When we first heard that Arnold Schwarzenegger was going to be appearing in Terminator: Dark Fate, there were a lot of questions. Then, when we saw old-man T-800 pop up in the trailer, we had more. Thankfully, this wasn’t just an issue of not having the budget to de-age Schwarzenegger for the new film. It was a purposeful move with a very basic explanation.
The subject came up in an interview with Collider’s Steven Weintraub, and here’s what Cameron had to say:
“Sure. Absolutely. Look, it’s all in the first film – sweat, bad breath, everything. He’s a cyborg. The “org” part is organic. There’s flesh over the outside. The bigger question is how something that’s got some kind of synthetic material that’s not flesh can come through the time field. But that’s another geek-out story for another time. Yeah, no. 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 bullshit, but it’s a cool idea, right? I think the very first, and it’s in the movie, in the first movie, he’s actually got sort of gangrene and his wounds are kind of rotting by the end of the film. 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. So 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. His inner form, his nuclear-powered endoskeleton or his power cell powered endoskeleton, can run for… I think he says 120 years in movie two. So 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.”