In the movie Terminator 2, we find that Sarah and Terminator (Arnold Schwarzenegger) himself helping to destroy the files in the Cyber-something factory + the recovered neural net microprocessor which will cause him to be created 40 years in the future (bootstrap paradox here). So when the course of its creation is altered, he immediately should cease to exist. At least when the chip is dropped into the molten steel.

This is a fictional rendition of grandfather paradox, isn't it? Are there parallel universes involved here or something?

  • 7
    That's not how time travel works in the Terminator universe. Things that traveled back don't immediately cease to exist just because the past is altered. That's how time travel works in Looper, where altering a person in the past also alters that same person after her has time traveled, but Looper physics don't apply to the Terminator franchise.
    – RichS
    Commented Jan 22, 2018 at 4:43
  • Ah, indeed! Looper and also Frequency!
    – tigerkoley
    Commented Jan 22, 2018 at 4:50
  • Maybe an alternate timeline is created?
    – sudhanva
    Commented Jan 22, 2018 at 5:34
  • 2
    @RichS Great Scott! It's that way in Looper too? This is heavy.
    – n_b
    Commented Jan 22, 2018 at 6:12
  • It's the difference between a time-line in closed loop and an open-ended time-line. Commented Jan 22, 2018 at 9:32

1 Answer 1


As The Terminator itself says, there's still one chip in existence that could somehow make its way to the creation of Skynet and the Terminators: his own.

With such a large amount of time, there are many paths where that future could still happen.

  • Can you provide a source for your information? Or clarify a little exactly what you mean, I'm a little confused by the "one chip" and what it's supposed to represent.
    – Edlothiad
    Commented Jan 22, 2018 at 6:26
  • Cyberdyn had been studying the CPU left behind by the destroyed T-800 in Terminator 1. The T-800 in Terminator 2 had the same kind of CPU. Cyberdyn could theoretically restart/recover its research if it could obtain that CPU again. So Arnold had to sacrifice himself to prevent that. Commented Jan 22, 2018 at 7:37
  • @Edlothiad: “his own”. Commented Jan 22, 2018 at 8:55
  • @PaulD.Waite sure, it represents Arnold's chip, but what is it's relevance beyond that?
    – Edlothiad
    Commented Jan 22, 2018 at 8:56

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