Terminator Genisys (2015) Poster

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  • In 2029, human resistance warrior Kyle Reese (Jai Courtney) travels back through time to 1984 to protect Sarah Connor (Emilia Clarke) and prevent a Terminator (Arnold Schwarzenegger) from assassinating her and preventing her son, John (Jason Clarke), future leader of the human resistance, from being born. But, Kyle soon discovers that Sarah has been raised by an older Terminator, which saved her from another Terminator that killed her parents when she was a child. She has been prepared for Reese's arrival in 1984 ever since. Reese is soon plagued by strange visions of another life, scenes he does not recall. The Terminator believes that Reese has seen visions of an alternate life. Kyle and Sarah travel across time to 2017, where they learn that the nuclear attack did not happen in 1997, and they've entered an alternate timeline. Skynet is "Genisys" in this timeline, an application on mobile phones and computers that has yet to be unveiled to the world. But Sarah, Kyle and The Terminator soon find that the John Connor from 2029 has also time-travelled to 2017, but has been converted by Skynet into a new kind of Terminator, due to experimentation with nano-technology. He has been helping Miles (Courtney B. Vance) and Danny (Dayo Okeniyi) Dyson develop Genisys, and plots to let Judgment Day still take place by helping Skynet unleash the nuclear attack on the day Genisys is unveiled to the world. The Terminator, Sarah and Kyle set out to stop John, shut down Genisys and prevent it from wiping out humanity again. Edit (Coming Soon)

  • As with the 2009 Star Trek film, the intention is to free the series from its earlier continuity. While this film is intended as a direct sequel to the original film The Terminator (and to a certain point, T2/Terminator 2: Judgment Day), the time-travel elements mean it is, essentially, a reboot. The plot of the film involves alternate timelines with the intention that, each time a pathway from the originating timeline is created by time travel, it creates a new universe where events can unfold differently.

    For a basic understanding of the series up to and including T5/Terminator Genisys, it is important to understand the cyclic nature of the time travel story inherent to the plots. If we look at the very beginning, it starts with humanity creating an artificial intelligence called Skynet, which betrays mankind by trying to wipe out its human masters. This future war between humans and Skynet is eventually won by the humans led by John Connor. This forces Skynet to send one of its machines, a Terminator, back in time in order to kill Sarah Connor and prevent John from being born. The humans respond by sending one of theirs, Kyle Reese, to protect Sarah and John's birth (he even ensures John's conception). Sarah and Kyle succeed in destroying the Terminator, causing John to be born. So we are back at the beginning again, with John leading humanity to victory in the future war, and Skynet trying to change that. This is how the cycle keeps repeating itself. What causes differences between each iteration is what each party knows about the previous attempt(s). John seems to know a lot of critical information about the war and the machines (as is implied at the beginning of T5, as well as in T4/Terminator Salvation). We can assume the information comes from Sarah, who learned everything from Kyle. Kyle, in turn, experienced a lot during the future war, and has learned much from future John; this process reinforces itself with each iteration, explaining John's increasing strategic advantage with each cycle. Skynet, on the other hand, also becomes smarter. Every time that Skynet goes life, it gets access to all of humanity's digital records. It learns about its time travels and previous attempts to change the future, and upon learning that these strategies failed to kill the leader of the human resistance, Skynet adapts its plans, such as sending more enhanced machines (as seen in T2 and T3/Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines), and even resorting to misdirection in order to get to John Connor (as seen in T4 and T5). As the course of events keeps repeating, each iteration differs from the previous one(s), which can lead to different outcomes or even a break in the cycle at some point.

    To start with a simple example, we will assume that the beginning of the 1984 film, The Terminator, showed us the 2029 of the original timeline, Timeline A. Kyle and the T800 were sent from there back in time to 1984, which created Timeline B. The 2029 of Timeline B is shown in the opening of T5. There are noticeable differences with the 2029 of Timeline A (e.g. Kyle is saved by John in a sewer, whereas he was originally freed from a slave labor camp; he still has Sarah Connor's picture, which was long gone in his original time). As before, Kyle is sent to 1984, but Skynet appears not to have been defeated at all; they sent one Terminator (by Sarah's description, a liquid T-1000) further back back to 1973 to kill Sarah, which causes the creation of Timeline C; when Kyle and the original T-800 arrive in 1984, they end up in this altered timeline, and any subsequent events in T5 occur in the 1984 and 2017 of Timeline C.

    Note that T2 does not occur in this chain of events, making the placement of the events of T2 a bit odd. However, there is an alternative explanation for this as well. According to the novelization (written by very close, life-long friend of Cameron who was also involved in both Terminator films), the events of T2 were predestined up to the point where the trio arrived at the Salceda Ranch. In the predestined timeline, the trio went down South as planned and waited out the future war there. The writers of this film have acknowledged this in interviews, and confirm the film takes place in a cycle where Sarah did not have her nightmare, and did not try to kill Miles Dyson. Everything up until that point happens in T5. Hence why the T-1000 exists and why facts not previously known until T2 are present. If this theory is followed, the cycle looks like the following:

    (1) Timeline A (original) ends with Skynet sending the T-800 to 1984. The Resistance sends Kyle Reese.

    (2) The events of The Terminator: T-800 and Reese end up in 1984, Timeline B. Sarah survives and John is born.

    (3) Parts of the T-800 are found, which causes the creation of Skynet.

    As Skynet goes live years later, it learns of its failed attempt in Timeline A to have Sarah killed. To ensure its own creation, Skynet sends the T-800 to 1984 again; they send the T-1000 to 1995. The Resistance send Kyle to 1984, and a reprogrammed T-800 to 1995.

    (4) First half of T2: T-1000 and T-800 arrive in 1995, Timeline C. John, Sarah and T-800 flee south. Skynet goes live, John leads the resistance in the future war. Skynet learns that sending the T-1000 failed as well. It modifies its strategy: it still sends the T-800 to 1984, and lures John by pretending to be defeated. As soon as Kyle is sent to 1984, it kills John and sends a T-1000 to 1973. The remainder of the Resistance send a T-800 to 1973 as well.

    (5) The events of T5 in 1984 and 2017, Timeline D. Note that T3, T5 and Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles do not occur in this cycle.

      In a different chain of events, seen in T2, Sarah had a nightmare at the ranch which made her decide to change the future and kill Miles Dyson. This explains the alteration in the events from that point on. Whether a divine intervention or something else, the dream only occurs in this new cycle, and the events probably occur like the following:

    (1) Timeline A (original) ends with Skynet sending the T-800 to 1984. The Resistance sends Kyle Reese.

    (2) The events of The Terminator: T-800 and Reese end up in 1984, Timeline B. Sarah survives and John is born.

    (3) Parts of the T-800 are found, which causes the creation of Skynet. As Skynet goes live years later, it learns of its failed attempt in Timeline A to have Sarah killed. To ensure its own creation, Skynet sends the T-800 to 1984 again; they send the T-1000 to 1995. The Resistance send Kyle to 1984, and a reprogrammed T-800 to 1995.

    (4) The events of T2: T-1000 and T-800 arrive in 1991, Timeline C.

    (5) Sarah has a dream and decides to fight back, creating Timeline C2. Skynet is stopped and Judgment Day 1997 prevented. Sarah dies of leukemia; Cyber Research Systems and the US Air Force continue to develop Skynet. Judgment Day still occurs, now in 2004. Through Kate Brewster and her father, John gets into contact with the Resistance. Again, the Resistance wins. Skynet sends a T-800, a T-1000 and a T-X to 1984, 1995 and 2004; the Resistance sends Kyle, a T-800 and a T-850.

    (6) The events of T3: T-X and T-850 arrive in 2004, Timeline D2. Judgment Day takes place in 2004.

    (7) The events of T4. Realizing that three attempts to kill John via time travel have failed, Skynet uses Marcus Wright to lure John to them. They fail, as John survives with Marcus' heart.

      This branching of timelines conforms to the many-worlds interpretation, which states that there are countless different parallel universes, where some events have taken a drastically different turn which changed the chain of events. One such example was described above: Sarah's decision to fight Skynet in T2 created a vastly different new universe. By this logic, Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles was another branch-off: In Timeline C2, Sarah died of leukemia; in a parallel universe, something happened that caused Sarah to discover her leukemia before she could die from it. Her continued survival is the twist in this particular universe, that, as a result, ran a vastly different course. Edit (Coming Soon)

  • The real life answer is that Arnold Schwarzenegger has aged and is playing the Guardian terminator while in his late 60s. The in-movie reason is that the T-800 has living human tissue over its endoskeleton. The human tissue ages just like a human's would. The T-800 "Pops" is sent back to 1973 to protect a nine-year-old Sarah Connor. Arnold was 37 years old when the original Terminator was released in 1984. Assuming the "Pops" is meant to look that age in 1973, that would make him look around 48 by 1984. He then stays behind while Sarah and Kyle jump ahead to 2017, aging him another 33 years, making him appear 81. Edit (Coming Soon)

  • The likely theory is that this was a different model of T-1000 than the one seen in "T2". As we know that Arnold's Terminator is the T-800 model 101. Meaning the T-800 is the type of Terminator and the model #101 refers to the appearance (i.e. Arnold), whereas the model 102 would look different than Arnold. So it stands to reason that this would apply to the T-1000 as well. Robert Patrick's T-1000 would likely be model #1, a prototype, and the one in this film, Lee Byung-hun's T-1000, could be model #2, a standard production model. An alternate theory is that the T-1000 simply killed and copied an Asiatic police officer instead of a Caucasian police officer as it did in T2. However, this isn't likely; this T-1000's police officers' badge reads "Amsden" (not a traditional East Asian surname), and in T2, we see that the T-1000 keeps its original appearance (i.e. Patrick's) and simply steals the gun and uniform of the officer he killed. Yet again, it is possible that Patrick's T-1000 adopted its default human form before being sent back to 1995, whereas perhaps Lee's T-1000 had a faceless form (mimetic of living tissue but without details) when sent back to 1984. Edit (Coming Soon)

  • Sarah brings up this fact to the her son, John, who had secretly transcended from being a biological entity to being a Skynet machination. This John Connor Terminator (JCT) explains that he believes that due to them all time traveling that they are separate from events of the past and future, therefore he could kill them without erasing himself from existence; although this may have just been part of the programming from Skynet. JCT had already ensured Skynet's creation, so it no longer needed John. Skynet had tried killing Sarah and John several times and always failed. So by Skynet perhaps planting the idea that killing both of John's parents before John was born wouldn't affect him, it allows them an opportunity to erase John from existence and ensure its victory as was the original plan. This is one of many time travel paradoxes that the Terminator series addresses. The grandfather paradox suggests that you could not travel back in time and kill your own grandfather before you were born, because this would erase you from existence. However, if you are erased from existence, you were never able to travel back in time to kill him. Likewise, John shouldn't be able to send his father back in time to conceive him; nor could Skynet send terminators back in time to ensure its own existence. Another theory is that by traveling through time, you are separate from any events you might change. Meaning you could travel back in time to before you were born and kill your grandfather, that would alter the current timeline, but you would not be affected as changing the past will not alter the original timeline or any other, essentially making them alternate universes and realities. This is the theory posited in the film, and explanations from Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles confirm this. Edit (Coming Soon)

  • This is deliberately left ambiguous. "Pops" states in the film that whoever did so deleted their identity, presumably to protect themselves from Skynet. Whether it will be revealed in a proposed sequel remains to be seen. However, we can assume that the "good" T-800 and the T-1000 are from further in the future of Kyle's original timeline. Let's theorise that Kyle's trip to the past has been foreseen by Skynet based on their knowledge of the earlier, alternate timelines. They would appear to know that sending a T-800 to 1984 to kill Sarah Connor is doomed to failure (just as John knows that Kyle will fall in love with Sarah). Skynet appears to proceed with this identical plan, purely so John Connor will anticipate this and be in a specific location so that he can be trapped and transformed by Skynet. It is likely that, following John Connor's transformation, he sent the T-1000 back to 1973, while what remained of the resistance sent the reprogrammed T-800 to the same time period. It's also possible that Sarah and/or Kyle are both alive in the future, due to the ever-changing timelines. So it's entirely possible one, or both of them sent back "Pops" to 1973. Edit (Coming Soon)

  • No, but there is a short scene mid-credits that hints at a sequel. See here or here for more information. Edit (Coming Soon)

  • It was and currently is planned to be a relaunch for a new trilogy of films. However, in the world of Hollywood, plans can change quickly. Plans for a follow-up to this particular film were scrapped. However, the rights to the franchise revert back to James Cameron in 2019. Cameron has recently stated he is planning a new Terminator trilogy. Edit (Coming Soon)

  • The real life answer is that Arnold Schwarzenegger broke his leg while skiing a few years ago, and has walked with a limp ever since. In the film, Pops' leg is damaged, which he is seen trying to realign, which gives the Terminator a limp. It may also be a throwback to the original Terminator, who walks with a limp after being run over by a transport truck. Edit (Coming Soon)

  • Guardian does not know the identity of the person who sent him back to 1973 to save Sarah from the T-1000. Whomever sent Guardian back erased this from Guardian's memory. As if to be a literal deus ex machina, whoever it was knew the T-800 and Kyle Reese would travel back to 1984, that the Terminator would appear at the observatory and take the punk's clothing, and that Kyle would be at the superstore where he his clothing, and programmed this information into Guardian; hence, Guardian and Sarah setting a trap for the T-800 and saving Kyle and O'Brien from the T-1000. Edit (Coming Soon)

  • In the original Terminator, there is a Los Angeles police officer whose radio call sign, badge number or vehicle identifier is "one el nineteen". The actor who portrayed him, screenwriter William Wisher, made an uncredited, non-speaking, cameo appearance in Terminator 2: Judgment Day as the Galleria photographer. It's unclear whether this background character is the same as the "1-L-19" policeman, apart from that he may have portrayed a police officer at the raid of Cyberdine headquarters in the same movie. If, for some reason in the Terminator Genisys timeline, "1-L-19" was dispatched to the department store at the time that Kyle Reese arrived into the past, then he could indeed be O'Brien, even though their hair color is different, otherwise it is unlikely. The events play out differently across the two movies, in more ways than the outstanding. In the original Terminator, there are three policemen—the one that Kyle had attacked and questioned, accompanied by two additional ones—searching the department store, whereas in Terminator Genisys, there are only two (excluding the T-1000)—O'Brien and Garber, who for whatever reason were in the department store. O'Brein's story arc is similar to that of Wisher's "character", in that: given the idea that Wisher's characters are all one and the same; by the time of the events of Terminator 2, the character had developed a fascination with the Cyberdine Systems' model 101; although this could be said of any of the law enforcement personnel (of which there are numerous) whosoever found themselves investigating the mass shooting in the LAPD building shown in the original Terminator. O'Brien is special in that he witnessed a T-1000's "alien" abilities (a thing harder to explain than anything associated with the T-800) and lived (and for a long time) to tell about it. He even got to receive an explanation as to what the creature he saw was. So, he is something of an amplified variant of "1-L-19". Edit (Coming Soon)

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