"The Terminator" refers to a number of fictional characters portrayed by Arnold Schwarzenegger – a cyborg, initially portrayed as a programmable assassin, main protagonist, and military infiltration unit. "The Terminator" character first appeared in the 1984 movie of the same name, directed and co-written by James Cameron, and its sequels. The first film in the series features only one cyborg: the one portrayed by Schwarzenegger, although a second Terminator played by Franco Columbu is shown in a future flashback scene. In two sequels, Schwarzenegger's Terminator is pitted against other Terminators, and appears briefly in the fourth as a CGI model.
In the sequels, Terminator 2: Judgment Day and Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines, Schwarzenegger reprises the role, but with a twist: Schwarzenegger is the hero instead of the villain playing a different but visually identical Terminator in each of the three films. Within the Terminator universe created by Cameron, Terminators of the same "model" share identical characteristics. In the production of the films, this has allowed multiple Terminators to be portrayed by Schwarzenegger. In the context of the stories, this plot device provides a certain continuity for the human characters, by exploiting their emotional familiarity with a particular "human" visage.
"The Terminator" is the name of Arnold Schwarzenegger's character in the credits of the three Terminator movies. At different times, the character is given more specific designations such as model and series numbers, in efforts to distinguish Schwarzenegger's character from other Terminators.
The Terminator appears in Terminator Salvation. Schwarzenegger reprises the role via facial CGI, while the character itself is physically portrayed by Roland Kickinger.
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