The Terminator Shouldn’t Exist Anymore

By TeeJay Small | Updated

We all love the Terminator franchise, but I think we can all agree that the best days of the series are long past. While some of the more recent inclusions in the franchise have had their moments, the Terminator universe is so tied up in wibbly, wobbly, time-y, wime-y stuff that any additional films would be nearly incomprehensible to the existing canon.

After all, how many times can you go back and forth through time, narrowly saving the future while leaving just enough conflict to spark a new adventure?

Terminator: Dark Fate

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The latest inclusion to the pile of Terminator outings is 2019’s Terminator: Dark Fate, directed by Deadpool‘s Tim Miller.

While Miller is a more-than-capable filmmaker with some innovative ideas for the franchise, it seemed clear that the film would be living in the shadows of the first two Terminator films no matter what.

Leaving A Sour Taste

Arnold Schwarzenegger Terminator

Even though Dark Fate attempted to reestablish order within the timeline by ignoring less-respected entries in the franchise such as 2009’s Terminator Salvation and 2015’s Terminator Genesys, the notion that it was vying for third place left a sour taste in the mouths of many prospective audiences.

Same Story, Different Movie

Even if the 2019 film had offered the best and brightest action set pieces, most lively dialogue, and most thought-provoking sci-fi concepts in the entire franchise, which it didn’t, Terminator: Dark Fate was still doomed to exist within a meaningless universe rife with time travel paradoxes.

Before buying a ticket to the movie, I thought to myself, “What’s to stop another Terminator film from retconning the events of this movie in two years with another lackluster sequel?”

And as it turns out, the only thing stopping exactly that from happening is financial restraints.

No Terminator Since

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Dark Fate was a massive box office bomb for Paramount and Skydance, losing the studios an estimated $122.6 million.

As a result, no new Terminator projects have gone into development ever since. While some fans may still be hoping against odds that a new Terminator movie can be made which fixes all of the franchise’s problems, I think it’s best that we finally let the IP go.

Original Movies Still Work Decades Later


After all, the beauty of great motion pictures like 1984’s Terminator or the 1991 follow-up Terminator 2: Judgement Day is that they can still be consumed and enjoyed decades later, regardless of how many loose ends may be left to tie up.

In fact, if I could go back in time to prevent the dystopian future we’re in from playing out as it already has, I may be tempted to convince James Cameron not to green-light Rise of the Machines, or at least cut the franchise off before Salvation.

Audiences Have Had Enough

mark Zuckerberg AI Terminator

All this is to say, there are plenty more fascinating and original time travel stories left to tell that don’t involve John Connor and his relationship to the fall of man.

Audiences have had more than enough Terminator media to consume in the four decades since the first film released.

We should be grateful that we’re getting out of the franchise before Disney purchases it and makes a young up-and-coming actor utter the phrase “somehow the T-1000 returned.