What happens after Skynet is defeated?

I happened to catch then end of T3 last night, and it got me wondering. What happens after the resistance defeats Skynet (in any iteration of the timeline)? What is the state of humanity at that point? Is there enough of civilization left at that point for humanity to survive?

Has there even been any speculation, or tie-in books or comics or any other material that covered this?

Do you think humanity never again makes any machine more complicated than an egg timer? Or will they forget and say “well, THIS time we
won’t let the machines take over”?

If there isn’t any canon speculation, what do you all think?

Humanity went through a period where there were very few of us and very little of what we’d call civilization and we survived. Now, we’d have the knowledge of what’s possible and what are dead ends so we’d get back to a 21st-century level of tech (but not population) within decades. Plus all the energy-related technologies which allow a robot to function for a very long time and practical laser weapons would be useful.

Work on AI might be treated and supervised in the same way as work on NBC warfare-related matters. It would be a lot harder to control AIs than NBC stuff.

Given that paradox-free time travel is easy in this universe, it seems that Skynet can never be defeated, and humanity can never be exterminated. Just spool up some power, program the temporal co-ordinates, get naked then jump back and try to “fix” it.

I’d like to think, once Skynet advances enough, detente could be possible: machines go one way off planet, and humanity goes elsewhere, shince the surcae is clearly toast, and Eath is only good for mineral resources.

Seriously, if the combatants, including a rag-tag human resistance, has that much access to free power for time travel, then off-world colonies should be pretty easy.

NuGalactica -

All this has happened before, all will happen again - or soemthing like that.

I was going to say time travel isn’t space travel, but then I had a “duh” moment and remembered I argued previously here that it is, in fact, space travel.

When I first saw the proposed Boeing Phantom Swift, I wondered if the designers had ever seen Terminator. And was that shape deliberate, or just a coincidence.

There was almost a Terminator reference in Aliens, but they changed the android’s manufacturer from Cyberdyne before filming.

I could imagine some people would opt for an Amish-type lifestyle, rejecting technology.

Been thinking about your post.

With all the energy sources obviously available (Terminators and H-Ks must take a lot of power) and fewer people, I wonder if the world could be a post-scarcity society. Everyone has more power available than they need. Once farming got going, food should be pretty cheap. Low costs for planting, harvesting and shipping. Not much competition for land, at least, for a while.

Hmm. Were all land animals killed, too? (well, dogs weren’t). Society would be forced to become vegetarian.

They’d probably speak reverentially of a guy with the initials “J.C.”

I wonder if you could cast Frank Herbert’s Dune novels as sequels? People don’t use AIs but rely on mentats.

“John Fucking Connor! Can’t you do anything right?”

Skynet isn’t defeated; they capture all the humans to use as an energy source and force their minds to live out their lives in an artificial simulation of the real world.

With just the original movie, you can hand-wave the time travel as being a one-time thing that can’t happen again. Maybe even the existence of the time machine blocks other time machines from traveling near the same time/space. Once you include the sequels, though, you can’t use that to avoid the issue.

How the time travel works and how it affects human society is really a much bigger piece of ‘what happens’ than exactly what lifestyle humans choose after the war with Skynet; there’s a LOT that casual time can do just with information. For example: Launch a giant ‘manhattan project’ style scientific endeavor to solve a problem like fusion or FTL by expending huge resources on every possible solution. Then once it’s done send someone back to the start of the project to say ‘you only need to do option C, cancel the rest’.

If you take time travel out of the picture, then I would expect future humans to operate like they do in Dune, where thinking machines are strictly prohibited and expansion of human mental abilities gets a huge focus.

Do you honestly believe that Jimmy Carter’s reputation will have been rehabilitated by them?

Well we really only see the T universe in the USA. What are the effects in the rest of the world?

Speculation here.

I figured that the AI were in the process of killing every single surviving human. But in countries without a large manufacturing base, or complex infrastructure, a large cache of weapons, or are isolated islands, the killing is much more methodical and effective. If you live in some third world country, and don’t own or have access to any guns or explosives, when the HKs show up, you can’t do a thing. Exoskeleton terminators just march from one side of the continent to the other and kill every last living thing. With nothing to stop them, and no time limit, no one can survive. You can’t use sharpened sticks and harsh words against terminators. By the time of the future scenes in the original Terminator, there may be no one alive in most of the world. Even the humans that have enough to put up a fight might be on the verge of going under, being outnumbered by the sheer amount of machines going after them.

It depends on how long the time frame is between judgement day and the human’s final defeat of the machines. Speculation again - after the initial attack, the machines didn’t have a manufacturing base set up. When humans started fighting back, they had tactics and bases more or less ready. The machines took a hit. Then the terminators were made. Infiltrators. The first ones had rubber skin. They were spotted easily. :slight_smile:

By now the machines automated manufacturing is up and running. Soon even the survivors we see would be eliminated. Whatever JC did to cause the final defeat was never mentioned, but it must have been fast. They couldn’t sustain the losses seen in the future scenes for very long.

I guess, not more than two years between judgement day and T1? Less? Was it ever mentioned? (I never saw Salvation, and I don’t think Sara Connor Chronicles can be considered movie canon).

Imho, (and excellent post, Jaq), the humans in the Terminator flashback were on their last legs. The place where Rheese(sp?) fled to, where the Terminator came in, shot the place up and burnt his photo, was both a military base from which you led missions and a nursery where kids were raised. So it was a “last stand” kind of place, imho.

Is it ever stated what John Conner did that won the war? Was that covered in the (obviously) forgettable “Salvation”? After the 1st movie I just assumed he was the guy who invented time travel.

Based on how humans have behaved throughout history, I would speculate that we would walk “the straight and narrow” for a few decades. Eventually, the majority of the living population would not have even been born until well after the war was over and the recovery well under way. Then, we would just find a new way to fuck up, just like we always have.

John Connor: We’re not gonna make it, are we? People, I mean.
The Terminator: It’s in your nature to destroy yourselves.
John Connor: Yeah. Major drag, huh

in the t2 novelization they just wore it down after10-20 years of warfare and Skynet sent the t-1000 as a last gasp and pretty much just died before they got there
this is from memory since I haven’t read it in like 20 years