The Terminator franchise has always been one of Hollywood's most confounding franchises. After a stellar first outing, a decade almost had to pass before director James Cameron returned for the sequel. However, Judgement Day was an instant classic, surpassing the original in every way possible and becoming a seminal film in the science fiction genre.
Both of these films are held in such high regard that no matter what comes next for the franchise, fans usually have high hopes. Even after each subsequent sequel came with diminishing returns. Now, the fanbase is getting ready again for a new movie, Dark Fate, and hopes are again high, and with good reason. Series stars Linda Hamilton, Edward Furlong, and Arnold are reuniting on screen. James Cameron is also returning to produce, while the movie will be directed by Tim Miller (Deadpool 2).
It surely will be a fun ride, and hopefully a return to prominence for the series. But there’s no way it will be able to explain the litany of nonsense that has built up from the preceding five films. Nor will it attempt to. The movie is ignoring everything that came after T2 and is serving as a direct follow up to Judgment Day. Here are 10 Things That Make No Sense About The Terminator Franchise.
10 The John Connor Terminator Paradox
Why is John Connor so special? Within the context of the films, we know the machines try to hunt down Sarah and then John. But in going back through time to hunt them down, Skynet and the machines might be always inadvertently triggering their own demise.
In the first Terminator movie, Sarah is nothing more than a waitress who wants to party. That’s it. She has no ambition to train and become some sort of soldier. If Skynet left her alone, Reese never gets sent back and John is never born. In other words, game over for the human race.
9 The John Connor Daddy Paradox
Kyle Reese has been almost as much of an integral part of the series as John, Sarah, or the T-800. However, there were a lot of variables in play to get Kyle to the past where he ultimately fathers John. First, Kyle has to find Sarah and get her to believe all of this crazy future mumbo-jumbo.
Considering all of the different timelines, he also has to hope he finds the right Sarah. Technically if they succeed and destroy every bit of proof (like in T2), John would blink out of existence as well, leaving no reason for Kyle to ever go back. Does your head hurt yet?
8 One Line In T3 Ruins The Theme Of T2
In the future, John teaches Kyle a mantra that he is instructed to teach to Sarah. “The future is not set. There is no fate but what we make for ourselves.” The first two films are based completely around this theme - you can change your destiny.
It is a nice thought that you are able to change your life trajectory. Except that nice thought gets blown to hell with one line of dialogue in Rise Of The Machines. The T-800 finds a very confused John Connor and explains to him that “Judgement Day is inevitable.”
7 The Time Machine Can’t Transport Non-Living Matter
When anyone or anything heads into the time machine, according to Kyle Reese, it cannot transport any non-living matter. That explains the pseudo-science needed to outfit killer robot T-800s with living tissue. Then again, considering people with even small metal screws in their bodies can’t enter an MRI machine, it’s astounding to think a giant metal robot could jump into a time machine!
The T-1000 doesn’t even have any living tissue to protect its robot parts - wouldn’t Robert Patrick just be a puddle of melted metal goop?
6 Arnold Stopped To Buy Roses?!
Terminators are clearly programmed to try and fit in upon their arrival so as not to try and draw attention to themselves. On his way to save John, in a very time-sensitive mission and with the T-1000 also on the hunt, the T-800 had time to find a spot in the galleria to buy flowers to hide his shotgun.
Yes, it made for a cool shot, and a nod to Guns N’ Roses contributing to the soundtrack, but the savior of mankind’s life was on the line and you have time to smell the roses?
5 The T-1000 Enjoys Cooking?!
While the T-800 knows how to pick the perfect flower, the T-1000 can cook a mean soufflé. After its defeat on the streets of Los Angeles, the T-1000 heads to the next logical destination for John to visit, his foster parents’ home.
The machine had taken out John’s foster mother and was waiting for John to come home. To keep up appearances, it was disguised as his foster mother just cooking dinner. Makes you wonder what it would have done had John not bothered calling them.
4 The Timeline Implanted Memories In Kyle
The pseudo-science of the entire Terminator franchise should be considered more in line with magic and fantasy than any sort of explainable science. In Terminator Genisys, the wonky logic of time travel adds more wrinkles in time.
Not only does Kyle go back to an entirely different timeline, but his younger self in this alternate timeline and his current self from a different timeline are having their memories integrate with one another. While Genisys isn’t that bad, this development isn’t even a thing remotely close to pseudo-science. No, that's plot-science.
3 There Needs To Be A Multiverse Theory In The Films
While it’s not spoken about in any of the films, the time travel only works if there is a multiverse. Otherwise, John Connor would cease to exist no matter whether the Terminator is destroyed or succeeds.
If Kyle Reese travels back in time to father John, save Sarah, and stop the rise of Skynet; if the evidence is destroyed, John would cease to exist too, since there would be no war to prompt Kyle to travel back in time. There would have to be a litany of universes and alternate timelines in order for any of these movies to actually work.
2 Adult John Knew About Kyle
Terminator Salvation attempted to jumpstart the franchise in a new direction. The movie was supposed to kick off a new trilogy about the actual war against the machines. The first film in that series featured the machines learning about the importance of Kyle Reese.
Considering John knows about Kyle, why isn’t the kid taken into protective custody until it’s his time to send him back in time? Why is he a soldier on the front line? In the second and third films, John didn’t even seem to know his father, but in Salvation, he has to protect and send Kyle back. It might have been nice to see John struggle with that.
1 No Matter What, The T-800 Always Survives
The T-800 is a strong and intimidating force. But it’s still just a bucket of bolts with human skin covering it. Yet somehow it is always able to overcome the newer, better models.
Even when the newer, better model is another T-800. Apparently, it pays to be played by Arnold Schwarzenegger. In theory, there’s no way that the T-800 would be able to take such a beating from upgraded models and survive.