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


John Connor, leader of the Resistance in 2029.

John Connor and Kyle Reese were both imprisoned in a work camp located in San Francisco. 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 lead 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 Series 800 Terminator and a Series 1000 Terminator 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

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

Alternate timeline

Young John T2

A young John Connor.

John Connor was born to Sarah Connor on February 28, 1985 (Terminator 2: Judgment Day). His father, Kyle Reese, had been killed nine months prior in May 1984, protecting Connor from a time-traveling Terminator (The 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 Connor with Sarah and T-101

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

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

Alternate future

Michael Edwardstimeline2

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

Many people believe that Kyle Reese is John Connor's father, which would create a paradox: John must send Kyle back in time so that he can exist 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 may not have existed in the original timeline (i.e. a timeline prior to TDE existing). This leads many fans to one of four possible options that:

  1. The man that Sarah was dating in the first film, Stan Morski is the true biological father of John Connor. However, there is no evidence that Sarah and Stan were actually involved, only that they had a date (which he canceled).
  2. Kyle Reese was sent back in a different timeline to alter the future outcome against Skynet and John Connor was 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 survival.
  3. Without presuming temporal intervention as some part of the unaltered original timeline that somehow gave rise to the first "John Connor, Leader of the Resistance" before anyone went back in time. Given that Sarah was basically just out there dating, any of a dozen one-night stands or blind dates could certainly have led to a pregnancy. And the "flake" nature of the guys she was dating (or blind-dating like Morsky) can 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 kill 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.
  4. The whole entire theory of a paradox is untrue just alternate universes all together exist even without the same events happening, this comes from the fact that the Terminator 3's T-850 is from a world where John Connor went to a basement and hooked up with future wife Kate Brewster. However this was not shown in T2, and was only mentioned in T3. As in the first film Kyle mentioned that John Connor was the leader of the resistance, but as soon as the T-800 Terminator and Kyle Reese go back to 1984 (originally John's father would be someone else) an altered timeline is in which Kyle Reese is John's father is created. To make it more confusing, in Terminator Salvation John Connor thinks that if Kyle Reese (his father) dies in the present, he would not exist; this is untrue as he already does exist, it just means that John Connor will have to send someone else back to 1984 to protect his mother, and his father would be someone else, it also might mean that he might not exist in an alternate reality at all.

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.

Behind the Scenes

John conor 05

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

  • 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.
  • Though John's eye color is green, his eye color in Terminator Salvation is brown, Bale's eye color.
  • John Connor has been portrayed by more actors than any other character in sci-fi film and television history (7 actors);[2] with the exception of Bernard Quatermass (7 actors)[3], James Bond (7 actors)[4] and the Doctor of Doctor Who (34 actors, though only twelve are official Doctors).[5]
  • John Connors name has the same initials as his creator, James Cameron.[6]
  • Promotional photos of the Playmates Toys action figure line mistakenly list the character as John Conner.[7]
  • 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.[6] 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.


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


  1. Terminator: The Burning Earth
  2. This article
  3. Bernard Quatermass at Wikpedia
  4. James Bond at Wikipedia
  5. List of actors who have played the Doctor at Wikipedia
  6. 6.0 6.1 Terminator Vault
  7. Playmates Toys figures and packaging - The Terminator Files

External links