Today Is Skynet's 19th Anniversary, Which isn't Real (Yet)

Celebrating the anniversary of 'Terminator's' killer AI not going online.


Who can forget August 29, 1997? 19 years ago today, the artificial intelligence known as Skynet became self-aware, decided to start terminating all of humankind – and launched a bunch of nuclear missiles, devastating most of the planet. Humanity’s survivors eventually referred to this catastrophic event as “Judgement Day.” And for decades robotic assassins traversed the planet (and various time-periods) to wipe every living person. But thank goodness it didn’t really happen.

In 1984’s The Terminator and 1990’s Terminator 2, director James Cameron outlined a dire fate for everyone with that ominous August 29 date. And, in addition to it not actually occurring IRL, subsequent Terminator films also shifted Judgement Day away from the August 29 date. In 2003’s Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines, Judgement Day occurs on July 24, 2004.

The discussion around the goals of Skynet is endlessly fascinating, but one thing is certain: Skynet would have destroyed us.

Not content with that date, last summer’s generous verb-altering jamboree Terminator: Genisys also amended the date Skynet started to get down with its human-killing, bad self.

In that version, Skynet is an app called “Genisys,” which is also a holographic child, and, bizarrely, a full-grown man, played by former-Doctor Who hero, Matt Smith. The latest Terminator postulated the real date of Skynet’s take over is now sometime in 2017. Next year! Watch out!

So today, celebrate the fact that you’re not under iron rule of “the machines,” and also remember to pour one out for Sarah Connor, John Connor, and Kyle Reese.

Related Tags