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John Sheppard
Character image.
John Sheppard in 2384
Full name: John Sheppard
Species: Human
Gender: Male
Homeworld: Earth
Born: June 14, 2332
Affiliation: Federation,
Starfleet Marine Corps,
Atlantis Expedition
Father: Patrick Sheppard
Sibling(s): Dave Sheppard
Marital Status: Single
Spouse(s): Nancy Sheppard
Occupation: Starfleet officer,
Starfleet Marine officer
Previous Assignment: USS Intrepid
USS Intrepid-A
Marine detachment executive officer
Marine detachment commanding officer
Assignment: Commanding officer,
USS Yorktown
Commanding officer, Atlantis Expedition's military contingent,
Starbase Atlantis,
Starbase Atlantis, Lantea
Rank: Colonel, formerly Lieutenant Colonel, Major
Insignia: Atlantis Expedition patch. Badge insignia. Rank insignia.
Character image.
John Sheppard in 2379

John Sheppard is a male Human who is an officer in the Starfleet Marine Corps and in Starfleet and, since 2379, a member of the Atlantis Expedition, commanding the expedition's military contingent for much of that time. Since 2377 John was serving aboard the USS Intrepid until it was destroyed by the Klingons in 2378 and later served on the USS Intrepid-A. In 2388, John got command of the USS Yorktown, a Galaxy-class starship after serving on the USS Intrepid-A for ten years. (Star Trek: Intrepid)


Background information[]

In the far, distant past, at least one Ancient became an ancestor in Sheppard's family line, passing down the Ancient Technology Activation gene to him.

John Sheppard was born to a wealthy family and was the son of Patrick Sheppard, a utilities mogul. By the time he was fourteen years old, his father had already planned his life for him. However, Sheppard had other plans and wanted to join Starfleet and the Starfleet Marine Corps. This heavily strained his relationship with his father and never spoke to him since, leaving his brother, Dave Sheppard, to take his place. After his education at Starfleet Marine Corps Academy, he joined Starfleet and participated in several top secret missions. He was married to Nancy Sheppard, who worked at Homeland Security in Washington D.C. However, due to spending much of his marriage on secret missions, this led to a strain in their relationship and they eventually divorced.

Personality and traits[]

Sheppard is one of the most skilled fighters on Starbase Atlantis. He is able to use a wide a variety of Starfleet and alien weapons. He was taught many fighting styles by both Teyla Emmagan and Ronon Dex, although he regularly loses to the more experienced fighters. When the Genii temporarily seized control of the starbase he was able to drive them out almost single-handedly. He is also an outstanding snap-shooter, able to draw, fire, and hit his target with unaimed fire from the hip and one-handed.

He is also an outstanding snap-shooter, able to draw, fire, and hit his target with unaimed fire from the hip and one-handed.

He is an exceptionally skilled pilot, being able to fly a wide variety of ships, ranging from Ancient warships to Puddle Jumpers. He is a skilled fighter pilot, often flying an F-302 in space combat. Even though he had no experience in it, Sheppard quickly mastered flying a Traveler generational ship, saying he had flown harder ships before.

Despite having no psychic abilities beyond his Ancient Technology Activation gene, Sheppard has one of the most powerful mental defenses known. He is able to resist Asuran mind-probes, albeit with difficulty. The only other persons to display similar abilities are Lieutenant General Jack O'Neill and Vice Admiral Typhuss James Kira who showed the ability to resist the Asuran mind-probe due to their previous encounters with it. When his team was temporarily placed in a mental illusions by the inhabitants of M5S-224, Sheppard displayed the ability to manipulate his own illusion, and was aware that something was wrong almost immediately. By 2384 he was able to completely resist a Queen, although it cost him a visible effort to do so. The Queen claimed he had the strongest resistance she had ever encountered from a human. Sheppard's ability to do this likely comes from the experience he gained fighting off multiple queens mind-probes.

Sheppard is highly intelligent, as indicated by his passing of the Mensa entry test, which places him in the upper two percentile on standardized intelligence tests, although he never actually joined Mensa. However, he rarely shows off with this, thus surprising other people when he does. His high intelligence also gives him somewhat of an ability to keep up with Dr. Rodney McKay and his plans and also come up with his own brilliant tactical plans when he needs to. He is also a keen and talented golfer, although he is disappointed that no-one else on his team shares his enthusiasm.

Sheppard's tendency to disobey orders to do the right thing has landed him in trouble with his superior officers. This ultimately results in his inability to transfer off Atlantis and his contemplation of resigning at the prospect of watching the IOA dismantling the starbase. General Landry said that this trait might make him a good leader but would be something that not many commanding officers would want in a subordinate. Even General O'Neill told Dr. Weir that she wouldn't understand not obeying orders was such a big deal as she was a doctor and not a commanding officer.


Prior to coming to Starbase Atlantis and, Sheppard's ability to form meaningful relationships with others was poor; he and his father hadn't spoken with each other for several years, and his marriage had fallen apart due to his inability to be there for her. However, since arriving on Starbase Atlantis, he has formed close bonds with several people, ranging from the senior staff to offworld allies.

Teyla Emmagan[]

Throughout their time together on the team they have always had a strong friendship. Their feelings developed into romantic feeling between the two. Especially when Teyla reavealed that having Torren was actually a result of a one night stand with Kanaan and it was before they started seeing each other. But after both acknowledging their mutual attraction they started seeing each other often. With Teyla having doubts because of her clan and of her having Wraith DNA and not entirely sure that John would accept her. John having to decide if its right dating a team member and who is under his command. But, John accepted her heritage making her understand that it didn't bother him in the slightest. Ronon felt their relationship was making John more sympathetic to the Wraith and didn't approve at first.


Sheppard first met Larrin when she used a Traveler's ship to disable his Puddle Jumper and later captured him to use him to activate a Aurora-class battleship. At first they hated and distrusted each other. But after working together to rid the ship of Wraith and Sheppard saved Larrin's life from a Wraith. She then thanked him and kissed him, but used it as an excuse to stun him. However he was able to convince her to let him go and she seemed impressed with him. Larrin later fought in the battle against the Asurans at his request, even requesting Sheppard be aboard her ship during the battle as she knew he was the best at using the ship's weapons. When it was over, Sheppard asked for a means of contacting her for "professional" reasons. He later ran into some Travelers and asked the Captain if Larrin ever mentioned him. She later mentioned she did after lying and saying she didn't. It's indicated that Larrin speaks very highly of him and his abilities. It is implied that should they meet again that their relationship might develop into something more.

Elizabeth Weir[]

Although she initially only recruited Sheppard for his powerful Ancient Technology Activation gene, Dr. Elizabeth Weir came to greatly respect his abilities as a soldier, particularly after he single-handedly saved Starbase Atlantis from a Genii invasion.

When Colonel Dillon Everett arrived to take command of Starbase Atlantis following Earth's discovery of a new Zero Point Module and the news of the approaching Xindi-Reptilian Contortrix-class warships, it was Sheppard who convinced Everett to keep Weir in the loop if he wanted to maintain the support of the rest of the starbase. Weir reciprocated this respect by insisting that Sheppard be promoted to Lieutenant Colonel rather than allow someone else to take command of Starbase Atlantis.

Chaya Sar[]

Although not for a long time John Sheppard was involved in close relations with the Ascended Lantean named Chaya Sar. During one mission after attack from several Wraith Darts AR-1 team was forced to land on the planet Proculus, whose inhabitants had never suffered from Wraith culling. Deciding that the new world could be an excellent sanctuary for refugees, the team attempted to negotiate with Chaya, the priestess of the god Athar. Despite the primary refusal to accept refugees or reveal something about the energy weapon that had saved the team earlier, Major Sheppard invited her to visit Atlantis. Throughout this visit John conducted a guided tour for Chaya and even arranged a romantic picnic overlooking the night city, which ended with recognition of mutual sympathy and a kiss. Despite suspicions about Chaya's sincerity on the part of Dr. McKay, Sheppard continued to defend her even when the truth about her true nature was revealed. It turned out Chaya is an Ancient punished by others because she couldn't deny the attachment towards her people during one of the Wraith attack long time ago. Thus she is doomed to protect the security of her homeworld, but can't violate the ban "not to interfere" with other people. Chaya admitted she had been alone for many years until she met Sheppard, that's why she decided to visit Atlanis in the first place. After noting that Sheppard will still be permitted to visit her occasionally, she 'shared' herself with him.

Atlantis team[]

Easily the closest bonds Sheppard has formed since coming to Starbase Atlantis are the bonds he shares with his teammates on the First Atlantis Reconnaissance Team, although he and Dr. Rodney McKay are prone to the occasional argument, with McKay sometimes growing frustrated with Sheppard's apparent assumption that he can automatically save the day when scientific problems arise. The two have shown on many occasions that they have both a great esteem for the other's abilities and share a surprisingly close bond, with McKay commonly attempting to help Sheppard when he suffers from personal problems despite his own poor abilities with relationships, such as when he attempted to express his sympathies following the death of Sheppard's father. The two have also been shown to spend a surprising amount of their leisure time together, both of them playing what they initially believed to be a Civilization-like game before learning that it was an Ancient experiment with real people, and racing RC cars in the lower halls of Atlantis. The two also have a habit of risking their lives to save each other which McKay actually uses as an excuse to go after him once, saying its his turn. Between their close bond, occasional bickering and deliberate attempts to annoy one another, and protective attitude toward each other, Sheppard's relationship with McKay can be seen as something of an attempt to recreate the bond he would have had with his younger brother, had the two of them not been estranged.

The most obvious bond he has formed on his team is his friendship with Ronon Dex, which has been compared by many to the bond between Colonel Jack O'Neill and Typhuss. Both featuring human leaders forming close bonds of respect and loyalty with soldiers who obey the other out of respect rather than adherence to the chain of command. The two men have been seen as having an almost brotherly relationship, Ronon leading the search for John when he was captured by Commander Acastus Kolya and later accompanying Typhuss and Sheppard back to Earth for his father's funeral. His friendship with Teyla Emmagan is another example of his ability to bond with others despite different backgrounds, believing in Teyla even when evidence suggested that she was feeding information to the Wraith—both deliberately and unintentionally—and showing great concern for her during her pregnancy. Teyla even named her son after him.

Although his bond with Lieutenant Aiden Ford never developed beyond simple friendship, Sheppard nevertheless clearly thought a great deal of the younger man, refusing to kill him even after he was driven half-insane by his use of the Wraith enzyme, and taking three years following their last encounter before he 'admitted' that Ford was almost certainly deceased. When Ford was found alive amongst the Travelers, Sheppard was shocked but pleased to find him. He forgave Ford for his actions under the enzyme and in fact blamed himself for what happened to Ford. After they helped the Vanir, Sheppard had the pleasure of returning Ford to his cousin and grandparents and had tears in his eyes as he watched the reunion.

John has close bond with Typhuss James Kira. The two have shown on many occasions that they have both a great esteem for the other's abilities and share a surprisingly close bond. John served on the USS Intrepid and the USS Intrepid-A, where the two formed a close friendship.

At one point he admitted that he didn't really have a family and his team, Dr. Elizabeth Weir and Carson Beckett were the closest thing he had to one.

Jack O'Neill[]

Jack and John had a positive relationship from their first meeting in which John flew General O'Neill to the Antarctic Outpost. Jack was impressed by Sheppard's flying abilities and briefly considered adding him to SG-1 to fill the position held vacant by him being promoted, likely working under Samantha Carter. This idea was never voiced as Sheppard was soon offered a position on the Atlantis Expedition.

Jack is one of the only superior officer that John had not angered. With the Atlantis Expedition on Earth and it doesn't look like there's any chance for them to return to Pegasus, Sheppard admits that he probably could not get a transfer to another area of the Stargate Program. This was on account of his negative relationship with General Landry.

Their relationship soured somewhat during the time when the Atlantis Expedition was on Earth. When O'Neill informed everyone that he was assuming control of the Atlantis Expedition, Sheppard was audibly outraged. To the point that was contemplating resigning after Jack declined to accept his request for reassignment. John ultimately regained much of the respect that he had for Jack after his actions proved to be a ruse to allow the Atlantis Expedition to be sent back.


Sheppard is mostly estranged from his family. He had a wife, but they divorced after she couldn't take all of the secrets, although she did later come to understand how hard it must have been for him. His father and brother are successful businessmen and his father wanted him to be one too and they had a falling out when he wanted to join the Starfleet Marine Corps and Starfleet. Sheppard felt he wasn't welcome by them afterwards and seemed to think he had no family as a result. He did return for his father's funeral and his brother thought he only wanted gold from their father's will after being gone so long. His brother, Dave, revealed to him that his father always regretted their fight and wanted to make up but never got the chance, which seemed to stun Sheppard. After stopping a Replicator threat, Sheppard returned home to make up with his brother who seemed to accept him back into his life.


Sheppard's relationship with the Wraith he named Todd is complicated. At first Sheppard hated Todd for feeding on him on Commander Acastus Kolya's order, but formed an alliance with him to escape. Sheppard showed some trust in Todd, giving him a weapon and allowing him to lead the way. While the two agreed that "all bets are off" if they ever met again, they also agreed that in that case they never wanted to meet again so they wouldn't have to worry about that. The two kept their deal with each other and surprised each other at the same time: Todd returned Sheppard's life force that he took from him when Sheppard expected him to finish feeding on him and Sheppard returned Todd to the Wraith even though Todd expected him to kill him. Todd later used their familiarity to get to come to Starbase Atlantis during the Asuran threat, but Sheppard distrusted him then and whenever else they encountered him. Sheppard was willing to work with Todd when the situation called for it and believed him to be the best chance they had of defeating the Wraith, but always threatened to kill Todd if he needed to, though he admits that if Todd stopped being a Wraith he'd stop wanting to. Sheppard also keeps all the deals he makes with Todd who at least trusts him to do so as shown when Sheppard makes a deal for Todd to land a Hive ship in exchange for Sheppard allowing him to leave to seek a cure for a disease he was infected with. Sheppard also knows how to talk to Todd to get him to do things as shown when he convinces him to give up two Zero Point Modules for Starbase Atlantis causing Todd to comment "you know how to talk to me." As Todd started to starve on Earth, he decided to ask Sheppard to kill him if it came to that, knowing that after seeing his state in Kolya's prison, Sheppard would be willing to do so. Despite all of his threats towards Todd over the years, Sheppard was actually reluctant at the idea of killing him and jumped at the idea of putting him in stasis instead and convinced Todd to do it.

Alternate realities[]

An alternate version of Sheppard and his team dead

  • In another alternate reality, Sheppard's team boarded an alternate Daedalus and starved to death on board the runaway ship in 2384.

Colonel Sheppard in an alternate reality

Detective Sheppard in an alternate reality

  • In another alternate reality, John was dishonorably discharged after attempting to rescue an unnamed Medic, with whom he was romantically involved, in Afghanistan. This differs from our reality where he tried to save Captain Lyle Holland. His hopper was shot down and the crash killed four soldiers and eight civilians. After narrowly escaping jail time for political reasons, he moved to Las Vegas where he joined the Las Vegas SCIS Department. After four years of trying, he was finally promoted to Detective. Though this alternate version of John Sheppard was never married, he is still a fan of Johnny Cash, taking only a poster (the same one seen in his quarters on Starbase Atlantis in our reality) with him after resigning his position. While leaving town in 2385, he figured out where to find the Wraith that had been building a transmitter and tracked it down. He called Dr. Rodney McKay who sent two fighters to destroy the Wraith's transmitter, but not before John was shot in the chest. He is presumed dead because while trying to crawl away from the wreckage of the destroyed transmitter. He fell to the ground in the middle of the desert and was unable to move any farther. His fate was not revealed, though he appeared to be suffering severe blood loss. It is entirely possible that he perished shortly afterward.
  • In another alternate reality visited by an alternate Rodney McKay in 2381, John Sheppard was likewise a member of the Atlantis expedition and the leader of AR-1. In 2385, that McKay told the Detective Sheppard of his reality that he had met his counterpart and that he was a hero who had saved the world several times over. Detective Sheppard commented that it did not sound much like him. However, McKay believed that there was little difference between the two Sheppards and that Detective Sheppard possessed the same strength of character.

Promotion history[]