Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines (2003) Poster

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  • Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines is the third movie in the Terminator series, preceded by The Terminator (1984) (1984) and Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991) (1991) and followed by Terminator Salvation (2009) (2009) and Terminator Genisys (2015) (2015). The characters in T3 were created by Canadian filmmaker James Cameron who wrote the screenplay for and directed the first two movies, but the story and screenplay for T3 was written by American screenwriters John D. Brancato, Michael Ferris, and Tedi Serafian.

  • All other Terminators/protectors for John or Sarah Connor were sent to relatively quiet parts in the city during night-time. This might have been done to minimize the chances that someone would witness the time-traveling; unnecessary encounters with authorities could seriously slow down the time-traveller's actions. Perhaps that was the reason that the resistance chose a desert not too far from the city, yet close enough for the Terminator to procure some clothing and get to the city quickly. On the other hand, we don't know the exact technical details concerning time-travel in the Terminator universe. Perhaps the exact location and time where and when the time-travel orb will appear cannot be accurately controlled. This is supported by Kyle Reese's not knowing the date, including the year, in the first film. The critical point to realize is that time travel is travel through time, not space. Wherever the time travel facility was located in the future, then the point of arrival would be the same place in the past. It isn't likely that they could send the Terminator to a some particular point of their choosing.

  • In the first two films, it is referred to as the model 101. This is referring to the physical appearance (i.e. Arnold), whereas the model 100 or 102 would look different from Arnold. The differences between the T-800 (as shown in T1 and T2) and the T-850 (which makes its one and only appearance in T3) can be seen below..

    Stronger Endoskeleton: The 200 kilo T-850 endoskeleton has been upgraded from the T-800, though these are not necessarily visible from the outside. The main modification to the T-850 is its increased titanium alloy armor, hardening it to plasma weapons, of which the Resistance has been able to acquire more in the last few years. Tougher and more resilient, the T-850 has also been equipped with more powerful servo motors and hydraulic systems, making it far faster and stronger than the T-800. It can therefore sustain far greater damage while continuing to function and is more deadly in hand-to-hand combat

    Fuel Cells: Another modification is the use of twin Hydrogen fuel cells in the Series 850. This replaces the compact nuclear-energy Iridium cell used by the T-800, and provides greater power and longer life. Each cell is about the size of a small book and is encased in shiny titanium-carbon fiber alloy, nearly featureless except for its power points. Housed within the main torso section of the combat chassis, the Hydrogen fuel cells have a small easy access panel that allows their removal for replacement or repair. If a hydrogen fuel cell is ruptured in battle, it will become unstable and must be removed immediately. The unstable ruptured cell is very dangerous and will eventually explode like a miniature hydrogen bomb. Though partially impaired having lost one cell, a T-850 can still operate at nearly fully capacity on its remaining fuel cell, though it will not be quite as powerful or as fast as before. The T-850 can operate for a short period on stored charge, enabling the removal of both fuel cells. Rated capacity and length of time before shutdown has yet to be determined since operational continuance would depend on functions required following the removal of the second fuel cell.

    Shut-Down Capabilities: The Series 850, though not able to self-terminate as an act in and of itself unrelated to the achievement of mission objectives, is able to completely shut itself down, and reboot from scratch, overriding any temporary modifications that may have been made to its systems. Added to this are other features to increase reliability and longevity. The 850s possess built-in safety and redundancy engineering as well as the ability to shunt delicate control circuits to protected areas in the event of massive electric shock. The damaged skin and flesh of a T-850 are also able to partially reform over its endoskeleton, aiding in future infiltration.

    Other Traits and Subroutines: Basic psychology and knowledge of human emotions and socio-ecological interactions are among the subroutines of the T-850 Series, yet another of its advancements over the T-800 Series. This allows it to better understand humans, making it a better Infiltrator and a more efficient killer. The 850 series, like the 800 series before it, possesses detailed files. Known to be amongst these are a list of more than 1000 different emotional elements that modify human behavior; zoological information on all recorded species of animal (the T-850 is able to identify any species and replicate its sounds exactly with its voice processing unit); popular music and artists of the 20th and early 21st Century (though why this is included is rather a mystery); make, model, muzzle velocity, weight, length, cartridge size and use of all military and civilian weaponry; and schematic layouts and instructions on use of all recorded modes of transportation. The 850 series constantly evaluates data: old data from his memory banks and new data that its sensors continuously gather. From such evaluations it can make predictive forecasts to which it can assign probability values, out-thinking its enemies, always one or two steps ahead.

    Equipped with a battery of sensor arrays, the 850 series is able to detect its environment and hunt humans with great efficiency. It possesses the ability to detect infrared, radar, optical and electromagnetic emissions, heat signatures, electronic noise, high-frequency cell phone broadcasts, and directed sound. {{fact}} With its upgraded files, toughened endoskeleton, stronger joints and hydraulics, improved power cells, electronic adrenaline system, limited skin regeneration, reboot ability, data evaluation and predictive forecasts, the 850 series is a far more dangerous threat than its predecessor, the 800 series. Source

  • John states in the movie that the T-800 in the second film was the closest thing that he had to a father, which would explain his emotional attachment to the Terminator. This explains why he hoped that the Terminator would remember him; not because he thought he was the same Terminator from the second film but that either (1) he thought that maybe his future self would have informed or programmed the new Terminator with information from the second film that he learned, (2) he is still somewhat drowsy from the medicines he took in Kate's vet clinic and didn't really think the question through before he asked it, which is why the Terminator informs him that it was a different Terminator, so he has no knowledge of what happened when John was younger, or (3) it was written into the script purely as exposition in order to bring viewers up to speed with what happened in the previous movie.

  • Sarah Connor (Linda Hamilton) died of leukemia in 1997 in Mexico. She was cremated, and her ashes were scattered in the sea.

  • John Connor was 10 years old in T2, and at the beginning of the film, his mother Sarah is in a mental institution and he is with foster parents. He tells the T-800, "It was kind of like, "Hey kid, your mom's a psycho; didn't you know?" It's like everything I was brought up to believe was made of bullshit. I hated her for that. But everything she said was true. And nobody believed her. Not even me." So at first he was just a careless kid because he didn't think he had anything to worry about. As the film progresses and he sees how all of it is true, he accepts it because he has both a Terminator to protect him and a mother to guide him. By the 3rd film, his mother is dead, and the Terminator had destroyed itself, leaving him all alone. While he thought they stopped Judgment Day, there was still the lingering paranoia that he hadn't. Now imagine not being responsible for two lives, but several billion. As John says in the opening narration: "I feel the weight of the future bearing down on me...a future I don't want." They expect him to lead and to win. He has become older, and the full extent of what is expected of him has also become clear. Every young person who is coming of age typically experiences some fear of the unknown future, and the fear of becoming responsible for the lives of loved ones. John needs to lead the remainder of mankind toward a seemingly impossible victory against a superior enemy. It is not hard to see how this causes him to get cold feet. Also, in order for him to become this great leader, three billion people have to die first, which adds further to his reluctance.

    John lives in a mixed state of fear and denial. In the opening narration, he says, The future has not been written. There is no fate but what we make for ourselves. I wish I could believe that...we stopped Judgment Day. I should feel safe, but I don't. On the one hand, he seems fully aware of things to come and his role in this, not believing Judgment Day was prevented in T2. But when he is confronted with the evidence for his suspicion, namely the appearance of another Terminator, his reaction is "You shouldn't exist. We took out Cyberdyne over ten years ago. We stopped Judgment Day!" During the entire film, he makes every effort to prevent Judgment Day, ignoring the Terminator's repeated claims that "Judgment Day is inevitable," instead of preparing himself for the worst. John is clearly not yet ready for the truth and not yet up to the task. Therefore this change in John's character is not a break in character. John's struggle to accept his future role as savior of mankind was made an important part of the story. In the end, when it is clear that the future indeed can't be changed, John symbolically accepts his destiny when the voice on the radio asks who's in charge, and he finally has the strength to say, "I am."

  • There's a timeline discrepancy with John Connor's character: in the second movie, he was supposed to be around ten years old, yet Edward Furlong was thirteen and looked it. Furthermore, T2 also revealed that John was born in February 1985, which contradicts what this film suggests. Screenwriter Michael Ferris (as quoted here) described the issue as follows:

    You know, we finally just decided to heck with that stuff, because there were some unavoidable discrepancies between the age of the character of the second movie and this movie and the first movie. Three years is three years, what's the big deal, right?

    However, while the age of John's character was not largely significant insofar as he was concerned, the change did create a logical problem with Sarah's age. In T2, she was described as being 29 years old. For her to have a 13-year-old son would indicate that she was 15 years old (16 at the absolute most) when she met Kyle Reese in the first film, when she was clearly much older than that.

    It makes sense, however, if T3 is a different timeline from T1 & T2. In T1 & T2's timeline: T1 happens in May of 1984. John is born in February of 1985. T2 happens in June (or perhaps months earlier*) of 1995. John is 10 years old. Future unknown. If the future can be changed, that means there will be alternate timelines. John Connor cannot send Kyle Reese to the exact same time as he arrived in T1 & T2's timeline: May 1984. If John Connor were to send his father back at that same time, there would be two Kyles because he would be going into the past which has already happened, a Kyle Reese already arrives. To negate this problem, if John were to send Kyle back in time again, it would have to be at an earlier date. Thus, according to T3, Kyle arrives in 1980. In T3's timeline: The "events" of T1 happen in 1980 in this timeline. John is born around 1981. "Events" of T2 happen in 1994. John is 13 years old. Sarah dies in 1997. Events of T3 happen in 2004. John is about 23 years old. Judgment Day happens. (Assuming Terminator Salvation continue in T3's timeline) Events of Terminator Salvation happen in 2018 and John is about 37 years old. Future unknown.

    How this is figured out: T3 happens in 2004 (we can see this on the T-850's POV display). John states that he was 13 years old when they sent the second terminator to kill him (T2). He stated that they blew up Cyberdyne over 10 years ago (1994). He stated that he kissed Katherine Brewster in Mike Kryptkey's basement 10 years ago, the night before he disappeared and he was on the news.

    * = A date range in February or March is speculated on account of yet another discrepancy or perceived discrepancy in Terminator 2, pertaining to Judgement Day's date, as analyzed here.

  • Back in 2004, they weren't, but the circumstances of the story's reality might be different from non-fiction (or fictional alternates), lending credence to what could be an anachronism. At any rate, this and things like it are the suspensions of disbelief the Terminator movies expect us to take.

  • The obvious answer is that that's how Arnold Schwarzenegger talks. A movie answer is that the Terminators capture humans, replicate their flesh/likenesses and voices in order to be better at infiltrating. So whichever way the captive they replicated spoke would be their default voice pattern. Another reason was provided in a deleted scene, in which the US Air Force generals watch a promo video intended to show the company's future line of defensive products. It features a man (played by Schwarzenegger) with a high-pitched voice and a thick American accent presenting a model for an endoskeleton, showing how the robot is modeled after his own face. When one of the generals in the room mentions that he doesn't like the sergeant's accent, one of the PR guys responds with "we can fix it" (with Schwarzenegger's voice). So Skynet used the already existing Terminator model that had the facial characteristics of Sgt. Candy and the PR guy's voice. Of course, since this is a deleted scene, this explanation is presumably strictly non-canonical.

  • Kate and John fly to Crystal Peak and prepare to detonate the SkyNet core, but they are attacked by the T-X who crashlands a helicopter in the base's entrance tunnel. Suddenly, the Terminator (who has rebooted himself), crashlands a second helicopter, smashing the T-X under it and severing its legs. Still, the T-X continues to crawl after John and Kate until the Terminator traps it under a blast door and detonates his remaining hydrogen fuel cell, destroying them both. Kate and John take the elevator down into the SkyNet core only to discover that it isn't SkyNet but a fallout shelter for VIPs. As John and Kate wait helplessly, SkyNet begins its nuclear attacks on the world. Unable to stop Judgment Day a second time, they consider giving up. Suddenly, their transmitter receives a message from Montana Civil Defense asking if anyone is receiving them. John answers and, when asked who is in charge there, hesitantly replies, "I am." The final scenes are a montage of the destruction taking place on the planet and a voiceover by John saying: By the time SkyNet became self-aware, it had spread into millions of computer servers across the planet. Ordinary computers in office buildings, dorm rooms, everywhere. It was software in cyberspace. There was no system core. It could not be shut down. The attack began at 6:18 p.m. just as he said it would. Judgment Day, the day the human race was nearly destroyed by the weapons they'd built to protect themselves. I should have realized our destiny was never to stop Judgment Day. It was merely to survive it...together. The Terminator knew. He tried to tell us, but I didn't want to hear it. Maybe the future has been written. I don't know. All I know is what the Terminator taught me. Never stop fighting, and I never will. The battle has just begun.

  • Let's put the facts together. We know that Kate was the one who sent the T-850 back through time since John was dead, killed by the same T-850. Kate presumably does this in response to some future intelligence that informed them of the T-X being sent back. The T-850 specifically states multiple times that his mission was never to prevent Judgement Day, merely to ensure the survival of John and Kate. Presumably, future Kate recognizes that Judgement Day is inevitable, hence the mission parameters. Of all the players, the only ones who optimistic about stopping Judgement Day are past (or present) John and Kate. It was prevented once, but it can only be postponed. The human capacity to destroy itself is simply too strong, and an apocalyptic event was bound to happen sometime. While Skynet wants to rewrite history in a desperate attempt to win the future war, the humans are ultimately victorious and they merely want to preserve this timeline. Also, John Connor only exists because of the war, therefore in a way, the existence of Skynet and John Connor are intertwined. Kyle Reese, John's father, is only ever sent back because of the war with Skynet. This creates somewhat of a paradox that future Kate may or may not realize. John's fate and that of the war are intricately tied together, and has actually become part of the Terminator mythology.

  • This is a deleted scene for the film, wherein General Brewster and his research team watch a video presentation on the future of warfare. We see Arnold Schwarzenegger in a military outfit saying, "Hi, I'm Tech. Sergeant William Candy..." in a southern United States accent, suggesting that the Model 101's physical template was modelled after Technical Sergeant William Candy. When Brewster expresses doubts about the voice, one of the research team members (Jack Noseworthy) says, "We can fix it" in Arnold Schwarzenegger's voice. The whole sequence is very humourous and lighthearted. It's possible that it was always meant to be a joke and was never intended to be in the film, just as an easter egg on the DVD. It's also possible that it was cut because it didn't fit the tone of the rest of the film.

  • After Linda read the script, she described it as "soulless" and turned the role down. Another partial reason was because James Cameron didn't return. On the commentary track of the DVD, director Jonathan Mostow mentions that Sarah (Hamilton) was supposed to be in the movie, but he later realized that the movie had to be about John this time, and Sarah became a largely unnecessary character. Linda Hamilton also mentioned that "it didn't take my character in any new direction." Source

  • Several sources, including Moviehole.net, claim that originally Edward Furlong was asked to reprise his role of John Connor. However, citing personal reasons, Edward stated that "it just wasn't meant to be." The predominant rumor seems to be that Furlong's sobriety would potentially be an issue, so the producers opted for a safer casting in Nick Stahl as Connor.

  • The sunglass scene was just a mildly humorous cue to a similar event in the earlier film. One other point is that a machine like a Terminator wouldn't necessarily like or dislike the style of something, as it was shown only interested in finding clothes that would fit it. However, it is possible that the Terminator was programed to choose clothes that would not make it conspicuous, since if a Terminator happened to land near a circus, it might end up wearing a clown's costume, not a very good disguise that an undercover Terminator should wear in public. And as he is a Terminator, wrecking things is never a concern.

  • It's uncertain, but it is possible. Let us suppose that the girl (Nikki Cox) who was unnamed in T2 and—like Kate Brewster—also had red hair is Kate Brewster. In T3, Kate Brewster mentions that John Connor and herself both attended the same school together and the day before the T-800 and the T-1000 arrived, they had made out in the basement of another kid who attended the same school. If this is so, it's possible, John may have told Kate that he was going to the galleria the next day, and on such next day, she relayed the information to a being whom she thought was a police officer.

  • The T-850 reveals to John that John, Sarah and the previous T-800 did not stop Judgement Day but rather only postponed it—Judgement Day would still happen—and he is sent back by Kate Brewster to ensure that John and Kate survive the impending nuclear attack. Skynet becomes self-aware and with help from the T-X. The prototypes of earlier classes of Terminator robots and HK (Hunter/Killer) drones take over and attack the Cyber Research Systems facility, while Skynet unleashes the nuclear attack upon the world and begins its and the machine's post-apocalyptic supremacy over mankind, having "risen" accordingly. In the ensuing war between man and machine, John and Kate are destined to lead the human survivors against what is ultimately Skynet's personal army of machines.


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