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Canon: Level 3 | Timeline: Sarah Connor Chronicles [2]

Derek Thomas Reese was a First Lieutenant with the 132nd S.O.C; operational specialty Tech-Com. He was Kyle Reese's older brother and John Connor's biological uncle.

Derek served in the Resistance military most of his adult life, becoming one of John's best soldiers and took part in many high-risk operations; including the rescue and extraction of Sydney Fields (a mission in which he first met fellow soldier and eventual lover Jesse Flores). Derek was later sent back in time to the year 2007 with the task of hunting down Skynet's progenitors and eliminating them.

Derek was killed by a Terminator while attempting to protect Savannah Weaver from the machine. As per standard practice for a John Doe, his remains were cremated and he was laid to rest in the same pauper's graveyard as his brother.

Following a temporal jump to an alternate 2027, John Connor and Catherine Weaver found a future Derek Reese alive and well.


"Yeah, that's the first thing people who know me say; Funny Derek."
- Derek Reese.

Derek was first shown to be a typical soldier; calm and disciplined. But over time he is shown to be especially technophobic, cynical, blunt, sarcastic, ruthless, and at times; borderline psychotic. The one constant in his personality was Derek's absolute dedication to his mission: to stop Judgment Day. His love of the world before the bombs fell and his desire to never see it happen again was strong enough to override his basic morals on many occasions.

He coldly assassinated Andrew Goode without the slightest sign of hesitation, "Queen's Gambit" although he later denies doing so, perhaps to disassociate himself from the guilt of the deed. He has shown similar indifference to killing people on other occasions, including his execution of the fake Sarkissian when he holds John at gunpoint, and states that maybe Carl Greenway should be killed to prevent the meltdown at Serrano Point. "Automatic for the People" He also has no qualms when Jesse Flores murders an otherwise harmless diamond merchant for no apparent reason.

Derek commented that Sarah had never killed anyone and says that it is a good thing to "keep a pure heart". "What He Beheld" The night before this, Derek had to be stopped from killing two police officers, even after they were already incapacitated by Sarah. In addition to his lacking value in life, Derek is also shown to be tactlessly blunt when talking to Charley Dixon about the possibility of his wife being dead, and seems to take some small satisfaction in mocking his lingering feelings for Sarah.

This morally dark personality is best seen when Derek carelessly tortures the young Charles Fischer to get the older one to admit who he is, resorting to putting out the finger nails of young Fischer's fingers with a pair of pliers, much to old Fischer and Jesse's horror. It becomes clear through flashbacks of his time in the future war that losing Kyle to time travel was the source of his nihilistic tendencies, teaching him that sometimes measures must be taken to ensure the achievement of a desired goal.

He did, however, possess a brighter side to his personality; especially where his family is concerned. He was extremely loyal and loving of his brother Kyle, and became suicidal when he disappeared, after which he found comfort in Jesse, whom he claimed to love. Although, when he discovers Jesse has been spying on him and John in the past, Derek was quick to threaten her with death unless she explains her intentions.

He appears to be unquestionably loyal to John, both in the future and the past. Although he does have qualms with both incarnations. He is frustrated with Future John for his trust in machines and the fact that he closes himself off to those around him and refuses to explain what happened to his brother. Derek is likewise frustrated with Present John as he has yet to show a glimpse of the man Derek knows he must one day become, a man Derek would willingly die for.

Derek's sole concern appears to be loyalty. He himself is utterly loyal to those he cares about, and is quick to punish those who take advantage of that loyalty; such as when he almost shot Jesse for spying on him. He did see fit, however, to entrust her with the knowledge that John is his nephew, something only a few people are aware of. He is also seen to admire bravery and resolve, being especially respecting of Martin Bedell and Lauren Fields, while showing dissatisfaction towards John's apparent weakness.


Early Life (Pre-Judgment Day)
Timeframe: 1995 - 2011.

"One minute I’m in the yard with my brother playing baseball, then next we look up and the sky’s on fire."
- Derek Reese.

Derek Reese was born in the year 1995 and lived a mundane life in the suburbs of Los Angeles up until the advent of Judgment Day on Thursday, April 21, 2011. In 2007, an 11 year-old Derek and his 4 year-old brother had a brief encounter with a teenaged John Connor and Derek’s adult self, though he was oblivious to their identities at the time. In 2011, Derek and Kyle witnessed the launch of U.S. missiles while playing baseball on a clear mid-day in a backyard. Derek took his brother to the Los Angeles City Hall nuclear underground bunker for safety before the counter-strike, effectively surviving Judgment Day. In Episode 2.02: "Alpine Fields", Derek states that his mother is dead. This would seem to suggest that his mother and father were not home on Judgment Day and he did not have any means of communicating with them to warn them of what was coming. Derek, realizing what was occurring and what was about to happen, with a decisive presence of mind did the only logical thing he could do in the circumstance. He made the brutal decision at that moment: "Just grab Kyle and Run!"


Derek Reese/Post-Judgment Day
Timeframe: 2011 - 2027.
After losing his brother to the machines, Derek joined the Resistance military and became a highly skilled soldier under Perry's command. He fought through countless battles, eventually being reunited with his wayward brother and falling under the direct command of John Connor. He was eventually sent back in time to 2007 with a mission to destroy Skynet.


Derek Reese/Season 1
Timeframe: 2007.
An arguably welcome member of the team, Derek joins up with John Connor and his mother, Sarah Connor, to fight the machines and prevent the creation of Skynet by hunting down a chess computer called the Turk, all the while keeping a wary watch over their Terminator ally, Cameron.


Derek Reese/Season 2
Timeframe: 2007 - 2009.
Following the destructive search for the Turk, Derek finds himself increasingly distant from the Connors as an old flame from his future returns to the past with a secret agenda that may or may not prove beneficial for him, forcing Derek to divide his loyalties between the woman he loves and the mission he swore to complete.



  • Serial number as a prisoner of Skynet: 091201091304.

Behind the Scenes[]

  • Derek was promoted to series regular for season 2.
  • According to Sarah Connor Chronicles writer Zack Stentz, in 2007 he lobbied for Jeremy Renner to play the role but was overruled.[3]



  1. "What He Beheld" Derek states that he was 15 on Judgment Day, which is April 21, 2011.
  2. This is canon level 3 and any assumptions made based on the character articles involving TSCC are to be taken as such. The films state a clear and present timeline that does not interfere with the TV show in any way besides the "what if" factor of Sarah Connor not dying of cancer in 1997.
  3. Zack Stentz's Tweet.