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Why Neo Must Die To Save Humanity


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Here’s an in-depth look into the theory as to why Neo must die, yet again, to save humanity in The Matrix 4. To be directed by Lana Wachowski and helmed with a 2022 release date, The Matrix 4 has confirmed the return of Keanu Reeves as Neo, despite his apparent death in The Matrix Revolutions. This has naturally led to rampant speculation as to how Neo will be returning to the franchise’s newest installment, and what it means for his path as “the One” and the future of humanity.

Revolutions ended with Neo striking a deal with the Machines, wherein he sacrifices his own life while taking down Agent Smith (Hugo Weaving) in exchange for an end to the war waged on humanity. This is prompted after Neo discovers that the One is not meant to destroy the Matrix, but rather restart it, which is an integral part of the Machines’ plan to lead a controlled rebellion. The revelation that the Chosen One is an unavoidable program in the Matrix that is meant to act as a faux messiah of false hope for humans in every iteration is an almost cruel one, the weight of which spurs Neo to act the way he did at the end of Revolutions.

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Following the logic that every time the Matrix is reloaded a random human DNA is assigned the mantle of the One, it is absolutely likely that Keanu Reeves will be returning in Matrix 4 as the seventh version of the One, albeit with a completely variant set of personality and moral traits than the Neo of The Matrix Trilogy. With Neo’s return, the status quo of the original ending could be disturbed, which is why Neo must die yet again to save the people of Zion and the entirety of humanity.

Neo Broke The Prophecy In The Matrix

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In The Matrix, the prophecy of the One is deliberately misleading, designed by the machines to ensure that the liberated human race, who chose the red pill of truth, is provided with the illusion of hope, choice, and rebellion, making them easier to be subverted and controlled. On meeting The Architect in every iteration, the One is offered a choice between either reloading the Matrix, while selecting a handful of survivors to build a new Zion, or walking away so as to trigger a system overload and render all humans within and without the Matrix, dead.

Up until Neo, all five versions of the One had chosen to reload the Matrix, by extension perpetuating the web of control. However, Neo is the only rendition of the One to break the cycle of illusion and destruction because of his love for Trinity and saves her in the process. Per the Oracle, the path of the One ends at the Machine City, which is essentially the Source of the Matrix, never accessed by humans before. On reaching The Source, Neo is able to destroy the Sentinels along with the rogue Agent Smith, due to the fact that the matrix’s source code, or The Prime Program, is embedded within him. Hence, Neo emerges as the only version of the One who offers himself up as a sacrifice in exchange for a truce between the humans and the machines, a conscious choice that altered the nature of the Matrix for the years to come.

Neo’s Hero Worship Could See His Followers Revive Him

Neo meets The Architect

Among the throng of theories on Neo’s return in Matrix 4, time travel is a prevalent one. While it is premature to speculate the exact time travel mechanics that might factor into the world of The Matrix, it is indeed plausible that Morpheus, along with Neo’s followers, would travel back in time to bring him back to tackle a crisis in the near future. This is an inherently tricky premise, as it could further complicate the myriad narrative threads that run through The Matrix, along with the constantly evolving dynamic between men and machines.

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Alternatively, Neo could be revived by his followers through his RSI, or residual self-image, which is an individual’s in-Matrix avatar. Moreover, in the realm of computing, it is possible to recover fragmented data, which could be the key to resurrecting Neo in Matrix 4. This is especially plausible due to the fact that the One is imbued with exceptional powers, which could potentially manifest in some form of immortality or digital backup.

Neo’s Return Would Inspire A New Cyber War

Neo VS Agent Smith

The end of Revolutions grants several hints that set up the potential premise for the upcoming Matrix movie. After Neo’s Christ-like sacrifice, The Oracle bathes in the warmth of the sun and witnesses the dawn of a new age, while coming to an understanding with The Architect himself. At the moment, the inevitable question is posed: “Just how long do you think this peace is going to last?” Even without Neo’s return, there is no guarantee for a continued truce between the two races, as the thirst for control could disturb the status quo, or alternatively, an even greater threat, much like Smith’s rogue program, could force the warring factions to reunite once again and fight as one force.

On the other hand, Neo’s return would undoubtedly trigger an all-out cyberwar, as it would be considered an upending of the truce made between the two parties. Also, if the One is “the eventuality of an anomaly,” or a mathematical glitch, a newer version of Neo could be birthed within the matrix, imbued with an altered consciousness that could entirely transform his core personality. This possibility is strengthened by the canon video game, The Matrix Online, which hinted that as Neo’s RSI was deemed recoverable, and the Machines refused to hand Neo’s body back to Morpheus at the end of the battle, it is likely that they possess a fragment of his consciousness, which can be revived when needed. If a greater force than the Machines is to be involved, a cyber battle on an even larger scale could ensue, heightening the stakes and the gravity of consequences for the human race as a whole.

The New Heroes Will Have To Kill Neo To Save Humanity

Neo as The One

If time travel is at play here, and the new heroes in The Matrix 4, including a young Morpheus, could potentially be traveling back in time to eliminate the sixth rendition of the One in order to trigger the causality effect. The reason for the same could be due to Neo’s return in the future as a threat, or villain of sorts, as passing back through the veil of death could change an individual in distinct ways. A popular theory posits that Agent Smith is a previous iteration of the One, which would propel Neo to assume the mantle of Agent Smith, who is a threat to both humans and the Machines. Alternatively, blue-pilled inhabitants of the matrix, such as the cultish Cypherites, could possibly revolt against the idea of a truce, along with naturally-born humans like Dozer who do not possess the means of plugging into the matrix and savoring a life of bliss. The permutations are endless, depending upon the philosophical direction in which the film is helmed towards, but Neo’s death is likely by the end, as the trope of sacrifice ties together most of the narrative nuances of The Matrix trilogy.

NEXT: Biggest Questions The Matrix 4 Can Answer

Key Release Dates

  • The Matrix 4 (2021)Release date: Dec 22, 2021

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Updated: November 26, 2020 — 10:45 pm

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