Pop Culture: Sci-Fi TV & Film’s Best And Worst Dads
Kyle Reese (Terminator)
Kyle Reese’s relationship with his son is…unusual, to say the least. In fact, he lives his entire life without realizing that John Connor is his son, or even that he has a son. Which is doubly strange since John serves as the leader of the human resistance against Skynet to which Reese dedicates — and sacrifices — his life. Which means, while Reese never gets the chance to raise John, he does get to serve as an example for him during the years before he travels back to 1984 to save Sarah Connor, conceive John during one night of passion, and close the loop of John’s existence. It had to be a strange thing to experience a father/son dynamic in reverse, watching your dad as a younger man than you, and knowing that you will eventually have to send him back to die, or you yourself will never have existed. Time travel, man. It’s worse than an ice cream headache.
Thankfully, Reese sets a wonderful example for John, even though he’s never aware he’s doing it. He is a good man, a driven soldier whose commitment to his mission and to preserving humanity never wavers, even when it looks the most bleak. Even though he would not meet Reese until he was a grown man, John was never far from Kyle’s legacy. As Sarah raised him and taught him to be a survivor, she also passed on Reese’s wisdom and his hope that the future was not set…words which Kyle had learned from John, who had learned them from Sarah, who had learned them from Kyle.
Also, Reese was played by Michael Biehn, and who the hell wouldn’t want to be the son of 1980s Michael Biehn?
If He Was Our Dad: We’d have a serious struggle keeping our secret, even though we knew it would be too dangerous to tell Reese the truth. If we could get some downtime between field missions against the Machines, we’d find a nice roomy underground bunker and order him to have a game of catch with us.
Ideal Father’s Day Gift: We’d pull a little Back to the Future move and leave an arsenal waiting for him in the past, and a hand-delivered letter explaining where to find it. With lots and lots of armor-piercing rounds.