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Destiny refers to the concept of life as a predetermined sequence of events.
The degree to which destiny is predetermined is heavily contested. There are two main schools of thought:
- Destiny as fate implies a fixed sequence of events that is inevitable and unchangeable, where an individual has no choice and must embrace their fate.
- Destiny as a choice suggests that individuals define their own destiny, by choosing different paths throughout their life.
Destiny and Time travel
Likewise, Skynet was destined to be developed via reverse engineering from the wreckage of the first time-travelling T-800. This also made Judgment Day destined to happened across different timelines.
Sarah Connor also tried to prevent the seemingly fated emergence of Skynet and Judgment Day by preventing the research that would become Skynet. However in most of the timelines, despite her efforts, Skynet and Judgment Day could be be only delayed, suggesting a certain bias towards predestination in the series.
- John Connor: (message sent through Kyle Reese) "Thank you, Sarah, for your courage through the dark years. I can't help you with what you must soon face except to say that the future is not set. You must be stronger than you imagine you can be. You must survive, or I will never exist."
- — The Terminator
- John: Why is this happening again?
- Sarah: I don't know.
- John: You stopped it.
- Sarah: I guess I didn't.
- John: But you can. You changed the future, you just didn't change it enough. So you can do it again.
- Sarah: I don't know, John.
- John: I can't keep running. I can't. I'm not who they think I am. Some Messiah.
- Sarah: You don't know that.
- John: I know. I can't lead an army. Maybe that's you, but it will never be me, so you've got to stop it. Please. Mom...
- Sarah: All right.
- John: All right what?
- Sarah: I'll stop it. I'll stop it.
- — The Sarah Connor Chronicles pilot episode