The final act of Dark Fate echoes beats in the previous Terminator films. (At least the ones that matter: This new film pretends that every sequel after T2 just didn't happen.) The climactic battle between the Terminator and Grace, Dani, Sarah, and Carl, the latest robot Arnold Schwarzenegger plays, happens inside a reservoir that winks at the industrial machinery present in T2's finale. Grace sacrifices herself for the cause just as Kyle Reese does. So does Carl, just like (one of) Schwarzenegger's previous T-800s. And at the very end, it's Dani and Sarah driving off in a Jeep into an unknown future, calling back to the denouement of The Terminator.
The significance that she is the new face of the franchise is not lost on Reyes, a Colombian actor who had mostly worked in TV prior to getting Terminator. "Not only women but also Latinas, our characters are always serving other characters or the story," Reyes says. "But this is the story. She is the leader. She is the future." Reyes explains that while she doesn't know of any concrete plans for Dani's future, she wants to follow her evolution into leadership. Hamilton is a little more wary about agreeing to the notion that she will indeed be back. "In another 28 years, maybe," she says, guffawing. "Only if there's something new to add. I don't want to do the same thing over and over again. Then it would be diminished returns. Really, if there's something interesting to play, I'm in."
She does, however, deliver that famous line about being back during her introduction in Dark Fate, taking over for Schwarzenegger. It seems like an easy enough quip, right? Not so. "You know how hard it was to say it and not sound like Arnold? You cannot say, 'I'll be back' without thinking of Arnold," she says. Getting it in Sarah's no-bullshit intonation was tricky. "I had to do it, I don't know, 10 times, 12 times, to not sound like Arnold," she says. "I would turn to Tim and I would say, 'Did that sound like Sarah? And he goes, 'Nope, sounds like Arnold.' Okay, let's try it again. It was so hard because he's Arnold and it's just a classic, iconic line." A classic, iconic line that sounds different in Sarah's jaded mouth.