With the release of Terminator Salvation (aka Terminator With Batman and Transformers!) we'd like to take a closer look at the franchise that has explored such pressing issues as our dependence on machines, what it means to be human and how utterly incredible it would be if Robert Patrick could turn his arm into a fucking knife.
However, in our exploration of this series, we have come across a few gaps in logic, which we felt compelled to share with you. Why? Because we don't feel pity, or remorse, or fear, and we absolutely will not stop, ever, until every movie you have ever loved is ruined.
Daddy Issues and Paradoxes
If you've found your way to this article, odds are you remember The Terminator, but let's refresh some key plot points. In the mysterious and distant future--1997, to be exact--Skynet, a highly-advanced artificial intelligence, is introduced to the world. Humans decide to hand over all military control to this system because in the Terminator universe the people have not seen The Terminator.
Decades later, the humans are at war with the robots and a brave warrior named John Connor takes charge and turns the tide. The machines strike back by sending the Governor of California back to the 80s to kill Connor's mom before he's born. The humans send Michael Biehn back to protect her.
Along the way, he makes it part of his mission to protect her vagina from not having his penis in it. And that, readers, is where everything in the space-time continuum gets "iffy."
As it turns out, when Michael Biehn and Linda Hamilton sleep together, they conceive John Connor. And, as we learn in Terminator 2: Judgment Day, when the Terminator is destroyed in the first film, the microchip in its skull survives, falls into the hands of computer company Cyberdyne Systems, and allows for the creation of Skynet in the first place.
Therefore, the only reason either John Connor or the machines exist is because the Terminator went back in time, and the only reason the Terminator went back in time is because the machines and John Connor exist. Get it?
"I have to protect your unborn child, but first let's go ahead and get you pregnant."
Oh, and John Connor and our heroes spend the last act of the second movie trying to prevent said war, meaning John Connor is trying to prevent his own existence, by eliminating the reason for his dad to travel back in time to conceive him. And, if he does prevent his own existence, well, he certainly won't be around to prevent the war thus prevent his existence and...
Well, you get the idea.
If At First You Don't Succeed...
So, we've established that the first Terminator failed and was in fact killed by a waitress. Consider how embarrassing that must have been for it.
But neither Skynet or Hollywood give up on good ideas, they merely try them again when the technology improves. Hence Terminator 2, in which a highly-advanced liquid metal Terminator is sent back again, only this time it's the 90s and the target, being young John Connor, can barely tie his shoes.