There is no paradox in the Terminator movies. The creation of onr or multiple paradoxes assumes a linear construction of time. Instead, think of Past, Prenet and Future as components of time that, like wavelengths of light, exist both independently and interdependently. Or, think of three spinning plates, all atop one another. Plate A and Plate C spin in a clockwise direction on the Y axis. Plate B in between them spins counter-clockwise on the Y axis. Simple enough. Given that all plates spin at the same RPM, any point on any plate will co-exist on its nascent plate at a rate of 1/(x-3)^3 Now, there is some added complexity, because the plates also spin on the X axis, and cannot tauch, though they are an infinitesmally small distance apart, but that requires a heavy amount of non-linear calculus to define.
The example of The Terminator "paradox" is that John Conner cannot be born because his father, Kyle Reece dies before he is born. This is nonsense. Kyle was sent back in the past by a John Conner completely unaware that Kyle was, in fact, his father. Instances of "Kyle," "John," "Sarah," and all the teminator machines exist on all three plates simultaneously. Because there are three plates and instances can and do move from one plate to another constantly, there is no violation of the laws of thermodynamics, principally, that no matter or energy can be created or destroyed. You might also think of it as instnaces having their origins in the future, passing through the present, and flowing into the past all through a closed medium, that is: time.
There is no john conner or kyle paradox but there is a sarah conner john conner paradox thanks to the tv show
it said that they were still alive in 1999 but sarah died in 1997 to make sure judgment day didn't happen.
and T2 supposedly took place in 1995 when john was 10 then in 1999 he is all of a sudden 17 or 18?
The answer is simple by Kyle going back in time and becoming the father of John Conner he created an alternate time line.
Not to go off topic but the same thing happened in the dragon ball z anime. The character trunks goes back in time to find the protagonist of the show to prevent the hero from dying of a heart attack so he could fend off cyborgs in his future. To his dismay different cyborgs showed up because his meddling created an alternate future and proceeded to go back to his own future and told his mother of the alternate timelines' events...
One more great example is back to the future II where the scientist explains that a different time line was created.
The old terminator model told John Conner that he killed him in terminator 3 in his future. It's obvious since John knows the truth he will be more careful and probably a new time line was created. The key phrase that everyone mentioned including Sarah Connor that "it's not the future that they were told about".This is because of recent events.
Last edited by mr.chapps on Jul 23rd, 2008 at 02:31 AM
There is no paradox, but apparently the mega-intelligent AI of the future really isn't all that bright.
In each Terminator movie, the machines are trying to kill John Connor directly or indirectly, each time doing so at a later date than the time before.
Take Terminator 3. The beginning of the movie talks about how John lives 'off the grid' so that he can't be found by the machines. The TX gets sent back in time to start polishing off his lieutenants, as if that was the only solution the machines of the future could come up with.
If they have a TIME MACHINE, they wouldn't CARE if he lives off the grid in his late teens. What stops them from just sending the TX back to the SAME time they sent the first terminator? If they were able to send Arnold back in time with enough accuracy to give him a chance to kill Sarah Connor before she dies on her own, they could have easily had Arnold, the T1000, and the TX all trying to kill Sarah back when she was a gunshy hippie.
EVEN IF the humans did the same, it would be Arnold, the T1000, and the TX versus a gunshy Sarah Connor, Kyle, and a reprogrammed Arnold. Quick math says that's a dead Sarah Connor.
The Kyle Reese father thing is not a paradox but there are plenty in the terminator movies and even more in the TV series.
The most glaring one is in T3 Rise of the machines when the Terminator takes John Connor and Kate Brewster to the Cemetery to retrieve the weapons from Sarah's Grave. Neither Connor or Brewster seems to know what is in the coffin but the terminator does. So the information about the weapons has no source.
Also the movies seem to imply a "timeline protection theory" that is, sending the first terminator back in time to kill Sara Connor alerts her to the existence of these machines in the future setting off the chain of events that lead her to be in hiding on judgement day. (the machines actions caused the future they remember). If they had not taken any action at all she very possibly could have died on judgement day,...would that create a causality loop?
I didn't like the TV series because there are too many paradoxes. for example...A guy named Billy Wisher tells Derek Reese that his real name is Andy Goode and that he is responsible for the creation of Skynet. After Derek Reese goes back in time, he shoots and kills Andy Goode. So now he cannot be there to tell Derek his real name in the future. little things like that annoyed me in the TV series.
Ah the good old grand father paradox, if i go back in time and kill my grandfather before i or my father was born then i wouldn't exist in the future, but how could I go back in time and kill him then?
once you get to stuff like that you end up creating alternate time lines
Once reese finds out that billy is andy in the future he then goes back in time and kills him he will never have that conversation in the future again cause andy is now dead.
They really messed that up in back to the future 2, where marty and the chick go 30 years ahead to do something about their kids?? once they get 30 years ahead they will arrive at a time where they haven't existed for 30 years, cause they left in 1985.
same thing with Biff taking the time machine back to 1955 and giving himself the almanac, when he returned to 2015 he would arrive in a time where he would be the ruler of the city, but when he came back nothing changed
I hope that the religious musings of the series don't take that ball and run to with it to point of implying the cybernetic equivalent of the immaculate conception or try to render Skynet's origin as being a god's will thing...
If that happens, im out.
Last edited by Sadako of Girth on Dec 4th, 2008 at 06:02 PM
Actually no he wouldn't would he? By the Back to the Future rules, these things seem to have some delay before catching up, else Marty would have instantly vanished the moment he messed up the past in the original film. It's always been based around this slow degeneration as the timelines 'catch up'.
So when Biff returns to the future, he would begun to stop existing as Biff was no longer living by then, in the altered timeline (his wife killed him).
And yes, meanwhile, if people are going to be unhappy with "Reese kills Andy so how did he know to kill Andy" you may as ell never watch ANY Terminator stuff at all- films or tv series- as the whole premise of trying to kill Connor in the past would create such a logical hitch as well. It's not worth thinking too much into it, to be hones.t Like I say, we have this whole self-creation paradox; it's a standard sci-fi staple. Sure, it seems logically impossible, but no more than lightsabres, ships making noises in space, or the rules they use as to what tech you can bring back in time with you in Terminator...
"We've got maybe seconds before Darth Rosenberg grinds everybody into Jawa burgers and not one of you buds has the midi-chlorians to stop her!"
"You've never had any TINY bit of sex, have you?"
Last edited by Ushgarak on Jun 25th, 2009 at 05:30 PM
I like this train of thought....if skynet has the intellegence to send back a Terminator to kill whomever gave birth to John Connor (Sarah Connor), then why not send one back to kill Sarah's mother, or Sarah's grandmother, or her great-great-great grandfather, for that matter....
You see where I'm going with this.
Either way you look at it, time being linear or a like a pre-written book etc; if Sarah Connor is never born, the machines could have saved themselves a whole lot of bother.....?
But the thing which has been interesting me is the existance of Skynet itself.
At the end of the first film, the Terminator which has been sent back by Skynet to destroy Sarah Conner is crushed in an industrial press, leaving only the broken remain of an arm. Miles Dyson, working for a regular blue-chip firm at the time, discovers the arm, analyses its alien structure and from this develops the neural-net processor.
This processor then goes on to become the rudimentary building-block of the entire Skynet system, as we know.
Now for the arm to exist, Skynet MUST have sent back a Terminator for the arm to get discovered, so that the technology for Skynet can be developed.
So far so good, but Skynet sent back the machine to kill Sarah Connor. If this Terminator had succeeded in its mission, the arm would not have been available for Miles Dyson's discovery, and therefore he would not have developed the technology for Skynet to exist.
If the original Terminator had killed Sarah Connor as intended, the Terminator which did it would instantly dissapear from space and time, Skynet would never exist and the world would carry on as normal (minus Sarah Connor, of course)
It is, of course, the fate of humanity that Sarah destroys the machine, so that she can live on to concieve John, who, subsequently will ensure the survial of the human race. But if she HAD been killed, there would be no war anyway. Skynet would have destroyed itself and John's existance would be irrelevant.
So in actual fact, Skynet it pretty dumb. It's a lose-lose situation for the machine.... it tries to prevent its destruction by killing Sarah, but fails. But if it had succeeded, it would have destroyed itself anyway. Fail.
The moral of the story is, computers are stupid.
Now i'm going to post this before mine crashes.....
There is no paradox because whatever happened, happened. Kyle always went back in time, he always fathered John Connor, John Connor always sent him back in time. Think of it like this, time is a stream: its always moving. Say you're floating down that stream in a inner-tube, and you see yourself, which makes you freak out and swim over to the dry land on the banks of the stream (which is a metaphor for inventing a time machine.) Now, wanting to see what happened and if it actually was you or not, you quickly run down the stream to where you just where (travel in time) and jump in, hoping to get a glimpse of yourself, seeing yourself. But you don't see anybody, you just see yourself, who is looking at you in bewilderment.
Get it? Its an infinite loop, because you'd understand that it was you travelling back in time and the younger you would go over to the dry land, invent a time machine, and start the loop all over again. I understand if that analogy is hard to grasp, but that's how I was taught a few years back and its the one I've grown accustomed to.
But, like Ush said, Skynet inventing itself is sort of a paradox, unless, of course, someone was already inventing the technology of Skynet in their basement somewhere, which then would become the Skynet that we know and love...or hate.
The only thing thats with you your whole life is complete and utter darkness.
Last edited by Darth Macabre on Jun 25th, 2009 at 07:05 AM
I don't see what is so hard to understand. Connor knew his father's name from his mother. He found him in the future and sent him back in time. Reese being younger than Connor was obviously born after him. So he got sent back in time to father Connor and to protect sarah. So no matter what he's gonna be born sometime after or around Judgment day. Then he'll eventually meet Connor to be, eventually, sent back in time. Where he dies. Its as if he just lived his life normally, only he ended it in a different time.
One of the major things missed is the fact that something HAS to happen before you can go back and observe it. For example.
I was just the first person ever to invent a time machine and I want to travel back in time to the Civil War (just as an example). In order for me to travel back to the Civil War I must know about the Civil War right? Meaning I read that there was a great war that occurred back in the 1860's. The fact that I know and understand that this war existed means that it already happened correct? So an event must happen before you can return to observe it otherwise you would be returning to observe nothing. So I hop in my time machine and travel back and I watch the Civil War take place. I notice that while I am there I don't see any other copies of myself.. meaning that was the first time I had traveled back in time to view the Civil War. So an event must occur at least once in order for it to be observed.
Sure I can travel back to the Revolutionary War and try to stop the civil war from happening and may even succeed in doing so. But the Civil War still happened before I traveled back in time otherwise what would I be trying to stop?
The best possible and logical solution for the Kyle Reese problem is.
1) John was born to an unknown father and lived a regular childhood. Later on he was the leader of the resistance and sent Kyle Reese back to protect his mother before she even met the unknown father. They had a baby. (because an event must occur in order to revisit it) Forever changing the timeline of events. The Terminator movies never show the original timeline so it is difficult to grasp. There can be many other theories like this but the bottom line is John Conner had to be born before Kyle Reese could go back and protect the mother.
Time does not have to be linear like others have mentioned. You don't need to go from 1-7 you just need 1-7 to exist.
The comic book analogy is a little misleading. Sure you read page by page when the whole story is written but in order for you to be reading page by page the story HAD to be written. You can read from the back to the front, from the middle to the beginning etc. The story in the book is there but in order for you to skip to any part of it the story needs to be there for you to skip to. You can't skip to page 11 if page 11 was never written.
My Physics professor layed it out simple for us. He asked if you could go back in time and kill Hitler and end the Holocaust would you do it? Everyone said yes they would. He said why would you do that? Everyone said to stop the Holocaust because it was so evil. So the fact that all you guys want to go back to stop the Holocaust means that the Holocaust happened correct? Yes we said. He said well that must mean no-one has gone back to stop it yet. Thats what woke me up to the simple theory of time travel and paradoxes.
This is just a theory because in reality no-one knows how time travel works. I wrote it like I "Know" what I'm talking about because its easier to describe a theory that way. Fun thread!
Last edited by Macstar on Jul 1st, 2009 at 08:13 PM
It, probably, doesn't work like that: if you travel back in time, let's say to the civil war, and you don't see another version of yourself, that means that you only ever travelled back to the civil war once in your life, ie the one time that you're doing it now.
Um, what? If you tried to stop the Civil war from happening, whatever you did already played a part in the war. Lets say you traveled back to prevent John Wilkes Booth from killing Lincoln, and you decide to grab a gun from a local store and put it in your pocket. Later that night, Booth steals your gun and uses it to kill Lincoln, meaning that you were apart of the reason why Lincoln died.
You're either forgetting or overlooking the fact that its time travel, meaning the event happened that sent Reese back happened with Reese there all the while. Just because Reese was sent back in the future does not mean he wasn't there in the past all the time.
I never used the comic book analogy, and as such, I don't view time travel like that.
Well, your physics professor has a divergent view on time travel. If the person went back to stop the Holocaust, that person simply failed or did something to cause the Holocaust. Just because someone goes back (or went back, in my mind) it doesn't mean they're going to succeed. Who knows, maybe they failed.
Its fine, we're just talking. And I hope you see my reply post in the same light as I did yours.
The only thing thats with you your whole life is complete and utter darkness.
My whole point was that an even needs to occur before it can be traveled back to. The Holocaust example I think sums it up perfectly. If you went back in time to stop the Holocaust you must be aware that the Holocaust occurred.
So in that light John Conner must have been born before Kyle Reese could travel back to protect his mother. As such in this theory an even must happen before it can be traveled back to John Conner must have been born to another father.
Here some food for thought. I'd love to keep this discussion going. If Kyle Reese were to travel back in time and get hit by a bus and die before he could meet up with Sarah Conner would John still be born? Would love to hear some theories!