BySean Erickson, writer at
Exploring the area between movie geek and film nerd.
Sean Erickson

The Glorious Insanity of Terminator: Genisys

Have you seen the new trailer for Terminator: Genisys? Have you basked in the glorious WTFery of it all or has it left you shaking your head with the thought that the series has finally jumped the shark? Or is this crazy shake up exactly what the series needed after the murky and mostly boring Terminator: Salvation movie? Let's take another look and unpack the madness of what's going on here:

So where do we begin with this amount of craziness? Will these trailers continue to make these kinds of huge reveals? Was this one just too big to contain? There was definitely some rumors and spoilers out there that leaked this info out a while ago so maybe they just decided to run with it? Will they be doing the same move when it comes to Matt Smith and the big reveal around his character? That spoiler didn't even feel like it was at the level of this John Conner business, so maybe there are simply more than enough twists in Terminator 5 to go around.

Terminator 5 Retconning & Rebooting

So what's going on here? Well, the new trailer does a good job of re-establishing the storyline of the Terminator movies in just a few shots. Sarah Connor raises John Conner to be the rebel leader against a Skynet that has gone crazy and blown up most of the world. Come to think of it, Skynet's plan to save the world by eliminating humanity is a lot like what Ultron is up to in Avengers 2, isn't it?

Things go according to plan as John Connor sends Kyle Reese back in order to save his mom from a terminator that Skynet sent back but then things are immediately cuckoo and it seems Kyle arrived in some alternate timeline to the one he was prepped for. Another Arnold Schwarzenegger model terminator was sent back to Sarah Conner's childhood and it raised her to be a super badass who is currently on the run from a T-1000 style liquid metal terminator.

At this point, you may already be like J.K. Simmons in this Terminator: Genisys clip...

Unpacking the Trailer & Skynet's Plan

So this new trailer confirms that the older Schwarzenegger terminator did get sent back with the events of the first movie programmed into him so that Sarah can expect the arrival of Kyle and the old T-800 knows when to expect the arrival of the T-800 from the first movie. It does at least provide for a certain amount of continuity and clarifies a bit that this isn't some alternate universe in the strictest sense.

Caution. Some potential Terminator Genisys spoilers may follow...

Anyway, so then we have the big Terminator 5 reveal that John Connor gets sent back in time and he's in the form of what looks like a nanobot type terminator that can heal itself and may in fact be the T-5000 that has been rumored. While this could indeed be looked at like as something of a big spoiler - we still don't really know if John Connor himself got turned into this crazy robot or if this is some sort of John Connor clone with the memories programmed into it to make it a more proficient killing machine in being able to hunt down its mother of a target.

John Connor isn't what he seems in Terminator 5.
John Connor isn't what he seems in Terminator 5.

This first leads me to wonder whether the John Connor that sent Kyle Reese back in time wasn't already corrupted. The trailer doesn't reveal how John Connor ends up getting turned into or cloned into a new terminator (*cough* Matt Smith *cough*) so we don't know when in this nutty time traveling timeline this event occurred - but I like the idea of an evil John Connor being forced to send Kyle Reese back in time to make sure he sleeps with his mom and he gets born.

Sarah Connor is Humanity's Last Hope

Which raises the question - can a son kill his mother before the son is even born? This is a chicken and egg debate that not many movies are crazy enough to get into - again props to Terminator: Genisys for staring down just about every time traveling paradox and flipping a bus over it. So here's what I think is going on in Terminator 5 after watching this latest trailer...

Terminator 5 is just about this insane.
Terminator 5 is just about this insane.

With the enemy at the gate - John Connor sends Kyle Reese back to protect his mom. After Kyle arrives and they do battle with the T-1000, John Connor Bot shows up to try and kill them. But this isn't John Connor per se - Skynet bases the look of these robots on somebody and this time they (*cough* Matt Smith *cough*) are able to get their hands on John Connor and implant his memory and his looks into the T-5000 in order to kill Sarah Connor.

At some point Sarah Kyle and the T-800 are able to travel forward in time to try and save John Connor and that looks like it's pretty much where the trailer for Terminator: Genisys leaves off. And since they've already announced that there are hopes for two more movies after this one - it's likely that there will be some unresolved issues that will be saved for the future of this trilogy.

I think this is the sort of retconning or rebooting, or whatever you want to call it, that the Terminator franchise needs. When just about every other Terminator movie ended in a stalemate - where no progress in the battle against Skynet seemed to be made - the movies needed to up the stakes in order to make them interesting. And this insanity definitely has my interest.

What do you think? Did the new [Terminator Genisys](movie:34872) trailer reveal too much? Are you more excited for the craziness of this movie than you were before? Less excited? Sound off in the comments section below!


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