They are in the distant future, why didn't they use EMP weapons to destroy the Skynet machines? They could've used some sort of similar mass scale weapon to render the Skynet machines useless?

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    “They are in far future” The distant future. The year 2000! In the aftermath of the nuclear holocaust that Skynet caused, the surviving humans may not have had the equipment or the expertise to do so. Jun 12, 2018 at 12:29
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    Related, as the answer explains why Skynet wasn't affected by the EMPs generated by the Judgement Day nukes: scifi.stackexchange.com/questions/32690/…
    – F1Krazy
    Jun 12, 2018 at 15:19
  • "Underneath, it's a hyperalloy combat chassis — micro processor-controlled, fully armored. Very tough." - There's a cap you have to unscrew and about a 2 inch long plug you have to pull out before you can expose the CPU. What's your source of EMF that can penetrate ~3 inches of steel?
    – Mazura
    Dec 5, 2018 at 23:48

1 Answer 1


We're not in the world of The Matrix, where EMPs grow on trees. Based on Terminator 3, it looks like we're dealing with, more or less, the same technology we're dealing with now. Based on that, there's two reasons

  1. The only way to make an EMP right now is with a nuclear weapon. While machines in general are not immune to the destructive effects of radiation, they're not as affected by it as humans are either. So you'd probably make the situation much worse, especially since machines could tolerate more radiation than humans.
  2. Skynet, and its machines, are likely hardened against EMP. You might get a few knocked out, but probably not enough to make a difference and there's no guarantee it would affect all models the same way

    The T-800 operates using electronics that are more advanced than what we have now, but they are electronic systems nonetheless. It would be possible to build a faraday-cage like structure around the electronics to protect them, but from what we've seen of the T-800, I doubt that is the case. A powerful enough EMP would kill it.

    The T-1000, however, has no electrical circuitry. It is some form of advanced liquid metal that has the ability to manipulate itself and be controlled by an AI. Whatever technology is behind it (perhaps nanobots) is way, way beyond us. There is no indication that it has any system which would be vulnerable to an electromagnetic pulse. My vote is no.

  • fyi a nuke isn't the only way... Explosively pumped flux compression generator
    – Naib
    Jun 12, 2018 at 12:40
  • @Naib True, but those haven't been weaponized yet. Without a practical way to deploy one at scale, I don't see how it would help here.
    – Machavity
    Jun 12, 2018 at 12:47
  • Well... It sort of has but it hasn't been deployed
    – Naib
    Jun 12, 2018 at 13:09

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