We knew that Terminator: Genisys, the awkwardly titled return to James Cameron's humans-vs.-robots scifi masterpiece, would play around with time, revisiting events and characters from the first movie. But we didn't know how.

A new cover story by Entertainment Weekly reveals just how it's going to play out — and the strategy the filmmakers are using may not sit well with fans. The story begins with the same basic plot device from the original movie: In the future, an adult John Connor (Jason Clarke becomes the umpteenth actor to play this character) sends his friend and secret father Kyle Reese back in time to save his mother from a robot Terminator who's been sent back to kill her before she can give birth. And that's where things go wonky.

According to EW, when Kyle Reese (played by actor Jai Courtney) arrives in 1984, he expects to find a confused Sarah Connor (Emilia Clarke from Game of Thrones) running for her life from a killer robot from the future — and we expect to see the same. But something's gone wrong.

Sarah Connor is different. Skynet has already sent a Terminator back in time, to when Sarah was just nine years old, and for the first time in the series, Skynet won. Sarah's still alive, but she lost her parents to the Terminator, and the course of her life has gone in a dramatically different direction.

Instead of her parents, Sarah grew up with another protector-from-the-future, a T-800 she calls "Pops." He's stayed with her, guarding her all her life. (And thus we finally know how Arnold Schwarzenegger's advanced age is incorporated into the film.)

This resulting new Sarah Connor is a "highly trained antisocial recluse" who sounds an awful lot like a grown-up version of the rebellious child John Connor we saw in Terminator 2: Judgment Day. Much like that version of John, Sarah wants nothing to do with the destiny she's been taught is in store for her.

Entertainment Weekly promises more details in its upcoming cover story, which will be on sale this Friday, October 31. In it, you can look for hints as to who Matt Smith, aka the Eleventh Doctor from Doctor Who, is playing. All EW will say right now is that he's "a close ally of John Connor."

Similar to what J.J. Abrams did with his rebooted Star Trek, Terminator: Genisys' approach allows the series a fresh start while not pretending that what came before never happened. But it still means that they're effectively erasing the history as we know it from the previous films.

How do you feel about that?

Picture: Carolco Pictures 

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