The trailer for Terminator: Genisys raised a lot of questions when it bowed online earlier this year, chief among them: What is even happening here? Why would anyone make an aged Terminator cyborg with weathered features and grey hair? And why are there scenes from the original Terminator in this Terminator? Before trying to parse out any of the temporal dynamics of the new film, which opens today, perhaps you might want to get up to speed with the brain-bendingly complicated timeline from the first four films.
Although not quite a reboot, Terminator: Genisys appears to tweak the original film’s events and go off on its own timeline. Perhaps Stephen Hawking could have used The Terminator to explain multiverse theory rather than One Direction. In any case, even if the new film isn’t slavishly devoted to the canon of the latter sequels, it’s still worthwhile to keep in mind how the previous films played out in time, so you know what might constitute an official paradox. DirectTV has helpfully made an interactive Terminator timeline to sort all these details out.
Users can walk through timelines from individual films in the series, or one great, big timeline of all of the films. It’s mpressive-looking, easy-to-navigate, and it should clear a few things up before it gets confusing all over again. Of course, there is no timeline here for The Sarah Connor Chronicles, the TV series that ran for two seasons a while back. The less said about The Sarah Connor Chronicles, the better.
Get further caught up with the five-minute recap of the franchise below.