Is the T-800 in Fortnite the same as the one from the Terminator?

Fortnite has added yet another crossover character to Season 5, this time featuring Sarah Connor and a T-800 from The Terminator series.

The T-800 is a killer machine sent into the past to eliminate the mother of humanity’s savior, John Connor. Sarah Connor is a normal teenage girl from the 1980s turned hardened, paranoid, combat-ready resistance leader. Later in her life, she is joined by one such machine, but is it the same one sent to kill her in The Terminator and to protect John Connor in The Terminator 2?

Who is this killer machine in Fortnite?

The T-800, played by Arnold Schwarzenneger, in the 1984 film and its sequels is perhaps the most recognizable terminator, but he is by no means the only one. Indeed most T-800s look like the one seen in Fortnite, absent skin or expression. Schwarzenneger’s T-800 was given the Austrian’s appearance as a means of blending into American society in the 1980s, and aided him in his attempt to find and eliminate Sarah Connor.

The T-800 ultimately failed, and wasn’t seen again until 1991 in Terminator 2: Judgement Day where another Arnold Schwarzenegger-clad murder-robot was sent into the past once again, only this time with the objective to protect the very John Connor whose parent he was previously trying to eliminate.

The question in mind then is whether or not the T-800 in Fortnite is this exact same T-800 from the movies, or simply just another robot from the same universe.

Argument against this Fortnite skin being the same T-800

The case against this robot being the same one from the movies isn’t quite as strong as the argument for it. However, if Fortnite had wanted to feature the same T-800 fans know from the movies, it seems likely they would have simply made the skin look more like the former Governor of California.

The decision not to make this skin more closely resemble the version of the most famous T-800 implies a certain degree of ambiguity about who exactly it is.

However, it is possible that Fortnite was only able to get the rights to the likeness of one of the robots, and not the rights to digitally recreate Arnold Shwarzenneger in their game. If this was the case, they seem to have added a number of clues implying who this T-800 really is.

Argument for this Fortnite skin being the same T-800

The reveal trailer for this skin begins with the image of a robotic hand giving a thumbs-up signal while falling into a vat of some kind of molten metal before being rescued by this Fortnite season’s de facto protagonist, Jonesy. Fans of the Terminator movies will immediately identify this moment as the end of Terminator 2: Judgement Day.

During that film’s climactic finale the T-800 is able to defeat its enemy by throwing them both into one such vat. As the character is slowly melted down to his component parts, it is able to give the iconic thumbs-up sign as a means of saying goodbye.

This scene alone is so iconic and important to Schwarzenegger’s character in the series that it’s unlikely for this T-800 to be someone else. No doubt there is some reason why Fortnite decided to release the skin in this variant. Schwarzenneger has had his likeness recreated in games before, so there’s likely something else involved.

Published 23 Jan 2021, 01:52 IST

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