James Cameron was so sick of being pitched new Terminator movies, he engineered John Connors teenage death/happy ending override to sabotage the franchise
which was thoroughly told by the first two movies.
Hes an extremely intelligent and crafty man, and knew very well how devastating happy ending overrides are, a la Alien 3
This will be the first film featuring the heroic T-800 unskinned
At some point, the T-800 will lose his skin, making him the first truly heroic T-800 where he loses his entire artifical skin, with leaving the endoskeleton since the trailer shows two possibly endoskeleton Terminators fighting underwater.
- Confirmed. Carl's skin burns away before he is destroyed by the EMP.
John Connor killed himself
some time between his late teens and the present time of this film in an attempt to prevent Judgement Day from happening.
John's logic here was that if he didn't exist, then Skynet wouldn't have a reason to go back or anyone to stop. Unfortunately, this just causes Skynet to target Dani because she or her child take John's place as leader of the Human Resistance in the future because of time's "momentum".
- Jossed. He did die, but it wasn't because he committed suicide; he was killed by a T-800.
It's basically a staple for the franchise.
- Confirmed, they both die to take down the Rev-9.
On the other hand, the T-800 will live.
Much like with Terminator Genisys
he will survive the film with no notable injuries. If I Cannot Self-Terminate
applies, he may part ways with Sarah and live an even more secluded life to ensure Skynet does not seek him out.
- Jossed, he dies to take down the Rev-9.
Perhaps when Sarah emerges victorious, having beaten the Rev-9, and heading off into the sunset? Maybe.
- Jossed. The theme plays at various points throughout the film, most notably during the final battle.
Judgment Day and Skynet were fully averted, and the Rev-9 was sent by a different evil computer network that arose instead due to the altered timeline, with different motivations and tactics
This is why Dani is important, because like John was the ultimate force in the resistance against Skynet, she is or is connected to the ultimate force in the resistance against this new network.
- The Rev-9 not being a Terminator despite the superficial similarities (itself likely copied from information of the Terminators that came from the now averted bad futures) will also mean Sarah's Terminator intel will only be of limited help.
- Confirmed, it was Legion, an AI created several years later that sent the Rev-9. Furthermore, Dani is indeed the driving force in the resistance against Legion.
Arnold is not playing a Terminator.
Rather, they'll be reusing a gag seen in the "Sergeant Candy" deleted scene from Rise of the Machines
and the T2 Trilogy
, where they meet the human model upon which that iteration of Terminator was based.
- Jossed. He is playing another T-800.
Dani Ramos is John Connor's sister
In Terminator 2
, it's established that Sarah Connor spent time training with the Contras during the late 80s. The Central American actress they cast, Natalia Reyes, was born in 1987. The timeline matches.
- Jossed, she is the new hero of the resistance after John is killed in the new timeline. She gets mentored by Sarah Connor.
Rev-9's liquid skin form will transform into a bomb at one point.
As a brilliant Call-Back
and its explanations of the T-1000, a much older unit - and also showing just how Beyond the Impossible
Skynet's Terminators are getting at this point.
John: Well, why not just become a bomb or something to get me?
T-800: It can't form complex machines. Guns and explosives have chemicals, moving parts. It doesn't work that way.
- Jossed. While it has more advanced abilities - being able to form autonomous endoskeleton and liquid metal forms - it still isn't able to form explosives on its own.
This will be Arnold's last Terminator film.
As it is revealed that Carl is the Last of His Kind
, being the final T-800 remaining now that Skynet can no longer exist, Rev-9's appearance implying that Legion's new line of Terminators will look entirely different, and that Carl dies rather climatically at the end
, it is possible that Arnie is going to put one of his famous roles to a honorable close. To top it all off, he performs a Subverted Catch-Phrase
Carl: ...I won't be back.
Legion lost the war, perhaps having already been doomed to never exist.
Just like with the first film, sending the Rev-9 back in time may have been a very last effort to keep itself rolling, but given how wildly intelligent and sociopathic the Rev-9 seemed, this could have been a T-1000 case where even Legion was scared to do it
. This could also be a theory to fall back on in case if Dark Fate
becomes a Franchise Killer
(as has been Salvation
, which like this one, tried to start up new film trilogies on their own) - Legion's Judgement Day may or may not still happen, but humanity is certain to come out on top regardless.
continued its story, it would have involved multiple timelines at work. Depending on how well or badly this film performs, there could be some Canon Welding
to tie whole franchise together by establishing Rise Of The Machines
, The Sarah Connor Chronicles
, and Genisys
as some of these alternate timelines, possibly merging together with the main one if the further past gets changed. It would also be a good way to get some of their actors to reprise their roles, even as versions they didn't originally play
Carl gave Grace the coordinates for his location from the future
The coordinates Grace got tattooed on her body were from the future version of Carl in the new Future War
against Legion. Carl would assume the role of an ally against Legion and, upon learning they were going to go back in time to save Dani from the Rev-9 akin to Skynet's time travel assassination plot, had Grace tattooed with the coordinates and informed to go there should she need help.
- Partial jossed. Carl dies in the final battle against the Rev-9. However, Grace confirmed that Sarah was getting text messages from those coordinates by accessing her phone. This means that Sarah and her phone continue to exist up until Judgment Day (at least), which gives Grace enough time to memorize the coordinates or at least be able to use Sarah's phone to get them tattooed on Grace.
Furlong's return has been hyped up in the summer of 2019 before the release. Post-release, it's been confirmed that there is no adult John in the film, as he's killed by a T-800 as a teen in 1998.
Maybe Furlong played a cameo
as someone else? Mirroring the Stable Time Loop involving John, Sarah and Kyle from the original film. In the flashback/flashforward to Grace's first meeting with Dani in the future, when Grace first tells Dani her name, there's an ambiguous moment where it feels like Dani recognizes her. Then there's also the fact that Future!Dani got Carl's location tattoed onto Grace and asked her to go there in case anything goes wrong in 2020 - she knew about Carl and his location because she remembered that's what happened. Grace also says at the end that both she and Future!Dani 'knew' that she wasn't coming back - maybe Grace sensed somehow that Future!Dani knew what would happen to her in the past.
Legion is still Skynet, just a different name.
The chances of two different AI arising and causing Judgment Day seems rather implausible when you think about it (especially when you consider the massive amount of overlap between the two, including both becoming aware and creating Hunter-Killers, etc). However, it could be possible that Legion is actually Skynet, but under a different name. Maybe some of the data from Cyberdyne Systems survived (Cyberdyne now a defunct company due to the fact that the Connors and Uncle Bob destroyed the building where Skynet and other projects were housed). However, the data that did survive left huge holes open for another company to purchase and take over developing it, filling in the missing pieces (and explaining the delay in Judgment Day as well). Skynet was Cyberdyne's name for their AI project. Legion may, in fact, be a different name for Skynet assigned by a different company after they took it over (and may have gotten its name because the company actually integrated Skynet into another AI project they had been working on, thus leading to its name).
No matter how many times it tries to, there will always be someone to lead the resistance.
Given the change in the timeline with this film, it's safe to say that it doesn't matter how many times any AI sends Terminators back in time to kill the leader of the resistance, someone else will always step up in their place. First, it was John Connor, and now it's Dani. If Dani had died in this film (or dies in any of the upcoming sequels), then someone else would have stood up as the leader of the resistance against the machines. The AI would fail to comprehend that no matter how many times it does this, humans are resilient and that someone will always stand up.
Legion learned one important thing from the failure of Skynet
The REV-9 is alot more expressive and actually engages in banter and deception among humans, in comparison to the T-series tendancy to go There's No Kill Like Overkill
from the start of their mission, failing due to trying to Brute Force
a success, so it is very likely that Legion, instead of having docile troops, did like john Connor and turned on the REV-9s learning program, the fact being that while loyal to Legion, a HeelFace Turn
is less likely because the REV-9 can make the choice to be loyal on it's own, probably due to the fact that, while still quite disposible, each REV series has it's own will, and are loyal due to Legion being their creator, rather than their outright slave master.
Legion is still Skynet derived
Even though in canon, The Conners stopped Skynet from rising due to destroying the lab and Miles' death in T2, the introduction of Miles in Cyberdyne showed that the lab was full
of people all working on the microprocessor project, Miles was just one man, the project lead, sure, but only one man, it is generally a massive team effort to do advanced projects, Miles was not the only one who knew the ins and outs of the project, and also, as anyone who worked for a tech company will tell you, if your company goes under, you will probably be snapped up by rival tech companies, so all those project workers were probably hired by another company (they were working on creating a revolutionary microprocessor in the early 90s
, which is a big deal and résumé booster)who while delayed managed to at least copy the general framework of Skynet, that would explain why, despite being a "different" AI, it's terminators at least look generally similar to the original T-series.
Legion exists because nobody knew about Skynet.
Skynet was destroyed in its development stage, but even if everything to make it is lost, the idea behind Skynet; a military supercomputer for the new era. And so long as human nature mishandles A.I, an A.I with an ax to grind against mankind will follow. Legion was built because the idea behind Skynet survived and because nobody knew about what would've happen history repeats itself. The only way to ensure something like Skynet or Legion doesn't exist it to make sure developing such an A.I is done with caution and they work to ensure it is both moral, and lacking the power to cause an apocalyptic scenario. Unfortunately with the Connors being fugitives, nobody would listen to them if they warned them.
In any case, there is a connection between Skynet and Legion.
Legion's mooks are still known as Terminators and Hunter-Killers and greatly resemble Skynet's iterations.
Legion was Skynet's absolute final emergency effort to survive.
After the T-1000's fall in T2
, shortly before it was erased from history, Skynet had no choice but to send components of its own mainframe
back in time, which would later become parts of a hydroelectric power plant - the same one seen in the film's climax. The Rev-9's "kill box", ironically. Skynet dictated this because in the original future, this plant would have been rebuilt as one of its many towers of defense much like the one in Salvation
. Therefore, in the current present, this plant could happen to be restructured as a new Cyberdyne. Skynet's components, however minor they seemed, would be the stepping stone to Skynet's new iteration - Legion. While it may not seem like Skynet, due to its 'birth' taking place in a different year, which has had vast sweeping technological improvements from the 80s and 90s; and the fact that there is now only so little of its original identity to build off of, it is still the same rogue AI at its CPU.
In this Bad Future, Legion lost the war akin to Skynet, and was forced to deploy the last Rev-9 it had left in its depository before succumbing to its end. Since the heroes wind up destroying the power plant in the midst of the final battle, this plan completely fails thanks to the Rev-9's destruction and the wipeout of any Skynet components in the vicinity. Now and truly was the future saved.
Carl, and by extension Skynet, actually caused Skynet's destruction.
John Connor has to exist, if Resistance Leader John doesn't exist, the war doesn't happen, therefor Skynet would have no reason to send a Terminator back in time, if it doesn't send one back, Cyberdyne has no pieces to work with the create Skynet, nor does John send Kyle back to father him, therefor, the Stable Time Loop
that caused both John and Skynet, wouldn't happen, by killing John, Carl destroyed the loop, Carl himself is now a Paradox Person
per se, he has no reason to exist, but still exists because he is the potential to become the framework for Skynet, as a case of Rubber-Band History
, the loop is destroyed completely by his destruction at the end of the movie.
Carl and John both die because the events of T2 made their existences temporal paradoxes
It seems the universe doesn't like temporal paradoxes and will act to correct such paradoxes. As John Connor was one temporal paradox created by the destruction of Skynet, being killed by that Terminator was inevitable, as was that Terminator's eventual destruction at the end of the film—it, too, was a product of the same timeline that John had come from.
That said, such corrections don't take place all at once.
- Maybe, but this troper is somewhat doubtful. On one hand, that logic could mean that John and Carl's deaths were essentially the space-time continuum's way of ensuring the two of them didn't live long enough to be a direct part of the Robot War because they were both now anomalies in the Legion timeline instead of being part of a Stable Time Loop; on the other hand, the two of them and the consequences of their existence and actions in the past linger, as does physical (John's corpse or ashes and Carl's melted metal) and non-physical (mental/memories/actions' effects) information of their existence.