Look, its year 2017. While I love idea of people going to software company and shooting into servers, most technical companies would respond:

Oh, shoot. We got our main building destroyed. Luckily we offshored most of IT developement to India, so we just load up the system from last SVN/GIT commit.

Also, if it has about one billion pre-orders, even test environment would be sized appropriately, so destroying test env. in main building should not have big effect.

I know there is "cliffhanger" at the end of the movie, but still: Is there any in-universe explanation why destroying Genysis (Skynet) labs would have such big effect on whole system?

Edit: After reading the comments: If there is no in-universe explanation, is there any out-of-universe explanation other than "awful writing"?

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    As someone who works in IT, a complete lack of off-site backups really isn't a unrealistic as you would like to think... Aug 3, 2015 at 8:56
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    This is a series of films that don't even have a consistent model for the time travel that they rely on. I wouldn't try to look at Terminator Genisys as realistic in any way, and expecting a logical reason for, wel, anything about it seems pointless. The answer to your question is "because of awful writing", which also answers most question about Terminator Genisys. Aug 3, 2015 at 9:02
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    To be fair, they knew about off-site backups in 1995, so this is a plot hole in Terminator 2 as well. Aug 3, 2015 at 12:50
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    Skynet/Genisys is a sophisticated AI which may require billions of dollars worth of supercomputers to run one instance of it, as such it might be a lot more expensive for the company to have backups than for real-world online businesses.
    – Hypnosifl
    Aug 3, 2015 at 14:12
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    This isn't a few hundred megs of JPEGs of your favourite redhead models we're talking about. It's an AI. You try backing up an AI. Would Skynet even allow a redundant, independent copy of itself? Seems like a bit of a risk... Aug 3, 2015 at 21:20

2 Answers 2


The "cliffhanger" denies the premise of this question and is the in-universe explanation why destroying Genisys does not have a large effect.

The 'bad writing' could just be that our protagonists do not understand very well how modern computer software is deployed. They thought it would work, so that became their objective.

Why they thought that is the real question - but it's a moot one, as that's not in the script.

Out-of-universe, the author realized that you don't end a franchise that could later net you millions of dollars. There's an alternate ending for T2 which was filmed, but was not included in the release, because it brought the entire story to an end.

The "problem" with the first two James Cameron-directed Terminator films is that they were satisfying. They told a complete story and left the viewer with the distinct sense that the tale had ended, though the final moments in Terminator 2 included the visual of a dark road with a note that no one knew what the future would hold.
Terminator 2's original ending would have made the sequels impossible, polygon.com

As opposed to the deleted scene where grandma Sarah sits on a park bench watching John push his child on a swing.

August 29th 1997 came and went. Nothing much happened. Michael Jackson turned forty. There was no Judgment Day. People went to work as they always do, laughed, complained, watched TV, made love.
T2: Alternate Ending, killermovies.com

Not including the cliffhanger in Genisys would have been the same mistake of including that scene in T2. Not that it was really necessary, given that most people understand what The Cloud is and how it works.

So, somewhere during the post production of T2 it was decided that, no matter how much the ending of a story might invalidate its plot, awful writing it must leave room for the search for more money.


I just watched the film so I figured I'd take a crack at an in-universe explanation for the actually terrible writing.

Earlier in the film when John is talking with the other Genysis folks they mention that they are so grateful for John doing all the work he did and that its so advanced that no one really understands it. Since John actually dies for real (probably) at the end of the movie, restoring from backups wouldn't help much because no one knows what they have restored. Maybe in time their IT department would figure it out, but by then Sarah and Kyle would figure something out I bet.

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