Time and again, humanity has tried and failed to eliminate Skynet and its Terminators from the timestream, yet after every supposed victory, the machines just keep coming back. And now, it’s revealed exactly how the Terminators continue to outmaneuver humanity, no matter how many times they defeat the machines through literal timeline alterations.
The first real victory of humanity following the initial assassination mission through time was chronicled in Terminator 2: Judgment Day. While Kyle Reese and Sarah Connor did defeat the T-800 from the first movie, that arguably created a paradoxical self-fulfilling prophecy, as the parts of that Terminator helped spark the initial creation of Terminators to begin with. In T2, however, the humans and their ally Terminator actually succeeded in changing the timeline. Judgment Day didn’t happen in 1997 like it was supposed to, leaving John Connor to consider that they did, in fact, save the world. However, Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines revealed that Judgment Day wasn’t avoided, just postponed, and Skynet’s global takeover in the Terminator universe still took place. Then, when all of those events were changed in Terminator: Genisys, and it seemed as though the machines were permanently beaten once again, they just returned in a different form in Terminator: Dark Fate. Basically, no matter how many victories humanity claims, Skynet and the Terminators will always return in one form or another – and one RoboCop crossover actually explains why.
RoboCop vs Terminator Reveals Why Humanity Will Never Beat Skynet
In RoboCop versus The Terminator #1 by Frank Miller and Walter Simonson, a human resistance fighter from the future is trying to go back in time to eliminate the root-cause of Skynet’s inception: RoboCop. Apparently, RoboCop’s existence not only paved the way for the development of artificial intelligence, but his body was also the blueprint for the Terminators themselves. So, this fighter went back in time to kill him – and she was successful. The fighter killed RoboCop, and as a result, the timeline was erasing Skynet and Terminators from existence. However, Skynet actually felt the timeline changes happening as history was being altered, giving it enough time to send a few of its Terminators back in time and kill the resistance fighter before she killed RoboCop, thereby saving itself from complete obliteration.
It’s always been assumed that anytime changes to the timestream were made, it’s instantaneous, as if those ‘changes’ were simply the way history had always been all along. However, this crossover comic confirms that Skynet can actually feel those changes happening with enough time to orchestrate the means of its own survival – and this isn’t the first time the comics have shown this, either. In the comic Terminator 2: Infinity, a Terminator known as the T-Infinity is introduced, and it has the ability to locate temporal anomalies and ‘fix’ them on behalf of Skynet, which ensures Skynet’s continued survival. In a way, this machine senses changes to the timestream that could harm or, in fact, erase Skynet, and it makes sure that doesn’t happen.
Skynet can sense changes in the timeline, and either with the T-Infinity or by simply sending regular Terminators back in time to fix whatever anomaly occurred, it can use this power to save itself no matter how many times humanity comes out on top, meaning this is the one ability Terminator’s Skynet has that makes it impossible for humanity to win.