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I want to put this one up for debate:
Carl said that after killing John he no longer had any orders to follow until his future wife and her son came to him looking for protection. Carl also said he doesn't have feelings in the conventional sense, he can only imitate them for the benefit of his mission. So much like how previous terminators that were programmed to kill a specific target will kill anyone else if it benefits the mission, Carl's new programming has him defending people under similar logic.
I'm mixed on this one. In the theatrical cut of T2, the T-800 only says that the more contact he has with humans, the more he learns. In the Special Edition, the switch-resetting scene is restored, and that scene has largely been accepted as canon, although I'm not familiar with any source which states it is. In said scene, the T-800 specifically said that Skynet sets the switch to "Read Only" to prevent Terminators from learning, and it makes NO sense for Skynet to send Terminators out on missions that can develop remorse if no new orders are given to it.
My take: the example as written has a lot of speculation based on pieces of information given in the first two films. I don't think it's an Ass Pull so much as a Rewrite. Carl developing a sense of regret ("imitating" or not, it is still acting on the belief that it acted wrongly. At what point does simulating emotions turn into the real thing?) without having his chip reset is a new concept to the series which raises more questions than it answers.
As a trope, Audience-Alienating Premise has seen a lot of misuse and cleanup. So before I add this example, I'd like others to weigh in on whether or not it counts:
Honestly, if there's an Audience-Alienating Premise, I think it's that it's yet another reboot of a series that had been getting diminishing returns for decades. The entry as-written seems less premise-y and more execution-y.
That's not really the case though. Fans of T1 and T2 were very excited to hear about the returning cast and crew, and there was a LOT of excitement about the prospect. Those same fans, however, were the most disappointed when the information leaked that John Connor is killed off.
Anyone who was turned off by the franchise prior wasn't really going to care about the premise no matter what it was.
Waiting for more input on this. If there's no opposition, I'll add it tomorrow.
Does it really count as an Ass Pull if there was no way anyone could have known Skynet would have sent more Terminators, especially when it would be more logical to send more instead of just the two and hope for the best? Besides, Skynet didn't predict the humans would try to prevent its own existence, they just wanted John dead before he rose up as the resistance leader, whether it was before or after Judgement Day.
I think it's stretching. Every single movie has revealed "Oh yeah, actually Skynet sent more stuff", because the movie can't happen otherwise.
Them sending more? Absolutely makes sense. Legion sending Rev-9? Makes sense. The Terminators surfacing after Skynet is retconned out of existence is weird. Was there a handwave for that?
Time Travel is involved; "before" and "after" are subjective.
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How well does it match the trope?