Did The Mandalorian Season 3 Pay Homage to James Cameron’s Terminator?

The killer robot movie is a well-worn concept, but it was perfected in “The Terminator” with Arnold Schwarzenegger as the unstoppable force, the T-800. Everyone remembers the tense finale of “The Terminator” where the T-800 follows Sarah Connor and Kyle Reese into an abandoned factory. The endoskeleton hunts down Sarah through all the whizzing machinery even after it’s been ripped in half by a grinder. The T-800 keeps crawling towards Sarah, determined to finish its mission to eliminate the mother of John Connor, the future leader of the human resistance.

The head and torso of IG-11 in “The Apostate” looks remarkably similar to the last remnants of the T-800 before it’s crushed in the hydraulic press. Din dismantles the statue on Nevarro honoring IG-II’s sacrifice to use what’s left of the assassin droid after he self-destructed in order to save Din and Grogu in the finale of season 1. Din reactivates IG-II, only to find that his personality matrix has been compromised. The droid reverts right back to its first order given by the Bounty Hunter’s Guild to kill the Child, aka Grogu, back in the first episode of season 1. The red-eyed glare indicating that IG-11 is in kill mode is pretty much a direct homage to the T-800 Cyberdyne Systems model.

IG-11 crawls after Grogu in much the same way as the T-800 does when it’s relentlessly hunting Sarah Connor. The effect also looks like it’s accomplished with stop-motion which honors the work done by Stan Winston’s team in “The Terminator.” “The Mandalorian” probably used a VFX technique that simulated stop-motion, but the effect pays homage to the work of Ray Harryhausen and legendary puppeteer and Phil Tippett.

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