Characters / John Carter

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John Carter

Played By: Taylor Kitsch

  • Adaptational Angst Upgrade: Book Carter is a very straight-up heroic type. Movie Carter starts out embittered after the Civil War and the loss of his family. For a good portion of the movie, all he wants is to get back home, not wanting anything to do with the war, before finding his inner hero on Mars.
  • The Ageless: After returning from Barsoom, John appears to have stopped aging after ten years.
  • Batman Gambit: Pulls off a surprisingly good one against the Thern agent on Earth.
  • Battle Couple: With Dejah at the climax.
  • Challenging the Chief: Against Tal Hajus. Which he wins effortlessly.
  • Chronic Hero Syndrome: If John sees someone is in serious danger he will intervene on their behalf. He just can't help himself.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: His wife and child were tragically lost in a house fire.
  • Desperately Looking for a Purpose in Life: He seems a bit wayward at first, and even when he first shows up on Mars, the only thing he really wants to do is go back home. Then he starts getting attached to the Tharks as well as Dejah...
  • Determinator
  • Dual Wielding: Most scenes depict him wielding two swords in battle.
  • Empowered Badass Normal: John is a completely normal, if not skilled, cavalry soldier on Earth. On Mars, he's a One-Man Army.
  • The Hero
  • Master Swordsman
  • Normal Fish in a Tiny Pond: Barsoom's lower gravity makes this average human capable of superhuman feats of strength and endurance.
    • Which is just silly; Barsoom and Mars both have the same surface gravity (0.38 of Earth's surface gravity), so John Carter would only be able to lift a bit over 2.5 times more than what he is capable of on Earth. Also mass is independent of local gravity, he'd still have to overcome the same amount of inertia to get something to move. Pretty much all of his feats can be chalked up to Rule of Cool.
    • However, the original books were written at the very beginning of the 20th century, when no one really knew what operating in low gravity would be like, so it's excusable for Burroughs to amp it up quite a bit...
  • Took a Level in Kindness: The bonds he forms with the Tarks as well as his relationship with Dejah, help John become a more noble and heroic man by the end of the movie.
  • Walking Shirtless Scene: In his Barsoomian outfit.


Tars Tarkas

Played By: Willem Dafoe


Played By: Samantha Morton

  • The Chick
  • In the Blood: Tars Tarkas is her father, and it's no coincidence they're the two nicest Tharks. "The blood of my father drives me" indeed. Her Missing Mom is implied to have been in the same vein.
    • She was
  • Multi-Armed and Dangerous: Though a good deal less dangerous than most Tharks. Though she certianly has her moments.
  • My Species Doth Protest Too Much: She's a good deal less brutal and more compassionate than is considered seemly in a Thark, which has led to a very hard life for her.
  • Proud Warrior Race Girl: Played with. Sola is rarely seen without her weapons, but her personality is such that she only fights when necessary. She clearly believes in the Thark ideals of courage and honor, but can't deal with her people's brutality.

Tal Hajus

Played By: Thomas Haden Church


Played By: Polly Walker

    Red Martians 

Tardos Mors

Played By: Ciarian Hinds

Dejah Thoris

The Princess of Helium and the Deuteragonist of the movie.
Played By: Lynn Collins

Sab Than

Played By: Dominic West


Matai Shang

Played By: Mark Strong


Edgar Rice Burroughs

Played By: Daryl Sabara

Colonel Powell

Played By: Bryan Cranston