Terminator 2: Judgment Day has a number of great lines, and probably the most famous is Arnold Schwarzenegger’s legendary delivery of “Hasta la vista, baby.” But I’ve started to wonder if it was originally intended as a bait-and-switch, meaning that we were supposed to anticipate him saying a different line, but instead got that one. Let me make the case by first sharing the scene that introduced a number of potential catchphrases to the Terminator’s lexicon.
As you can see, John Connor gives the Terminator several options to choose from, and the Terminator even experiments with them a little, producing “Chill out, dickwad.” It’s a funny little scene that has a great payoff. Later, the T-1000 gets drenched in liquid nitrogen and starts breaking off his extremities as they stick to the ground. Pretty soon he’s frozen solid, and the Terminator sees this as a perfect opportunity for one of his quips. Which one does he choose? You know the answer.
Even though this is an iconic moment, doesn’t it seem like a more appropriate line would have been “Chill out, dickwad”? I mean, the setup is perfect. The T-1000 is frozen solid, so it’s the perfect time for a cold-related pun. Were we supposed to think that that’s where the film was going? Was it supposed to be a surprise when the Terminator said “Hasta la vista, baby” instead? I’m not sure. This wouldn’t be the first time James Cameron has used a fun little scene to set up something amazing later on, the way he did with Ripley’s power loader in Aliens and liquid oxygen in The Abyss.
I’m definitely not saying that the line should have been anything other than what we got, but it’s just interesting that there was another perfectly plausible alternative. What do you think? Was “Hasta la vista, baby” intended as a bait-and-switch?
Oh, and Arnold Schwarzenegger more than made up for the lack of an icy pun in this instance a few years later with his infamous portrayal of Mr. Freeze in Batman & Robin.
This is the Deja Reviewer bidding you farewell until we meet again.
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