After years of waiting for a new installment into the Terminator franchise, Terminator: Dark Fate has finally come out to a lukewarm public reception. The movie absolutely has it’s strengths and weaknesses, and seeing the OG Sarah Connor herself, Linda Hamilton, back in action and better than ever makes the entirety of Dark Fate worthwhile. But this movie isn’t just a sequel to the original two Terminator films, it’s also a bit of a reset of the entire story and series.
Dark Fate decided to take the Terminator saga in an entirely new direction, and there are quite a few shocking and unexpected twists along the way. It was a bold move to be sure, and some parts of it worked while others didn’t. But one glaring issue with the revamping of the story is that a lot of the new ideas and plot points don’t make much sense in relation to the rest of the series. So here are 10 things that make no sense about Terminator: Dark Fate.
10 A Loveless Marriage
After one particular T-800 completed his particular mission, he was essentially stranded in the past forever with no mission and no purpose in life. So, after an indeterminate amount of time, he meets a woman with a son and helps raise that son, and essentially becomes the absolute standard family man despite not being a man.
But what’s pretty bizarre is that somehow his wife and kid have no idea that he’s not even a real human. The T-800, now called Carl, explains that their relationship has never been physical, but it’s hard to believe that any normal people could live with a robot for decades and never notice anything.
9 A Nearly Identical Future
Terminator: Dark Fate has essentially permanently altered the original timeline of the Terminator films, and the future that once existed is now completely different. Except, it’s not different at all.
Despite the fact that the future has been changed and Skynet has literally never existed, the robot apocalypse has still happened and the remnants of humanity are fighting a losing battle against this seemingly unstoppable force. Fate has always been an enormous element of the Terminator franchise, but the fact that so much about the future could be changed so completely, but still end up with exactly the same result, is baffling.
8 An Almost Human Robot
Although throughout the Terminator films we have all seen terminators, specifically the T-800 terminators, experience a variety of evolution and change, something that is just too far of a stretch is the fact that Carl, the T-800 who has been stuck in this timeline for years, is something pretty close to an actual human being.
Regardless of how much a machine can evolve, they’re still a machine. A terminator that develops something resembling human emotions and a human conscience is simply not possible, and the notion that a terminator would suddenly decide for itself that it’s programmed mission was morally wrong and work to undo the damage it’s done is absurd.
7 One On One Showdowns
The fundamental concept behind a terminator is definitely an interesting one. That’s kind of stating the obvious, since the premise has fueled half a dozen movies at this point. However, what is kind of strange is that although Legion (the new version of Skynet) has a literal army of robots fighting against the humans, they only send one terminator back to kill their quarry.
Theoretically, killing Dani Ramos could change the fate of humanity and ensure that the robots are victorious in the war, so why exactly have they only sent one terminator back to kill her? Why not send 80 and guarantee their win?
6 Time Travel
Despite the fact that the entire Terminator franchise is almost entirely dependent on the existence of time travel, the series has never explained how time travel actually exists. In any normal circumstance that would be fine, because suspension of disbelief is an obvious part of any film-watching experience.
But now that the future is different and the enemy in the future is different, the existence of time travel is considerably harder to believe. So the events of the world have changed drastically, but somehow someone or something has still invented time travel only a few years into the future?
5 The Endless T-800’s
Arnold Schwarzenegger is clearly an iconic action hero in his own right, and he absolutely is the terminator. So the fact that he is constantly brought back for each new installment into the Terminator series makes sense from a business standpoint. However, the T-800 is the most rudimentary terminator in existence as far as the audience knows.
There seem to be constant advancements in the terminator technology, so why in the world does Skynet keep sending back T-800’s to kill John Connor? Even more bizarrely, after the T-1000 has tried and failed to kill John, Skynet once again sends a T-800 back to kill him, because apparently if a more advanced terminator fails then the lesser robot will surely succeed?
4 Narrative Over Logic
The mythology and timeline of the Terminator films are obviously pretty complex, and things that happen in the past rely on the future and vice versa. However, the writers have prioritized the narrative progress of the films over what makes more logical sense for pretty much every movie.
After a terminator is sent back in time to kill a target and fails, the robot overlords trying to end humankind by sending another terminator back in time after the prior failed attempt to try again. But wouldn’t common sense dictate that they would send the next assassin back to an even earlier time period instead of a later one?
3 Sarah Connor’s Future Irrelevance
So this is a major spoiler alert for anyone who hasn’t yet seen Dark Fate, but the very start of the movie begins with young John Connor actually being terminated, erasing him as the future savior of mankind and essentially rendering Sarah Connor irrelevant.
Except, clearly she isn’t irrelevant, because she has spent all of her intervening years since John’s death destroying terminators every time they show up. So she might not be the “great Sarah Connor” anymore since John is now gone, but she’s still the biggest, baddest, threat to all the terminators in her era, so it’s strange that Legion doesn’t know she exists and doesn’t see her as any kind of threat.
2 Skynet Suicide
Time travel is obviously a tricky and dangerous thing, but one of the oddest elements of Terminator: Dark Fate‘s new timeline is that Skynet doesn’t even exist in it anymore. And what is bizarre is that, while John Connor was a threat to their potential victory in the robot vs. human war, it was not guaranteed that the humans were going to win.
Although nothing is a sure thing, the probability that killing John Connor in the past, or messing with the past timeline at all, could somehow harm Skynet or even cause Skynet to never exist in the first place was an obvious potential problem that Skynet itself apparently ignored.
1 John’s Fate
The entire Terminator saga isn’t a story that just moves in one direction. Because it’s a story that is predicated on time travel, it’s a story that exists on a loop of sorts. Everything has to come full circle, because the past relies on the future for its own existence. And the fact that John Connor wound up terminated just doesn’t make sense.
The very catalyst for John’s conception is that John himself sends his own father back in time to save his mother, so if John is killed when he’s just a child then he never would have had the opportunity to send Kyle Reese into the past, and therefore he never should have existed in the first place.