To Infinity and Beyond: The Function of Time in The Terminator

The film The Terminator provides a narrative involving time travel that perfectly exhibits one of the most common paradoxes of the genre: the self-fulfilling time loop. Sci-fi philosopher Theodore Sider describes two possible ways of thinking regarding time: as a moving flow or as a dimension with the same characteristics as space (343). In order for the loop in Terminator to exist, time must be something that moves, and the very idea that time can flow allows for time to exist in the years before and after the ends of the loop via the creation of parallel timelines.

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