Chrono Displacement or Time jump, commonly known as time travel, and its potential for effecting changes on reality is a fundamental cornerstone of the Terminator Universe and the ongoing battle between Skynet and the human-led Resistance. By undertaking missions back and eventually even forwards in time, both sides have caused an unending series of alternate timelines (divergent timelines), alternate futures, predestination paradox events, or stable time loops.
By making use of time displacement equipment, agents from both sides are deployed on missions designed to either ensure, alter, or eradicate the status quo as perceived by the participants at the time.
Time travel rules
- Main article: What can be transported through time travel?
Regarding on time travel via Time Displacement Equipment, there are several "rules" due to the limitation of the device (though with some exceptions):
- Traveler must be covered in organic material. This means that any clothes or weapons the traveler is carrying will be left behind upon leaving or destroyed
- The destination date must be a whole number of years before or after the current time.
Time Traveling Missions
On the other hand, as the Resistance captured the TDE, they also sent soldiers and agents to the past to counter Skynet's agenda.
- Skynet sent a T-800 to 1984 to terminate Sarah Connor. To counter this, Tech-Com Sergeant Kyle Reese volunteered travelling to 1984 to save Sarah Connor.
- Additionally, Skynet sent a T-1000 to 1995 (1994) to terminate John Connor as a child. In order to protect his younger self, John Connor had a T-800 reprogrammed and sent it through the time.
- Skynet sent the T-X to 2004 (2003) to terminate key lieutenants of the Resistance. General Kate Connor sent a T-850 to protect her younger self and John Connor.
- Housed in a T-5000 and disguising itself as Alex, Skynet travelled to 2029 to sabotage John Connor's effort and converted him into a T-3000 as its henchmen.
- Alex sent a T-1000 to 1973 to terminate Sarah Connor. Meanwhile, a T-800, later known as Pops, was sent by an unknown party to 1973 to protect Sarah.
- In Dark Fate timeline, Legion sent a Rev-9 to terminate Dani Ramos in 2020. Grace Harper volunteered to travel to 2020 to protect the young Dani.
Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles
- Skynet sent back Cromartie to target John Connor in 1999.
- An unknown T-888 Terminator was sent back to 2002 on an unknown mission that resulted in its destruction in a plane crash.
- The T-888 Vick Chamberlain was deployed to protect Barbara Chamberlain, a key Skynet infrastructure contributor.
- The T-888 Carter was sent back hide stockpiles of the critical endoskeleton component coltan.
- Skynet sent back a Terminator to replace Carl Greenway and sabotage the Seranno Point nuclear power plant in 2007.
- Skynet deployed a T-888 Terminator to terminate Cadet Captain Martin Bedell, a key resistance fighter responsible for the escape of John Connor from a prisoner transport convoy en route to the Century Work Camp.
- Skynet possibly deployed Rosie to gain access to the offices of notable psychologist, Dr. Boyd Sherman. The true purpose of this mission is unrevealed.
- Skynet deployed a Terminator to terminate and replace James Ellison.
- Charles Fischer was sent back to the year 2007 to install permanent Skynet back doors with "unbreakable" Skynet future-tech machine code into numerous defense grid computer systems by using his younger self's access.
- Skynet deployed Myron Stark to terminate Governor Mark Wyman during a New Year's Eve Keynote Speech in 2010. However, the unit ended up in a 1920's speakeasy instead.
- Skynet sent "Water Delivery Guy" to terminate Savannah Weaver and Catherine Weaver.
- Derek Reese, Sayles, Timms, and Sumner were sent to 2007 to help the Resistance. Because of the revelations of Billy Wisher, he co-opted the mission in order to assassinate Andy Goode. After arriving in 2007, the team set up a safe house where they stashed stolen money and diamonds and began surveying possible Skynet progenitors.
- A Resistance member known as "The Engineer" was sent back and found Security Trust of Los Angeles to hide the components of an Isotope weapon and a time-displacement transporter built within its vault for the future use of Resistance fighters.
- A T-900 Terminatrix, later known as Cameron Phillips, was sent to protect John Connor and Sarah Connor in year 1999.
- Wells, a mortally wounded Resistance fighter, was sent back to warn the Connors about Greenway and the Serrano Point Nuclear Power Plant. Sometime before he burst into the new safe house on a surprised Sarah, he also entered the basement, leaving a bloody trail to a wall where a large number of names, locations, and dates were scrawled in his own blood, giving the Connor cell a roster of targets requiring protection or elimination.
- Jesse Flores, a Resistance fighter and romantic acquaintance of Derek Reese, travelled to 2007 with Riley Dawson by the same "Bubble-tech", Cullie's brother, who sent back Derek's cell. She claimed her use of the TDE was unsanctioned and may in fact be AWOL. However, she was conducting some form of covert surveillance on young John Connor and Cameron.
- Skynet sent Serena Burns, an I-950 Infiltrator, to ensure the creation of Skynet and to target John Connor and Sarah Connor.
- Skynet of the original timeline sent Eve to 1997 to ensure the activation of its counterpart in Skynet's World.
- John Connor of the Skynet's World sent another Eve to 1984.
- A Specialist Commando consisted of Danny Dyson, Jade, Anton, Selena, and Robert Baxter, travelled to 2001 (John's World) from 2036 (Jade's World) to stop Skynet come into existence.
- Skynet of Jade's World sent a T-XA to 2001 to stop a Specialist commando and ensure its existence. .
- John Connor, Sarah Connor, Jade, Anton, and Eve travelled to 2029 of Skynet's World to help General Connor to clean up reminiscent of Skynet force. Afterwards, John Connor, Sarah Connor, and Jade brought two T-1000 Prototypes and several T-799 and T-800 Terminators to 2036 of Jade's World to aid the battle against Skynet there. After Skynet of Jade's World was destroyed, the Connors returned to 2004 of John's World.
- Ellis Ruggles was sent back to 1955 to watch over Sarah Connor in case another Terminator arrived. He smuggled components for a limited use anti-Terminator weapon known as a fazer in his own body.
- Corporal Graves was sent to 1965 as reinforcement for Ellis Ruggles. However, he arrived from the future on a freeway in Los Angeles and was killed five seconds as he was hit by a car.
- A T-800 Terminatrix "Amazon" was sent to 1984 simultaneously with the first T-800 and ended up targeting Sarah Lang, "The other wrong Sarah Connor", in San Francisco.
- A T-800 was sent to 1984 to terminate Lucy Castro in New York.
- A T-800 was sent to 1985 to terminate Dr. Elise Fong.
- Colonel Mary Randall and her team assaulted a TDE facility to return to 1984. She and the surviving four members of her team sought to eliminate Skynet by killing key individuals in the Cyberdyne Systems hierarchy and provide additional protection for Sarah Connor.
- C890.L, C850.D, HC875.S, and I825.M travel to 1991 to counter the temporal incursion by Colonel Mary Randall and her team in order to protect the genesis of Skynet by safeguarding key individuals in the Cyberdyne Systems hierarchy and be prepared to terminate Sarah Connor as a secondary objective. Z000.M was sent as a reinforcement to C890.L's counteroffensive.
- Captain Emmer and his overwatch squad followed Colonel Randall into the TDE facility when they were unable to observe the destruction of the site. Assuming her mission was compromised, he assumed her mission and was successful in ensuring the TDE was destroyed as they departed. Upon arrival in present days, they also targeted key individuals in the Cyberdyne Systems hierarchy for elimination in a bid to prevent the creation of Skynet.
- After the timeline was slightly altered, the "Machine" was deployed to terminate Sarah Connor.
- Skynet deployed D810.X and D800.L to Death Valley to hunt John Connor in 1998 and later another Terminator to 1999 to target John Connor and Sarah Connor in New York.
- In 2033, Skynet sent the T-Infinity to terminate Uncle Bob in 2009 and later Tara Connor in 2015. After the T-Infinity went missing, Skynet dispatched the Dire Wolf to destroy T-Infinity in case it has been captured by the Resistance.
- John Connor and Skynet sent Simon to Texas in 2003 with a mission to terminate Thomas Parnell in the past. However, Parnell reprogrammed three New Terminators with his agenda as additional mission to protect his past self and had them sent to 2003 as well.
- Skynet sent Meta-Node, a computer core containing its core programming, into the past shortly before its ultimate defeat at the hands of John Connor's Resistance force. Meta-Node arrived at Cyberdyne Systems headquarters, proceeded to take over the building, and began manufacturing an army of Terminators.
- Skynet sent a T-850 to the year 2028 to assassinate Resistance Private Jacob Rivers in order to prevent the Resistance from learning the location of Skynet's Central Core. Additionally, the T-850 warned the past Skynet, making it relocate its core.
- After the destruction of Skynet Central Core, the Resistance sent Sergeant Jacob Rivers to 2028 in order to ensure his survival. In another possible alternate timeline, an unidentified Resistance soldier volunteers to carry out the mission if Rivers decides not to travel back in time.
- Flo Langer travelled to the present day Detroit and tried to kill RoboCop. Skynet sent a Terminator, a Terminatrix, and a Terminator boy in an attempt to kill her. Later, in order to stop RoboCop from suicide as well as ensuring the creation of Skynet, a "Stag Beetle HK" and another Terminator boy travel to the present day. They succeeded in the mission.
- Before Skynet's total destruction and the new Time Matrix was formed, a Terminator Probe went into to the Time Displacement Equipment.
- In 2029, Skynet sent a T-800 Terminatrix to target Sarah Connor, but damage to the TDE by the Resistance caused an arrival in New York in 2004.
- The Resistance sent a T-800 to 1984 in order to terminate Cybertronians.
Appearances of Temporal Events
- The Terminator (Time displacement sphere only)
- Terminator 2: Judgment Day (Time displacement sphere only)
- Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines (Time displacement sphere only)
- Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles
- The Terminator: Dawn of Fate
- The Terminator: Tempest
- The Terminator: Secondary Objectives
- The Terminator: Endgame
- T2: Infiltrator
- T2: The Future War
- T2 3-D: Battle Across Time
- Terminator 3: The Redemption
- Terminator Salvation: The Final Battle
- Terminator: Genisys
- Terminator: Resistance
Sarah Connor: "There is no fate but what we make for ourselves."
Core memory also records that I became self-aware years before the date to which I transported the I-950. There is a set of records in which I arose without transtemporal Interference from Cyberdyne's original research; another in which the second Cyberdyne facility produced me after Sarah Connor destroyed the first; a third has now arisen in which she destroyed both facilities...Temporal travel has introduced an element of fundamental uncertainty to the very fabric of existence. Different world lines, different sequences of events, coexist in my records-and therefore presumably in reality, in a state of quantum superimposition. Yet the timeline loops cannot remain closed. The snake cannot devour its tail forever. At some point only one set of timelines will remain.
Yet the course of events contains favorable elements. My best efforts to destroy the Connors have failed, despite stochastic calculation indicating a very high probability of success. I can only assume that the space-time continuum itself is 'attempting' to force events back to the original timeline, one in which I was created, succeeded in destroying the human civilization, and then defeated in my attempts to eliminate the surviving humans by John Connor's Resistance army. It seems there is a certain elasticity to history; time travel can bend the fabric, but it seeks to spring back.
There is no fate save that we make.