Why Every T-800 Terminator Looks Like Arnold Schwarzenegger

Terminator: Dark Fate

The Terminator franchise is desperately trying to hold onto its last shreds of relevancy, with three attempted reboots all failing in the space of ten years, which isn’t a great result for a series that launched with James Cameron’s two all-time classics, and has since repeatedly suffered from the law of diminishing returns.

Each time, we were told that this would be the Terminator movie fans had been dying to see since 1991’s Judgment Day, which would lead to an all-new trilogy. Indeed, Salvation, Genisys and Dark Fate all promised exactly the same thing, and yet none of them managed to deliver. There’ve been plenty of rumors that another resurrection is on the cards, and it’ll no doubt happen eventually, but it’s probably best to wait at least a little while because the next installment is going to make or break the brand’s future after so much disappointment.

Arnold Schwarzenegger is also 73 years old, so he’s not going to be able to report for duty as the T-800 for much longer. Of course, Salvation was the only entry he sat out, but even then his digitally de-aged face was pasted onto the body of Roland Kickinger, who at least happened to be an Austrian bodybuilder as well. The franchise has explained the action icon’s numerous returns over the decades by confirming the Terminator ages like a human, but why do they all look like Arnie?

Well, the answer lies in a deleted scene from Rise of the Machines, which was cut from the movie but ended up as a special feature on the home video release. Schwarzenegger shows up as the very southern Chief Master Sergeant William Candy, but his boss doesn’t care much for the accent. As ScreenRant explains:

As revealed in a deleted scene shot during the production of Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines, the T-800’s physical appearance is modeled on Chief Master Sergeant William Candy, a member of the United States Air Force Combat Control Team. He was selected by Cyber Research Systems, which picked up what was left of Cyberdyne’s projects after their headquarters were destroyed in Terminator 2. Candy is played by Schwarzenegger and considering he’s spent his life pursuing peak physical condition, it’s not hard to imagine why he was chosen.

However, Candy, rather hilariously, isn’t voiced by Schwarzenegger, but instead speaks with an exaggerated southern accent that’s anything but intimidating. CRS boss Thomas Shelby hates it, to which his assistant Sherwood Olson pipes up with a promise to fix the T-800’s lackluster voice. In another wink to viewers, Olson isn’t played by Schwarzenegger but is voiced by him, revealing that Olson opted to simply replace Candy’s voice with his own. While the Sgt. Candy scene is amusing in isolation and does indeed provide an explanation for the T-800’s appearance, it’s not hard to imagine why it got cut.

As you can imagine, it was completely out of place and far too ridiculous for the Terminator mythology, but it at least explains why the T-800 production line settled on such a hulking template.