In the first mission we see John Connor and other resistance fighters carrying out at the start of Terminator Salvation, he has a discussion with a fighter:

Fighter: "It's just as you said."
Conner: "No. It's worse."

(That's paraphrased as I can't find a clip or quote of the dialogue).

There's no further information about why he's said that in the rest of the film, why does John say what he's seen is "worse"?

Is the T-800 prototype more effective in some way?
Is its development completed sooner than he expected?

could he be looking at information about the most advanced prototype: Marcus.


3 Answers 3


He says it's worse because the T-800 model was supposed to be a new terminator model in 2027, as explained by Kyle Reese in the first movie: "The 600-Series had rubber skin. We spotted them easy. But these are new. They look human..."

Terminator Salvation takes place in 2018, 9 years before Kyle Reese is sent back from the future. What this means is that SkyNet was capable of developing the T-800 much sooner than in Kyle Reese's future. My personal belief is that SkyNet sent intelligence back in time to itself with new weapons, and possibly even the outcomes of events leading up to the moment SkyNet sent the intelligence back in time. If the T-800 was developed 9 years early, what else could SkyNet have produced ahead of schedule? Obviously this would be a grim outlook for the resistance, and would make their situation remarkably worse than he thought.

  • My personal belief is that SkyNet sent intelligence back in time to itself. Not necessarily extra missions were needed specifically for that purpose, Miles Dyson's work was accelerated vastly by the arm and remnants of the processor of the first terminator. That would explain the earlier creation of T-800s. A lot of stuff gets brought back in the comics and apparently in SCC there's a lot of changes made to the future too.
    – StuperUser
    Commented Jun 27, 2012 at 12:54
  • 2
    In Terminator 1 and Terminator 2, J-day was in 1997. This date was the original time line until Dyson died. The original time line had the T800 created in 2027. His work is why Judgement Day would happen in '97. However, his death instead delayed SkyNet's creation. In T3, Judgment day happens in 2004, which would move the sequence of events back by up to 7 years. The T800 should then come online in 2034 at the latest. Instead, it's developed in 2018. Regardless of how that happened, it's sooner than expected. Thus, it's worse. Commented Jul 27, 2012 at 21:33

He's most likely responding to the fact that the future changed several times since the first time a Terminator Attacked. Each subsequent alteration of the future has pushed judgement day back, but not stopped it.

From Wiki on the first movie's premise:

Skynet is positioned in the first film as a US defense computer system by Cyberdyne Systems which becomes self-aware and, on perceiving all humans as a threat, seeks to wipe out humanity itself. It initiates a nuclear first strike against Russia, ensuring a devastating counter strike and a nuclear holocaust, wiping out much of humanity instantly. In the post-apocalyptic aftermath, Skynet builds up its own autonomous machine-based military capability, which includes the Terminators used against individual human targets, and proceeds to fight a war against the surviving elements of humanity, some of whom have organized militarily into the Resistance.

And the second:

Sarah learns that the man most directly responsible for Skynet's creation is Miles Dyson (Joe Morton), a Cyberdyne Systems engineer working on a revolutionary new microprocessor that will form the basis for Skynet.


They learn that much of his research has been reverse engineered from the CPU and arm of the previous Terminator sent after Sarah. Convincing him that these items and his designs must be destroyed, they break into the Cyberdyne building and retrieve the CPU and arm

So they push back judgement day, but they leave behind the first terminator that then lays the way for Skynet's development.

And in the third:

After the destruction of Cyberdyne Systems in Terminator 2: Judgment Day, the United States Air Force took over the Skynet project and it is being headed by Kate's father, Lieutenant General Robert Brewster (David Andrews). However, the trio arrive too late to stop him from activating Skynet in an attempt to stop the spread of a massive computer virus.

So now, Skynet has instant access to the Military computers and other resources, and also more modern materials, judgement day having been pushed back to 2004.

Due to the element of time travel and the consequent ability to change the future, several dates are given for Judgment Day during the franchise. In Terminator 2: Judgment Day, Sarah states that Judgment Day will occur on August 29, 1997. However, Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines shows that the Judgment Day holocaust has been postponed to July 25, 2004.

So with skynet able to use not only the more advanced but also military technology (seen in T3) it no longer has to develop the Terminators and that technology itself. This is what makes the new and improved judgement day that much worse.

  • So "it" may not necessarily be the infiltrator data he's seeing, but the entire prophesy he received from his mother?
    – StuperUser
    Commented Apr 29, 2012 at 18:45
  • Yeah, when you think when that prophesy would have been recorded. If I recall correctly, it was recorded when Sarah went AWOL from John in the desert and hooked up with some guys with guns.
    – AncientSwordRage
    Commented Apr 29, 2012 at 20:02
  • 1
    At the end of T1, she was recording while he was pregnant, but she would've been continuing to tell John what Kyle had said throughout her life and they would both have had information about the "current" state of the future from the travellers back in T2, the Sarah Connor Chronicles and T3.
    – StuperUser
    Commented Apr 30, 2012 at 9:44
  • 1
    But he would have only spoken of the future pre-T1, which is where he was from.
    – AncientSwordRage
    Commented Apr 30, 2012 at 10:08

I'm not sure, but to me it appeared like they expected just a few of them, but then they noticed these huge production lines/lineups (despite the fact they were just prototypes obviously). He knew there'd be T-800s (or earlier models), just not that many. After all, they always sent only one terminator back in time, so it appeared like they're something rare and special.

  • To Mario they only send one back because thats all they have time for. Skynet initiates the time displacement device as the resistance storms the gate and the resistance "wins" seconds after one t800 goes through.
    – user55611
    Commented Nov 10, 2015 at 15:55

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