|The Terminator character|
Bale as John Connor in Terminator Salvation.
|First appearance||Terminator 2: Judgment Day|
|Last appearance||Terminator: Genesis|
|Created by||James Cameron|
|Portrayed by||Edward Furlong
(second film; teenager)
(second film; adult)
(video game, voice)
|Family||Kyle Reese (father)
Sarah Connor (mother)
John Connor is a fictional character of the Terminator franchise. Created by writer and director James Cameron, the character is first referred to in the 1984 film The Terminator and first appears, portrayed by teenage actor Edward Furlong, in its 1991 sequel Terminator 2: Judgment Day. The character is subsequently portrayed by 23-year-old Nick Stahl in the 2003 film Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines and by 19-year-old Thomas Dekker in the 2007 television series Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles. English actor Christian Bale portrays Connor in the film series' fourth installment, Terminator Salvation and Jason Clarke portrays Connor in the film series' reboot, Terminator: Genesis.
In the narrative of his fictional universe, John Connor is a messianic figure who will lead the Resistance to defeat an empire of robotic Terminators amassed by Skynet (the rogue military supercomputer) following Judgment Day (a cybernetic revolt doomsday event). When his mother Sarah Connor became the target of a time travelling Terminator unit in the first film The Terminator, John sent resistance fighter Kyle Reese to protect her, knowing Kyle and Sarah would later conceive John himself. With foreknowledge from his parents, John fends off Terminator assassination attempts in the second and third films before Judgment Day. In the fourth film, John fights with the Resistance in a post-apocalyptic setting after Skynet has taken over. As the series' central plot heavily involves the concept of time travel, the story of the character is often non-linear and portrays many possible outcomes, for example The Sarah Connor Chronicles and Terminator 3 both continue from the ending of Terminator 2 but are depicted as taking place in alternate timelines.
Terminator film series
In The Terminator, John is mentioned and is the basis of the film (the titular Terminator is attempting to kill Sarah Connor because she will be his mother) but does not make a physical appearance. However, at the end of the film, Sarah is pregnant with John.
Terminator 2: Judgment Day
John makes his first true appearance in Terminator 2: Judgment Day which takes place in 1995, played by Edward Furlong as the young John Connor and Michael Edwards as the older John Connor at the beginning of the film. He was a 10 year old juvenile delinquent living with foster parents while his mom was at a hospital for the mentally insane. One day while in an arcade with a friend, the T-1000 and the Terminator T-800 (who looks exactly like the Terminator in the original film but has, in this film, been sent as a protector) fight over John. This starts a chase sequence where the T-800 and John try to lose the T-1000. Later that night, his mom breaks out and he and the Terminator (the T-800) go to save her. The three escape. John teaches The Terminator how to be like a human. He teaches him sayings like "Hasta la Vista Baby!" (to the amusement of the film-goers). He forms an emotional bond with this Terminator and does not want the Terminator to destroy himself when he does at the end of the film. Also, John Connor is briefly seen as an adult, played by Michael Edwards in a flash-forward. In this battle scene, his face is heavily scarred.
The alternate ending for Terminator 2: Judgment Day depicts Sarah Connor alive and well on August 29, 2029. John Connor has become a U.S. senator and father to a daughter in a world where Skynet was never able to start its war on humanity. Through Sarah's statement, that even though Judgment Day has been averted, John however accepts that he still has a destiny to make a difference, which is what makes him decide to pursue his political career.
Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines
In Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines which takes place in 2004, John Connor, portrayed by Nick Stahl, is now a young adult. When the film opens, he reveals in monologue that he has been living off-the-grid after the events of T2, even as the original Judgment Day deadline of 4:20 on August 29, 1997 came to pass without incident. His mother eventually developed terminal leukemia and died. In the film, John crosses paths with Katherine "Kate" Brewster (Claire Danes), a former classmate from when he was living with his foster parents. He is attacked by a T-X Terminator, which was sent from the future to August 24, 2004. Unlike its predecessors, the T-X's objective was to terminate his future officers as secondary targets because John's location was unknown. When it encounters John it changes its priority to focus entirely on him and Kate. A protector T-850 (Model 101) is also sent back in time from the future to protect John, and it explains that Judgment Day had not been avoided as initially thought, but delayed to 2004, also stating that Judgment Day is inevitable. The T-850 also states that it was not sent from the future by John, but by Katherine, who is his future wife and second-in-command. The reason for this is because John had actually been killed by that very Terminator on July 4, 2032, as Skynet believed it to be the most suitable for such a mission due to John's emotional attachment to its model number. Although John and Katherine spend a significant portion of the film trying to halt the launching of Skynet, they are misled to believe Skynet's core is in an underground facility, only to find themselves locked and protected in a secure bunker as the first nuclear assault is launched on the United States as a result of Skynet's manipulations. It is via the working radios in this bunker that John begins to organize the resistance.
In Terminator Salvation, which is set in the year 2018, John Connor, portrayed by Christian Bale, is now an older, battle-experienced, resistance soldier married to Kate Brewster, who serves as a medic and is now pregnant with his child. The story features a new character named Marcus Wright, and a younger Kyle Reese, as seen in the original movie. John starts as one of the many foot soldiers who make up the Resistance movement based in California. Despite having extensive prior knowledge of the machines and Skynet's capabilities, John is largely dismissed and considered a nuisance by General Ashdown who runs the guerrilla para-military organization. He considers Connor a delusional false prophet at best and a dangerous liability to their operations at worst. Nonetheless, there are pockets of people within the Resistance who have come to believe in John's experiences and judgment based on their own first hand experiences serving with him. Later on, towards the middle of the movie, John learns that Kyle Reese has been placed in a detention center by Skynet and sets out to rescue him, with Marcus Wright leading him to the base. But upon arrival and seeing that the other prisoners are safe, John faces off with a T-800 crafted in the image of the cyborg unit that he and his family have encountered previously. Marcus helps him destroy the T-800, but due to injury, John's heart is too badly damaged and Marcus offers his own to John, who accepts. John's ending statement is that though this battle has been won, the war is far from over. When John is hurt during his encounter with the T-800 and receives multiple cuts to the face. These cuts mirror the same scars seen on John's face in the opening scene of the second Terminator movie. This opening scene is set in the future and shows John Connor watching an ensuing battle between The Resistance and Skynet. The fourth Terminator installment ultimately tells the story of how John Connor rises from being a mere captain within, to being the undisputed leader of, The Resistance.
John Connor will be portrayed by Jason Clarke.
Terminator: Sarah Connor Chronicles
|The Sarah Connor Chronicles character|
|Last appearance||"Born to Run"
|Created by||Josh Friedman|
|Portrayed by||Thomas Dekker|
|Occupation||High school student|
John Connor appears in the parallel universe series Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, which tells the story of the Connors before Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines. It branches off from the shared back story of Terminator 2, and according to consulting producer James Middleton "is [a new] version of T3." At the beginning of the series in 1999, John and Sarah try to settle down to normal lives after the events of T2, but they are in fear of being captured for blowing up Cyberdyne during the events of the second film. While at school, John is attacked by a Terminator posing as a teacher, and is protected by a reprogrammed Terminator named "Cameron". John learns that Judgment Day has not been prevented, only postponed to April 21, 2011. John does not want to run anymore and asks Sarah to stop Skynet from being created. Cameron uses time dilation technology (built by "The Engineer" from the future) to send all three of them to 2007, just before Skynet is created, so that they can stop it.
Settling down in 2007, John enrolls in Campo de Cahuenga High School under the name of John Baum, after author L. Frank Baum who wrote The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, a book that Sarah says was John's favorite when he was younger, where he is friends with his fellow students Morris and Riley Dawson. He becomes acquainted with his father's older brother, Derek Reese, who is also a resistance fighter sent back in time to help them. This version of John is shown to be a highly skilled computer hacker (a nod from Terminator 2), even being able to hack into a Terminator's CPU in order to read the information it contains, as well as easily hacking into the LAPD database. He claims that he could hack a computer system 'in (his) sleep'. He is also proficient in chess, lock-picking, self-defense, and weaponry, all of which were part of his training during his childhood. The relationship dynamic between John and Cameron is different than with the "Uncle Bob" T-800 by virtue of her size/gender, with some degree of sexual tension. He also develops a relationship with Riley, a high school classmate, who, unknown to him, is also from the future and working with Jesse Flores, a resistance fighter and lover of Derek Reese. Jesse's plan was for John to become infatuated with Riley, making her a threat to John's security. This would force Cameron to kill Riley, thereby alienating John from her. Apparently, after Judgment Day, rumors abound of an unnatural relationship between the two that affects John's tactical decision making, and some are unsettled that he has appointed a Terminator as one of his lieutenants.
With the success of T2, John Connor would appear in the non-canon Terminator/Man of Steel crossover Superman vs. The Terminator: Death to the Future, where DC Comics and Dark Horse Comics teamed Sarah and John Connor up with the Man of Steel in an adventure that pitted Superman up against not only Skynet, but also against his old rival The Cyborg. In this adventure, while trying to protect Sarah and young John, Superman is pulled into the future - the resistance had attempted to recover a Terminator that Skynet had sent back earlier but the machine targeted Superman by mistake, and is then able to help the older John, as well as an older John Henry Irons (AKA Steel) take down Skynet once and for all. Meanwhile back in the past Cyborg makes a deal with Skynet - leaving a message in a Terminator's skull about Superman's weaknesses and subsequently allying himself with a T-X sent back from the future to assist him, while Supergirl, Superboy, and even Lex Luthor continue to protect Sarah and young John from wave after wave of Terminator cyborgs, the later models being specifically upgraded to cope with the Superman family. The story concludes with Superman having aided the resistance in destroying Skynet by detonating an EMP in Earth's atmosphere powerful enough to shut down Earth's machines before returning to the past, where the Cyborg is defeated and all Terminator components disposed off in the sun. However, at the end of the comic, it is revealed that Lex Luthor has multiple parts of various other Terminators, and was continuing to research them, since he never was able to capture a fully functional Terminator. This leads the reader to believe that Luthor played a hand in Skynet's creation in the future.
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