This article is from the The Terminator FAQ, by Karsten A. Loepelmann firstname.lastname@example.org with numerous contributions by others.
Some dates are made explicit:
- The Future War sequence takes place in 2029.
- Skynet becomes self-aware at 2:14am EDT August 29, 1997 (this is a Friday).
- John Connor's DOB is February 28, 1985, and he is 10 years old in the movie
(these facts are stated in the T2 script).
- According to "The Terminator" script, Sarah was 19. Sarah is 29 in T2.
Therefore, most of T2 must take place in the summer of 1995. There are some
problems with this conclusion, however.
The Terminator says, "In three years Cyberdyne will become the largest
supplier of military computer systems." Thus we conclude that in *three*
years, Skynet starts the war. But if T2 takes place in 1995, 1995 + 3 = 1998,
not 1997. One explanation is that mid-1995 to August, 1997 is more than two
years, so the Terminator might have just rounded it to three years.
The Terminator also says, "Thirty years from now you reprogrammed me to be
your protector here, in this time." 2029 - 30 = 1999. T2 takes place before
1997, so the Terminator may just be doing more rounding.
On the way to Dyson's house, John muses to the Terminator that he will send
Kyle into the past "35 years from now." 2029 - 35 = 1994, which is plausible.
There are further errors with dates:
From Paul Duncanson <email@example.com>:
In T1 Reese accosts a police officer and demands to know the date.
"Twelve. May. Thursday." Wrong! It is established three times that T1
happens in 1984 (title after credits in T1; Sarah's timecard in T1 read
"Pay period ending 5/19/84"; and John's date of birth (2/28/1985) confirm
he was conceived around May 1984). Problem is that May 12, 1984 was a
Saturday. The problem probably occurred because the screenplay was written
in 1983 when May 12 did fall on a Thursday.
If the events depicted in T1 had indeed transpired in 1983, John would have
been born in 1984, he would have been 10 in 1994, it would be 35 years until
2029, and it clearly would be three years until 1997--the dates would work
perfectly. The basic problem was in establishing that T1 took place in 1984
instead of 1983. That is, T2 is merely being consistent with T1, which
unfortunately causes further mathematical errors.