Dr. Miles Bennett Dyson was the original inventor of the neural-net processor which would lead to the development of Skynet, a computer A.I. intended to control electronically linked weapons and defend the United States, but which would later seize control of the world and launch a global war of extermination against humanity. He was the man most directly responsible for Judgment Day, although his work was clearly not intended to bring about that, and Dyson was visibly distraught and disgusted to learn of the Rise of the Machines.
Growing up in Detroit, Miles Dyson first aspired to be a professional athlete. Not skilled enough to gain a scholarship, he then turned to technology after scoring high on his math exams.
In 1995, Dr. Dyson had been a cybernetics scientist and a high-ranking employee of Cyberdyne Systems Corporation as Director of Special Projects. He was tasked to create a new neural-net processor from two pieces of unknown-sourced advanced technology. The technology actually came from a ten-year-old crime scene from another Cyberdyne facility (The Terminator's arm and CPU from the first film). Miles worked on the project around the clock with his colleagues at the main Cyberdyne office, where he was one of the few people who were given access to the original Terminator arm and CPU chip. He also worked at his home office. Miles truly believed in the potential of his work as the processor could lead to a revolutionary new brand of automated systems, as well as a more advanced form of artificial intelligence making other existing computer systems obsolete in comparison. The project eventually reached the point where he nearly completed a prototype of the processor. Had the project been completed and deployed by the nation's military defense network, the processor, named Skynet, would have gained self-awareness and waged a genocidal war on mankind.
Judgment Day timeline
Dyson's vision and the creation of Skynet were averted by Sarah Connor, who wished to stop Skynet's attack before it began using files from another future Terminator to track down Miles at his home. Sarah initially tried to kill him with a CAR-15 sniper rifle but Miles was momentarily distracted by his son, Danny, narrowly evading the shot, which destroyed his monitor. Sarah switched the rifle to full-auto and opened fire again but Miles took cover behind his desk where the bullets, though completely destroying prototype within his computer along with other equipment. With the rifle magazine empty, Sarah advanced on the house with a .45cal side-arm and began shooting at Miles's close-range eventually hitting him in the shoulder and cornering him with his wife, and son.
With a gun to his head, Miles pleaded with Sarah what she wanted from him. Sarah, in an enraged state, vocally blamed him for everything that was to transpire without any full explanation, only prompting Miles to utter an innocent "...What?" Sarah broke down emotionally and could not bring herself to kill Miles in front of his wife and children when he was not even responsible for anything yet. Sarah's son John and the second Terminator arrived at that moment hoping to stop Sarah from committing murder. John went to his mother while the Terminator administered first-aid to Miles' gunshot wound. Miles then asked his attackers to identify themselves, not expecting the Terminator to cut the flesh from his arm and expose its robotic nature. Dr. Dyson was speechless at the revelation that this man was actually a machine from the future and identical to the components that brought about his technical achievements at Cyberdyne.
After Miles's wound was partially-healed and the shock of the attack had died down, Sarah and the company began to explain Skynet's future and its true effects on humanity. Miles was convinced to quit Cyberdyne and said he would destroy all of his work. However, the Terminator made him realize that as long as the laboratory and technological artifacts at Cyberdyne were intact Skynet could still be created by others following his footsteps. Miles then agreed to go to the Cyberdyne building with the Connors and the Terminator to destroy the entire research and also sent his family into hiding. Before leaving, Tarissa agreed with Miles that Skynet had to be destroyed above all else and bid him good luck.
Miles initially hoped to enter the building undeterred and destroy the contents of the lab without opposition. But the guard refused due to the late hour of the night and lack of proper paper-work which needed filing prior to access. Instead, the group forced their way in at gunpoint and, after Miles helped John gather the advanced technological artifacts of the original Terminator from the high-security lab, began preparing to destroy the entire laboratory itself with a massive polychoric ethical bomb. Just as the bomb was ready, multiple SWAT team officers arrived in response to the break-in and one unit stormed the building. The team opened fire and Miles's body was riddled with bullet-wounds before he took cover.
Gravely injured, Miles desperately bid the others escape and stayed behind to trigger the bombs' remote, which would be flipped by a large piece of the Neural Net Processor model in Miles's hand. The SWAT team realized this when they cornered him at gunpoint as he's laying on the ground, and promptly evacuated. Miles slowly succumbed to his injuries with heartfelt and shallowed breathing, losing the strength to hold the model over the trigger. As his hand dropped the bomb detonated with a massive fireball, killing Miles and destroying the lab and a sizable portion of Cyberdyne Headquarters.
The Sarah Connor Chronicles timeline
Miles Dyson is still alive, due to the events of Terminator 2: Judgment Day never happening from the altered timeline. His son, Daniel Dyson, is the chief of development for Genisys.
Behind the scenes
- Miles Dyson was portrayed by Joe Morton in Terminator 2: Judgment Day, Phil Morris as the character in a photograph in Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, and Courtney B. Vance in Terminator Genisys.
- In the Marvel Comics' adaptation, Dyson pulls out a photo of his family and says goodbye before dying.
- T2 3-D: Battle Across Time
- Terminator 2: Judgment Day - Cybernetic Dawn
- Terminator 2: Judgment Day - Nuclear Twilight
- Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles
- Terminator 2: Judgment Day (Frakes novel)