The Terminator series is an American science fiction franchise encompassing a series of 5 films and additional media concerning battles between Skynet's artificially intelligent machine network, and John Connor's Resistance forces and the rest of the human race. Skynet's most well-known products in its genocidal goals are the various terminator models, such as the original "Terminator" character, who was portrayed by Arnold Schwarzenegger from the first film, and similar units he also portrayed in the later films. The 5th film in the franchise, Genisys, is set for release by 2015.
The Terminator (1984)
The Terminator is a 1984 science fiction film released by Orion Pictures, co-written and directed by James Cameron and starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, Linda Hamilton and Michael Biehn. It is the first work in the Terminator franchise. In the film, machines take over the world in the near future, directed by the artificial intelligence Skynet. With its sole mission to completely annihilate humanity, it develops cyborg assassins called Terminators that outwardly appear human. A man named John Connor starts the Tech-Com resistance to defeat them and free humanity. With a human victory imminent, the machines' only choice is to send a Terminator back in time to kill John's mother, Sarah Connor, before he is born, preventing the resistance from ever being founded. With the fate of humanity at stake, John sends soldier Kyle Reese back to protect his mother and ensure his own existence.
Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)
Terminator 2: Judgment Day is the 1991 sequel to the original Terminator film released by TriStar Pictures. It is co-written, directed, and produced by James Cameron and stars Arnold Schwarzenegger, Linda Hamilton, Edward Furlong and Robert Patrick. After the machines failed to prevent John Connor from being born, they try again in 1995, this time attempting to kill him as a child with a more advanced terminator, the T-1000. As before, John sends back a protector for his younger self, a reprogrammed Terminator, identical to the one from the previous film. After eleven years of preparing for the future war, Sarah decides to use the same tactics the machines used on her: prevent Skynet from being invented by destroying Cyberdyne Systems before they create it.
Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines (2003)
Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines is the 2003 sequel to Terminator 2 released by Warner Bros. domestically and Columbia Pictures internationally, directed by Jonathan Mostow and starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, Nick Stahl, Claire Danes and Kristanna Loken. As a result of the destruction of Cyberdyne at the end of T2, the Skynet takeover has been postponed, not averted. In a last attempt to ensure a victory by the machines, a new terminator, the T-X, is sent back to kill as many of John Connor's future lieutenants as possible, including John Connor and his future wife Kate Brewster. After the future Connor is terminated by a version of his previous protector, Kate reprograms it and sends it back to save them both from the T-X.
The Terminators (2009)
The Terminators is a science fiction film by The Asylum. Though the film's title is deliberately similar to the 1984 film The Terminator, the events in the film's storyline are more similar to 1973's Westworld and the 2004 revision of Battlestar Galactica. As a mockbuster, it was released one month prior to the premiere of the 4th film in the Terminator franchise, Terminator Salvation.
Terminator Salvation (2009)
Terminator Salvation is the 4th installment of the Terminator film series, made by The Halcyon Company and again distributed by Warner and Columbia, and with an original release on May 21, 2009. It was written by John D. Brancato, Michael Ferris, Jonathan Nolan, and Anthony E. Zuiker, directed by McG, and stars Christian Bale as John Connor. After Skynet has destroyed much of humanity in a nuclear holocaust, John struggles to become the leader, but in this future, Marcus Wright (Sam Worthington, who was personally recommended by James Cameron) has somehow altered it, and the T-800 (Roland Kickinger with CG-rendered facial likeness of Arnold Schwarzenegger) is coming online sooner than expected. The film also involves Kyle Reese (Anton Yelchin) and how he became the man he was in the first film.
Terminator Genisys (2015)
On the verge of winning the war against Skynet, John Connor sends his trusted lieutenant Kyle Reese back through time to save his mother's life and ensure his own existence. But what he finds on the other side is like nothing he ever expected.
After being orphaned at age 9 by a Terminator, Sarah Connor has since been brought up by another Terminator, played by Schwarzenegger, programmed to protect her. This Terminator has then trained her to face her destiny, which she adamantly tries to reject.