Spoilers ahead for Terminator: Dark Fate.
After decades of waiting Linda Hamilton finally returned to the Terminator franchise last weekend with Dark Fate. Tim Miller's blockbuster is a direct sequel to Terminator 2, and reunited Hamilton with the likes of Arnold Schwarzenegger and James Cameron. The movie had a few great callbacks to the original movies, although Miller was careful not to push too many iconic lines and easter eggs into the theatrical release. And it turns out that Schwarzenegger turned down one reference in particular
The references in Terminator: Dark Fate are peppered in sparingly, starting with Linda Hamilton saying 'I'll be back'. Before the third act of the blockbuster kicks off, Carl suits up for one more adventure, in the Terminator's signature leather coat. He also picks up the character's sunglasses, before surprising audiences by putting them down. But script originally had the scene go differently, before Arnold Schwarzenegger put his foot down. As the film's composer Junkie XL recently revealed:
In the script, Arnold walks up to the mirror in the leather jacket and picks up the sunglasses and puts them on. Arnold was very clear that he didn’t think the T-800 would do that.
Well, that's interesting. It looks like the visual homage to The Terminator could have been taken even more on the nose. Although it Arnold Schwarzenegger spoke up for his new character's intentions, and he didn't believe Carl would have worn the shades in Terminator: Dark Fate.
Junkie XL's comments to THR help peel back the curtain behind the production of Dark Fate. While the finished movie was crafted meticulously and well edited (thanks in part to James Cameron), the filming stage was clearly a collaborative an ever-changing place. So while the movie's screenplay written by David Goyer, Justin Rhodes, and Billy Ray had Carl put on his predecessor's sunglasses, Arnold Schwarzenegger advised against it. And narratively, he makes a great deal of sense.
The sunglass look warn worn by the T-800 models that appeared in The Terminator and T2. Those are two different version of the Terminator, neither of which aged to become Carl. On the contrary, the version of Arnold Schwarzenegger played in Terminator: Dark Fate was another model, the one that killed John Connor in the movie's opening sequence.
After completing his mission, Carl was left stranded on Earth in the 1990s. He eventually found a purpose and a family, and with it came remorse. He understood exactly what he took from Sarah, and basically gave himself a conscious from his decades with humans. As such, his styling choices might not be the same as the earlier models. He doesn't keep his face covered, although Carl did still wear the character's signature leather coat for the final battle against Gabriel Luna's superpowered model.