*Disclaimer: This is a theory based on information obtained from the movies, interviews, and promotional material. Please remain calm.
A question on the lips of many Terminator Fans whilst watching the trailers for Terminator: Dark Fate was:
‘Why are they [the studios] using the Genisys endoskeleton design again?!‘
Well, we wondered this ourselves, but the simple answer could very well be that Skydance Media and Paramount Pictures had already commissioned, used, and owned, the Terminator Genisys design which was used in the fifth movie, and so, maybe it was just easier for them to drag it out from cloud storage and… reuse it… ?
But, what if the answer goes far deeper than that? What if the studios had something else in mind when they used the Genisys endoskeleton design… ?
What if we’re all, unconsciously, in the middle of the Skydance and Paramount Terminator trilogy already, and we just don’t realize it?
That would mean that Terminator: Dark Fate is the sequel to Terminator Genisys.
Let me explain…
At the end of Terminator Genisys the super computer is shown in *SPOILER* a mid-credits scene, to very much still be of function, somewhere in the rubble of Cyberdyne‘s headquarters – a scene which left the door wide open for a sequel…
‘But the sequel was canceled.’
Yes. Though following the financial failure of Terminator Genisys, producer Dana Goldberg hinted otherwise:
“I wouldn’t say on hold, so much as re-adjusting,”Dana Goldberg told The Wrap
So, re-adjusting… to what, pray tell? That comment suggests that the studios weren’t anywhere near ready to pick up and walk away from Genisys – they’d paid good money after all, and they wanted the opportunity to try again…
“Even despite Genisys not playing as well as expected, he [David Ellison] didn’t want to give up, he still wanted to take another bite of the apple and he thought I might be a good candidate to help.”Tim Miller told Den of Geek
‘But Dark Fate ignores installments 3, 4 and 5.’
Yes, that’s what we were told at the THR event back in 2017…
“This is a continuation of the story from Terminator 1 and Terminator 2. And we’re pretending the other films were a bad dream. Or an alternate timeline, which is permissible in our multi-verse.”James Cameron told THR
Note the term ‘multi-verse‘ being used in conjunction with ‘alternate timeline‘ by James Cameron – though, following Dark Fate’s release, Tim Miller stated to an audience at TIFF (Toronto International Film Festival), that:
“So in the Terminator universe, there is only one timeline. If you change something in the past, the time wave rolls forward and changes the future.”Tim Miller to TIFF
The idea of multiple, or alternate timelines, has very much become ingrained in the Terminator mythos, along with the many differing paradoxes and loops; to such an extent that what Mr. Miller said is actually at odds with the theme of franchise itself.
We are told that SkyNet no longer exists (goodbye 3 and 4, at the very least) but if alternate timelines were to exist, which is not implausible, at least not if we look at the theory of quantum superposition, which is:
“the peculiar circumstance in which particles seem to be in two or more places or states at once”Scientific Amercian
…then there can be no such certainty that SkyNet does not exist in another timeline. Or, another future…
With the use of the Terminator Genisys endoskeletons in Terminator: Dark Fate – by means of the opening scene, and by the sheer fact that Arnold Schwarzenegger’s family orientated T-800 ‘Carl’, is from the very same future as the endos, it suggests that ‘Carl’ could actually be from the Genisys timeline.
Tim Miller stated that ‘Carl’ was a ‘Slow Bullet‘ – with all the connotations that come along with that very definition.
“There were definitely more of them. We called them “slow bullets” that Skynet fired.”Tim Miller told ScreenCrush
Multiple ‘slow bullets’ means that despite *SPOILERS* ‘Carl’ being terminated at the end of the movie; there definitely could be more T-800’s from a Genisys future knocking about, waiting to strike at the leader of the human resistance, and that purely by their existence in the present (even if the instance of their original future has ceased to be… ), they would bring with them a strong sense of connection to Terminator Genisys, which would hit the proverbial ‘reset’ button on the decanonization of movie number five.
And then there’s Matt Smith…
In Terminator Genisys Matt Smith was the physical incarnation of SkyNet, a super-computer which utilizes (in this alternate timeline) the diabolical operating system named ‘Genisys’, to infiltrate (and dominate) the human race, to bring about a non too prescient future – wherein humans are slaves to technology and apps.
The writers of Terminator Genisys purposely chose to have the human embodiment of SkyNet be played by a male actor, with Matt Smith – which indicates that that aspect was to play a far bigger part in the sequel…
Now, I know that so far things have been a little bit messy, but please bear with me – I do appreciate your time:
Tim Miller has already indicated that ‘Legion‘ (the SkyNet rebrand) had a somewhat human origin…
“Legion is so powerful, the only way to beat it is going back in time and strangle it in the crib,”Tim Miller told KCRW
Just in case you think I took the ‘crib‘ comment a little too literally… Legion isn’t simply of human origins – it’s male… director Tim Miller stated:
“what if Legion is winning in the future, and he knows the way he was created and the things that lead to his near-victory in the future, all of this stuff, he had to lose along the way?”Tim Miller told io9
The complications brought about by changing the events of the present, or aspects seen as predetermined (Chaos theory / Butterfly effect), could explain that, in a timeline which was somewhat altered by the events of the fifth movie – that SkyNet / Genisys / the T-5000 simply became ‘Legion‘, and that ‘Alex‘ (Matt Smith) and his evolution / character arc, simply hadn’t been explored yet.
So, if Terminator: Dark Fate uses Terminator Genisys endoskeletons, and ‘Carl’ is from the now deleted timeline of the Genisys future, and SkyNet evolves into Legion – that would make Dark Fate the sequel to Genisys, and by extension, mean that we’re two movies in to a Terminator trilogy from Skydance Media and Paramount Pictures.
That’s it, that’s my thought process. Bag of cats emptied…
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