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How didn’t Skynet know where Sarah Connor lived during the 1980s?

Oct 27, 2017
5,192
I can accept explanations pretty easily, so I’d like one here: In Terminator, Arnold has to look up a telephone book for an address, but shouldn’t something as autonomous as Skynet know where Sarah Connor would have lived during the 1980s?

Realest answer to me would be the director not thinking about such a minor detail, but how would you explain it away in-universe?

Also I just want to say that the club scene that slows down when Sarah bends over to pick up what she dropped is fucking ace. The best shot in the movie.

Edit: Seems some are saying the answer is during the precinct scene. I haven’t seen this movie in a while but I just didn’t remember it being answered there. I’m rewatching at the moment and almost at the scene again.

Edit 2: Just got the precinct. Yup. Most shit lost during the war. Lol
 
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The Hobo

Member
Oct 27, 2017
673
Most records were lost throughout the war against Skynet. All it knew was her name.
 

Lord Fagan

Member
Oct 27, 2017
1,632
Actually, a realer explanation would be that Reese literally answered this question when being interrogated by the police, but you weren't paying attention, OP.
 

jelly

Member
Oct 26, 2017
11,020
Maybe Skynet interrogated a friend of Conner in the future who knew his past or the resistance began in that city and Conner is the leader.
 

Whiterose

The Fallen
Oct 26, 2017
8,712
New York
How would someone in 2029 know about someone's address in 1984? Skynet or no Skynet, that's a big undertaking. The smartest thing to do is go to a phone directory in a city where she may be.
 

Zombegoast

Member
Oct 30, 2017
4,892
Imagine if Sarah never called her friend and left a message.

The future would have been different.
 

SweetVermouth

Member
Mar 5, 2018
4,054
Realest answer to me would be the director not thinking about such a minor detail
Cameron did think about how the Terminator would find her address. The fact that he looks up Sarah Connor in a telephone book and just kills every woman with that name means Skynet didn't know where she lived and it's not unlikely the information was lost. Skynet only knew roughly where the lived, somewhere in LA.
 

bawjaws

Member
Oct 28, 2017
1,276
The early 80s predated Skynet going online, and also predated widespread digital records. So how would Skynet know her address at the time the Terminator was sent to?
 
OP
OP
TheFallenSaboteur
Oct 27, 2017
5,192
Cameron did think about how the Terminator would find her address. The fact that he looks up Sarah Connor in a telephone book and just kills every woman with that name means Skynet didn't know where she lived and it's not unlikely the information was lost. Skynet only knew roughly where the lived, somewhere in LA.
Obviously he thought about it, but that doesn’t mean there he couldn’t have missed details in the process. Anyway, someone said it’s explained in the precinct. I’ll wait until I get to that part. I’m about 30 minutes from it.
 

VeryHighlander

The Fallen
May 9, 2018
1,791
How many threads were created before the OP even finishes the fucking movie they are trying to talk about? Too many
 

caliph95

Member
Oct 25, 2017
22,430
It's the fucking 80s before social media and she was just some nobody waitress (I think probably some other service class job)

How would anyone let alone skynet in a dystopian future where a lot of knowledge would be lost, would know

Reess only had a headstart because John told him
 

L Thammy

Spacenoid
Member
Oct 25, 2017
16,650
skynet's ai was originally modelled after dads who take a wrong turn and claim to be taking a shortcut while they try in vain to get back on one of the streets mentioned in their directions while avoiding actually asking people for help
 

caliph95

Member
Oct 25, 2017
22,430
Obviously he thought about it, but that doesn’t mean there he couldn’t have missed details in the process. Anyway, someone said it’s explained in the precinct. I’ll wait until I get to that part. I’m about 30 minutes from it.
But how would skynet know where a person in the 80s live even without the Apocalypse that's not a simple task
 
OP
OP
TheFallenSaboteur
Oct 27, 2017
5,192
The early 80s predated Skynet going online, and also predated widespread digital records. So how would Skynet know her address at the time the Terminator was sent to?
My thought process was that if it knew the general vicinity in which she lived, then it could’ve known an address too for whatever reason. We’re talking about a sci-fi movie here - I find it easy to explain it away.

But if there’s an actual answer beyond “nothing being digital” that is answered in the precinct, I’ll see it shortly. It’s been a while since I’ve seen this.
 

L Thammy

Spacenoid
Member
Oct 25, 2017
16,650
what if skynet has the data on sarah connor's location on record in exacting detail but its hard drive is clogged with several petabytes of free online porn and it doesn't feel like wading through all of that
 

Krejlooc

Indie Game Dev
Verified
Oct 27, 2017
19,380
Even ignoring the in-movie explaination about records being lost, think about how hard it is right now to find where someone lived in 1980, just 40 years removed. That information just doesn't exist in mass storage.
 

Krejlooc

Indie Game Dev
Verified
Oct 27, 2017
19,380
My thought process was that if it knew the generally vicinity in which she lived, then it could’ve known an address too for whatever reason. We’re talking about a sci-fi movie here - I find it easy to explain it away really easily.

But if there’s an actual answer beyond “nothing being digital” that is answered in the precinct, I’ll see it shortly. It’s been a while since I’ve seen this.
 

CoolestSpot

Avenger
Oct 25, 2017
15,454
They didnt.

In comics they show story of how they actucally sent a terminator to kill every single sarah Conner, cause they arent even sure who they were suppoused to kill.

I wish a movie was based on that.
 

caliph95

Member
Oct 25, 2017
22,430
My thought process was that if it knew the generally vicinity in which she lived, then it could’ve known an address too for whatever reason. We’re talking about a sci-fi movie here - I find it easy to explain it away really easily.
I mean that's why it used a phone book and killed off random Sarah Connors

And having the general idea isn't ridiculous if they could scrounge up where John was born and extrapolate from there the city

An exact address from a nobody would be different
 

EdgeXL

Member
Oct 27, 2017
1,780
California
I think the bigger mystery is why the door for Sarah Connor's cell in T2 had a keyhole that was accessed from inside the room.
 

EdgeXL

Member
Oct 27, 2017
1,780
California
They didnt.

In comics they show story of how they actucally sent a terminator to kill every single sarah Conner, cause they arent even sure who they were suppoused to kill.

I wish a movie was based on that.
The first movie showed a bit of that with the Terminator systematically killing everyone named Sarah Connor it could find.
 
Oct 27, 2017
6,867
Reese explicitly mentions this when he's in police custody later. Plus it's not unreasonable to assume that housing records from the mid 80s were never recorded digitally.
 

True Savior

Member
Oct 27, 2017
3,783
wasteland
Why didn't they send more than 1 terminator? I've seen t1+t2 like a hundred times, but i don't remember right now if that was ever addressed.
 

Krejlooc

Indie Game Dev
Verified
Oct 27, 2017
19,380
Why didn't they send more than 1 terminator? I've seen t1+t2 like a hundred times, but i don't remember right now if that was ever addressed.
they address it, supposedly there wasn't enough energy left in the world to send multiple terminators rapidly. Also, they sent a terminator back while the resistance was storming skynet headquarters for the decisive victory. In the original two movies, skynet would have been completely defeated just moments after they sent the terminator back, it was a true last ditch effort.

In T1, they said they had limited energy and thus couldn't send an army of terminators, but T2's explaination is that, they had enough time to send two, but, due to the butterfly effect essentially, they knew the moment they sent the first one back that it had failed, so they recalculated to send the second one back. Originally, T2 was supposed to open showing them storming the HQ and sending reese back during the victory against skynet.

The post T2 movies have basically retconned all of this, though.