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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 28 2009, 09:06 PM   #46
Samurai8472
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Re: John Connor's existence POLL

xman wrote: View Post
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.

cue John Connor sharpening "John Connor" batarangs in a cave
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Old May 28 2009, 09:22 PM   #47
captcalhoun
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Re: John Connor's existence POLL

the T2 novel actually features a bit of narrative where John can't remember anything past seeing the table with 'no fate' carved in it.
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Old May 28 2009, 10:34 PM   #48
hyzmarca
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Re: John Connor's existence POLL

Scout101 wrote: View Post
Because once the Terminator disappears into the past, the result is known in the future. Kyle isn't 5 minutes behind him, for all intents and purposes, he's 40 years late.

If I go from 2009 to 2006 and kill you, you'll have a tough time coming from 2009 to try and stop me, having died in 2006.

That's the only way ANY of it works. Essentially, the T-800 has to fail before you can try to stop it. And in that case, stopping its primary mission can't be yours, because you already know it failed.
But you don't know why it failed. For all you know, it only failed because you stopped it.

Again, you're making the mistake of plotting time in two dimensions instead of in one.

Backwards time travel cannot alter the past, because it is already written into the past.
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Old May 28 2009, 11:14 PM   #49
Ryan8bit
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Re: John Connor's existence POLL

Scout101 wrote: View Post
he DOES have a page with follow-up for T3 that would pretty much work.
Nah, he even admits that certain things wouldn't work out, like how the lieutenants die. The only way for him to work around it is to say they didn't die, which is a huge stretch. But his whole theory is a stretch as applied to Terminator. However, I don't think there really is one sensible time travel theory since T2 came along.

His reasoning behind Sarah survivng without Kyle's help would be that in the itteration before Arnold came to kill her, Arnold's parts can't be found because they aren't there, so Skynet is created later in the timeline, and the terminator they sent the first time may have been less advanced.
Actually, I don't believe that is his reasoning, although it's an interesting concept.

There are a lot of holes in his logic, and required leaps of faith it takes to get to his conclusions. How would John even know a time traveling cyborg killed his mom (unless Skynet was really off of the mark in time)? This is just one example of many that I don't have too much time to get into right now.
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Old May 29 2009, 12:20 AM   #50
The Borgified Corpse
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Re: John Connor's existence POLL

hyzmarca wrote: View Post
Backwards time travel cannot alter the past, because it is already written into the past.
Exactly. A very good example of this kind of time travel occurs in the Gene Roddenberry's Andromeda episode "Angel Dark Demon Bright." In it, the Andromeda accidentally travels back in time and winds up at a point in history right before the battle where the Nietzcheans finally defeated the Commonwealth. Captain Hunt has no intention of changing the timeline but his chief engineer, Seamus Harper, has other ideas. Harper grew up under the tyrannical reign of the Nietzcheans and tries to prevent that from happening by secretly rigging the nebula with some kind of explosives that will destroy the Nietzchean fleet when they arrive. Harper's crewmates discover his plan and stop him. But when the Nietzchean fleet arrives, they count 1500 ships when the historical records say there should only be 500. The crew then realizes that the only way to prevent the subsequent rise of a dominant Nietzchean Empire is to follow through with Harper's plan and destory the other 1000 Nietzchean ships. Thus, they play an active role in affecting events but it's events that already occurred in the past from the perspective of the Andromeda crew.

I think this example is a little easier to wrap your head around because (1) the time travel is accidental, not a deliberate attempt to amend history and (2) none of the Andromeda crew were directly involved in the historical events that they were now affecting.
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Old May 29 2009, 11:07 AM   #51
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Re: John Connor's existence POLL

The Borgified Corpse wrote: View Post
hyzmarca wrote: View Post
Backwards time travel cannot alter the past, because it is already written into the past.
Exactly. A very good example of this kind of time travel occurs in the Gene Roddenberry's Andromeda episode "Angel Dark Demon Bright." In it, the Andromeda accidentally travels back in time and winds up at a point in history right before the battle where the Nietzcheans finally defeated the Commonwealth.
I have nothing to add except that they should bring Andromeda, too, back.
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Old May 29 2009, 11:31 AM   #52
JoeZhang
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Re: John Connor's existence POLL

Scout101 wrote: View Post
Because once the Terminator disappears into the past, the result is known in the future. Kyle isn't 5 minutes behind him, for all intents and purposes, he's 40 years late.

If I go from 2009 to 2006 and kill you, you'll have a tough time coming from 2009 to try and stop me, having died in 2006.

That's the only way ANY of it works. Essentially, the T-800 has to fail before you can try to stop it. And in that case, stopping its primary mission can't be yours, because you already know it failed.

That's what is talked about in the T2 discussion, for example. Arnold isn't sent back to save John, no matter what he says. John sent him from the future, so we know John survives. It's more likely that he's sent back to save Sarah, who probably died protecting John the last time through the loop. When the t-1000 goes back, and John doesn't disappear, he knows the T-1000 didn't kill him (and remembers the circumstances of the attack). Logically, Arnold has to be there to do something else, the most likely of which is to protect Sarah...

They don't change anything they just act out their pre-ordinated roles in the loop - a loop with no start or end, it simply is.
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Old May 29 2009, 12:57 PM   #53
Jayson
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Re: John Connor's existence POLL

The Borgified Corpse wrote: View Post
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?

I beleive in the predestination theory in regards to the first movie. Of course if this is the case then doesn't that mean that John Reese that we saw in the new movie won't have to go back and create John Connor. The John Reese from the previous timeline did the job already so doesn't that mean if John Reese went back he would run into this alternate version of himself? It could be argured that the predestination theory was in place for all the 3 movies. Skynet couldn't be made if the Terminator doesn't go back and Skynet couldn't take over if the timelines weren't shifted so as it would be in postion to take control of all the interconected computers in T3.

Jason
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Old May 30 2009, 02:27 AM   #54
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Re: John Connor's existence POLL

Discussions of temporal mechanics give me a headache I have always been conflicted about this particularly topic. Kyle Reese exists in the future, John Connor exists in the future. The resistance somehow is able to construct or get a hold of a time traveling device and Connor orders Reese to protect his mother in the past from a Terminator who has already gone to eliminate her. The original John Connor had to come from some where...if we use the Back to the Future time travel model, John was born from Sarah and Kyle's encounter in the past thus the closed loop theory. Connor can't have existed without there being Kyle Reese in the first place...which is why that particular plot is so important in T4. These movies seem to be all about destiny (especially Rise of the Machines) and that you can't subvert your destiny, delay it yes but not change it. I voted for a close loop...
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Old May 30 2009, 07:05 AM   #55
Ryan
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Re: John Connor's existence POLL

Scout101 wrote: View Post
All the rest of what is being argued makes perfect sense, but you have to have an original condition where someone in 2018 decides to time travel, or you can't get into the loop.
Geez Scout, it's called a predestination paradox for a reason. Not being able to figure it out isn't exactly a knock against it. You might as well argue infinity doesn't exist because no one can count that high.
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Old May 30 2009, 07:29 AM   #56
Ryan
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Re: John Connor's existence POLL

xman wrote: View Post
The question I have is, doesn't John have to send Kyle back before Skynet sends the T800?
No, because Skynet failed before it ever sent a terminator back. That's the only reason John even exists in the first place.
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Old May 31 2009, 07:54 AM   #57
xman
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Re: John Connor's existence POLL

Ryan wrote: View Post
xman wrote: View Post
The question I have is, doesn't John have to send Kyle back before Skynet sends the T800?
No, because Skynet failed before it ever sent a terminator back. That's the only reason John even exists in the first place.
Agreed, but that's a different issue. My question is, in the examples of the first three movies and the instances of Skynet/Resistance time travel, doesn't John have to launch a preemptive mission to the past in order to have any hope of affecting the outcome? T1 would otherwise have been successful in his mission eventually if not for Kyle Reese. The T-900 likewise if not for T2 and the T-X if not for T3! In each instance there is an attempt to protect Skeynet's target in the past with a time traveler ordered to protect Sarah Connor and/or John Connor. If Skynet is first to send any Terminator, the T-800, T-900 or T-X then it should meet no resistance from the future and eliminate John Connor's influence on subsequent events.

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Old May 31 2009, 08:04 AM   #58
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Re: John Connor's existence POLL

As I explained earlier in the thread the reason why Kyle Reese and John Connor didn't vanish when the T-800 went back was because the temporal energies inside the time sphere protected them. They were in the chamber when the T-800 went back so they weren't affected by the changes to the timeline caused by the T-800 and they were able to send Kyle back in time to stop the 800. Because of this new timeline now there would exist a reality where Connor knew of all the proposed attacks upon him because he would have experienced them. I think arguing about temporal paradox has given me a headache.

But there was a reality where John Connor was born not to Kyle Reese but someone else.
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Old May 31 2009, 10:09 AM   #59
hyzmarca
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Re: John Connor's existence POLL

xman wrote: View Post
Ryan wrote: View Post
xman wrote: View Post
The question I have is, doesn't John have to send Kyle back before Skynet sends the T800?
No, because Skynet failed before it ever sent a terminator back. That's the only reason John even exists in the first place.
Agreed, but that's a different issue. My question is, in the examples of the first three movies and the instances of Skynet/Resistance time travel, doesn't John have to launch a preemptive mission to the past in order to have any hope of affecting the outcome? T1 would otherwise have been successful in his mission eventually if not for Kyle Reese. The T-900 likewise if not for T2 and the T-X if not for T3! In each instance there is an attempt to protect Skeynet's target in the past with a time traveler ordered to protect Sarah Connor and/or John Connor. If Skynet is first to send any Terminator, the T-800, T-900 or T-X then it should meet no resistance from the future and eliminate John Connor's influence on subsequent events.

X
You are making the mistake of assuming that the time travel even happens in the future, and then changes made to the past propagate into the future. This requires multiple time dimensions and is incorrect. In essence, you have the order of things backwards.

The past effects of the backwards time travel happen before the backwards time travel occurs. It doesn't matter when Kyle steps into the time macchine, or in what order. All that matters is when he appears in the past, and where, and what actions he takes there.

From John Connor's perspective, and the perspective of an outside observer, the events of The Terminator and of Terminator 2 have already happened. They're written in stone before Skynet even builds the machine.


nx1701g wrote: View Post
As I explained earlier in the thread the reason why Kyle Reese and John Connor didn't vanish when the T-800 went back was because the temporal energies inside the time sphere protected them. They were in the chamber when the T-800 went back so they weren't affected by the changes to the timeline caused by the T-800 and they were able to send Kyle back in time to stop the 800. Because of this new timeline now there would exist a reality where Connor knew of all the proposed attacks upon him because he would have experienced them. I think arguing about temporal paradox has given me a headache.

But there was a reality where John Connor was born not to Kyle Reese but someone else.
Temporal energies? Seriously? That's very scifi pseudosciency. I prefer my Terminator harder than that.

The propagation of a field change across closed timelike curves always results in the initial conditions. This provides a hard limit to the potential energy states of a universe in which CTCs are possible, and fulfills Novikov's self-consistency conjecture.

Thorne's and Klinkhammer's solution to Polchinski's paradox confirms Novikov's conjecture, suggesting that alterations to the past are impossible. Though it shows that there are in infinite number of self-consistent trajectories along any CTC for any initial conditions, it also demonstrates that each of these trajectories has a distinct quantum probability. Quantum waveform collapse would produce a single set trajectory that would be unchangable.

In modeling the CTC created by Skynet and Jon Connor, one can treat Skynet, the T-800, Sarah Connor, John Connor, and Kyle Reese as a single system. Their interactions create a single self-consistent worldline.
This remains true up to Terminator 3, in which case things change, which I prefer to choock up to an error in T3's than a mistake made by Novikov, Thorne, or Klinkhammer.
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Old May 31 2009, 12:51 PM   #60
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Re: John Connor's existence POLL

Temporal energies? Seriously? That's very scifi pseudosciency. I prefer my Terminator harder than that.
Eh, if it's good enough for Star Trek, it's good enough for me.
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