What You Need to Know Before 'The Matrix Resurrections'
Prepare before you go back to The Matrix
The Matrix was a groundbreaking trilogy with spectacular special effects and a storyline that had audiences believing they were living in a simulation. Two sequels followed, Matrix Reloaded and Matrix Revolutions, which saw the Wachowski Sisters bring the story of Neo (Keanu Reeves) and Trinity (Carrie-Anne Moss) to a close. But now, 18 years after Revolutions made its debut in theaters, Lana Wachowski is directing a new entry in the series. Known as The Matrix Resurrections, the story continues the story of Neo and Trinity, while bringing in a whole new cast of characters.
At the end of The Matrix Revolutions, Neo had achieved some form of peace between the machines and the humans. This was after an endless war that saw the machines harvesting humans for their energy source. The Matrix is nothing but a simulation to keep the mind busy while the machines turn humans into batteries.
From what we’ve seen in the trailers, the new Matrix movie borrows heavily from the original trilogy of movies. If you haven’t seen the sequels in almost 20 years, or if you’ve never watched them, here are some characters and concepts you’ll need to know.
Neo - Keanu Reeves
Neo has the unenviable task of being the one human being that is supposed to bring an end to the war between humans and machines. In The Matrix, he spends the majority of the movie unconvinced of his abilities. Ultimately he’s able to achieve what no one has before—bending The Matrix to his will.
Trinity - Carrie-Anne Moss
Trinity believes wholeheartedly that Neo is The One that will bring about peace. In the first movie, she is given a premonition from a program known as The Oracle. She is told that she’ll fall in love, and the person she falls in love with will be The One. The bond between Neo and Trinity enables them both to achieve great things, but once they are separated they lose so much.
Morpheus - Laurence Fishburne / Yahya Abdul-Mateen II
Morpheus has one mission that drives him—he must find The One. Morpheus is the captain of the Nebuchadnezzar, which is a hovercraft of the human forces of the last human city, Zion. His belief is so strong, that he will forfeit his life in order to protect Neo. He survives the attack on Zion that occurs in The Matrix Revolutions, but his character in The Matrix Resurrections is played by Candyman (2021) actor, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II.
Agent Smith - Hugo Weaving / ??
If the machines represent the greatest enemies of The Matrix, then Agent Smith is the human face of those great foes. He is the Joker to Neo’s Batman. In the first movie, Agent Smith has super abilities and can inhabit anybody still plugged into The Matrix. Once freed of his shackles, he becomes akin to a computer virus. In the sequels, he continues to replicate himself until he’s bound to break the very foundations of The Matrix itself. Whether he will return for the new movie is yet to be seen, but Hugo Weaving will not be returning.
Niobe - Jada Pinkett Smith
Niobe is a human of Zion and captain of Zion ship. She’s an excellent pilot and a gifted fighter, but she doesn’t believe that Neo is The One. She returns in The Matrix Resurrections.
The Merovingian - Lambert Wilson
The Merovingian is an old, powerful program that resides in The Matrix. He deals in information and they operate a smuggling ring for exiled programs. He doesn’t make life easy for Neo in the sequels, refusing to give up The Keymaster, a vital program that is needed to reboot The Matrix. He returns in The Matrix Resurrections.
Sati - Tanveer K. Atwal / Priyanka Chopra-Jones
Sati is a sentient program that going to be erased in the Machine World because she serves no purpose. Her parents have arranged to have her smuggled into The Matrix by The Merovingian in exchange for termination codes for the Oracle. We last see her standing with the Oracle at the end of The Matrix Revolutions. In the new movie, she’ll be portrayed by Priyanka Chopra-Jones.
If agents are how the machines enact their will within The Matrix, then the sentinels are the machine’s weapons in the real world. With their machine bodies and long tentacles, they exist to track down the humans and annihilate them. The only weapon that can seemingly take them out is an EMP (electromagnetic pulse) that takes out all machines within a defined radius.
The Matrix Resurrections opens in theaters and premiers on HBO Max on December 22nd, 2021.
A new podcast is coming out soon that will celebrate the 20th Anniversary of the Lord of the Rings movie, The Fellowship of the Ring. John and I are also planning to do a bonus episode that will touch on the two Matrix sequels since I had an opportunity to revisit them before seeing Matrix Resurrections. Look for my Matrix Resurrections review here next week.
Earlier this year I wrote an article for Polygon’s Lord of the Rings Anniversary series.
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