This article is from the The Terminator FAQ, by Karsten A. Loepelmann firstname.lastname@example.org with numerous contributions by others.
The alternate ending (known as the "Future Coda") is available with the SE
version of T2. It is *not* edited into the film, but is shown in a separate
JC explains why the Future Coda never made it:
"But there was a sense that, why tie it up with a bow? If the future
*is* changeable, then the battle is something that has to be fought
continuously. And you can't do it with a single stroke. That it's the
dualism, the dynamic between good and evil that's eternal."
Here is my transcript of the alternate ending, scene 215:
[After the Terminator sinks into the molten steel, Sarah holds John and looks
into the camera. NOTE: This shot is common to both versions. What follows was
cut from the theatrical release.]
Fade to shot of the sun. Begin voiceover as the camera pans down. It
is Washington, DC; the capitol is in the background, as are several
futuristic buildings. Pan down to long shot of a park with a fountain
and a playground.
August 29th, 1997 came and went. Nothing
much happened. Michael Jackson turned
*forty*. There was *no* "judgment day."
Cut to medium shot of a recreational area around the fountain. Pan
down and across children in the playground to a well-dressed older
woman speaking the narration into a small recording device.
People went to work as they always do.
Laughed. Complained. Watched TV. Made
love. I wanted to run through the
street yelling, to grab them all and say,
"Every day from this day on is a *gift*.
Use it well." Instead, I got drunk.
That was thirty years ago. But the dark
future which never came still exists for
me. And it always will--like the traces
of a dream.
Cut to a shot of an adult John Connor, pushing a little girl on a
swing in the playground.
John fights the war differently than it was
foretold. Here, on the battlefield of the
Senate, his weapons are common sense--
Cut to a closeup of Sarah, watching John and the little girl.
Cut to a shot of the little girl running.
Tie me, gramma! Tie me!
Cut to a medium shot of the girl climbing up onto the bench beside
Sarah, who ties her granddaughters' shoe. Cut to a closeup of the
little girl as she looks up at Sarah and giggles. Cut to a medium
shot of the two.
Cut to a shot of the girl.
Thank you, gramma.
Cut to a shot of the two; Sarah leans down and gives the girl a kiss.
The girl runs back to the playground. Cut to a shot of the girl
running into John's arms. The two embrace, then John helps her onto a
The luxury of hope was given to me by the
Terminator. Because if a machine can learn
the value of human life--
Cut to a shot of Sarah, smiling, watching the children.
--maybe we can, too.
Fade to black.