- NOTE: This article is ONLY for the VILLAINOUS T-800 from the original film and his EVIL reincarnation in Terminator Genisys, NOT his heroic reincarnations in the sequels.
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|“||I'll be back.||„|
|~ The Terminator's famous quote, and one of the most iconic movie quotes of all time.|
The Terminator (also known as The T-800) is the titular main antagonist of the 1984 live action film The Terminator. This specific model 101 was a design made by Dr. Serena Kogan and sent back through time by the supercomputer, Skynet, which had touched off nuclear war and took over the world in its aftermath. Its mission was to kill Sarah Connor, the mother of the resistance leader named John Connor, before her son could be born.
He made his appearance in the fourth film as T-RIP, the final antagonist of the film, before reappearing as a minor antagonist in the fifth film Terminator Genisys.
In the original film, he was portrayed by Arnold Schwarzenegger who also played Carl Hauser in Total Recall and Mr. Freeze in Batman & Robin, and is one of Arnold's most famous roles in his cinematic career. In Terminator: Genisys, his body double was performed by Brett Azar using CGI technology.
This is Arnold's first role as a major villain.
- 1 Biography
- 2 Other Media
- 3 Personality
- 4 Weaknesses
- 5 Trivia
- 6 External Links
- 7 Navigation
Dr. Serena Kogan's research started the cybernetic organisms, living tissue over the metal endoskeleton. The model 101 came from Serena Kogan's knowledge due to her having the key to Skynet's salvation.
The initial series of terminators, the 600, had rubber faces and were easy to spot. Their programming was to infiltrate and exterminate human settlements. In order to further this goal, Skynet replaced this series with the 800, which had living human tissue over a metal endoskeleton. The Terminator was part of this series.
When John Connor and the resistance smashed Skynet's defense grid, Skynet had this model 101 sent back through time to kill his mother Sarah before she gave life to him, using time displacement equipment. The resistance managed to send a human soldier, Kyle Reese, back through time to protect Sarah Connor. He knew how to recognize her because John Connor had once given him a picture of her.
After emerging from the time displacement sphere at 1:52 AM at the Griffith Observatory, the naked Terminator arrived on Los Angeles. It then confronted three thugs roaming the observatory, who then took interest in him. The Terminator requested one of the thugs to surrender their clothing to him, much to their refusal. They attacked the terminator, before the latter overpowered them, managing to kill two of them in the process while forcing the remaining thug to surrender his clothing to him, who does so out of fright. It then stole a car and then drove off to a nearby gun shop to obtain some weapons, before finally killing the shop owner in the process and then proceeds in its way to eliminate its target: Sarah Connor.
Phone Book Killer
As most of the records were lost in the nuclear war, The Terminator didn't know Sarah Connor's middle name or where she lived, so it looked her up in the phone book. There were three Sarah Connors living in Los Angeles, and the Terminator went down the list alphabetically. Luckily for the future, the Sarah Connor was the last on the list. This method led the police to investigate the "Phone Book Killer", as the press called it.
The Terminator then went to the apartment of the last name on the list; Sarah J. Connor where it killed Sarah's roommate Ginger and her boyfriend Matt. He then heard Sarah on the answer machine who was hiding in a nightclub called TechNoir when she noticed Reese following her. After searching through Sarah's belongings, it found her university ID and after getting a clear image of the target, set off to track her down.
The Terminator and Reese both caught up with Sarah Connor at the night club, where Sarah had also called the police. Reese and Sarah escaped and hid in a parking garage, where he explained everything that had happened in the future and his purpose to her. They were spotted by the Terminator, but the police got to them first. The Terminator backed off, not wanting to create a scene and to treat its injuries in a safe location.
After the Terminator had stripped the bullets from his wounded flesh and disguised the gaps in his disguise, it proceeded to the police station where Reese and Sarah were being held. After being refused entry, it massacred many police officers in its attempt to reach Sarah, but Reese and Sarah managed to escape. They made their way to a motel, where Reese cooked up some pipe bombs in the room's kitchen. The Terminator then found Sarah's mother at her place by using her address book.
It killed her and then waited for Sarah to call. Sarah eventually called from the motel room, and the Terminator mimicked her mother's voice, convincing Sarah to give it the motel's phone number, which the terminator promptly called, asking for the address. That night, Sarah and Reese made love, conceiving John Connor.
The Terminator caught up with Sarah and Reese at the motel, pursuing them on a motorcycle while they were in a pickup truck. Reese threw pipe bombs at the Terminator to slow it down, but got caught by the cyborg's gunfire. However Sarah managed to use the back of the truck to knock Terminator off its motorcycle. The truck had turned over, and Sarah and the now injured Reese began to run on foot. A tanker truck ran over the Terminator, which got up, took over the truck, and continued its pursuit. Reese managed to throw a pipe bomb into a tube on the side of the truck, which blew it up. The Terminator emerged from the flames with all of its flesh burned away to reveal its metal endoskeleton.
Sarah and Reese fled into a factory, later revealed to be Cyberdyne Systems in the second film. Reese sacrifices himself to destroy it with his last pipe bomb, killing himself, injuring Sarah, and blowing the Terminator in half. The Terminator survived as a one-armed legless torso and pursued Sarah Connor as she crawled into a hydraulic press. When she climbed out the other side, Sarah gloated "You're terminated, f**ker!", and turned on the press which caused the Terminator to be crushed beyond repair, making Skynet's first mission fail and also avenging the deaths of the humans it had killed.
In Terminator 2: Judgement Day, it is revealed that Cyberdyne Systems covered up the Terminator's existence. Its arm and CPU survived the press, and were given to resident scientist Miles Bennet Dyson to work on, unaware of its origins. He used the CPU to create a new neuro-net processor, which formed the basis for Skynet. Eventually both the hand and the CPU were taken by the now 10-year-old John Connor, Sarah and another Terminator that was reprogrammed to help with the Resistance and were destroyed for good in a vat of molten steel to ensure that Skynet never took over the future.
Rise of the Machines and Salvation Timeline
Although not seen, this Terminator series was developed by Skynet as seen in Terminator: Salvation with the research comes into fruition with the birth of the T-RIP.
The same Terminator reappeared in the fifth film, Terminator: Genisys, which set in Genisys timeline.
The T-800 was seen being pulled from an assembly line and then walking to a giant Time Displacement Chamber to be sent back to the year 1984 in order to kill Sarah Connor. As soon as it emerged in the past, it confronted three thugs who took interest in him while it demanded one of their clothing. Before it could proceed to attack them however, another Model 101 T-800 (known as "The Guardian") confronted it, saying "You won't be needing any clothes." and "I've been waiting for you." before engaging it with a shotgun and a brutal fight with him, before being ironically pinned down by its supposed target Sarah Connor. To prevent the events of the second film from happening, Sarah and The Guardian took the deactivated Terminator with them to dismantle it.
Before they could destroy it, it was reactivated by a drop of mimetic polyalloy from a T-1000, also sent to kill Sarah Connor prior to the events of the film. As the T-1000 pursued Sarah, the T-800 attacked its supposed victim Kyle Reese and pursued him on Sarah's safe house, while managing to lose its skin sheath in the process from a grenade launcher. It was then destroyed by Kyle by shooting it on the neck, causing it to be decapitated. After killing the T-1000, Sarah and The Guardian extracted its CPU to activate its time displacement equipment to send Sarah and Kyle into the future while the Guardian destroyed the remains of the T-800 in an acid bath.
Mortal Kombat 11
The T-800 appears in the video game Mortal Kombat 11 as a DLC guest character. After being assigned to kill Sarah Connor, the T-800 finds himself in the Mortal Kombat universe. Upon getting reprogrammed by Jax Briggs, he defeats Kronika and uses the Hourglass to stop the war between humanity and the machines. Knowing his knowledge will threaten the realms, the T-800 jumped into the Sea of Blood to make sure no one tempers with time again. As one would expect, there are many interactions based on whether the T-800 got reprogrammed or not. Some intros have him act hostile towards humans and his counterpart while other intros have him express his desire to protect humanity. This is an accurate take of how the timeline's work in the movies as some versions of the T-800 are still evil.
In the game, the Terminator acts differently as while he isn't as chatty as most of the cast, he does engage in conversations with his opponents. Furthermore, while he never screams in pain or make any sound aside from intros and taunts, he does flinch and react like the other combatants. This decision resulted in some fans feeling disappointed as they feel this is an inaccurate depiction of the character. Some even called out Ed and his team for being lazy. Otherwise, most aspects of the Terminator gained heavy praise.
|“||Listen and understand. That Terminator is out there. It can't be bargained with, it can't be reasoned with... It doesn't feel pity or remorse or fear. And it absolutely will NOT stop! Ever! Until you are dead!||„|
|~ Kyle Reese explains the Terminator's resilience to Sarah Connor.|
Unlike most other Terminators (including its heroic counterpart that is sent eleven years later) who could exhibit emotional attachment, frustration, shock, fear and a sense of humor, this T-800 was an extremely emotionless, single-minded and cold individual. It almost never showed any facial expression beyond a cold and flat face, and it usually only spoke when it meant to engage others for information or when it intended to throw unwanted attention off of itself. The T-800 was noted to have an "attitude problem", tending to physically throw others out of its way to get past them or to use a phone booth. The T-800 was also very brutal and completely merciless, and was quick to killing when others in any way didn't cooperate with its plans and demands. The explanation of this Terminator's near-blank personality and the said "attitude problem" is likely due to its learning capabilities for human emotion that would have enable him to blend in human society better never unlocked even until its destruction. The reason for this is that Skynet set all the CPU's of it's T-800 Terminators to read only in order to prevent them from learning too much and risk potentially turning against Skynet.
Like most Terminators, the first T-800 was single-mindedly and inhumanly relentless in completing its mission at all costs, to the point that it continued its pursuit of Sarah Connor without giving up, even when it lost its skin sheath and its legs in the process. As mentioned above, this willpower extends to whomever the Terminator must protect/kill.
Despite its almost-blank personality though, the Terminator did still possess just enough social information to calculate what the best verbal response with which to throw off unwanted attention was. It was also intelligent, entrepreneurial and resourceful enough to calculate multiple different methods of tracking down and/or killing Sarah Connor; from pursuing and murdering all Sarah Connors named in a phonebook, to impersonating Sarah's mother over the phone in order to obtain her location, to attempting to run Sarah down with a commandeered truck.
- .50 BMG rounds and depleted uranium bullets: The Genisys T-800 is shut down by a Barrett M82 shot to its chest, where its power source is located, before it can destroy Guardian. It is later re-activated by the T-1000 with a drop of mimetic polyalloy, but then destroyed with a shot to its neck during a fight against Kyle Reese, decapitating it.
- Plasma weaponry: Plasma weaponry could degrade a T-800's frame and destroy the unit, as evidenced during a fight with the T-X. As such, Skynet eventually developed the more resilient T-850, which could withstand a direct hit of the T-X's plasma cannon.
- Explosives: Kyle Reese used a home-made pipe bomb to blow the original T-800 in half, heavily damaging it, but not destroying it outright. In Terminator Salvation and Genisys, a grenade launcher was used to destroy the machine's human coverings, but this is insufficient to shut down the cyborg.
- Razor-sharp metallic rebar: The T-800 in Terminator 2 is shut down by the more evolved T-1000, which impales it through the back with a stake. In Genisys, the T-3000, which could develop razor sharp edges with its hands, ripped off Guardian's arm during their last fight.
- Intense pressures: In the original Terminator, Sarah Connor uses a hydraulic press to crush the T-800 and destroy it.
- Extreme temperatures: Extreme of temperatures could melt down a T-800, as evidenced in Terminator 2 when the T-800 is destroyed when lowered into a pit of molten steel. In Terminator Salvation, John Connor uses molten steel and liquid nitrogen to freeze an advancing T-800, which incapacitates its frame, thereby allowing Marcus Wright to decapitate it with a metallic rebar when it broke free.
- Corrosive reagents: Extremely concentrated hydrochloric acid, among other substances, could melt a T-800's frame and even destroy the unit outright if prolonged exposure could be achieved.
- Electronic overcurrent: Kyle Reese uses a live wire to temporarily electrocute the T-800 during their duel, but the machine was only briefly affected, although it is possible that it could be shocked and destroyed if a sufficiently powerful current was passed through its endoskeleton.
- Electromagnetic pulses: In Terminator: Dark Fate, it is shown that an EMP device can fry the circuits of a T-800.
- General lack of maintenance: As with a human skeleton, whose joints weaken as time passes, the Guardian was affected by degradation, which proved to be a significant factor for its inferiority against the converted John Connor in Genisys.
- In The Terminator, T-800's living tissue was somewhat suffering from necrosis after injuries that sustained during the chase and gunfight against Kyle Reese while searching Sarah's mother's address through her address book at a safehouse where it was hiding at, unlike other Terminators that later appeared in the next films. This was shown where his face has become pale and had some flies sat on his face. Even at this point, the janitor whom nearly caught the Terminator comment the smell of decay from its rotting flesh, asked, "Hey, buddy, got a dead cat in there, or what?".
- Another explanation for the living tissue rotting is likely due to the Terminator having bled out completely after sustaining multiple gunshot wounds during the Police Station Massacre (even though the bullets did little to no damage to it's endoskeleton underneath). It is implied that the biological covering was still in it's prototype stages, and not yet capable of healing (subsequent T-800's came with living tissue that could heal, as noted in Terminator 2: Judgment Day and Terminator: Genisys).
- In the original script the Terminator was supposed to steal a car at the beginning of the film. The scene involved the Terminator observing an elderly woman getting into a car and as she saw the Terminator she panicked and put it into reverse hitting a trash can then correcting herself put it into drive and sped off. The Terminator then enters the car, puts it into reverse then into drive mimicking the woman's actions. This was cut from a later script.
- Sylvester Stallone, Tom Selleck, Ron Perlman, Michael Keaton, Stephen Lang, Chevy Chase, Alec Baldwin, John Travolta, Harrison Ford, Richard Gere, Kevin Costner, Robin Williams, Martin Sheen and Jack Nicholson were all considered for the role before Arnold Schwarzenegger got the role.
- Director James Cameron ended up working with Sylvester Stallone in Rambo: First Blood Part II, and Stephen Lang in Avatar.
- Mel Gibson turned down the role of the Terminator, simply feeling he wasn't right for the part. After seeing the film, he praised Arnold as a much better choice.
- O.J. Simpson was considered for the Terminator, but the producers feared he was "too nice" to be taken seriously as a cold-blooded killer. In 1990 (before Simpson's first trial) Dark Horse Comics printed issues using his likeness.
- Contrary to popular belief, Lance Henriksen was never going to be the Terminator. James Cameron based some of his early sketches of the Terminator on Henriksen's likeness however.
- Arnold Schwarzenegger didn't think much of the initial screenplay and was only going to do it for the money and because he felt a contemporary film would be beneficial to his career.
- Prior to filming, Schwarzenegger spent weeks learning to reassemble, dismantle, reload and fire every weapon used in the film without looking at the weapon. The result was a more robotic feel towards the weapons handling which added to the eeriness of his performance.
- On the set of The Terminator, Arnold Schwarzenegger tried to avoid Michael Biehn and Linda Hamilton as much as possible since the Terminator was trying to kill them, not forming connections.
- The famous line, "I'll be back," was originally scripted as "I'll come back."
- The iconic catchphrase almost became "I will be back" because Schwarzenegger thought it sounded more machine-like without a contraction; he also felt "I'll" sounded too feminine. It was the one major disagreement between Schwarzenegger and James Cameron, and all Cameron had to say to that was "I don't tell you how to act, so don't tell me how to write."
- The Terminator is ranked #22 on AFI's list "100 Years...100 Heroes and Villains".
- The Terminator faced RoboCop in ScrewAttack's DEATH BATTLE and lost.
- Although Terminator was Arnold's first role as a main villain, it was not the first villainous role; in The Long Goodbye Arnold starred (then credited as Arnold Strong) as a brutish bodyguard of a loan shark.