Terminator through time

If there’s a character ideal for multiple mediums of sci-fi, it’s the Terminator or at least the idea of Terminators. The concept of a cyborg (cybernetic organism, or rather a robotic endoskeleton with living tissue over it) going back in time to kill the leader of the human resistance once the world goes kablooie isn’t that hard to grasp. The difficult part is keeping up with the alternate timelines and paradoxes by each subsequent sequel or TV show.

But for the nonsense the Terminator franchise has become, there's an equal number of insanely cool things about the license that makes the killer assassins from the future so damn likable. And because there’s a major motion picture coming out Thursday for part 4 - Terminator Salvation - we’re here to fill you in on the games of the series. But first, what is a Terminator?



The Terminator – 1984
A cyborg built to resemble an Austrian bodybuilder goes back in time from 2029 to 1984 in order to kill Sarah Connor (because she’ll give birth to the leader of the human resistance). A human - Kyle Reese - is sent back in time to stop her from being killed. Along the way, Kyle impregnates Sarah (he’s the father!), and the movie cements the fact that Terminators will absolutely not stop until they kill their target. The antagonist is shot up, blown up (twice) and only dies under a steel press.


Terminator 2: Judgment Day – 1991
Two Terminators are sent back in time after John Connor, Sarah’s son. One is the cyborg Schwarzenegger from Part 1 and the other is a liquid metal shapeshifter, known as the T-1000. Good Terminator and John bust Sarah out of a psychiatric hospital and blow up Cyberdyne in order to keep the company from reverse-engineering the Terminator tech (left by the first cyborg in Part 1), that will ultimately doom all of humanity. Oh and they melt the T-1000. The future is safe!


T2 3-D: Battle Across Time – 1996
This short film is actually a live attraction at Universal Studios. Guests take their seats in a small auditorium for a Cyberdyne trade show, demonstrating the latest in robotic innovations. Then the video feed is interrupted by Sarah and John Connor threatening to blow up the building. From there, the show continues as live-action with stunt performers playing the main characters from the films - that is until they drive a motorcycle into the future. The rest is a 3D film about Schwarzenegger and John destroying the Skynet system. Extremely cool for how silly the concept is. Embedded is the entire short film, but it’s not in 3D. You’ll have to imagine the wowy-zowy effects. Neato!

Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines – 2003
Sarah Connor’s dead from cancer, John Connor lives off the grid and has visions of a terrible future. Meanwhile, the shapeshifting/liquid-y TX (a lady terminator) comes from the future to eliminate all the leaders of the human resistance, John, and his future wife Kate Brewster. Apparently, Judgment Day was just delayed by the events of Part 2, as the Skynet system is now being funded by the US military. The old Arnie model shows up, helps destroy the TX, Skynet goes online and releases rockets anyway, killing most of humanity and setting John up to be the leader of the humans.

Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles – 2007
We can’t really follow the story anymore. The TV show acts as if T3 never happened and you can read about the crazy events here.

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  • Pry0citer - October 25, 2009 11:39 p.m.

    The Sarah Connor Chronicles confused me so much... ugh
  • Pry0citer - October 25, 2009 11:32 p.m.

    The Sarah Connor Chronicles confused me so much... ugh
  • Abbie - May 29, 2009 8:38 a.m.

    This movie is very futuristic as it portrays the future on our technologies. The Terminator: Salvation reviews are starting to come in, and it looks like Terminator: Salvation is going to be a hit. The reboot film of the Terminator series, starring Christian Bale, is an update on the film series that began in 1984 with the release of the first film starring Arnold Schwarzenegger. The first film was shot for $6 million, and made over $80 million. Some people will look into a quick cash loan to see the new one. Salvation is a franchise reboot, as both prequel and sequel, and it's been getting a lot of buzz. It might be worth short term loans to see if the Terminator: Salvation reviews turn out well. Read more on this site:
  • Adam777 - May 23, 2009 5:06 a.m.

    Why is it that you can't bring weapons to the past because they are not organic, but you can get a Terminator to go to the past and most of its body is metal?
  • DagDabreemie - May 21, 2009 9:05 p.m.

    Wasn't the terminator in Duke Nukem Forever (2001 trailer)? "The world may never know..."
  • jar-head - May 21, 2009 3:44 a.m.

    and GR review of the next terminator gave it a 6/10..crap
  • Silentboy - May 20, 2009 11:06 p.m.

    Sarah Conner Chronicles made no sense. It takes place in 2007... 4 years after skynet launched according to T3. I think they added a female terminator as a gimmick.
  • Skykid - May 20, 2009 8:13 p.m.

    Here is something the Arnie bot would say, "I'll be back."
  • MGS4SolidSnake - May 20, 2009 8:06 p.m.

    i kind of like t3 rise of the machines on ps2...once i got cheats it was kind of fun..without cheats it kindo of sucks
  • pimlicosound - May 20, 2009 1:27 p.m.

    I had Terminator: Rampage on PC. It came on six 3.5" floppy disks. It wasn't worth it.
  • iKOemos - May 20, 2009 4:11 a.m.

    A Governator film needs to be made. NOW!
  • GearsofRabies - May 20, 2009 3:58 a.m.

    good idea
  • iluvmyDS - May 20, 2009 2:21 a.m.

    God I loved Robocop Versus The Terminator. Oh and the T2 arcade game.
  • GamesRadarShanePatterson - May 20, 2009 1:24 a.m.

    I would try harder to follow Sarah Connor Chronicles... but that show just got canceled! ZING!
  • tehperson123412 - May 20, 2009 12:56 a.m.

    The Terminator: Rampage did George Lizzie and Ralph have anything to do with it?
  • gmilf71 - May 19, 2009 11:33 p.m.

    lol dude I like the picture of ah-nold from T2 with the mini gun.
  • KakashiXIII - May 19, 2009 11:10 p.m.

  • Corsair89 - May 19, 2009 11:10 p.m.

    Yup, the story of the Sarah Conner Chronicles is unfollowable. ReCaptcha: rectal and... o_0 and what?
  • zIndianaJonesz - August 19, 2009 9:03 a.m. of the best sroryline games but some stories went a little to far other than that a great story overall
  • Demonflare - May 22, 2009 8:35 p.m.

    When I was little, my dad make me watch Terminator with him...BORING! I fell asleep. Wasnt interesting to me. Still is today.