In Terminator Salvation, Conner makes a big deal about saving his father, Kyle Reese, stating that he is the key to the future and the past. But Kyle Reese should not be of this much importance to Salvation Conner because it is not as though Conner will cease to exist as he already sent Reese back in a previous timeline thus creating the Salvation timeline and Salvation Connor.

The only thing he would affect would be another parallel timeline that has yet to be determined in which Reese would not be alive to be sent back, and Conner wouldn't exist, meaning Skynet would win. But I mean, why would Salvation Conner care? I don't often concern myself with what could happen in a parallel universe where my father didn't meet my mom which somehow resulted in worldwide annihlation.

I suppose the same question could be posed regarding the Connor who sent back the Terminator to protect himself in T2 - why care about the events of another timeline?

Is this an oversight or just a plot point without much thought?

  • 5
    Do you know for a fact that time travel in the Terminator universe works in that particular way? Does Connor? Jul 31, 2018 at 4:51
  • 2
    It's thought (but not fact) by many fan theorists that each time travel event started a new timeline which is why the date of judgement day changes.
    – Alex
    Jul 31, 2018 at 4:53
  • 1
    It seems that people in the Terminator series don't understand how time travel works in their universe. Jul 31, 2018 at 8:37
  • It's never adequately explained. The dynamics aren't cut and dry. I honestly don't think time travel in any universe is adequately explained probably because the concept itself in the real world has many different theories.
    – Alex
    Jul 31, 2018 at 8:39
  • I would be going against the whole James Cameron bandwagon; however, I am just going to write that this is ALL one timeline. That Salvation Reece we see is actually the Reece we see in the first movie. Explain how you think this is NOT the case. In reality, it was probably a different writer's take, a different director's shoot, and another producer's investment; however, it was MEANT to build off of the first three terminator movies. Jun 16, 2019 at 13:44

1 Answer 1


I think it's best to think on those items as a some sort of a chess where the game is replayed, but each time it changes as opponents try a new sequences developed from previous... "iteration".

It's action - reaction. Move - countermove. Attack - counterattack.

That way it's not enough to think of one's timeline only.

T2 introduced the idea of feedback - sending back first Terminator accelerated Skynet program development, and in T3 it's confirmed, along with info that Dyson's death delayed Judgement Day for quite a while, but reinforcing the inevitability of the Judgement Day.

And, of course, all that goes out of the window with T:Genisys... It's a reboot, but also ties all previous ones together (i.e. with post-credit scene indicating that Judgement Day will come regardless, in T3 style). Also, that one opened entire can of worms where it's quite possible for Skynet to take over the planet directly from Dinosaurs 65 million years ago.

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