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Matrix Thoughts

Author: 
Maximus

Last night I saw Matrix Revolutions for the second time and wanted to share my thoughts on it. Despite the negative reports my main concern was would the Wachowski brothers put a satisfying ending to a great set of movies? The answer was yes and no.

This article takes into account that you've seen the movie, so expect major spoilers.

After having seen the movie twice, I can say one of my main disappointments was that a lot of things were not explained. I'm going to hope that the Wachowski brothers didn't fall prey to a lack of time and bigger budgets than many countries when they created the second and third films. If they did just slap Matrix #2 and #3 together to make a buck, then the following is going way too deep. :) Here's the primary unanswered questions that I have, along with my thoughts in trying to explain how it might be possible. If you have any other ideas, don't hesitate to post your comments below.

1) Real World Powers : In the beginning of the movie Neo is trapped in-between the machine world and the real world. How he got there is not explained, but it occurred after he used his powers to stop the sentinels. Later on in the movie Neo asks the Oracle how he can affect the real world with his powers. She replies that he is connected to the source and changes the subject. As the movie was coming to a close and the Architect was approaching the Oracle on the park bench, I was getting ready for an in depth revelation that would explain his connection and more. Unfortunately nothing new was revealed and the movie came to an end.

To say I was disappointed would be an understatement. I'm confident that the Wochowski brothers did have an in depth reasoning but why they chose not to expand on it might only be revealed in Matrix 4, if that ever gets made but after 13 Freddy movies, I'd bet anything we haven't seen the end of this franchise.

So while we wait, here's my theory on how this is possible with the facts from the movie. We know that he is connected to the source. We also know that after being blinded, he could "see" anything that was machine related but nothing else. In other words he couldn't see walls, chairs, or other people but could see Agent Smith and all other machines. Finally we know that the powers he has in the real world extend to blowing up machinery but not much else. The only non-religious answer I can come up with that reconciles how this is possible, points to a possible chip implant when he was incubating in the Matrix Battery Towers.

This implant allowed him to communicate with the Matrix and tell sentinels to blow themselves up and allowed him to read the signatures of machinery around him. This idea is not that far fetched if you can accept that they are already implanting hardware to allow humans to connect to the Matrix and Morpheus could have easily missed it when they rescued him and were reworking his body.

The big question now is how could it have gotten there in the first place. My theory on that is the Oracle arranged for it to be implanted. She's obviously taken steps to involve herself in the affairs of humans and could have chosen Neo when he was first hatched, on the assumption that he would be a good candidate. In fact all the hopefuls could also have had the implant which would have increased the odds should Neo have been killed or not been released.

2) Matrix Cycles : In the second movie, we had that excellent speech by the architect explaining that there have been many cycles of the Matrix with Zion being destroyed each time. Since this didn't happen it's interesting to see why not. The main factor is obviously the Oracle. By allowing herself to be assimilated by Smith, she was able to deliver the all important message to Neo that all things have a beginning and end. If she hadn't, then he would have fought Smith forever while the sentinels were destroying Zion.

The peace that was achieved between the machines and humans appears to be a first and for that Neo had to sacrifice himself. There were some major religious overtones here with his death in a cross-like fashion and as he was being taken away, you could almost make out a Christ like figure in the light. This ties in with the Oracle at the end saying that she didn't know how it would all turn out but that she believed, a cornerstone of religion.

3) EMPs : There were a serious lack (read "none") of EMPs in Zion and while it is understandable that using an EMP would not be that beneficial to an enemy that would attack in waves, you would think that they would have at least one, just in case, or even more when they were ready to make a last stand. I can only point to this a plot device to allow the movie to move along the expected path. Any plausible explanations would be interesting to hear.

4) Human Batteries : In the first movie we learn that humans are slaves to the machines and used as power cells. They are literally hatched in fields and incubated, with the heat they generated being used as power. There have been some complaints that it would take more power to keep the humans alive than what they could draw from them. Also there were complaints that even if it was possible, why not use farm animals and totally get rid of the human race and it's problems. This too makes sense. Finally at the end of the third movie, the Architect agrees whole heartedly to releasing all the humans trapped in the Matrix. This would seem to question how the machines would survive.

My understanding of the whole issue is that the machines don't hate humans but at the same time they themselves don't want to be destroyed nor kept as slaves. With this in mind, the machines built a form of jail where they could keep their "masters" alive but under control. The energy that the humans generate helps power the Matrix and while it might not cover the whole deficit, it does have the added benefit of using the captive human's brain power to do the vast computational needs to make something like the Matrix happen. Since the human race would die unless the machines hatched more humans, the machines were effectively trying to save the humans and themselves, while trying to come up with a solution on how they could live together in peace.

So at the end of the third movie, the Architect can free the humans because somewhere else there is another form of power that they use and with a peace truce, there is no reason for the Battery towers.

5) Death of Smith : When Neo allowed Smith to take over his body, it caused the destruction of all Smiths in a blinding flash of energy. Originally when I saw this, I thought that it was the machines leader that had destroyed Smith through some type of Virus or other process. However seeing it the second time, it became clear what another possible reason might be. When Neo first flew into Smith in the first movie, he accidentally imprinted some of his powers onto Smith, creating a negative version of himself according to the Oracle. So if Neo is one (1) then Smith is negative one (-1), which when added together is zero, hence the death of Smith but also of Neo.

6) Flying Death : Near the end of the movie when Neo is going to the Machine city, he forces the hovercraft above the clouds to get rid of the sentinels. Originally I thought there was something related to the height that stopped them, but on the second time around it is clear that it's the electrical storms that short circuits both the sentinels and the hovercraft. You can see this as the hovercraft starts plummeting to Earth and Trinity has to try to jump start the engines.

Conclusion

All in all, I enjoyed the three movies quite a bit, though think that they could have been so much better if just a few things were explained instead of having to draw conclusions. I also think that maybe this was done on purpose to allow for future movies and I am confident that we will see more of Neo in the years to come.

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