As per the original timeline, Sarah Connor first encounters the Terminator in her youth (in The Terminator). Later on, she encounters another Terminator, while John Connor is in his youth. But in Terminator Genesys, we see:

that she was saved by a Terminator named Pops when she was 9 year old.

Does this mean that Skynet sent a terminator back in time to when she was 9 year old? My brain just got terminated trying to understand the scene.

4 Answers 4


Yes. Terminator: Genisys, a new timeline is created, in which someone (presumably the resistance, although it is not made clear in the movie) sends a T-800 back to the early 70's, to protect the then-9-year-old Sarah Connor from another Terminator sent back in time by Skynet. She nicknames the Terminator "Pops", because her own parents have been killed by Skynet's Terminator, and the Terminator assumed responsibility for raising her. He is also referred to as "the Guardian".

From the Wikipedia entry on Terminator: Genisys:

Upon arriving in 1984, Skynet's T-800 is disabled by Sarah and a reprogrammed T-800 Guardian (Arnold Schwarzenegger) sent from an unknown origin to protect her when she was nine years old; Sarah has nicknamed the T-800 "Pops". Kyle arrives a short time later and is immediately attacked by a T-1000 (Lee Byung-hun). Sarah and the Guardian join Kyle and destroy the T-1000 using acid. It's revealed that Sarah and the Guardian have constructed a makeshift time machine similar to Skynet's, and Sarah plans to travel to 1997 to prevent Skynet from becoming self-aware. Realizing the timeline has been altered, Kyle is convinced that the future has changed due to the warning he received in his childhood vision. He persuades Sarah to travel to 2017 instead to stop Skynet.

This timeline is the third created within the series. The first two movies used the same timeline. Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines basically deleted that timeline and created a new one. And it appears that Terminator: Genisys has deleted the first two timelines and created a new new one. When the next installment in the series is released, it will probably delete the current timeline and create a new new new one.

  • 1
    @WadCheber- It wasn't revealed in the film as to who exactly sent "Pops" to save a 9-year old Sarah.
    – Stark07
    Jul 7, 2015 at 6:16
  • 1
    @Stark07 - Who else would do it? In any case, I edited the answer to remove the suggestion that the resistance was definitely responsible for sending Pops.
    – Wad Cheber
    Jul 7, 2015 at 6:17
  • True, but I meant specifically who. Even the wiki quote below states "from an unknown origin." That's all
    – Stark07
    Jul 7, 2015 at 6:20
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    Terminator: Genisys goes out of its way to state no one knows who sent Pops -- so the explanation is likely to be more complicated than "the resistance did it", as we may see in the (probable) sequel. Jul 13, 2015 at 10:47
  • In the Sarah Connor Chronicles, there was a second AI, fighting Skynet, who was friendly to the resistance. That could be a clue. Aug 13, 2015 at 8:18

TL;DR: In the original timeline, Sarah Connor never knowingly encountered a Terminator until the events of the original film. It's impossible to say whether or not one was sent, however.

In the timeline of the original movie, Sarah has no idea that Terminators exist until Kyle Reese explains it to her. However, since her life until then is undocumented, it does not mean that a Terminator wasn't sent to kill her at a point earlier in her life.

A recurring theme in the Terminator comics by Dark Horse was that Skynet, having the advantage of hindsight, had used its time-travel technology to scatter Terminators throughout history. Many of them were sent on missions to ensure - or improve - the domination of SkyNet over humanity. Due to the prototype status of the technology, however, more than one Terminator found itself sent to the wrong time or place.

Although the Dark Horse comics aren't considered canon, we did see a couple of similar examples playing out in the live-action Sarah Connor Chronicles. Given that, it's entirely possible that a Terminator WAS sent to kill young Sarah Connor and either never arrived or somehow failed in its mission. With the limited information we have, we can only speculate.

For all we know, Sarah and her parents once witnessed a horrible accident where a man was crossing the street towards them and got hit by a bus, then an 18-wheeler, than a convoy of dump trucks and finally a street sweeper.


If I remember correctly Connor was aware of where the time traveling device [TTD] was and how it worked. How was he aware of it being there? More than likely, logically, the TTD Connor uses to send back Kyle in this movie was not the TTD that Kyle sees at the end of this movie. Kyle of course goes back to a different past then the movie starts with [G past 1 and G past 2]. The Connor in this movie's Past 1 was not born in this movie's past 2. Will there even be a Connor in the next movie?


In the flashback to Sarah's parents death we see pops with a smoking bazooka, then Sarah says she saw her house exploding and the liquid from the T-1000 that killed her parents and nothing more. At the end of the movie Pops is upgraded to a T-1000 without much explanation how.

So we have an explosion, a smoking bazooka, a never-seen T-1000 and a T-800 that "upgrades" to a T-1000. See my point?

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