The T-X, played by Kristanna Loken
|First appearance||Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines|
|Created by||James Cameron & Jonathan Mostow|
|Portrayed by||Kristanna Loken, other cast members, special effects|
T-X (referred to as the Terminatrix in some appearances) is the name of a fictional character who appears in the Terminator franchise. The T-X model is a gynoid assassin with a human female appearance; the character was introduced in the 2003 film Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines, 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 antagonist of Terminator 2: Judgment Day.
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 androgynous shape which would permit the android 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-850 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 also 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 a liquid metal "mimetic polyalloy", 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 that from a cyclic particle accelerator. Although the official novelization of Terminator 2 expanded the origin of the T-1000 and reveals it had onboard nanotechnology (and programmable memory) that was capable of scanning the molecular structure of anything the T-1000 touched, the T-X has a built-in supply of more advanced nanobots in its fingers, which it can inject into other machines (even a less advanced android), giving it remote control. An onboard plasma reactor powers all of the T-X's systems.
Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines
The T-X is the main antagonist in Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines, sent back to try to stop John Connor from founding the human resistance by killing off his future allies, as Connor's location is unknown, as well as to ensure that Skynet and its machines will rise without interference. The T-X is programmed to seek out and kill 21 primary targets, including Connor's future wife Kate Brewster, several of Connor's future lieutenants, and Kate's father Robert Brewster (who is destined to become Connor's father-in-law and is Skynet's primary creator) along with his subordinates. In the case of the lieutenants, the T-X was able to gain access to the public school database and obtain their photos and addresses, then track and kill three of them (José Barrera, Elizabeth & William "Bill" Anderson) before discovering John Connor with Kate. The T-X also succeeds in mortally wounding Robert Brewster after he activates Skynet. The T-X then activates all of the T-1s and Hunter-Killer prototypes and has them kill Brewster's staff, so that they cannot shut Skynet down, even though it had already spread to computers worldwide.
Other than a malfunctioning weapon, the T-X sustains no permanent damage throughout the film, until the Model 101 crashes a helicopter into it, causing it to lose its mimetic coating and legs. It is destroyed only when the reprogrammed Terminator jams its last power cell into the T-X's mouth and detonates it, causing an internal explosion.
T3: Terminator Hunt
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, is tricked into helping make the T-X more human. An implant in his brain causes him to think that the T-X is a girl named Eliza, and his interaction with her helps her learn how to be human. The resistance captures the T-X and rescues Keeley. But Eliza uses the implant to make Keeley think they have been captured by a rogue government, and he frees her. Overburdened with guilt, 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 and reprogrammed to serve it.
Superman vs. The Terminator: Death to the Future
Another T-X, referred to as the "Terminatrix", features in the crossover comic Superman vs. The Terminator: Death to the Future. Skynet sends it back to ally with Hank Henshaw, the Cyborg Superman. It briefly merges with him to battle Superman before its systems are destroyed by a computer virus developed by Lex Luthor.