For Millennials. By Millennials.
Fans of the Matrix Trilogy rejoice! We’re finally getting a Matrix 4. This joyous news was revealed just yesterday. There were talks about a movie for quite a while, but now it’s finally happening. Lana Wachowski will be directing the movie and she also serves as a co-writer. And yes, Keanu Reeves is returning for the sequel. He will be joined by his old co-star Carrie-Anne Moss. But this is a bit confusing since we saw both of these characters die in the last movies.
Well, there are a couple of theories on how that might pan out. Before we do that, we need a bit of a recap.
Matrix Trilogy Brief Recap
In 1999, a sci-fi series known as The Matrix was released. It was a revolutionary film series because of its compelling storylines and unique action sequences. It was a dark tale of how a sentient Artificial Intelligence ended up enslaving humanity. The technology ended up using humans as fuel for themselves. All the humans, those left, are kept in pods. The only salvation humanity has to end the AI threat is in Neo. Neo, the hacker, is prophecized to be The One.
Neo ends up sacrificing his life to save humanity which is what you would expect. It made sense for Neo’s character to have an ending like this. The stakes were high and the ending made it worth the emotional investment for the audience. Neo ends up assimilating with the villain: AI’s Agent Smith (Hugo Weaving). So when Smith sends a power surge into Neo, it ends up killing them both. This happened because Neo had already decided to be deleted. This happens in the Matrix simulation. In the real world, we see Neo die due to his injuries.
But this is indeed a sci-fi movie we’re talking about here. Things just aren’t that simple. So, it gives Lana Wachowski a lot of freedom to bring back our favorite hero of the Matrix saga.
Theories About Keanu Reeves Return
Neo Has Transcended
At the end of the Matrix trilogy, the machines are taking Neo’s body into the Machine World where he is treated like a Prophet like a figure. We don’t see any souls ascend up. But it is possible that Neo’s consciousness has transcended. Moreover, it should be noted that the Oracle did state to Sati that we will be seeing Neo again.
It’s not clear what that transcended state would be. But it could hold the key to our pressing questions.
He Has Come Back From Death Already
If you remember, Neo has already died once. You might recall he and Trinity entered the Matrix so that they could save Morpheus. In the process, Neo was killed by the evil Agent Smith. It was at that moment that Carrie-Anne Moss’ Trinity confesses her love for Neo. We see a scene inspired by Disney’s Sleeping Beauty, where our princess (in this context prince?) comes back from the dead by Trinity’s kiss. Apart from the romance of it all, there is one other thing that was interesting.
It is only after coming back from the dead that Neo can finally progress to a stage where he can fully become The One. This goes to show that with each death and revival of Keanu Reeves’ character, he is enhanced. So, him coming back in his transcendent state isn’t really something shocking at this point.
History of the Matrix Suggests There Were Multiple Neos
During the Matrix movies, it was revealed that the Matrix actually had five iterations before the current one. There were 5 simulated realities and all 5 of them had an error in the code. The error was The One.
Keanu Reeves’s character realizes that the Oracle Prophecy is a way for the AI to control the anomaly in the code. If they could lead The One to the Source, they always would have a few survivors to be used in the new cycle.
So, basically, The Matrix movies that we saw almost a decade ago showed us the sixth incarnation of the prophecized The One. It is quite possible that all of the previous ones looked like Keanu Reeves as well.
Since we know that the old Morpheus won’t be in the new movie, there would be different characters. Perhaps, Neo would return in a different form.
Neo and Trinity Were Both Encoded In the Matrix
The main aspects of The Matrix movie series were that it touched upon a lot of philosophical elements. The most popular one was that of dualism i.e. separating the body from the mind. If Neo managed to transcend, he might have done so using the same technology as the Matrix. We’ve all heard of the concept of uploading your own consciousness into a supercomputer. So, even if you die, your mind will live on for ages to come. We saw this in Johnny Depp’s Transcendence where a scientist uploads himself on a database
A lot of sci-fi fictional works have toyed with this idea. And it’s pretty convenient for Lana Wachowski to use it to bring back not only Keanu Reeves but also Carrie-Anne Moss’ Trinity. Trinity was killed but she was not The One, so there are fewer chances for her to transcend as Neo did. Hence, the most likely probability has got to be this one.