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T-X (Kristanna Loken).jpg

The T-X, played by Kristanna Loken
First appearance Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines (2003)
Last appearance Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines (2003)
Created by
Portrayed by Kristanna Loken
Species Gynoid
Manufacturer Skynet

T-X (referred to as the Terminatrix in some appearances) is the name of a fictional character who appears in the Terminator franchise.[1] The T-X model is a gynoid-like assassin with a human-female appearance. The character was introduced as the main antagonist in the 2003 film Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines, portrayed by Kristanna Loken. The T-X has the ability to assume the appearance of other characters; therefore, several other cast members occasionally portrayed the T-X throughout the film. This ability to shapeshift is similar to that of the T-1000, the main antagonist of Terminator 2: Judgment Day.

Concept and design[edit]

“We were trying to come up with something that could hold its ground with the original Terminator. That was such an iconic figure- coming up with something that looked even more fantastic when next to the original Terminator was one of the biggest design challenges on the show.”
— John Rosengrant[2]

T-X, in its default form.

The T-X was designed by Stan Winston and his studio team, where it was considered particularly challenging to design, as the script required a character capable of holding its own against the original Terminator. Originally, the T-X’s endoskeleton was meant to convey an androgynous shape which would permit the android to assume the superficial traits of both men and women, though later designs veered on it being more feminine. The final, approved T-X design was done by Aaron Sims, who designed it entirely on computer through a mixture of Photoshop and 3D software. The T-X endoskeleton was painted chrome black, in order to differentiate it from the silver sheen of the T-850 endoskeleton, and fitted with blue running lights rather than the original’s red. John Rosengrant later stated that the individual parts of the T-X endoskeleton were hard coated, sanded and polished through machines, resulting in a mathematically perfect model, unlike the endoskeleton in The Terminator, which was sculpted by hand and lacked symmetry.[2]

The T-X is designed to not only terminate humans but also rogue Terminators reprogrammed by the Resistance, an “anti-terminator terminator” as stated by John Connor. It is a composite of the T-800 and T-1000, combining the former’s solid endoskeleton covered with the latter’s liquid metal “mimetic polyalloy”, allowing it to take the shape of any humanoid it touches. Because it is only coated in this material, it is possible to remove it from the endoskeleton using immensely strong magnetic force, such as that from a cyclic particle accelerator. Having a solid endoskeleton did solve some of the T-1000’s problems, namely being deformed by temperature extremes and explosives while also lacking built-in ranged weaponry. However, the endoskeleton makes the T-X less flexible than its T-1000 predecessor, in that the T-X does not have the ability to liquefy and assume forms in innovative and surprising ways, including fitting through narrow openings, morphing its arms into solid metal tools or bladed weapons, walking through prison bars and narrow openings, or flattening itself.

Although the official novelization of Terminator 2 expanded the origin of the T-1000 and reveals it had onboard nanotechnology (and programmable memory) that was capable of scanning the molecular structure of anything the T-1000 touched, the T-X has a built-in supply of more advanced nanobots in its fingers, which it can inject into other machines (even a less-advanced android), giving it remote control. An onboard plasma reactor powers all of the T-X’s systems.[3]

Loken had to gain over 15 pounds of muscle to portray the T-X. She was also trained by mime coach Thorsten Heinze, a long-time collaborator of famous mime Marcel Marceau, to develop a robotic style of moving.[4]


Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines[edit]

The T-X is the main antagonist in Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines.

She was sent by Skynet to the year 2004 to eliminate John Connor‘s lieutenants and ensure that Skynet will rise without any interference. Among her targets is John’s future wife, Kate Brewster, and her father, Robert—who is destined to become Connor’s father-in-law and is Skynet’s primary creator. The T-X arrives in a store, kills a woman, assumes her appearance, then steals the car and terminates three targets in the process.

When it tracks down Kate Brewster in a veterinarian hospital, it locates John Connor and makes him her primary target. As she interrogates Kate, a T-850, which was sent to protect the T-X’s targets, arrives and rescues John and Kate. After a chase, the T-X kills Kate’s fiancé and impersonates him. It almost succeeds in killing Kate, but John and the Terminator arrive and rescue her. The T-X chases them through a cemetery, but fails to kill them. John Connor personally coins the T-X as “Terminatrix” based on being feminine.

Proceeding with its secondary mission, the T-X infiltrates the Cyber Research Systems and activates the T-1 terminator and Hunter Killer prototypes, which kills most of the employees. The T-X succeeds in killing Robert Brewster and ensuring Skynet’s rise. After a tremendous fight with the T-850, it pursues John and Kate to Crystal Peak. Just as she prepares to kill them, the T-850 arrives in a helicopter and crashes into the T-X. The T-X, with her endoskeleton broken in half and revealed, crawls and pursues John. The T-850 grabs her and puts its hydrogen fuel cell in her mouth, destroying both the T-X and the T-850. Though it failed to kill John and Kate, the T-X succeeded in securing Skynet’s rise.


T3: Terminator Hunt[edit]

In the book T3: Terminator Hunt, the second known T-X is trained by captured resistance members for a jump to the 1960s where she will track the Connor family for the next forty years. A captured resistance soldier, Paul Keeley, is tricked into helping make the T-X more human. An implant in his brain causes him to think that the T-X is a girl named Eliza, and his interaction with her helps her learn how to be human. The resistance captures the T-X and rescues Keeley. But Eliza uses the implant to make Keeley think they have been captured by a rogue government, and he frees her. Overburdened with guilt, Keeley convinces John and Katherine Connor to give him another chance to capture Eliza. Through the implant, Paul discovers the training facility she has escaped to, and Eliza is again captured by the resistance and reprogrammed to serve it.


In the crossover comic Superman vs. The Terminator: Death to the Future (2000), there is a female Terminator called Terminatrix. However, it is never mentioned if it is a T-X or not as the comic predates the film Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines (2003).

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Sofge, Erik (September 30, 2009). “The Toughest, Smartest, Best Terminators of All Time”. Popular Mechanics. popularmechanics.com. Retrieved 29 July 2016.

  2. ^ a b Jody Duncan & James Cameron (2007). The Winston Effect: The Art and History of Stan Winston Studio. p. 336. ISBN 1-84576-150-2.
  3. ^ “T-X is designed for extreme combat, driven by a plasma reactor…” (Terminator 3 Script – Dialogue Transcript)

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