The Predator, Aliens, and Terminator universes are connected in more ways than one. They’ve shared antagonists, and sometimes characters like Ripley in the spinoff comics. but Cracked writer David Israel Nunez takes the overlapping franchises to a new level with his theory which connects the origin of Terminator‘s T-800 killing machine to Major Dutch Schaefer — the musclebound U.S. government killing machine in Predator. Basically, Dutch was the basis for the T-800.
The internet is full of “what happened to Dutch?” videos and articles, but here’s what we know for sure. After barely making it out of the Val Verde incident in Predator, Dutch is interviewed by the same company led by Gary Busey that’s trying to capture and steal the technology from the hunter in Predator 2 — the Other World Lifeforms Taskforce. All we know is that Dutch was treated for his injuries, maybe some light radiation poisoning, then he was never heard from again. Here’s a good primer:
Considering Cyberdyne Systems is hard at work with the government to make the nastiest tech possible, Nunez supposes that Dutch was deemed worthy of being the prototype for the T-800 thanks to his prowess in the field and sweet pecs. We’re not going to go into his full theory (read it here, it’s good), but the premise is furthered by Major Dutch Schaefer’s presence in the early ’90s arcade beat-em-up Aliens Vs. Predator. In the sidescrolling classic from Capcom, Dutch is a one-armed cyborg, probably based on the Dutch we saw in Predator, but not actually Dutch. He’s likely one of the first iterations of the T-800 units that will soon be mass produced and end the world. The timeline is as muddy as Arnold by the end of the movie.
Not only does AvP Dutch have the exact same name as Dutch from the movie, but he shares enough of a resemblance to Arnold as not to get sued. Let’s face it — this is Dutch, or at least a cybernetic organism with living tissue over a hyperalloy endoskeleton that looks like Dutch.
Notice CyberDutch’s code below: CDS-170A3. The article believes CDS stands for Cyberdyne Systems. What are many Cyberdyne weapons called? Hunter Killers. What are “predators” called? Hunters. Hunter killer.
Even if this theory (which you really should read in full here) takes some stretches to make it work, there’s enough missing information in the ever-expanding Terminator/Predator/Aliens films to allow the viewer to fill in the void with some details of their own. There are no guarantees Cyberdyne systems was working with the government, but if these universes are connected, then why not? Nevermind this deleted scene from T3 explaining the origins of the Terminator. This means nothing. It’s deleted.
If this theory is true, rewatches of Predator have a sad undertone to them. Here’s Dutch, badass extreme, sucking on a cigar and shaking hands in a cool way that shows off his bicep hours before his final mission. All of his buddies will be killed, and he’s destined to either a life on the run from the government who wants to weaponize him further, or he’s dead with only his metal spawn living on.
There’s a good chance we’re witnessing Dutch’s darkest timeline. And considering there’s time travel involved in the Terminator series, you know there’s going to be alternate timelines and threads throughout the multiverse.
We don’t know exactly what happened to Dutch, and maybe we never will. A deleted scene is just that — deleted. So for all we know, Dutch either succumbed to radiation poisoning or was “treated” by his government handlers. Regardless of his fate, Dutch would eventually become the blueprint for the cybernetic soldiers that wipe out mankind. Predator is the sad origin story we never knew we needed.