Warning: Terminator: Dark Fate spoilers ahead.
Terminator: Dark Fate, the sixth installment of the Terminator franchise, hit theaters November 1. Dark Fate had all the machinery and action that fans have come to expect from the films — with even more gore. Schwarzenegger reprises his role as the Terminator T-100, but this time with a brand-new name (Carl), more human traits, and even a family. Previously, the Terminator killed Sarah Connor’s (Linda Hamilton) son John and, at the start of the film, Sarah is seeking revenge. But as the film progresses, Carl finds himself unexpectedly teaming up with Sarah and the human-turned-cyborg Grace (Mackenzie Davis) to protect the future resistance leader Dani (Natalia Reyes) from the terrifying and advanced android Rev-9 (Gabriel Luna).
In the film’s final fight scene, Carl grabs hold of the Rev-9 and pulls him into a pit. The Rev-9 fights back, pulling off a chunk of Carl’s skin. Ultimately, Carl is able to hold the machine back, protecting Sarah and Dani from death. In the end, Carl dies, too — and he finally gets a semblance of a redemption arc with his last words to Sarah. “For John,” Carl says as he destroys the Rev-9.
Schwarzenegger’s Terminator has died and come back to life before, but according to director Tim Miller, Carl is gone for good. “He can’t shoot a kid in the chest and live. I don’t care what your redemption arc is, you don’t get away with that,” Miller told USA Today. “This particular version of the Terminator has to atone for his sins, and had to die.”
Basically, this form of the Terminator won’t be returning. But franchise creator and Dark Fate producer James Cameron has confirmed at least two more films, and hinted that this might not be the last we see of Schwarzenegger. “We don’t have a plan for [his return] right now,” he said in an interview with Collider. “But I wouldn’t rule out ever seeing Arnold again in a Terminator movie. If we make a shit-ton of money with this film and the cards say that they like Arnold, I think Arnold can come back.”
After all, Miller said it best. “You can’t keep Arnold out of a Terminator movie,” he joked.