Terminator: Every Date That Has Been Judgment Day

Terminator Judgment Day Explosion

Judgment Day in the Terminator franchise hasn't always been on the same date, and here's every other day that it has occurred on. Practically every major science fiction series - whether it's a movie, TV show, video game, or comic - has a particular date that represents a major story element; sometimes they can be dystopian dates that signal the beginning of an apocalypse, as is the case with Terminator.

Ever since Kyle Reese traveled back in time in the very first Terminator film in order to safeguard John Connor's mother, Sarah, from being killed by a hunter-killer - specifically, the T-800 - the concept of Judgment Day had been looming on viewers' minds. An infamous story among those still left alive and particularly those within the Resistance, Judgment Day marked the rise of the machines as well as the death and enslavement of the human race. Sarah Connor spent years trying to prevent it from happening, but she only managed to delay it.

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Related: Terminator: Dark Fate Cast & Character Guide

Given that the Terminator timeline has changed a number of times, and will once again change in Terminator: Dark Fate, the exact date Judgment Day happens has also moved around quite a bit. However, it was originally said that Judgment Day happens on August 29, 1997, which remains the same day - though, perhaps, not the exact same date - that is officially recognized as Judgement Day. But what about all the other dates that have been Judgment Day over the years?

  • 1995 - The video game The Terminator: Future Shock identifies the year 1995 as the beginning of the nuclear war, and by proxy, Judgment Day.
  • August 29, 1997 - The original date from James Cameron's films.
  • July 25, 2003 - Terminator: Rise of the Machines has Judgment Day happen in 2003, with July 25 being the date that's revealed in a novel about Terminator: Salvation.
  • July 25, 2004 - Another date for Judgment Day revealed in a prequel novel to Terminator: Salvation.
  • April 21, 2011 - Judgment Day from Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles TV series.
  • 2017 - Although an exact date isn't given, Terminator: Genisys reveals that Judgment Day was simply postponed by 20 years.

Similar to how Blumhouse handled Halloween 2018 as a sequel to John Carpenter's Halloween, Terminator: Dark Fate is a direct sequel to James Cameron's 1991 film, Terminator: Judgment Day, which means that Terminator: Rise of the Machines, Terminator: Salvation, and Terminator: Genisys all exist in an alternate timeline (or timelines). With that in mind, Sarah Connor was successful in at least preventing Judgment Day from happening on August 29, 1997, which is when Skynet became self-aware and used the world's nuclear arsenal, primarily from the United States and Russia, to wipe out half of the world's population.

But that doesn't mean it didn't happen later on or will happen at some point in the future. After all, Terminator: Dark Fate's tagline is, "Welcome to the day after Judgment Day". Regardless of what year Judgment Day eventually happens in the main Terminator timeline, August 29 appears to be the specific day of the year that is still recognized as the day that the machines rose up and the world ended.

Next: The Best Terminator Movie Viewing Order

Key Release Dates
  • Terminator: Dark Fate (2019) release date: Nov 01, 2019
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