The True Nature Of Terminator Genisys' T-800 And John Connor, According To Arnold

For as much as we’ve been shown from the upcoming Terminator Genisys, there is still a lot of mystery surrounding the latest installment of the time-hopping franchise. Chief among these questions are those about the true nature of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s T-800 and John Connor (Jason Clarke), whatever the hell he becomes, and how they relate. Now the former governor himself has given us some clarity.

Just a heads up, there are some major SPOILERS beyond this point. Beware.

Hyping up the movie, Schwarzenegger recently sat down with IGN, and when asked about the relationship between his Terminator and John Connor, the action icon said:

My mission is to protect Sarah Connor, and his mission is to protect Sarah Connor. So in the end, he realizes that he’s been sent back to the past from the future to protect her, but she already has a protector, and so there’s a little bit of struggle between the two of us.

John, of course, coming from a future where the machines have taken over and are trying to wipe out the human race, doesn’t trust the Terminators, thinking they’re just there to infiltrate and eliminate humanity. He doesn’t realize that Arnie has been programed to protect humanity, especially Sarah Connor (Emilia Clarke). Known as Guardian, the T-800 has been looking after her since she was a young child in this rewritten timeline, and the relationship she has with the robot doesn’t sit well with her son and leads to jealousy. Schwarzenegger does say, however, that the two ultimately put aside their differences and "become partners."

Schwarzenegger’s statement calls into question some things we thought we knew about Terminator Genisys. In the trailers we’ve seen that John himself has become some kind of new machine, what looks like the next evolutionary step of the Terminators. This automatically makes him come across as the bad guy, and flipping a bus with his mother and father inside is certainly a dick move, but perhaps that’s not the whole story. Perhaps what we see is some kind of imposter, like a machine that can disguise itself as anyone. We’ve definitely encountered that before. It’s going to be interesting to see how this conflict comes into play and to discover John’s true role in the story.

John Connor

Like with much of what we’ve seen from Genisys, this feels like, not necessarily a misdirect, but far from the whole story—and we haven’t even seen Doctor Who star Matt Smith’s character pop up in any of the footage yet, so who the hell knows what his role will be? We keep getting bits and pieces that don’t fit together in any clear way, and even as we draw closer to the release, the larger mystery remains intact. Considering how much marketing has been released, that’s actually impressive.

Lucky for us, however, we don’t have to wait much longer to find out exactly what the hell is going on in Terminator Genisys since it opens everywhere in just a few weeks on July 1.

Brent McKnight