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Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines is a novelization of the film Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines and written by David Hagberg.

Publisher's summary[]

A novel by David Hagberg

Based on the screenplay by Jonathan Mostow, John Brancato, and Michael Ferris

"The novel of the blockbuster hit film"

For two generations of moviegoers, the Terminator movies have defined adrenaline-soaked action filmmaking. Starring Arnold Schwarzenegger as a machine from the future, a machine who can take-or save-lives, capable of enormous violence and destruction, these films are the quintessential action thrillers of the new millennium.

Now, twelve years after Terminator 2: Judgment Day, Schwarzenegger is back in a new Terminator film that is even more exciting and action-packed than the first two films. With incredible new computer-generated imagery and an enormous arsenal of new effects, Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines, is a roller-coaster ride that moviegoers won't be able to resist.

David Hagberg, the bestselling author of dozens of action thrillers, has written a novel that goes inside the minds of the terminators and shows readers the post apocalyptic future as they've never seen it before, creating a thrill-packed novel. On the screen, Terminator 3 will dazzle and delight the eyes and rivet viewers to their seats. With masterful storytelling and a pulse-pounding pace, Hagberg has written a novel of heart-stopping tension that will keep readers in suspense until the very last page.

Back cover[]

The Terminator

Arnold Schwarzenegger is back, to re-create the role that made him a household name: the Terminator. Starring with him are Nick Stahl as John Connor, Claire Danes as Kate Brewster, and Kristanna Loken as the Terminatrix.

In his previous turn as the machine who protects the young John Connor from a more sophisticated, smarter Terminator, Schwarzenegger brought millions of people into theaters, grossing more than $200 million for Terminator 2: Judgment Day.

Now, in Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines, John Connor is older, his mother, the courageous Sara Connor, is dead, and still a target for killer machines from the future. So the human resistance sends back the Terminator he knows, who saved his life when he was just a boy, to protect him again.

But this time there's a new, even more lethal terminator model: the Terminator model TX. And it's not a Terminator, but a Terminatrix—in the shape of a woman and capable of techno-tricks that make all previous Terminators seem slow and stupid.

If Connor doesn't survive, the future is lost. Only his wits, the first girl he ever kissed, and an old Terminator, who happens to look like Arnold Schwarzenegger, can save him... and us.


Main article: Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines (film)
Note: The novel shares the same story with the film Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines, although there are differences between the two.


Resistance Skynet Others
1st Resistance Rangers Special Incursion Unit Red One
  • Lieutenant Joel Benson
  • Sergeant Toni Battaglia
  • Corporals Simon Anders
  • Bill Taggert
  • Dr. Donald Hess
Cyber Research Systems and United States military

Continuity notes[]

Main article: Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines (film)§Continuity notes
  • John Connor stated that the T-1000 tried to kill him 12 years ago. Additionally, John mentioned that 12 years ago, he and Kate had made out in Mike Kripke's basement the day before he met the T-800. Since the T3 novel takes place in 2003, this would put the T2 event in 1991 and make John's date of birth in circa 1978. However, it is worth noting that the film Terminator 2: Judgment Day was released in 1991 in reality.
  • It is stated that it has been twenty-five years since the first Terminator attempted to assassinate Sarah Connor. Since the T3 novel takes place in 2003, this sets the events of The Terminator happening in 1978.


  • The novelization includes interesting facts not mentioned in the film, such as how the two Terminators are sent back in time from the future to the present.
  • Continuum Transporter, an equivalent to the time machine from the Original timeline, is presented in the novel and its background and history are given.
  • T-850 mentioned that Skynet discontinued the T-1000 Terminator in 2029.
  • The T-600 Terminator is mentioned in the novel.
  • Tn the future part, there are Terminators called T-1-5 and T-1-7.

Differences between the film and novel.[]

  • While the T-850 stated it killed John Connor in 2032 before it was sent back in time, in the novel John was in fact alive with his wife when it was sent back. In the novel the T-850 was sent back in July 2030 (although the 2030 date is possibly a typo as the previous future war section is set in July 2029, and the later section flows directly from this. The follow-on novel Terminator Dreams confirms that according to the timeline the novels are following, that this event did occur in 2029. Although, John states that he remembers being told by the T-850 that it was sent back from 2032 after John's death. This discrepancy is directly addressed by John Connor in the sequel novel).[1]
  • Instead of being an assassin and reprogrammed, the T-850 was programmed and activated by John Connor and his team in an old CRS facility.
  • The officer that pulled the T-X over had a SIG-Sauer pistol instead of a Smith & Wesson 4506-1 as shown in the film.
  • T-850's skin is made of duroplast, a form of pliant plastic, instead of the living tissue.
  • When T-X's plasma cannon is damaged, she modified it into a weaker, yet effective version of the weapon. In the film, her onboard computer switched the damaged weapon to the IAD-ChemTech, a flamethrower.
  • It is mentioned that Cyberdyne technology was acquired by the government after its company headquarters was destroyed. The film itself never stated the event, which was only referred to in a deleted scene that features William Candy.


  • In the beginning of the novel, both T-850 and T-X are sent to 2003 from 2029. However, in Chapter 22, T-850 mentions that it was sent back from 2032.
  • It was John Connor who sent the T-850 back and the T-850 was acquired and activated by the Resistance, yet in Chapter 22, T-850 says it was captured and reprogrammed by the Resistance after it killed John Connor.



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