The Sarah Connor Chronicles ended on a bit of a unexpected note.

Young John on traveling to the future meets a resistance fighter who has never heard of him.

Did this ever get explained by the makers of the show? I can see from some related questions that there is no official continuation. But was the ending ever discussed in an interview or on a panel?

For what it is worth I think the ending is a great deconstruction of the chosen one myth (and the premise for the whole film series), but I am not sure if that is what the makers intended.


Is there anything canon in the Terminator Universe that picks up where Terminator: The Sarah Connors Chronicles leaves off?

Any official or semi-official continuation of Terminator - the Sarah Connor Chronicles TV-show?

  • Sorry I'm not entirely clear on your question. Are you asking what the meaning was, or are you asking for evidence of discussion of the ending?
    – Broklynite
    Jun 1, 2016 at 11:11
  • I am asking if the makers ever discussed the ending to explain it further. Jun 1, 2016 at 11:13
  • Gotcha, thanks for clarification
    – Broklynite
    Jun 1, 2016 at 11:15
  • I would assume because John went into the future his past self wasn't around to have all the knowledge and experience hence why they had never heard of him
    – illage4
    Jan 24, 2017 at 7:55

5 Answers 5


Josh Friedman, who I believe was the Producer of the show, talked about the ending in an interview with i09:

I think the finale can be looked at both as an end and also as a springboard to a new part of the story—that's what I intended, at least. I wanted to bring an end to many of the questions that I'd raised in the episodes previous but it's dramatically unsound to try and create a rogue's gallery of scenes just to check off every narrative box. I knew there was a chance we were being cancelled but I also needed to let the network see where we could take the story if given the chance. So I tried to close one door while opening another. There's obviously different opinions as to how successful I was hitting that target. But I'm very proud of the episode.

Which you can find here: http://io9.gizmodo.com/5271481/sarah-connors-story-is-really-over-producer-tells-io9

Further, he then relatively recently had this to say about not explaining further on the events:

It’s certainly not meant as a fuck you to anybody; on the contrary, I think to give some sort of finite, canonical opinion on what would be (and always is) a much more fluid, dynamic situation seems sort of stultifying for all the people who have invested emotionally in the show. It wouldn’t just be killing it for me, it would be killing it for them. This way it’s sort of Schrödinger’s TV show.”

Which can be found in context here: http://cliqueclack.com/p/how-would-sarah-connor-chronicles-end/


Friedman has already said he won't talk about what would have happened in a possible third season of T:SCC, because he wants audiences to imagine their own continuations, based on what they saw. - io9 - Sarah Connor's Story is Really Over

A fan favorite theory is that this is how John Connor survived Judgement Day, by jumping to the future, and then he goes on to become the leader of the resistance.

This leads me to believe that this signals John’s role in the beginning of the resistance. Terminator 3 aside, we never knew how exactly John Connor came to lead the resistance. This scenario aligns perfectly and makes sense in more ways than one. Cinema Blend - TV Recap Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles: Born to Run


John traveled roughly 30 years into the future, so when he arrived in the future, Derek and other members had never heard of him. This is because he was traveling through time and really didn't exist (meaning he hadn't made any contributions, etc) over the time in between traveling off with Catherine Weaver and appearing in the basement after the start of the war.

  • Thanks Jeff. But the catcher is that even without John Connor, there is still an active resistance. With most likely another leader. Given the circumstances a hero will arise. Skynet can't stop this. Sep 3, 2016 at 17:55
  • Just like anyone else could have been John's original father before Kyle Reese hooked up with her. No paradox necessary.
    – J Doe
    Jan 23, 2017 at 20:52

I'm offering an in-universe explanation because it immediately made sense to me. It made sense time-travel-wise, and it made sense for the Terminator universe.

The future is not written. No fate but what we make. Sound familiar? This is a theme in the Terminator universe, and it means the Terminator universe is a free-will time travel universe. There are two general theories of time travel: predestination and free will.

In a predestination universe, time is immutable and you cannot change it no matter what you do, even traveling through time. You can travel to the future and meet your future self, but once you learn something of your fate, you cannot change it. For instance, you will know that you returned safely to the past and lived those many long years to meet your younger self. No matter what you do, you are predestined to meet your younger time traveler self. You cannot avoid it and the universe will conspire to ensure that events occur exactly as you remember them (assuming your memory is perfect.)

In a free-will universe, time travel can alter the timeline, or create a new timeline. You cannot learn anything about your own future for certain because you are free to change it. If you were to meet your future self, this would not be consistent because you know your own future but you are also free to change it. To be consistent, the only future where you travel to is one where you disappeared at the moment of your departure. Because you cannot know whether you will return. No fate but what we make.

Remember, there is no older John and Sarah already living in 2007 who returned to 1997 and grew ten years older. Why? Because their futures haven't been written yet. They haven't returned to 1997 yet and presumably they never will. This agrees with "No fate but what we make."

When young John arrives in the future from 2007, there is likewise no older John, Resistance Leader already living there. Why would there be? John disappeared in 2007. He hasn't returned to 2007 yet, and it remains to be seen whether he will. The future he travels to is necessarily the future where he never returned, because he hasn't returned yet.


I think we have one of two things: (1) by traveling to the future he's created a future where he didn't exist. Much like by traveling to what was then present day in the first episode of the series created a present where everyone assumed they were all dead. The other option is that he does, at some point, return to the present but at that point in time, he just hasn't risen to prominence yet. yeah, the movies (especially "Salvation", which came after the series ended) show John jumping in and taking lead from the start so that seems unlikely.

It's clear that the time he traveled back to is before the events of the movies as Kyle is still around, Derick doesn't know him and the human that Cameron is based on is still alive.

I really think it's the first option and had there been a third series it would have split its focus between Sarah and Ellison in the present day with John, in the future, becoming the legend he's supposed to be, sending his father to present day and exploring more about John Henry and the liquid form Terminator behind him.

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