Kyle Reese is the primary character in the first Terminator film, the posthumous father of John Connor, and the love of Sarah Connor. He is played by Michael Biehn in the first Terminator films, Jonathan Jackson in the television series, and played as a teenager by Anton Yelchin in Terminator Salvation.
Kyle Reese (Sergeant, Tech-Com, DN38416) is a soldier in the human Resistance from the post-apocalyptic future of The Terminator, where most of humanity had already been wiped out in a deadly nuclear war on August 29, 1997, sparked off by an artificial intelligence known as Skynet. The sentient computer system launched a genocidal war on the survivors.
In most versions of the Terminator story, Kyle Reese was born after the nuclear attacks (though in some Terminator media, such as The Sarah Connor Chronicles, he was born before the attacks). He was later captured by Skynet forces as a child and to survive he was forced to work in one of Skynet's concentration camp, where others are sent to their deaths. His freedom comes when a resistance movement, led by John Connor, freed him and the others from Skynet. Afterwards, Reese served in the 132nd Infantry under Justin Perry from 2021 to 2027, before transferring to Tech-Com under John Connor, someone he comes to admire and (coincidentally) consider his closest friend. Eventually, the Resistance rallies enough remaining human forces to launch a successful, final assault on Skynet's central complex.
The final assault eventually allows the human Resistance to cripple Skynet, as Reese explains in The Terminator. In 2029, the Resistance is able to smash through the last of Skynet's defense grids, allowing them to enter Skynet's main compound and destroy it. Skynet, however, has a final, unexpected option: using experimental time displacement equipment, Skynet sends one of its most feared machines, a T-800 series Terminator, back to pre-apocalypse Los Angeles, California on May 12, 1984, to assassinate the young Sarah Connor, known to have been the mother of Resistance leader John Connor, and thus prevent the birth of Connor and the success of his future rebellion.
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