If Star Trek weren't the final nail in the coffin of cinematic time-travel believability, Terminator Salvation arrives in theaters this week with an all-new albeit pre-existing series of space-time conundrums. The new film, directed by McG (We Are Marshall) from a screenplay by John Brancato, Michael Ferris and an uncredited Jonah Nolan (among other ghost writers), takes place in 2018, 11 years before John Connor sends Kyle Reese back in time to save and impregnate his mom. But how – if at all – does Salvation fit into the rest of the series' fractured chronology?
Cinematical started at the beginning, as it were, and decided to offer a timeline of the events that take place in the Terminator series. Assuming that James Cameron's original Terminator was the centrifuge from which the rest of the films' stories were spun – not counting the TV series – check out the checkered history we put together for The Terminator and its time-troubled mythology.