“I know now why you cry. But it is something I could never do.” When the T-800 Model 101 said those heartbreaking words to young John Connor before he sacrificed his life for the sake of humanity in Terminator 2: Judgment Day”, it brought many viewers to tears. This poignant moment clearly defined the difference between humans and machines, and why humanity must be preserved.
However, even though the cybernetic organism in T2 never sheds a tear, he could have, at least originally when James Cameron first conceived the Terminator character. During a promotional tour for the 3D theatrical re-release of T2, Cameron elaborated on it to USA Today:
JAMES CAMERON: “In the first movie, we showed that the Terminator can sweat and had bad breath, he’s indistinguishable from living beings. Theoretically, he could’ve cried.”
But for the sake of the story in Terminator 2: Judgment Day, Cameron decided to ignore some of his own rules that he established seven years earlier in The Terminator:
JAMES CAMERON: “…I felt (crying) was a step too far in his humanization. It was more poignant as that line he couldn’t cross.”
So apparently crying was something the T-800 Model 101 indeed could do… until the sequel.
We’ll be back.