Daily Archives: April 12, 2009

_Terminator_ goes out on a reverse time travel conundrum

I’ve blogged several times about Sarah Connor Chronicles for its pro-life themes and discussion of God, the Natural Law and the Bible.

The season, and very likely series, finale, ends on a cool note. It sets up a great cliffhanger, but also makes a great premise for the series’ conclusion, shifting the time line in a huge way. It almost prepares for the possibility that the show could be cancelled, yet a “spin-off” take off on another network.

Anyway, here’s hoping FOX doesn’t cancel it (some are suggesting that FOX will wait and see how the Terminator Salvation film shapes up).

But in a series whose premise is that one man, John Connor, is the necessary leader to the resistence against Skynet–such that Skynet sends various Terminators back in time to kill him–the finale proposes that John Connor may not be quite as important as he seems. If he isn’t there, maybe someone else can take up the mantle.

And maybe it is not necessary to prevent Skynet’s existence to save humanity. . . .

As The X-Files developed, it became “clear” that there were multiple human conspiracies, and it was explicitly stated that there were at least two distinct groups of alients. The human conspirators were sort of cooperating with the aliens yet trying to find aways to preserve humanity from the invasion. Some aliens were on earth trying to wipe out the work of the conspirators in adapting the alien technology and biology to serve man; others were laying the groundwork for invasion; still others were alien rebels who were trying to prevent the invasion altogether.

Something similar appears to be at work in the Terminator series: in addition to the cyborgs that John Connor has reprogrammed to serve humanity, there is apparently a counter-culture of cyborgs that reject Skynet’s approach.

Without giving away spoilers, suffice it to say it would be a cool plot to see brought to fruition. It’s hard to say how the show could continue after this.

Issues 12 and 13 of the Marvel Masters of the Universe comic were both the title’s first continuing stsory and the final two issues. The plot of the story is that Prince Adam’s sword gets sent into the future: as I recall, from a depressive episode.

Adam think better of it, and goes after his sword. Of course, by entering the future, he has now removed himself from the timeline.

And there are essentially three timelines at work: the one that might have happened if Adam had never thrown the sword through the time portal (i.e., the “status quo’ continuity); the one where Adam threw the sword into the future, and there was no He-man but only Prince Adam; and the one where Adam enterd the time portal. Somehow, Adam remained in that time line while going into the future, but He-man didn’t. So Adam is able to meet his future self in a timeline where, without He-man to stop him, Skeletor conquered Eternia, killed the Sorceress, and gained the Powers of Greyskull.

In the end, the Power Sword is retrieved. Both Adams turn into two He-mans and, with the help of Sorceress Teela, kill Skeletor, destroying Greyskull in the process.

It was a cool and emotional story. But it raised the paradox of Adam existing in the future when he had left the past.

The T:SCC finale takes a different approach to the same conundrum.