Friday, November 1, 2013

John Connor: Temporal War Criminal

Future John Connor from Terminator 2
The basic conceit of the Terminator franchise is that John Connor, leader of the human resistance is this great hero who is protecting humanity from Skynet. Even going as far as sending agents back in time to try and alter events to keep the Terminators from existing.

But is John Connor truly this great leader?  At least that's what the loyal resistance fighters of the future say about him. They have lived in a world of total war for years and John Connor seems to be the only glimmer of hope they have. As a result they are fanatically loyal and more than willing to lay down their lives for him. Kyle Reese's devotion to him is quite evident in his numerous monologues in the first Terminator movie.

All we have really ever seen of John Connor is younger man who finds himself propelled steadily closer to his eventual future. By a large degree, it is John Connor's future self that is manipulating events though his proxies in the first two movies. Even worse, in Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chrocnicles it's clear the manipulations of both Skynet and the Resistance extend much farther than just John's existence. Both sides are engaging in a time active war against each other and it seems the more both sides change the past the more inevitable Judgement Day becomes.

By sending Reese and the second Terminator back in time, he pretty much ensures the very future of blood soaked death and destruction through predestined paradox. Without Kyle to impregnate Sarah, there is no John Connor, who never becomes the resistance leader Skynet must seek out before he is born, and thus their Terminator never falls into the hands of Cyberndyne Systems and the technology that creates Skynet never exists. The John Connor of the future must be aware of these facts when he arrives at the point where he must send Reese off to become his father.

Yet he chooses this path, and the world suffers for his decision. The war can be prevented by John Connor, if he chose to sacrifice his existence which was never meant to be.  More than a few writers have made Christ comparisons to John Connor,  but his future actions make it clear he is no savior of mankind. He is it's damnation by fire, and it is clearly a conscious action on the his part since he did it repeatedly.

No comments:

Post a Comment