John Connor was the founder and leader of the Resistance who led the remnants of mankind in the war against the artificial intelligence Skynet and its machines to try and win the War against the Machines.
Not machine, not man. I'm more.
- See also: John Connor (Original Timeline)
John Connor survived the nuclear holocaust — Judgement Day, which occurred on August 29th, 1997 when the artificial intelligence Skynet became self-aware and viewed mankind as a threat to its existence.
At a certain point, John found Kyle Reese in the sewers of Los Angeles and saved him from an Infiltrator. John passed onto Kyle the same combat skills taught to him by his mother.
Kyle later joined the Resistance and John befriended him. He gave his mother's photo to Kyle during the Nacogdoches Offensive. They also tried to make distilled beverage one time, but ended up blowing things up.
Before Operation Chrono, John Connor asked Kyle to join his forces to take down a prison camp which was more crucial than the Skynet Central Core in Colorado as this camp was in fact housing the final weapon Skynet would use to ensure its own survival in case it lost the war. John told Kyle that if he had a choice, he would rather not ask him to join his team for the mission.
Connor and Reese led a massive all out assault on the Skynet work camp/TDF complex. The two were nearly killed when a Spider Tank blocked their path; it was about to open fire on them when it suddenly shut down. By then, the Colorado Unit radioed in to report the destruction of Skynet's central core.
With Skynet destroyed, the Resistance learned of Skynet's plan of Sarah Connor's assassination. Many soldiers volunteered for the mission, John chose Kyle to be sent back to year 1984 to protect Sarah Connor And ensure his survival. Before the departure, Kyle asked John how he could know so much about everything. John replied that it is because he "cheated" and he gave Kyle a message to tell Sarah. However, when seeing Kyle off, John was attacked by Skynet from behind, who infiltrated under the guise of Tech-Com soldier Alex earlier, and was forcibly transformed into a T-3000.
Now with his new allegiance to Skynet, John traveled back to 2014 to aid Cyberdyne Systems staff Daniel Dyson with the Genisys Program to ensure the creation of Skynet, by providing the critical programming codes needed for the Genisys OS; in time, and also used his position as the architect of Cyberdyne System's new campus to secure Cyberdyne's funding for research into Time Displacement Equipment and mimetic polyalloy; which, by 2017, both reached prototype stage. This in turn hastened the R&D of Skynet's technologies.
In 2017, he rescued Kyle and Sarah from the police before his now-hybrid nature was exposed by the Guardian. John understood that Guardians presence is what altered the timeline and wondered who sent him back in time. When both Kyle and Sarah refused his offer to join the Machine's side, John relentlessly pursued them and sped up the activation of Genisys.
John first tracked the trio down in Guardian's hideout as it was the place John's mother always told him. A pursuit happened after, which ended with the trio being arrested and taken to the police station. There, John impersonated Detective Cheung and infiltrated the building. The Guardian sensed the presence of John and saved Detective O'Brien before John killed him.
After a pursuit in a helicopter, he engaged in a brutal clash with the Guardian in Cyberdyne System Headquarter — in which John primarily maintained the upper hand. However, with the help of Sarah and Kyle, the Guardian took John into the electromagnetic field of the prototype time machine. As a result of the inorganic material since his outer sheath was destroyed a while earlier, John was destroyed when the energy field collapsed, but not before he knocked the Guardian into a vat of mimetic polyalloy during the struggle. The Guardian, restored and upgraded by the mimetic polyalloy, later told Sarah and Kyle that John's constituent parts could not have survived the blast of Cyberdyne.
Behind the scenes
- The concept John Connor as a machine was once dwelt upon in earlier screenplays made for Terminator: Salvation in which John Connor would die while Marcus Wright assumes John's identity, but the idea was scrapped when the script leaked online, hence it was changed that Marcus Wright sacrificed himself in order to save John Connor. The idea was reused for the film Terminator Genisys.
- The concept of John Connor being a villain is inspired by the Superman comic series Red Son.
- In his last moment, John's eye briefly becomes a human eye instead of the machine one before the explosion. It is unknown if this means he briefly regain his human conscious or purely dramatic presentation.
- The unproduced sequel to Terminator Genisys was originally going to explore what happened to John after he was transformed into a T-3000.
- The big twist in Terminator Genisys was inspired by one of the most iconic Superman comics Interview with Laeta Kalogridis and Patrick Lussier from Business Insider.
- Jason Clarke on Chappaquiddick and Damien Chazelle’s First Man, and the Terminator Genisys Sequel | Collider
- Meta-Node, who travelled to the past to provide Skynet with information from the future.