there’s a pretty cool timeline diagram in the Why Terminator makes no sense thread. first let me digress a bit into the timeline stuff.
Obviously time travel stories usually messes up everything, even in very well written time travel stories. But “time travel” in Terminator, especially the later series, seems to imply that every different action taken in the past creates a different time line?
When a new timeline is created, does that erase the original time line? John’s birth seems to say otherwise, since sending someone back created him in the past. That was a predestination paradox. But like I said, later series seems to have a different take on the issue.
If sending someone back simply creates a new alternate timeline but does not erase the original timeline, I wonder what would be the point to send anyone back at all. The resistance was about to win. By sending back the T-800, all skynet managed to do is possibly create a timeline where the resistance might fail.
But it would not affect John Connor, since his timeline would be unaffected, and he would win the war. Whether or not human race becomes extinct in an alternate timeline really doesn’t matter to John Connor. Since he would have no way of knowing what happening in that timeline anyway.
So assume if the original timeline would get erased once something significant in the past has changed, let’s talk about Jesse.
It is implied in the show that Jesse might be from an alternate timeline to the one that Derek is from.
In Jesse’s timeline:
John sends all his time with Cameron
John puts too much trust in reprogrammed terminator
Derek was tortured by human traitor Charles Fisher
Jesse had Derek’s baby.
In Derek’s timeline:
Cameron is an asset to John, though not to the point where she is the only one that gets to see John.
Andy Goods Turk became Skynet
Derek was captured and tortured by Cameron before John captured and reprogrammed her.
Jesse and Derek’s baby. (Told by Cameron)
Jesse’s mission was to seperate John from Cameron, and she knew exactly when to find John and Cameron. Meaning John Connor in her timeline grew up with Cameron, and that John Connor became inseparable from Cameron as the result of John sending Cameron back.
In the world of TSCC, humans that were sent back are in this order:
I: The Engineer to before 1963
II: 4 resistance fighters to stop Skynet targeting key resistance assets, one is Derek Reeese.
III: Cameron to protect Sarah and John. (since Cameron knows of the hiding place of the 4 resistance fighters.
IV: Jesse, most likely sent herself back to put an end to John trusting Cameron, since the result of III make things for the worse.
Catherine Weaver would have been sent back after Jesse’s trip.