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Easter Eggs you missed in Terminator: Dark Fate

Look, the guy said he'd be back. So what exactly did you expect?

Well, if you expected a ton of Easter eggs and fan service, than you were exactly right, because Terminator: Dark Fate serves up plenty of both. And we're about to serve up a heaping helping of SPOILERS, because we just have to talk about all the inside references in the sixth Terminator film. This time around, Linda Hamilton is back as Sarah Connor, the butt-kicking leading lady from the original Terminator and T2. In this timeline, our future robot overlords just keep sending Terminators back from the future to kill poor John Connor, until one of them finally succeeds. That essentially erases the last three Terminator films from continuity, so... you're welcome?

And that's just the opening scene!

But while most of the inside references in Terminator: Dark Fate are from the first two Terminator films, even some of the other late and not-so-lamented entries get their due in one way or another. Without further ado, here's a look at some of the Easter eggs you missed in Terminator: Dark Fate

Terminator: Dark Fate attends Vacation Bible School

One of the more obvious wink-and-nod references in Dark Fate isn't to the Terminator films at all, but rather to another fan favorite adventure epic: The Bible. At one point, Sarah Connor sarcastically refers to herself as "Mother Mary," which makes sense if you ever attended Vacation Bible School. That's because Mary is the mother of Jesus, the prophesied savior of humanity, just as Sarah herself is the mother of John Connor, another prophesied savior of humanity.

Less obvious, though, is another biblical reference hidden in plain sight. The newest model of the Terminator is called Rev-9, which seems to be a reference to chapter nine of the Book of Revelations, which describes the end of days, when "the sun and sky were darkened by the smoke from the Abyss" and a third of humanity is "killed by the three plagues of fire, smoke and sulfur." Kind of like the robot-fueled Armageddon that eventually results in the creation of Rev-9 himself. Hmm!

Guitars, Cadillacs, and Terminator: Dark Fate

Terminator fans are divided on a number of fronts, with various factions defending or deriding this film or that film. But there's one thing that everyone can agree on: Dwight Yoakam is awesome. 

So it's no surprise that director Tim Miller told Syfy Wire that the one specific Easter egg he insisted on inserting into the film was one of Yoakam's rockabilly hits. "The Dwight Yoakam song 'Guitars, Cadillacs,' that's my little Easter egg, because, you know, that's the [Terminator 2] scene that [Schwarzenegger]'s walking into the bar and they play that," said Miller. "That was my big one."

In Terminator: Dark Fate, the song can be heard when Rev-9 falls out of the clear night sky into a random family's backyard barbecue. Talk about crashing a party! Still, while it might stink to have a murderous robot wreck your barbecue, at least you've got a kickin' soundtrack. 

The real villain in Terminator: Dark Fate is drapery

It wouldn't be a Terminator movie without Arnold Schwarzenegger, so thank goodness the ageless action hero is back with a vengeance in Terminator: Dark Fate. Although this time, vengeance actually isn't his top priority. Drapes are. 

That's because this Terminator unit has settled down into a quiet family life, complete with the new name Carl and a day job as a draper. And that actually leads to one of the more subtle Easter eggs in Terminator: Dark Fate. During a sequence when Carl smuggles the heroes to a clandestine rendezvous inside his work van, we get a look at the decal on the side that reads Carl's Draperies. The phone number to reach Carl? 888-512-1984, which is a reference to May 12, 1984, the day the original Terminator film hit theaters. Best of all, if you call the number, you actually get Carl's answering machine, complete with a message from Arnold himself saying "Hasta la vista." Now that's a solid Easter egg. 

Terminator: Dark Fate hits a Grace note

One of the nods in Terminator: Dark Fate is almost one of the least likely. And it comes not in the form of a sly reference or background joke, but as one of the movie's main characters. 

That, of course, would be Grace, a warrior from the future who we soon learn is actually a half-human, half-robot cyborg hybrid. She's a fascinating character, not least of which because she's essentially this film's version of Reese from the original Terminator. But maybe the most fascinating part is that the character is an oblique nod to possibly the least well-regarded film in the entire franchise, Terminator: Salvation. That movie's major plot twist, of course, is the revelation that Sam Worthington's character, Marcus, is actually a half-human, half-Terminator hybrid. 

Of course, that entire timeline is erased from existence at the beginning of Dark Fate. Or is it? The existence of Grace opens up a lot of questions, which so far don't seem to have any clear answers. Terminator 7, anyone?

Terminator: Dark Fate's least likely Easter egg

If there's one film in the Terminator franchise even less highly regarded than Terminator: Salvation, it's arguably Terminator 3, which is yet another movie that is chucked out of continuity by Dark Fate. Which is too bad, because hey, the movie might stink, but at least it has Claire Danes in it, and she's really cool. 

Dark Fate doesn't bring back Claire Danes, but it does pay tribute to Terminator 3 in a very subtle way. At the end of Terminator 3, the T-850 Terminator — played once again by Schwarzenegger, of course — defeats the technologically superior T-X model by removing his own power core and jamming it into the bad Terminator's head. Well, Dark Fate ends in the exact same way — this time with heroine Dani removing Grace's power core and jamming it into the Rev-9's head. 

Note to our future robot overlords: maybe rethink your power core design, because it's not working out for you so far.

Terminator: Dark Fate drops some catchphrases

The 1980s saw the rise of the movie catchphrase, and arguably none have had as much staying power as "I'll be back," which Arnie first uttered in the original Terminator film in 1984. In Terminator: Dark Fate, "I'll be back" is back once again, showing up as it has in every single Terminator film — the twist being that this time, it's Linda Hamilton's Sarah Connor who delivers it. 

But that's just one bit of dialogue that intentionally references previous films. For example, when Rev-9 commandeers a helicopter, he says "Say, do you know where I can get my hands on a chopper?" in a way that's a clear nod to the T-1000 saying "Say, that's a nice bike'" when he takes a motorcycle in T2. And Grace gets to deliver her own version of "Come with me if you want to live" when she first arrives in the past to save Dani. 

Perhaps the most interesting Easter egg dialogue, though, comes when Grace tells Dani that if 100 police officers got in the way of the Rev-9, all that'd be left would be "100 dead cops." That's a sly reference to the infamous police station scene in Terminator when Arnold's original model massacres an entire building full of police officers — a scene which Terminator: Dark Fate later replicates in a fight at an ICE detention center on the Mexican border.  

Terminator: Dark Fate is essentially one long Easter egg

Finally, there's the biggest and most subtle Easter egg of all: the entire movie.

Sure, we've seen this kind of wholesale repurposing before, like the way Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens borrowed the entire structure and several key sequences from the original Star Wars. But Terminator: Dark Fate takes things to a new level, with scene after scene directly inspired by sequences from Terminator and T2. The chase scene on a Mexican freeway emulates the aqueduct chase from T2, there's a scene in which the bad guy steals a helicopter, there's a scene in which the good guys hide out in a seedy motel, there's a moving finale when Arnie's Terminator sacrifices itself and is just a single thumbs-up short of pure homage, and there's even a playground sequence to call us back to Sarah Connor's nightmare from T2. It's actually easier to list the parts that are entirely original, such as the film's progressive choice to make a Mexican woman the savior of humanity. 

One thing is for sure, though: there's never been a Terminator film that's as much a Terminator film as this Terminator film. And for any fan of the franchise, that's high praise indeed.