Fan theories are often little more than fun, and when it really comes down to it, they're probably nothing substantial in the scheme things. But every once in awhile, one comes around that has some serious legitimacy to it, and could change the way we look at a particular movie franchise. Or in this case, a couple of franchises. If there is any truth to this latest theory, it looks like Predator and The Terminator are directly linked to one another and take place in the same movie universe.

Aside from the fact that Arnold Schwarzenegger starred in both movies, as Dutch in Predator and the T-800 in The Terminator, there is nothing that actually connects those movies and suggests that they exist in the same universe. Until now, that is. The theory comes courtesy of Cracked and, the lynchpin of this whole thing comes from a pretty obscure place. The connective tissue between these franchises may exist in the 1994 Aliens Vs. Predator arcade game, of all places. Here is how Cracked explains it.

"The closest we get to an answer is in the Aliens Vs. Predator arcade game. In the game, we meet a cyborg by the name of Major Dutch Schaefer. Is this the same Dutch we know and adore? Erhm, maybe? The chest size certainly checks out, as both Schwarzenegger and "Major Dutch" could fit an air conditioning unit in a single pec. But all we know, backstory-wise, is that it's a cyborg created to battle extra-terrestrials. That particular goal seems to imply that his success against the Jungle Predator definitely made him a worthy candidate to be immortalized in metal. This works well within the U.S. government's purview as well, so it also backs up the theory that they had a hand in creating him. Could the government have purposely sent multiple teams of men into the Predator's clutches in hopes of finding a perfect template for their robot hero?"

Since Aliens and Terminator are both from the mind of James Cameron, it isn't that insane to imagine that those franchises could be somehow linked. But Predator being linked to Terminator is a big deal, and this theory only gets more plausible as you continue to dig in. Cyber-Dutch's serial number is CDS-170A3 in the video game. CDS stands for Cyberdyne Systems, according to this theory, making Cyber-Dutch the proto-Terminator, created by Cyberdyne Systems, the company from Terminator. Jumping to Aliens, the theory states that the android Ash, has a serial number from Hyperdyne Systems; 120-A/2. While the formatting is a bit different, that would match the 170A3 for Cyber-Dutch. It has also been long theorized by fans that Cyberdyne systems eventually becomes Hyperdyne systems, which would help support this element of the theory.

Another huge clue that this theory may be totally legit has to do with the original plan for the Alien Vs. Predator movie. According to Cracked, the movie was originally going to include Arnold Schwarzenegger, but he wound up winning his recall election and stayed on as the Governor of California. Had he lost, the movie series was going to have a cyborg version of Dutch fighting Xenomorphs and Predators. While this could just be coincidental, it is very intriguing.

Related: The Predator Cinematographer Confirms Van Damme Easter Egg

None of the Terminator movies show who the model for the T-800 was, which make this theory much more plausible. But there is a deleted scene from Terminator 3 that features Arnold Schwarzenegger as a character named Sergeant Candy, who's appearance was used as the basis for the T-800 (though Candy had a much different accent that was later changed by the military, as seen in the clip). Since that scene didn't ultimately make the cut, that may not count. So, if that isn't being considered part of the official Terminator canon, why not see who can defeat an unstoppable alien murder weapon and base The Terminator off of that person? It makes sense, but until someone involved with the franchises comes forward and makes it so, this is just something fun to consider. Though, as fan theories go, this one is pretty solid. Perhaps The Predator reboot will give us the true answer when it arrives in 2018.

Ryan Scott