Analyzing the Terminator: Genisys Trailer – Dissecting the Time Travel Insanity

The first trailer for Terminator: Genisys is out today, and the story it sets up is even crazier than that title. We’re talking a complete rewrite of the Terminator timeline, and some of the nuttiest time travel shenanigans this series has seen so far. There’s a lot to dig into in this trailer, so without further ado, let’s see what we can find.

Potential spoilers of course.

The trailer opens with a desolate view of Los Angeles (notice the Hollywood sign in the corner). Three aircraft are heading towards some tall buildings in the distance, but notice that there are actually a lot of vehicles in the air all over the sky, strongly implying these are machine ships.


Here’s the new John Connor. He doesn’t look anything like the previous adult versions of the character we’ve seen, but he is sporting some rad scars.


And here’s our first look at the new Kyle Reese.


It’s been a “long and terrible war.”


Notice the cheeky little “kill the machine” written on the helicopter’s tail.


Also worth noting is that there seems to be a mix of traditional weapons with some kind of purple, energy-based weaponry. This is consistent with what we saw in the “future” scenes of Terminator 2, so at least this bit of the timeline seems intact (but more on the time travel shenanigans in a bit).




John Connor and Kyle Reese face off against some new kind of Terminator walker.


The classic Terminator exoskeleton is back.


This looks like the machine’s initial nuclear attack, “Judgment Day.”


“The machines sent a Terminator back to the time before the war to kill my mother.” The line accompanying this visual seems to imply that this is the original Terminator that was sent back to kill Sarah Connor.


Terminator cold storage?


Here’s our first clear look at the time travel device, and presumably another young Arnold Schwarzenegger.


Notice that John Connor is giving his speech in front of the time travel device. This likely places this scene at a point in time that has only been alluded to in previous films. Connor and his resistance fighters have broken through enemy lines to capture the device, but it is too late, as the machines have already sent a Terminator back in time.


Our first look at the new Sarah Connor, played by Emilia Clarke.


Just as before, Kyle Reese volunteers to travel back in time to defend Sarah Connor against the Terminator (hence why he’s naked). So far, everything lines up with the established timeline.


“This is the end of the war.” Another nice, wide shot of the time travel device.


And away he goes.

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