And on this point Sarah Connor nailed it. Because SkyNet was really her fault.
Now, I know this sounds pretty crazy, but let’s consider the facts, starting with The Terminator:
1) SkyNet exists and sends back a Terminator to kill Sarah Connor, the mother the successful human resistance fighter John Connor.
2) The resistance sends back Kyle Reese to protect her; he fathers John Connor.
So, the causal chain here might be interpreted that SkyNet is responsible for John Connor, because had SkyNet not threatened Sarah in the past, Kyle Reese would have been unnecessary; no Terminator, no Kyle; no Kyle, no John. That’s all well and good, and we might be inclined to just accept the traditional (and paradoxical) “SkyNet ensured its own existence by existing” argument.
But let’s not be so hasty. Remember the outcome of Sarah’s first confrontation with a Terminator? Kyle died to protect her, and she survived, ultimately killing the Terminator by crushing it. When she did this, and did not pick up the pieces, she guaranteed the existence of SkyNet. Had Sarah bothered to grab the detritus from the Terminator she crushed, Cyberdyne would never have received the microprocessor and skeletal hand from the T-800.
Undoubtedly, some of you might be questioning my sanity (for a variety of reasons). But I urge you to consider this: after Sarah defeated the first Terminator, we have the only possible moment in the trajectory toward August 29, 1997 (side note: hahahahaha!) where divergence was possible. Had Sarah made the correct choice here, SkyNet’s future would have been impossible. Imagine the following timelines, where a is the timeline envisioned by the films, and b is my hypothesized timeline where Sarah takes a minute to pick up some shit off the floor:
a) Sarah kills the Terminator and runs away —-> cops hand over weird shit to Cyberdyne, events of Terminator 2 —-> 8/29/1997
b) Sarah kills the Terminator and cleans up the mess —-> no evidence for Cyberdyne to use —-> boring future we live in now
Sarah Connor was responsible for the Apocalypse, and thus correct when she claimed that there is no fate but what we make for ourselves. Way to go, Sarah.