John Carter In 1881, Edgar Rice Burroughs attends the funeral of his uncle, John Carter, a former American Civil War Confederate Army captain who was killed in a sudden manner. According to Carter’s instructions his instructions, the body is placed in a tomb which can be unlocked only from the inside. His attorney gives Carter’s personal journal for Burroughs to read.
In a flashback to 1868 in the Arizona Territory Union Colonel Powell was able to arrest Carter with the intention that Carter could aid in fighting local Apache. Carter gets out of his cell but is caught by U.S. cavalry soldiers who are close to. After a run-in with a group of Apaches, Carter and a wounded Powell are chased until they retreat into a cave that appears to be filled with gold. Then, a Thern emerges from the cave and, frightened by the men, slashes them with an axe. Carter then kills him and accidentally activates the powerful Medallion. Then, he is transported to Barsoom which is a dying planet which is known to Carter as Mars. Carter can leap up to great heights and show feats of extraordinary power due to his lower gravity and the different bone density. Carter is captured by Green Martian Tharks and their Jeddak, Tars Tarkas.
The Red Martian cities Red Martian of Helium, Zodanga and Barsoom are at war for more than 1000 years. Sab Than, Jeddak of Zodanga, Armed with a unique weapon obtained from the Thern leader Matai Shang, proposes a cease-fire as well as an end to the conflict by marrying the princess of Helium, Dejah Thoris. Carter rescues the Princess and she escapes.
Carter, Dejah, and Tarkas’s daughter, Sola, reach a spot in a sacred river to discover a way for Carter to get back to Earth. They find out that the medallions are powered through a “ninth Ray” which is also the source for Sab Than’s weapon. The Warhoon is a vicious race controlled by Shang are able to attack them. Dejah as well as Carter are then taken back to Zodanga. A demoralized Dejah reluctantly accepts to marry Sab Than and offers Carter instructions on how to utilize the medallion for be returned to Earth. Carter accepts the offer, but Shang takes him captive and informs Carter the reason for Therns. They manipulate various civilizations until they fall, taking advantage of the resources of the planet. He also explains how they plan to achieve this with Barsoom, choosing Sab Than to be the ruler of Barsoom. Carter goes back to the Tharks along with Sola to request their assistance. They discover that Tarkas has been overthrown by a vicious brute named Tal Hajus. Carter and injured Tarkas battle with two enormous Great White-Apes in an arena before Carter takes out Hajus which makes him the leader of the Tharks.
The Thark army assaults Helium and is defeated by the Zodangan army. Sab Than is killed, and Shang is forced out. Carter is made the prince of Helium by marrying Dejah. On their first night, Carter decides to stay forever on Mars and throws his medallion. Shang is briefly seen and confronts Carter and sends him back to Earth. Carter embarks on a long journey to find the medallions they have on Earth and, after a few years he suddenly dies and requests extraordinary funeral arrangements in line with the fact that he has found a medallion, since returning to Mars would result in leaving his Earth body in a coma-like state and also makes Burroughs his guardian.
Presently, Burroughs runs back to Carter’s tomb and uses clues to open it. As he is doing so an Thern appears and raises a weapon before Carter appears and shoots the Thern in the back. He reveals that he had not discovered another medallion and Instead, he devised the plan to entice Thern Thern from hiding, winning Shang’s challenge. Carter makes use of the medallion from the dead Thern to return to Barsoom