|T-800 / T-850 Terminator |
|First appearance||The Terminator (1984)|
|Created by||James Cameron |
Gale Anne Hurd
|Portrayed by||Arnold Schwarzenegger (1984, 1991, 1996, 2003, 2009, 2015, 2019)|
Roland Kickinger (2009)
Brett Azar (2015, 2019)
|Alias||Uncle Bob (second film)|
Pops (fifth film)
Carl (sixth film)
|Species||Android (biorobotics human tissue grafted metal endoskeleton)|
|Occupation||Assassin (first film, fourth film, fifth film and sixth film)|
Bodyguard (second film, third film, fifth film and sixth film)
Construction worker (fifth film)
|Model||Model 101 (first two films)|
T-101 (third film, T2 trilogy)
T-800 (later films)
The Terminator, also known as Cyberdyne Systems Model 101 or the T-800, is a fictional character from the Terminator franchise portrayed by both Arnold Schwarzenegger and numerous actor stand-ins digitally overlaid with Schwarzenegger's likeness. The Terminator itself is part of a series of machines created by Skynet for infiltration-based assassination missions, and while an android for its appearance resembling a human, it is described as a cybernetic organism consisting of living tissue over a robotic endoskeleton.
The first appearance of the Terminator was as the eponymous antagonist in The Terminator, a 1984 film directed and co-written by James Cameron. While the original Terminator was destroyed, other machines with the same appearance are featured in the sequels. In Terminator 2: Judgment Day, Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines, Terminator Genisys and Terminator: Dark Fate, Schwarzenegger's Terminator is the protagonist instead of the antagonist, pitted against other Terminators sent by Skynet. In Terminator Salvation, the character appears briefly as an antagonist. In the context of the stories, the plot device of having various robots looking the same provides a certain continuity for the human characters by exploiting their emotional familiarity with a particular "human" visage associated with each "model".
Commonly known as the Terminator, the character is also given more specific designations, which help distinguish it from other mass-produced Terminators (such as the T-1000 and the T-X) seen in each of the sequels. The end credits of the first three Terminator films list Arnold Schwarzenegger's character as simply "Terminator", while in Terminator Genisys, he is credited as "Guardian". In Terminator Salvation, the character is credited as "T-RIP" and later "T-800";[clarification needed] the latter name is also used in the film itself.
In the first two films, the character is referred to as "Cyberdyne Systems Model 101". In Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines (T3), it is referred to as a "T-101". This also occurs throughout the T2 novels. In the T2 Extreme Edition DVD, and the Terminator 2 video game,[clarification needed] he is referred to as an 800 series and a T-800. Trailers and a deleted scene of Terminator 2: Judgment Day identify the Terminator specifically as a "Cyberdyne Systems Series 800 Model 101". The T3 DVD extras refer to him as an "850 series Model 101", a "T-850", and a "T-101". The novelization of the third film also refers to the character as T-850, described as a newer, upgraded version of the T-800.Terminator Salvation has the first on-screen usage of the term T-800, a name that is also used in Terminator Genisys.
Most of the merchandising for T2 and T3--both at the time of their releases and retroactively--used the T-800 and T-850 nomenclature, contributing to this designation having arguably the most popular and widely disseminated usage, especially in direct juxtaposition to the explicitly named T-600s and T-1000. Such merchandise included Action Masters miniatures, Cinemaquette statues, Sideshow Collectibles replicas, Hollywood Collectibles statuettes, ArtFX kits, Medicom figures, and products by Hot Toys, and McFarlane Toys.
The character is also known by several other names in the films. In Terminator 2: Judgment Day, John introduces the Model 101 to his mother's friends as his "Uncle Bob." In Terminator Genisys, Sarah refers to the T-800 as "Pops." In Terminator: Dark Fate, the character goes by the name "Carl."
In the T2 commentary, Cameron states that the Model 101s all look like Schwarzenegger, with a 102 looking like someone else, leading to speculation that the 101 refers to the physical appearance while the 800 refers to the endoskeleton common to many models. A scene deleted from the theatrical cut, but restored in the Terminator 2 Special Edition, lends the most credence to this explanation. In this scene, John and Sarah Connor shut down the Terminator for modification according to his instructions. When he reboots, the upper-left of his HUD reads "Cyberdyne Systems Series 800 Model 101 Version 2.4". Additionally, the original Terminator 2 teaser trailer further verifies this on a display monitor during android tissue generation, referencing the Series 800 Model 101.
A Cyberdyne Systems Model 101 Terminator with living tissue over a metal endoskeleton, played by Schwarzenegger, is the main antagonist of The Terminator, the original Terminator film. Another Model 101, having been reprogrammed by the human resistance in the future, is the protagonist of Terminator 2: Judgment Day. In Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines, Schwarzenegger plays a Terminator known as T-101. His character is destroyed at the end of each of these films. The fourth installment, Terminator Salvation, reveals the origin of the character. Roland Kickinger was cast as the principal actor but CGI was used to superimpose Schwarzenegger's face from the original 1984 film. In the fifth installment, Terminator Genisys, Schwarzenegger plays an aging T-800 (reprogrammed by an unknown party) and becomes a mentor and father figure to a young Sarah Connor of an alternate timeline, and Brett Azar portrays the original Terminator from the first film, with Schwarzenegger's then-likeness utilized via CGI. Schwarzenegger and Azar will reprise their roles in the sixth film, Terminator: Dark Fate.
The Model 101 is sent back in time to terminate a single target, Sarah Connor (Linda Hamilton), in 1984, to prevent the birth of her son, John, the future leader of the Human Resistance. Lack of surviving records in the future meant that it was limited to only knowing what city Sarah lived in at this time, with the result that it killed two other Sarah Connors in the same city before it found its target. This allowed Kyle Reese, a soldier sent from the future to protect Sarah, to find her before the Terminator does. With Kyle unable to do much damage to the machine with contemporary weaponry, the Terminator survives superficial damage from gunfire with only minimal damage to its exterior tissue. While it is later caught in a fuel tanker explosion, this only burns away the flesh covering to fully expose its mechanical nature and causes minor damage to one of its legs, slowing it down without stopping it. After Kyle sacrifices himself to damage the Terminator with a pipe bomb that destroys its legs, Sarah crushes its upper body in a hydraulic press to shut it down permanently.
A Model 101 is captured by the resistance, reprogrammed by the future John Connor (Michael Edwards), and sent back to the 1990s to protect young John (Edward Furlong) from a T-1000 (Robert Patrick) dispatched to kill him. While interacting with the Connors as they work to prevent Judgment Day (a scene from the extended version of the film shows the Connors explicitly reprogramming the Terminator to be capable of learning rather than Skynet's default "read-only" programming), this Model 101 is taught how to speak in slang-like terms, such as "Hasta la vista, baby", and encouraged to act more human, to the point that it develops into an almost fatherly role for John. Sarah reflects that the Model 101 is the first male figure John has ever had in his life who can be guaranteed to always be there for him. The T-1000 chases Sarah, John, and the Model 101 into a steel mill and overpowers the latter in hand-to-hand combat, impaling him through the chest and destroying his main power supply. However, the Model 101 activates a backup power source, frees himself, and blasts the T-1000 into a vat of molten steel with a grenade launcher to destroy it.
Following the events of the first film, Cyberdyne recovers one forearm and the damaged CPU chip from the Model 101 of 1984 and uses those components to radically advance its research and technology, leading eventually to the creation of the machine intelligence entity Skynet. In Terminator 2, John steals the items from Cyberdyne's research lab and later throws them into the vat to destroy them. Because he cannot destroy himself, the Model 101 has Sarah lower him into the steel in order to destroy his CPU as well and thus prevent his technology from being used to create Skynet.
In the third film, a T-101 Terminator portrayed by Schwarzenegger is reprogrammed to protect John Connor (Nick Stahl), as well as his future wife Kate Brewster (Claire Danes), from a T-X (Kristanna Loken). The T-X is also designed to kill other Terminators. The T-101 is powered by two hydrogen fuel cells, one of which it discards after being damaged by the T-X. The T-101 tells John that his efforts in the second film did not stop Judgment Day, but merely delayed it. Eventually, the T-X reprograms the T-101 to kill John and Kate. John is able to convince the T-101 to shut down by reminding it of the conflict between its current actions and its programmed mission to ensure his and Kate's survival. The T-101 later reboots itself free from the T-X's control. As John and Kate retreat to a bunker to wait out the now-inevitable nuclear war, the Terminator is destroyed when it jams its remaining hydrogen fuel cell into the T-X's mouth, resulting in a massive detonation that destroys them both.
This T-101 also is revealed to play a very important role in John's possible future: he is the one who kills John in 2032 after being chosen due to John's emotional attachment to his model, based on the events of Terminator 2. Later, the Terminator is captured, reprogrammed and sent to the past to make sure that young-adult John and Kate would survive the start of the war. As a result of John's death in the future, he follows Kate's orders rather than John's, unlike the Terminator in the second film.
In the fourth film, the T-800 has a small role, though once again as an antagonist. As the very first T-800 awakened, it engages John Connor (Christian Bale) in battle during John's attempt to rescue Kyle Reese (Anton Yelchin) from the Skynet base in San Francisco. John holds his own with his advanced weaponry, but is unable to stop the Terminator until it is drenched in molten metal and then liquid nitrogen, freezing it temporarily. As John begins planting hydrogen fuel cells, cyborg prototype Marcus Wright (Sam Worthington) arrives to stall the Terminator, able to match its strength due to his own metal endoskeleton, but due to Marcus harbouring biological organs, the Terminator is able to incapacitate him long enough to stab John through the heart from behind, wounding him. Marcus retaliates by jamming the same metal bar through the Terminator's neck and twisting it until its head rips off, destroying it instantly. The hydrogen fuel cells are set off as John and Marcus escape, destroying the base and taking thousands of unfinished T-800s with it, delaying its production and altering the future significantly.
Additionally, an earlier scene in the film depicts the resistance developing a scrambler capable of disabling Terminators temporarily, explaining how they will eventually be able to capture and reprogram the T-800s sent back in time to protect John from the T-1000 and the T-X.
Terminator Genisys creates an alternate continuity that ignores the previous two sequels. In the film, a T-800 was reprogrammed by an unknown party from a point in time further in the future, and sent to 1973 to protect nine-year-old Sarah Connor (Emilia Clarke) from a T-1000 sent to kill her and her parents. After her parents are killed, the T-800 becomes her surrogate father and raises her to prepare for her future destiny. The T-800, which Sarah refers as "Pops", has developed an unprecedented level of emotional development, to the extent that it keeps her childhood drawings and photographs. In the film, it is speculated that the knowledge of who sent the T-800 back was deliberately erased from its memory so that Skynet (Matt Smith) could not track them down later. Pops integrates into human society, and at one point obtains a job as a construction worker to build the headquarters for Cyberdyne Systems. Throughout the film, it struggles with its physical limitations due to its increasing age, but it states several times that it is, "Old, not obsolete." Like the Terminator in the second film, Pops inflicts leg wounds rather than killing humans.
After Kyle Reese's (Jai Courtney) arrival in 1984, the trio defeat the T-1000 (Lee Byung-hun) together. Later, in 2017, they battle John Connor (Jason Clarke), who has been transformed into a T-3000 tasked to ensure Skynet's rise. After multiple confrontations, Pops attempts to sacrifice itself to destroy the T-3000, telling Kyle Reese to "protect [his] Sarah". However, during the battle, Pops is thrown into a vat of liquid metal before the T-3000's defeat, and as a result gains shapeshifting abilities similar to the T-1000, as well as repairing earlier damage such as its lost left arm. Pops gives its approval of Sarah and Kyle's relationship.
The youthful T-800 from the first film also appears, and is intercepted by the "aging" T-800 and Sarah Connor after it arrives in the alternate 1984. Despite Sarah killing the young cyborg with her high-caliber sniper rifle, the T-1000 reactivates and reprograms it to pursue Kyle Reese. Kyle ultimately retrieves Sarah's sniper rifle and blows the young T-800's head off. The young Terminator's endoskeleton is dissolved in hydrochloric acid and its CPU is used to operate Sarah and the older Terminator's time machine. The CPU is destroyed after the time machine's usage. With both the original T-800's and the T-1000's remains destroyed in 1984 and the older Terminator's existence concealed, Cyberdyne Systems lacks the Skynet technology to work with for decades until John Connor is under Miles Dyson's (Courtney B. Vance) employ and assists his son Danny Dyson (Dayo Okeniyi) in the development of "Genisys" technology.
On August 21, 2019, it was announced by developer NetherRealm Studios that a T-800 would be added as a guest playable character in Mortal Kombat 11, a 2.5D fighting game released previously that same year. The character is one of six characters in the game's Kombat Pack bundle of downloadable content, alongside fellow guest characters Spawn, and DC Comics' Joker. Much like several recent film appearances, Schwarzenegger's likeness is used for the character, but not his voice. Instead, the Terminator is voiced by Chris Cox.
The Terminator is a formidable robotic assassin and soldier, designed by the military supercomputer Skynet for infiltration and combat duty, towards the ultimate goal of exterminating the Human Resistance. It can speak naturally, copy the voices of others, read human handwriting, and even genuinely sweat, smell, and bleed. However, it has no human emotions such as pity or fear unless learned through human contact and never stops until it fulfills its mission or is destroyed or shut down (although it appears to be able to sense moments of urgency or danger, as it is depicted as raising its voice or widening its eyes in shock on several said occasions). Terminators are outwardly indistinguishable from humans, but dogs become agitated and bark loudly in their presence; as a result, the human resistance uses the animals to detect Terminators. In the first film, Kyle Reese explains that the T-800 was designed to be an improvement over the earlier T-600 units, which could be easily detected because their skin was made of rubber and not organic tissue. Later models, such as the Guardian from Terminator Genisys or Carl from Terminator: Dark Fate, showed a greater capacity for emotion and physical aging.
The most notable science fiction characteristics are that of an expert system featuring strong AI functionality combined with machine learning, and the system can interpret arbitrary non-formalized tasks. The other notable science fiction component is that of a power source which can last 120 years.
A trait persistent throughout the series is the faint red glow of the "eyes" when the cyborg is online, which dim to nothing when a Terminator shuts down. In all four movies, the lack of the glow has been used to show when one is out of action. The trait is so characteristic that light-up eyes are often found on Terminator merchandise, with some even replicating the dimming/reillumination effect that occurs during shut down or start up.
As seen in the movies, a Terminator can withstand standard normal 20th century firearms, crash through walls with little to no damage, and survive explosions to some degree. Repeated shotgun blasts have enough force to knock it down and temporarily disable it, while heavy amounts of automatic fire are able to compromise the organic disguise layer. In the second film, the Terminator says he can fully operate for 120 years on his power cell before it drains. In the finale to Terminator 2, his power source is damaged, and he is able to find an alternate source, described on the DVD commentary as heat sinks, harnessing the thermal energy from the hot surroundings. In the third film, the Terminator--an 850 series rather than the 800 series depicted in the first two films--operates on two hydrogen fuel cells and discards one of them early due to damage. It explodes shortly thereafter with enough force to produce a small mushroom cloud.
The endoskeleton is actuated by a powerful network of hydraulic servomechanisms, making Terminators superhumanly strong. For instance, in the third movie, Schwarzenegger's character was able to handle firing a Browning .30 machine gun from the hip with one hand, while holding a coffin containing an alive John Connor and a heavy cache of weapons, showing no signs of the extra weight being any real concern.
Late in the first film, the Terminator is stripped of its organic elements when the tanker truck it is driving is blown up. What remains is the machine itself, in James Cameron's own words "a chrome skeleton, like death rendered in steel." In the later Terminator films, armies of endoskeleton-only Terminators are seen. They are visually identical to the one in the first film, and feature prominently in the "future war" sequences of those films.
The Terminator CPU is an artificial neural network with the ability to learn and adapt. It was also briefly referred to as a room-temperature superconductor. In Terminator 2, The Terminator states that "the more contact [it] has with humans, the more [it] learns." In the original film, it learns how to swear from the punks it encounters in the beginning of the film, and when a janitor of his building visits him to ask about the odor from his room, it replies with "Fuck you, asshole", from a list of responses. In the second movie's Special Edition, it says that Skynet "presets the switch to 'read-only' when [Terminators] are sent out alone", to prevent them from "thinking too much". Sarah and John activate his learning ability, after which he becomes more curious and begins trying to understand and imitate human behavior. This leads to his use of the catchphrase "hasta la vista, baby". He ultimately "learn[s] the value of human life" as mused by Sarah in the closing narration. The Terminator apologized - something it had never done previously - when John was frantically trying to convince it not to be sacrificed. Its last words to John were "I know now why you cry, but it is something I can never do." The Terminator shown in Genisys underwent an even greater degree of personal development after spending over a decade raising Sarah Connor after her parents were killed when she was a child, with Sarah referring to it as "Pops" and the Terminator referring to her as "my Sarah", its words reflecting a reluctance to allow harm to come to her for emotional reasons rather than just its programmed mission.
The flesh-covering that is used on the majority of Terminator models has similar qualities to real human muscle and skin, as well as the ability to sweat, simulate breathing, and produce realistic body odor. Although Terminator flesh does contain blood, it only displays minimal bleeding when damaged and has never been shown to experience any kind of profuse bleeding even from massive lacerations, dozens of gunshot wounds, or even complete removal. In the absence of a circulatory system, the flesh uses a system of "nanobots" which maintain the skin. It is unknown what biological processes take place to sustain the flesh covering, since Terminators do not require the consumption of food. Under 2007-era analysis, this blood is shown to be similar to human blood, using a synthetic oxygen carrier rather than human red blood cells, as Terminator endoskeletons contain no bone marrow.
Terminator flesh heals by itself, and at a much faster rate than normal human tissue and has never been shown to bruise or discolor from trauma, even after several days. However, a Terminator's flesh covering can die if it sustains adequately massive damage without maintenance, at which point it takes on a waxy, corpse-like pallor and begins to decompose. In Terminator Genisys, it is shown that a T-800's covering ages; Pops is shown as having aged over eleven years and then a further thirty-three. By contrast, a T-800's undamaged flesh can remain un-aging for decades; Myron Stark immured itself for 89 years, emerging from its wall unchanged.
Although clearly not the normal procedure, a bare T-800 endoskeleton is able to grow itself a new flesh covering using 2007 technology (with the assistance of a geneticist and its own knowledge of future formulae) by submerging itself in a blood-like bath. This improvised process results in a deformed covering that has the appearance of a burn victim and lacks its own biological eyes, requiring it to steal some and subsequently undergo cosmetic surgery to produce a more normal appearance (while escaping detection from law enforcement as it was able to undergo this procedure without the use of pain medication). Whether or not this replacement flesh possessed the T-800's original flesh's un-aging properties, it appeared healthy despite the T-800's deactivation for many days. The theft of the eyes suggests that Terminator flesh is capable of accepting some degree of organ grafts from ordinary humans, that it can circumvent transplant rejection, and is capable of sustaining the life of the grafted tissue via its own unknown biological process.
Although a T-800's physical covering ages like regular human skin, it can be regrown with enough time. During a confrontation with a T-1000 in 1984, the organic covering on its right forearm is destroyed while it is holding the T-1000 under a shower of acid, and it states that its dissolved covering would take years to regrow. By the time it is seen thirty-three years later, its covering was fully regrown, and the Terminator had spent some time working in construction, implying that it had become operational in time for it to regularly interact with humans.
It has been shown that Terminators' flesh coverings are somehow grown identically, producing many multiple copies of exactly the same physical appearance, indicating the use of specific physical templates for different variations of a model or series. The most well known is that worn by multiple units portrayed by Schwarzenegger; a scene in Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles displays a memory of a T-888 model, referred to as "Vick", facing a room (presumably in the factory where he was created) of several dozen units sharing an identical template to himself, naked and moving in unison to his direction. However, not all T-800's are made with an identical appearance, such as the Terminator from the future bunker scene in the original movie (portrayed by Franco Columbu).
A deleted scene from Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines reveals that the T-101's appearance was based on Chief Master Sergeant William Candy, portrayed by Schwarzenegger with a dubbed-over Southern accent, which was replaced by the more menacing Austrian-accented voice of one of the developers. In Terminator Salvation, the T-800 is shown to be stronger physically than its predecessor, tearing a malfunctioning T-600 in half. It is also the first model to be manufactured using a titanium alloy. However, titanium loses strength when heated above 430 °C (806 °F) which later prompted Skynet's decision to use coltan, which is also referred as columbite-tantalite, for better heat resistance as its metal base as stated in Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles; it is also used for the T-850 and T-888 models.
According to Terminator Salvation, the T-800 was the first Terminator to have a human styled skeleton built using coltan and titanium alloy. The earlier Terminators had a bulkier appearance.
An entirely different origin of the Terminator's physical and vocal templates was provided in the novel T2: Infiltrator (published prior to T3), in the form of former counter-terrorist Dieter von Rossbach, who meets and joins forces with the Connors in the present (the novel reveals that he was never questioned about the Terminators' actions as his superiors always knew that he was somewhere else during its rampages). The reason stated for copying Dieter was that Skynet was looking in the old military files for someone whose body could effectively conceal the Terminator's massive endoskeleton. Its voice was provided through Kurt Viemeister, the scientist that taught Skynet its sentience. Skynet also uses Viemeister's voice.
The teaser trailer for Terminator 2: Judgment Day shows a Model 101 having its flesh covering applied by a large industrial mold.