The Terminator and Terminator: Dark Fate share a similar problem. Both are about an artificial intelligence from the future sending a Terminator into the past to kill a woman before she can do something that could, eventually, destroy it. For Sarah Connor, that’s giving birth to John Connor, leader of the human resistance. For Dani Ramos it’s… still kind of a spoiler. But step back from that for a second.
In the first Terminator, if Skynet hadn’t sent back the T-800, it would have won. John’s father, Kyle Reese, wouldn’t have been sent back in retaliation, John wouldn’t have been conceived, and it’s mission accomplished. The same goes for Dark Fate. If Legion hadn’t sent the Rev-9 (played in Dark Fate by Gabriel Luna) back to kill Dani (Natalia Reyes), all of the events of the film that put Dani on her important path wouldn’t have happened. She most likely would have remained a normal woman. So, again, mission accomplished.
Of course, if Skynet hadn’t sent the Terminator back in the first film, then it wouldn’t have existed at all. We learned that in Terminator 2. So creating its own enemy was crucial to its existence—and while we don’t know the story behind Legion’s origin yet, it’s possible there’s something similar going on.
Now that you have some idea of our thinking, we posed the question to the stars of Terminator: Dark Fate. Would Skynet or Legion just have been better off not sending Terminators back?
Gizmodo: Do you guys think that if Skynet in the past or Legion now, hadn’t sent back the Terminators that they wouldn’t have…you know, that everything would have been ok?
Natalia Reyes: Hm….
Mackenzie Davis: Do I think it would be ok…You know, I think what we’ve learned in these Terminator movies is that something horrible is gonna happen in the future. (laughs)
Reyes: [It’s gonna happen] anyway, it doesn’t matter!
Davis: And be on guard! Whether you will experience it then, or you’ll experience it now with a future person to come and hurt you. But just something terrible is on the horizon.
Linda Hamilton: Things are gonna happen and unfold in the same way—‘cause you know, because that is kind of the nature of you know, something stepping in to fill the void. And it’s gonna be the same damn thing. Maybe a little bit better, stronger, faster, slower, whatever. But you know it just keeps setting—we keep setting ourselves—up to have the same finish.
But Sarah Connor is definitely someone who would have gone and lived a very normal life had the Terminator not come back to hunt her. And, same with, you know, every time that we meet her. She was sort of robbed of a normal life and that’s her destiny.
Gabriel Luna: No action is without its consequences, so, I can’t even begin to try to like, unfold all of that!
Tim Miller: Just for a second, what if Legion is winning in the future and he has, he knows that the way he was created, and the things that led to his near victory in the future, all of this stuff he had to lose along the way?
Gizmodo: Yeah, there’s a lot of what-ifs.
Gizmodo: But at the same time, if he wasn’t there, Dani, the things happening to Dani wouldn’t have happened. And Dani might have been a normal person.
Miller: You’re right. But his birth maybe wouldn’t have happened and so, you know, who knows.
Gizmodo: That’s true.
Miller: It’s really like which side of ouroboros do you wanna—
Gizmodo: Yeah that’s true, you’re right, you’re absolutely right.
Terminator: Dark Fate is in theatres now. And though it’s not been doing too well at the box office, we really like it and think you will too.