forgot about a timeline between 1 & 2. Due to the acceleration of J-Day from the pieces left from the T-800 and the research that Cyberdyne does. That’s where the “good” T-800 & the T-1000 come from. ><; Oh well, hopefully it still gets the general point across about how cascading timelines work.

    And to address the Heart transplant:

    Marcus donated his body in 2003 to Sarah Kogan for medical research. The fact that in 2018 he's got swiftly regenerating tissue that's been able to be attached to a metal endoskeleton in addition to possessing organs and a functional brain, makes me think that the initial research that was done on his body was highly successful in the medical field. -Thus his heart being used as a replacement for John Connor's injured one is likely not as huge of a stretch as it would be if you were just flat out swapping hearts between two people, because Marcus' body was engineered on highly advanced medical research.

  16. No.

    Killing Kyle Reese in Timeline 3 won’t erase John Connor from Timeline 3, because the SAME (genetically) Kyle Reese from Timeline 1 already did that in Timeline 2 (as I posted above). I’d advise you to look over what I put down more closely, because you’re not understanding the general concept. As I stated earlier, the reason John Connor says, “Kill Kyle Reese, reset the future, no John Connor.” is because Sarah Connor misunderstands the concept on how time travel works & that’s who he learns from. This is why the question about SkyNet being aware of the alternate timelines was answered by McG the way it was (so yes, all of this WAS intentional).

    Also – as for the Heart Transplant

    Marcus’s body was donated to Serena Kogan in 2003 for medical research. The fact that he’s got fast regenerating tissue, and functional organs and a brain 15 years later are enough to show that the research done was successful. John Connor being able to take his heart & survive’s not really that big of a stretch, because Marcus’ current body is the product of highly advanced medical research. Totally different than just randomly swapping hearts with another wounded soldier. (Marcus is even aware of this to some degree if he thinks the events of his life through).

  17. Don’t you think you’re stretching things a bit too hard to try to make this movie work? Even McG says that Kyle must be kept alive for John to exist. He says it right in the da*n interview above: “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” Right from the lips of the director – Kyle must be saved so that John can exist. Trust me, the filmmakers have not thought nearly as hrd about all of this as you have. Clearly.

  18. Jason

    McG makes up things as he goes along and has no clue how things work in the terminator universe so you can’t go by anything he says on the matter. He plans on sending harvesters back in time in the upcoming movies (that he’s not even a part of) so that right there tells you how much he understands about it.

  19. I agree with M-Cat.

    As we all know, time travel at this moment is still only in theory. And there are many conflicting theories. Movies have used several different theories for their movies. McG is assuming that the Terminator universe follows the same time travel rules that Back to the Future used which is that there is only one timeline, and any and all changes made in the past will affect everyone in the future. This is where the grandfather paradox rears its ugly head.

    However, from my understanding, Terminator seems to follow the theory in which everytime something is changed, it splits off into its own separate timeline. Meaning no matter how many Terminators Skynet sends back, it’ll never be able to change its present because that timeline already exists. Skynet might form a parallel timeline in which John Connor doesn’t become the leader of the rebels and Skynet wins, but that’s in another timeline so it really makes no difference to the Skynet that actually sent the Terminators back…

    So in essence, killing Kyle will really have no effect on John Connor from the current timeline in which they all reside. But it’s a stupid concept for Skynet to know about Kyle’s supposed importance anyway…

  20. It doesn’t really matter what you guys think about the timelines – this is about the plot holes in Terminator Salvation. What matters is the time travel theories used in making the movie, and McG says in plain English above that Kyle must be saved so that John Connor can exist. And if that was his thinking in making the movie, why didn’t the Terminators just kill Kyle as soon as they captured him, thus negating John’s existence?? Huge, gaping plot hole.

  21. “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”

    Frankly, the issue is that John Conner *supposedly* saves humanity from the machines… but how? In the opening scene of T3, we see an older Conner (Nick Stahl)standing with his troops, celebrating the destruction of Skynet in the future. But, thus far, he has failed to do actually do this. So the point of T1 Conner being fathered by someone else (and thus not being capable of winning the war) is moot: T1 Conner was incapable of winning the war, so he sent Kyle back to protect his mother after the 1st terminator is sent back to kill her. This altered the future war, so we now have a new Connor who grows up through T2 & T3, and takes over in TS. He hasn’t ended the war yet, but now he sends Kyle back in time because he now knows this kid is his father. We have yet to see if this Connor can end the war in the present day…

  22. You win. I must say that you stomped the either confused guy or naysaying punk. The plot is pretty tight and it works :)

  23. you guys are stuck on the wrong junk to debate, heres what makes no sense to me.

    1)Why not just kill kyle right off the bat and also conner when he is in skynet? There is no reason to let them live as long as they did, maybe the machines are sadistic?

    2) The signal: If the machines know its a trap for the humans how is the heli at the end allowed to just touch down without any anti-air defenses or hunter killers? I dont buy the bull that they were using the signal while conducting operations at skynet. Skynet wouldnt allow the signal to be used against them in that manner, no way!

    3) having both targets in the same area skynet would of terminated them and even if they blew up skynet their GLOBAL resources would of just nuked the area if they had any left. That goes for the incredibly absent army at skynet. Again skynet would never compromise their army that way with the signal.

    4) skynet would be in control of all our satellites and would of found the human bases and sub control IMMEDIATELY! If skynet was global then there is no way any human bases would be left standing with all of skynets resources to throw at them. Planes just sitting on the tarmak? NO WAY even in WWII they had to hide air stripes and the such, the human bases would of been eradicated by cruise missiles. The only way i can see the bases standing is that sky net has basically total control of everything so letting a few bases operated to eventually find john conner is a logical action from the machines. Let the humans gravitate to the bases instead of playing wack a mole.

    5) i do agree with how marcus got to the human base. There are so little humans left that human nature is to gravitate to other humans and seek out their company. Its very logical that eventually marcus would make it to john conner.

    6) Chemical warfare not being used? I dont buy this. There would be no humans standing if they released upper air aresols. Maybe the machines want to preserve the earth?

    The only explanation that explains all of this is that some part of that womens humanity that runs skynet is still left and the central AI is somehow very sadistic. It has to be some sort of lingering humanity because real machines would of executed Klye and John as soon as they stepped foot inside skynet. John was on camera and kyle was being held down by the machine, they would of been terminated immediately when they both were confirmed on the base, there is no logical explanation to keep them alive for that long. Its only the lingering humanity that gums up the works for skynet.

  24. All i’ve ever seen the Terminator plotline to be was a big cycle.

    -Reese travels back and impregnates Sarah
    -Judgment Day happens
    -war is won
    -Reese again travels back

    BUT, the cycle (or loop) had to have started somewhere. now that it exists, it cant be stopped because as you all know Reese HAS GOT TO travel back.

    and the other thing that bothers me is (assuming the war was won in Reeses future b4 he traveled back to T1), if they (john) have defeated Skynet, why did it send a terminator in the first place. if they had wiped out skynet, they wouldn’t then be able to send any terminator to kill Sarah. -BUT THATS ASSUMING ONLY IF THEY HAVE DEFEATED SKYNET B4 REESE WENT BACK!!!-

    and other things.

    do you guys think Reese knew he was Johns dad in T1 after he slept with Sarah?

    and…Judgment day COULD have been preventable on many occasions

    -if only the global internet were shut down b4 skynet took control.
    -if all the nuclear warheads globally wouldn’t have been loaded and ready to blastoff (heck if they would have never been invented in the first place)
    -if John Kate and the Terminator in T3 would have warned Kate’s dad b4 he pushed the YES button which allowed skynet to become self-aware.

    I’ve got a lot more thoughts about this topic. But Jason, I think you’re on the right track. we’ll see what T5 will introduce IF it comes out

    till later

  25. ok then. now that T4 is pretty much all laid out, i will make some predictions about the possible T5.

    In T5, i predict the plotline will center around making it to that building where the time displacement (ill call it time machine from now on) thing is. They will have a lot of opposition on many sides trying to prevent them from getting to the time machine. BUT, what bothers me is WHO made the time travel thing possible? was it the humans or the machines? The reason I say that they will have to make it to the time machine is, if the machines built it, they will also have it heavily guarded.

    remember in T1, Reese said that Skynet blew the whole thing to hell once he went through. so i think T5 will center around a way to get Reese to the time machine. the producers will this time have to find a guy that comes really close to looking like Reese from T1.

    unless I’m mistaken and the plot centers around the victory of the war against the machines. But again, did Reese go back in time b4 the way was won or after? if he went back after the war, then the machines SHOULDN”T be able to send ANY Terminators. if he did go back through time shortly b4 winning the war, then the plot would center around BOTH,

    -making it to the time machine
    -and the victory against the machines

  26. I just watched T1 again and when the truck fuel tanker exploded, Sarah chose the fatory to run to for safety. Why? the terminator was

    -1st of all burnt of all skin and living tissue, and

    -2nd, his leg was damaged, making him considerably slower

    Sarah and Reese could have just eluded the terminator outside since he wasn’t fast enough to get em, then jumped into a car and gotten away. the terminator after that moment would have little chance, unless he intentionally risks exposing himself to humans. That scenario could have saved Reese, maybe for a while at least since he was injured. It is unknown if he was fatally shot. He could have bled out b4 he even received medical care. well, my scenario could have led numerous ways,

    -Reese surviving teaching Sarah for a few years and maybe being shot to death by the police when Sarah and Reese try to blow up the factory

    OR

    -Reese surviving for a few more minutes then bleeding out

    but the story would have followed the same path and T2 would have gone as it did, because Reese said “his father dies sometime b4 the war” I’m kind of thinking about the Final Destination theory, that he was destined to die. so my scenarios would have made little difference, except for building a stronger Sarah, because Reese could have taught her so much more.

    and i never thought about this until now, but why doesn’t the Terminators CPU chip burn up in T1 when his entire body is engulfed with fire after the Tanker explodes? I know the fire couldn’t be as hot as molten steel like in T2, but machines need cooling units (a fan), like this computer that im now using to prevent it from overheating. its clear to me that his exoskeleton is made out of the hardest metal, withstanding bullet slugs of all shapes and sizes, but i suppose when the metallic skull is ablaze on fire, there would be some open spaces for fire to get through to the chip and burn it up. weird huh!

  27. The biggest plot hole is the kyle reece timeline:

    Kyle reece is born into the apocolypse. Forced to work by the machines in labour camps, loading dead humans into furnaces. John Connor starts the resistance and frees the prioners. John and Kyle become friends(unknowing of their real relationship) and start mounting for an attack.
    Skynet see victory for the Resistance, so they send the Terminator back through time to attack Sarah, thus making sure Connor is never born.
    The resistance send a Machine back through time to protect John, and Kyle sends himself back to protect sarah (John gives kyle a picture of Sarah)
    On the mission of protection Kyle falls inlove with Sarah and they concieve John. Kyle then dies protecting Sarah.

    Here is the problem: Up untill the point Kyle reece goes back intime, they are on an Unchanged timeline. No one has gone back in time, Kyle hasnt met Sarah, they didnt ‘make love’ and connor was never born.
    Connor is conceived because kyle used Time travel to protect sarah. So how can he exist before this event?

    Im not slating the movie, i think its EXELLENT!
    Its just something that has always bothered me about the plot.
    Alot of people have different perspectives on time travel. Some belive in the butterfly effect, others belive you can not change the timeline for anyone but yourself and would thus create a parralel timeline.
    I for one, do not know :P

  28. darko_p86 there is no victory against the machines, after skynet the only logical course is the matrix. ps. simple truths why t4 sucked @ spike.com/articles/91kpw2/the-seven-biggest-loopholes-in-terminator-salvation

  29. nimd4

    Matrix was awesome, but victory against Skynet was John Connor’s destiny. I just dont understand, if Conor defeats the machines, why are they still coming up with ways to kill the Connors in the past. Did the resistance ever fight against the advanced hordes of terminator bitches from T3? its not all just black and white.

    oh and the Sarah Connor chronicles sucked ass

    • I think the cascading timeline is the concept that makes sense and fits the movies but i do think it can only work with the following assumption:

      John Connor’s dad was not Kyle Reese, Sarah Connor must have slept around and not known she was pregnant before the events in T1.

      From what I can remember none of the movies after T1 ever go back to before John Connor was born. I personally think that because Sarah Connor thinks Kyle is the father, everyother character in the movies accepts this.