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The Terminator Theory That Changes Everything In The Matrix Franchise

Let's address the terrifying machine overlord in the room. Yes, "Terminator" and "The Matrix" are two completely separate franchises. But there are some startling similarities between the two, mainly since both feature the entire world being overthrown by malicious A.I. which enslaves humanity (in one way or another), while a band of rebels try to save everyone. Obviously, there are plenty of tone and stylistic differences — especially in 1984's "The Terminator," since it's almost an outright horror movie as much as a sci-fi one — and when it comes to deeper themes, the "Terminator" movies use time travel to discuss the nature of fate, while "The Matrix" focuses a lot more on the philosophy of our very existence.

This isn't to say one is better than the other — that's purely up to the audience. But it's interesting that both franchises have reared their (machine) heads again and again after their original debuts, with "Terminator" returning for "Salvation," "Genisys," and "Dark Fate," while the upcoming "The Matrix: Resurrections" finally brings Keanu Reeves back as Neo. 

However a new theory suggests the legendary franchises are actually linked in a surprising way, which makes more sense than you'd think it would.

Skynet created the Matrix

A new theory on Reddit suggests the "Terminator" movies function as prequels to "The Matrix," and Neo's story takes place far in the future after Skynet has taken over the planet. 

As argued by Reddit user gallagher222, "The Matrix" is simply the next phase of the machines' plan, "Basically that the machines successfully defeat John Connor's rebellion and then enslave humans in the artificial matrix." They went on to say "They tried many times to kill John or Sarah Connor/his lieutenants with terminators but failed, but they did manage to defeat most of John Connor's forces." The Redditor then explains that Skynet uses human energy to fuel itself via the Matrix. This theory goes on to incorporate the whole mythology surrounding "the One" into the "Terminator" films, by suggesting that John Connor was also one of the chosen ones before Neo even existed. "This explains the speech Morpheus gives Neo about there having been a "One" before him ... referring to John Connor, who died."

Fans were quick to point out a few holes in the theory, with u/xxTheGoDxx saying "The Animatrix" — which is part of "The Matrix" canon — shows off a time where machines and humanity existed side-by-side, contradicting what happens in the "Terminator" movies. They then note how "Terminator 2" says Skynet started World War III instantly after becoming self-aware. On the other hand, pwndyoudedintheface writes "Perhaps Skynet went back and tried peace instead of assassination. This causes a different type of AI. The war still broke out but with a different outcome. Queue the Animatrix."

Someone get the Wachowskis and James Cameron in the same room to clear this up, please.