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In the end of The Terminator movie, Sarah Connor recorded audio tapes for her upcoming son saying: "If you don't send Kyle back in time, you can never be." (not exact words)

Yes, she was pregnant after sexual intercourse with Kyle, but how did she know that this offspring would be John Connor? There was possibility that pregnancy wouldn't result in successful birth, or her 2nd child would be future leader of human resistance against machines...

Was she mere a lucky fool or, by naming her first child "John Connor", she setting the future?

  • The person's personality does not change due to a name. He could have been named anything else and still be the John Connor of the future. I would imagine that if he had named her son anything different, the next Kyle would have come back and told Sarah that this person named ___ would be the hero and YOU are the reason for him/her. – Wanting Answers yesterday
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She knew John specifically sent Kyle back in time and gave him her photo significantly prior to sending him back*. Kyle told her so. So it is not a stretch for her to realise John sending Kyle back in order for Kyle to father John (along protecting Sarah). Other than that, she had no reason to assume this baby wasn't John Connor, so it would be irrational to wait for a sibling. And then what? Why should that sibling then be "the right" John Connor. By that logic John would never be born and the machines would win.

What really formed the leader of the resistance was the information that this child will be the leader of the resistance and the subsequent training he receives. So her choice to bring up this child as The John Connor made him The John Connor.

* This is important because you could argue that giving him a picture would be the only way to make sure he recognises her when he went back in time. But he giving Kyle the photo before giving him the job means the ulterior motive was a different one than enabling Kyle to recognise Sarah. It was to allow him to fall in love or at least have a crush on Sarah.

  • What if she named John something like McAwesome Machine Killer ? I think that would give him the edge to stop skynet earlier. – jsedano Aug 30 '13 at 18:32
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    @anakata: That name would be massively impractical, wouldn't it? It's second only to little bobby tables. – bitmask Aug 30 '13 at 23:30
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Knowing what we know about the series, skynet has continuously targeted John Connor along with his mother Sarah. In my honest opinion the original John ceases to exsist after Kyle impregnates or seemingly impregnates Sarah. In all honesty Sarah could have been pregnant already and instead of telling young John that your daddy left us high and dry; she tells John your father sacrificed himself for us. (you know instead of your father being a deadbeat he's a hero and even tho he's not around in either case, with him being spoken of and talked about as a hero is a better scenario as to why he's not around. With that said as mentioned before Sarah could have miscarried had a girl or aborted thinking it might be her only way out or she could have simply named him something else entirely (ex john Reese Kyle Connor)and still trained him just like she went on to do.

  • Where do you take the information that Sarah was pregnant when she met Kyle? – bitmask Jun 26 '15 at 12:59
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It's possible she doesn't "know" she's pregnant with John, specifically - but it doesn't matter if she currently is or not.

She knows that she is going to give birth to a son at some point, and she will name him "John". The tapes she is recording are for that future son, John. Whether John is born 9 months from now, or 10 years from now, those tapes are still for him.

Some trickiness does come up if we entertain the possibility that there is more than one Connor son to be born over time, but that's a problem with any time loop movie. It's possible that Kyle told Sara John's rough age/date of birth, though, which would certainly help identify which one would grow up to be the leader of the resistance.

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