In "The Terminator" and "Terminator 2: Judgment Day" timeline, John Connor is the leader of the human rebel group Tech-Com that opposes them. 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 dilation device to send android assassins called Terminators to various points in John Connor's past in an attempt to terminate him before the war begins.
John was born when his mother Sarah Connor was hiding off the grid after the events of The Terminator. Sarah had decided to leave comfortable living to keep John safe and to prepare him for his future role as the leader of the human rebellion during the machine war. John spent the early years of his life learning about weapons, computer technology and espionage.
When his mother was captured for trying to blow up a Cyberdyne research facility in the early 1990s, John was seized by social workers who told him that his mother's stories of the postapocalyptic future were delusions. Accordingly, Sarah was sent to a mental institution and John to foster parents Todd and Janelle Voight. John was unable to cope with suburban living and became a juvenile delinquent. In 1995 when he was only ten he was confronted with the T-1000 that was sent to terminate him, and upon realizing that his mother's stories were true, he and his protector, a reprogrammed T-800, helped Sarah escape from the mental institution.
During their time together John bonded with the T-800 (referred to as "Uncle Bob" in the books: T2: Infiltrator, T2: Rising Storm, and T2: The Future War.), who became a friend and father figure to him. However, once the T-1000 was destroyed along with all of Cyberdyne's research, the T-800 asked that it be destroyed also so that its technology would not be discovered and used by others.
In "Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines" timeline, John continued to live off the grid after the events of "Terminator 2: Judgment Day," even as the original Judgment Day deadline of August 29th, 1997 came to pass without incident. His mother eventually developed leukemia and died. John refused to attend her funeral, instead fleeing the day after she died.
In 2004, John crossed paths with Katherine "Kate" Brewster, a former neighbor from when he was living with his foster parents. It is also at this time that he is attacked by the T-X and saved by another reprogrammed T-850, revealing that Judgment Day had not been avoided as he had initially thought, but merely delayed by seven years. Although John and Kate try to halt the launching of Skynet, they are led to an underground bunker where they are kept safe 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 starts his career as a military leader.
During the war in 2018 and the events of "Terminator Salvation", Connor is not yet the leader of the resistance, and must cope with the arrival of the mysterious Marcus Wright and the changes to the future he was not prepared for. He also must rescue his future father Kyle Reese before Skynet kills him. John's is also expecting his first child with Kate, who he married after the event of the third film.
In "Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles (alternate timeline):" two years after Cyberdyne Systems' destruction, Sarah and John went into hiding from the authorities using the aliases of Sarah and John Reese. Sarah even engaged to paramedic Charley Dixon, whom John sees as a father figure and help him picked the engangement ring for his mother. However, fearing to be discovered, Sarah left Charley with John.
Settled in Red Valley, New Mexico, John meets a beautiful girl named Cameron Phillips, only later to be discovered to be a Terminator reprogrammed to protect him and his mother from a T-888. Learning that the Judgment Day was postponed to April 21, 2011, Cameron led John and his mother to a bank, the Security Trust of Los Angeles, where The Resistance hid components of an isotope-fueled weapon and a time displacement device. Using the time machine, John, Sarah and Cameron travelled forward to 2007 where they can completely off the grid from Skynet and the country's law enforcement agencies so they can concentrate on preventing Skynet's birth.
But the world in 2007 proves complex: they find Skynet has sent additional Terminators back in time to support its own creation, and the resistance movement has sent back its own fighters to interfere. As they seek out an intuitive chess computer called The Turk, which may be a precursor to Skynet, they forge an alliance with Derek Reese, one of the Resistance's First Lieutenant and his father's older brother. After learning his uncle's existence, John desires to learn of his father from Derek, but his mother harbors distrust on the man as she is aware of his murderous nature and refuse to let Derek knows of John's parentage. However, Derek already figured it out after seeing John has a resemblance to his deceased brother. During John's birthday, Derek took his nephew to a park where he played baseball with Kyle during their childhoods, therefore meeting Derek and Kyle's younger selves. John was overwhelmed of finally meeting his father. Afterward, John and Derek begins their relationship, but keeping Sarah in the dark of Derek's knowledge.
John currently enrolls in Campo de Cahuenga High School under the name of John Baum, where he is friends with his fellow students Morris and Riley. Also, in contrast to the father-son bond between himself and the T-101, it is shown in multiple episodes that he has romantic feelings towards Cameron, which, at times, seem to be at least partially mutual. He also developing an attraction to Riley, who represents a chance of normalcy in his life.
May 12, 1984
Before John Connor is born, a T-800 is sent back in time to 1:52 AM on May 12, 1984 to kill his mother, Sarah Connor. In response, the future John Connor sends a soldier, Kyle Reese to 2:01 AM on the same day, so that he can protect his mother before he can be conceived. When Reese meets Sarah Connor, they have a brief affair during which they conceive John.
June 8, 1995
The second Terminator to be sent back in time is the more advanced T-1000, which Skynet sends to 4:58 AM on June 8, 1995 to terminate John Connor who is by then a young child, ten years old according to the police computer. In the future, elder John Connor retaliates by sending a re-programmed T-800 back to 3:14 AM on June 8, 1995 to protect his younger self.
September 7th 1999 (T:TSCC timetime)
A T-888, which identify itself as Cromartie, sent back to 1999 to assisinate John Connor. On Red Valley, New Mexico, as it about to succeed, only ecounter interference from a T-OK715, under the alias of Cameron Phiilps, reprogramed by The Resistance to aid John Connor and his mother Sarah. After they defeated it by using an isotop-fueled weapon hidden in a bank, The Security Trust of Los Angeles, T-OK715 and the Connors travelled forward to 2007 to halt Skynet's completion. T-888 followed them and resuming its mission.
July 24, 2004 (Judgment Day)
Main article: Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines
The final Terminator seen to be sent back in time is the T-X, which was sent to 1:14 AM on July 24th, 2004. Unlike its two predecessors, the T-X's objective was to terminate Connor's future officers as secondary targets. It is sent to terminate not only John Connor, but also Kate Brewster as its primary targets. The T-X and Brewster cross paths briefly, however, Kate is rescued by the T-850 terminator moments later.
A protector T-850 is also sent back in time from the future to protect John, but unlike the previous protectors, it was not sent by elder John. The reprogrammed T-850 was actually sent by his future wife and second-in-command, Katherine Brewster (daughter of Skynet's creator General Robert Brewster), due to the fact that Connor himself had actually been killed by that very Terminator.
Skynet manipulated Marcus Wright, a death row inmate turned cyborg, of leading John Connor and Kyle Reese to Skynet Central where a T-800 Model 101 was waiting to eliminate them both. Marcus rebelled against Skynet, seeks retribution toward Skynet for his transformation, and aiding Connor and Reese of defeating the T-800.
July 4, 2032
According to the T-850 that was later reprogrammed as his second protector and sent into the past, "he" assassinated John Connor on July 4, 2032. This terminator further and explained that Skynet selected a Model 101 because of the emotional attachment Connor would feel upon seeing its familiar physiognomy due to the events that transpired in the second movie.
In an omitted original ending of Terminator 2: Judgment Day, an adult John is shown as a U.S. Senator in a future of peace, and has a daughter of his own. This alternate future is presumably the result of the successful destruction of the Cyberdyne research lab by Sarah Connor, young John Connor, the re-programmed T-800 and Miles Dyson earlier in the movie. Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines negates the presence of this alternate future with its claim that Judgment Day could not be avoided, only postponed
AGE ISSUES Within 3 movies:
Terminator 3 alters John Connor's age from that shown in the earlier films. Taking place in 2004, it states that John Connor's age is 22. This places Connor's birth in 1982, rather than the previously established 1985, which was confirmed visually in Terminator 2: Judgment Day. This version of John Connor mentions seeing the Terminator previously when he was 13. In addition to this, in The Sarah Connor Chronicles John Connor is aged 15 in late 1999. This places his date of birth in 1984.