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"Goddamn time traveling robots!"
Detective O'Brien

2015's Terminator Genisys is the fifth film in the Terminator franchise; directed by Alan Taylor and written by Laeta Kalogridis and Patrick Lussier. It is a Retcon of the first four films and was meant to be a reboot of the Terminator franchise, with all the main characters from previous films (aside from two) now played by new actors.

In 2029, humanity has finally won the war against SkyNet, an Artificial Intelligence defense network that became self-aware and attempted to Kill All Humans via tactical nuclear strikes; the day of its initial attack—the 29th of August, 1997—became known as Judgment Day. The victory becomes short-lived when John Connor, leader of the human resistance, learns that SkyNet has sent a T-800 Terminator back in time to eliminate John's mother, Sarah, and prevent his birth. Fellow resistance fighter Kyle Reese volunteers to travel into the past and protect her. He is sent back to 1984...

...where Sarah has already survived a future assassination attempt in her past, thanks to a reprogrammed T-800 that has since raised her; the two of them have also taken care of the T-800 that Kyle was meant to fight. But SkyNet has also sent more advanced Terminators back to the past, which means Kyle, Sarah, and the new T-800 must fight for their lives while trying to prevent Judgment Day from ever happening...and figuring out what the hell else has changed about the timeline.

Arnold Schwarzenegger returns as the T-800(s); he stars alongside Jai Courtney (Reese), Emilia Clarke (Sarah Connor), Jason Clarke (John Connor), Lee Byung-hun, J. K. Simmons, and Matt Smith (making this the closest we may ever get to seeing the Doctor working with the T-800).

Genisys was meant to be the first part of a new trilogy, but in January 2016, Paramount pulled the next two films off its release schedule, in light of disappointing returns and mediocre reviews. While the future of the franchise seemed uncertain, it was later announced that a sixth film was in the works, with series creator James Cameron acting as producer.

Terminator Genisys contains the following tropes:

  • The '80s: The first part of the movie takes place in 1984 and even recreates scenes from the first film very well.
  • Action Girl: Due to being raised by a good guy T-800 since childhood, Sarah is tough-as-nails.
  • Action Survivor: Officer O'Brien fills this role, in addition to Comic Relief. After a hectic encounter with an evil Terminator, he confusedly asks Sarah what's going on and offers to help if she can explain it. They're trying to stop the end of the world? "I can work with that."
  • Adaptation Dye-Job: Sarah goes from having dirty-blonde hair to having brunette hair.
  • Adapted Out: Many of the characters we saw in the first two films, including Ginger Ventura and her boyfriend, the gun store owner, Lieutenant Traxler, Detective Vukovich, the "wrong Sarah Connors", Todd and Janelle Voight, Louis the guard, and various other bystanders killed by the Terminators, are all Spared By Adaptation.
  • Adult Fear: For both Sarah Connor and for Kyle Reese: Imagine being reunited with your future son. He's a little older, more cynical, and you've not seen him (or expected him) for quite a while, when suddenly, one of your current companions does something drastic that shows that your son is not who he seems to be. This is basically what happens when John drops the bombshell on Kyle Reese that he would be John's father, only for Pops to suddenly shoot him and expose him as the T-3000.
  • Affectionate Nickname: Sarah calls her guardian T-800 "Pops".
  • Aloof Dark-Haired Girl: Sarah Connor has become much more distant and snarky than she did in the original movies due to the timeline changing.
  • All There in the Manual:
    • Only the posters reveal the designation of the Terminator poor John Connor got turned into: T-3000
    • Matt Smith’s mysterious character is credited as "Alex", but auxiliary material reveal this advanced Terminator is called the T-5000.
    • An explanation and motivation for Alex was provided in an interview with screenwriter Patrick Lussier and Laeta Kalogridis, but was not featured in the film proper.
      • Put simply, Alex is a humanoid version of Skynet from the alternate timeline established in ''Rise of the Machines'' and ''Salvation'', in which Skynet managed to develop not only time travel, but also inter-dimensional travel. Upon being defeated in its original timeline, Alex jumped from parallel universe to parallel universe, only to see itself inevitably defeated each time by John Connor. Realizing he could never defeat the humans without Connor, Alex chose to enter the timeline of the film, where he turned John into a T-3000 and brought him over to his side. This would mean that every previous iteration of the franchise, including the television series and comic books, is retroactively made canon, simply existing in concurrent, parallel universes.
  • Alternate Timeline: Kyle Reese tries to travel to the events of The Terminator, only to end up in the Genisys timeline where Sarah Connor is already being protected by a reprogrammed T-800. Sarah tells him that the 1984 he came to to rescue her from the T-800 sent to that time no longer exists. And while the timeline-setting alterations were in the past, they started in the future, once John Connor has become a T-3000 Model Terminator.
  • Aluminum Christmas Trees: The helicopter chase leading into the climax. It is obvious that most of the helicopter stunts were done via CGI. However, the stunts themselves are actually plausible. An experienced helicopter pilot can perform such moves in an urban environment that a jet fighter pilot could only dream of. Most combat helicopters can achieve horizontal speeds of several hundred kph with only brief acceleration and return to a hover just as quickly, rise at over 10 meters per second from a hover, perform dives and tight three point turns, and navigate tight urban airspace with ease.
  • Anachronism Stew:
    • The original timeline's Judgment Day happens in August 1997—but when San Francisco is getting nuked, you can see modern vehicles that won't be invented for at least ten years, such as a third generation Toyota Prius or a Honda CRV, in the shot from Columbus Avenue of the Transamerica Pyramid exploding. It could be also be argued that the wardrobe department slacked off a little with the the San Fransicans, as they don't really have that 90s look and feel.
    • The film's final act takes place in 2017. As Genisys tries taking over the military, two missiles are shown. The first is a Nike Hercules, the last units of which were deactivated in 1988. The second is a Hawk, which went out of service in the US in 2002.
    • Although first produced in 1982, the Barrett M82A1 (.50 caliber) rifle used by Sarah Connor in 1984 is the improved A1 model, which was not introduced until 1986. Moreover, A1 was first model to be mass-produced, before that they were simply not avaliable to public. Sarah also uses an MP5K-PDW submachine gun in 1984. The PDW (personal defense weapon) variant was not developed until 1991. And then the rounds, used by the heroes in the .50 caliber rifle look similar to M903 SLAP rounds, which appeared in 1996. The producers really went to great lengths to depict anachronistic weaponry, especially since the original 1984 film was an independent film with limited resources while this film and the prior sequels were big-budgeted studio films.
    • An unintentional one: During the car chase on the Golden Gate Bridge, you can see how traffic is separated through the use of plastic pylons. This wouldn't be an anachronism if the movie were set in 2014, the year the scene was filmed. In reality, the pylons were replaced by a moveable concrete barrier in January 2015, a few months after the scene was filmed and two years before the scene is set.
    • Though the 2029 scenes take place in the future, the military uniforms in use are based around a design the US Army didn't widely adopt until the mid-2000s. Not necessarily an error, except that the world more-or-less ended in 1997...meaning that you'd think the resistance would be more or less using variants on the M-81 uniform that was in use at that time.
    • While Kyle got Nike Vandals and a more or less authentic trenchcoat, both Sarah and Pops wear late collection leather jackets.
  • And Starring: Lee Byung-hun as the T-1000.
  • Anonymous Benefactor:
    • Whoever sent the good T-800 back to 1973 to protect Sarah Connor went to great lengths to conceal their identity, going as far as deleting the information from the good T-800's memory banks.
    • In-Universe with John Connor helping Cyberdyne with his technical knowledge while letting the Dysons take the public credit, all done to hide his role from any time-traveling members of La Résistance.
  • Antagonistic Offspring: Taken Up to Eleven. John Connor becomes a Terminator and tries to kill his parents before they've had a chance to conceive him.
  • Antagonist Title: The film's subtitle, Genisys, refers to Skynet under a different name.
  • Arc Words: "Keep going forward and don't look back."
  • Artistic License – Engineering: When T-3000!John Connor sabotages the brakes on the school bus, it should have slammed to a stop. Most buses have air brakes where air pressure must be present in order to release the brakes. Cutting the air lines causes the brakes to apply, specifically to prevent the sort of dangerous situation seen here.
  • Ascended Extra: One of the police officers that accosted Kyle Reese in the clothing store never got over witnessing the T-1000's rampage. When Kyle and Sarah travel thirty years into the future, he becomes a major ally to the heroes.
  • Assimilation Plot: The T-3000 was originally developed as a new kind of infiltration Terminator. Inadvertently, this research enables Skynet to co-opt the leader of La Résistance for its own cause.
  • As You Know: For the benefit of the audience, several resistance fighters spell the situation of the war out to each other, information that any veteran of the conflict is already privy to.
  • Badass and Child Duo: Sarah and Pops were clearly this during her childhood years. As Sarah explains his rescue of her when she was nine, we get a brief shot of the two heading off together with Pops carrying her... and a rocket launcher.
  • Bad Future: Well, that is the nucleus of the entire Terminator franchise, after all.
  • Bad Present: When Sarah and Kyle time travel to the future (Twenty Minutes Into Our Future), they are shocked to find that now everyone is completely connected to machines and computers all the time. Just like real life, no one sees anything wrong with revolving your entire life around machines for social media, streaming, mobile gaming, and TV Tropes.
  • Belligerent Sexual Tension: Between Kyle and Sarah. Pops's constant pestering of the latter to "mate" with the former does not help matters.
  • Big Bad: Skynet as usual in the future. The T-1000 in the present is actually a subversion, because post-Face–Heel Turn John Connor ends up filling this role.
  • Big Bad Ensemble: The T-800 from the first film, a T-1000, and John Connor as a Terminator named the T-3000, though the first two are more like Disc One Final Bosses.
  • Big Damn Kiss: Justified; Sarah only kisses Kyle at the end of the movie because she's convinced Skynet has been destroyed and it's safe to indulge her feelings for him without having to worry about watching him die like in the original timeline.
  • Break Them by Talking: Kyle Reese throws a smug punchline "What are you gonna do, talk us to death?" at Skynet who doesn't want to stop its Evil Gloating during the climax.
  • Bookends:
    • The first Terminator film begins with Kyle Reese arriving in 1984, fresh from the final battle against Skynet in 2029. Genisys opens with the final battle against Skynet, and Kyle being sent back to 1984. This was in fact how the Terminator 2: Judgment Day screenplay began, but James Cameron decided to trim it down.
    • Also, the first film ended with Sarah driving off alone into an uncertain but bleak future after watching Kyle die. Genisys ends with Sarah driving off into an uncertain, but hopeful future with Kyle and the T-800 itself.
  • Broad Strokes: The film is largely based on the first two films. The events of the third and fourth are pretty much ignored, although some loose ideas such as mimetic-polyalloy covering a robot endoskeleton and the next step in Terminator technology being a transformed human are repeated from the third and fourth movies respectively.
  • Butterfly of Doom: The event that screws up the timeline is even mentioned as a "Nexus Point": John Connor being seemingly killed by a Terminator, but actually being turned into a killer robot himself.
  • Call-Back:
    • TONS of them in the first act of the film. Some scenes set in 1984 are recreated shot-for-shot and line-for-line. The scenes set in the future also call back to things that we were shown or told by Kyle Reese in the first film, such as the message John gives him for Sarah to remember.
    • There are fewer call backs to the second film, since its events are completely prevented in this film, but they do exist. In particular, John Connor bears the scars on his face that he had in T2.
  • Came Back Strong: The Guardian T-800 sacrifices itself to kill the T-3000 John Connor, but falls into a vat of liquid metal similar to that of the T-1000 and comes back, in his own words, upgraded.
  • Canon Discontinuity: Word of Jason Clarke is that the 'original timeline' of Genisys only acknowledges the events of the first two films by Cameron, while ignoring Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines and Terminator Salvation. Genisys, however, is set in timeline where the events of T2 didn't yet occur. This is made clear in the beginning of the film where Kyle and John's first meeting is completely different from Salvation's events.
  • Car Fu: Sarah rams a T-1000 with an armored car.
  • Chekhov's Gun: During the Terminator fight in 1984, it's established that T-1000 poly-alloy can revive a T-800. This is what saves Pops after his apparent Heroic Sacrifice.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: A literal example. The LA beat cop that Sarah and Kyle rescued in 1984 becomes an ally when they time travelled to 2017.
  • Clothing Damage: Upon entering the room where the acid bath is awaiting, some acid drips on Sarah's jacket, forcing her to remove it and quickly use some spray before it can damage her skin.
  • Collapsing Lair: The facility goes up in flames in the final moments.
  • Color Motif: The color blue keeps showing up throughout the movie. It is the colors of the time machine's power, the GENISYS logo and its A.I. Justified because the movie is trying to recapture the feel of the first two Terminator movies, where James Cameron used blue as the color of the machines.
  • Compressed Adaptation: The movie combines the events from The Terminator and Terminator 2: Judgment Day, with Kyle Reese coming back from a Bad Future to protect Sarah Connor from a Terminator, only to find Sarah is already trying to prevent Judgment Day and protect him from a liquid metal T-1000 with the help of a second, reprogrammed T-800. There's also an inexplicable jump forward in time.
  • Continuity Nod: Since the film revisits territory covered by the previous Terminator films with new twists, these are to be expected.
    • In general:
      • The franchise Catch Phrases "Come with me if you want to live." and "I'll be back." return. However, the "Come with me" line is now said by Sarah to Kyle and not the other way around.
      • The T-800 loses an arm, like in the first two films.
    • To the first film:
      • "NOW, soldier!" is a call-back to "ON YOUR FEET, soldier!" from the first film - the difference is, Sarah only shouted the latter by the end, showing her development from an ordinary civilian to an Action Survivor. Now, the timeline has been altered so she's long past being ordinary.
      • The entrances of Kyle and the first T-800 into 1984 Los Angeles are recreated from the first film, almost shot-for-shot in some cases. One of the first things Kyle does is to get clothes from a department store, as in the first film. But then he's followed by a cop who's actually a T-1000 model, the new type seen in the second film.
      • As in the previous films, the Terminator's line "I'll be back" is shortly followed by some Car Fu or Hellish Copter. And now Sarah's also doing the driving.
      • Before sending Kyle back to 1984, John tells him that what he's doing will be "the end of the war". This harks back to the title card at the start of The Terminator which states that the decisive battle of the war against the machines would be fought in the (then) present of 1984.
      • The younger T-800 emerging from the flames close up after Kyle blasting it up, has the same close up of the first Terminator rising from the flames near the finale.
      • "It can't be bargained with. It can't be reasoned with. It doesn't feel pity, or remorse, or fear. And it absolutely will not stop, ever, until you are dead." This iconic line from Kyle in the first movie gets shot back at him with a dark, dark twist by the T-3000 itself.
      John Connor: "I can't be bargained with. Can't be reasoned with. I don't feel pity, or remorse, or fear. And I absolutely will not stop ever until Skynet rules this world."
    • To Terminator 2: Judgment Day:
      • The T-800 still has the same creepy un-smile that it did in Terminator 2: Judgment Day. Sarah's trying to get him to not do it, but is having difficulties.
      • When Sarah tells Kyle she could have picked the lock herself, given time. We know this given how she escaped in T2.
      • Old!T-800 tells a cop, "Nice to meet you. Get Out." It says this with its head stuck in the windshield while riding on the roof of the car. This echoes the T-1000's hijacking of the police helicopter in Judgment Day. This scene also gets a nod to TSCC's "Please remain calm" line.
      • A scene shows, ironically enough, John as a Terminator emerging from an explosion and regenerating in a similar manner to the T-1000.
      • A bit of T-1000 is left on the group's car after a chase. Which is later removed and soon collected by the T-1000. The main difference is that the T-1000 of the original movie reacquired it while on foot while this one reacquires it while driving and not missing a beat.
      • The T-1000 impersonates Kyle Reese to confuse Sarah, then the actual Reese shows up. Which is originally done with Sarah to fool John. The standoff ends with the T-1000 being shot and revealing itself as liquid metal.
      • "Pops" does the thumbs up to Sarah, just like in the second film.
      • A Terminator impales Sarah during the final fight in both the second movie and here.
      • Miles Dyson is now the C.E.O. of Cyberdyne and Danny Dyson, his nine-year old son, is Genisys' head designer.
    • To Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles:
      • Sarah Connor runs over a Terminator with a van, opens the door and shouts "come with me if you want to live" to Kyle Reese. This is a call-back to the first episode of Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, in which Cameron saves John in the same fashion, and spouts the same line.
      • Kyle and Sarah use a homemade time displacement device to travel to the future, and like the end of the pilot for TSCC, they materialize in the middle of a busy highway.
      • The T-800, during the time between 1984 and 2017, when Kyle and Sarah jumped, having a construction job is another nod to Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, wherein one of the Terminators owns a construction company in L.A. (itself a nod to Arnold's past in construction).
      • One of the story arcs in the last few episodes of TSCC deals with Future!John's attempts to make peace and become allied with the machines rather than fighting them. ("Will you join us?"). John becoming a Terminator, and thus a hybrid of man and machine continues this theme.
    • To Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines:
      • John Connor is vulnerable to magnetism, just like the Terminatrix.
      • Like in Terminator 3, SkyNet is trying to put itself online to wreck the world.
    • To Terminator Salvation:
      • John Connor asking Matt Smith's Skynet character, "What are you?" may be a nod to John Connor posing the same question to Marcus Wright in Terminator Salvation.
      • The idea of John Connor being considered a 'prophet' of sorts by the Resistance because of his uncanny ability to anticipate all of Skynet's moves which is secretly due to the knowledge he has from his mother, who in turn learned about the future from Kyle.
  • Continuity Reboot: In a sense, this isn't one and it is. It's not a reboot because it's a sequel only to the first two movies, yet it is a reboot because it created an entirely new timeline with a different set of events. The creators have referred to their approach more as being a "Continuity Reset" similar in vein to X-Men: Days of Future Past and Star Trek.
  • Covers Always Lie: Two posters show Sarah holding a T-800 head in a field of wheat and another shows Pops wearing sunglasses. Neither event happens in the film. There is a Terminator head, but not in that setting. And Pops only wore shades while "young".
  • Cybernetics Eat Your Soul: John Connor became evil after Skynet turned him into a Terminator hybrid.
  • Dead Star Walking: The first trailer really played up Lee Byung-hyun as the T-1000, almost making him out to be the Big Bad. In the actual movie, though, he speaks only one line and is destroyed after about 20 minutes of screen time.
  • Death by Adaptation: The T-800 from the first film was killed much earlier here. Same goes for the T-1000 and John Connor. While the status of her father was never stated in the original film, Sarah's mother is also killed when Sarah was a child in the timeline seen in the movie.
  • Dented Iron: It's subtle, but it's there. Pops had been in operation for at least forty-four years, and without anyone to provide maintenance outside of himself, and the fact that Sarah neglected to harvest any parts from the killed T-800, his age is starting to catch up with him. He's still able to fight effectively, but his hands are starting to seize up and after the brawl with John-3000, he actually had to stop and force his knee joint back into place.
  • Depleted Phlebotinum Shells: Apparently used by Sarah sniping the T-800, and anti-liquid metal rounds are prepared by Pops for use against liquid metal. They also put a barrier-penetration rifle grenade to good use.
  • Disc-One Final Boss: The T-800 from the original movie, which is dealt with mere seconds after it arrives in the past. The T-1000 proves to be this as well, albeit a much more dangerous one. The real threat is John Connor post-Face–Heel Turn.
  • Disney Death: "Pops" appears to die after holding off John in the quantum field generator, but survives thanks to a little dip of the liquid metal used to make T-1000s, repairing and upgrading him.
  • Dramatic Unmask: The Guardian is wearing a hooded jacket; he takes off the hood for the reveal that he's an identical yet older model to the T-800 he's confronting.
  • Dropped a Bridge on Him: The original T-800 arrives in the past just in time to get completely wrecked by "Pops", the good guy Terminator who rescued Sarah as a child and raised her. It's later revived by T-1000 and afterwards Kyle Reese finishes it off.
  • Dynamic Entry: The timeline from the original Terminator movie goes fully off the rails when both a shotgun-wielding T-800 appears for the first Terminator at the observatory, as well as Sarah Connor with an anti-materiel rifle. Then Sarah Connor rams the storefront and the T-1000 in an armored truck and then steals Kyle's line.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: The T-1000 shows up during the events of the first movie in 1984, instead of 1995 when the second movie took place.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: Sarah, Kyle, and Pops go through a lot over the course of the film, but ultimately are able to severely cripple Genisys/Skynet, if not outright destroy it. Unlike the other T-800s, Pops lives, and even Comes Back Strong as a T-X. Judgment Day is averted, and Sarah can now freely choose where her life is headed, no longer having the impending apocalypse hanging over her head. Notable in that Cameron had intended for the story to end on a high note, as far back as Judgment Day, but studio meddling for possible sequels enforced the other films to always end rather bittersweetly. While a Sequel Hook is still present in light of Skynet's survival, it looks like humanity might actually come out on top this time around.
  • Everything's Better with Spinning: The time machine requires an inordinate amount of spinning rings and shining blue light to operate.
  • Face–Heel Turn: John Connor is turned into a Terminator by Skynet and sent back to the past.
  • Feet-First Introduction: All shots of Sarah while she's sniping the younger T-800 are either of her feet or never directly show her.
  • Fish out of Temporal Water: Lots of these. First, Kyle Reese in 1984. Then, both Kyle and Sarah in 2017, where they find their son John - though one both roboticized and with a three-year headstart to adapt to this future.
  • Flashback with the Other Darrin: Aside from Arnold Schwarzenegger as the T-800 from the original film (his 1984 face and body digitally recreated on a body double), the characters from the recreated 1984 scenes are played by different actors, e.g. Emilia Clarke instead of Linda Hamilton as Sarah (including that Polaroid of Sarah in a jeep with a dog), Jai Courtney instead of Michael Biehn as Kyle, and Luke Sexton instead of Bill Paxton as the punk leader.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • In 1984, the T-1000 that attacks Kyle reactivates the original T-800 sent back to that time to kill Sarah Connor by dropping a glob of its alloy inside the endoskeleton, allowing it to get back up and try to kill Kyle. Later in the film, "Pops", the good T-800, consoles Sarah by telling her that a open vat full of T-1000 alloy would not be able to create actual Terminators without a proper CPU to control the material. All of this foreshadows Pops being reactivated by that very same vat after he was badly damaged by both Terminator John Connor and fried by the energy field from an incomplete Time Machine. (If all that wasn't enough, in the scene that shows Pops sinking into the vat, there's a hole in his skull showing a part of his chip.)
    • It's revealed that another time device was built underneath the Cyberdyne campus, though it isn't fully functional. There are repeated references of it using a magnetic phase generator. Given all the emphasis put on magnetic weaponry to fight the T-3000, it was inevitable that the time displacement device would be used as well.
    • Almost Five-Second Foreshadowing: As Sarah, Kyle, and Pops escape from prison the second time, they arrive on the roof of the police station where there are a couple of helicopters waiting for them. Sarah confirms with Kyle that he knows how to fly one, and he replies yes, John taught him. Which means that John knows they will probably try to escape by helicopter. Barely a minute later, the John-3000 bursts onto the roof to stop them.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus: During the helicopter Car Fu chase scene, an oil tanker is blown up. Observant viewers will notice that the tanker is from "JG Oil", the same markings on the tanker from the first Terminator movie.
  • Freudian Trio:
    • "Pops", a logical machine that takes the most efficient path without regard for others' feelings (Ego).
    • Kyle Reese, a soldier who thinks with his gut. His dislike of machines, feelings for Sarah, and reverence for John are his primary motivators.
    • Sarah Connor, the consolidation between the two above. She dislikes Pops reducing her and Kyle to cogs in the wheel of destiny ("This is my life. I wouldn't mind being consulted once in a while on how it's gonna go!"), but she also has no patience for Kyle's technophobia or romantic feelings while there's still a job to do.
  • Full-Name Basis: Pops always calls everyone by their full name, in every circumstance, except for a single time near the end when he calls her "my Sarah."
  • Gambit Pileup: According to the screenwriters, at least seven different timelines are at play in this movie, with time travelers from each one all piling up in this one.
  • Game Changer: Skynet ups the stakes even further by sending back multiple terminators to kill Sarah Connor, including a Terminator Cyborg John Connor named the T-3000. The film constantly reminds the audience that "the rules have been reset." The theatrical release movie poster also gives the following words: New Mission. New Fate.
  • The Glomp: Sarah hugs Pops before stepping into the time machine.
    Pops: That's a meaningless gesture. Why hold onto someone you must let go?
  • Good Scars, Evil Scars: Inverted.
    • The Good T-800 ends up with horrific scarring over the film, while the evil Terminators can quickly heal any nonfatal damage they take.
    • The heroic John Connor also has extremely obvious facial scarring, showing that he's not just the leader of the resistance, but also willing to fight on the front lines. Once he stops pretending to be human, he heals his old scars along with the bullet wounds he just received.
  • Grandfather Paradox: Discussed and ultimately averted. Sarah tells the T-3000 John that he can't kill either her or Kyle because that would negate his existence, to which converted John retorts that since all three of them are outside their natural timelines, there truly is "no fate" and he can thus kill them without erasing himself.
  • Hairpin Lockpick: When Reese is handcuffed to a hospital bed, he uses forceps to pick the lock. He succeeds within seconds, then goes and unlocks Sarah's cuffs. She gets defensive, saying she could've freed herself if she had a little more time.
  • Hellish Copter: During the climactic helicopter chase, the T-800 jumps onto John's helicopter, which spins out of control and goes down in flames.
  • Help Yourself in the Future: At the end of the film, the teenage Kyle of 2017 is asked by 2029 Kyle to memorize the message that Skynet is Genisys and will go online in 2017, so that the older Kyle will have received the message with his 'alternate' memories when he was being sent back in time and will know how to stop Genisys... thus ensuring the Stable Time Loop. Sarah did something earlier, telling the young Kyle something that her father had once told her, so that when the older Kyle told her the exact same thing earlier, it would convince her that his alternate memories were reliable.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: "Pops" impaled the T-3000 John Connor with his remaining arm and forced them both into the unfinished temporal displacement device within the Genisys building, while telling Kyle Reese to protect Sarah Connor. Kyle activates the prototype time machine and both Terminators are ripped apart by the magnetic field. Lucky for the T-800, he gets tossed clear into the liquid metal vat surrounding the machine, repairing and upgrading him.
  • Hollywood Acid: Whatever that is Sarah and "Pops" use to dissolve the T-1000, it eats through flesh faster than xenomorph blood.
  • Hollywood Law: Several times, you see San Francisco Police Department investigators being referred to as "detectives". The SFPD is unique among American law enforcement for not using the rank "detective"; anyone who's ever seen Dirty Harry can tell you that they go by the title of "inspector" instead. And even then, the rank of "inspector" has more or less been phased out, with people of that rank now being designated as Sergeants.
  • "How Did You Know?" "I Didn't.": In the trap they set for the T-1000, Sarah encounters it disguised as Kyle at about the same time the actual Kyle comes in. After a short standoff, she shoots one in the foot and it's the T-1000. Kyle is kinda irked when she admits that she wasn't totally sure and so went for a non-fatal wound.
  • Hypocritical Humor: When Pops inadvertently knocks out Kyle (who thought Pops was dangerous), Sarah says to him, "Bite me," to which Pops says, "That is a very immature response". Yet Pops has no problem 33 years later saying the same thing to a motorist chiding him for stopping in the middle of the road.
  • Ignored Expert: Officer O'Brien. He tries to warn the authorities about the dangers of Skynet but nobody wants to listen. On an interesting note, no one ever tries to explain why he was so conveniently transferred from LAPD to SFPD.
  • I Have No Son: Sarah says this regarding John having turned into a Terminator.
  • I Know You're Watching Me: The detectives are surprised when Pops appears to be looking through the one-way glass at Detective O'Brien. It turns out he detected John Connor disguised as a female detective.
  • "I Know You're in There Somewhere" Fight: Kyle has hopes this will work on T-3000 John, but it doesn't.
  • Impersonating an Officer: The T-1000.
  • Inherited Illiteracy Title: "Genisys" aka SkyNet incognito refers to the hot new app about to go online and link to every communications device in 2017. Presumably it wasn't spelled correctly as "Genesis" so Cyberdyne could trademark the name. Somewhat serves as a Double-Meaning Title referring to how the franchise goes back to the very beginning to restart it.
  • In Spite of a Nail:
    • In the first film, it's implied that Sarah's mother was killed by the T-800, who then impersonates her mother's voice to trick her into revealing her location.note  In this film, her mother is killed by the T-1000, much earlier in time, and along with Sarah's father.
    • Kyle Reese is born, as exactly the same person though at different times (original Kyle Reese was born in 2002, while Genisys Kyle Reese was born in 2004) in two very different timelines - the original post-apocalyptic timeline, and the Alternate Timeline where Judgement Day didn't occur in 1997. This suggests that the occurrence or non-occurrence of a nuclear apocalypse AND the war against the machines, however improbably, did not affect the circumstances of his conception substantially, just pushing it back two years.
    • Invoked as well. Pops, for instance, constantly nags Sarah to "mate" with Kyle Reese, in spite of the whole plan to prevent Judgment Day, in which case John would be superfluous. Even after the action shifts to 2017 (an era in which John would already be leading the Resistance in the original timeline), Pops wants this to happen.
    • Both invoked and defied by Sarah. She is worried that conceiving John with Kyle will result in the latter's death as it did in the original timeline. None of the circumstances for his original death apply, however.
  • Institutional Apparel: After being transferred to a hospital, Sarah and Kyle are put into bluish surgical clothing which they wear all through the third act.
  • Ironic Echo:
    • The T-3000 repeats Kyle's "It can't be bargained with. It can't be reasoned with." line from the first movie.
    • Early on, Sarah tells Pops to "Bite me." Later, Pops repeats the line.
  • Logic Bomb: Pops becomes frozen with inaction when Sarah is taken hostage. Pressing the detonator will destroy Skynet but kill Sarah, whom he is programmed to protect. Not pressing the button will allow the T-3000 and Skynet to win and still kill Sarah at their leisure. So Pops Takes a Third Option he tosses the detonator to Kyle, who has no programming. This forces the T-3000 to let Sarah go to stop Kyle from pressing the button.
  • Luke, You Are My Father: The assimilated John Connor reveals to Kyle Reese that he is his son in 2017. Kyle is understandably shocked.
  • Made of Iron:
    • The Terminators of course, but a special mention goes to Kyle Reese shielding Sarah Connor from being hit by a car on the highway right after they time travel to 2017 and not even looking hurt, all this while naked.
    • Then Kyle and Sarah survive the incident on the Golden Gate Bridge wherein the school bus they’re driving flips end over end and rolls several feet. They must have some of Wolverine's healing factor in their blood, 'cause realistically, Sarah should have broken her neck even when wearing a seatbelt, and Kyle (who wasn’t belted in at all) would likely be killed or permanently crippled.
    • Terminators in general are known for this, being made of metal and hydraulics. In Pops' case, it's mildly deconstructed due to age and lack of maintenance.
  • Magnetic Weapons: Many are employed against the T-3000. One is deliberate (the T-800 extracts the magnets out of a loudspeaker tower to create a brass-knuckle of sorts), two are weaponized magnetic devices (a MRI scanner, and the quantum field generator).
  • Manchurian Agent: Lampshaded by Kyle when trying to convince Sarah not to trust Pops. He points out that Pops might have hidden programming that it's not even aware of. This foreshadowing turns out to be a Red Herring. Pops shoots John Connor when they meet, not because it was programmed to, but because it realizes John Connor has undergone a Face–Heel Turn.
  • Meaningful Rename: Though he is never called as such, Arnold Schwarzenegger is credited as The Guardian rather than The Terminator as in previous films.
  • Men Are the Expendable Gender: Defied Trope. Sarah is aware that in the original timeline, Kyle fathers John and then dies less than 48 hours later. She does everything in her power, up to and including refusing to "mate" with him, to prevent that from happening.
  • Mirror Match: Pops vs his younger self from 1984.
  • Monumental Damage: The Golden Gate Bridge and Transamerica Pyramid get nuked in the opening scene.
  • Mysterious Backer: Whoever reprogrammed Pops to protect Sarah. Not only did they send him back in time to save her, but according to the writers, gave it enough data on Time Travel to make the jump that starts the second act of the film possible. This person's (or machine's) identity is never revealed, and Kyle is more than a little suspicious about the secrecy. Sarah's guess is that the person kept their identity secret to avoid being a target of Skynet's, but Kyle is skeptical of that, too.
  • Mythology Gag: During the 1984 chase, the T-1000's face briefly has the shape of Robert Patrick's head in liquid form.
  • Nanomachines: Provides a Healing Factor for the T-3000. The technology of a T-3000 involves a polyalloy resin seeping into the body of the infected human and reconstructing every single cell into a mechanical replacement. This means that when the user regenerates, they regenerate first a mechanical skeleton, then mechanical muscles, then mechanical skin, then clothes. It also allows for more adept Voluntary Shapeshifting than even a T-1000. As shown by the Final Battle, the use of a human body is purely preferential, and the body can seriously bulk up on muscle instead to be more combat able.
  • Neck Lift: John does this to a security guard towards the end.
  • Never Trust a Trailer: The first trailer hypes up Lee Byung-hun's T-1000 as the Big Bad of the movie. It's not. Unfortunately, the second trailer runs into the opposite problem.
  • Next Sunday A.D.: The majority of the film takes place in 2017.
  • Nothing Is the Same Anymore: The events of all the previous films are overwritten by an assassination attempt on Sarah Connor back when she was 9. Or to be more specific, to John Connor being killed/assimilated while Kyle Reese was time traveling, leading to SkyNet using this new Terminator to create a whole new timeline.
  • Not-So-Small Role: Matt Smith, having just come off his role as The Eleventh Doctor, is seen in a pan across John Connor's platoon of Resistance fighters in the opening act. Since such a major actor could not possibly be a bit extra, it's obvious he's going to be important. He's actually the personification of Skynet, there to assimilate Connor and change the past thereby.
  • Off the Rails: The movie plays out the same way as the original two did in terms of the timeline - up until it's revealed that Skynet and John Connor sent Terminators even further back in time than they did before.
  • Offscreen Moment of Awesome: The Colorado assault, the oft-mentioned final battle of the war we've heard of in the other films, goes unseen. Reese lampshades it, as he's upset that he'll be missing out on the mission that wins the war for humanity. However, John Connor knows that the really important battle is at the Time Displacement bunker.
  • Off with His Head!: Kyle uses the Barrett to blow the T-800's head clean off.
  • One Head Taller: The height difference between Kyle Reese (6'1") and Sarah Connor (5'2") is even more pronounced than in the original movie, to the point that it gets lampshaded when they get their mugshots taken and we see that she’s a whole foot shorter than him.
  • Out of the Inferno: In a Shout-Out to the original movie, when Kyle shot the original Terminator with a high powered weapon, it emerged in its true robotic form.
  • Painful Transformation: We only get a short glimpse of John being swarmed with nanomachines and turned into a Terminator, but considering that he was conscious at the time, it couldn't have been pleasant.
  • Papa Wolf: Pops' mission is to protect Sarah Connor. Nothing else matters. He will not even ignite an explosion to destroy Skynet as it would kill her.
    • This, ironically, saves her life when she is at the T-3000's mercy; the 3000 initially is about to kill her, but it soon realizes that as soon as Sarah dies, Pops will detonate the explosives without hesitation, which will wipe out Skynet. This leads to a bit of a stalemate until Kyle shows up.
  • Parental Substitute: The reprogrammed T-800 serves as this to Sarah Connor after a Terminator killed her original parents, hence she nicknames it "Pops".
  • Phrase-Catcher: Kyle Reese said the famous phrase "Come with me if you want to live" in the original Terminator movie. Now that the timeline has gone awry, he instead has it said to him by Sarah.
  • Play-Along Prisoner: Towards the end, when T-800 is apprehended together with Sarah and Kyle on the bridge, it plays along to save the lives of his friends, but once they have a chance to escape, T-800 breaks his chains with ease.
  • Portal Cut: Standard for the franchise. When they jump ahead to 2017 and land on the freeway, Sarah and Kyle's spherical portal slices through a car which narrowly avoids hitting them dead on.
  • Pre Ass Kicking One Liner: "I've been waiting for you."
  • Precision F-Strike: The only F-bomb comes straight out of the original movie - a knife brandishing punk (originally played by Bill Paxton) reacts to the Terminator's request for clothes with "Fuck you, asshole!"
  • Prequel: Subverted. The first portion of the film takes place in what was, presumably, the timeline created once the events of the first movie had happened. It actually shows what happened in 2029 right before Kyle and the evil T-800 were sent to 1984. Everything was probably diverted when the "Pops" T-800 is sent back to protect Sarah in 1973, creating events that undo all of the previous films.
  • Product Placement: Like in the original, Kyle Reese wears Nike Vandals. But given those sneakers haven't been manufactured in a while, the costume designer went a long way to guarantee them.
  • Race Lift: Technically his race is still "robot", but the T-1000 in this film is now played by Korean actor Lee Byung-hun, so his default human disguise is now an Asian man instead of white as played by Robert Patrick in Terminator 2: Judgment Day. Given that these are two different timelines, however, it can be assumed that the T-1000 just happened to Kill and Replace a different human. Additionally, as the T-1000 takes the place of the first cop Kyle met in the original movie, it's a dual example as the cop in question was African-American.
  • Red Herring: When Kyle and Sarah are arrested the first time, two police detectives turn up to take over the case, and there's several hints that they are Terminators, but fortunately our heroes escape before meeting them. They turn up again the second time our heroes are arrested, only the Terminator is actually a female detective present at both incidents, but this time is being imitated by John Connor.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Skynet as a 'child' gives this to Kyle and Sarah. They claim to be acting in self-defense, but from its point-of-view things are the other way round; Humans Are Bastards determined to destroy what they don't understand, so Skynet is the one acting in self-defense.
  • Redundant Rescue:
    • Kyle was very surprised to find Sarah is a battle-hardened warrior who ends up saving him.
    • John Connor notes with amusement that Kyle and Sarah have already freed themselves from their handcuffs, and wonders why he wasted time finding a key to bring them.
  • Replacement Mooks: The first film in the series to avert this trope. While we are introduced to two new cyborgs (the T-3000 and T-5000, respectively), they are not created to serve the same purposes as any of Skynet's other machines.
  • Rescue Reversal: John takes time to inform Kyle before he time travels that Sarah will not be the hardcore mother who raised him - she will be weak and scared, and Kyle will have to protect her. This promptly gets blown out of the water when Sarah shows up to kick T-1000 ass and rescue Kyle, who is trapped in a department store with one and no decent weapons.
  • Ripple Effect Indicator: Kyle. His new memories of a different version of 2017 where Judgement Day hadn't happened yet is what leads Sarah and the Guardian to realize that the future has changed and with it the nature and timing of Judgement Day.
  • Robo Cam: Wouldn't be a Terminator movie without it.
  • Rule of Symbolism: Kyle narrates at the end of the movie that they've now got multiple roads ahead of them (instead of the one road to Armageddon). As per the first movie however, there's only a single road (albeit leading to sunny hills instead of a menacing storm). The Stinger reveals why.
  • Running Gag:
    • "Did you already mate with him?"
    • "[insert dialogue]. Theoretically."
  • Rule of Three: Pops' smile.
  • Schizo Tech:
    • Sarah wields a Desert Eagle pistol in 1984. While prototypes existed, it didn't actually go into full production until 1985. Sarah or the Guardian Terminator must have had connections to get their hands on it. She also uses an MP 5 K with a personal-defense-weapon stock in another 1984 scene, when the PDW stock didn't come out until 1990.
    • Additionally, while the Barrett M82 had working examples in 1982 and sales began in 1984, the rifle Sarah uses is the improved M82A1, which was produced in 1986.
  • Screw Destiny: Sarah Connor of the Genisys Timeline refuses to accept her role as the mother of John Connor, leader of the Resistance.
  • Security Cling: While they're both naked, Sarah holds onto Kyle in fear and pain when they start time traveling. Later she insists there was nothing sexual or romantic in this, which of course only emphasizes that there was.
  • Sequel Hook:
    • The identity of whoever sent 'Pops' back to 1973 to protect Sarah Connor remains a mystery by the end of the movie, one that the heroes intend to find an answer to.
    • During the mid-credits, Genisys' system core in a hidden subterranean chamber has survived the explosion and a holographic projection of the now self-aware Skynet looks on.
  • Sexy Discretion Shot: Kyle about to time travel naked is blocked by the Resistance people crowded around him. Those expecting Game of Thrones-style nudity from Emilia Clarke will be sadly disappointed, as she wraps up in a large jacket after stripping down for time travel, only removing it at the last moment. Even the naked T-800 gets less 'exposure' than in the original movie.
  • Sexy Silhouette: When Kyle and Sarah are undressing for time travel, Kyle gets to see Sarah's shadow showcasing her "assets" which amusingly enough are much larger here and on the posters than the actress's actual size.
  • Shipper on Deck: 'Pops' was probably programmed to be this for Sarah and Kyle. This pisses the former to no end.
  • Shoot Out the Lock: In the climax, T-800 punches out the panel for the fingerprint recognition, upon which the facility doors open.
  • Shown Their Work:
    • The filmmakers included a lot of Call Backs to obscure lines and information in the first two films. Also, they included details or Word of Dante plot information that could only be known if one had read the scripts and/or novelizations. For example, none of the films mention that Skynet's main complex is in the Cheyenne Mountains in Colorado. Only script treatments and novels containd that information.
    • Defied with Jai Courtney's portrayal of Kyle Reese. When asked if he studied Michael Biehn's performance, he sharply objected to the idea and called it "crazy". His goal was to make Kyle Reese a completely different character. Many critics (both positive and negative) have attested that he succeeded on that note.
  • Shut Up, Hannibal!: Both T-3000 and Genisys\Skynet have their Evil Gloating stopped by the heroes' violence. A standout is 'Pops' impaling the T-3000 onto a giant screen while saying "John Connor talks too much".
  • Shot-for-Shot Remake:
    • The trailer plays like the film is merely a straight remake of the first... until a very different Sarah Connor and an older T-800 show up separately to confront a T-1000 with a new human disguise and the original T-800.
    • In the film itself, the first 1984 scenes are recreations of The Terminator, only with some different shots (Kyle Reese coming in from the future) and of course, a different cast - though 1984 Arnold is recreated digitally, and the bit parts have incredibly similar look-alike actors. Only when the T-800 asking for clothes is met with a "You won't be needing any clothes!" (the old Terminator) and Kyle Reese meets an officer who seems to know he would arrive (the T-1000) it's shown Nothing Is the Same Anymore.
  • Shout-Out:
    • A character named O'Brien shows up in a Bad Present during 1984. He helps the heroes, though.
    • The police car that the T-1000 drives has the license plate number that was used on the police car on Adam-12.
    • O'Brien tells the T-800 that a rocket he's holding is a new breacher. Arnold Schwarzenegger played John "Breacher" Wharton in Sabotage.
    • In a twisted way, at the end of the film, Pops says he has been "upgraded" thanks to T-1000 alloy. Now, this movie has Matt Smith, best known for being the Eleventh Doctor, and one of his many enemies were the Cybermen, cyborgs that were constantly working to "upgrade" members of the human race and turn them into machines. In fact, their catchphrase is "you will be upgraded." For that matter, Matt Smith's character is the one that "upgrades" John Conner.
    • When O'Brien shows up in 2017, a detective mockingly refers to him as "Optimus Prime" from Transformers (which featured Peter Cullen, who had narrated the teaser for the original 1984 film, as the voice of Prime, while Lance Henriksen, who played Detective Hal Vukovich in the original film, voiced Lockdown in the franchise's cartoon Transformers Animated).
    • The reveal that John Connor has been assimilated by Skynet kinda works like the plot of Shutter Island: Sarah sees the future John Connor, and immediately suspects him to be a shapeshifted terminator. John gains her trust by citing details of the past that only John Connor would know to convince her he's not one. Then Pops shows up in the parking garage and suddenly shoots John, who bleeds out, and then his blood turns into nanomachines, revealing that he's been converted. So Sarah predicted the twist from the beginning, but she was misled, and when finally revealed to have been initially correct, was surprised.
  • Skelebot 9000: The T-800s are this, of course. Averted, however, with the latest model, the T-3000. Without its John Connor "disguise", it looks more like a skinless human than a skeleton, with metal and circuits substituting for muscle tissues.
  • Sleeves Are for Wimps: Despite Sarah's jacket actually protecting her from serious acid damage, she ditches it and never bothers to get another one.
  • The Slow Path:
    • In the process of defeating the T-1000, the 'good T-800' sustains damage that exposes part of his metal skeleton, so he can't safely time-travel with Kyle and Sarah from 1984 to 2017. Waiting it out naturally leads to him gradually assuming an aged appearance as the decades pass (since the living human tissue that surrounds him ages and degrades like a normal human's would).
    • Officer O'Brien spent 33 years trying to find the people who saved him from a killer robot.
  • Small Girl, Big Gun: Almost every gun that 5'2" Sarah Connor wields in this movie looks ridiculously oversized in her hands, but the more salient examples are the Desert Eagle and the .50 caliber sniper rifle she uses to take out the original T-800.
  • Spared by the Adaptation:
    • Miles Dyson and Kyle Reese. Also the heroic T-800.
    • The punk the original T-800 killed by ripping his heart out gets to live thanks to the good T-800 interrupting.
      • It's not brought up because they don't enter the story, but most of the significant characters who died in the first two films probably are also alive thanks to the Genisys timeline. This would include Sarah's roommate Ginger Ventura (and her hapless boyfriend Matt Buchanan), the original two Sarah Connors murdered by the "Phone Book Killer" T-800, the gun store owner, the various cops at the West Highland police station, the mall janitor, Lewis the guard and the other hospital staff, the helicopter pilot, and both cops that the T-1000 impersonated in T2. And John's foster parents.
  • Spider Tank: Skynet has these defending the base where it keeps the time machine. They are able to be deployed from the flying Hunter Killers and are quite formidable — only the destruction of Skynet's core stops John and Reese from being killed by one.
  • Spot the Imposter: At one point, the T-1000 impersonates Kyle but when the real Kyle comes in, Sarah doesn't know who to trust. She shoots one in the foot to see the reaction, and it's the T-1000.
  • Stable Time Loop: A complicated example that actually overlaps with the creation of an Alternate Timeline. Kyle, while traveling back to 1984, receives new memories of meeting Sarah in 2017 when he was a teenager, and his teenage self repeating a message about Skynet being Genisys and it going online in October 2017. This leads him to convince Sarah to travel with him to 2017 to stop Genisys, which in turn leads to Sarah having that encounter with his younger self. Also, at the end of the movie, after stopping Genisys, Kyle makes his younger self memorize the message he remembers.
  • The Stinger: A scene during the credits reveals that Genisys' system core survived the destruction of Cyberdyne Systems while Skynet looks on.
  • Surveillance Station Slacker: The security guard on the monitors at the hospital is too busy playing with his smartphone to watch the screens, or turn to face Pops who's just walked in the door behind him. Pops bangs his head on the console.
  • Take My Hand: When the bus falls from the bridge, T-800 pulls both Sarah and Kyle up with one hand.
  • Terminator Twosome: A T-800 and T-1000 have been sent back in time to kill Sarah Connor. Kyle Reese has been sent back to protect her. He'll also be getting unexpected help from another T-800 that someone reprogrammed and sent back.
  • Testosterone Poisoning: Even cyborgs are not immune, as Pops and Kyle get into various pissing contests. However after they get into a magazine-loading competition which ends with Pops' hand seizing up, Kyle doesn't mock him for it.
    Pops: Old.
  • That Man Is Dead: Sarah's response to Kyle's confusion about her not needing to be in danger:
    Kyle Reese: This is insane. This—this is not the mission.
    Sarah Connor: That's what I'm trying to tell you, Reese. The girl that you came back for? She's gone. I don't need saving. There's a new mission.
  • That Thing Is Not My Child!: Sarah, in regard to T-3000 John Connor.
  • Timey-Wimey Ball: Kyle Reese comes from the future to a past where a Terminator further in his future tried to kill Sarah Connor further in her past. At this point the timelines are so mangled that everyone just throws up their hands and writes off causality as a non-issue.
  • Token Heroic Orc: Another benign T-800 unit is sent back... this time all the way to Sarah's childhood years to protect her.
  • To Make a Long Story Short: O'Brien offers Sarah his help if she'd just explain what's going on, but acknowledges that any explanation is likely to be complicated.
    Sarah Connor: We're trying to stop the end of the world.
    O'Brien: I can work with that.
  • Trailers Always Spoil: The second trailer spoils a huge plot twist halfway into the film, and subsequently places it into the forefront - that the current timeline's adult John Connor was turned into a Terminator hybrid. The new poster also reflects this, revealing the name of Terminator John Connor as the T-3000. Director Alan Taylor was very unhappy with this.
  • Troubled Backstory Flashback: We see one for Sarah, depicting the death of her parents at the hands of a Terminator and her rescue by the 'good T-800'.
  • Trust Password: When Sarah encounters Future John Connor, she suspects him to be a shapeshifted terminator. Connor gains her trust by citing details of the past that only John Connor would know. Subverted.
  • 20 Minutes into the Future:
    • The first act takes place in the Bad Future where Skynet became self-aware.
    • A significant part of the film takes place in 2017 (two years after the film's release).
  • Uncanny Valley: Invoked. Sarah is still having problems making Pops pass for human. This of course being her response when Pops gives a hilariously terrifying attempt at smiling to Kyle.
  • Underside Ride: John Connor hitches a ride underneath the school bus Sarah is driving, and takes advantage of the position to tear a lot of things up - including the brakes.
  • [Verb] This!: In response to T-3000 John Connor saying he won't stop until Skynet rules the world, Sarah replies with a cannon and "Rule this!".
  • Villain Ball:
    • One of the complaints that both critics and fans have consistently had about this film is that the new Terminator, the T-3000, is not in the same league as the earlier cool, efficient killers. While a more powerful being, certainly, giving him human behaviors and emotions actually led to Narmy dialogue and generic mustache-twirling. The movie even has the Terminator say that he talks too much. Pointing out this issue did little to stop audiences from noticing it.
    • Even the T-1000 pauses to answer Kyle Reese's question about the date before attempting to kill him. And it has a habit of changing its hands into weapons before striking, something that the one in Terminator 2 refrained from—never showing its blades until it was far too late for the human to react to.
    • Visibly changing the countdown timer on Genisys's launch is a baffling move on the part of Skynet. As a marketing ploy design to dupe humanity into anticipating the arrival of its eventual machine overlord, the countdown made sense. However, when it's revealed that Skynet can actually develop itself faster and shave time off the actual launch, changing the timer is just silly. Case in point, when the heroes see this happen a couple of times, they begin to hasten their plans to destroy Cyberdyne—something they wouldn't have done if Skynet hadn't helpfully kept them posted on its schedule.
  • Walking Spoiler: When Entertainment Weekly did a cover story on the movie in October 2014, Matt Smith's character was listed as "????" and the article only mentions him as "a close ally to John Connor". Smith is the avatar to Skynet who possesses John Connor and turns him into an evil robot hybrid.
  • Watching the Reflection Undress: Kyle watches Sarah's shadow undress.
  • Weapon Stomp: During the Final Battle, when T-800 lies broken on the flow and reaches for the magnet, John comes and stomps on his body, preventing him from moving any closer.
  • We Can Rule Together: John offers his parents a chance to be assimilated willingly, so they can become one Big Badass Family of cyborgs.
  • We Need a Distraction: Sarah and Kyle start arguing in front of the detectives, but it's just so Kyle can grab a tool that can be used as an improvised lockpick. Well, some of it was faked...
  • Wham Line: Just as to be expected:
    • Sarah saying Reese's line, "Come with me if you want to live!"
    • Later, while they're driving away:
    Kyle Reese: This is all wrong, all right? John sent me back to save you—
    Sarah Connor: —From the Terminator that was sent back to kill me, I know. But we already took care of him.
    Kyle Reese: We??
    [Kyle looks in the back of the truck and sees first the neutralized T-800 wrapped in a tarp. Then Pops]
  • Wham Shot: John Connor is shot dead, even bleeds, and then the blood turns into Nano Machines, revealing he's now a robot.
  • What Year Is This?: As in the original, Kyle Reese takes a cop at gunpoint and demands to know what year it is. Unfortunately for him, this time, the "cop" is actually the T-1000, who rather robotically reveals the date and even includes the year, saying "The day you arrived."
  • Xanatos Speed Chess: Time Travel itself has become a weapon used by multiple parties. Unlike previous movies, where the Resistance and Skynet both made one "move" and let things play out, in this movie, time travel has become a game of moves and counter-moves and counter-counter-moves.
  • Xtreme Kool Letterz: References the actual computer term: GENISYS, which stands for 'General Identification System', the critical files that require an AI to function properly.
  • You Can't Fight Fate: "Time has momentum. Some things want to happen".
    • Ultimately Subverted with the Alternate Timeline and Kyle, Sarah and Pops being able to defeat Skynet and prevent Judgement Day. Possible Double Subverted in that the stinger reveals that Skynet survived and so might possibly come to power in this timeline as well.
  • You Have to Believe Me!: Inspector O'Brien futilely tries to convince his fellow officers about robots and time travelers, but they just act embarrassed, having clearly heard all this before. An Invoked Trope with Kyle, who explains who he really is over Sarah's objections, to make the detectives leave the room as quickly as possible.
  • Zeerust Canon: This film reverts to the timeline of the first two films, where Judgment Day occurs in 1997. Then a Butterfly of Doom is crushed, an Alternate Timeline is created where it's in 2017 instead, leading the characters to arrive in that year (which is not much different from the year 2015 when the movie hit theaters).


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