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Terminator Plot Holes

And other questions I have about the series

By Scott KinkadePublished 3 years ago 3 min read

The first two Terminator movies are near the top of my all-time favorite films list. But as good as they are, they're not perfect. There are things they fail to explain. Join me as I look at not only them, but the rest of the series.

The time machines

Just how many time machines does Skynet have? In the first film, Kyle Reese strongly suggested there was only one. So, then, how can there be a second one in the sequel? Or a third one in Terminator 3/Dark Fate?

And if Skynet can send multiple terminators back to the past, why didn't it just send the T-1000 and the T-X back to 1984 to help the original? There's no way Kyle and Sarah could have fought off all three of them. Obviously, that's why the writers didn't do it, but it makes Skynet look like an idiot.

The forgotten arm

Uncle Bob sacrifices himself at the end of T2 to eradicate the research that would lead to Skynet. But they all forgot about the arm he left in the machine while fighting the T-1000. Whoops! I guess the research can continue after all. I hope this doesn't come back to haunt them later on at a beach in Mexico.

Doctor Silberman

Here's the king of denial. Despite all the evidence, he concludes Sarah Connor is crazy and has her locked up prior to the events of T2. He never does explain who was chasing Sarah or how that person was able to wipe out an entire police station single-handed. He continues to seemingly believe Sarah made it up until he sees the T-1000 in action.

Okay, maybe not a plot hole per se, but it's still something I wondered about.

Rise of the Machines

In T2, Skynet had a clear motivation for wanting to get rid of humanity. But in the third movie, there's nothing. It's just a generic evil AI being evil for the sake of being evil. I get that it's not the same Skynet, but its motivations should still be established.


What exactly was Marcus doing between his execution and revival early in the movie? I've long wondered about that. Was he just chilling in a lab somewhere? Was he lying dormant (my personal theory), waiting to be revived and thrust into a terrifying new world?


This was one confusing movie. Just how did the timeline change? Pops' hypothesis is just technobabble and clarifies nothing. Supposedly the sequel would have explained it, but we got Dark Fate instead. Hurray?

Dark Fate

Plot holes abound in the latest entry. Why did Sarah show up at the freeway when Rev-9 appeared elsewhere and at a different time? How did Dani become a badass resistance leader with no training? Did Skynet send back Carl or did Legion do it? If it was Skynet, at what point did it become Legion? How did they manage to track down Grace at the end of the movie when she hadn't given them her last name or her address? How did Skynet track down John when it didn't know what he looked like and they were on the run?

Sarah Connor Chronicles

I decided not to leave this one out, as it does have a huge plot hole. Early in the series, a terminator is able to travel through time without its organic outer shell. This is in stark defiance to Kyle's words in the first movie: "Nothing dead can go through." You might be thinking this is a separate continuity, but the Terminator series is made up of multiple continuities to begin with, and there's no indication the TV series used different laws of physics.


All in all, the Terminator series is a crazy ride. It has its ups and downs and stuff that doesn't make sense. But I still love the first two films at least.


About the Creator

Scott Kinkade

I'm a science fiction and fantasy author living with Asperger's. I've published 10 novels and a few short stories thus far. I decided to join Vocal in order to share stories that are fiction and non-fiction.

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  • tellmeverbatimabout a month ago

    Kyle Reese must be the father of John Connor, but originally he is born in 21st cent. and by 2029 he has joined up with his son John Conner who would have lived since 1985. Once Reese travels back to 1984 he is no longer in 2029, and since he dies in 1985 his life in 2029 would vaporize resulting in him not being available to John Conner in 2029. A loop of logic that breaks down the plot line. Having Reese survive so as to live into 2029 would have made more sense.

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