In the '80s, Arnold Schwarzenegger possessed almost 75 percent of the world's supply of badass. From crushing his enemies in Conan to rescuing Mars in Total Recall, Arnold was the go-to guy if your film required an equal amount of bicep flesh and barely understandable catchphrases. To put it bluntly, his films don't exactly contain a ton of secrets. His fireballs don't represent the darkness that lurks in the hearts of man, and his machine guns don't represent humanity's inability to handle its own flaws. They are fireballs, and they are big-ass guns, and we love Schwarzenegger movies for that.
But what if we told you that there was a secret lurking in the auteur oeuvre of Schwarzenegger? A secret that connected two of his most famous roles in two of his most famous films. What if we told you that the main character of Predator, Alan "Dutch" Schaefer, was used as a template (Model 101) for the Terminator. We bet you'd shit. Because we shit.
20th Century Fox
We shit hard.
Dutch Kicked Predatory Ass And Won A One-Way Ticket To Cyber-Immortality
For those of you who haven't seen Predator, we pity you and your unfulfilled existences. However, because we'll never pass up a chance to recount the events of the greatest story Shakespeare never wrote, in 1987, the U.S. military sent team after team into the Val Verde jungle in order to "obtain some intel." This was subtle code for "get killed by an unseen alien force."
We now know that alien is the Predator, a super hunter with dreadlocks and a mouth that looks like an octopus' one-night stand with a bear trap. See, it turns out the military was lying to "Dutch" and his team of walking testosterone dispensers. They knew full well that something bad had happened to the first team that attempted to "obtain the intel." Dutch (played by The Arnold) was a counter-terrorist/guerrilla specialist who was once a soldier in the Army. Dutch passed the military's test when, after a fight that threatened to explode most of South America, he killed the Predator.
20th Century Fox
And then he kind of passed out on the helicopter ride. Totally understandable.
In Dutch, they found the perfect template for their indestructible prototype cyborg. And that kind of answers the question ...
What The Hell Happened To Dutch?
The novelizations of Predator films attempt to answer what happened to Dutch by saying that he suffered radiation poisoning and was interviewed while being treated. But that's like answering "How are you doing?" with "Yes, I am doing." It says close to nothing. The Dark Horse comics showed Dutch's brother trying to find clues as to what exactly happened to him. Neither of these matter, though, because Dutch never appeared in any sequel or spin-off movie, but was just simply mentioned in passing. When Dutch gets on that choppa' at the end of the film -- he disappears. For good.
The closest we get to an answer is in the Aliens Vs. Predator arcade game (which was pretty damn important to the canon for multiple reasons, especially the idea that Aliens and Predators belong together, like peanut butter and jelly, or me and your mom). In the game, we meet a cyborg by the name of Major Dutch Schaefer. Is this the same Dutch we know and adore?
Erhm, maybe? The chest size certainly checks out, as both Schwarzenegger and "Major Dutch" could fit an air conditioning unit in a single pec. But all we know, backstory-wise, is that it's a cyborg created to battle extra-terrestrials. That particular goal seems to imply that his success against the Jungle Predator definitely made him a worthy candidate to be immortalized in metal. This works well within the U.S. government's purview as well, so it also backs up the theory that they had a hand in creating him. Could the government have purposely sent multiple teams of men into the Predator's clutches in hopes of finding a perfect template for their robot hero?
Being that the government-run OWLF (Other World Lifeforms Taskforce -- yeah, it's a pretty forced acronym) had been investigating the Predators for years before the Val Verde incident, they must have figured out that Predators latch onto a specific target -- someone who they find a challenge. This is why the government wasn't willing to let Dutch go so easily after the incident. This explains why he is "treated" and then vanishes, only to later re-appear as a goddamn cyborg.
So how exactly does Cyberdyne Systems, the tech business responsible for all that Terminator malarky, fit into a short bio from an Alien/Predator game? They had their hands in a bunch of questionable stuff, but Cyber Dutch? At first guess, the only thing that seems to be involved in the creation of Cyber Dutch is a very dedicated gym membership.
And snorting lines of protein powder off the barbell.
Give up? See that serial number up there tucked away in the corner, hoping to be ignored? "CDS-170A3"
The CDS stands for "Cyberdyne Systems." And before you say "Well, I have an acronym for you, too: B motherfuckin' S," hear me out. This is no base-less assumption.
See, the horrible Alien Vs. Predator film we all know and beg to forget almost had a completely different story. The original script followed closer to this arcade game, meaning that the film series was going to have a cyborg version of Dutch kicking some alien ass. Hell, Schwarzenegger was going to have a role in the film if he'd lost his recall election.
And if you still think those three letters are random and merely a coincidence, keep reading, because ...
They Are All Connected
It's plenty obvious by Terminator 3: Rise Of The Machines (And Fall Of Your Dignity) that Cyberdyne Systems worked heavily with the U.S. government and military in order to create the Terminator. It's been suggested in various expanded universes that they also performed a search (and possible tests) for this perfect soldier. The Terminator 2 novels and Terminator 3 outtakes (They had outtakes? Like, stuff too bad to be in the movie? How?) show two different soldiers being chosen (Dieter von Rossbach and Sgt. William Candy).
William Candy was shown only in a Terminator 3 video game easter egg, while Rossbach was a character in the T2 novels that were completely ignored by the films. Neither of these candidates are canonically appeasing, as they've been discarded by their respective plot lines as hot metal garbage. Both explanations, however, show that there's definitely a trend in the idea that the U.S. military provided the likeness for the Terminator (Model 101).
Being that all three of these franchises are in the same universe, wouldn't it make sense that they choose a soldier that has proven that he could tackle the alien menace known as the Hunters?
The Evolution Of Technology Is Clear
Timeline-wise, you can see the technology slowly evolve from bro androids (like Cyber Dutch and the Terminator) to more advanced Synthetics (like Ash and Bishop from Alien and Aliens).
Ash mentions being of the Hyperdyne Systems, which sounds a bit too similar to Cyberdyne Systems. Being that Aliens and The Terminator were both written and directed by James Cameron, it all connects way too well. In an earlier draft of the Aliens script, Paul Reiser's insufferable Burke outright says "Cyberdyne Systems."
20th Century Fox
If anyone was gonna be keeping a great secret like this from us, it would be motherfucking Burke.
Remember that serial code from above -- CDS-170A3 -- the serial code for Cyberdyne Systems 170A3 model a.k.a. Cyborg Dutch? Ash also had a serial code: Hyperdyne Systems 120-A/2 -- which, when put into the same format, would be: HDS-120A2
Three letters (that abbreviate the name of the company).
Followed by the number 1.
Followed by another number.
Followed by the number 0.
Then followed by the letter A.
And finally, another single digit number.
Now look at them stacked:
This is no coincidence. In Cameron's movie universe, it's been widely accepted that Cyberdyne Systems evolves into Hyperdyne Systems. Whether it was a simple in-joke or something that was meant to be built into bigger importance in a later film, the fact of the matter is that the guys who almost ended the world with their Terminators got their ideas from the leader of dudes that "ain't got time to bleed."
Arnold would be proud.
David Israel Nunez Alvear may have a long name, but he has a narrow urethra. Learn more about it on his Twitter.
Subscribe to our YouTube channel and check out good movies gone bad in Why Tarantino Films Take Place in the Same (Insane) Universe, and watch other videos you won't see on the site!
Also follow us on Facebook. Please?
Listen to all three books in David Wong's John Dies at the End series FREE with a with a 30-day free trial of Audible!
Plenty of everyday things have weird connections to the Nazis.
Let's plumb the depths of the strangest, most intriguing mysteries the web has to offer.
The thing about plot twists is that they almost never make sense on repeat viewing.
Sometimes the silliest goofballs get away with the vilest things.