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There is no fate but what we make for ourselves.
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John Connor, the son of Sarah Connor and Kyle Reese, is the leader of the worldwide human Resistance, as well as the more specialised Tech-Com. Skynet, the supercomputer mainframe of the machines, decides that John Connor is the focal point of the rebellion and his termination would end the opposition. After repeated failures at terminating John during the war, Skynet decides to use a time displacement device to send Terminators to various points in the past in an attempt to terminate him before the war even begins.

Original timeline[edit | edit source]

Main article: John Connor/Original timeline

On the brink of extinction, John Connor united the despairing humans and taught them to fight, storm the camps and overcome the Terminator guards. Much of the Resistance was created from these survivors. The Terminator

John Connor led the human Resistance to the victory in the War against the Machines in the year 2029. In order to eliminate John Connor, Skynet sent a T-800 and a T-1000 to the past to kill John's mother, Sarah, and young John Connor respectively via Time Displacement Equipment. Thus, John sends Kyle Reese, a young soldier, and a reprogrammed Series 800 Terminator to the past to protect Sarah Connor and young John Connor respectively. The Terminator Terminator 2: Judgment Day The Terminator: Dawn of Fate Terminator: Resistance

Note: In the game "The Terminator: Dawn of Fate", the event takes place in the year 2027 instead of 2029.

Alternate timeline[edit | edit source]

A young John Connor.

John Connor was born to Sarah Connor on February 28, 1985. His father, Kyle Reese, had been killed nine months prior in May 1984, protecting Sarah from a time-traveling Terminator. John's early life was filled with training by various persons his mother Sarah had met as the two lived off the grid after the attempt on her life by the Terminator. Much of his training concentrated on the areas of weaponry, computer technology, and espionage.

John, his mother, and the T-800 escaping from the T-1000.

When Sarah Connor was shot and captured after trying to blow up a computer factory in the early 1990s, John was placed into foster care and told that his mother's stories of the future were merely delusions. He was unable to cope with life in suburbia and rebelled, edging towards delinquency, turning into a young gangster and receiving a police record (which included trespassing, shoplifting, disturbing the peace, and vandalism) by the time he was 10 years old. His foster parents, Todd and Janelle Voight, found themselves unable to deal with him, and were not surprised when a police officer showed up at their door asking to speak with John.

A sad John during a farewell to the T-800.

John's life was changed in a matter of seconds, when a T-1000 came back from the year 2029, programmed to assassinate him. A T-800 (whom John later nicknamed "Uncle Bob") had also come back in time, this one programmed to protect him. John, now believing his mother's stories, used the protecting T-800 to release his mother from the maximum security prison Pescadero State Hospital. The three then proceeded to seek out Miles Dyson, the would-be creator of the neural-net processor, in an attempt to stop Judgment Day from occurring. During their time together John bonds with the T-800, who becomes a friend and father figure to him. Once the T-1000 is destroyed along with all of Cyberdyne's research, the T-800 asks that it be destroyed also so that its technology would not be discovered and used by others. Terminator 2: Judgment Day

Deviating timelines[edit | edit source]

Note: Several timelines begin after the events of Terminator 2: Judgment Day, including T2 Trilogy, Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines, and Terminator: Dark Fate, and a timeline where the Judgment Day never happens.

Alternate future[edit | edit source]

John Connor and his daughter in an alternate future.

Because Sarah, John, and the T-800 successfully destroyed the laboratory of Cyberdyne Systems, Skynet is never created and Judgment Day never occurs. In the year 2027, John Connor is a U.S. Senator and has a child. Terminator 2: Judgment Day (alternative ending)

Paradox Theory[edit | edit source]

See also: The Terminator timeline

The fact that Kyle Reese is John Connor's father creates a paradox: John must send Kyle back in time so that he can exist in order to defeat Skynet and send Kyle back to protect his mother in the first place. But this opens up the potential that John may have had another father, as otherwise he would not have existed in the original timeline (i.e. a timeline prior to TDE existing). This leads many fans to one of several theories:

  1. The man that Sarah was dating in the first film, Stan Morsky is the true biological father of John Connor. However, there is no evidence that Sarah and Stan were actually sexually involved, only that they had a date (which he cancelled).
  2. Kyle Reese was sent back in a different timeline to alter the future outcome against Skynet, and John Connor was coincidentally born then, creating the timeline in which John led humanity to victory against Skynet and sent Kyle back to protect his mother and ensure his own birth.
  3. It is possible that there was an "original timeline" without temporal intervention that somehow gave rise to "John Connor, Leader of the Resistance". Given that Sarah was basically just out there dating, any of a dozen one-night stands or blind dates could theoretically have led to a pregnancy. And the "flake" nature of the guys she was dating (or blind dating like Morsky) could easily lead to Sarah being a single mother. So could whatever hook-up she may have made with any unnamed stranger in Club Noir as a rebound for Morsky breaking their date, since without TDE intervention, no one was coming to the club to murder her that night. Perhaps it is this original situation that leads to Sarah abandoning the conventional lifestyle of college, waitressing, and city life to somehow become a recluse militant survivalist on her own, placing her in a position to be John's mentor through the unaltered original timeline Judgment Day that has to have happened prior to any TDE intervention.

In Terminator: Genisys, it's confirmed that Kyle was John's father the whole time. John knew this when he sent Kyle back and Sarah suggests he manipulated Kyle to ensure his own existence. In this timeline, Sarah was also aware of this fact due to the Guardian.

In Terminator: Dark Fate, John is no longer the leader of the future Resistance since the events of Terminator 2: Judgment Day changed the future and prevented Skynet from being created. Instead, Dani Ramos is the future leader of the Resistance against the artificial intelligence Legion.

Notes[edit | edit source]

John Connor in "Night Convoy".

  • The Terminator issue 12 "Night Convoy" marks the first physical appearance of John Connor.
  • John's future self in Terminator 2: Judgment Day and Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines was shown to have a scar on his face. The scar is a homage to the character Tom Berenger from the film Platoon.[2] How he got the scar was shown in Terminator Salvation timeline in the battle against the T-800 Prototype. The John of Terminator: Genisys had this scar too but was able to make it disappear and reappear at will as the T-3000.
  • John Connor is a Pisces.

Behind the Scenes[edit | edit source]

Various actors as John Connor. Clockwise from top left: Edward Furlong, Nick Stahl, Christian Bale and Thomas Dekker.

  • In Terminator 2, the young John Connor was portrayed by Edward Furlong, while the older version was portrayed by Michael Edwards. Dalton Abbott, who is Sarah Connor actress Linda Hamilton's real-life son, played an infant John in a flashback scene. Furlong also portrayed a slightly older John in T2 3-D: Battle Across Time.
  • The video game The Terminator: Dawn of Fate features a fully animated John Connor, voice acted by Bruce Dubose.
  • In Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines, John was portrayed by Nick Stahl. Unlike in T2, the same actor portrays John as a young man and as his older self.
  • Thomas Dekker portrays John in Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, with John DeVito playing an even younger John on the show.
  • Christian Bale portrays the 33 year old John Connor who in this timeline is not the leader of the Resistance but is the Captain of Tech-Com unit with General Ashdown as the main Leader of the Resistance in the film Terminator Salvation.
  • Jason Clarke portrays John in Terminator Genisys.
  • John Connor has been portrayed by more actors than any other single character in sci-fi film and television history (7 actors);[3] with the exception of Bernard Quatermass (7 actors)[4], James Bond (7 actors)[5] Darth Vader/Anakin Skywalker (8 actors on screen and at least one voice actor in animation) and the Doctor of Doctor Who (34 actors, though only fourteen are official Doctors).[6]
  • John Connor's name has the same initials as his creator, James Cameron.[2]

Appearances[edit | edit source]

Films
Comics
Novels
Video games
Television series
Main article: John Connor (TSCC)

References[edit | edit source]

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