He always said he’d be back… but few could have predicted that Arnold Schwarzenegger’s T-800 would be taking on the role of an aging Terminator living in total isolation.
And yet, here we are; two weeks out from the premiere of Terminator: Dark Fate, and director Tim Miller is about to introduce us to a totally different interpretation of the famous T-800. Gone is the original programming from Skynet, thereby allowing Arnie’s character to assume hero duties alongside Sarah Connor (Linda Hamilton) and Grace (Mackenzie Davis) as they seek to protect Natalia Reyes’ character from the villainous Rev-9.
There is just one question: how come Arnie’s machine has aged? That very question was presented to James Cameron during a recent roundtable interview (h/t Collider), to which he replied:
Sure. Absolutely. Look, it’s all in the first film – sweat, bad breath, everything. He’s a cyborg. The “org” part is organic. There’s flesh over the outside. The bigger question is how something that’s got some kind of synthetic material that’s not flesh can come through the time field. But that’s another geek-out story for another time. Yeah, no. He’s organic on the outside. He’s got to eat to support the organic part of his body. It might only be 30% of him by weight, but he definitely has human flesh. The science behind that is complete bullshit, but it’s a cool idea, right?
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So, there you have it: while Arnold Schwarzenegger’s character is still very much a cyborg, he’s coated in organic material, which is prone to the effects of aging just like any other human. As a matter of fact, Cameron even went so far as to reveal that, in time, the T-800 will be stripped bare, leaving Schwarzenegger’s android as a walking, talking endoskeleton. Perhaps that’s something to be explored in a possible sequel?
I think the very first, and it’s in the movie, in the first movie, he’s actually got sort of gangrene and his wounds are kind of rotting by the end of the film. When the guy pounds on the door and says, “Hey buddy, you got a dead cat in there?” It’s like, he’s rotting. His human flesh is dying before it all gets burned off. So all biological systems are subject to age unless you were to specifically genetically tinker that out, which obviously they didn’t do. So his outer form ages. His inner form, his nuclear-powered endoskeleton or his power cell powered endoskeleton, can run for… I think he says 120 years in movie two. So the flesh will die and fall off eventually and then he’ll just be the endoskeleton walking around. A little harder to blend in at that point.
Hamilton. Schwarzenegger. Cameron. It’s the Terminator trifecta that helped define this most beloved franchise, and they’re all returning for Dark Fate in some shape or form. Behind the wheel is Deadpool director Tim Miller, and word is he’s delivered the best installment since T2.