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Episode Studies by Clayton Barr

enik1138
at popapostle-dot-com
Terminator: Salvation Terminator
Salvation
Movie
Written by John Brancato and Michael Ferris
Directed by McG
Released May 2009

 

A Death Row inmate of 2003 wakes up in 2018 just as the Resistance is about to launch a major strike against Skynet.

 

Read the complete story summary at the Terminator Wiki

 

Notes from the Terminator chronology

 

This story opens in 2003, but mostly takes place during the future war in 2018.

 

Didja Know?

 

The time codes in this study are derived from the Blu-ray Director's Cut of the Terminator Salvation film. The director's cut adds about 3 minutes of footage to the theatrical version of the film.

 

This film takes place in the timeline of Rise of the Machines, which establishes Judgment Day as occurring on July 25, 2004.

 

The character of John Connor is portrayed here by Christian Bale. In Rise of the Machines, it was Nick Stahl.

 

The character of Kate Connor, nee Brewster, is portrayed here by Bryce Dallas Howard. In Rise of the Machines, it was Claire Danes. Here, Kate is visibly pregnant, though it is never mentioned in the dialog (the novelization does confirm her pregnancy).

 

It's odd that Cyberdyne is referred to here, as it was revealed in Rise of the Machines that, in that timeline, the technology that would lead to Skynet was obtained from the failing Cyberdyne after the destruction of their HQ in 1994 (in Judgment Day) and Cyber Research Systems was formed to develop it for the U.S. military.

 

The film is dedicated in loving memory to Stan Winston. He was a special make-up effects artist who worked on all four of the Terminator films up to this point. He also won four Academy Awards for his body of work. He died in 2008.

 

Didja Notice?

 

The film opens at Longview State Correctional Facility in 2003. This appears to be a fictitious institution. The novelization reveals it to be in Texas.

 

Marcus Wright tells Dr. Kogan that his brother and two cops are dead because of him. The film does not go into how this happened, but the novelization reveals that Marcus and his brother were petty criminals, and the brother and cops were killed during a botched car-jacking.

 

Ironically, Dr. Kogan tells Marcus she is worried about the future of the human race considering she works for Cyberdyne, which will build Skynet and, in turn, cause the human race's near destruction. She also becomes the face of Skynet for the purposes of communicating with Marcus in 2018. However, her desire to help humanity eventually does come to fruition, as the resurrected Marcus goes on to save the life of John Connor in 2018 by donating his heart at the end of the film. (However, her actions as depicted in The Final Battle mini-series make it debatable whether she ever really had any desire to help humanity; "The Final Battle" Part 6 implies that her plan in 2003 from the start was to cultivate convicted murderers for Skynet to use in the future war, not for cancer research; Skynet was already promising her a new cancer-free body if she cooperated in the proposal.)

 

Marcus appears to be left-handed, as he signs the Cyberdyne Donor Informed Consent Willed Body form with his left hand.

 

The top of the consent form signed by Marcus reads "Cyberdyne Genetics Division, San Francisco, California".

 

As Marcus is being strapped onto the execution table for his execution by lethal injection, a priest recites Psalm 23 from the Old Testament. Texas is, in fact, one of the states that performs executions by lethal injection. In order for a convicted person to be punished by the death penalty, one of several aggravating factors in the case must be true; in Marcus' case, he murdered two police officers, which is considered an aggravating factor in Texas.

 

    Notice that, as Marcus lies upon the execution platform, he is in a crucifix-like position, fitting, in that he will be resurrected in 2018 (as a half-human, half-Terminator). This is actually a fairly accurate depiction of an execution table in use by the state of Texas.

    By the end of the film, he will wind up becoming the savior of the Jesus Christ figure of the Terminator saga, John Connor.

 

At 4:21 on the Blu-ray, a man in a cowboy hat (probably the prison warden) rubs the medallion on his bolo tie, which seems to be the signal for the engineer to activate the lethal injection machine.

 

The opening text of the film after Skynet unleashes Judgment Day states many of the human survivors now consider John Connor to be the one man who holds the key to salvation, while others believe he is a false prophet. The Book of Revelation in the Christian Bible tells that their will be a false prophet before the return of the messiah.

 

The future scenes of the film all take place in 2018. 

 

At 5:05 on the Blu-ray, the targeting display of the guided missile shows a target lock on the coordinates of N 36°, 17', 55" by E 117°, 15', 28". This would be in eastern China, in a green, mountainous, region which looks nothing like the flat desert seen here, plus the film doesn't heavily depict an Asian racial component in the local Resistance! If the east coordinate is changed to west, it would place the Skynet VLA in the Mojave Desert of southern California, which makes much more sense. Later, when John is aboard the command submarine, monitor screens on the ship show regions of the globe with certain areas highlighted by colored circles indicating areas of Skynet activity; one such area is the general vicinity of the Mojave Desert. Plus, Marcus seems to walk fairly quickly from VLA location to Los Angeles in the first act of the film. (The novelization and preview comic book both refer to the region as South-Central Sector, North America; this sounds like it refers to New Mexico.) Skynet activity map

 

At 5:33 on the Blu-ray, A-10 Warthogs, and Huey helicopters (UH-1 Iroquois) are seen in use by the Resistance in the raid on the Skynet VLA (Very Large Array; the exterior scenes were shot at the Very Large Array radio astronomy observatory on the desert Plains of San Agustin, New Mexico).

 

At 5:45 on the Blu-ray, a Hughes OH-6 Cayuse lands at the VLA.

 

At 6:10 on the Blu-ray, three Warthogs fly behind the giant dish antenna in the background but only two emerge on the other side!

 

Many of the firearms used in the film are identified at the Internet Movie Firearms Database.

 

During the raid on the Skynet VLA, John carries a Heckler & Koch HK416 submachine gun. He also uses one against the Hydrobots in the river scene later in the film.

 

The HK that emerges from the water in the underground structure of the Skynet VLA appears to be a T-1 or similar model, as seen in Rise of the Machines. This is a scene that was cut from the theatrical release and re-added for the Director's Cut.

 

When John and his team discover the human experimentation room in the Skynet VLA, notice that the body at 7:49 on the Blu-ray is Marcus Wright, seen in the flashlight beam for only a couple seconds.

 

The laptop used by one of John's tech men inside the VLA appears to have a Glacier brand name on it. This appears to be a fictitious company.

 

At 8:58 on the Blu-ray, the screen of the laptop that is tapping into the Skynet computer system shows a series of root files that all have a date of Dec. 19 and time code of 16:10-16:13. Is December 19 the current date? The 16:10-16:13 time codes would refer to military time for 4:10-4:13 p.m.

 

In the same shot above, the override code begins with A113. This is likely an in-joke to room A113 at the California Institute of the Arts, where many graphic design majors in the film industry attended graphic design class. A113 has appeared in many animated or special effects heavy films and TV shows.

 

At 9:17 on the Blu-ray, John notices a reference to "T-800 model 101" on the laptop screen as information is downloaded from the Skynet computers. This, of course, is the Arnold Schwarzenegger model of Terminator.

 

At 9:49 on the Blu-ray, the computer screen seems to suggest that a T-800 cybernetic organism completes its flesh and skin growth in 40 days.

T-800 tissue growth projection

 

The majority of the Terminators seen in the film are T-600 series.

 

The general that leads the attack on the Skynet VLA and underground base is General Olsen. He appeared previously in From the Ashes and is mentioned in Cold War. He dies in the explosion that kills all the Resistance members and prisoners in the underground facility except John (and Marcus).

 

At 10:09 on the Blu-ray, when Connor emerges back onto the surface from the underground facility, he sees a dead black solider near the opening. The soldier is actor Terry Crews, who played Captain Jericho in an earlier scene that was cut from the film. His character was Barnes' brother. (We do later see John inform Barnes of his brother's death.)

 

Finding the pilot of the Huey dead, John takes the pilot seat and lifts off in pursuit of the Skynet Transport without putting on the restraining belt. Yet, when the copter is struck by debris and crashes upside-down seconds later, a seat belt is holding John into the chair!

 

The novelization and the comic book preview reveal that the legless T-600 that attacks John after the helicopter crash is the same one he shot in the head when his helicopter first landed at the VLA about five minutes earlier in the film.

 

The machine gun mounted to the crashed Huey helicopter which John uses to take out a legless T-600 is an M60D.

 

At 12:57 on the Blu-ray, the patch on John's left shoulder appears to be the Resistance's double-helix symbol over a sword.

DNA double helix over sword

 

The tilt rotor plane that drops John into the ocean for a rendezvous with General Ashdown's submarine is a USMC Osprey. This is an actual plane is use by the U.S. Marines, capable of vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL). In the novelization and the comic book preview, a Chinook helicopter is used instead.

 

The command submarine is not named in the film, but Peace and War introduced it as the USS Wilmington.

 

After John is picked up by the Wilmington, an angry General Ashdown points a gun at the head of the "prophesized leader of the Resistance" and says, "I don't believe in prophecy. Not when one can rewrite the future in a heartbeat. Are we on the same page?" and John responds, "Yeah, we're on the same page." This exchange is doubly, maybe triply, ironic, in that John knows that the future can be rewritten from his past experiences and the film will later hinge upon John's potential death due to a heart injury which is resolved by a heart transplant from Marcus. (This is a scene that was cut from the theatrical release and re-added for the Director's Cut.)

 

The gun with which Ashdown threatens John is an IMI Desert Eagle Mark XIX.

 

    When John listens to Tape #28 of Sarah Connor's recordings to him, it is actually actress Linda Hamilton, who played Sarah in The Terminator and Judgment Day, providing the voiceover. The recording he plays here is nearly identical to Tape #7, the one Sarah is seen recording at the end of The Terminator, but with a few differences. Why didn't McG just use the actual dialog from the original movie? It would have pleased fans more to hear the exact sound from the original film we know and love. Listen: Tape #28  Sarah's recording from The Terminator

   John listens to another one of her tapes later in the film.

 

At 20:09 on the Blu-ray, the photo of his mother that John looks at is a blown up and cropped version of the photo seen in The Terminator. Again, why not just use a copy of the original image?
Sarah photo in Salvation Sarah photo in The Terminator
Sarah photo in Salvation Sarah photo in The Terminator

 

At 20:20 on the Blu-ray, John is using a Sony laptop. Some books are shelved next to the laptop; one of them is The Face of Battle by John Keegan, a study of military history and tactics originally published in 1976.

 

At 21:15 on the DVD, Marcus is standing in front of the famous Hollywood sign on Mount Lee; the sign also appeared in "The Dark Years" Part 1 and The Redemption. The fact that Marcus walked so quickly and without apparent exhaustion from the desert is an early hint that he is a Terminator. It makes a certain amount of sense that, coming from the Mojave desert, he would come up the north side of Mount Lee to look over the ruin of Los Angeles on the south, but he should also already have passed through a number of smaller cities in the L.A. metropolitan area, most notably Burbank, so it should come as no shock to him to see L.A. in ruins as implied in this scene. The city view of an elevated stretch of freeway and skyscrapers seen here is much closer than what he would actually see from that vantage point.

 

At 21:31 on the Blu-ray, Marcus walks past the Red Clown Toy Company, where Kyle and Star are shortly found to be hiding. Red Clown Toy Company appears to be a fictitious business.

 

In the director's commentary, McG points out that when Marcus sees the T-600 down the street and calls out to it thinking it's a person, the T-600 turns and starts firing its Minigun, but it's actually shooting at what it recognizes as Kyle Reese, number one Skynet target; it knows Marcus is a sleeper agent and not to be interfered with. On page 59 of the novel, Marcus wonders how the bullets missed him; this is why.

 

At 22:09 on the Blu-ray, the T-600 crushes a human skull underfoot as it walks towards Kyle and Marcus. It carries an M134G Minigun and M203 grenade launcher. It's amusing that the Terminator looks kind of like a zombie as it lurches forward, synthetic skin and clothing hanging in tatters on its body.

 

At 22:25 on the Blu-ray, Kyle says to Marcus, "Come with me if you want to live." An older Kyle says the same words to Sarah Connor in The Terminator and the phrase is repeated by others in many other stories set in the Terminator universe.

 

At 22:43 on the Blu-ray, notice that the T-600 shoots off its foot to escape the snare rigged up by Kyle.

 

At 23:04 on the Blu-ray, Star brings Kyle his Remington 870 shotgun. An older Kyle is seen stealing one of these from a police car in The Terminator.

 

The star-shaped badge worn by Star on her cap appears to be that of the California Highway Patrol. Star is mute and Kyle later says he found her "under the stars" and gave her that name; possibly either she or Kyle later picked up the star-shaped badge to go with her name (in the novelization, Kyle says she already had the hat and seems to imply, but doesn't quite say, that the badge was already on it). A star-shaped decoration is later seen in Kyle and Star's hideout at the observatory.

 

After they destroy the T-600, Marcus asks Kyle what day it is and what year. The older Kyle asks this of a cop as well in The Terminator.

 

At 24:37 on the Blu-ray, as Marcus, Kyle, and Star drop flat to the ground to hide from an approaching HK, it is clear that Star is laying mostly above the heads of the two men. But a split-second later, she is seen laying in line with them.

 

As the HK flies by, the ruin of an old building collapses to the ground, seemingly of its own accord. I suppose it is the vibrational effect of the HK's engines passing by so closely, shattering the weakened structure.

 

Star wears cowboy boots.

 

Kyle remarks that the HKs have infrared, so they are actually better hunters at night. In The Terminator, his older self told Sarah the opposite, that humans mostly come out at night to avoid being spotted. It makes more sense though, that the machines would still be able to see at night, whereas it would be problematic for humans without a light source or artificial aids like nightvision goggles.

 

It seems likely the campsite Kyle and Star take Marcus to for the night is in the former Griffith Observatory. The skeletal remains of a dome are seen above the site and Kyle did tell Marcus earlier there were cars at Griffith, though they did not run anymore. The observatory grounds appeared previously in The Terminator and The Redemption. (The novelization confirms the site is an old observatory, though does not name it.) As Marcus works on the Jeep at 31:23 on the Blu-ray, a sign in the background can just barely be made out to read "Griffith Park". Griffith Park is the largest park in Los Angeles and is to the city what Central Park is to New York. Griffith Observatory is on the grounds of Griffith Park.

 

At their camp, Kyle and Star eat 2-day old coyote and offer some to Marcus, who passes. In From the Ashes, the two ate 3-day old coyote.

 

At 27:09 on the Blu-ray, a number of trinkets are seen hanging from a line in the camp, one of which is a dreamcatcher. A dreamcatcher is a small, webbed, willow-wood hoop decorated with feathers and other sacred items, believed by a number of Native American peoples to trap bad dreams and allow only the good ones to pass to the owner.

 

At the campsite, Marcus shows Kyle how to tie a cord to his shotgun in order to strap it to his arm to prevent losing it/having it taken away by an enemy swipe. The older Kyle used this tactic in The Terminator.

 

Marcus picks up an old radio in the campsite and Kyle tells him it doesn't work, going on to say his dad tried to fix it but could never get it to work. He doesn't say anything further here about who his father was or what happened to him, though in the novel he says his parents are dead. Probably they survived Judgment Day and died sometime after.

 

At 30:26 on the Blu-ray, a Resistance cell in a tropical region just happens to be listening to John Connor's radio broadcast on the same model radio Kyle and Star have at their campsite!

 

At 30:28 on the Blu-ray, a Resistance cell in an old subway tunnel is also listening to John Connor's radio broadcast. Notice in the background that one of their light sources appears to be a salvaged street lamp leaning against the wall.

 

The vehicle from the Griffith Observatory parking lot that Marcus gets running is a 2007 Jeep Wrangler. Considering Judgment Day happened in 2004 in this timeline, how did a 2007 model end up there? Not to mention, it seems that any or all of the car's tires, battery, or gasoline would be useless after sitting for 14 years unused and above ground...and that after a nuclear blast having occurred somewhere in the area! Perhaps Marcus salvaged resources from many cars in the lot to get this one Jeep working; notice that the hood of another car is open behind Marcus and the hood of what looks like a Jeep Cherokee farther down the line, so he may have found a viable battery and other parts in them and transferred them to the Wrangler. (The novelization reveals that Marcus did indeed salvage parts and gas from other vehicles in the lot.)

 

Kyle implies that he and Star are essentially the only "Resistance" in Los Angeles proper and that the major Resistance force in the region is east of there, in the desert.

 

The song that starts playing on the Jeep's stereo when Star turns on the ignition is "Rooster" by Alice in Chains from 1993, a song about a U.S. soldier during the Vietnam War. The song may also be intended as ironic in that the opening line is "Ain't found a way to kill me yet", which could apply to Marcus, seeing as how is last memory is his own death by lethal injection in prison, yet he somehow finds himself alive 15 years later. Marcus also tells Kyle that the song is one his brother used to listen to.

 

At 32:37 on the Blu-ray, notice that the open-air Jeep Wrangler has some tumbleweeds in it as Marcus prepares to take off!

 

The license plate of the Jeep Wrangler is 2DDT456. This plate number has been used in numerous Hollywood film and television productions, including Columbo, Very Bad Things, and Beverly Hills Cop 2.

 

After getting the Jeep Wrangler started, Marcus slams the hood closed, not bothering to fasten the two exterior latches that hold it down. Yet, they are seen to be latched when the vehicle flees from the Aerostat seconds later.

 

As Marcus works on the Wrangler, the windshield is extremely dirty from years of sitting unused in the environment. Yet, it is completely clear when he and others race off in it, fleeing the Aerostat, seconds later. The following shots alternate randomly with a clean/dirty windshield.

 

Fleeing the aerostat, behind the wheel of the Jeep, Kyle shouts to Marcus that he's never driven before. This makes sense, as he would have been only two years old when Judgment Day took place in 2004, with few drivable vehicles outside of Resistance forces afterward (judging by actor Michael Biehn's age of 27 in The Terminator in 2029 when Kyle was sent back to 1984).

 

At 33:26 on the Blu-ray, notice that the aerostat has identified Kyle Reese as the driver of the Jeep.

 

As the Jeep hurtles down the road from the Griffith Observatory at 33:47 on the Blu-ray, a sign pointing straight ahead for Interstate 5 is seen. The observatory is near I-5 in the real world. The Jeep passes the same sign twice during the chase!

 

The twisting road from the Griffith Observatory to the L.A. basin looks a bit more desert-ish than in the real world, but this may be explained by the radiation that was released on Judgment Day in 2004, killing much of the plant life.

 

As the Jeep races down the road, Marcus throws a four-pronged lug wrench at the pursuing aerostat and nails it, bringing it, disabled, to the ground. Such an accurate, powerful throw at a moving target from a moving vehicle is another early indication that he is a Terminator.

 

At 33:50 on the Blu-ray, we see that the Jeep has a "Keep Tahoe Blue" bumper sticker on the rear bumper. Keep Tahoe Blue is an organization dedicated to advocating for the environment in and around Lake Tahoe in the Sierra Nevada mountains of California and Nevada.

 

At 34:15 on the Blu-ray, a Resistance air controller/technician reports to John that two A-10s piloted by Williams and Mihradi are currently in the air over L.A. "Williams" is Blair Williams, seen in previous stories in the Salvation timeline. This is the first mention of Mihradi.

 

At 34:38 on the Blu-ray, the 7-Eleven sign has the Resistance double-helix symbol painted on it, indicating it is a Resistance safe point.

 

At 35:33 on the Blu-ray, ad signs for Big Gulp (Gotta Getta Gulp) and Slurpee are seen in the background. Big Gulp is a beverage cup size (32 oz.) at 7-Eleven convenience stores (a Super Big Gulp [44 oz.] ad is seen at 35:40). Slurpee is an icy fruit-flavored beverage sold by 7-Eleven.

 

During the early moments of the stand-off with the survivors inside the 7-Eleven, Kyle is holding his shotgun loosely in his right hand in forward shots, but has it pointed at the leader in behind shots.

 

At the 7-Eleven, the humans come under siege by a Harvester, a giant, bipedal machine designed by Skynet to collect humans for study. Harvesters first appeared in Faith.

 

How is it that the humans inside the 7-Eleven don't hear the Harvester's approach before it smashes its arm into the building?! The thing is several stories tall and clomps around on gigantic metal feet!

 

The escape cars used by a few of the survivors from the 7-11 which get blown up by the Harvester are a 1983 SAAB 900 and a Ford F-250.

 

The tow truck taken by Marcus, Kyle, and Star is a Freightliner Classic (see the conversation at Internet Movie Cars Database).

 

At 38:41 on the Blu-ray, we see that the tow truck taken by Marcus, Kyle, and Star has Yokohama tires on it. At 39:14, we see that the truck has "Back Off" mud flaps featuring Yosemite Sam. Yosemite Sam is a cartoon character in numerous animated shorts produced by Warner Brothers.

 

Notice that the tow truck has several guns mounted to it (e.g. on the wheel rim and the roof), but they aren't used in the chase, presumably because our heroes didn't notice they were there or didn't know how to utilize them in flight.

 

The Harvester releases Moto-Terminators to chase the fleeing Marcus, Kyle, and Star. Moto-Terminators were previously seen in Machinima.

 

A number of the abandoned/wrecked vehicles on the road during the Moto-Terminator chase are identified at the Internet Movie Cars Database.

 

At 40:49 on the Blu-ray, a bus in the middle of the desert road has "Bakersfield" printed on the side. Bakersfield is a city in Kern County, CA.

 

When Marcus tells Kyle to drop the tow cable ball during the Moto-Terminator chase, Kyle immediately throws the proper lever behind the cab to do it. How would someone who was not a tow truck driver know how to drop the tow cable without at least some examination of the controls (and probably some trial and error)?

 

When Kyle and Star are flung out of the skidding tow truck and off the bridge, they are caught in the Harvester's hands, Kyle in the right and Star in the left. But when the Harvester then drops into the cage of the Transport, Kyle falls out of the left hand and Star the right!

 

Marcus surviving his fall to the river from the aerial Transport and skipping along the river to a "landing" without apparent injury is another indication that he is a Terminator.

 

At 45:50 on the Blu-ray, there is an interesting juxtaposition that Marcus is making his way down the desert slope at the same time a tumbleweed is being blown up it.

 

The scene where Marcus and Blair stop for the night at an old racetrack is extended in the Director's Cut.

 

At 51:06 on the Blu-ray, Marcus drives a screwdriver through one of the men who was assaulting Blair, pinning him to a giant rubber tire. This is similar to the scene of the T-800 pinning a biker to a pool table with a knife near the beginning of Judgment Day.

 

Even though it was just raining minutes ago, the ground appears to be completely dry around them as Marcus and Blair sit in front of a bonfire.

 

That night at the racetrack, Blair snuggles up against Marcus, telling him she's just cold and wants some body heat. Considering they're sitting in front of a gigantic bonfire, her excuse seems unlikely! She just wanted some action from him!

 

John uses an M136 AT4 anti-tank weapon to blow up the HK that has been downed by the shutdown signal at 56:13 on the Blu-ray.

 

The truck driven by John and Barnes when they go to Skynet's "valley of death" to test the shutdown signal on an HK is a 1994 Ford Bronco.

 

At 56:48 on the Blu-ray, one of the monitor screens behind General Ashdown appears to show a map of San Francisco Bay, probably in preparation for the Resistance assault at Skynet Central the next day.

 

The shot at 58:49 on the Blu-ray indicates that Blair and Marcus are walking through the grounds of an old missile silo complex. It seems this is the main Resistance base in the southern California region, as we later see Blair and Marcus escape the base confines into the mine field again.

Missile silo complex

 

The rifle carried by Barnes (and the butt of which he uses to knock out Marcus) is a Remington 870 SBS Entry Gun.

 

Kate's examination of the unconscious Marcus reveals he has human flesh (which heals quickly) over a metal skeleton, a real heart, and a human brain implanted with a microchip. He is somewhat similar to the I-950 Infiltrator developed by Skynet in the JD-4 Timeline in the T2 Trilogy of novels by S. M. Stirling, but the I-950 bodies are mostly human, while Marcus' is mostly Terminator. Marcus' series and model number are not officially revealed, called only a human hybrid. The packaging of the Marcus action figure by Playmates refers to him as a Series 700 Terminator, however this seems to be in error, as some T-700s are seen later during the battle at Skynet Central and they are bulkier than Marcus' endoskeleton would be. The novel that follows Salvation, Trial by Fire, reveals the series to be T-Hybrid or T-H.

 

During his interrogation, Marcus is held suspended inside one of the missile silos. He is again secured in a crucifix-like position and the novelization even has him held in place by metal bolts through his wrists!

 

At 1:03:23 on the Blu-ray, who or what are the figures at Skynet Central seen observing from above the processing of the human prisoners from the Transport? The figures look less bulky than any of the known humanoid Terminators (except Marcus). Are they hybrid models similar to Marcus? Could they be human collaborators?

Observers

 

At 1:07:08 on the Blu-ray, notice that Barnes is wearing a rattlesnake rattle as a pendant around his neck!

Barnes' rattlesnake rattle

 

At 1:07:44 on the Blu-ray, Barnes uses an RPG-7 rocket propelled grenade launcher in an attempt to stop Marcus' and Blair's escape from the Resistance base.

 

At 1:08:54 on the Blu-ray, the vehicle Marcus and Blair hide behind is an Austin FV1801A (Champ). Thanks to the Internet Movie Cars Database.

 

The scene of the massive firebombs in the woods, with burning foliage and a Huey helicopter from 1:12:41-1:13:15 on the Blu-ray is likely an homage to the famous napalm blasting scene at the beginning of the 1979 film Apocalypse Now.

 

When his men discover John at the river's edge, they ask if there's any sign of Marcus. Notice that John does not lie to his men by telling them Marcus escaped, but he doesn't tell them he let Marcus escape either. He just says, "He's gone."

 

At 1:17:48 on the Blu-ray, the large emblem on the wall behind Blair at the Resistance base is that of the 30th Space Wing. This is the Fourteenth Air Force of the Air Force Space Command of the United States Air Force, based at Vandenberg Air Force Base, California, implying this is where the Resistance base is located.

 

In this film, it is John Connor who says, "I'll be back," instead of a Terminator.

 

At 1:21:00 on the Blu-ray, the boom box used by John Connor is a Sanyo M-9935. The song playing on it is "You Could Be Mine" by Guns N' Roses. This is the same song John and his friend listen to on a Sony CFS-213 boom box in Judgment Day.

 

At 1:21:13 on the Blu-ray, the truck John rigs the trip cable to is a Ford F-150. In this same shot, John has an M4A1 Carbine with M26 MASS hanging on his back; he takes it into Skynet Central with him and is seen firing it at the T-800 that attacks him.

 

After the Moto-Terminator strikes the trip cable and crashes, the Guns N' Roses song playing on the boom box immediately stops for no reason! The boom box itself was not hit in the collision and is seen intact on the edge of the road.

 

At 1:21:52 on the Blu-ray, the device used by John to reprogram the Moto-Terminator to return to its point of origin appears to be a 2007 Sony Vaio UX Micro PC. Again, this was manufactured after the 2004 date of Judgment Day, so shouldn't be here!

 

At 1:23:00 on the Blu-ray, John is crossing the Golden Gate Bridge as he approaches Skynet Central on his commandeered Moto-Terminator.

 

It's not revealed how Marcus made it all the way to San Francisco. He must have got a hold of a vehicle somehow, just as John did in the form of the Moto-Terminator.

 

At 1:23:08 on the Blu-ray, a Caterpillar D9 bulldozer is seen operating in Skynet Central. Seconds later, a Caterpillar scraper (possibly a model 6376) trundles by.

 

At 1:25:14 on the Blu-ray, the display screen showing old newspaper and web news headlines brought up by Marcus reveals several facts about him and his case:

  •  the Cyberdyne project he donated his body to after execution was called Project Angel.

  •  Dr. Kogan died of her cancer at the age of 43 and was a champion of prisoners' rights.

  •  Dr. Kogan convinced a number of convicted prisoners to donate their bodies after execution to Project Angel.

  •  Marcus was convicted of the stabbing deaths of his brother and two police officers.

  •  Marcus' brother's name was Sam (this is the same first name as the actor who portrays Marcus, Sam Worthington).

  •  Apparently, Cyberdyne was known as Cyberdyne/Skynet Corporations.

  •  Dr. Kogan's public memorial was held at Sacred Angel Heart Cathedral (this appears to be a fictitious location).

  •  The article "Cyberdyne Purchased by U.S.A.F." is by Greg Simmons. This was also the name of one of the two men who found a microchip in the factory where the Terminator was destroyed in the novelization of The Terminator.

  •  One of the websites is called Online News Daily (this appears to be a fictitious site).

 

    At 1:26:35 on the Blu-ray, a T-600 carries an FN FS2000 bullpup assault rifle.
   For some reason, this Terminator makes a sort of growling sound as it looks around! (Later, the T-800 also seems to growl near the end of its battle with John.) It seems odd that it doesn't notice the wire still connected to the exterior control of the doors beyond which John is hiding, but it may be that Skynet is simply letting John pass through unmolested so he can be taken down with more assurance inside.

 

When General Ashdown gives the order to attack Skynet Central, Eugene, Reno, and Bakersfield all immediately refuse the command. These three cities are in Oregon, Nevada, and California respectively.

 

Skynet takes on the appearance of Dr. Kogan for Marcus during their conversation.

 

Skynet refers to Marcus as an infiltration prototype, the only one of its kind.

 

As Skynet speaks to Marcus, it is clear it knows that its future self in other timelines has attempted to kill John Connor many times via Terminator agents, always failing.

 

The Model 101 Terminator's presence in this film, with the likeness of Arnold Schwarzenegger, was achieved via a CGI face on the body of bodybuilder Roland Kickinger. Arnold himself was both too old to play the "young" Terminator part and he was busy being the governor of California at the time.

 

At 1:32:28 on the Blu-ray, John fires his M4A1 Carbine with attached M26 MASS ineffectually at the T-800, after which the Terminator immediately picks him up and hurls him across the room where he slams into a computer bank. As he strikes, the M4A1 Carbine is suddenly missing and he is holding only the detached M26 MASS! The carbine is not seen again and John fires the M26 a few times as the battle progresses.
M4A1 Carbine with M26 MASS M26 MASS
John Connor firing M4A1 Carbine with M26 MASS John Connor with M26 MASS only

 

At 1:33:52 on the Blu-ray, the small table that Marcus has thrown at the glass display smashes the glass but the table doesn't then fall to the floor. It can be seen dangling in the air for a full second, obviously hanging on an attached cable used as part of the practical effect.

 

At 1:33:56 on the Blu-ray, Marcus jumps out of the clean room after smashing the glass display. Behind him, back inside the clean room, there appears to be a muscular figure standing, looking much like a Model 101 Terminator (though the face is not visible)! Where did it come from? Is it a leftover shot from a different, unused version of the film story?
Background Model 101? Background Model 101?

 

At 1:34:49 on the Blu-ray, Kyle shoves the shiv he picked up earlier in the processing area into the back of the T-600's neck, just as John had recommended as a last resort in his broadcast earlier in the film. It seems unlikely though that the machines would have missed detecting the shiv on his person and would have relieved him of it. In this same shot, it can be seen that Kyle now has a barcode tattooed on his right arm; in The Terminator, he showed Sarah a similar barcode he received when he was imprisoned in a Skynet work camp.

 

At 1:35:48 on the Blu-ray, though it is obscured by smoke somewhat, it almost looks like the Model 101 Terminator is completely smooth in the pubic area between his legs, like a Ken doll! If this is the case, it would seem to go against intimations in The Terminator, Judgment Day, and Rise of the Machines that the model is endowed with the proper male equipment down there. It would also make it somewhat compromised as an infiltrator if it did not have all the proper human parts.

 

The battle against the T-800 in the factory area of Skynet Central has a number of homages to the factory battles at the end of both The Terminator and Judgment Day (and maybe a dash of the T-850 vs. T-X battle in Rise of the Machines as well).

 

John uses an M203 grenade launcher to shoot a hole in the vat of molten steel above the T-800.

 

The Terminators being built in the Skynet factory are T-700 endoskeletons. They are similar to the T-800 series endoskeletons, but some small changes were made to the 800s to support the human flesh that would be covering them.

 

At 1:43:12 on the Blu-ray, notice it is Blair piloting the Blackhawk that sets down in Skynet Central to recue the freed prisoners.

 

At 1:43:23 on the Blu-ray, Kate states that the patient she's looking at is hypovolemic. This is another term for being in shock.

 

The T-800 is doused in molten steel, which hardens around it and temporarily stops the Terminator until is successfully busts free of the metal cocoon. But in Judgment Day, a vat of molten steel supposedly destroys the protector T-800. So, how was the one here able to survive? It may have been a matter of the volume of molten metal, much more of it, and in a contained space, applying constant heat and pressure against the endoskeleton.

 

During his fight against the T-800, John receives the familiar facial scar seen in the brief future scenes of Judgment Day and Rise of the Machines. But this scenario must be a very different one from how he received the scar in earlier timelines since the T-800 is built by Skynet much earlier here (2018) than it was originally (2028-29). And, in Timeline JD4, John receives his scar in a quite different manner...from a cyber-enhanced leopard seal in Rising Storm!

 

When the injured John is loaded aboard the helicopter in the escape from Skynet Central, Virginia is seen to be one of the rescued prisoners also aboard. But then she is missing from every subsequent shot aboard!

 

What is the small tattoo or stamp on Marcus' (?) arm at 1:52:14 on the Blu-ray?

tatoo

 

Just before he sacrifices his heart to save John, Marcus' thoughts are that the difference between humans and the machines is the strength of the human heart. This also goes back to Kyle's earlier remark to Marcus that one of the differences between us and the machines is that we bury our dead.

 

It seems unlikely that the makeshift equipment and supplies available to the Resistance would enable them to perform a heart transplant operation! Even now and under the best of circumstances, with the best equipment and doctors, it is tricky and organ rejection is always an ever-looming possibility, even with immunosuppressive drugs in use. Possibly, Marcus' heart, having been "modified" or "augmented" by Skynet to support rapid healing, etc. may have made the operation easier than a normal transplantation would have been.

 

At the end of the film, John's voiceover says "there is a storm on the horizon." This is a touchback to the end of The Terminator, where the Mexican gas station owner says "There's a storm coming," and Sarah says, "I know."

 

During the cast list in the end credits, Diego Lopez's credit as "Soldier" is misspelled "Solider".

 

When the additional music credits come up near the end of the end credits sequence, there is a typo in "courtesy" in the credit for the main title theme from Terminator 2: Judgment Day, reading "courtesty".

 

Notes from the Maximum Movie Mode with director McG

 

McG remarks that a Terminator's scanning functions include listening for sounds of humans nearby, which makes the sign language used between Star and Kyle an advantage. Possibly this is why Star never speaks; a Terminator may have detected sounds from her family and slaughtered them, leaving her too frightened to speak again for fear of attracting a Terminator.

 

Kyle is seen to use a single-hand pump action on his shotgun in the film, just as his older self does in The Terminator.

 

There is a reddish lichen growth seen on rocks throughout the movie, meant to suggest a thriving lichen mutation in North America due to radiation.

 

The originally-conceived ending of the film was quite a bit darker, with John Connor dying from his wound inside Skynet Central and his friends using Skynet technology to change Marcus' face to look like John. After the surgery, Marcus, as John, wakes up and kills everyone in the room, including, Kate and Kyle, then walks out to assume leadership of the Resistance as a Skynet plant. McG and the producers finally decided that was too dark of an ending. (There were still two more films in the new trilogy planned for production at the time, so I assume we would have seen T-John swing back to the side of the humans or something. However, the original script is not quite what McG relates in his commentary; John dies and Marcus becomes the new John Connor without slaughtering everyone, i.e. he's still a good guy. An excellent article about the original script and the flawed film as released is worth a look at CHUD.com: EXCLUSIVE: WHAT WENT WRONG WITH TERMINATOR SALVATION?)

 

The Moto-Terminators were based on the Ducati Monster design of motorcycle.

 

Notes from the "Reforging the Future" featurette on the Blu-ray release

 

A T-600 is 7'2" in height. A T-700 is 6'9". Since a T-800 is supposed to be nearly the same as a T-700, the height does not seem correct, as actor Arnold Schwarzenegger is, at most, 6'2" (his height has been reported anywhere in the range of 5'10" to 6'2"). 

 

Notes from the novelization by Alan Dean Foster

 

Terminator Salvation novel Terminator Salvation
Novel
Written by Alan Dean Foster
Based on the motion picture written by John Brancato and Michael Ferris

(Page numbers come from the paperback edition, third printing, April 2009)

 

The book is dedicated to Brian Thomsen. He was a science-fiction author and editor who died in 2008.

 

On page 13, Dr. Kogan sees the book she sent Marcus, Beyond Good and Evil, sitting on the tiny desk in his cell. The book's full title is Beyond Good and Evil: Prelude to a Philosophy of the Future and is by philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche, published in 1886. She was obviously trying to influence Marcus into accepting her offer to sign his body over to Cyberdyne for scientific research, as it describes Nietzsche's philosophy that good and evil are only different expressions of the same impulses felt by all humanity; Kogan is trying to get Marcus to accept that he can now perform an expression of "good" just as well as he performed "evil" (criminal) acts in his past.

 

During the prison scene with Dr. Kogan, Marcus is presented as more of a jerk than he is in the movie. I suspect that director McG decided to tone Marcus' anti-social elements down a bit to make him more likable to the audience.

 

When Marcus signs his name to the consent form on page 17, the narration remarks he could easily have provided a false signature, such as "George Washington", to render the document legally invalid. Washington, of course, is considered the father of the United States, having served as the country's military and political leader from 1775 to his death in 1799.

 

On page 25, John has an encounter with Captain Jericho. Jericho later dies in the assault on the VLA. His scenes were cut from the film, but he was the brother of Barnes.

 

Page 26 states that the common Resistance soldier had come to think of the phrase "chain of command" as something akin to SNAFU. SNAFU stands for "Situation Normal: All Fucked Up." It originated as military slang but the term has also come to be used simply as the word "snafu", meaning simply that something has gone wrong.

 

Page 28 names the two soldiers who accompany John into the underground tunnels as David and Tunney. Tunney earlier appeared in From the Ashes.

 

On page 29, John uses C-4 to blow open a door in the facility. C4 is a type of plastic explosive, Composition C-4. Here, as John attaches the ignition cord and detonator, the explosive package is described as coming together "like a pizza in Naples." Naples is the Italian city in which the culinary delight called pizza originated.

 

On page 36, John reflects that, by this time, the world was supposed to be swarming with fantastic inventions: jet packs, synthetic food, rejuvenated oceans, colonies on Mars, and computers controlled by thought. These are obviously symbolic thoughts, widely-held tropes in science-fiction of what the future, just around the corner, will bring.

 

Page 37 has John reflecting that the machines often leave other, non-sentient machines, unharmed in the war, killing only the humans using them. This seems like it would be a weakness on Skynet's part, as it leaves those machines intact for other humans to use against it.

 

On page 42, the Resistance command center orders John to proceed to ex-fil point. "Ex-fil" is a military term for "extraction point".

 

Page 46 reveals that the Resistance has been forced to make use of biofuel mixtures in their vehicles, even managing to improve the range of the vehicles (by necessity, since Skynet controls or has destroyed standard fuel sources and landing fields).

 

Before making his jump into the ocean to board the command sub, John requests divers for a lock-in. Then, when his meeting with the command staff aboard is done, General Ashdown gives the order to prepare for lockout to send him back to the surface. I presume "lock-in" and "lockout" are terms used to signify entering and exiting from an airlock, but I've been unable to confirm this.

 

On page 49, John realizes that the Resistance commanders aboard the sub are many of the surviving admirals and generals from the armed forces of nations around the world. That the Resistance command staff is made up of numerous foreign militaries has been implied in earlier stories as well.

 

On page 50, John states that Skynet's experiments with replicating human tissue for a new model Terminator are happening 10 years too early. In the original timeline as related by Kyle Reese in The Terminator, the flesh-covered T-800s did not start appearing until recently, from the perspective of his home year of 2029, so probably 2028-29 for the first appearance of T-800 infiltrators. On page 55, John remarks to Kate, "This isn't the future my mother told me about."

 

On pages 50-51, Ashdown mentions Sarah Connor and her time at the Pescadero State Mental Institution. Pescadero is the institution Sarah was confined to in the first half of Judgment Day.

 

When General Losenko speaks to him on page 51, John notes the Cyrillic insignia on him and the man's gnarled face "like an old Siberian Spruce". Cyrillic refers to the Cyrillic alphabet, a variation of which is used officially by Russia (originally developed in Bulgaria in the 10th century). Author Greg Cox used almost the same "gnarled Siberian Spruce" comparison to Losenko's face in Cold War.

 

On page 52, Ashdown remarks that with the shutdown signal the Resistance has acquired, they will blow the machines back to the Stone Age. The Stone Age is one of the three archaeological ages of humanity (the others being Bronze Age and Iron Age), which began about 3.4 million years ago with primitive hominids and ended in the range of 6000-2000 BC.

 

On page 55, John remarks to Kate that the hidden machine shutdown signal the Resistance has discovered doesn't seem like the kind of backdoor vulnerability Skynet would overlook. He says something similar to the generals on the Wilmington in the comic book preview as well, but he never quite voices it in the film.

 

On page 57, Marcus notes a crashed 747 in the desert. This is a reference to the Boeing 747, a commercial jet airliner.

 

From his view on a hillside on page 58, Marcus is able to see the Palos Verdes Peninsula. This is a peninsula into the Pacific Ocean in southwest Los Angeles County, home to several affluent communities (now in ruins, of course).

 

On page 61, Marcus guesses Star's age at about 9 or 10. Page 80 refers to her as a 9-year old.

 

On page 68, the chief technician who helps John test the shutdown signal on a Hydrobot is male; in the film the tech is a woman.

 

On page 78, Marcus mentions his past hot-wiring Mustangs, Beemers, and 'vettes. These are references to automobiles: the Ford Mustang, BMW, and Chevy Corvette.

 

On page 86, the bandage Star puts on Marcus' arm has a white cartoon dog with a black nose and contented smile on it. Possibly, the cartoon character is Snoopy from the Peanuts comic strip.

 

On page 87, Marcus reflects that the Jeep had better hold together, as the Automobile Club would be no help if a part fell off halfway to his destination. This is a reference to the Automobile Club of Southern California, a motor club and auto insurance agency.

 

Instead of "Rooster" by Alice in Chains as in the film, the song that plays on a CD in the Jeep when Marcus gets it started is "Us and Them" by Pink Floyd. The song also reminds Marcus of "Another Brick in the Wall", a three-part song by Pink Floyd on their 1979 album The Wall.

 

On pages 100-101, the old woman and young man who seem to be the two conflicting leaders of the group at the 7-11 are named Virginia and Len.

 

On page 122, Blair seems to say that John Connor's radio broadcasts are just regional and that every base commander does similar broadcasts for their region. In the film, it is strongly implied that John is broadcasting worldwide.

 

On page 123, Kyle is said to clearly remember ice cream, though he had not tasted it in years. But considering he would have been just two years old when Judgment Day occurred, it seems unlikely he would remember ice cream unless it was after that, and would the human survivors really have the luxury of making (and keeping frozen) ice cream? Maybe he's remembering freeze-dried ice cream? Just add water!

 

The translation of the French sentence spoken by one of the Transport captives on page 125 is accurate.

 

On page 126, one of the Transport captives is referred to as an Angeleno. "Angeleno" is the term applied to residents of Los Angeles.

 

On page 131, Blair seems to state that nuclear winter is still effecting the global environment 14 years after Judgment Day. It is a common theory that a large-scale detonation of nuclear weapons on the surface of Earth would result in a relatively long-term clouding of the sky by soot and smoke, resulting in a blockage of the sun's rays that would cause significantly lowered temperatures virtually worldwide and referred to as nuclear winter. Current models of a hypothetical nuclear winter predict it lasting more than a decade, so Blair's statement may be roughly accurate.

 

As Blair begins to treat her wound on page 131, she removes some hydrogen peroxide from her pouch. Hydrogen peroxide is commonly used as a disinfectant.

 

Page 134 reveals that Blair is still carrying her Desert Eagle firearm, as previously seen in From the Ashes.

 

On page 138, Blair tosses Turnbull gauze and an Ace bandage. ACE (All-Cotton Elastic) is the brand name of an elastic bandage, but has taken on the genericized description of any type of elastic bandage.

 

Also on page 138, Blair remarks on having shot Turnbull's gastrocnemius. This refers to the gastrocnemius muscle, the calf muscle.

 

Among the items the young woman on the Transport has available for trade with Kyle are some Q-tips. Q-tips are the best-selling brand of cotton swabs.

 

On page 144, Blair thinks longingly of crème brulee and chateaubriand. Crème brûlée is a type of custard dessert with a hard caramel coating. Chateaubriand is a certain cut of tenderloin steak.

 

On page 146, Blair tells Marcus she suffers from low blood pressure, which tends to make her get cold more easily.

 

Also on page 146, Blair tells Marcus that her dad used to take her for rides on his Harley. This refers to a motorcycle manufactured by Harley-Davidson.

 

Page 147 reveals that Blair's father was an airline mechanic, which is presumably what made her interested in flying.

 

Instead of in Skynet's "valley of death" as stated in the film, here the shutdown signal is tested in Los Angeles.

 

Instead of being magnetic as in the film, the mines protecting the boundaries of the Resistance base are triggered by the electronic control signatures emitted by Terminators.

 

On page 161, Kate orders morphine given to Marcus for his injury as he is brought in to the infirmary. Morphine is a drug used for sedation or the treatment of severe pain.

 

On page 162, Kate orders the antibiotic methicillin given to Marcus, with vancomycin kept ready. These are both real world antibiotics.

 

Under interrogation by John, Marcus tells him he was born in Abilene, Texas on August 22, 1975.

 

On page 183, Barnes delivers something of a sermon to the captive Marcus:

"You've united the Children of Abraham. And I know that all we are going through right now will deliver us. Deliver our salvation. This is the great war of which the Bible speaks, and Skynet is the Antichrist. It's so obvious I'm surprised so few saw it coming." He smiled, content and happy within himself. "But then, it had to happen, didn't it? Without the war there would be no Second Coming, no return, no Rapture."

The "Children of Abraham" refers to the three Abrahamic religions: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. "Deliver our salvation" refers to John Connor later in the film. "The great war" refers to the war prophesized in the Biblical Book of Revelation, which some interpretations attribute to a prophesized Antichrist. The Second Coming is the return of Jesus Christ to Earth to defeat the Antichrist. The Rapture is believed by some Christian denominations to be an event in which the faithful will rise from the Earth to meet Jesus in the air.

 

As John listens to more of his mother's tapes on page 188, Sarah's voice says she expects more machines will arrive in various disguises to strike at John in different ways. It's not stated when this particular tape was made, but she mentions him sending Kyle Reese back to protect her and nothing else, making it sound as if she was foreshadowing the events of T2: Judgment Day and, perhaps, other stories in the Terminator universe!

 

In the novel, John chases after Marcus in a Blackhawk helicopter instead of a Huey as in the film. This refers to the U.S. Army's Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawk utility helicopter, in use since 1974.

 

Page 212 reveals that the California Resistance received six F-15s from Seattle six months ago. The F-15 entered service in the Air Force in 1976, going on to become one of the most successful fighter planes in history; it is expected to remain in service until 2025.

 

On page 214, John accuses General Ashdown of being General Sherman or Tamerlane. General William Tecumseh Sherman (1820-1891) was a Union general during the U.S. Civil War who was most infamously known for his scorched Earth policy while leading his troops through the Confederate states, though he was also considered a genius of military strategy (which may be why Ashdown actually seems to take the comparison as a compliment!). Tamerlane was a Turko-Mongol warlord of the 14th Century, another brutal military genius.

 

On pages 219-220, John loads up with thermobaric shells and sabot shells. The term "thermobaric" refers to bombs that produce a blast wave that lasts significantly longer than those of conventional explosives. A sabot is the light covering (usually plastic or aluminum) that covers a bullet or other projectile to fill the space between the projectile and the barrel of the firearm.

 

Page 223 reveals that the automated gun emplacements surrounding Skynet Central are programmed to kill any carbon-based lifeform that enters the forbidden zone around it, not just humans. Presumably this is due to the extreme importance of the location, as Skynet has not been concerned about animals besides humans and their war dogs in past stories.

 

As John approaches the ruins of San Francisco at the beginning of Chapter 14, he thinks of it as the patron saint of the dead. The city is named for the Italian Catholic preacher, St. Francis of Assisi, though he is not considered the patron saint of the dead; he is the patron saint of animals and the environment. Catholicism does not have a true patron saint of the dead. Possibly John just thinks of San Francisco that way due to its destruction and resurrection as Skynet Central.

 

On page 239, the perimeter guns around Skynet Central detect John passing through, but do not fire upon him.

 

When Blair pleads with Kate to save Marcus after John drags him out of the Skynet compound, Kate is not sure she can do it, saying, "I'm a doctor, not an engineer." This may have been intended as an homage by the author to the character of Dr. McCoy on Star Trek, who frequently began a sentence with "I'm a doctor, not a..."

 

On page 280, when Star hands John the detonator she saved from inside the factory at Skynet Central, she actually speaks for the first time, saying, "End this." In the film, she does not speak at any point.

 

On page 281, Marcus catches a brief glimpse of a red glint in one of Star's eyes, hinting that she may be a hybrid Terminator like himself. This scene does not occur in the film. If she is a Terminator, it seems she is one who has also chosen to side with humanity (or doesn't know she's a Terminator), based on her actions throughout the story. Possibly this also explains the bandages on her fingers; she may have injured them somehow during events before Salvation and is using the bandages to cover the exposed metal until the skin can grow back.

 

The novelization ends very differently from the film. John never gets stabbed through the chest, nearly taking his life, so Marcus does not have to sacrifice his heart to save him. At the end of the book, Marcus still lives, with John counting him as a friend, and all of our merry Resistance band know they have struck a blow towards ending the machine reign, but they still have a lot of fighting to do in the times to come.

 

Notes from the comic book preview published by IDW

 

Terminator Salvation preview comic Terminator Salvation
Movie Preview Comic Book #0 (IDW)
Adapted by Jeff Mariotte
Based on the motion picture written by John Brancato and Michael Ferris
Art by Don Figueroa
Cover by Don Figueroa

 

For some reason, IDW published a single-issue comic book preview of the movie that tells only the portion of the Salvation story up to when Marcus meets Kyle Reese for the first time (about 22 minutes into the movie). No further adaptation was ever scheduled or published, though the following months did see IDW publish the 4-issue prequel series Sand in the Gears.

 

On pages 4-5 one of the Warthogs is seen to have USMC painted on the tailfin. USMC stands for United States Marine Corps. However, only the US Air Force, Air Reserve, and Air National Guard use these planes.

 

Another Warthog has several slogans haphazardly painted on it: Fuck Skynet, Robots Sux, and Suck On This. The novelization also remarks that the planes are covered in a flurry of graffiti "that reflected the tastes and attitudes of those that flew and serviced them."

 

Artist Don Figueroa's stylized initials are seen on the side of one of the Warthog's jet engines on page 4.

 

Instead of John jumping voluntarily into the ocean to rendezvous with the Wilmington as in the film, he is kicked in the ass out the door by one of the personnel on the Chinook helicopter!

 

John's meeting with the brass aboard the Wilmington is significantly different from that seen in the film: John is accused of being a collaborator with Skynet; John tells the generals that Skynet would never allow a vulnerability such as the hidden, direct control of machine communications signal to go unnoticed; the generals insist they will have every Resistance base build a transmitter to shut down all the machines at once so they can be blown to Hell at the same time; the generals tell John they want him to test the shutdown signal instead of him volunteering as he does in the film; the generals tell John that number one on Skynet's hit list is Kyle Reese, and they know he's just a teenage kid.

 

On page 16, Marcus is seen walking near the intersection of Winston Street in L.A. This is an actual street in the city. A wrecked bus in the foreground has an advertising board on the side reading "Noob"; as far as I can tell, this is an ad for a fictitious brand or product.

 

On page 18, instead of just a sign as in the film, the Red Clown Toy Company warehouse has a giant clown head on the roof (the name of the company is never seen).

 

On page 21, Kyle explains to Marcus that a Terminator "...won't stop. Ever...until you are dead." He also says this in the novelization. This is very similar to what his older self tells Sarah in The Terminator.

 

A collapsed building that is perhaps meant to be the Capitol Records Building of Los Angeles is seen, as it has a somewhat rounded shape like that building and has the word "Record" plainly visible on the top. However, the Capitol Records Building is nowhere near Winston Street as implied here.

 

Unanswered Questions

 

Why did Marcus apparently murder his own brother during the botched car-jacking that also resulted in the deaths of two cops? Dialog in the film implies Marcus and his brother both were troublemakers, and presumably they were attempting the car-jacking together.

 

How did Skynet know of the importance of Kyle Reese? How did it know what he looked like? It's possible Skynet has access to records of Kyle's arrest by the LAPD and connection to Sarah Connor in 1984 as seen in The Terminator. It may be that Skynet does not know that Kyle is John Connor's father, only that he successfully prevents Sarah's assassination by a Model 101 Terminator.

 

How is Star able to sense the approach of Skynet machines? Why does Star have so many bandages on her fingers? Why does Star always have the answer when Marcus is looking for a solution to a predicament he and his human cohorts are in? The answer may be that she is a Terminator-Hybrid, as speculated in the study of the novelization above. 

 

Memorable Dialog

 

so that's what death tastes like.wav

Connor is on the ground.wav

a new Terminator.wav

prophesized leader of the Resistance.wav

I don't believe in prophecy.wav

like all machines, it has an off switch.wav

an unknown a civilian.wav

Tape Number 28.wav

Kyle is out there somewhere, alone.wav

come with me if you want to live.wav

Terminator, T-600.wav

if you're listening to this you are the Resistance.wav

no one is coming to bury you.wav

if the idea is to stay alive, I'm driving.wav

a couple friends.wav

I'm not a good guy.wav

leadership has its costs.wav

the beginning of something wonderful.wav

disassembled/killed.wav

Skynet has Kyle Reese.wav

you are relieved of your command.wav

that woman was Sarah Connor.wav

Command wants us to fight like machines.wav

I'll be back.wav

welcome home, Marcus.wav

you killed John Connor.wav

the difference between us and machines.wav

a storm on the horizon.wav 

 

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