Back? Back from where?

From how many different timelines did SKYNET send a Terminator (or more) back in time in order to kill a Connor in the Terminator film franchise and the Sarah Connor Chronicals TV series franchise?

Reference material may include junior novelizations if available.

  • Not answerable, I'm afraid. At least a half-dozen in the films and probably that many again in the TV show. Without knowing whether Skynet sent his Terminators back together or separately and without knowing what impact they had on the timelines, it's impossible to know which ones ended up creating stable loops, having zero impact or even repairing defunct timelines.
    – Valorum
    May 22, 2016 at 6:25
  • Do you mean "the Terminator films" rather than "the Terminator film" (since the latter seems to imply only the first film, whereas the Sarah Connor Chronicles treated T2 as part of its canon)? And if so do you want to consider all the Terminator films that have come out, or only T1 and T2 since the Sarah Connor Chronicles ignored the later ones?
    – Hypnosifl
    May 22, 2016 at 12:40
  • @Hypnosifl - Obvious typo is obvious typo.
    – Valorum
    May 22, 2016 at 13:25
  • No. I meant the Terminator film and SCC TV series franchises. Rolling back. May 22, 2016 at 18:49
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    "Terminator film franchise" is indeed correct, I was just confused by the phrasing of your original question which said "in the Terminator film and Sarah Connor Chronicals TV series franchises"--in retrospect I see that "franchises" was supposed to go with both "Terminator film" and "Sarah Connor Chronicles TV series", but it's clearer in your new edit "in the Terminator film franchise and the Sarah Connor Chronicles TV series franchise" (though I don't think it's actually necessary to put "franchise" after "Sarah Connor TV series", since their weren't any sequels or spinoffs to the series)
    – Hypnosifl
    May 23, 2016 at 1:43

2 Answers 2


Well, presumably if you can figure out the Judgement Days, you can figure out the number of timelines. However, not all of the movies fit together in the same continuity and the Sarah Connor Chronicles only correlates with the first two films.

Timeline #1:

Pre-Terminator: Kyle Reese isn't John Connor's father, but is sent back in time to be his protector, and becomes his father. Original Judgement Day is unknown.

Timeline #2:

Terminator: In this timeline, Kyle Reese is already destined to be John Connor's father. Judgement Day is August 29, 1997 (per T2)

Timeline #3:

T2: Judgement Day: Cyberdyne Systems is a direct result of T-800 from Timeline #2. Judgement Day is postponed.

Timeline #4:

T3: Rise of the Machines: Skynet is created by Katherine Brewster's father and Judgement Day happens on July 25, 2004.

Things go to pot here, because Sarah Connor Chronicles ignores T3, and John and Sarah jump for a future after that Judgement Day. Additionally the resistance and Skynet are sending lots of people back all over the place trying to change the timeline.

Timeline #5:

Sarah Connor Chronicles: Cameron (the terminator) says Judgement Day is April 21, 2011.

Timeline #6:

Sarah Connor Chronicles: Jesse comes from a different timeline than Derek Reese, but does not state when her Judgement Day is.

Again, there might be many many more timelines that are created due to time meddling.

Timeline #7:

Terminator Genisys: A new timeline is created when a T-800 goes back to 1973 to protect Sarah Connor from a different assassination attempt. Judgement Day is again August 29, 1997

Timeline #8:

Terminator Genisys: With the destruction of the T-800 from the Protector, Judgement Day is postponed to 2017. Kyle learns this via new memories created by the shifting timeline. Kyle and Sarah travel forward in time from 1984 to 2017.

Timeline #9:

Terminator Genisys: Cyberdyne is destroyed, but the core systems survive, and Judgement Day is postponed, yet again.

  • Is it sure that timeline #1 is about john connor and not sarah connor?
    – Thomas
    Jan 25, 2017 at 6:33
  • @Thomas It probably isn't about John Connor, because he either doesn't exist yet, or has a different father, but this first timeline setups Kyle Reese to be his father for future timelines. Jan 25, 2017 at 16:15

To answer, we need to recall what happen in the different movies and the SCC TV series. In the movies, only in the first one a Terminator was send to kill Sarah Connor. In the following movies, the Terminators have John Connor as the main target.

In the TV series, the Terminators sent by Skynet have also John and target not Sarah, but they show that there was Terminators sent to kill Sarah when she was almost a baby. The number is one shown in the TV series, but they talk that there were more, but the number is not said.

  • 2
    At no point does this response even mention timelines. Was it intended to be an answer, or a comment? May 23, 2016 at 0:07
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    I'm lost. What are you even getting at? Which Connor each terminator was sent after doesn't really affect the count in any way.
    – DCShannon
    Jun 21, 2016 at 22:56

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