The Matrix: Resurrections will bring Neo and Trinity back to the big screen in an explosive action blockbuster. Resurrections will hit theaters on December 22, but longtime fans might have to do some research before they head to the theaters. After all, the first Matrix film had two much-maligned sequels that are likely to impact the plot of the fourth film.
The Matrix: Revolutions concluded the cinematic storyline that started with the Wachowskis’ groundbreaking 1999 film. However, it wasn’t the end of the story, as far as the directors were concerned. In 2005, an MMO called The Matrix Online picked up right where Revolutions left off. The MMO had the Wachowskis’ explicit blessing to continue the films’ storyline, so all of its events were considered canon.
The game picked up immediately following the truce brokered between the remaining humans in the real world and the Machine City. Neo, the Chosen One, managed to bring the cycle of violent uprisings and reboots to a close. During the Matrix Online’s four years of operation, its ongoing story offered a canonical extension to the tale found in the film trilogy.
The Matrix Online
The Matrix Online was an MMO, like World of Warcraft or Everquest. It centered on the ongoing conflict between three factions in the remnants of the titular Matrix computer system. Players could side with the machines, the human rebels, or the Merovingian, a faction comprised of characters from the movies who sought to stop the endless cycle of war.
In the game’s ongoing storyline, players attempted to find fragments of Neo’s original consciousness. Human rebels wanted to retrieve the Chosen One’s body from the Machine City, too, but the robots claimed they had no idea what happened to Neo after his sacrifice.
Later in the game’s ongoing narrative, Morpheus was seemingly assassinated by a masked Matrix program. Early trailers for Resurrections show a new actor, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, playing Morpheus, suggesting that the original mentor figure might really be gone. Lawrence Fishburne, Morpheus’s original actor, hasn’t been publicly announced as being part of Resurrections’ cast.
Back in the Fight
Trailers for Resurrections seem to indicate that the cycle of violence between the humans of Zion and the Machines is repeating itself. Thomas Anderson is back in the Matrix, as is his ally Trinity. While Neo’s ultimate fate in the films was ambiguous, Trinity’s wasn’t. She was killed during the events of Revolutions. As such, fans assume that the new film will take place in a newly-reset version of the Matrix, with the machines back up to their old tricks.
Fans are mostly just excited to see Keanu Reeves and Carrie Ann-Moss reprising their respective characters. But some questions are lingering for longtime fans. What is really going on with this story? Why are supposedly dead characters back in action? Why are the machines still using the same tactics that have failed for them countless times in the past?
Lana Wachowski has a straightforward answer for fans, at least for Neo and Trinity’s literal resurrections. In a recent interview, Wachowski explained that she wrote the film shortly after both of her parents passed away.
“It was immediately comforting to have these two characters alive again, and it’s super simple. You can look at it and say: ‘OK, these two people die and OK, bring these two people back to life and oh, doesn’t that feel good.’ Yeah, it did! It’s simple, and this is what art does and that’s what stories do: they comfort us.”Lana Wachowski
To find out what’s really going on, fans will just have to watch the newest entry in the sci-fi epic. Matrix: Resurrections comes to theaters on December 22, 2021.