Resin Heroes

To infinity and beyond with Kyle Reese and John Connor

Is it just me, or is the computerized Skynet system of the Terminator films and TV franchise just not up to snuff? Sure, it did effectively wipe out most of humanity in “Judgement Day” via nuclear war but since then it really hasn’t lived up to its potential.

Edward Furlong as John Connor in Terminator 2

Edward Furlong as John Connor in Terminator 2

Checkout the facts; over the last 30 years it’s had one goal in mind – to kill either Sarah or John Connor in its past (our present) in order to keep little John from growing up to be a big a genius military mind in Skynet’s time. But since then Skynet has failed at every turn. It failed to kill Sarah in Terminator, John in Terminator 2 and Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines (1992 and 2003) then failed to kill either of them over two seasons and 31 episodes on the Fox TV series Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles.

Which got me thinking, it seems like the whole Terminator franchise might be taking place in some big time loop that no one inside the loop knows about and neither Skynet nor John Connor has enough wherewithal to stop.

In the first Terminator, Skynet sends back a Terminator from 2029 to 1984 to kill Sarah Connor just as son John in the future is about to defeat and destroy Skynet. And quickly following the Terminator John sent back Kyle Reese (Michael Biehn) to defend Sarah.

Nick Stahl as John Connor in Terminator 3

Nick Stahl as John Connor in Terminator 3

But (spoiler alert) not only do Sarah and Kyle stop the Terminator they also end up conceiving John as well. So, in effect, Skynet is the creator of its own doom by being the driving force in sending Kyle Reese back in time to become John Connor’s father.

Except this also means that for John to be there in the first place, to send Kyle back the first time, means that the events in Terminator must’ve happened before since the only way we get a John Connor conceived in 1984 is for Kyle to be sent there from 2029.

So it’s possible that the events of Terminator have been playing out again and again for all eternity. John Connor and his team attack Skynet in 2029 and Skynet sends back a Terminator to kill Sarah Connor. John sends Kyle Reese back in time to defend Sarah and John Connor is also conceived in the process.

And everything else that happens next, from Arnold back in Terminator 2 to the questionable story choices in Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines and the “be careful what Bert wishes for” all future-war of Terminator Salvation (2009) and the TV show too all lead to the point where John sends Kyle back in time to Terminator where we repeat everything over again, perhaps so many times it stretches out to infinity.

Christian Bale as John Connor in Terminator 4

Christian Bale as John Connor in Terminator 4

I guess the only real question of the Terminator movies is; how do we get John Connor in the first place? If John Connor’s dad is Kyle Reese and the only way Kyle gets sent back in time to meet Sarah is via John’s doing — how does Kyle get back in time the FIRST time to help conceive John and set everything in motion since John’s the one who sends him back and without Kyle in the past at least once there’s no John? (AGH!)

Perhaps there’s a first reality where some other military genius who ISN’T John Connor sends back Kyle Reese in time to protect his or her mother. Kyle fails and this first military genius is wiped from existence when the Terminator completes its mission. Except that at some point Kyle, now stuck in the 1980s, just happens to meet Sarah at some point and together they end up conceiving this first John who sets the wheels in motion for the first Terminator?

It might be interesting to see if shell-shocked future-war PTSD Kyle Reese would make a good dad or if John was better off being raised by a shell-shocked PTSD Sarah Connor and his foster family from Terminator 2 instead?

Hey, I think I just came up with the idea for another Terminator movie!

The latest Terminator movie, Terminator Genisys, is currently in theaters.