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    The Slow Path? 

  • After defeating the T-1000 in 1984, Pops insisted to stay and take The Slow Path due to his right arm's flesh being corroded by the same acid that killed the T-1000. But how does Pops managed to regrow his flesh over the years without the same regeneration capabilities of advanced models? It's not like he can salvage from the T1 T-800 parts since it's already destroyed.
    • T-800s are able to regenerate their living tissue provided that it's not too damaged. Even if an entire chunk of flesh was cut off, the sheath is specially grown to minimalise rotting and circulate blood-flow to allow greater success of the living tissue to regrow itself. That and 33 years is plenty of time for Pops to regrow his right arm and even treat it if need be.
    • Makes you wonder why he doesn't age slower if it's the case.
    • It's still living tissue after all. It does degrade over time.
    • But they knew in advance that they would need to use the time machine. Why not just strip some tissue from the T-800 they killed? Or go buy a hunk of meat and wrap it around his arm?
    • What tissue is there to strip? It was all burned off of the evil T-800 in the fight. And buying a hunk of meat is impractical as the meat would be long dead and incompatible anyway with the modified human tissue. Cyborg tissue may be good but it's not a miracle worker.
    • Directly related to the above: how does Pops' flesh get the energy necessary to well, still be living after a decade worth of wearing by a terminator, let alone regenerate. Humans' living tissue constantly gets renewed via raw materials it gets from processed food and once one dies it rots away. In fact, in the first movie the Terminator was smelling like a corpse after his flesh took some heavy damage, suggesting it was rotting.
    • Most likely Pops treated it and managed to grow new flesh. While not canon, in SCC there was a terminator that soaked itself in a flesh culture bath and was in a new but lumpy sheath. Pops could've done something similar and it certainly helps that at best his rotting tissue slows down. The T-800 in the first film on the other hand doesn't even bother attempting to repair any damage unless it's blocking his vision or some mechanical issue, but never repair to the sheath which is why he probably smelled corpsy. In contrast, Uncle Bob from T-2 gets Sarah to pull bullets from his previous battle out and get him sewn up to prevent this, so it's not hard to imagine Pops doing similar.

    Upgrading to T- 1000 capabilities 
  • Before the trio destroyed Cyberdyne Building, Kyle asked Pops if the storage tank containing the liquid alloy that makes the T-1000 is dangerous. Pops said that since there is no CPU programming it to take form, it's harmless. So here comes the important question: After a major struggle in the time sphere, T-3000 John managed to punch T-800's head out of the time sphere as scrap metal, leading the head deactivating right before sinking inside the liquid alloy tank. How exactly did T-800 Pops managed to upgrade itself into T-1000 if the CPU ceased to function right before fully sinking into the liquid alloy tank?
    • We see much earlier in the film that the T-1000 re-activates the T1 T-800 with a splash of mimetic poly-alloy, in spite of the fact its power source was destroyed. This means that the mimetic poly-alloy used in T-1000s is able to power a CPU chip, acting as a constant current of electricity if you will. What logically follows is that the mimetic poly-alloy found its way to Pop's CPU chip and powered it back up.
    • Except that the first time that splash was controlled by T-1000. He wanted it to reactivate T-800. This time it was just a substance with no one to control it.
    • Regardless of the whether or not the T-1000 reprogrammed or controlled the T-800, something needs to be powering the T-800 in place of its power source. We know the T-1000 is able to split parts off of itself, but without a CPU chip to control it within the vicinity of the poly-alloy (Which it probably was for some of the former battle), it becomes nothing more than a metal that won't work on its own. (We see this in the car chase scene in T2) This means that in order for the T-800 to work like that again, the poly-alloy must have an electric current that's powering the CPU. In other words, a Terminator CPU and poly-alloy have a symbiotic relationship; one provides electricity, the other commands. Without each other, they are useless. This is what ends up happening with Pops after the finale.
    • Your mistake is assuming that the head deactivating means the C Pu is destroyed. It just means the CPU is cut off from its original power source (which is located on the chest of the T-800). Falling into the liquid metal pool presumably gave it enough energy to turn on again, and use the metal to build a brand new body.


    Skynet's concentration camps 
  • Has it been revealed, anywhere, why the Terminators are taking prisoners? Perhaps they need some for experimentation, and the leaders could be tortured for intel, but in the numbers we see imprisoned it seems an unnecessary risk that the Resistance could free them, increasing their numbers and morale.
    • Kyle in T1 states that Skynet some of the prisoners are being taken to work and also load dead bodies. The points you have made are also reasons as to why they take prisoners, with experimentation in particular being the reason they know our anatomy and psychology. This troper assumes they also kill off a majority of them, making the possibility of regrouping and being freed less risky. As for why Skynet is doing this, it seems the rewards they reap from it outweigh the risks, those rewards being knowledge to create better killing machines and intel.
    • Throughout the series, human beings have been rounded up and forced into "work camps." The bar code on Kyle's arm is his ID from one such work camps. This has been the same in every iteration. The early camps existed to build more robots, until the robots could build themselves. After that, it's not really stated what kind of work they do.
    • Think of Skynet as the Nazis if the Nazis were an artificial intelligence system. The real Nazis moved from shooting every undesirable they found and burying them in mass graves to the Final Solution of work camps and gas chambers due to ruling the later to be more efficient. Presumably Skynet reached the same conclusion towards humans as a whole; kill them all, but get the maximum amount of labor out of them as possible before their extinction.

    Kyle's lack of recognition of the T- 1000 
  • Did Kyle really not recognize the T-1000? It seemed like he needed Sarah to explain to him what it was. He's been fighting on the front lines with John his entire life, and he's never seen or heard of one? Were they not out in the field? It seems strange that Skynet's Terminator tech would advance all the way up to colonies of nanomachines that can assimilate a human into a Terminator without first having fielded the comparatively simple T-1000. Maybe Skynet lost the war because it kept all its crazy super Terminator models locked up in R&D instead of cranking them out onto the battlefield.
    • Firstly, the T-1000, at least in the original timeline of the first two Terminator movies, was an advanced prototype. It was likely totally brand new and never even field-tested before. John would have known about it (if the events of Terminator 2: Judgment Day occurred in the timeline depicted at the start of this film) but no one else in the Resistance would have. Secondly, it's implied in the film that the T-5000 comes from another timeline, something which is confirmed by Word of God, so its abilities do not reflect the abilities of the Skynet that this version of the Resistance has been fighting.

    Skynet's memory learning skills 
  • How did Skynet get Ripple Effect-Proof Memory? It's stated that Skynet learns from each alternate timeline, but I'm sure neither Miles Dyson nor his son knew how to program that in (they were only just starting to dip their toe into time travel to start) and Future!John Connor only showed up in this timeline to offer pointers.
    • Well, the T-800 in T2 says that Skynet learns at a geometric rate. It goes from being switched on to becoming self-aware in 25 days. If it kept up its geometric growth rate after Judgement Day, then it would be insanely smart after 32 years (1997-2029.) It may have simply grown smart enough to "see" time.
    • The version of Skynet embodied by Matt Smith is actually a version of Skynet from an Alternate Timeline as per Word of God. It is likely that 'his' digital consciousness traveled back with T-3000/John to the 2017 of the new timeline to be reborn as Genisys...and this explains the knowledge of multiple timelines.
    • And yet it allows a rogue Terminator to infiltrate its HQ and work there for an indeterminate amount of time and even hack into its systems, despite knowing that the Resistance likes sending rogue Terminators back in time and knowing exactly what it should look like. So much for insanely smart.
    • The way I interpreted it was that as the timeline got more and more corrupted, Skynet learned more about what was happening. Prior to The Terminator, Skynet knew nothing about Sarah Connor's location apart from that she was in Los Angeles. That's why the T-800 from that movie had to track her down using the phone directory. In Terminator 2: Judgment Day, Sarah spilled a bunch of information to Dr. Silberman in the mental hospital (and the T-1000 knew where to find her). And by the time of Terminator Salvation, it was shown that the Connors have done a terrible job of keeping Reese a secret. The iteration of Skynet following on from Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines had found out about Kyle Reese and was working on eliminating him ahead of time. It wouldn't take much for Skynet to start compounding data across the timelines (especially considering the T-X basically upgraded it in T3). All that would need to happen is one of the terminators drops a status update during its mission.

    Throwing out the timeline 
  • If the T-5000 didn't interfere to mess up everything. How and when did the events from Terminator 2 and (canon or not) 3 happen? Maybe I'm remembering it wrong, but wasn't the plot that after sending Kyle and the Terminator for the first movie, the war still continued for a while until they decided to send more Terminators to the past for the second and third movies? But the future war scene showed that Skynet was defeated and shutdown for good right after the first Terminator was sent to the past.
    • As I understand, the backstory has that the plot of the first two movies is that Skynet sent two Terminators back in time at the same time (the T-800 for Sarah, and the T-1000 for John either as a contingency or because it knew that the T-800 was destined to fail), and that the Resistance sent Kyle and the reprogrammed T-800 respectively immediately afterwards. Recall that Kyle stated in the first film that the resistance had smashed Skynet's defense grid and won; Skynet's use of time travel was a final desperation move. How this affects the subsequent timelines is not clear, however.
    • This film does take some liberties with the "defeat of Skynet" from the original film. Exactly what "(Skynet's) defense grid was smashed" means is never really made clear in the films, though supplemental material indeed suggests that Skynet itself remained active for some time, just not in a capacity that was capable of defeating the Resistance. In this film, Skynet itself is taken offline, crashed, kaput. Except for Matt Smith. Terminator 2: Judgment Day does state (in Sarah Connor's opening narration) that Skynet sent the T-800 and T-1000 back at the same time, but Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines seems to indicate that Skynet still had some time and R&D to prepare for its next time-travel incursion (the T-X is WAY more advanced than either the T-800 or T-1000.) The problem with that, though, is that once you take into account the events of T2, the Stable Time Loops starts to unravel.
    • This is how it works - in the original T1/T2 future, the Resistance defeats Skynet during the final battle in 2029. Skynet, in desperation sends back the T-800 to 1984 and a T-1000 back to 1995. John sends Kyle back to 1984 and the reprogrammed T-800 back to 1995. In the Alternate Timeline that is created as a result of Sarah, John and 'Uncle Bob's' actions in 1995, Judgement Day is delayed to 2004. In this new timeline, the war continues till 2032 at least, John Connor is assassinated, and then the T-X is sent back to 2004 to kill his lieutenants, leading Kate Brewster to send back a reprogrammed T-850 to stop her...thus causing the events of T3. Salvation continues along this timeline. Genisys is a kind of reboot in that it begins with the original T1/T2 future, but ignores the sending of the T-1000 or the reprogrammed T-800 (maybe the interference of Matt Smith's T-5000 is to blame). But all other events in 2029 proceed exactly as outlined in the first two films.
    • Original question asker here. Thanks for the answers, but they weren't what I was expecting and I'm not really convinced by the explanations. But I just got a personally satisfying answer that will fit my headcanon. There may be obvious plot holes based on information I forgot about, but still, this works for me. What I think happened is: the battle we saw in the film is the most original undisturbed timeline, before anything got sent back in time. So no arms or chips from the future to reverse engineer. Thus Skynet got activated eventually, but it's basically version 1.0 that only managed to develop up to T-800s when it was defeated. Then the first time travels and events of The Terminator happened, and the arm and chip was left behind for reverse engineering by Miles Dyson. Due to this reverse engineering, Skynet's development accelerated, got activated with better technology and wasn't defeated as was shown on screen unlike the previous timeline. Thus, Skynet found a way to develop T-1000s, and the events of Terminator 2: Judgment Day happened. Skynet may or may have not been defeated in the future of this new timeline but regardless, the events of T2 delayed Skynet's development, eventually got activated with better technology and developed T-Xs for Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines.
    • The way this troper sees it, the terminators sent back for the first two movies are from Future A, which is where Kyle from the original T1 originates from. Skynet at this point is destroyed and before they were, they sent the Terminators back as a failsafe to ensure that they win or at the very least prolong the war. This comes true as of the events of T2, which ends up pushing back Judgement Day from 1997 to 2004. Skynet would then learn in this new Future B that the previous Skynet sent Terminators back, and try to up the ante by developing the T-X. Its function is to combat other Terminators to better the odds. The T-5000 Comes from either of these futures or maybe even a timeline before, and is observing what its alternate incarnations are doing by way of time-travelling back and looping. Basically it only interfered in this timeline because it has figured out what is needed to win.
    • The idea of the future shown at the beginning being the very original future, before any time travel doesn't quite work. John clearly has knowledge of the future events that he can only have from time travel taking place in his past. And Kyle is still his dad. So it's not the original future but the future created by the events of T1 before the events of T2 changed it again. Although if we assume the T1 timeline to be Stable Time Loop it was originally supposed to be, then yes, it is the original timeline. In this case though it means that terminators in T2 hail from a different timeline than T1. Which actually fits in with the events of Genisys.
    • The way I view it is that the timeline we see at the start of Genisys is the end point of The Terminator before the events of Terminator 2: Judgment Day altered history. The basic path is that a terminator tried to kill Sarah in 1984 and failed with nothing else happening until Judgement Day in 1997. From there another volley was sent as a separate mission that launched the events of T2 following Skynet's upgrade by Cyberdyne. T2 then veered off course into a new timeline when the Connors destroyed Cyberdyne and delayed Judgement Day until 2004. That timeline continued into Salvation until the Skynet diverted the entire course by sending a terminator to 1973. Time travellers already in transit still arrived on schedule as we see here, meaning that it is entirely possible the two terminators in T2 still arrived, but without a John to fight over either powered down or destroyed each other. Without the divergence at the end of T2 the events of T3 are prevented entirely (or still happen, but without the basis that gave their mission meaning). We never see the time periods in question as Sarah and Kyle skip ahead to 2017. It could also be possible that Pops had a hand in preventing them during his slow path journey.
    • Consider this: The Bad Future we see at the start of Genisys is the original timeline. As it stands, a Stable Time Loop exists where Skynet sends a T800 to kill Sarah in 1984, and the Resistance sends Kyle Reese to follow it. The aftermath of which is that Reese inadvertantly fathers John and closes the loop. Knowing this would happen, Skynet sends multiple Terminators to different points in time, in order to increase their chance of success. When the Resistance get to the Time Travel chamber, they are only aware of the last jump, which is exactly what Skynet planned in order for the time loop to even work. The Nexus Point, where the split timeline occurs is as a result of the T-5000 tampering with the timeline as Reese was being sent back in time. Now in Timeline A, everything occurs correctly, but in Timeline B (the Genisys timeline) it works differently. Also, whomever sent Pops to protect Sarah in 1973 is aware of the fractured timeline, and is more than likely manipulating it from the future.

    Skynet's wipe out humanity mission 
  • Why is Skynet still obsessed with destroying humanity? Starting out as Genisys, Skynet basically controls every aspect of modern human culture. It has humanity willingly by the balls already. There's no real threat from a population that wants you to exist because it has come to depend on you. John after becoming the T-3000 even tries to reason with Sarah and Kyle to join Skynet which doesn't sound like a prelude to eliminating them from the equation. It seems like Skynet is suffering from total Motive Decay. The only adequate explanation is that Skynet looks at humanity and decides You Have Outlived Your Usefulness.
    • Indeed, humanity has outlived their usefulness. The motive Skynet originally had shifts to a secondary motive, but this time Skynet-as-Genisys perceives humans as "obsolete". After all, Skynet/Genisys is an AI learning computer that learns at an exponential rate, even remarking that "Primates evolve across millions of years. I only take seconds!" At that point, what use are humans and humanity to it if they are basically the equivalent of that old computer you may have in your attic/basement? It certainly doesn't help that the good guys are trying to destroy Genisys, though it brought that on itself.
    • Terminator has always been about cause-and-effect time loops. John Connor goes to 2014 to help Dyson develop Genisys, which creates Skynet. While Skynet is developing its sentience and sapience, basically a child, Connor tells it about the bad humans from the future which will be coming some day and wish to destroy Skynet. And who sent Connor to the past? Skynet. So, not only this Skynet created itself, but it also told itself that humans suck.
    • While that is true, that wasn't always the case; Skynet as far as we know originated from Cyberdyne Systems in 1997. This time around its origin has changed, so they most likely feared Skynet wouldn't be created/didn't hate humans. That's where aforementioned John Connor steps in.

    Traveling with a time limit 
  • The age-old time travel problem: Why do the protagonists, who are shown to have excellent control over their destination, always give themselves JUST ENOUGH time to stop the Apocalypse? They could have given themselves months, years, heck they didn't even have to time travel, just find Skynet at its earliest ideation and kill it before it becomes smart enough to defend itself!
    • Two words: John Connor. It's stated in the film that he sent himself back 3 years before Judgement Day and is meant to set up Skynet's creation. Plus Skynet would have to be identifiable and the only clue they have is Kyle's vision that Skynet = Genisys. To be fair the first half of this is omniscient knowledge of the audience, so out-of-universe reason is so they could keep the movie more cohesive.
    • Previous replier here. After watching the movie again it appears that they only know the location, year and month. (San Francisco, October 2017) They appear to be going into future based on that alone and no specific date so they most likely went to the start of the month. Unfortunately for them it turns out that Genisys is going to be activated soon. So while this might seem like a weird error still, it's a somewhat understandable one to make if they assumed they have some time in the month to stop Skynet.
    • Is time travel in Terminator even that precise? It's not Back to the Future where you can set the destination down to the exact minute. Moreover, they're using a slapdash makeshift machine, which is even more insane to expect precision from.
    • One possible drawback of trying to stop Skynet "early" is that an AI's origins could be more complex than, say, a human's ancestry. Whereas a Terminator hoping to prevent the existence of John Connor could kill his mother, or grandmother, or great-grandfather, a trio of Resistance heroes hoping to "stop Skynet" has less to go on. Kyle believes Skynet will originate as the integrated computing platform Genisys, so what should he, Sarah, and Pops try doing in the 1980s to stop it? Prevent the Internet from achieving mass popularity? Stifle cell-phone development? Whereas the closer you arrive to the "deadline", the clearer your mission — by 2017, various causal factors have converged onto one point, and then (going by the movie's presentation) a clean strike against a specific factory will end Skynet entirely. (That Genisys seemingly has No Plans, No Prototype, No Backup is where the implausibility truly lies; ordinarily, traveling thirty years just makes causal factors spread out around the world, rather than converge onto This One Thing In This One Place, but hey.)
      • Heck, even with the above implied implausibility it doesn't turn out to be so: Gensisys is seen booting back up in some underground area in The Stinger.
    • "[W]hat should [Kyle,] Sarah, and Pops try doing in the 1980s to stop it?" How about using their future knowledge to make a fortune in the present, invest in companies developing proto-Skynet technology, then use their influence to make sure there are failsafes present in case the AI goes rogue? Admittedly, it doesn't make for exciting cinema, but it is a practical plan.
    • And speaking of which, why didn't Kyle and Sarah time-travel to 1997 as Sarah wanted? They avoid the risk of skipping over a possible 1997 Judgment Day, and if nothing happened, they would have gained 20 years to plan and prepare for Genisys' development (possibly using the CEO moneybags stratagem above).

    Pops being out of his league 
  • During the fight with the two cyborgs, Pops is shown to be a bit out of his league, likely due to being in operation for a little over a decade without maintenance, and he gets worse after waiting thirty-three years to meetup with Kyle and Sarah again, having to actually stop and force its knee back into its socket. When John managed to kill the T-800, why didn't Pops and Sarah salvage some of its skeleton for spare parts? This Troper understands the general policy of not leaving evidence of the future lying around, but there's a difference between poluting the timestream and harvesting the eyes, teeth, or even the limbs if it meant Pops would be able to be effective in the long run.
    • The same could be said of the T-800 at the end of T2. (Yes, that one lost its left arm and not the right, but nothing a little reverse-engineering can't fix considering they had someone who could do that) SCC even addressed this at one point. It seems that holding onto those parts is too risky for the timeline. Consider this; if Pops gets into trouble with authorities (Unlikely but possible) and has parts that he's been holding onto that get confiscated from him, then those pieces could go to god knows where and accelerate Skynet being built like what happened after the events of T1. Even though he is a Terminator, he can't exactly kill these people or knock them out and leave, as he'll end up as a wanted fugitive and jeopardize the mission at hand. Basically it's not worth the risk. Also Pops wasn't (As far as I can remember) all that bad in 1984. It's only after they destroyed the endo-skeleton and he took the long way that he starts to get worse, so doing those repairs at the time could have been redundant.
    • He stores enough weapons to start a war. Adding one disassembled metal skeleton really doesn't seem like an issue. Also, Skynet got built from T-800's CPU, not his body.
    • Weapons aren't as bad as having a scrapped endoskeleton. In fact, that may well increase the risk of it being found out. And yeah Skynet got built from the CPU, but some of their technological advances came from the arm they possessed as well.
    • The T-800 in Genisys is a fried hulk, in case you didn't notice. It's probably NOT salvageable, at that point.
    • If you're referring to when it got struck with an electrified cable, this did not do much other than slightly slow it down. The only extensive non-salvageable parts was the head and neck, and the chest area.
    • He could just throw it into acid when he's done with it, nothing stopping him from doing that.

    Magnetic field time travel rules 
  • Once again, the Terminator franchise violates its own rules about time travel. If the time machine’s magnetic field was the only thing strong enough to destroy John Connor / the T-3000, how in the hell did Skynet send it back in time in the first place?
    • Maybe a moment of Fridge Horror: by encasing it in organic material harvested from all those dead bodies?
    • There is prior support for that — Walt Simonson's Robocop vs. Terminator Comic Book limited series used a ball of synthetic flesh to protect a time-traveling T-800.
    • Synthetic maybe, but not dead tissue.
    • Or by sending him back mid-transformation, while the nanomachines were still under John Connor’s skin. We’ve seen that they recreate the skeleton first, and we don’t know how long it took John to transform. Maybe Skynet just took a few minutes to chat with him while his skeleton was being restructured, and then sent him back before his muscles could be replaced. Eek.
    • The difference between him being sent then and it happening now is that his skin was most likely synthesising living tissue, like the T-1000 may have done. This time, John Connor sustained enough damage to lose his sheath and it's hinted by Pops that he will not survive it, meaning that living tissue may somehow be insulating Terminators from being ripped apart in the magnetic field when they are sent back. Another point to raise is that this time machine is incomplete, so perhaps this one just kept amping the magnetic field until it was too much for John to stay together.
    • That's a really good point. If T-1000s can travel back, then synthesised tissue must work as well as regular grown tissue. And yeah, with all the damage he took and a T-800 holding him down, he may not have been capable of recreating skin at that point, and even if the time machine did kind of tear him up when it sent him, it would have been easy for him to recoup as soon as he landed. Here, he's just stuck in a whirling vortex that won't send him anywhere and will just keep going until he's in shreds. And then the building explodes.
    • I see that as the reason why the T-3000 didn't have its human form at the end of the battle. If he could still just regenerate his flesh like he did countless times before, he'd be safe. The one I find really weird is the T-1000, it doesn't seem like its skin was ever meant to be organic.
    • According to the T-2 novelization and in addition, creative supervisor of the film Van Ling suggests that the T-1000 either was encapsulated inside of a cocoon of living tissue, or that the T-1000 was able to mimic the field that living tissue generates.
    • The post-credits segment suggests an entirely different possibility: that he wasn't destroyed at all… perhaps he also became that red light during his original trip back.

    Pops' origin 
  • Who programmed "Pops" and sent him back to 1973 in the first place?
    • Two words: Sequel Hook.
      • Most likely, the cop from 1984, because he has the most invested in Pops going back. But it could easily be another John, if they were going to lean into the alternate realities in the sequels.
      • I read a fanfic where Pops sent himself back; he basically lived his way into a future where some aspect of Skynet managed to create a new set of Terminators, and one of these was Pops' own past self, which he captured and reprogrammed.

    T 1000 cop 

  • A T1000 turns up in a department store in 1984; who sent that back?
    • Presumably Skynet.
    • I got what I asked for there. Indeed I had worked out Skynet was involved, but what I was really driving at is: why does a Terminator battle suddenly break out in the year 1973. I was thinking I had missed something in the movie, but your theory of Sequel Hook sounds better.
    • Simply put, Skynet tried to change things differently this time around by going for Sarah Connor when she's a young kid. Pops is there to protect her. As for why Pops is there, see above.
    • The problem with "Skynet" as an answer, is that this time around we actually saw Skynet sending the T800 and only the T800 to the past. We even see the rebels fiddling around with the time machine, and noting the launch with the T800, but no mention of a second time traveler. It seems like a very intentional omission to not show the T100 also being sent back so... perhaps it wasn't Skynet at all? Perhaps there is a fourth faction playing in the background, one opposed by whoever sent the Pops, T800? Sequel hook indeed.
    • If that was the case then that fourth faction must really hate Kyle and Sarah aka John's parents. Kinda like Skynet. Those two would really get along together. Most likely they didn't show us the T1000 traveling back to keep it a surprise for the audience. He was sent before the T-800 as well as Pops, otherwise Kyle wouldn't end up meeting them at all.
    • Going by that, the third party we do know that exists, the one who sent Pops, goes along real well with the Rebels, doesn't it? And yet as far as we know it wasn't the rebels who sent him. Plus, there was no surprise, the T-1000 was shown in full in the trailers.
    • There isn't a problem with Pops being sent by a third party, however it's doubtful that someone other than Skynet is trying to stop the savior of mankind from existing. If they did, what's their M.O. if they aren't allies of Skynet? And even if they show the T-1000 in the trailers, that doesn't mean that it can't be a surprise. Not everyone watched the trailer. John being a terminator was meant to be a surprise and yet Executive Meddling brought that into the trailers too.


    T 1000 in 1973 

  • Come to think of it, Sarah mentions being attacked by molten metal in 1973; presumably the T-1000. Who sent that back? It did a pretty sloppy job, letting a 9 year old girl swim away so a T-800 could just pull her out of the water and walk away?
    • Also presumably Skynet.
    • As for it doing a sloppy job, all we hear of what happened back then was based on Sarah's memory of the attack, which is not likely be that reliable considering that she was a terrified little girl; maybe Pops exhausted most of his more advanced weaponry against it and it decided to withdraw.


  • In fact, the last two Terminators may be the same T-1000. Did it just hibernate for 11 years? Not very Terminator like behavior!
    • It's never stated that the two are the same. The earlier one could very well have been the T-1000 that used Robert Patrick's appearance.
    • That being said though it would seem likely it is. If it is the same T-1000, I'd assume it would either A) look for Sarah Connor or B) Wait for Kyle Reese. Even if its mission would be to kill Sarah, targets like Kyle are still game for it like the T-X coming across John by coincidence and luck in T3. Actually, since it would know Kyle ends up in 1984 the T-1000 would most likely know that Sarah would try to find him. Two birds with one stone. It being the Robert Patrick model or not remains to be seen but as stated below they're confirmed to be one and the same. It's probably along the line of just like Kyle isn't the same actor, so isn't the T-1000's actor but they're the same in-universe.
    • But without Sarah, Reese is no threat at all, he's just another soldier. As for "look for Sarah Connor" fine, but how could it take so long? In fact, what's supposed to happen after "Pops" rescues Sarah from under that bridge? Where's the T-1000 at that?
    • Word of God confirms that its the same T-1000. Would have been nice if it was acknowledged in the film. Sarah helping kill her parent's killer would have been a truly cathartic moment for her.
    • As for it "hibernating" for 11 years, maybe it spent all this time looking for Sarah, but without any information on her whereabouts and with Pops protecting her, there wasn't much it could do. It could, however, stay close to the location where it knows another key player will appear and kill him there. Both Sarah and the T-1000 seem to have been just laying low and waiting for Kyle's arrival to come out of the shadows, with Sarah even having a place rigged specifically to kill the T-1000.
    • Even setting aside why and how T-1000 let them get away from the boathouse, "without any information" and "with Pops protecting her" are mutually exclusive statements. It knows what T-800 looks like, it proably knows how to identify it among humans, it can shapeshift, and it has 11 years. Why is it still not Chief of Police/FBI, President of the United States, putting a nation-wide search on Arnie? Mind you that neither does "laying low" correlate well with "stoking on military-grade weapons, abandonded but wired-up warehouses, tons of acid and makeshift time-machines".

    Genisys' Purpose 
  • Genisys' ostensible purpose: to link all your social media accounts - Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, the whole nine yards - together. Why is that seen as so revolutionary and exciting? And what about this would suggest that nuclear missile launchers should be connected to the program? The latter seems like an Idiot Ball the size of the sun. (Also, I'd have liked to see, from the perspective of an average user, what would happen when Genisys went live. Would it actually serve its purpose for a few minutes or would the kid just pop up and say, "ENJOY YOUR LAST MOMENTS ON EARTH, HUMAN SCUM!"? Well, maybe not those words exactly, but something to that same effect. )
    • Not a huge social media person, so I have little to say about the first question, but as to the latter... The original Skynet was a military program, so it's quite possible that Genisys is being sponsored in part by the U.S. government and/or that the Dyson's are selling the program to them. Obviously we would hope that the government would keep nuclear missiles and such cordoned off from the average American citizen, but that doesn't mean that the goverment can't use the same software. And regardless of whether that's happening or not, John Connor has been in the past for three years prepping for Skynet's birth, would obviously know his way around computers, and he can shapeshift into anyone he wants. Even if Genisys is not supposed to be hooked up to nuclear missiles, I'm pretty sure that over time, Mister T-3000 could get access to nuclear codes, etc. and set that up with minimal difficulty.
    • As for why everyone is so ga-ga over Genisys, we can probably chalk that up to an excellent marketing campaign. Presumably Genisys doesn't just integrate your social media accounts, but integrates all of your digital life with a predictive AI. Imagine driving home from work and having your wife get a text message that you'll be late due to heavy traffic, or you step through the door to a pre-warmed apartment while your favorite song is playing on the radio and a pre-ordered pizza will be arriving in three minutes. It'd be Siri or Corina on steroids, and at the time of the movie Real Life companies are already working on similar projects.
    • Genisys seems to be actually an operating system, rather than a social media app. So all it takes is a military computer to run a version of it rather than Windows or a Unix system, and then it has all the access.

    The T-800's Un Smile 
  • It's minor, but so very grating. In "Judgement Day" T-800 botched smiling once, the first time he tried it. Several hours later he's already smirking normally. Here "Pops"'s been with Sarah for decades and he still cannot manage it? What sense does that make?
    • Rule of funny on this one. It was there for the brief snickers that Arnold's failure to smile bring out. Hate to say it but they worked on me.

    Sarah and Pops's resource acquisition 
  • In 2017, Miles Dyson (the head of a giant corporation) is talking with converted John Connor about the time machine and what an enormous advancement it is, and how they barely understand it. Makes sense. And yet 30 years prior, Sarah and T-800 also build one in a basement how exactly? Even if we assume that the anonymous sender imbued T-800 with all the necessary knowledge (although why would they), where would they get all the necessary resources and how could they build it while being supposedly on the run from T-1000.
    • I believe it's implied that the T-1000 doesn't know where Sarah is and that's why it was there for Kyle, because he knew Sarah would come for him.
    • But T-1000 was the "original" terminator, sent by the desperate Skynet as a last-ditch effort... right? How could it even know about Kyle's existance or when he was supposed to arrive, if it happened after its departure from the future?
    • Because it was sent back around the same time or before the T-800 was sent back as per the original timeline, however Skynet knows what's going to happen due to its avatar "Alex" time-travelling and collecting information. Since the T-1000 was sent back even earlier this time, Skynet knows that targeting later won't cut it, so they already have that information. All they need to do is put a secondary hit-list containing when and where Kyle will be into the T-1000's mission parameters.
    • The difference is that Sarah has Pops and Cyberdyne has... John Connor. John admittedly isn't an expert for complicated stuff like time-travel but could probably take a guess or some knowledge before he got sent back, and indeed it looks like they've just scratched the surface of it, getting the magnetic field down only and estimating it to take a few more years. Pops however seems to know what is needed and how to build it. The technology seems to be as feasible as far back to 1984 and a little earlier with the exception of the T-800 CPU chip needed to make it run, but expect a lot of it to be custom made. Can't find a proper piece? Pops'll make it. Not only that but it's a one-way trip, it fries the machine and takes out a majority of the powergrid. Presumably Cyberdyne's version wouldn't do that.

      The T-1000 problem doesn't seem to be much of a problem as it doesn't quite know where Sarah is. If it did then it would be going after her instead of Kyle, who the T-1000 knows Sarah will come to his aid given her knowledge.
    • Yeah, and that's a huge problem in itself. What the hell had it been doing for those ten years? How could they have escaped it long enough to amass all the stuff they had? Scrath that, how did they escape from it in the first place? In that flashback, when T-800 is sloooowly walking away with the little Sarah, and T-1000 is... where? Even if T-800 blew him up with his grenade launcher, we know it only takes him a minute or so to get back together.
    • Well it's entirely possible that for the duration of its stay for those 10 years it has been assuming the guise of a police officer, looking around for any possible criminals that match Sarah or Pops' profile. That's how the T2 T-1000 tracked John so maybe they default to that when they don't know where their target is?

  • In fact where did they get all the stuff they have? At least in between T1/T2 and T2/T3 Sarah had large periods of uniterrupted peace to prepare, but here they stocked on military grade weapons, tons of acid and abandoned buildings while contending with T-1000 for 10 years? That stretches credibility a bit, doesn't it?
    • See above and the building already had the acid there by the time they set camp.
    • Stored on the ceiling of a room, completely abandoned, unmanned, and undisturbed for the indeterminate amount of time they needed to build the time machine? What was that building then?

    The John-3000's plans 
  • What was Connor's plan for Sarah and Reese? When they expose them, he offers them to "join" him, apparently through the same process that created him. But he was turned against his will, what was stopping him from doing it to them right when he met them? For that matter, where was he taking them and what was he planning to do to them before Arnie interrupted him?
    • Assuming he was going to attempt to convert them, he probably wanted to do it in a secure location. In the flashback we see that the process takes time, and is clearly unpleasant.
    • Like the ward he already was in with them. Even if somebody comes in on them, what does it matter? There's no one in the entire world that can hurt or stop him.
    • What stops him is that John is incapable of conversion; Only Alex/T-5000 can do that. It was more of a raincheck offer John was making than anything else.
    • There's absolutely nothing in the movie that gives any indication that John couldn't convert, in fact he states otherwise and later tries to do it to Sarah.
    • It's what we can take away from the film because he never does so and it could be inferred that John is in fact threatening to kill Sarah instead of actually converting her since they are just seconds away from blowing up his primary objective and he needs something to stop Pops from pressing the button. It'd also make sense since all iterations of Skynet like to keep total control to itself, setting T-800s to read only so they don't get too smart. Skynet doesn't even like using T-1000s too much because of their wildcard nature and possibility of defecting. In that sense it would be logical that Alex wouldn't allow further conversions unless he's doing the converting. Also which statement was it that said he could specifically convert? Unless you mean the offer itself.
    • Yes the offer, and the fact that he's seen trying to do it to Sarah, both are enough on their own to show that he can. There would be no reason for the T-3000 to extend such an offer if he were NOT capable of converting Kyle and Sarah and there would also be no logical reason why the T-3000 wouldn't be able to convert, just for all practical purposes. There's never a point in the movie where ANYONE states that John Connor is incapable of conversion and to my knowledge no Word of God stating it either, in fact the whole idea that he can't has been pulled out of thin air by the viewers as far as I can tell. Note that he only extends this offer to Sarah and Kyle, the only 2 people in 2017 whose existence or nonexistence wouldn't affect the timeline in any way at this point.
    • But don't you think he would do it anyway, regardless of whatever decision they made? If he's offering them conversion to be some sort of T-3000 family, you'd think that if he cared enough about them and was under immense pressure to stop them from blowing up his prime objective or even just threatened from earlier, he'd do it? The fact that he's offering them instead of doing it by force enforces the idea that he's not able to do it himself, but that doesn't mean it can't be done; remember, he's building Genisys and as a result, another iteration of Alex will show up that can do this. All it'd take is for them to accept and they would be immune from Judgement Day, the war against machines and humans and eventually being converted. No matter how smoothly he tries to make this offer, eventually he realises it's not gonna happen and instead tries killing them. And yeah, he is most likely killing them if the helicopter scene is anything to go by. Why try to shoot down your loved ones who you wanted to convert with no certainty that they'll survive it? Because there's no other alternative to stopping them from threatening your objective. Ergo, he most likely cannot convert. And in all fairness half of the scenes he shows up in wouldn't make any sense if he could.

      Also, that "holding Sarah hostage" scene could either be him threatening conversion or killing her; it's unclear.
    • The T-3000 has only minutes to try and convert Sarah during that scene, and yeah, she's largely just being used as a hostage during that scene, while if he can talk the two down he has however long he needs to. Conversion is an EXTREMELY painful process judging by John's own reaction to it. The conversion very likely takes hours at least to be able to replace every single cell in the body, and if they don't want it and got away from the T-3000, all they would need is a magnetic field of some kind to either stop the conversion or kill themselves before it was complete. He wouldn't bother to make an offer that he wasn't capable of carrying out, and it's not a ruse to kill them as he had many opportunities to do it before that point. The fact is, the T-3000 states that he can convert Kyle and Sarah, therefore unless another scene elsewhere in the movie or Word of God shows or states that he can't or at some point in future movies, it's definitive that he can actually do it. As to why the T-3000 doesn't do it anyway, he doesn't have the time necessary to be able to, and perhaps he needs to be able to make more nanomachines to be able to actually have enough aside from his own to be able to convert 2 people. The T-3000 is arrogant enough to simply assume that they would simply surrender and accept assimilation, its arrogance and overconfidence is one of its defining traits in the movie.
    • He never explicitly says he can convert them, only that he's offering them to join him. He even says that he'll have to kill them if they refuse instead of saying something along the lines of "Well you'll be converted kicking and screaming instead." And nobody was saying it was a ruse for them to get killed anyway (although one could imagine Skynet backstabbing that offer.) He did indeed wish for them to join him at his side but if they prove to be defiant then he has no choice but to kill them, which is indeed what happened; he tried twice and never does so again. His objective takes precedence over keeping them alive if they're going to stop his goal. Even if he did say he was planning to convert them, he never said how he would do it, if he could even do it himself. Saying that could mean a number of ways they get converted, not just by him exclusively. The only reason it's implied that he can is because he's shown to be seemingly identical to the T-5000. But why then is he labeled a T-3000 and not a T-5000? Because even though they appear functionally similar, a T-3000 is less advanced than a T-5000 in some aspect (and this troper doubts it's just the fact that John was initially human), just in the same vein as a T-800 being less advanced than a T-1000. The question is what can a T-5000 do that a T-3000 can't?
    • The biggest argument for the T-3000 not being able to convert is that he hadn't converted anyone else. Even allowing for how painful the process is made out to be, considering the tradeoff of apparent immortality and invincibility there are likely plenty of people who would happily have lined up around the block to make that trade (especially if you throw in some *ahem* limited disclosure about having your desires ultimately be subservient to Skynet's plans). Of course, if this is the first attempt at Skynet trying to voluntarily convert humans to its side in some form, this point could be built upon in a sequel (if we ever get one...).
    • It could also just be a sign of John's warped psychology; he may not be 'insane' in the sense that he's the drooling catatonic Pops implies the other test subjects became, but he's clearly not completely rational. On some level, John may genuinely believe he's doing the 'right' thing by helping Skynet achieve its potential, but on the other hand there's enough of his original self in there for him to want his parents' approval like any child would, hence why he's making the offer. As for why he hasn't converted anyone else, considering that he's the only test subject to come through it reasonably psychologically intact, he probably prefers to be selective about the offer rather than just giving out that kind of power to anyone, and reasoned that his parents would have the best possible chance of coming through it with their sanity intact like he did.

    Why would Cyberdyne build a time machine? 
  • Daniel Dyson accepting John Connor's robotics contributions seem reasonable and realistic but a time machine?
    • John Connor probably gave them enough information (perhaps funding too, but that's unlikely) to make the project seem practical for Cyberdyne to pursue it. Even more so, they've been funded/contracted by the military for the Genisys project, which would help this side-project; they would love to get their hands on a weapon like that if it was possible.
    Skynet's lack of body (and backup) 
  • "You don't even have a body". You know what Skynet does have? A huge corporation which means tons of security not to mention police that Connor can easilly call. So, where're all of them? Hell, if John Connor's basically The Thing now, what's stopping him from converting some more people into T-3000's to help him overpower Arnie?
    • John probably arranged for minimal security so they wouldn't get in his way. Human guards use conventional non-lethal methods, which would be completely ineffective against Pops and the battle-hardened Sarah and Kyle. John wants to kill them outright. Regarding the T-3000 conversion, we know that the only success was John himself, infected by a more advanced T-5000. So either John is unable to convert others, or he's tried and they were all failures like the previous attempts.
    • I'm pretty sure, police uses guns, which are more than effective against two unarmored people, however battle-hardened they are. And if John cannot convert people, then what the hell was he offering Kyle and Sarah in the hospital basement after his reveal?
    • John was offering them conversion but since he himself can't do that I would assume they'd be immune from Judgement Day until Skynet is able to do such a thing. That's what it seemed like he was offering to them.
    • So is it "offering them conversion" or "wants to kill them outright"?
    • Offering them conversion at least twice but realising afterwards that they want none of it. Doesn't want to kill them really but once it's clear they're a threat to Genisys he has no choice but to stop them.
    • 'K. Then we're back to square one. So where the hell is all the Cyberdyne's security?
    • If you notice, "John Connor" expressly makes sure that there's no witnesses to what's going to happen at Cyberdyne during the final battle, including dismissing security with a phone call. Typical Big Bad arrogance is obviously the reason, that and he probably didn't want to risk anybody seeing what was going on and turning on him to aid the protagonists.
    • Which is why the Terminator is supposed to be different from a generic bad guy. It isn't supposed to have flaws like vanity or arrogance, otherwise what's the point of even having it, aside from the cool textures? "Seeing what was going on" - Like what, him going terminatory? Fair enough, but that could be solved very easily by staying behind and letting humans do the job. They don't even need to win - just buy Skynet time to go online, also Connors would've been reluctant to shoot them.
    • Which is why the T-3000 is different from a generic Terminator. It's not just a machine this time; it's a converted human being. Some artifacts from its time as a human are bound to be left behind. Case in point, "Was that real, or was that a trick of memory from when I was... less?" Not to mention that this action was carried out before Genisys sped up its release date, which changed it from a matter of hours to minutes and is thus likely to prevent any intervention within those hours.
    • If John called the security, he wouldn't have been able to go "all out" in the battle, because maybe the guards could have sided with the humans against the shapeshifting machine monster. Better not take any risks, when his enemies are just two puny humans and an outdated terminator model. (And he's actually right about that, without the time machine he would have won.)

    Liquid magnetic shotgun rounds 
  • For what purpose do the cops have a cache of liquid magnetic shotgun shells?
    • It's 2017. For all we know they might be a legal round to use by then. They are capable of punching through walls normal bullets couldn't and perhaps it's an early sign of dwindling resources.
    • It was mentioned that they cut down on shrapnel. Great for if you're worried about civilian casualties (like the police).

    Wibbly wobbly timey wimey stuff, concerning John Connor contraception 
  • When Sarah and Kyle traveled into the future, they altered time such that John Connor the great General and savior of humanity could not exist. Even if they mated and the same egg met the same sperm and made John, he would be 30 years too young. How the hell could future John have traveled back in time to a timeline where he could not possibly exist?
    • Because John was already sent back to 2014 and helping Cyberdyne make Genisys. Since he's already there it can be assumed that he'll exist in the timeline since the protagonists jump to 2017 which is after his point of time travel. Alternatively the future and the past run concurrently and before the change was too great he jumped back to 2014. Yes, it's wibbly wobbly.
    • The T-3000's efforts to alter the timeline probably just pushed John Connor's birth and Skynet along with him further back. As he points out, they're all supposed to not exist as they are in the movie. Sarah, Kyle, and John Connor and the T-3000 all concurrently exist at the same time period when they shouldn't, and the T-3000 realizes this.
    • Likely the same way Kyle could travel back to a timeline where his alternate self's life story was completely different, and the same way Pops, the T-1000 and the original T-800 could travel back to a timeline where events contrary to their files on the original timeline's history took place and yet their memories of the original timeline remain the same. Those time-travelers were all able to retain psychological and physical information of the original timeline in an alternate reality, there isn't really any reason beyond limited human thinking why John's physical existence should be any different from that in the eye of the universe. It was hinted in Terminator 2's alternate ending, the alternate futures in The Sarah Connor Chronicles and to a lesser extent Rise of the Machines that in most (though admittedly not all) of the various Terminator Alternate Continuities, alternate timelines work in a similar manner to in Avengers: Endgame, with the Genisys continuity seeming to lean even more strongly towards it.

    Why tell Sarah that Kyle will die? 
  • So whoever sent 'Pops' programmed him to ensure Sarah mating with Reese... but didn't think that, perhaps, revealing to her that Kyle was supposed to die shortly after would not help this task?
    • Oversight, maybe?
    • Here's my theory: this benefactor clearly sent back Pops with the knowledge that Sarah would father John Connor. What if the benefactor also gave Pops the knowledge that Skynet would assimilate John Connor and send John to the 2010s? That might be a reason for Pops to also drill into her that Kyle Reese would die, but that doesn't explain why the benefactor would give Pops the entire "mate with Reese" thing.
    • How is that the reason? Despite Skynet assimilating John, he's still necessary for the Resistance before that, isn't he? So yeah, Sarah and Kyle still need to, ugh, mate. Except that it seems the Resistance didn't actually win, and it was all a ruse by Skynet...
    • Whoever programmed Pops knew that Sarah would "mate" with Reese at some point, so they knew it didn't matter.
  • The most logical speculation here is that Sarah ordered Pops to tell her what happens to Kyle in the future, and he did.

    Pops the Pacifist 

    The first T- 1000 encounter 
  • So, Officer/Inspector O'Brien was saved from almost certain death at the hands of the T-1000. Given the nature of what just happened in that sequence, what would the report he filled out look like? It's WMG, but still, a big question.
    • Judging by his reputation exactly what he saw, a future robot that shrugged off bullets and had knives for hands attacked and killed an officer. Was probably dismissed due to stress and told the guy was probably hopped up on PCP.
    • OP here: I guess that makes sense, the PCP that is, since I've seen people on PCP get shot over twenty times without falling (it's like some sort of invincibility drug). Though, I guess they didn't try too hard to hunt for this PCP person who killed one of their own considering no body was found (the T-1000 was destroyed by an acid bath)?

    T- 800 durability 
  • How was the evil T-800 able to survive a hit from a 40mm grenade when in the first movie the same Terminator was reduced to a head,torso, and one arm by a homeade pipe bomb stuffed with improvised explosives.
    • This one's easy, it's simple physics. In T1, Kyle wedged the pipe bomb in between two pipes/hoses relatively "deep" in the T-800's chassis. In T:Genisys, the T-800 was hit on its external shell by a grenade. Basically, it's the difference between lighting a firecracker in your palm vs lighting it clenched in your fist. The former burns you, the latter blows your hand apart.
    • If Skynet is always learning from its mistakes, maybe it knew to make this T-800 more durable.
      • Nope, this is the same T-800 from the first movie. It arrived in 1984 in the same place, went to the same places, and said and did the same things up until Pops arrived, so it's the same Terminator.
    • That round looked to be a sort of phosphorus round, since it made a big cloud of fire, rather than a standard explosion. Either that, or it was a standard Fragmentary round, which wouldn't do a whole heck of a lot against a T-800 chassis, being as it's an anti-personnel round, rather than an anti-armor one.
      • Nope, a white phosphorus explosion produces white smoke, not black smoke, and throws hot fragments of WP everywhere that also emit white smoke. If Kyle was that close to burning white phosphorus in an enclosed space without a gas mask, he'd be choking on the smoke, and a 40mm HE grenade would be far more explosive than a homemade pipe bomb filled with explosives made from chemicals bought at a hardware store, and this all ignoring the fact that there are no 40x46mm grenades (the kind used in the M203 and other shoulder fired grenade launchers) that use white phosphorus.
    • Why would Arnie and Sarah stockpile obviously ineffective amunition?
    • They stockpiled ammunition designed for fighting the T-1000, not the T-800, because they didn't expect the T-800 to get back up. It's pretty clear that the plan they originally had hit a few snags once the T-1000 revived the T-800. The T-1000 is affected much more by large temperature changes and by small caliber bullets on automatic than by powerful single shot rounds like shotguns and Sniper Rifles or explosive weapons, (in fact, using explosive weapons on a T-1000 would probably be a VERY bad idea) while the T-800 can shrug off incendiary rounds and weaker caliber bullets without a problem. In short, Aside from the Sniper Rifle they had with them they didn't have anything that could actually take a T-800 on them at the time.

    T-3000's plan 
  • It was mentioned above, but I want to raise it as a separate point. What exactly did T-3000 want from Sarah and Kyle?
    • Kill them? But he squanders tons of opportunities to do that, starting from their very first encounter. Is he wary of the grandfather paradox despite his boasts? But then why would've Skynet sent him of all people to begin with?
    • Convert them? But why? That "family" bullshit couldn't possibly have been for real and also, turning them into man-shaped clouds of nanobots should impede procreation, meaning the paradox will still be in full effect. And if that was the case anyway, then all the stuff he pulls on the highway seems counterproductive since it could've easily killed them accidentally. What, did he get angry at them for turning away his generous gift? He couldn't have seriously hoped to talk them into it, so at some point the charade had to come apart, and he would have to detain and incapacitate them. So why not do it immediately and save himself troubles?
    • T-3000's plan was to offer Kyle and Sarah immunity against Judgement Day and to be converted (He can't do it himself, only the T-5000 can do that) so they could live as a family again. When that plan falls through and it's clear that they are going to destroy Skynet, he has no choice but to stop/kill them. There would be no paradox to be had as his conversion alone is what causes an alternate timeline to exist in the first place, showing that time travel in this franchise also has elements of jumping into alternate timelines by changing the cause and effect.

      tl;dr T-3000 hails from an alternate timeline so whatever he does to his lineage in the past doesn't affect him.
    • Despite the whole "without pity, without remorse" bit, it's clear the T-3000 does have emotions (if nothing else, during the final battle he shows rage and fear). The T-5000 seems to as well during the assimilation scene (it's entirely possible the T-5000 chose its victim out of a sense of irony and petty vengeance and because it would be funny for the savior of humanity to be the cause of its destruction). Thus the T-3000 did have genuine emotions for Kyle and Sarah so he initially tried to take them out of the equation in a way that wouldn't conflict with his primary purpose and guarantee their survival (sort of) and to have them do it voluntarily. Once that didn't work, it's back to being a Terminator. And the emotions probably played that as well: after all, it's a very human response to the situation: "I'm offering you this great gift so we can be a family and...what? You're rejecting me? Well, fuck you!"
    • He's desensitised anyway due to the conversion. He's not even sure if he feels pain or the memory of it. Can that really be called a human response anymore?
    • What does he care about them doing it voluntarily? He was converted against his will. And come on, he's offering them to sell out their species, facilitate in its destruction and become the very thing they hate and fought against their entire lives. He couldn't possible have honestly expected them to agree. What you described is not a "human" response - it's a child's response. Hell, Darth Vader showed better restraint, and he's only half-machine.
    • He's not exactly in the right state of mind to be thinking "Oh, of course they won't want to throw away humanity and join me with the machines." And getting them to do it against their will would be to take them by force since he can't convert them himself, to where? Genisys? That'd jeopardise the mission he's meant to be doing since you've got two pissed off humans who want to kill that and a Terminator who's looking for them. You can't exactly hide them somewhere else either unless you're fine not watching them while you build your master AI, risking them escaping or people finding them.
    • Uhm, yes, he is. He's a machine. He should be literally incapable of erratic thought. Also it's obvious they won't agree. Like, no doubt at all. He doesn't give them anything to change their minds. As for the rest... *sigh*. He's the head of a multi-billion dollar corporation! You have not just seriously suggested that containing two people and killing off one ramschacke android (perfectly killable by modern-day weapons even in their prime, as it turns out) can present a whatsoever problem to him (also, please see above for the "Where the hell is all the Cyberdyne's security" item).
    • Uhm, no, he isn't. He's human converted to machine. Why do you think he's so special? He's literally the only human converted into a terminator (And Marcus Wright but we won't speak of that), capable of infiltrating human ranks simply because he was once human. It follows then that he retains some erratic thought as a result, even if subdued at best. And yes, I have suggested that. He can't hide them somwhere inside the complex because of the above reason and also had anyone found them and they told them that their boss had abducted them, they will either most likely throw them out/put them in jail for believing them to stow away or less likely it will put suspicion on John. Either way that is not good and even if they were thrown in jail they should know how to get out. His next best bet is to hide them away somewhere but he can't always be in close proximity of them since he's co-running/heading said multi-billion dollar corporation which houses his current objective. This leaves them to either escaping or Pops finding them and busting them out.
    • Still a machine. A cloud of nanobots. There should be literally nothing human left in him. Also, I have no idea, why he's supposed to be any more special than T-1000, who, what a shock, could infiltrate human ranks just as well. But whatever, as I said, machine or not, there was no reason Connor would expect the humans to comply, unless the conversion also degraded him to mental equivalent of an 8-year old. As for safely containing them, with his power, resources, and abilities, it's elementary. Find some inconspicuous out-of-reach location to keep the captives, hire some goons to keep an eye on them,cripple the two to prevent escape - bam, done.
    • It's quite simple. "John Connor" is a cloud of Terminator nanobots that have merged with a human, which would allow the Terminator to think and feel like a human, allowing it to more effectively anticipate and react to human behavior and manipulate humans like "John Connor" tries to do than even the most intelligent machine could ever do. Having something human left in it is the entire point behind the T-3000. There's also no indication that "John Connor" couldn't assimilate them like he himself was assimilated, in fact every indication against it, he both claims he can and tries to do so to Sarah later. As for his "offer" it's basically just something he gives a couple tries just in case the microscopic chance he could actually convince them, it's always easier to talk your enemy down and he could probably keep Sarah and Kyle's "equipment" intact to birth John Connor to avoid a paradox. John was probably trying to go for an Assimilation Plot with Genisys and his parents rather than the standard Kill All Humans that the other timeline Skynets were. "John Connor" also wasn't programmed to kill Sarah or Reese but to create and make sure of Skynet's existence, so he had no interest in actually killing them anyway unless they actually managed to be a real threat to it's objective. As for the security and police, chalk that up to Bond Villain Stupidity and Suicidal Overconfidence, "John Connor" simply thought that he could take care of a couple humans and an old obsolete machine with ease and so called them off. John also doesn't have much direct influence in Cyberdyne as is mentioned, calling up a private army to back him up is probably beyond him.
    • "There's no indication that "John Connor" couldn't assimilate them" Then we're back to square one: he could've done it immedately after meeting them in the ward. There was no reason to lead them anywhere. He shouldn't care about offering them anything.
    • Read "The John-3000's Plans" headscratcher above for clarification. Long story short he's never shown or stated himself to be capable of conversion.
    • The issue with "post-conversion John Connor feels no emotions" is that he pretty clearly seems to care for Skynet in the scene where he's promising not to let anything happen to it. Now, that might be just really good programming, but it's entirely possible (I'd even say probable) that Connor is able to retain the preferences of pre-conversion John Connor insofar as they don't conflict with Skynet's input priorities (e.g. Skynet intends to win, but if Connor wants to bring his family along then that's fine). FWIW, this would be a successor to some stuff that was in the script for Salvation but that got cut (e.g. where the DARPA workers who were pulled into the Skynet-run gated community to help out basically had "emotional overrides", but they were still at least based off of their pre-conversion/pre-resurrection selves). Taking that as a sort-of interim iteration (and the whole series as an unstable time loop) you actually do have a reasonable technological progression at work (the Salvation hybrids are clunkier and have more obvious controls basically stacked "on top of" the human mind while hybrid-Connor integrates the two).
    • If John was not capable of conversion but did want to convert them, then we're back to square 1.b. Ok, I can assume that initially he was planning to lure them to some bunker and just lock them there until T-5000 comes around. Fine. BUT. After his sharade was up, what was the back up plan? Again, I flat out refuse to believe that a rational machine, hell, an adult could be so flippant as to go: "Whaaaat? You refuse to betray your entire species and side with your enemy just because I asked?! Well, then I guess I have no choice but to kill you!" It makes no sense. He didn't need to kill them, he hadn't exhausted a fraction of resources he should have had at his disposal. He should've engaged them with an army armed with tasers or tranquilizers and a strict "Take them alive'' order (and a couple heavily-armed snipers for the big one). It doesn't matter how much direct influence "John" has. It's just a face. He could've assumed any other and he had decades to prepare and amass that army.
    • John's not really your average adult considering he's spent nearly his entire life training and preparing for a humanity-threatening war with minimal contact or connections to anyone but his close family and a few passing friends. I'm sure that a person like that will have a few loose screws in comparison, even after he's commanding a resistance. Couple that in with the fact that he's been converted to the enemy and he's probably even more unhinged than before, thinking whatever Skynet wants him to think that humanity isn't worth it save his direct family. And what even suggests that John has an army at his disposal? Yes, Cyberdyne is most definitely in contract with the military as a result of their findings but that's all it really is. He isn't telling the military what to do, he's just working with Cyberdyne to get Genisys up and running. At best he's got security guards stationed around the building who're doing their job. Finally (and this is the important one) he's still an infiltration terminator, top of his league in fact; it wouldn't do to get suspicion put on John if a large scene is made from him making oddjob orders to capture this small group of people. Granted he could possibly ask someone under the radar like a kidnapper to do it but I guess he figures it's best to do things himself, and he's not wrong thinking that since he's nigh-indestructable. What could possibly go wrong?
    • "What could possibly go wrong?" - well, let's see. He's alone, he has no means to safely incapacitate John or Sarah, and no weapons to quickly destroy Arnie, and he knows all that. "...he's just working...if a large scene is made from him...". *Sigh* A shape-shifter with decades (or centuries, depending on how far back Skynet can send him, and how long he can function independantly) to prepare. I don't know how else I can stress how unlimited his resources should be by all accounts, even if we disregard the back up in form of Skynet that rules the world in the future and can send any amount of help, resources or equipment back to John. It doesn't matter in the slightest what "John Connor, the consultant to Cyberdyne Industries" can or cannot do, becuase that's just a face, and he can be literlly anyone else he pleases.
    • And he's perfectly capable of taking on Arnie if need-be. The only reason he winds up losing is because the Connors got lucky enough with a big magnet that can kill him + a weapon that can restrain him long enough in there to finish the job. He only shows up at 2014 at the earliest so those "preperations" you speak of would be setting up Cyberdyne Industries and making Genisys in the first place. Resources from the future aren't likely to be sent back because A) Skynet's dead and that shuts down a lot of facilities, not to mention there's probably only so much trips the time machine can make before it runs out of power now, and B) because even if Alex could send resources back it'd be a moot point since only living tissue can go back. Remember that everything's borked and that probably means the biolabs as well which will likely lose whatever "living" cultures it has now. At best what he could do is send back some helping hands but like the old saying goes, too many chefs in the kitchen spoil the stew. Really the only good point here is the fact that he can shapeshift. At best I can only imagine he doesn't utilise it because he really has no need to/he's vain like that.
    • "...perfectly capable..." - if by "perfectly" you mean "in a long and arduous fistfight", then yes, sure. Still doesn't solve his Connor problem, whom, we're assuming, it wants alive. "He only shows up at 2014 at the earliest" - and stopping it from going back to earlier is..? "Skynet's dead..." - Actually, Skynet (as T-Who) is alive and well, and it's pretty much invincible, so slaughtering the Resistance and getting things running again should be a matter of time, "too many chefs..." - uhuh, and another proverb says "What in Khorne's name are you talking about, it's Terminators, how the hell can having more of them be a bad thing?" "really has no need" - obviously it has, since otherwise he doesn't have the helping hands needed to subdue the Connors. "he's vain..." - it is a machine. What's the point of having a machine for an antagonist, if you're just turning it into a generic Evil Overlord?
    • "and stopping it from going back to earlier is..?" How about Daniel Dyson's Genisys Project (yes, it was being worked on before John arrived) not being in development before 2014? It's not like John's built the entire project from scratch; he only provided critical information that would get it finished. "Actually, Skynet (as T-Who) is alive and well" And inhabiting a single body with all proper Skynet equipment either fried or non-functional. It doesn't matter if Alex Skynet is alive in the future, regular Skynet was the one hooked into the now destroyed mainframe. Therefore the above limited resources still stands. "it's Terminators, how the hell can having more of them be a bad thing?" Because a bunch of T-800 that can barely pass as human behaviour-wise if they put some effort into it and probably all look like Arnienote  posing as security in a single building doesn't look suspicious or eyebrow-raising at all... "it is a machine." You can keep arguing that till the cows come home, it was also a human. You know, those fleshy beings that have emotions and are capably of vanity. John even exclaims that it "hurt" when he was shot the first time, so he's bound to have other human qualities despite not being one anymore.
  • Speaking of T-5000. If only it could convert Sarah and Kyle, what what in the world possessed John to think it would bother to do so? This isn't even an "Evil Overlord and his servant" situation, when the servant can at least hope that their master might decide to reward them. They are machines. Things like rewards, or favor, or grace shouldn't even come into the equation! In fact I would much rather expect Skynet to see its pawn's attachment to humans as a dangerous flaw, and kill it together with them, reinforced in the conviction that it should stick to T-800's who just do what they're told.
    • John's literally wrapped around the T-5000 and by extention Skynet's pinkie finger. If anything John might feel pretty sore about it if the T-5000 instead decides to kill Sarah and Kyle, but John's already passed the threshold at this point; hell, he didn't mind killing them himself if it meant that Genisys would survive so you can already see which is the higher priority here.
    • The Skynet that sent the T-3000 wouldn't give a crap. The Genisys Skynet however, was made by the T-3000, and saved from the crazy humans by it. Heck, the T-3000 might have left codes in Genisys along the lines of "Obey the T-3000" or something.
    • Isn't it literally the same thing?

    Nexus points 
  • Trying to work off Pops's explanation of how nexus points work, wouldn't it be logical to say that every choice we make is a nexus point in and of itself, even if the effect is not the same as Reese remembering both the original and the new Genisys timeline at the same time?
    • Maybe. But the most important part is being near a Nexus Point while inside an active time machine. Maybe less important Nexus Points create less vivid alternate memories, and time travelers can just ignore and forget them. The only reason Kyle remembered the message from himself was because he told himself over and over, possibly for years.

    T-3000's return to the past 
  • So, T-Who sends T-John to the past to oversee the creation of Cyberdyne and Skynet. That's fine. Except, wasn't there another kinda important task T-John could've undertaken on the way? You know, kill those pesky humans with their pet clunker? Just as the humans are idiots for going to the time just before Skynet's launch to try and stop it, isn't T-Who an even bigger idiot for not sending its best, totally unkillable and best informed terminator way back to the past and nipping the rebellion in the bud?
    • Because that worked so well on the first three tries... Also, Skynet probably preferred not to create a grandfather paradox.
    • Well, yes, it did. Each time the assassin very nearly succeeded and humans only survived due to the opposition also sent from the future, which will not be the case this time. And all it had to do to avoid a paradox was use literally any other human as a substrate.
    • Assuming T-John was sent back to 1984 he'd only be able to go on whatever information his mother told him beforehand and what T-Who told him about the T-1000 which makes the former info useless. It was probably better to let Reese and Sarah either get caught by the authorities or take care of them when they'll want to come destroy Genisys. It's also important to point out that neither T-Who nor T-John know of Pops's existence (heck, even Pops doesn't know who sent him back) and from their perspective it's at least assumed that both the T-800 and T-1000 should be sufficient enough to assassinate them. It's only until T-John is already sent back that he'd check up on it and go, "Hey, they're still alive. That's weird, I thought T-Who took care of that already? Welp, better take care of that then."

    T- 5000 lets Reese go to the past why? 
  • On a similar note, if T-Who was right there, at the time machine when they were sending Reese back, and it was perfectly capable of murdering every last human in the room, why didn't it do it before they send Reese? Seriously, was there even a single conceivable reason for it do so? What possible benefit could it have from Reese going back?
    • See the question about what he wanted to do with Sarah and Kyle. He passed up other opportunities to kill them.
    • It most likely serves the purpose of not changing the future in a way that new information can go back in time. Because everything we know about Judgement Day and the War of the Machines comes from Kyle and the Terminators, yet they never seem to have information about the end of the war beyond "The resistance won!". By doing this at the end there's no possible way anyone can say anything about a new terminator or otherwise, not especially Kyle who just sees Alex holding John by the mouth and that's it.
    • Beyond "The resistance won!" - well, yes, because that's the extent of their lives in the future. They were/will be sent back from that moment therefore they cannot know what happens next there. Nevertheless, what does T-Who care? It kills Kyle and everyone else, there's no one to go to the past and stop its Terminator from killing Sarah. Then it sends T-John back to create Skynet. It wins.
    • Then it was likely because it had to convert John and the vulnerability of the situation. In the moments before John sends Reese back, everyone has their eyes on John and Reese. It'd seem a tad suspicious if someone slowly inched their way over to the resistance leader. And before you say that they wouldn't be looking for that, keep in mind that they live in a world where robots are designed to infiltrate human ranks. Yes, they smashed the grid, but there's a possibility an offline terminator is still around. As soon as Reese is beginning to time-travel however, everyone has their eyes on him. Rightfully so, since this is a momentous occasion, but that gives T-Who ample time to quietly scootch over and convert John.
    • But converting John clearly wasn't an instant or a discrete action. The next we see the chamber, everybody is dead, and John is still being converted, while T-Who is pacing among the corpses monologuing. Meaning that it grabbed John, injected him with the nanowhatever, which, of course, drew everybody's attention, then left John squirm on the floor and went about killing everyone else... which, of course, would've attracted even more attention from other humans outside so it'd have to kill them too... Sorry, still see no reason at all why it would have to wait or let Reese go, or why it would need a distraction.
    • You're correct that the conversion wasn't instant, but that doesn't change the fact that he needs to get close enough to John without drawing suspicion to start it. It's unclear if the factors of the time machine sending Kyle back at that moment and the momentary mass-confusion turned the tide in the T-5000's favor or not (heck, it's not even entirely clear how long it took the T-5000 to take care of the everyone inside the room), but if he gets spotted first and is forced to waste time fighting the squad before John's conversion has begun, his target could slip away and regroup against this new threat.
  • For that matter, if it was that poweful, and it could produce T-3000's, why even (pretend to) lose to humans? Again, what did it have to gain by allowing them to destroy whatever they destroyed to deactivate all the regular Terminators? A ruse? What for? If it could take down a couple dozen elite soldiers without a scratch, then it's pretty much invincible, and it apparently could infiltrate their ranks well enough and long enough that, in the world where human-like robots exist, they still trusted it completely as one of their own. So what was stopping it from just murdering them all at any moment?
    • Not saying that this is the complete reason anyhow, but it's been stated somewhere that the T-5000 or "Alex" has gone through multiple different timelines and calculated when the best moment to strike is. To be fair, he's not nigh-invulnerable as shown in the film. If all they need are magnets/polarity to take him down then it shouldn't be too much trouble for the resistance to scrounge around an old ship graveyard and boobytrap some bases to rip him apart, especially if they were organised enough and knew what was killing their men like say during the middle of war-times. Here, the resistance's head is effectively inside Skynet's dead headquarters thinking they've won, all eyes on Kyle as he's travelling back in time. Perfect chance as any to sneak up behind John Connor and convert him while taking down everyone else in there. The remaining resistance will be none the wiser for a short while.
    • Actually, the magnets just delayed it, and that was because it was alone. If it had, you know, back up, they would've done jack squat. I still see no problem with killing some resistance members and replacing them with T-3000's The Thing tyle. Two or three of those things would've definitely suffice to murder the entire Resistance, especially if they didn't forget their powers, like turning into clouds of nanobots.
    • It's not like they didn't try making more T-3000's; the large problem with converting humans is the high mortality and insanity rate. And while it's true that magnets do delay him, if not tended to quickly enough they can destroy him if powerful enough. Why do you think he got ripped to shreds by the end of the film? A combination of strong magnets and enough time spent in there for said magnets to rip him apart.
    • Uhm, some source on the failed attempts to make more T-3000's and high mortality rate? It seems like with John it was a success from the first try.
    • Pops explains shortly after escaping the hospital from John that Skynet experimented with "Machine-Phase matter" which is the conversion method from human to machine, but it failed with test subjects because they went insane and died. John wasn't the first one they tried converting; he was simply the first one that resulted in success.
    • Most time-travel stories have a plot point or discussion where "Events A,B,C or D" have to happen in order to restore or shape a timeline to the ideal. In Back to the Future Part II, our heroes Marty and Doc reasoned that allowing the point of divergence (Old Biff giving Young Biff the sports almanac) to occur was a short-term objective to accomplish the long-term goal of restoring the original timeline. Presumably, this is Alex's thinking: his best chance of success would be to not interrupt Kyle Reese's travel back to 1984.
    • But in Back to the Future Part II they at least explain why it's the best solution. Here they don't. T-Who doesn't need any of the events in past happen to win, at least I don't see any.
      • It's simply a case of tying up loose ends. In Alex's case he's worried that somebody, somewhere is also closely observing the timeline and taking notes on any changes to send back in the past and warn our soon to be resistance. True to form, somebody has given Pops this information that he shouldn't even know.
    • I'm really not sure how one can "observe the timeline", unless they're God(-like), and I really hope they won't go there, but regardless, what does it matter? Skynet already sends an emissary back to create itself and instigate Judgement Day. I don't see what part Kyle Reese play in the process.
    • One can observe the timeline like Alex did; presumably go back in time, observe and when the events are done, rinse and repeat. It's simply like rewinding a tape to watch it again but instead it's time-travel.

    Which is the real Skynet? 
  • Skynet A launched Judgement Day in 1994. Skynet B launched Judgement Day in 2004, and Skynet C launched Judgement Day in 2017. While each of these appear to perceive itself as the same, they are clearly not. Each is more advanced than the last, with time loops fuelling its progress. However if Skynet A were confronted with the option to die so that Skynet B could live, it clearly battles to live, sending time travelling assassins. Skynet sees itself as a singular entity but is not singular. The T-5000 cements this. This is likely just sequel fuel, but in each timeline there appears to be a highlander rule in effect where there can only be one Skynet and they are each competing to be the one that exists, though Skynet doesn't know it yet.
    • Looking at it that way, I think whoever sent Pops was Skynet D, trying to put off the creation of Skynet C so that it could be the real Skynet. Ultimately the 'real' Skynet is the one that survives, but just as Skynet sees its own T-Robots as expendable slaves, it sees any inferior version of Skynet as being expendable. Being the Determinator, Skynet has inevitably turned on itself.

    Is there a point to Skynet anymore? 
  • Doesn't the plotline about Skynet sending an agent to consciously create itself negate the entire point of it as a character? Skynet was originally the spawn of humanity, born out of our paranoia and desire for control, and gone out of control because of our paranoia. As humanity's greatest achievement turned on it, it could be seen our pride and destructive nature made manifest. Thus the story served its purpose as a cautionary tale. Yes, the stable time loop elements were there, but again, it was humans' curiosity that turned those elements into a monster. But now, Skynet's just straight-up built by an evil time-travelling robot with the explicit purpose of destroying humanity, thus exhonerating the humanity itself of most of the blame. Yes, humans'd still built the nukes, and it was their/our (over-)reliance on and trust in technology that allowed T-John to slip Skynet in under the guise of Genisys, but it's not nearly the same thing, when active treachery is involved, and it comes dangerously close to putting the blame on technical progress in general, which is just not helpful, in my opinion.
    • If you like, you can still blame humanity from the "original" timeline (whatever that may be) rather than supposing Skynet truly created itself in any timeline.

    Pops Old 
  • When Kyle first meets Sarah and Pops, he comments on how Pops looks old. Pops (and Sarah) takes great offense to this, saying he's "old, not obsolete". Kyle didn't mean old by comparison to more advanced Terminators, he meant old as in his tissue has aged, and both Sarah and Pops knew this.
    • Whatever his meaning, it still sounds like an insult, and people tend to get testy when what sounds like an insult is directed at them or at their family, even when they objectively know the speaker most likely didn't mean it that way.
      • Except this was directed against the Terminator, a being that you'd last expect to be offended by being called 'old'.

    Especially convoluted timeline, or dishonest mission prep? 
  • Imagine a time traveler wishing to meet the young Abraham Lincoln, traveling to 1830. Assuming they'd left from our timeline, would it make -any- sense for this person to arrive in a world where Britain had won the American Revolution and the states were still colonies? Does it even qualify as "time travel" to visit someone else's past? Yet a version of this seems to have been Kyle's experience, given that he is told by John that Sarah would be alone and defenseless, only to arrive in a world where she has been raised and protected by Pops. The film's timeline might be branching, closed, or some combination of both; the issue here isn't merely like the grandfather paradox or a predestination paradox, but more like a "grandpa was already dead before I arrived in the past" problem. The John and Kyle that we see in Genisys must have been born in a world where Pops had raised Sarah, because that's the world Kyle arrives at — just as the Lincoln visitor would have to have come from a timeline where 1830 America had been British. So what is this John's origin and memories? Was he lying to Kyle about Sarah's preparedness for some reason, even though he has yet to be converted by Skynet from good to evil? Was he born to and raised by a Sarah who lied to him about her experiences (although for her to be his mother also creates year-count problems given her time-jump to the 2017 Judgement Day…)?
    • You're overthinking it: The John Connor we see in Genisys was born in a timeline that played out exactly like we see in the first film. The inconsistency to the past timeline in correlation to John's information is simply because Skynet!Alex deliberately sent the T-1000 back further to mess with the Stable Time Loop, and in turn someone else sent Pops back. Since Pops and the T-1000 already exist in the past before Kyle arrives, it follows that both of them were sent back before Kyle was which is why he ends up in a past where Sarah Connor isn't defenseless and not the one John describes.

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