Terminator: Dark Fate Theory Predicts John Connor Died in Alternate Terminator 2 Timeline

The new Terminator: Dark Fate trailer is out, and it definitely presents a bold new beginning for the franchise. Dark Fate takes two of the most iconic actors from the franchise's beginnings (Arnold Schwarzenegger and Linda Hamilton, and partners them with a new young woman who is the target of the machines (Natalia Reyes), along with unique new protector for that girl (Mackenzie Davis).

It's an interesting new framework, but also one that clearly invites the question: Where is John Connor during Terminator: Dark Fate? Well, there's already some fan theory circulating about that very matter, which you can check out below (via @Bodie293Loe):

"I have a theory on why we don’t see John Connor and why we see the T800 still alive: I think in this timeline, the events of T2 ended badly, The Terminator failed to protect John Connor and he dies, causing the T800 to live out his days as a lonely Terminator. Sarah goes awol trying to find any sign of a Terminator because if they are still coming back from the future, that means humanity has lost yet, just because John won’t be the leader of the resistance doesn’t mean someone else won’t take his place, hence why Sarah needs to protect this woman from being killed, and because she’s the mother of the future leader of the resistance now, she needs to be protected. Skynet thought by going back in time to kill John Connor, that all their troubles were over, they are wrong."

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This theory is an interesting one for a lot of reasons. First, it allows the franchise to have its cake and eat it too, by keeping the events of Terminator 1 and 2 intact - and even the controversial Terminator 3 -5 installments - while also allowing Dark Fate the freedom to play in a whole new sandbox. This scenario also sets up some powerful character arc connections to Terminator 2, as Schwarzenegger's aged Terminator would bear shame of failing to protect young John Connor, while Sarah would indeed be seized by the obsessive drive to discover a new path of hope for humanity. Finally, the idea that humanity's savior is inevitable, even if it's not John Connor, is a nice reversal of the series' usual theme of fate.

Terminator: Dark Fate will be in theaters on November 1st.