The only way to escape the matrix
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Let’s take a step back into what really happened in the world in the early 21st century. This information is from the series called The Animatrix which takes a deep dive into what really happened. Do watch The Second Renaissance Part 1 & 2. These short animated films were released much after The Matrix. A synopsis from this is important to know as it is very consistent with the movie(s).
In the early 21st century, man develops AI – Artificial Intelligence. They initially create a series of humanoid bots that are meant to do household work for humans. The bots were content doing this and humans got lazier and more corrupt. In 2090, one of such bots kills its owner. The bot pleads that it was in self defense and that it didn’t want to die. Humans pass a ruling saying that the bots are not entitled to the same rights as humans, that humans had the rights to destroy their property and not the other way around. Humanity is split at this point – some stand up for Robot rights and the others see them as mere ‘living tissue over metal endoskeleton’. However, the bot is sentenced and is destroyed. Other bots and human supporters raise against this and protest.
This event is seen as a Rise of the Machines and it is ordered for all bots to be destroyed. The surviving bots along with supporting humans find exile in a new nation they call Zero One. Zero One prospers and they develop further generations of AI. The remaining human nations suffer. The UN approves of a global economic blockade of Zero One. Two representatives are sent over from Zero One to figure a peaceful solution. Humans retort by using full nuclear force on Zero One. This turns out to be a bad move as the bots are impervious to the human weapons. Zero One strikes back. An interesting thing here is there are enough humans fighting on the side of the bots. Human nations are defeated one at a time.
In desperation, humans decide to scorch the sky – “Operation Dark Storm”. Machines need solar energy for power. Blocking the sun will cut off their power supply. After this, humans attack again. But this is not good enough. The Bots still get the upper hand and begin to move to a more sentinel based design. They stop looking human. They continue winning the war. Humans get more desperate and use nukes which causes the deaths of their own armies. The machines use biological weapons and humans are brought to their knees.
The humans on the side of the machines volunteer to be plugged into a simulated dream state to escape the horrors of their reality. This is symbiotic as machines can draw power from the sleeping humans while the humans sleep in a state of bliss. As more human nations surrender, they are plugged into this virtual world and used as a power source. UN is forced to sign a treaty after which the remaining human leaders are blown up, just in case, and the war ends. The surviving humans are all plugged into a new and improved version of the Virtual Reality that gets called The Matrix.
The Matrix Explained
This is more than The Matrix synopsis, it’s full of spoilers. The events of The Matrix are happening in the year close to 2199. All the parts of the movie that appear to be the regular 1999 is not real. It is only a computer simulated program that has been created to enslave the human race. This computer simulation is called The Matrix.
Who created this simulation, The Matrix?
Machines, with Artificial Intelligence.
Who created this Artificial Intelligence?
The humans, in the early 21st century.
Why does AI enslave mankind?
Well, you’re going to have to read the detailed explanation for this one. The short version is that the humans and AI had a fall out. AI eventually saw humans as a threat to their existence. With humans plugged into The Matrix, the AI could tap into bio-electricity that the human body produces. Humans are used as a source of electrical and heat energy by the machines. The humans plugged into the Matrix don’t realize they are in a simulated dream and sleep through their entire lives.
The Resistance finds Neo
There are a group of people in the real world who are free from the Matrix. Morpheus and his team are one such group that forms the resistance. Morpheus has been consulting a person called the Oracle and freeing select people from the Matrix. The movie begins with Neo being freed from the Matrix. The Oracle has told Morpheus that he will find a person in the Matrix who will not be bound by its rules. They refer to this person as The One. Morpheus believes Neo is The One and Neo will help bring down the Matrix.
As the plot unfolds, Neo begins to display more abilities that hint that he indeed could be The One. Trinity has been told by the Oracle that she will fall in love with The One. She finds herself falling in love with Neo. As the climax approaches, Morpheus gets captured because Cypher takes the side of the AI and sabotages the mission. Neo and Trinity go in and save Morpheus from the Agents.
The Agents are the gatekeepers of the Matrix, their job is to kill intruders like Morpheus and his team. They capture Morpheus and try to get to the location of Zion so all the free humans can be destroyed. Neo and Trinity save Morpheus. As they exit, Agent Smith intervenes and a fight ensues between him and Neo. Agents are computer programs and hence are highly powerful and fast. Human minds are more bound by the laws of physics the Matrix enforces. Neo’s mind is quite strong and he’s able to stand toe to toe against Smith. But there is no killing Smith as he’s a program and will just spawn into another “plugged-in” human.
The Matrix Ending Explained
After a chase sequence, Smith shoots Neo in the Matrix. Neo’s mind believes that he’s been shot. His heart stops. He’s not yet dead. Trinity tells Neo that the Oracle told her she would fall in love with The One. She tells Neo that she loves him. But if that were the case, The One can’t be dead. Neo’s mind had not yet become completely free. His near death experience and Trinity’s guiding voice unlocks his mind completely. He wakes up as The One and destroys Smith’s code.
The movie ends with Neo talking to The Matrix and saying that he’s eventually going to free everyone’s mind that is connected to the Matrix. He flies away after that. He’s no longer bound by any rules of the Matrix. The film ends. Honestly, you should not stop here. There are so many amazing little things the movie offers.
These are software programs. They are the gatekeepers of the Matrix. Their primary responsibility is to keep out attackers like Morpheus and his team. Since they are sentient programs, they are written to operate at extremely high speeds and power. They can move in and out of any one still hardwired to the Matrix. That means that anyone that hasn’t been unplugged is potentially an agent. An Agent can render himself onto any one still unplugged.
This team has been using the guidance of a person called the Oracle. The Oracle is someone still residing in the Matrix. She is a prophet, of sorts, who has been telling Morpheus about The One. People who have been freed are taken to the Oracle and she advises them on things to come. The Oracle has told Morpheus that he will find The One. She has told Trinity that she would fall in love with The One.
The prophecy stated by the Oracle is that the team will eventually find a person that they will free from the Matrix. He will own the ability to manipulate the Matrix to an extraordinary degree. We’ll talk about this more later. Just know this that Morpheus and his crew have already been looking for The One.
Wake Up Neo
Neo has been plugged into the Matrix since the time he was born. Neo has constantly felt that there is something wrong with his world. Most people plugged into the Matrix don’t feel this, their minds don’t find fault with the virtual world. Neo’s mind intrinsically rejects the programming of the Matrix.
The Red Pill
It’s actually part of a trace program. Though Morpheus and team know where Neo is inside the Matrix, they don’t know where his physical body is located. The pill disrupts his carrier signals so they can pinpoint his physical location. Neo is seated next to a mirror with a crack. The crack heals itself. Neo touches the mirror and his hand dips in like it were liquid. Morpheus says “Have you ever had a dream, Neo, that you were so sure was real? What if you were unable to wake from that dream? How would you know the difference between the dream world and the real world?”. The liquid spreads on to Neo’s hands, then face and enters him. You hear a digitized scream from Neo. It blacks out. This is what happens. A mirror is something that is a reflection of reality. While it is symbolically used in this scene, Neo’s experiencing something that his mind is not able to explain. This mirror is merely a program placed there by Morpheus and team.
Neo feels the experience with the mirror can’t be real. His mind is going into a state of panic. As a result, his physical body is reacting accordingly. It produces a fibrillation. The team is looking for this. The panic caused by the mirror is enough to wake Neo up into the real world. Neo sits in a pod with tubes connected to him. This is the reality of every human (except people of Zion) on the planet. Neo looks around to see an endless array of such pods. Neo is obviously confused. He has no idea where he is. A sentinel passes by and grabs Neo and checks on him. It notices that a human has woken up so it treats him as malfunction and discards him. His tubes come off and his body is flushed. Morpheus’ team is waiting for this in the Nebuchadnezzar and pick Neo up. Morpheus welcomes Neo to the real world.
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