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View Poll Results: Was there ever a timeline where John Connor was not fathered by Reese?
Yes. John Connor cannot independently create himself. He had to come from somewhere. 18 20.93%
No. The first film is a closed loop predestination paradox. 68 79.07%
Voters: 86. You may not vote on this poll

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Old May 27 2009, 04:40 AM   #1
The Borgified Corpse
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John Connor's existence POLL

No spoilers in this thread since this one deals primarily with the 1st movie.

It's certainly a rail splitter amongst Terminator fans. Was there ever a timeline where John Connor existed but his father was not Kyle Reese? Some say yes there was and it was only in alternate time loops that events changed and Kyle Reese ended up impregnating Sarah Connor instead of John Connor's original father. Others say that John Connor never existed without Kyle Reese. The first film is a self-contained predestination paradox where Skynet always sent the T-800 back to kill Sarah Connor, Kyle Reese always stopped it, and Kyle Reese always impregnated Sarah Connor.

Personally, I fall into the latter camp. How about you?
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Old May 27 2009, 04:46 AM   #2
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Re: John Connor's existence POLL

If it weren't for the photo that Kyle has of Sarah in the first movie, I think it would've been a cool idea if John Connor was just some guy who rose to the occasion to fight Skynet. But when Kyle Reese was sent back in time he fathered another John Connor with a different Sarah Connor, and thus a new timeline is created where this John Connor is the resistance leader because of prior knowledge and training his whole life for Judgment Day.
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Old May 27 2009, 05:35 AM   #3
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Re: John Connor's existence POLL

Aragorn wrote: View Post
If it weren't for the photo that Kyle has of Sarah in the first movie, I think it would've been a cool idea if John Connor was just some guy who rose to the occasion to fight Skynet. But when Kyle Reese was sent back in time he fathered another John Connor with a different Sarah Connor, and thus a new timeline is created where this John Connor is the resistance leader because of prior knowledge and training his whole life for Judgment Day.
Yea, I actually think Skynet screwed the pooch by sending back the first terminator because what they ended up with was a much better prepared John Connor in the altered timelines.

Look at the stuff that was happening in the glimpses we got of the future in the first movie. It definitely looked like Skynet was winning. To use a football analogy it's like Skynet kept handing off the ball at the end of the game looking to run up the score instead of just taking the kneel down to run out the clock.
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Old May 27 2009, 05:42 AM   #4
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Re: John Connor's existence POLL

James Cameron seemed to think there was so I'm inclined to believe him.
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Old May 27 2009, 07:49 AM   #5
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Re: John Connor's existence POLL

It's logically impossible.

The picture that John Connor gave to Kyle Reese would not have existed without the time travel event. Heck, her experience with Kyle and the Terminator is what drove Sarah to learn about asymmetrical warfare and train her son in the same. Does anyone serious think that mild-mannered waitress Sarah Connor would have taught her son to make pipe-bombs from household cleaners? No. I didn't think so.
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Old May 27 2009, 09:10 AM   #6
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Re: John Connor's existence POLL

Sarah Connor was all tarted up and ready for a fertile night on the town before Arnie showed up. The first John Connor must have had a different father. As soon as John sends Kyle back in time and Skynet sent the Terminator everything is changed. There is a different John Connor, but one who knows what happened to his predecessor (not all of it, just becoming resistance leader). It was a miscalculation on the effect of time travel by Skynet just as Marcus' human nature was a miscalculation in TS.

If John Connor had been killed by the machines at any time, somebody would simply have stepped forward to replace him, perhaps even adopted his identity. John Connor is a symbol.

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Old May 27 2009, 09:15 AM   #7
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Re: John Connor's existence POLL

The real question is, after failing to kill Sarah Connor in the first film, why didn't they send the T-1000 back in time a day before the T-800 arrived, and suprise her all over again? Better yet, go back and kill her parents.
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Old May 27 2009, 09:30 AM   #8
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Re: John Connor's existence POLL

Cky wrote: View Post
The real question is, after failing to kill Sarah Connor in the first film, why didn't they send the T-1000 back in time a day before the T-800 arrived, and suprise her all over again? Better yet, go back and kill her parents.
This time loop may be a closed loop and Skynet is locked within its parameters. Just like old Spock can't get back to the old Star Trek time line, because, at least from his perspective, it's not there anymore. Similarly, Skynet may be unable to travel outside the paradox loop before it is resolved (by sending Kyle Reese back in time.

X
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Old May 27 2009, 11:54 AM   #9
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Re: John Connor's existence POLL

Cky wrote: View Post
The real question is, after failing to kill Sarah Connor in the first film, why didn't they send the T-1000 back in time a day before the T-800 arrived, and suprise her all over again? Better yet, go back and kill her parents.
Best to kill her ancestors back before the industrial revolution when next to nothing could kill a terminator, but they didn't even know which Sarah Connor they where after.
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Old May 27 2009, 12:01 PM   #10
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Re: John Connor's existence POLL

HEY! Watch the TS spoilers, it's not opened everywhere yet!

it's a loop. Randall Frakes says as much in the T1 novelisation, citing Ourobouros, the snake eating its tail.

Reese had the photo of sarah and fell in love with her, leading to him volenteering to go back, leading to him getting her pregnant, leading to the photo of her wistfully thinking of him, leading to him falling in love with her...

and like hyzmarca said, she had to have known about the war to train John to storm the camps and smash the metal and liberate the slaves.
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Old May 27 2009, 02:32 PM   #11
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Re: John Connor's existence POLL

Looking at it based only on the first film, I think it's a closed loop. Whatever happened, happened.
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Old May 27 2009, 03:03 PM   #12
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Re: John Connor's existence POLL

xman wrote: View Post
. Just like old Spock can't get back to the old Star Trek time line, because, at least from his perspective, it's not there anymore.
X
Realistically, the problem is just bad writing. Hell, even using the terminator examples, they keep using the setup that one side sends someone, and then the other side finds out and sends a counter. Can't really work that way, as the first guy either succeeds or fails instantly from the future perspective. If Skynet sends a terminator, they either kill Sarah or not, and John can't send help. It either worked, and he's dead, or it didn't, and no need to send help. Once you've started from that piss-poor starting position, why bother to continue with the logic? Based on the first movie alone, seems like a closed loop, but not sure what the *different* situation would have been to create the first itteration of that loop. And again, even in the closed loop itself, the time travel logic doesn't work, because only the first time traveler has the chance to complete their mission. Unless Skynet and Connor agreed to use the time travel device together, just for fun...?

As for the Spock example, it's still quite fixable. And he's smart enough to know that, aside from the writer's desire for him to NOT fix it. Let's look at it this way:

Yes, he can't travel to the future and correct things (hell, Back to the Future 2 explained this just fine). What he CAN do, though, is go backwards from his current timeframe and correct things there so that his future DOES exist again. Pretty easy, actually. He can spend all the time he wants creating a new super-weapon (or more squishy red stuff), and then just travel back in time to the point that Nero emerged from the rift. Spock knows exactly when and where to be, and can be waiting for him. he then just nukes his ass, and warps back out before George Kirk and company arrive. All fixed. Spock then is free to travel back to the future he remembers, as the only change would be that George Kirk notes a weird space storm in the log, that quickly disapated.

Hell, and that's with 2 seconds of thought, and not using any weapons or tactics that Spock hasn't already used previously. And 100% doable with the technology at hand. Then again, the problem was never the ABILITY to do this, but that the writers wanted a kewl new timeline to play in, so they could rehash old villians and situations rather than make up new names...
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Old May 27 2009, 03:10 PM   #13
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Re: John Connor's existence POLL

The Borgified Corpse wrote: View Post
Was there ever a timeline where John Connor existed but his father was not Kyle Reese?
No.
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Old May 27 2009, 03:20 PM   #14
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Re: John Connor's existence POLL

^kinda has to be, though. Either a different resistance leader, or still one with that name, but a different father. It's great with the closed loop thing and all, but there has to be an original timeline leading UP TO that closed loop. Unless someone is arguing that this is even MORE screwed up, and no time exists outside of a 1984-2018 (give or take) bubble? Gotta have original conditions to create a loop with in the first place. Once you get into the loop, it can be self-perpetuating, and continue with stable itterations of Kyle, Sarah, and John, but before the very FIRST time travel occurance happened in 2018, there HAD to be an account of the past before that point...
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Old May 27 2009, 03:22 PM   #15
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Re: John Connor's existence POLL

Scout101 wrote: View Post
^kinda has to be, though. Either a different resistance leader, or still one with that name, but a different father. It's great with the closed loop thing and all, but there has to be an original timeline leading UP TO that closed loop. Unless someone is arguing that this is even MORE screwed up, and no time exists outside of a 1984-2018 (give or take) bubble? Gotta have original conditions to create a loop with in the first place. Once you get into the loop, it can be self-perpetuating, and continue with stable itterations of Kyle, Sarah, and John, but before the very FIRST time travel occurance happened in 2018, there HAD to be an account of the past before that point...
No, as I said, that's the point of a closed loop being a paradox and all that. Nothing creates it except itself. That's why it's a paradox!

It's not that there's no time outside the loop, just that events inside that loop feed back on themselves. Just like in Red Dwarf:
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