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- “I can't keep running. I can't. I'm not who they think I am. Some Messiah.”
- - John Connor.
John Connor, son of Sarah Connor, is the future leader of the Resistance. In the year 2027 John sent back a Terminator named Cameron with the mission to protect his 15 year-old self from a Skynet attack. Cameron used time displacement equipment to transport John and Sarah from the year 1999 to 2007, thereby skipping Sarah's death and allowing them a chance to stop Skynet from being created.
Following the deactivation of Cameron by John Henry, John used time displacement equipment to travel to 2027 in an attempt to rescue her. He arrived in a new timeline where he is not leader of the Resistance and no one knows who he is.
- "Hi, you’ve reached the future leader of mankind. It may take me a while to get back to you, but leave a message anyway."
- - John Connor.
John has grown up considerably since his rebellious pre-teen years. The all-too-real threat of the machines has dulled his anti-social disposition, especially under his mother's supervision. By the time of the Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles pilot episode episode, John has adapted to a stable life and his relationship with his mother has strengthened, barring adolescent disputes.
When the machines return to kill him, John declares that he has had enough of running and resolves to stand and fight. His resolve is tested many times throughout the first season, such as when he decides to take the fight to the T-888 Carter in "Heavy Metal", despite Sarah's warnings. He remains true to his convictions in "What He Beheld" when they are targeted by Armenian mobster Sarkissian, forcing Sarah and Derek to consider abandoning their home and going back into hiding.
Over the course of three years, John has grown increasingly compassionate towards others. This is shown most predominately in his relationship with his mother, but can also be seen through his relationship with Charley Dixon, Sarah's one-time fiance. When Sarah reveals that they must leave Charley, John is distraught and highly resentful, later commenting that he trusted Charley enough to tell him about his destiny one day, and later comes to the hospital to comfort him about his wife's death. When fellow student Jordon Cowan prepares to jump off of a building, John is the only one who tries to save her and is extremely upset when Cameron prevents him from doing so. He is also fairly traumatized after witnessing the murder of several men at the hands of Carter, despite being subjected to such violence before. Later, when he finds out that twenty members of an FBI team had been murdered by Cromartie, he is deeply saddened and blames himself for the deaths, stating, "He's here for me. Those people are dead because of me."
Unlike Sarah and Derek, John possesses a passion for technology. He is an adept computer hacker, often breaking into encrypted hard drives and the LAPD database. His skill is such that, with the correct equipment, he can hack into a Terminator CPU and read the data it contains. He is also shown to be able to create a virus with the purpose of taking down a sophisticated traffic surveillance system. Though the virus fails its task, it nevertheless causes momentary disruption, showing John's considerable affinity for software. His affection for technology also allows him a unique insight where Cameron is concerned, granting him the clarity to look beyond her mechanical nature.
In addition to his computer skills, John is also shown to be an expert marksman, though he has yet to fire a weapon outside of a gunnery range and, with the possible exception of Sarkissian, has not killed anyone to date. Whilst practising at the Presidio Alto military academy, John teaches a fellow cadet his mnemonic for checking a jammed rifle before taking aim and hitting the bullseye with a perfect shot.
John spends most of the first season looking to others for protection and rarely takes the initiative in their endeavors. This changes in the second season when a series of events leads John to re-think his outlook on life. Watching Sarkissian beat his mother brings out a deep rage in John, resulting in him violently strangling the mobster to death. This, and the trauma of dealing with Cameron, fills John with a need to rebel against his mother and uncle. His first act being the reinsertion of Cameron's chip, despite a lack of assurance that she was safe.
Following the events in "Goodbye to All That", wherein John partakes in the destruction of a T-888 and saves the life of a future ally, John is forced to tearfully embrace his destiny and the sacrifices that others will one day make for him. He confesses to Derek that he sometimes wishes that he could just "wake up from all of this", as if his entire life is just one long nightmare.
In "The Tower Is Tall But the Fall Is Short", John is shown to be suffering from a severe case of Post Traumatic Stress as a result of him killing Sarkissian and the subsequent chaos with Cameron afterward. The psychiatrist, Dr. Sherman, likens his behavior to that of a soldier veteran, as he has a tendency to check his exits whenever he enters a room. It is also strongly implied that John attempted suicide in a weak moment, which only highlights the degree of his mental suffering.
John Connor's Biography (Season One)
Timeframe: 1999 - 2007.
Two years after blowing up Cyberdyne; John is thrust back into the fight against the machines when his destiny returns in the form of Cameron, his cyborg protector. With her help, and the guidance of his mother, John must travel to the year 2007 in order to prevent a chess computer called the Turk from one day becoming Skynet.
John Connor's Biography (Season Two)
Timeframe: 2007 - 2009.
Following the Jeep explosion, John's world hurtles off the tracks when he is forced to risk his life to save a damaged Cameron from her murderous pursuits, learning a hard lesson in self-reliance. Traumatized by the incident, John cuts himself off from all those around him as he finally accepts the destiny that awaits him.
John Connor's TSCC Biography (Post-Judgment Day)
Timeframe: 2011 - ????.
John Connor helps Mankind to rise out of the ashes of the nuclear war and leads a world-wide Resistance against the machines. Leading the charge to break out of the Century Work Camp with fellow prisoners, young Kyle Reese and military leader Martin Bedell, John would organize the first effective resistance to the machine threat. Temporarily recaptured in The Battle of Kansas Bunker, John and 39 others would be rescued by Kyle, his brother Derek Reese, and a heroic final act by fellow resistance organizer, Martin Bedell. In 2027; while Derek and his squad are MIA after a disastrous patrol, John sends Kyle Reese back in time to protect his mother Sarah in a top secret mission. Later that same year, John captures Cameron, an advanced infiltrator model Terminator, and other units such as The Rogue to support and defend resistance bunkers. After a disbelieving Derek is released from his Skynet imprisonment and encounters both resistance-loyal terminators like Cameron, and defective units such as the rampaging Rogue, John assigns Derek to go back in time (approximately 2006-2007) to set up safe houses and assets for the resistance's other time travel missions to use. After Derek is sent back he then assigns Cameron the task of protecting his younger self by sending her back to the year 1999.
Behind the Scenes
In the Sarah Connor Chronicles John is listed as 15 years old, in his mother's FBI record, and on the shows website. However his birthday (1985-02-28) as established in The Terminator and Terminator 2: Judgment Day would make him about that age when the show is set (September 1999/2007, with a time jump in between). In the season one finale, he remarks that he should be chronologically twenty-four years old, but that he is currently at sixteen. Curiously, the events in "Automatic for the People" take place on November 15–16, 2007, which would place John's birthday on November 14, 1983, a direct contradiction to his original birth date. Because the original movie took place in May of 1984 (the year John was originally conceived), the TSCC Connor would have been born a whole year before his own conception.
In the episode Dungeons and Dragons, Cameron claims that Sarah Connor is blood type O-positive, the universal donor. John Connor is later reveal to have blood type AB, thus able to give a transfusion to Derek Reese, also blood type AB. This would suggest that Sarah Connor is of the Bombay blood group, or that John Connor is of the cis-AB blood group, both of which are exceedingly rare.
Because John is attempting to hide from Skynet, he often uses aliases and false identities. Despite this, he rarely changes his first name and his last names are often drawn from his personal life.
- John Reese - (Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles pilot episode). Reese was the last name of John's biological father, Kyle Reese.
- John Baum - ("Gnothi Seauton"). Baum is the last name of Lymm Frank Baum, the author of the Wizard of Oz, a book that John Connor's mother often read to John when he was a small child.
- Henry Gage - ("Born to Run"). This name can be glimpsed on the new passport delivered to John by "Chola". Gage is the maiden name of Lymm Frank Baum's wife, Maud.
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 two possible options that:
- The man that Sarah was dating in the first film, Stan Morski, is the true biological father of John Connor.
- Kyle Reese was sent back in a different time line to alter the future outcome against Skynet and John Connor was born then creating the time line in which John led humanity to victory against Skynet and sent Kyle back to protect his mother and ensure his survival.
Prior to the release of the TV series The Sarah Connor Chronicles an interview with writer of the show, Josh Friedman was published:
- Josh Friedman states that the TV series is set in an alternate timeline, which means the timeline of Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines is not "ceasing" to exist, but it has never occurred from the TV series point of view. The pilot of the show begins four years after the events of Terminator 2: Judgment Day.
With some speculation, the two timelines from The Sarah Connor Chronicles and Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines can be forged together. Be aware that this is pure speculation:
- After the events of Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines the war starts between humans and machines. John becomes leader of the Resistance. Skynet manages somehow to make advanced robots earlier than the previous timeline (maybe from the remaining parts of the T-X and T-850), which lead to creating the "Cameron"-model and using it on the battlefield. After the previous attempts of killing Sarah and John Connor (T, T2 and T3), the war still goes on, and it's getting tighter. Skynet now uses all resources on the battlefield. In a last effort they send a T-888 (an older model) back to 1999 to kill John Connor. As a counterattack, the Resistance are able to catch a terminator from the battlefield (a "Cameron"-model) and send it back to protect John Connor. Sending terminators back before the previous timeline results in "erasing" the Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines-timeline completely.
- Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles
- Season 1
- Season 2
- "Samson & Delilah"
- "Automatic for the People"
- "The Mousetrap"
- "Allison from Palmdale"
- "Goodbye to All That"
- "The Tower Is Tall But the Fall Is Short" (centric role)
- "Brothers of Nablus"
- "Mr. Ferguson is Ill Today"
- "Strange Things Happen at the One Two Point"
- "Self Made Man"
- "Alpine Fields" (mentioned only)
- "Earthlings Welcome Here"
- "The Good Wound"
- "Desert Cantos"
- "Some Must Watch, While Some Must Sleep"
- "Ourselves Alone"
- "Today Is The Day, Part 1"
- "Today Is The Day, Part 2"
- "To the Lighthouse" (young John played by John DeVito)
- "Adam Raised a Cain"
- "Born to Run"