Ever wonder why the T-800 looks like Arnold Schwarzenegger, beyond his charm and the fact that he was built like a tank in the ‘80s? Terminator creator James Cameron has the answer.
Speaking to TheArnoldFans, Cameron gave his explanation for why the T-800 looks like Schwarzenegger:
Yeah, you got to ask yourself, ‘Why did they make these characters look and sound like Arnold? There has to be a reason. So yeah, it has flashed through my mind that there has to have been a prototype. There has to have been a guy who’s DNA was harvested from - that they grew the organic outter layer that they grew the Terminator from…and that presumibly was a real person at some point.
As TheArnoldFans point out, this could be an interesting way for the 70-year-old Schwarzenegger to show up in the film, without using time travel to explain why he looks aged-up, as Terminator: Genisys did. He could be a human who somehow survived Judgement Day, the day Skynet became self-aware and launched several nuclear strikes. Which would tie in with the idea that his human character has some kind of meaning to Skynet.
Via SlashFilm, the Terminator films previously attempted to explain why the T-800 looks like Schwarzenegger in a deleted scene from Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines. The scene is noteworthy for featuring Schwarzenegger’s worst role to date: Chief Master Sergeant William Candy, who was selected as “the face of the future.”
The idea of there being a human basis for the T-800 does ruin the mystique of the films a little. Schwarzenegger’s Terminator was this unstoppable killing machine, one that didn’t beg some kind of origin story, however fun it is to speculate on the implications of one.
Also, where does something like this end? Does that mean every other Terminator that looks like a human was based on someone as well?