Terminator 2: a couple of questions

I absolutely adore this movie. If I’m channel hopping and it’s on, I find myself getting sucked in. I have lost count of the number of times I have seen it.

Yes, it’s flawed. The T1000 - while unspeakably cool - is technology that just couldn’t exist in the same timeframe or universe as the original Terminator, and that’s been discussed here before.

I have a couple of smaller, more practical questions.

  1. When Our Heroes blow up the Cyberdyne building, where do they get all the stuff? The explosives, the radio controlled detonator? The yellow containers of explosive or accelerant? Think about the sequence of events. Sarah has the nightmare that leads her to head off without telling anyone where she’s going. John realises where she’s gone, and they head off in pursuit. The arrive remarkably soon after she does, so presumably they didn’t stop and say “hey, we might head on to blow up something big, so let’s pack accordingly”. Then we see them walk in to the Cyberdyne building, travelling fairly light. So where does it all come from? Any theories?

  2. A much more disturbing question - what do you think happens to Mrs Dyson? She’s met Our Heroes, has evidence with her own eyes, and clearly believes everything she’s told. She knows where her husband is headed off to, and presumably draws her own, tragic, conclusions when he’s never seen again, even though they never find a body. She might always suspect he escaped with the others, and never got back in contact to keep her and the kid safe. Or perhaps she figured he never made it, and of course the officers that saw Dyson at the end would confirm that. Does she tell anyone? Does she go to the police? If there was this great cover up keeping the first micro-processor top secret, presumably she ended up in the same nut house that they kept Sarah in, and her poor kid’s also with feckless foster parents. I always felt really, really sorry for Dyson - goes from finding out he’s responsible for the end of the world, to getting shot up and blown to bits in the space of a few hours - but now I feel even sorrier for Mrs D.

  3. What happened next? Now, I have seen this one discussed on here before, but in the light of point 2 thought I’d throw it in again as a bonus. In the first part of the film, Sarah is on the run having violently escaped a mental hospital, and is wanted for knowledge of murders that happened in 1984. By the end of the film, she’s still on the run, and is presumably now also wanted for blowing up the Cyberdyne building, and (possibly) killing Dyson in the process. She’s also got a couple of nasty injuries. I don’t have the same affection for Terminator 3, so can’t really remember if this is covered there.

So, any thoughts (other than I need to get out more)?

  1. is answered in the Sarah Connor Chronicles:

she is clearly depicted as a believer in Sarah’s cause and that any evidence of the machines must be removed, even though she harbours some resentment for her husband’s death. she and her kid is well.

This isn’t an answer to any of the questions asked, but if you’re as diehard a fan of the movie as you say you are, I heavily recommend you check out Terminator the Second. It’s a play put on by an independent theatre in Nashville (a filmed version of which has since been produced and can be purchased on the above-linked site), which reconstructs the plot of the movie using lines of dialogue from the works of Shakespeare. It ends up working remarkably well and it’s a great interpretation.

Holy shit, I just watched the preview bit on the website, and that looks all kinds of awesome! Purchasing the digital download right now, and praying they bring it to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe (it is so the kind of thing that gets put on at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe…)

Same place they got the grenade launchers, shotguns and the fricking minigun ? They were tooling up to take over a small country at that arms dealer’s place, it’s not altogether extravagant to think they might have picked up a few dozen pounds of C4 along with all the other hardware and stashed it in the trunk of their car ; which Sarah drove to Cyberdine.

As for the barrels of accelerant, couldn’t they have procured it on site ? High tech labs must be full of inflammable goop to go with the state-of-the-art bubbling green beakers. Or just pressurized containers, which even if filled with inert material would still go boom if heated or otherwise violently ruptured (see: Mythbusters and water heaters)

Never saw the Sarah Connor chronicles - it was only on Sky TV over here, which I don’t have. Is it worth watching? My fear would be that the more they try to add to the story, the more potential plotholes are uncovered.

Hmmm… I suppose so. I could imagine John and Arnie flinging the grenade launchers, shotguns and minigun into their transport before heading off, but hadn’t considered that Sarah might have loaded up her car ready to blow up Cyberdyne after offing Dyson. My bubble of disbelief will happily remain intact after all. I’m easily pleased. :slight_smile:

I think (2) is easily resolved. She calls up the cops, says “bad people showed up and kidnapped my husband”. As far as she knows, they have now averted Judgment Day, her poor husband is dead anyhow, she should just continue to live her life and raise her kids.

(3) Is one that I’ve always wondered about. If nothing else, the factory has to be totally surrounded by Swat teams at this point. And let’s not forget that there’s a Terminator arm stuck in one of the big gears.

The explosives and detonators seem to have been brought with them from the encampment in Mexico where that they traveled to after breaking Sarah out of Atascadero. The accelerant, for some reason, appears to have already been at CyberDyne.

**The film does completely hand wave this, although as someone stated the question is answered is **The Sarah Connor Chronicles **television series. What is also forgotten in the film is that Sarah opens fire on Dyson’s home with an automatic weapon and the Terminator does extensive damage to it. Following the death of her husband later that evening, Mrs. Dyson would have had to do a great deal of explaining about the state of her home and what happened to her husband.

What is also hand waved is the fact that no major project ever depends upon a single scientist. Even if Dyson were to destroy all of the data and note CyberDyne and he was an uber genius, he still would have been working with other scientists and engineers who could replicate their findings later. Those people would have to be somehow silenced or “eliminated” to prevent them from simply starting over from where they left off.**

**This is never addressed anywhere.

It’s clear from the film that Sarah Connor was deeply emotionally or even mentally scarred by her travels and her time spent in a mental hospital. That doesn’t just “go away” in real life and the television series never addresses the matter at all. That alone would have made her vulnerable to the terminators which simply seem to keep coming after her.

While I enjoy the Terminator films (well…at least the first two) the series is now a muddled mess. They are going to reboot it and hopefully they’ll use better writers who will be able to translate the story in a manner which doesn’t create the numerous plot holes that original series has.

However, after recently watching the new Robocop reboot, I don’t have high hopes for this to occur.**

Cyberdyne appears to be, among other things, a manufacturer of microprocessors and microelectronics. They’re going to have plenty of flammible solvents such as toluene and other aromatic hydrocarbons.


But their findings were based on the Terminator arm and CPU from the first film, which are now toast. They should have offsite backups though. Maybe that could explain why J-day was delayed and not stopped.

This is true.

However, whatever discoveries are made are made by people using the scientific method and then setting up experiments to attempt to falsify their findings. Even if the experiment results and their notes were ALL kept onsite at CyberDyne (which would make them vulnerable to a natural disaster or to corporate espionage) they would still be in the minds of the people who setup and ran the experiments.

Screenwriters correctly assume that the majority of their audiences are scientifically illiterate. That way, they can easily be led to believe that simply blowing up a building will destroy years of research. Unfortunately, that’s not how reality works and if you have done something more than once, unless your memory fails you completely, you can piece together how to do it again.

It may take time. But then clearly CyberDyne was willing spend millions or more on studying the Terminator arm and CPU, so they would have also been willing to spend at least half as much to recover their findings if they were somehow lost.

Yeah, but they don’t have the stuff with which they experimented on any more, and I doubt anyone can really remember all of a super-microchip’s diagram (assuming they even *were *able to map the chip somehow and didn’t treat it as a black box), even if they worked on it a while. That’s why we use, y’know, diagrams :).

Same about the arm - I’m not 100% sure what the hell it could tell them (it’s just a bunch of cogs and levers mimicking a human skeleton, right ? What’s so special about it ? We have shit like that already. We’ve had shit like that since the 60s), but even if they knew exactly what it could do, if they couldn’t replicate it before then they sure as hell won’t now, even if they managed to get all of their scientists to remember everything they ever did with it in perfect detail. Which, again, fat fucking chance.

All of that being said, it doesn’t really matter what CyberDyne does afterwards. John & Sarah managed to change fate a bit, which means it can be done in the first place. And that’s all they needed, for now. What they do know is that Judgement Day won’t happen on its known schedule because it can’t. Maybe CyberDyne manages to get it back on track a decade or two later - fine, they’ll just blow it up again. Or Future!John can send a terminator back, again, to blow up Skynet’s next weakest link, and so on. The big depressing thing they all angst about throughout T2 is that whatever they seem to do, judging by the aftermath of T1 it’s already all accounted for in the timeline, you can’t change anything in the past because whatever you do to change it you’ve already done it. It’s already happened. Hence, no future. Thus, everything is pointless.
T2 says “actually you *can *change the future. No fate but what we do, baby”.
Which also means that you can keep changing it as long as you care to keep fighting death robots from the future, until suddenly there’s no death robots from the future at all any more and you know you’ve won - there won’t be a Skynet, because if there was it’d start making death robots and send them back to prevent you from preventing Skynet and oh god I’ve gone cross-eyed.

One possible future. From your point of view. (I don’t know tech stuff).

The thing is, if it were really true, there would be no movie. Sarah wouldn’t need to run away from the Terminator once she knows that her destiny is to give birth to John Conner. No matter how hard it tried, Sarah could just sit on her couch and the Terminator would never be able to kill her. It would run out of power or fall through the floor or get hit by a meteor or some guy from the future would blow it up before it could get a hold of her.

Yes, of course. But she has to, because she did, which led to John getting conceived the way it was, so he became the leader of La Résistance and yadda yadda. Basically, Cameron changed his mind from one movie to the next on which version of time travel he was working with. The first establishes a stable loop, the second is a “Pants of Time” parallel timelines thing.

The glaring plot hole there is, they can’t both be true in the same universe :). IIRC, T3 is back to the stable loop.

Sure they can. See Future, Back To The for examples thereof. It just requires that the univese is built around the existence and survival of a central person (in the cited case, Marty McFly) who is the Prime Mover of that universe.


Where is The Sarah Connor Chronicles in terms of continuity? From this thread, it seemed to have been right after T2?

Since SkyNet is limited by the fact that it was created by humans to technology which would have to be evolutionary descendant of human technology, we aren’t talking about diagrams that would be too difficult to recreate. If the Terminator Universe is to be believed, other than time travel technology and “living metal” androids/gynoids there is little in the future which isn’t in line with the direction that human technology seems to be traveling.

Again….even if we were to presuppose that a major corporation would keep all of its data and notes in a single location you still have to presume that they didn’t have a single scientist working on every aspect. Miles Dyson might have an outstanding computer scientist, but it’s doubtful that brilliance extended into metallurgy,manufacturing processes,weapons technologies,etc. That requires a host of other people, many of whom would have to be as brilliant as Dyson or brighter.

Simply blowing up a building is a screenwriting construct meant to satisfy those with limited imaginations to thinking that they have “solved” that particular plot dilemma. There is no invention of any substance in the history of mankind which could be slowed or halted simply by destroying a single location studying it or which has manufactured it.

When I first saw the movie, all I could think at the end was “Apparently no one connected to the movie has ever heard of Off-Site Backups.”

Why would it be ? SkyNet’s basically the singularity. It starts out as or more intelligent than a human, but it’s also an immortal, mutable machine. It can therefore analyze itself to find a way to make itself more intelligent/efficient (or just brute force it, since as of T3 the original SkyNet is basically the clustered processing power of every last computer on the Internet), do it, analyze itself again etc… until it’s basically an alien entity. That figured out time fucking travel. I think we can safely state its tech is weird.

(A propos of nothing, but related, I remember an experiment where guys from… I’m gonna guess MIT let a computer design circuits at random - IIRC the machine was given an end goal and a bunch of components or bits of circuits, then left alone to combine them at random one small evolution at a time. The machine not only did come up with a number of working designs, but some worked and nobody could tell how. Anybody remember this ?)

… Yeah, and other than the fact that she hasn’t got any, my aunt has as many testicles as my uncle :wink:

Again (and I saying this a lot today) I didn’t write the narrative of the film. That means I can only comment upon what I perceive to be holes in that narrative. The film itself proposes that SkyNet is limited to evolutionary extensions of human technology as it:

[li]Create humanoid robots as its “ultimate killing machines” - Not animals, nor insectoids nor a host of other technologies which could eliminated humans far more efficiently than a slow bipedal android.[/li][li]Clearly doesn’t use testing methods available at that the time the film was written (which avoids the whole DNA loophole) to search for Sarah Connor- There were technologies far more advanced than looking in the phone book in the 1980s which could located her far more efficiently. That’s how a HUMAN BEING (and not a very smart one, I might add) would search for someone.[/li][li]Reese states that humans were used as slave labor by SkyNet - This serves no purpose except to horrify the audience as a machine wouldn’t waste the resources necessary to keep a human workforce alive. They need food and water, they are inefficient and they require rest.Machines would machines. [/li][li]SkyNet employs firearms and direct energy weapons - While these are efficient for humans to dispatch humans, an AI could certainly create much more efficient methods of killing human beings that would use far less energy and achieve greater results.[/li][/ol]

The narrative of the film (and later the franchise) binds SkyNet to technology evolved from human ingenuity, the exceptions again being time travel and liquid metal technology. To presume that it is able to think beyond that is to assume facts not in evidence.