The T-X, played by Kristanna Loken
|First appearance||Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines|
|Created by||Jonathan Mostow|
|Portrayer||Kristanna Loken, other cast members, special effects|
The T-X, played by Kristanna Loken
The T-X, nicknamed the "Terminatrix", is a fictional gynoid assassin. It is the main antagonist in the movie Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines. It was primarily portrayed by Kristanna Loken. The T-X has the ability to assume the appearance of other characters; therefore, several other cast members occasionally portrayed the T-X throughout the film. This ability to change shape is similar to that of the T-1000, the main villain of Terminator 2: Judgment Day.
It draws many parallels with the first female terminator, the I-950 from the novel T2: Infiltrator.
Concept and design
|"We were trying to come up with something that could hold its ground with the original Terminator. That was such an iconic figure- coming up with something that looked even more fantastic when next to the original Terminator was one of the biggest design challenges on the show."|
|— John Rosengrant|
The T-X was designed in Stan Winston studios, where it was considered particularly challenging to design, as the script required a character capable of holding its own against the original Terminator. Originally, the T-X's endoskeleton was meant to convey an androgenous shape which would permit the cyborg to assume the superficial traits of both men and women, though later designs veered on it being more feminine. The final, approved T-X design was done by Aaron Sims, who designed it entirely on computer through a mixture of photoshop and 3D software. The T-X endoskeleton was painted chrome black, in order to differentiate it from the silver sheen of the T-800 endoskeleton. The T-X was also fitted with blue running lights, rather than the original's red. John Rosengrant later stated that the individual parts of the T-X endoskeleton were hard coated, sanded and polished through machines, resulting in a mathematically perfect model, unlike the endoskeleton in The Terminator, which was sculpted by hand and lacked symmetry.
The T-X is designed to not only terminate humans but rogue Terminators reprogrammed by the Resistance, an "anti-terminator terminator" as stated by John Connor. It is a composite of the T-800 and T-1000, a solid endoskeleton covered with polymimetic liquid metal alloy, allowing it to take the shape of any humanoid it touches. Because it is only coated in this material, it is possible to remove it from the endoskeleton using immensely strong magnetic force, such as from a cyclic particle accelerator. Powering all the T-X's systems is an onboard plasma reactor.
Since only living tissue or mimetic polyalloy imitating human tissue can travel back in time, previous Terminators were limited to hand to hand combat and acquired weapons, or in the case of the T-1000, forming solid metal objects such as knives and stabbing weapons. The T-X, however, carries weapons internally, permitting it to take its futuristic arsenal back with it. Weapon discharges are fired from modified hands and forearms. During Terminator 3, its primary weapon in combat was a directed plasma energy weapon until it was badly damaged and replaced by the IAD ChemTech, a type of flamethrower. Other advanced onboard weaponry included (but possibly not limited to): P31 Caustic Shells (x 231); the HDE Predator (333b); the Finite Rapid Cluster Gun; .45 mm Cascader; the Nano-Disruptor (.222 mm) and the SUBauro Neutralizer (.444). It also has a circular saw for general cutting duty. Like other Terminators, it can readily use weapons designed for human use. The novelization also includes other capabilities; it has teeth that are harder than diamonds that can cut through solid titanium, can break a human spine just by pinching with the thumb and forefinger, and its thighs can squeeze with a force greater than an industrial hydraulic press. However, the T-X still needs to acquire vehicles and other forms of transport needed to accomplish its missions.
The T-X has advanced human identification systems built within; it is able to analyze DNA in blood samples by taking and processing them in its mouth, possesses infrared sensors to detect body heat, and possesses a retinal scanner. In addition to its own database, it can emulate a dial-up modem and connect to the Internet over a phone. It can also insert nanites into other machines, including cyborgs, to corrupt their programming and temporarily gain control over their actions. As the Model 101 stated, "the T-X is faster, more powerful, and more intelligent", making this model "a far more effective killing machine" than its predecessors. Feats shown in the movie include jumping a large distance onto a speeding hearse, punching straight through a car seat plus a man's torso and quickly recovering from a direct RPG hit. It was also able to wrap its legs around the Model 101 with its back turned towards it and then turn its head 180 degrees to face it. Despite the Model 101's remark about its superiority, however, the two are shown to be evenly matched in a physical confrontation at the Cyber Research Systems building, at least for a time. The T-X Series has an advanced utilitarian battle chassis, weighing in excess of 150 kilos (approximately 330.6 lbs.). Protected by malleable crystalline ceramic armor interlaced with nano-fibers of carbon and titanium, the T-X is practically unstoppable on the battlefield, capable of sustaining vast amounts of damage with little to no effect.
Extremely strong and agile, the T-X Series is capable of moving its joints in ways that would be impossible for any human. Aided by artificial liquid steel lubrication, each joint has a massive degree of rotation. The neck is capable of 360-degree rotation, and the torso is capable of at least 180-degree rotation. The enhanced joints also show little to no wear or degradation when moving at high speeds, allowing the T-X Series to run at speeds in excess of 80 km per hour for brief periods of time before its power packs began to show slight decline.
Like the earlier Series 1000, the Series T-X utilizes mimetic polyalloy. However, where as the Series 1000 was constructed entirely from this liquid metal, the T-X series only has a liquid metal outer sheath covering its endoskeleton for infiltration purposes, which gives the T-1000 an advantage for being able to regenerate better. Like the T-1000 before it, the T-X can take the form of any human it touches, typically terminating the subject upon reproduction. Stored within small reservoirs in the cranial casing of the T-X when in endoskeletal form, the mimetic polyalloy not only aids in infiltration, but also adds strength to the overall armor of the T-X Series.
Like other Terminators, the T-X exhibits a limited emotional range: it is visibly frustrated and performs a surprised double-take when it realizes that the Model 101 is still in pursuit during the crane chase early in the film, shows signs of phenomenal rage when it is thwarted from killing John Connor at Crystal Peak, apparently fears for its life shortly before its destruction, appears genuinely nervous when it is caught in a magnetic field, and exhibits surprise when it identifies John Connor's blood sample at the vet's office. It also demonstrates an understanding of human nature and psychology; when pulled over by a male police officer it increased the size of its female form's bust, in an apparent attempt to positively influence his reaction.
Role in the movie series
The T-X is the villain in Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines, sent back to try to stop John Connor from founding the human resistance. Along with Connor, the T-X was programmed to seek out and kill 21 other primary targets, including Connor's future wife, Kate Brewster, her father, General Robert Brewster, and several of Connor's future lieutenants. In the case of the lieutenants, the TX was able to gain access to the public school database, obtain photos and addresses (work and home), and proceeded to kill several one by one; it is unknown how many it succeeded in assassinating, but according to the DVD's special features the only ones are Jose Barrera, Elizabeth and William Anderson and Robert Brewster (it is stated in the special features that Robert Brewster was only killed so he couldn't shut down Skynet once it was activated).
Other than a malfunctioning weapon, the T-X sustained no permanent damage throughout the film, until the Model 101 crashed a helicopter into it, causing it to lose its mimetic coating and legs. It was destroyed only when the reprogrammed Terminator jammed its last power cell into the T-X's mouth and detonating it - an internal explosion.
Terminatrix vs. T-1000
The T-X (portrayed by Kristanna Loken) was Skynet's upgrade to the liquid metal T-1000 (played by Robert Patrick in Terminator 2: Judgment Day) with more sophisticated weapons including a powerful pulse weapon. It was also the first female in the Terminator line. In the comic accompanied by the film, Terminator: Rise of the Machines, the T-X was battle-tested by Skynet against several other terminators and by Skynet itself. The T-1000 could make cutting weapons but the T-X had them built in to her right arm. In T3, the T-850 (Schwarzenegger) said he was an obsolete design. According to the comic, the T-X in T3 was the only one built assigned to kill John Connor, Katherine Brewster and Connor's eventual lieutenants. Unlike the T-1000, the T-X had nano-technological powers allowing her to control other machines, basically upgrading their CPUs, by using a tool from her finger on her right arm. Like the T-1000, the T-X could imitate other lifeforms and even change her appearance.
Although the T-X has the ability to identify DNA through touch or taste, a deleted scene from Terminator 2 showing the T-1000 "scanning" the bedroom of John Connor using it's hands, reveals that it may be a shared ability.
Role in the books
In the book Terminator Hunt, the second known T-X is trained by captured resistance members for a jump to the 1960s where she will track the Connor family for the next forty years. A captured resistance soldier, Paul Keeley, was tricked into helping make the T-X more human. An implant in his brain caused him to think that the T-X was a girl named Eliza, and his interaction with her helped her learn how to be human. The resistance captures the T-X and rescues Keeley. However, Eliza uses the implant in Paul Keeley's head to make him think that they have been captured by a rogue government, and he frees her. Overburdened with guilt, Paul Keeley convinces John and Katherine Connor to give him another chance to capture Eliza. Through the implant, Paul discovers the training facility she has escaped to, and Eliza is again captured by the resistance. Eliza is then successfully reprogrammed to serve the resistance.
Another T-X- referred to as the "Terminatrix"- features in the crossover comic Superman vs. The Terminator: Death to the Future, where it is sent back by Skynet to ally with Hank Henshaw, the Cyborg Superman, briefly merging with Henshaw to battle Superman before its systems are destroyed by a computer virus developed by Lex Luthor.
The T-X Series is equipped with advanced sensor packages to aid in human identification and termination. These include infrared systems used to pick up heat signatures, and facial recognition and retina scanning systems. The T-X is also capable of analyzing DNA by sampling a small quantity of its targets blood using sensors housed within its mouth.
The T-X Series can access database computers wirelessly via phone lines by emitting a series of eleven beep tones, creating an audible connection, using its voice-processing unit. The T-X’s internal communications circuitry also allows radio signals to be broadcast on any frequency, and an onboard navigational system automatically merges with Skynet systems in the area, creating a complete map system which can be displayed on the T-X's HUD. For safety purposes, the T-X possesses internal diagnosis circuits, and the ability to shunt delicate control circuits to protected areas if a massive voltage is incurred.
The T-X is also the only machine to make feral growling noises when angered or frustrated.
Other than its increased strength and armor, the T-X Series is fitted with onboard weapons systems -- the first Infiltrator class to house advanced weaponry -- each located within a reconfigurable arm, underneath the mimetic polyalloy outer sheath. Within its vast internal arsenal, the T-X possesses many different weapons and tools for different missions.
Though it possesses many forms of inbuilt weapons, the primary weapon of the T-X Series is the Plasma Cannon. When deploying this weapon, the outer liquid metal skin of the T-X peels back from the right arm, and the arm reconfigures into the Plasma Cannon structure, an electric blue aura forming and intensifying around it as it charges. When fired, a tremendous burst of raw energy, 25 or 30 mm in diameter is shot from the cannon. The plasma charge is strong enough to destroy a Series 1000 battle droid with a single impact.
After each shot, the weapon power cells have to recharge; the tiny plasma fusion generator in the chest cavity of the T-X taking just seconds to replace large power losses. Aside from the plasma cannon, the T-X could also form the following weapons:
- IAD ChemTech Flamethrower
- 223 Automatic Stopper
- 45 Cascader
- M41 pulse rifle (Aliens (film) reference)
- 783 CHAIN Repeater
- ADMOR BioBlaster
- BioRail 32SR-9 (modified)
- CG45 Needler
- CONSIGLIO EBlaster
- Crescent Corridor Blaster
- EMP Generator
- Finite Rapid Cluster Gun
- HDE Predator (333b)
- HK-54334 (modified)
- KLD-Magnum Repeater
- Laser X-ray Burst Gun
- Rumsfeld P31 Caustic
- Subauro Neutralizer (.444)
- Tracking EBlaster
- TWIN Barrier Gun
- M41A pulse rifle
- XFLRG 44mm
- Nano-Disrupter (.222)
- P31 Caustic Shells x231
Another of its onboard arsenal used primarily by the T-X Series is its Nanotechnological Transjectors. By retracting the mimetic polyalloy skin from the index finger of the right hand, a 1.6 mm diameter titanium alloy drill bit can emerge from the fingertip. This is then used to drill into the casing of any electronic system, and a narrow blue aura flows through the tiny drill bit transferring a stream of nanobots (microscopically tiny robots) into the system. In a matter of milliseconds a T-X can connect with the electronic system and reprogram it, controlling it by direct link or ultra-high frequency contact via a downlink with military communications satellites under Skynet's control.
In this way, a T-X can take control of any machine (at least four at once, using its heads up display), including such things as electronic locks, automobiles or even other battle units. If it chooses to take over another battle unit, such as a T-850, the T-X can corrupt the other Terminator’s systems, leaving its CPU intact but unable to control its other functions.