Terminator 6 features the long-awaited reunion of James Cameron, Linda Hamilton and Arnold Schwarzenegger, but will the movie retcon a key event from their last outing, Terminator 2: Judgment Day? The original Terminator was a modestly budgeted B-movie about a cyborg assassin who is sent back in time to kill the mother of the unborn leader of the future human resistance. The seed of the movie actually came from a fever dream Cameron had, in which a damaged chrome skeleton dragged itself out of a fire and chased after a woman.
The Terminator became an instant classic thanks to Schwarzenegger’s iconic performance, the relentless pace and its surprisingly emotional love story. Cameron would go on to make Aliens and The Abyss, while Schwarzenegger became one of the biggest movie stars on the planet. They eventually reunited, alongside Linda Hamilton as Sarah Connor, for Terminator 2: Judgement Day in 1991. T2 was the most expensive movie ever made at the time of its production and pioneered CGI effects with the T-1000 character. The movie was an enormous success, and the first two movies are a beloved duology among genre fans.
Sadly, the sequels that followed proved to be disappointing. Rights disputes held up Terminator 3: Rise Of The Machines for 12 years, while Cameron and Hamilton opted out of the project. The resulting movie is an entertaining action film with some cringe-worthy humor and an incredibly dark twist ending. Director McG later took the reins for Terminator Salvation, which was due to start a new trilogy with Christian Bale as John Connor. Script problems plagued the production, with the final product being a dour, unsatisfying mess with a rare weak performance from Bale. Terminator: Genisys from 2015 was also set to launch a trilogy, but the toxic critical response put paid to that idea.
So after a trilogy of failed trilogy starters, Terminator 6 will reset the timeline again and ignore everything bar the first two movies. While plot details are still thin on the ground, there’s evidence to suggest the film will continue on from Terminator 2: Judgment Day, and possibly retcon a key event (hat-tip to TheTerminatorFans.com and their theories on an aged T-800 and potential time travel relating to John Conner).
- This Page: Will Terminator 6 Retcon the T-800’s Death?
- Page 2: What is John Connor’s Role In Terminator 6?
Arnie Plays An Old T-800 (Again) In Terminator 6
While James Cameron wasn’t directly involved in Terminator: Genisys, it was he who suggested Arnold Schwarzenegger’s aged appearance could be explained via the T-800’s skin aging naturally. It was an inspired choice in a film profoundly lacked inspiration. That concept will be resurrected once more for Terminator 6, with Arnold playing a T-800 who has blended into society and has aged in real-time. There are also reports the movie will contain an explanation for why the T-800 looks like Arnold, and the human template himself might make an appearance.
Again, since plot details are sketchy its tricky to say what role the older T-800 will play, but he doesn’t appear to be playing a villainous role. Actor Gabriel Luna is playing a new terminator character, and a recent behind-the-scenes video showed the older T-800 hanging out comfortably in a scene with Sarah Connor and Mackenzie Davis’ new character, Grace. The suggestion seems to be this T-800 model has been living among humans for so long that he can comfortably pass for one.
Terminator 6 Has Flashbacks To Judgment Day
Before filming it was confirmed stuntman and actor Brett Azar would return once again for Terminator 6. Azar had previously played the body double for the younger version of Arnold’s T-800 in Terminator: Genisys, for a scene set during the timeline of the original movie. Schwarzenegger’s likeness was superimposed over Azar for this extended sequence, which made for an impressive effect.
A photo found at Bloody Disgusting showed Azar working out at a gym with young actor Jude Collie, which marked Azar as the CGI body double for Arnold and Collie as the stand-in for young Edward Furlong. Indeed, the photo shows Collie with the distinctive 90’s haircut sported by Furlong in Terminator 2: Judgment Day, making it a certainty the film will contain at least one flashback sequence to the events of the second film. Indeed, Cameron has already confirmed the other sequels post-T2 are being ignored, so it makes sense there would be some ties back to it.
Will Terminator 6 Retcon Arnie’s Death In Judgment Day?
Terminator 2: Judgment Day revealed that each Terminator battle unit comes equipped with a Neural Net CPU – a.k.a. a learning computer – that allows them to adapt and behave in a more human manner. The T-800 in T2 learns to become more human through his interactions with John Connor, and even cracks a few jokes. In a finale that still breaks the hearts of Terminator fans, this unit has to sacrifice himself to destroy the last remnants of Skynet technology in the past by lowering himself into molten steel.
Since the legacy of the original two movies will play a big part in Terminator 6, and a flashback to the T2 timeline is all but confirmed, it seems the movie may attempt to retcon this death. In Judgment Day that unit was only beginning to learn what it means to be human, so it makes sense he would evolve over the course of 30 years into the aged T-800 seen in the new movie. It would also explain why Sarah Connor seems to be comfortable around him in photos. This theory, of course, comes with its own issues, like why did he decide not to destroy himself after all and how did he regrow his destroyed arm?
Where Is John Connor in Terminator 6?
John Connor has had a wild ride as a character throughout the franchise. He’s been played by a new actor in every entry, including Christian Bale and Jason Clarke. Sadly, there’s not much consistency in his behavior from sequel to sequel for this reason, with Terminator: Genisys managing to mess up one of its most intriguing concepts – Connor being transformed into a Terminator himself. While it’s a safe bet young John Connor will appear in a Terminator 2 flashback, there’s no word whatsoever on his present-day whereabouts in the next movie.
There are rumors suggesting Edward Furlong himself will make an appearance as Connor somewhere in the movie, but this is far from confirmed. Either John’s role is being kept a surprise, or perhaps he died at some point after the events of Judgment Day. This would be a tragic turn of events, but it would also necessitate the need for a new resistance leader. Terminator 6 is said to focus primarily on a new heroine named Dani Ramos (Natalia Reyes), so perhaps Diego Luna’s terminator is sent after her because she’ll be a key figure in the future war, while Mackenzie Davis’ mysterious soldier is sent to protect her. Set photos show Davis’ character with numerous, strange scars on her body, with speculation being she’s some kind of human/cyborg hybrid.
What Does All This Mean For Terminator 6?
One of the reasons James Cameron passed on Terminator 3: Rise Of The Machines is that he didn’t have a concept he was passionate about. Since he created the franchise, the rights reverted back to him following Terminator: Genisys, and he worked closely with T6 director Tim Miller and a writer’s room to brainstorm a potential new trilogy. Since a lot of the far-fetched ideas of the earlier movies have since come to pass – like drone warfare and advanced A.I. – he felt there was plenty of fresh ground to cover.
In short, it appears Terminator 6 will very much be about legacy, of both the franchise and the concepts it promoted. The movie will also be a passing of the torch, with plans for a new trilogy – if T6 is a success – to follow new characters instead. While it would be an odd creative choice to retcon the T-800’s death from Terminator 2: Judgment Day, it would also be fascinating to see how a machine would evolve over the course of decades to become almost human. Genisys touched on this idea, but it seems like Terminator 6 will actually flesh it out. The big question mark is what role – if any – John Connor will play, but since the character has taken center stage for the last few movies, fresh blood might be needed to carry the series forward.