Terminator 2 3D Faq  

"Sure its only 10 minutes long but its definitely the next film - it's not a rehash of things you've seen. We take John Connor and the Terminator into the future war, an environment they never interacted with in the past films. T2-3D is actually a continuation of the storyline. It's a whole new ballgame, something people have never seen before"

James Cameron 1996




This 12-minute short featuring much of the cast and crew of Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991) cost $60 million to produce, making it the most expensive venture per minute in movie history. The film was the centerpiece of a multimedia attraction at the Universal Studios Florida theme park in Orlando and represented a quantum leap forward in interactive entertainment. The show begins with television monitors in the entranceway laying foundation for the story as the spectators wait in line, and the show continues inside a state-of-the-art auditorium. A spokeswoman for Cyberdyne Systems explains that the terrorist actions presented in the last feature did not stop construction of Skynet, the global satellite nuclear-defense system. Some stunt doubles for the series' stars appear onstage while the real actors appear on video, taking over the presentation and leading a motorcycle ride across the stage and seemingly into the movie screen by the Terminator T-800 (Arnold Schwarzenegger) and John Connor (Edward Furlong). This cues the start of the spectacular 3-D short, which takes place in 2029 Los Angeles. John and the Terminator battle vicious killer robots including the gigantic T-1000000, the most fearsome Terminator yet seen, on their way to finally destroying Skynet for good. Three different screens, astounding 3-D effects, and mechanical enhancements such as mists of water and vibrating seats put the audience directly into the multimedia experience as never before. This work was written by James Cameron and Gary Goddard (Masters Of The Universe) and directed by James Cameron with special-effects masters John Bruno and Stan Winston, while he was already deep into the production of Titanic


A full scale mock-up duplicating the dimensions of the planned Florida venue was created in an airplane hangar at the Van Nuys Airport in the San Fernando Valley. The unique 3-D film format used six, solid-state Electrosonic projectors that were electronically interlocked to run 70mm film synchronously, at the high speed of 30 frames per second. The image was projected onto a triptych of adjoined silver screens. The effect of the six projectors running simultaneously was to produce one, contiguous, 3-D image across the three screens, accomplishing a wrap-around effect reminiscent of Cinerama.

The attraction opened in the Hollywood area of Universal Studios Florida in Spring 1996, with additional venues opening in the Upper Lot of Universal Studios Hollywood on May 6, 1999 and the New York section of Universal Studios Japan on March 31, 2001. The Hollywood venue replaced a parking structure complex that previously held Fievel's Playland and An American Tail Theatre.

From Universal website:

Set in the present, “Terminator 2: 3D” sends the “Terminator” and cast member Edward Furlong on a time travel journey to Los Angeles 2029 and a world policed by cyborgs controlled by sentient corporate behemoth, Skynet. To save humanity from total destruction, the duo takes on Skynet’s doomsday complex and its army of killing machines including the all-new, fearsome T-1000000. If they are to succeed in preserving the safety of future generations, they must destroy Skynet.

The adventure begins when guests enter Cyberdyne Systems’ constructed headquarters as interlocking three-dimensional images and digital composite computer graphics are projected onto three massive 23’x50’ screens, spanning 165 feet and combined with explosive stunt work.




Terminator 2 3D: Battle Across Time is an alternative ending to Terminator 2: Judgment Day, showing a different chain of events after the Cyberdyne building had been blown up. Somehow, the T-800, John and Sarah managed to escape via different way than an elevator and successfully escaped, all undamaged, from the Police and SWAT forces and the T-1000 and went into hiding.




Cyberdyne has recovered from the 1995 attack and moved to a different location, continuing their development despite their losses. A Miles Dyson memorial has been placed in the building. The queue video shows featurettes on Cyberdyne's technology, as well as a return of some of the characters from the previous films. The first one is Grayson Hunter , who was a security guard who activated the silent alarm (played by the same actor). He recalls the 95 attack but assures that with new security, no such event will take place again. The second character is Dr. Peter Silberman, now a Director of Employee Health and Welness, who cautions the guests that the 95 terrorists, Sarah Connor, her now teenage son John and an unidentified man are still on the run

A group of senators, congressmen and special guests is invited to the Cyberdyne building for a confidential, top secret presentation of Cyberdyne's newest developments. They're shown a promotional video that presents various inventions that will allow people to interact and communicate physically through robotics from different sides of the world, see and perform better and more. The video also informs the guests about Skynet - a thinking machine, the near-ready defense system that will control everything including satellites, communications, fleet, air force, missiles, ground army and the nuclear arsenal.

The presentation is hacked and interrupted by a live message from a teenage John Connor (Edward Furlong) and Sarah Connor (Linda Hamilton). They caution the visitors against Skynet quickly telling them the story of the future war , the time travels and the events of T2. After they leave their warning the video gets back on.





Kimberly Duncan - the Director of Community Relations and Media Control for Cyberdyne appears, leading the guests to the big auditorium called the Demonstration Center. There, the guests are presented with the soldiers of the future - The Cyberdyne Series 70 Automated Fighting Infantry units, or Terminators T-70.

After the shooting demonstration John and Sarah broke into the building, deactivate the alarm and the T-70s. Soon it appears that the T-1000 (Robert Patrick) has been there all along, morphed into a big Cyberdyne logo on the wall, waiting for John to fall into the trap. John and Sarah take cover in the crowd but the T-1000 spots them with the help of the T-70s that he reactivated. The T-800, aka Uncle Bob (Arnold Schwarzenegger) arrives through a time portal and takes John with him to the future. The T-1000 follows. As we learn later on in the show, the TDE (Time Displacement Equipment) is a different one that the one used to send the time travelers in the previous movies.





The T-800 and John arrive in 2029, in the heart of the final battle between the humans and machines. They manage to slow down and escape the T-1000 but they are immediately spotted and shot at by a flying Hunter Killer. After taking a cover in the nearby ruins, the FHK releases the Mini Hunters to follow and destroy them.

After getting rid of the Mini HKs John is attacked by another T-800, but the good T-800 comes in just in time.

The T-800 and John sneak into the Skynet's pyramid which is left almost completely unguarded since all of the units are out on the field taking the last stand. They descend deep down reaching Skynet's central core and face his guardian, the giant liquid metal monster, T-1000000. The T-1000000 is temporarily stopped by the liquid nitrogen which gives the T-800 time to plant explosives and activate the Time Portal for John to return home. The day is saved




At first, the movie seem to take place somewhere around 2001, which would indicate that the Judgment Day was postponed. The queue video voiceover says "several years ago" when referring to the attack on Cyberdyne, and the script says that John is now "around sixteen years old". James Cameron, already amidst the production for Titanic, could not supervise every detail of the experience, and the security cameras of Cyberdyne, which showed the events from the previous movie, bore the date of 1991, the date of the movie's release as oppose to the date of the actual events that happened in the movie. However, if the movie invalidly thinks that the date of the events taking place in T2 is 1991, then that would place the date of events of T2 3D in 1996, which would indicate that the Judgment Day is going ahead as originally foretold, which is actually what seems to be happening. Considering the fact that the ride has been released in 1996 as well, it seems even more likely this is the date that the movie was targeting for. In some surveillance camera videos, the date shows 1991, in some 1992




As in T2, there are some designs which were scrapped due to time or budget constraints. The movie was suppose to show the Terminator Endoskeleton Storage area, along with the automatic deploying machines

There are also several designs which didn;t make it into the first two films, but could finally be realized in the attraction. Not only Skynet's facility interiors could be shown (unused for T2), but also the Gun Turrets which were drawn and designed by James Cameron for the first movie. Below, a storyboard by Cameron from The Terminator and the gun turret in the film




Since the movie is a climax rather than full story, there aren't any dramatic scenes that would explain some of the questions, and the answers are only scarcely hinted in small clues. The Time Displacement machine itself is shown as being different than the one used to send the two T-800s and the T-1000 back through time in the first two movies, so it is a different machine than the one described as only going one way.  It is also shown in the movie that the machine opens a portal between the two time periods which can be accessed from both ways, rather than being a machine which displaces the matter, as the one from the first two films. An unanswered question is, why didn't Skynet use this machine instead. Naturally, the smaller, yet more effective TDE was used for condensed storytelling purposes, however one may theorize the unit wasn't fully operational until Skynet's very last minutes.




Also unexplained in the movie due to the nature of the condensed, fast paced nature of the story, but one can assume that either the Resistance has hacked into the frame and activated the portal or that it was activated as a test and the T-800 knew when and where will it happen




Sarah dies fighting with the T-1000, which intentionally isn't clear for the audience or for John. James Cameron (The Making of T2 3D) " As long as she's got ammo, she has to be fighting the T-1000. If she's fighting the T-1000 we don't see the outcome, and we go into the future and the next thing we know is the T-1000 jumping in the future with us, Sarah's dead"




The guardian of the Skynet core is a T-1000000, also called the T-Meg. While one can find parallels between the T-1000000 and the Alien Queen, the creature didn't originate from James Cameron's mind. Even before Cameron was brought in, the concept sketches for the T-Meg were already there, although in the beginning, it wasn't a designed "boss villain" guardian unit it eventually became. It wasn't a T-1000000  prototype, but a byproduct of an action sequence. As originally conceived, the T-800 and John were to be attacked by a squad of the T-1000s, which would all freeze, scatter, and eventually form into one artificial monster

Since the T-1000 was a one of a kind prototype, there couldn't be more than one. Eventually the fusion monster became an actual design of Skynet, which guarded his own creator himself. Consisting of liquid metal, it was a much larger version of the T-1000 with the same capabilities and weaknesses

The Mini Hunter is an agile predator with a single underslung Plasma cannon and a compact, high lift aerodyne fan which turns on frictionless bearings in order to reduce noise levels. They are designed primarily to survey a battlefield and transmit telemetry back to Skynet forces during attacks, as well as accessing difficult areas and rubbish in order to chase down and destroy the target


12. WHAT'S A T1?


The T1 is a decorative prototype piece designed by Cyberdyne Systems. It's composed of the newly developed liquid metal which can imitate any object. From the queue poster:

"The future is bright and shiny"

This shiny little lump of metal is the beginning of a revolution. It's a mimetic polyalloy. Liquid metal that can actually change shape. We call it T1™.

Still in the advanced prototype stage, this incredible material responds to digital input by altering its molecular substructure. It can sample any simple object, then duplicate it exactly.

There are so many potential uses for T1, it's almost scary. Kitchen utensils wil instantly change from fork to knife. Manufacturers will emulate their competitors' products and bring duplicates to market faster than ever. U.S. Combat Forces will carry a single unit of T1 in the field that automatically changes shape, emulating a variety of knives and stabbing weapons.

Sure, it's only tableware now. But this is just the beginning. In the future, T1's capabilities will increase a thousand times over. And this amazing material will change your life forever.

Trust us.




Universal Studios and Lightstorm Entertainment 1996

Director: James Cameron, John Bruno and Stan Winston

Writers: James Cameron, Gary Goddart and Adam J. Bezark
Actors: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Linda Hamilton, Edward Furlong, Robert Patrick, Earl Boen

Producers: Jessica Huebner (associate producer), Frank Kostenko Jr. (line producer), Andrew Millstein (executive producer), Scott Ross (executive producer)
Composer: Brad Fiedel

Release Dates: Fall 1996 (Florida), May 6, 1999 (Hollywood), March 31, 2001 (Japan)
Running Time: 12 min 41 sec.

MPAA Rating: PG 13 Production Budget: $60,000,000

Winner of 1996' Themed Entertainment Award for Outstanding Achievement