In the Terminator movies we see the resistance using advanced plasma weapons. It would be a surprise if humans had managed to develop that kind of technology in 2029 whilst coping with the trials of surviving a nuclear apocalypse.

So how is it that humans where able to advance their technology so much, despite what had happened?

  • I suppose that it's not really human tech. They probably stole them or even the idea from Skynet.
    – Möoz
    Aug 16, 2015 at 23:43
  • terminator.wikia.com/wiki/…
    – Valorum
    Aug 16, 2015 at 23:54
  • @Richard: that doesn't make sense; if the weapon was invented by Skynet, why would it have Westinghouse in the name? Aug 17, 2015 at 5:19
  • 1
    @HarryJohnston - My gut feeling was that if it's got a brand-name, that means it was human-designed. That being said, it could have been designed (and built) by Skynet on the ruins of the old Westinghouse Factory.
    – Valorum
    Aug 17, 2015 at 5:40

2 Answers 2


I don't know how canon the site is. But,Terminator Wiki is silent on the source development of Plasma weapons. In fact, it claims due to the corruption of the timelines, it is not even possible to determine actually when they were first truly introduced.

However, I think the question makes an assumption that may not be accurate. I.e. it assumes that humans developed the new technology vs. Skynet. We know that Skynet has the ability to evolve and develop new technologies. E.g. witness its ever increasing capabilities in improving Terminator models.

Hence, I don't think we can assume that it was humans that developed it, somewhat negating the question.


Taking the official novelisation for 'Terminator: Rise of the Machines' as canon, humanity actually made some pretty impressive strides in research and development. This included building their own time machine before the (postponed) Judgement Day occurred in 2003.

But a grad student at Oxford had developed a mathematics model to meld Einstein's relativity with Heisen-berg's quantum mechanics, creating a ten-dimensional wormhole at the superstring level. It would be a passageway that would automatically expand exponentially like a virus gone wild. But only so long as power was applied to what was thought of as an artificial singularity. In the mid nineties, under the guise of the launchings of dozens of military and NSA technical means satellites, a solar sail made of extremely thin Mylar, two hundred kilometers on a side, was positioned in an extremely rare geosynchronous orbit that kept it stationary over the north pole. When it was spotted it was thought to be nothing more than an aurora borealis.

The sail focused sunlight, beaming it to the reception antenna and singularity equipment at the CRS facility. Capable of transmitting several hundred terawatts of energy over time periods of less than one nanosecond, the wormhole was opened.

Through that brief passageway, objects could be sent backward in time, and theoretically, though it had never been tried before, forward in time. The twin of this machine was buried deep inside Nav-ajo Mountain. One under human control and the other under Skynet control.

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