terminator 2 April 21, 2011: Skynet attacks; we explain the 'Terminator' date confusionRemember earlier this week when we warned you about Skynet becoming (as chronicled in “The Terminator”) self-aware? We all laughed when 8:11 p.m. passed with nary a cyborg in sight, but it turns out we may have dismissed the threat too soon.

According to “Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles,” although Skynet did indeed become self-aware on April 19, the machines waited until April 21, 2011 (today) to launch their nuclear attack on us humans. So, if you were waiting to hunker down — now would be the time.

But ,as commenter joeshmo pointed out earlier this week, Judgment Day is also variously mentioned as occuring on Aug. 29, 1997 — which means we should have spent the past 14 years living under heaps of twisted metal.

So, what’s the deal?

According to the Terminator Wiki, the date has been altered several times because of the impact on time travel (read: convenient script changes) on the timeline:

August 29th, 1997: Sarah Connor named this date, at 2:14 a.m. ET, as the day Skynet became self-aware.

2003: In a timeline featured in the “Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines” DVD, Judgment Day was listed as happening in 2003. Ditto for the novel “Terminator Salvation: Cold War,” which marks July 25, 2003 as Judgment Day.

2004: In “Terminator 2: Judgment Day,” the date is changed to July 25, 2004 6:18 p.m. ET after the destruction of Cyberdyne headquarters.

2005: And we quote from the Terminator wiki, “After John Connor and Wendy Dorset inadvertently participate in the creation of Skynet while attempting to stop Clea Bennet in 2002, the date for Judgment Day is altered into a progressively developing scenario of machine based homicidal mania that takes years to develop until the full fledged nuclear strikes of Judgment Day now occurs sometime in 2005.” Whatevs.

2011: As mentioned above, “The Sarah Connor Chronicles” peg Judgment Day as April 21.

And, according to the wiki, the date will forever be in flux because of the time-traveling battle between man and machine. So just remain paranoid.

Posted by:Liz Kelly Nelson