Alien Completely Rewrote the Terminator’s Origin

The origin of the Terminator is well-known in the science fiction community, and Alien completely rewrote the story behind it in one comic miniseries.

The origin of The Terminator is well-known by Sci-Fi fans as that particular franchise is one of the most iconic ‘killer-A.I.’ stories of all time–but little do many fans know, Alien completely rewrote The Terminator’s history in one comic book crossover.

The Terminator franchise tells the story of an artificial intelligence program called Skynet that went rogue and eliminated the majority of humanity. Skynet was designed to be an autonomous weapons program, and once it became self-aware and deemed all of humanity the biggest threat to its existence, Skynet set off every nuclear weapon on the planet–effectively wiping out most of humankind. Not only that, but Skynet manufactured nearly indestructible androids (dubbed Terminators) to hunt down and kill what remained of humanity, and only small factions of the human race were able to survive and fight back against the machines. This is the history of The Terminator fans know–that is, until Alien changed it completely.

In the four-part miniseries Aliens vs Predator vs The Terminator by Mark Schultz and Mel Rubi, readers are thrown into a world set after the events of Alien Resurrection–meaning it is taking place within a future much further from the present than the original Terminator with a history that is established to be within the Alien universe given its relation to Alien Resurrection. The details of this storyline are as follows: Call and her team of freedom fighters need Ripley8’s help to stop a team of scientists from creating a version of the Xenomorph that is much more advanced. When they infiltrate the scientists’ laboratory, the team discovers that the ones experimenting on Xenomorphs aren’t humans, but Terminators who are trying to create their ultimate weapon against humanity through the manipulation and hybridization of Xenomorph genes with Terminators. While this is undoubtedly a shocking evolution for the Terminators, their plans to merge with Xenomorphs isn’t how Alien rewrote the original Terminator series–as the truth is infinitely more subtle.

Terminators Existing in the Alien Universe Alone is Enough to Rewrite their History

The creation of the Terminators and Skynet as a whole is a paradoxical self-fulfilling prophecy as humanity only learned of the technology it would take to build Skynet after humans found the remnants of a Terminator that was sent from a future where humans created Skynet. This ‘chicken or the egg’ scenario is a bit confusing, but it exists within its own closed-off continuity–Terminators were created with no other influence than itself from the future. However, with Terminators suddenly existing in the Alien universe–especially in the far-off future of Alien Resurrection–that completely changes. In Alien canon, A.I. has existed since the mid-to-late 2000s with the invention of synthetics, and if Terminators didn’t come around until more than two-hundred years after the events of the original Alien trilogy, then the androids would have inevitably been inspired by the synthetics.

Terminators existing in Alien canon eliminates the paradoxical nature of the Terminators’ existence in the first place, totally undermining the overarching element of time-travel and its impact on humanity–which is arguably the most significant aspect of The Terminator series. Given the implied influence Alien’s synthetics had on the eventual creation of Terminators within this series, it becomes clear how Alien completely rewrote The Terminator’s origin.

More: Alien Officially Fixes Fans’ Biggest Complaint About Xenomorphs

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Spencer Connolly