James Cameron Explains Why Arnold Schwarzenegger's Terminator Looks Older in Dark Fate

Do Terminators age? That question becomes more relevant each time Arnold Schwarzenegger returns to his role as the T-800 from the original Terminator movie. It’s been 35 years since Schwarzenegger first rose naked from his time jump on that dark street. He may play a machine in the movie, but Schwarzenegger himself is but a man. How then does Terminator: Dark Fate explain why the T-800 went from looking like Schwarzenegger in his mid-30s to looking like Schwarzenegger in his early 70s. James Cameron, who created The Terminator and produced Dark Fate, explained it to journalists during a press event for the new film.

"Look, it's all in the first film," Cameron told journalists in Los Angeles, speaking via video chat while on the set of the Avatar sequels in New Zealand (via GameSpot). "Sweat, bad breath, everything--he's a cyborg. The 'org' part is 'organic.' There's flesh over the outside. 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 bulls---, but it's a cool idea, right?"

Cameron went on to point out how the first film hinted at this eventuality. "In the first movie, he's actually got sort of gangrene and his wounds are kind of rotting by the end of the film," Cameron said. "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. 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. 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."

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In Terminator: Dark Fate, “27 years after the events of Terminator 2: Judgment Day, a new, modified liquid metal Terminator (Gabriel Luna) is sent from the future by Skynet in order to terminate Dani Ramos (Natalia Reyes), a hybrid cyborg human (Mackenzie Davis), and her friends. Sarah Connor comes to their aid, as well as the original Terminator, for a fight for the future.”

What do you think of this explanation for why the T-800 ages in Terminator: Dark Fate? Let us know in the comments. Terminator: Dark Fate opens in theaters on November 1st.