Sarah Connor

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Name: Sarah Connor
Occupation: Waitress, Mother, Resistance Fighter
Relationships: Kyle Reese (Lover), John Connor (Son)
Fandom: Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, The Terminator
Other: Portrayed by Linda Hamilton (T1, T2, Dark Fate)
Portrayed by Lena Headey (TSCC)
Portrayed by Emilia Clarke (Genisys)
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Sarah Connor is a main character in the Terminator films. As the mother of John Connor she is considered the mother of the Resistance.


The character Sarah Connor has appeared in most of the films and the TV series in the Terminator franchise. The character is introduced as an ordinary young woman in the first film, The Terminator (1984), but by the end of the film has begun her transformation into a resistance fighter, prepared to drop out of normal society to live off-grid for the safety of her unborn son. The character Kyle Reese has travelled back through time to rescue her, and mentor her, helping her realise what she must become in order for her son John to grow into the resistance leader so desperately needed in the future.

Sarah is an appealing character, maybe because many of us can identify with her initially mundane life - working as waitstaff, with nothing much to look forward to other than a night out with friends. Perhaps some of us wish for a clearer, more urgent purpose to drop into our lives - and hope that we, too, would be able to rise to the enormous challenge that is presented to her.

Later films and the TV series show Sarah Connor at different stages of life, and relating to the evolving Terminator 'verse as various dystopian futures are caused or averted.

In the first film and the second, Terminator 2: Judgement Day (1991), Sarah is played with charm, strength and gritty resolve by Linda Hamilton.

In the TV series Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles (2008-2009), Sarah is played as engaging, clever and tough by Lena Headey. She and her teenage son are living undercover, and trying to maintain relatively normal lives while investigating Skynet and trying to avert another apocalyptic future.

In a later film, Terminator Genisys (2015), an alternate reality Sarah is played by Emilia Clarke as a plucky young woman who has already been brought up as a fighter, in similar ways to how the earlier Sarah tried to raise her son. This time when Kyle Reese appears, he finds that Sarah is ready, willing and able to fight, and they form a more equal partnership.

Linda Hamilton returns as a much older Sarah in the film Terminator: Dark Fate (2019). John has died some years before, and an embittered Sarah is left alone to fight off ongoing attacks from Terminators sent from the future. A spark of hope is renewed, however, when she meets the young woman destined to become the future's resistance leader instead of John.


Sarah Connor is an iconic female action character.

from Crossroads, a 1994 Beauty and the Beast (TV)/Terminator crossover zine, art by Neal Farris

The most popular pairing for Sarah appears to be Sarah Connor/Kyle Reese. Within the TSCC fandom the femslash pairing Sarah Connor/Cameron and the het pairing Sarah Connor/Derek Reese are also popular.

Many works also examine Sarah's relationship with her son John Connor.


Terminator Movies







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