24

The Terminator movies leave us with a sort of "chicken or the egg" problem.

Let's review some key facts

  • In 2029, Skynet sends a T-800 back to kill Sarah Connor
  • In 2029, John Connor sends Kyle Reese back to 1984 to protect Sarah Connor
  • In 1984, it is heavily implied (though I don't recall any explicit confirmation) that Kyle Reese impregnates Sarah Connor who later gives birth to John Connor.
  • In the final battle, the Terminator is destroyed but one of his processors and hand survive.
  • In 1995, it is revealed that Cyberdyne recovered/acquired the remnants and Miles Dyson is on his way to creating the first version of Skynet.

So, in this scenario, we are led to believe we are in a time loop. John sends Kyle -> Kyle fathers John and inadvertently leaves technology responsible for Skynet -> John sends Kyle... round and round we go.

But much like the chicken or the egg, someone had to have created Skynet before the time loop actually started. Has this ever been addressed?

Corollary: Who was John's father in this original timeline?

  • 10
    It's a paradox, it doesn't have an answer. – user8416 Jun 21 '13 at 14:16
  • 2
    It may or may not have an official answer, but the whole premise of the franchise is that everything they do keeps altering history and the timeline. There has to have been a base original timeline. – phantom42 Jun 21 '13 at 14:27
  • 2
    I think the problem you're facing is that you are looking at this from a strict mind set based on the mantra from T2 "No fate but what we make"; However all the other Terminator movies have shown that to be untrue. While the details can be fudged here and there the outcome of the war/judgement day/causality loop will always stay the same. – Monty129 Jun 21 '13 at 16:59
  • 2
    @phantom42 In Terminator 1 there was only one true timeline. They added the multiple timeline stuff for Terminator 2 to add the flexibility needed for a franchise. Once the T2 changes were introduced, it becomes even more crazy. Skynet could send Terminators back to just straight-up build the first Skynet. The Resistance could send back troops to prevent nuclear proliferation, in an attempt to prevent Judgement Day. – user1027 Jun 22 '13 at 2:31
  • 2
    Everyone go and read Heinlein's "By His Bootstraps" for a classic (maybe the classic), self-consistent, time travel loop. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/By_His_Bootstraps – Ward Jun 22 '13 at 8:45

10 Answers 10

31

The premise of the original film The Terminator, is not that changes are happening as time travel occurs. In that film, a straightforward causal loop plays out.

  1. Skynet is created by Cyberdyne, and it wipes out most of humanity.
  2. A human resistance is formed, John Connor becomes a successful leader in it.
  3. In a hail mary move, Skynet sends the Terminator back in time to prevent John Connor from being born.
  4. The resistance takes over the time travel facility shortly thereafter, John sends his father, Kyle Reese, back in time.
  5. John is conceived.
  6. The Terminator is destroyed in a Cyberdyne facility (revealed in a deleted/extended version of the scene with the climactic battle in the factory), Skynet is created based on the advanced technology salvaged from the Terminator's remains. See step 1.

The film plays out half of this, with the other half being flashbacks and exposition from Kyle. In this film, it's a clear causal loop, there's no mention of 'no fate but what we make', there's no mention of any other terminators traveling through time. When it came time for a sequel, those elements were added to this universe.

Citations

  • At the start of Terminator, the opening text states that "the final battle would not be fought in the future. It would be fought here, in our present. Tonight." Final battle.

  • Kyle says, "Connor sent me to intercept, and they blew the whole place," where 'the place' is the time travel facility. He also says, "Nobody else comes through; it's just him and me."

  • Kyle tells Sarah John's name. Kyle only knew that John's father died before the war. John was raised by Sarah being taught how to fight, how to organize. And prior to the war, they were in hiding. The Sarah we see at the start of the film, isn't tough or organized; she mentions not even being able to balance her checkbook.

  • During the war, John gave Kyle a picture of Sarah. This picture is the one taken at the end of the film. He does this far enough prior to the time travel for Kyle to fixate on the picture.

  • Sarah's mother is killed and impersonated by the Terminator.

The Sarah of The Terminator has some horrific stuff happen to her. This radically changes her and allows her to prepare John for the bleak, inevitable future. If we were to hypothesize an 'original' timeline where Kyle isn't John's father, then this is what we would have:

  1. Sarah is a normal person without foreknowledge of the dark future.
  2. She fathers John with some other normal person.
  3. John is raised normally.
  4. Skynet is built. Judgement Day happens, John survives.
  5. He eventually rises to become a successful leader of the human forces.
  6. He decides to tell everyone that his mom raised him to be a soldier, and that his dad died before the war.
  7. He gives Kyle a picture of Sarah.
  8. The humans start to beat Skynet due to John. Skynet enacts its plan to kill John Connor before he's born by killing Sarah.
  9. The humans storm the time travel facility. John decides that the best course of action is to send a lone human back in time after the terminator, and he picks Kyle.
  10. The film begins in the present with the terminator and Kyle arriving.

The italicized parts make no sense unless the Sarah and John of Kyle's future-past had foreknowledge of the future. Specifically that Skynet would nearly wipe out humanity, that John would become a leader in the battle against Skynet, that Skynet would develop time travel, Kyle would go back in time to stop the terminator, and Kyle is John's father.


So in the original timeline, Cyberdyne created Skynet, based on advances in tech they developed from salvaging the remains of the Terminator that was left in their facility at the end of the film. In addition, Kyle was always John's father.

  • 4
    In the original timeline, Cyberdyne may have created Skynet, but the first time it occurred, there was no Terminator to salvage and Kyle had not yet been sent back to protect/impregnate Sarah. – phantom42 Jun 21 '13 at 14:46
  • 10
    @phantom42 Sure there was, it was sent back in time by the Skynet that was created from the remains of the Terminator that was sent back. There was no 'first time', no 'original timeline' where this did not happen. It always happened; that's the point of the story. – user1027 Jun 21 '13 at 14:51
  • 5
    @phantom42 BTTF is irrelevant, since it doesn't tell a story that revolves around a causal loop. – user1027 Jun 21 '13 at 14:52
  • 15
    @phantom42 Causal loops are always causal loops, you're starting from an incorrect premise of "it can't have always been one." They have no start or end, that's what makes them. – user1027 Jun 21 '13 at 17:59
  • 6
    @phantom42 You're thinking linearly, that the present moves forward, and the only thing that's in stone is the past. If instead, the future already has happened, irrespective of the characters' current present (i.e. the future, past, and present have 'happened', they cannot be changed), then the events in the future can be the cause of things in the past. Which is a causal loop. The things in the future get the same permanence and validity as the things in the past. With time travel, this possibility can be explored. – user1027 Jun 22 '13 at 2:28
12

We don't know

IF you are assuming the theory of Multiple Parallel Dimensions... Otherwise @Keen answer explains it all

Dimension 1 (First Time)

  1. Sarah gives birth to John Connor (father unknown)
  2. Something creates Skynet (not sure Cyberdyne)
  3. Skynet try to dominate the world
  4. John take the lead of a resistance
  5. Skynet net send a terminator to terminate Sarah -> Dimension 2 is created here
  6. John send Kyle to the past to protect Sarah -> Kyle goes in the Dimension 2

Dimension 2

  1. Kyle destroy the terminator in Cyberdyne
  2. Kyle fathers John
  3. Cyberdyne creates Skynet
  4. Skynet try to dominate the world
  5. John take the lead of a resistance
  6. Skynet net send a terminator to terminate Sarah -> Dimension n is created here
  7. John send Kyle to the past to protect Sarah -> Kyle goes in the Dimension n

Dimension n is all what the filme shows, and it is pretty the same as 2. It doen's matter anymore, and we cannot answer this question, since this question asks about something the movies dont show

  • 1
    I assume that in Dimension 1, step 1. Sarah gives birth to John Connor (father unknown, NOT Kyle)...right? – knightscharge Jun 21 '13 at 20:40
  • 1
    Yep, pretty much what I assume – RMalke Jun 21 '13 at 20:51
  • Why would Terminator 1 be Dimension n, and not Dimension 2, points 1 and 2? OH! I get it. That would explain the photo and so on. Nice. – Dronz Aug 19 '14 at 19:36
4

This is the time travel paradox at its finest. Assuming there's one universe through which time travel occurs, it's impossible to succeed at changing event X in history. If you travel back in time to change event X and succeed, event X would never occur, thus you would never have a reason to travel back in time to change it.

In an infinite universe model. Travelling back in time spawns a new universe which means that you cannot affect your history through time travel but another universe's history. Skynet sending the terminator back in time, spawns a new universe in which Reese fathers John and Cyberdyne jumps ahead by leaps and bounds after discovering the Terminator remains.

The problem with that theory is that it's implied that Conner knows Reese is his father, meaning he had experienced the same (or similar) sequence of events. Of course one has to wonder Conner didn't send more information about the hows and whys of Skynet's origins seeing that he had lived through them before. This is covered in Rise of the Machines when the mid twenties Conner realizes that the intent was never to prevent Judgement Day but to survive it. Unlike the machines (who are historically bad with paradoxes), Conner realizes that it's impossible to change history, otherwise it would have happened. So he intentionally does not give enough information to prevent Judgement day, just enough to survive.

  • 1
    Um, seems to me that "If you travel back in time to change event X and succeed", then you would still be back at that point in time, having just changed event X, and still remembering that you came from the future and why you just did that, and that although in your current state, you wouldn't need to do what you just did, you'd remember that you just did have a reason. No? – Dronz Aug 19 '14 at 19:39
  • Clearly Skynet and Conner do not believe in an infinite universe model, or they would never attempt to alter their own situation by sending things back in time. Well, unless they were concerned with other universe threads. – Dronz Aug 19 '14 at 19:42
  • 2
    Also, if one "realizes it is impossible to change history", why would one even put any effort or concern into the present, since clearly it's all pre-destined? Wouldn't such a realization undermine all of the action-movie drama? Will there then be Terminator 5 - The Revelation of Why Even Bother Getting Out of Bed? – Dronz Aug 19 '14 at 19:45
  • Terminator: Genisys proves my multi-universe theory. When Skynet sends a terminator back in time to change its fate, it's too late, it can't change anything for itself, its actions impact a different universe. Each attempt helps it advance more rapidly. That's why each time a more powerful Terminator is sent back. Until we get to Genysis where we see a fully different Sarah Connor than we saw in the original. – Michael Brown Aug 3 '16 at 23:03
3

My theory is similar to those of the rest as to how the "loop" was created but it involves a slight Multi verse so bear with me:

  • John Connor had a different father to begin with
  • Skynet took a lot longer to be born and take over and a much older John becomes a war hero
  • Skynet needs to eliminate said hero, sends back the Terminator to assassinate Sarah Connor
  • The Resistance sends Kyle Reese
  • Kyle becomes a new father to John and changes the timeline to our present one
  • T-800 is destroyed, studied and kickstarts a younger version of Skynet
  • Each time Skynet send someone back they merely postpone J-Day
  • Timeloop created
2

Since you said "Terminator movie s", Keen's Causal loop answer cannot help you. But fortunately there are two other answers around, which greatly explain how the Multiverse Theory explains things (though watching a bit of won't harm your understanding, either). It boils down to multiple timelines existing, and each time travel spinning a new one off. There are many timelines in the Terminator universe:

0: The "original" timeline: No one came from the future, which obviously means John Connor's father was not Kyle Reese, but probably still a soldier who soon fell in a conflict (in order to be consistent with what this future's John Connor told Kyle§), which probably traumatized Sarah enough to bring up John the way she apparently did. The future as described by Kyle in the first movie happens.

1a: An short-living timeline, in which only the Terminator went back in time, effortlessly killed all Sarah Connors%.

1b: Kyle Reese followed the Terminator, saved Sarah and wiped 1a from existence - not without doing the nasty in the pasty and becoming John Connor's father. End of the first movie. Sarah raised this John probably even more prepared for the unpleasant future, but overdid it (by attempting to blow up a computer factory, the name of which was not revealed) and ended up in a psychiatric clinic (whether that also happened in 0 is not known).&

2a: Once again, only Skynet's Terminator travels back and therefore (probably) succeeds in killing the young John Connor with results similar to 1a (though you probably shouldn't underestimate this timeline's Sarah Connor).

2b: And once again, John Connor's soldier, this time a Terminator, too, travels back and saves the day. Since this Terminator told Sarah about Cyberdyne's involvement in 1b's future, the future was influenced much more severely by blowing the facility up and by making sure Miles Dyson didn't research Cybernetics any more (his death wasn't necessary for this though, his survival might even have helped preventing the post-T2-Skynets from happening). The future seems uncertain*, and as the third movie confirms, the Skynet-related events of 1997 didn't happen. Of course, as the third movie also shows, a different, decentralised, Skynet arises in 2004, suggesting the effort was not entirely in vain but rather delayed Skynet's arrival at the price of making it more difficult to wipe out. This future's John Connor got fooled by an Arnie-Terminator and Skynet considers his future kids with Kate, and thus the present's Kate, the more worthy target for YATSBIT (Yet another Terminator sent back in time). I only bothered to watch this movie once and can't remember whether this Skynet was also close to losing or simply wanted to self-improve its past.

3a: Yet another lonely Terminatrix, killing Kate (and afterwards probably John, while she's at it), once again in a timeline that seems to vanish with 3b.

3b: Once again, John Connor's soldier (see where this is heading?) saves the day. Well, kind of. He didn't assist in (nor was he ordered to) preventing Skynet's emergence, but he was also quite busy...

Barely remembering the fourth movie (which didn't involve time travel, though) and not yet having watched The Sarah Connor Chronicles (which apparently introduces yet another timeline 3c) there might be additional timelines to mention.


§ Feel free to speculate it even was a relative of Kyle. Skynet was (or, will have been, whatever, I'll stick to past tense) created, its creator remains unknown since Kyle never told Sarah.

% You may speculate what he did afterwards (e.g. deactivate, go into hiding, help developing an advanced Skynet to start with), but it doesn't matter since nothing prevented this timelines immediate termination via 1b. Maybe this future with a happily undefeated Skynet exists in parallel, maybe it failed otherwise...

& Maybe she managed to escape or "recover", maybe she didn't, anyway the second movie's original future happens, which doesn't seem to differ much from the 0-future+ apart from the first Terminator's leftovers being used to probably create a better Skynet to start with, or maybe Cyberdyne systems was a competitor to 0's Skynet-creator and now had a head-start yet ended up with the very same Syknet.

+ Though I wonder whether the first movie's time travels did actually occur here - it doesn't seem necessary, though it would stabilize 1b into a potentially closed causal loop

* 2b seems like an unstable timeline, unless Skynet and John sent back "their" Terminators from this future despite knowing about the result, i.e. basically only to close the causal loop.

0

Terminator as a whole, (Movies, Show, Theme Park ride, etc) only works if you believe in a universe that is immune to time travel paradoxes while also still having fixed points that resist changes. Notice I say resist instead of immune to changes, as we know that things can change. The specifics on Sarah life, how Skynet comes to be, and the manner/time of Judgement day have changed each movie. Each iteration affects the next, and the time line slowly starts to become unrecognizable.

If we believe this, it's likely that Terminator 1 was not the initial time line, John Conner not the first leader, Kyle not the father initially, Skynet starting from scratch. The events of Terminator 1 could be n to the nth iteration of the time line.

  • It still fails to explain where Skynet 1 arises from. Is Skynet an inevitability from the human use of technology and therefore as ubiquitous across all possible Multiversal timelines as the Earth itself is? – Covertwalrus Jul 13 '15 at 4:56
0

I want to speculate my theory. In the original timeline, there was a great leader (John Connor) who brought Kyle Reese up and sent him back to save his mother's life. Who was the father? We don't know but It certainly was not Kyle Reese.

Kyle and T800 interfered and changed the current timeline. In this new reality, Sara will never meet John's father. She mated with Kyle and got pregnant and named her son John who is another John and another leader of resistance. However, the new leader is still tough due to his mother's manner and teachings.

  • Welcome to SFFSE. Please back your answer with proper proof. Theories without proof can not be considered as an answer. – HBhatia Dec 21 '15 at 8:20
  • I didn't quite catch what you said but in terms of loop prevention, there must be the first fertilising and obviously Kyle couldn't make it because he was not born at that moment. So, the only answer (in my humble opinion) is, kyle's son might as well be the alternate of John Connor or the original's half brother. – Shahin Khorshidnia Dec 21 '15 at 12:41
0

It's not a time-loop so much as a time corkscrew...

  • Sarah is impregnated by a man from her own time and names the child John (Connor)
  • Skynet is created and goes to war against humanity
  • John organizes/leads a resistance against Skynet
  • Skynet sends a Terminator back through time to kill Sarah and prevent John's conception. This creates a new timeline.
  • John sends Kyle back through time to stop the Terminator. This replaces the timeline created by Skynet. In this timeline, John does not have the picture to pass on to Kyle
  • Kyle meets up with Sarah, altering her destiny and impregnating her in place of original-John's father (who we never see/know); she has her picture taken at the desert gas station, makes an audio diary, and bears John′ (John-prime).
  • As in the original timeline, Skynet is created and goes to war against humanity, John′ organizes/leads a resistance against Skynet, Skynet sends the Terminator to kill Sarah (creating another new timeline), John′ sends Kyle back to stop the Terminator (replacing that new timeline), Kyle impregnates Sarah, who bears John″ (John-double-prime).
  • Again, as in the previous timeline, Skynet is created and goes to war against humanity, John″ organizes/leads a resistance against Skynet, etc.. At this point, we have a potentially infinite chain of essentially identical timelines, each beginning with the Terminator's time trip. The movie could be set in any of them. Kyle is John's father, Sarah knows about future John and how her experience with Kyle and the Terminator will make him an inspirational leader, Kyle has the photo to reveal to Sarah.

This bootstrap sequence does depend on original-John and John′ playing their parts in the resistance, including inspiring Kyle and sending him back in time without having the full awareness John″ has. The movie timeline depends on the initial bootstrap cycles converging onto the path we see.

A key point here, is that the first iteration of Skynet wouldn't be the version we see in the movie, merely a version sufficiently similar that it drives the initial cycle of the timeline. Similarly, Kyle in the first iteration doesn't have to be as we see him, John doesn't have to be Kyle's son, and Sarah doesn't have to know her son's destiny. As long as the initial iteration has enough in place to feed the next and each successive iteration can logically converge toward the timeline as seen in the movie. I think it only takes a couple of rounds as I've laid out.

-1

Radical Theorist Here.

My Innovative Hypothesis

Timelines: "O" Origins Timeline normal sarah, and johns original father, concive john conor. Who eventually leads humanity to rise against the machines after the nuclear apocalypse, and finds victory in his old age. In an effort to thwart humanity "O" Skynet sends back "O" T-800 in an effort to preserve itself, and to eliminate its major threats before they rise against the machines. When "O" John.C Discovers The "O" Time Facility, and the last command code of "O" Skynet's Laststand effort. "O" Humanity specifically "O" John.C send his best soldier and friend. To save his mother and ensure his birth.

"SN&KR" The SN&KR timeline branch "or "The Skynet & Kyle Reese Effect"; in which Kyle Reese enters timeline "O" Kyle gose to save sarah conor from the "O"T-800.

The "O" T800's rampage altered time in the future progressively by changing events in the past. (Things that never happened, came to be thus altering the course of history.)(Thus breaking away from timeline "O's" future, and making a new future(the first branch is born) { Hence No Fate but what you make }. When "O"T-8 first attempted to take her life he instantly killed the connection between "O" Father of John and "O" Sarah C. This created chance of victory for "O"Skynet inside "O"T-800. Now when "O" Kyle R. Came into the scene, and imposed his will and body. It began altering the timeline inwhich the T800 from origins timeline created, and would have succeeded in, but that wasnt the case because he altered it by imposing himself on the present age. The "SN" Branch timelines future was chaged, and thus altering the "SN" Branch; by spawning the "SN&KR" timeline branch into effects.( Hence the branch of the branch.) Meanwhile " the origins timeline continued. "O" Humanity survived. Meanwhile in the "SN" timeline branch skynet would have succeeded if not for Origins Kyle R. Whom by entering period, gave birth to a new branch. Aka the SN&KR timeline branch.

So In the "SN&KR" timeline he created aka Terminator 1; played out like we all remember with Sarah C.. giving birth to "SN&KR" John Connor. Not the same connor from origins, nor physically similar, but with the same spirit and same Destiny( so he had different facial features and was much younger when he won the war. Since he was well informed, and trained prior to judgement day. Unlike the Origins John C. Who became the hero of humanity on his own accord, time, and history.) (SN&KR was informed of this in the future soon to be another past timeline stemming, thus altering the Future present past even further.) This eventually lead to Terminator 2 "SN&KR" Skynet is defeated and in a last effort sends a Liquid Metal Terminator, but SN&KR John sends a hacked T-800 to save young john. So this created 2 new branches. First the SN&KR/LT(Skynet Kyle Reese/ Liquid Terminator.) Branch, and the Sn&Kr/Lt&Sn&KrT-800. Branch. Leading to the impactfu change in Skynet, and John. Thus creating 2 new branches. The 2nd generation skynet, and second generation kyle and John. Meanwhile everything developed faster. The cycle continues.

Terminator 3 judgement day. This day was inevitable. As "SN&KR" 2nd gen Liquid Terminator was defeated, in part 2, and the remains of SN&RK T800 utilized for the building of Skynet 3.0 they imployed a anti terminator terminator. In the hopes of thwarting humanities efforts knowing they again would send a warrior to save john conors life. Again the reminents brought about a faster development and upgrade to Skynet SnKr to Skynet 3.0 much more powerful and wiser than Skynet from Origins, and from the Skynet Kyle Reese effect time loop. Thus T-800 SN&KR success in killing john C. SN&RK. Leads john wife to sent this SNRKT800 to save herself to follow her commands and to save john Connor as a secondary command. The cycle continues

"G" genesys time line. In this time line we would have reached generation 4.0 Skynet is aware of the T800 series as humanities great defender and i assume ensures they dont have access to one in this specific branch. Skynet takes uses a infiltrator Nanite Body, and Subdues John 3.Os. body in the midst of the time leap thus creating Microninite John Connor its Greatest Achivement and Weapon against Humanity. Using the very source of victory againat them. Little did they know that a Timeline "O" T-800 or a Timeline "Unknown/X" T800 was sent by person "Unknown/X/O" to save sarah in her adolescent years. Thus altering the futer creating yet more branches and living by the mantra {No Fate but what you make.} Someone figured out the timeloop effect an sent a contegincy to break the loop. Or someone from the future had access to this technology even before Skynet did. My speculation is it could have been O'Brien the old man from the original movie. As he is the only other person who knows about the terminators. Sarah conor, and the time skips or leaps. How ever he thinks about it.

She is now a battle born commando at such a young age and still outranks, yet is adolescent in some ways. K.R from The reminent of "SNKR" timeline effect loop. He is younger wiser and stronger as he had to develop in the course of say 20 to 25 years before the time leap actually carried out.

A special moment in time Cyborg John 4.0 Sarah and Kyle are all together. A paradox has now emerged because this has never happened before. Yes Skynet was.now about to win if it would have eliminated his patents in that moment. But "X,or "O" T800 comes in to reveal the true nature of John. That he was no longer himself but a manipulated husk. In that moment John says " This explaina alot. Yeah, And who sent you??? A paradox since he didnt know. Later in the timeline he states in the midst of immortal combat that " You are just a relic from a deleted timeline." Hence saying this T 800 must be from one of the any branch prior to this current branch know as "G" Genesys branch thus "O" is my conclusion, for now it will be labed "X" timeline. They must have said Nothings changed let us send yet another to ensure victory, And made another time machine, or maybe the T 800 sent himself back, or sarah herself made this happen somehow since she is a wity thorough and persevering soldier. To ensure she didnt die but i feel all our answers lie in discovering the identity of the one who sent the "X or "O" T-800". To protect Adolecent Sarah, and to abide by her command.

Final notes(( Radical here. So in my conclusion the "O" timeline continued; meanwhile its branches kept looping over eachother hench cutting themselves off. Like this symbol "₩ " the line in the middle is Origins. Meanwhile the zig zag is the SNKR effect reapeating itself.) My question is Who sent back the T800 to save sarah connor in her childhood. Because that technology wasnt available to skynet in that branch just yet. (( since conor and reese hand not yet been born and skynet was yet to be built and since they had not made the time leap to create the next branches)) thats all i have atm but i hope this is informative and gives you some information on your personal research on the Timelines Paradox..

  • 1
    Welcome to SciFi.SE! This is a very long and comprehensive theory, and seems to cover a lot of points, but it doesn't seem to cover what's actually being asked, which is how Skynet was created in the original "O" timeline. Could you edit your answer to focus on that one point and explain it more clearly? – F1Krazy Feb 4 at 12:41
  • I guess i missed the contex of the question. And went on a radical theory again. Lol. But down below me a man has answered it swimingly. I hope my post may stay as a timeline reference at the least. – Radical Theorist Feb 4 at 13:20
-2

Everyone starts with the assumption that skynet and John Connor exist in every timeline. Kyle Reese is the key. Kyle initially grows up fascinated with computers and technology. He was excited to receive Genisys for his birthday. By 2029, autodriving cars are commonplace and AI has evolved as an assistive technology. It is Kyle Reese that initially travels through time with the help of an AI, that also travels with him. Perhaps they travel specifically to 1984, or perhaps by accident, and are stranded there. He ends up meeting and falling for Sarah Connor, and the AI eventually is discovered by the military. They start by studying it, but eventually kill the AI to reverse engineer it. This instills the fear of humans, and the germ of the time travel technology for the eventual skynet to recreate. Also, humanity is not yet ready for this technology and misuses it. When Judgment Day happens, Kyle Reese realizes this is his fault, and makes his son aware of who he as and when he is from. It is not known how long John's parents survive, but John seeks out his father, and knows that skynet could recreate the time technology that his father originally employed.

  • It is Kyle Reese's initial time travel that creates John Connor and Skynet, and the ensuing distastrous timelines. – Lance Aug 4 '15 at 1:13
  • Can you provide any proof of your assertions? – Wad Cheber Aug 4 '15 at 1:16
  • No, but it does explain a few things. It does away with the paradox of sending his father to meet his mother to cause his birth. It gives an initial source for skynet's time travel tech. – Lance Aug 4 '15 at 4:10

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.