Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Temper Tantrum Tuesday: The Terminator Movies

Looking at the Terminator movies and all the contradictions in them, I have found a simple explanation for all of them. Identity Theft.

Jose Barrera was the original savior of mankind and John Connor was a putz.

Terminator 1: The machines are no match for Jose’s forces

In the first movie Reese told Sarah Connor that humanity had the machines on the run and sending the Terminator back in time to kill her was the machines final “Hail Mary Pass”. If they didn’t kill her then the machines would be doomed and humanity would win.

He traveled back in time to save her with only her name and an old photograph, taken by a Mexican boy, to guide him. That Mexican boy was Jose Barrera.

In the future, Jose had grown up met with all the humans who could launch a resistance to the machines and overthrew them. He had an old Polaroid of some chick named Sarah Connor that had stopped by his Uncle’s gas station one day. During his adolescent days he used to use it for fantasy material.

Letting Skynet know of his true identity would endanger everyone in the resistance so he took her last name and added “John” to it. Thus the identity of John Connor was born.

As Jose broke down Skynet they used the last of their resources to send the T-800 back in time to kill Sarah Connor. Jose thought, “Check and Mate.” Unfortunately, he had an assistant that was too impatient and he only kept him around for laughs. The assistant’s name was Kyle Reese.

Reese followed the T-800 back in time determined to stop him, as Jose hadn’t filled him in on the game plan.

Reese did stop the T-800, fathered the real John Connor who didn’t exist before, and convinced Sarah Connor that her son would grow up to be the savior of humanity. This changed the timeline.

John Connor was born and Sarah Connor spent the his early years training him to be “a great military leader.” Unfortunately, he was still a putz. He did manage to lead a band of rebels, but he led them badly. This wasted the resources that Jose had used in the original timeline, so the victory over the machines was delayed long enough for the machines to develop the T-1000.

Terminator 2: John Connor betrays Jose

Jose still managed to defeat Skynet despite the fact that John Connor was using up his resources with bad strategies. Jose realizes that victory would have happened much sooner if John Connor wasn’t around. So he reprograms a T-1000 to take care of this torn in his side.

The added benefit of this plan was if the T-1000 could destroy the parts from the T-800 that were left behind the original invention of Skynet would be placed back on track saving humanity a decade of warfare.

John Connor didn’t like that idea and as Jose was on the verge of defeating the machines he sent a T-850 back in time to save his younger self, not only to save his life but to make him the top dog in the future without the machines.

His plan works and 10-year-old John Connor stops spending all his time at Orgies in Mike Kripke’s basement and devotes his life to stopping the machines.

Terminator 3: The rise of John Connor

Because of the events in the previous movies, John Connor becomes able to be a powerful military leader, but still a putz. Under his leadership victory is delayed and the machines are able to create the TX. They even have the spare resources to make it growl when faced with momentary set-backs.

After easily killing John Connor in battle, the machines know this putz wasn’t the brains behind the operation to overthrow them; but Jose is too crafty to let them know his true position in the resistance so they send the TX back in time to kill all the people who partook in the Orgies in Mike Kripke’s basement, except for Mike Kripke oddly enough.

The TX shoots Jose Barrera times and severely wounds him, but doesn’t kill him. He goes to the hospital in a sheltered part of LA and survives the nuclear holocaust but the radiation cripples him, leaving him only able to play a minor role in the resistance.

Katherine Brewster, a survivor of the initial nuclear holocaust, had tried to hook up with Jose but was unsuccessful so settled for John Connor. Her hopes of marriage to her boyfriend Scott were sidetracked by the nuclear war. She realizes her only hope to be first lady of the new world order lays in having John Connor be the leader of humanity, even if it prolongs humanities struggle, so she sends the T-880 back in time to secure her position as leader.

This leads to the all out war in Terminator 4 wiping out most of humanity, instead of the stealth warfare in the original timeline that had humanity suffer for a decade or so.

So the Terminator movies do make sense, but only if John Connor’s is a complete smuck and Katherine Brewster is willing to sacrifice most of humanity, billions of lives, in order to be queen of the remaining survivors.

Darrell B. Nelson


Stephanie Barr said...

As a general rule, I don't like time travel movies. As soon as someone goes back in time to "change" things, my eyes roll into my head.

What I loved about the first one was that it was so tidy. Reese went back and made the future what it needed to be. There was no room for a sequel, no place for changes.

They should never have made the other ones. They had to cheat to do it.

Project Savior said...

I like "good" time travel movies, unfortunately there aren't many. Now I'm having to actually think about time travel because the B plot of the novel I'm writing revolves around a time traveler. Luckily it's a comedy so I don't have to get too specific but it still has to self consistent.

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