Neo is a human. But, he is a human
with enhanced genetics, enhanced implants, and a machine programmed mind (probably based on a "The One" template program).
That's why, at the end of Revolutions, when his body is being taken away, he is shown as an orange glow. The orange glow is
how the machines see each other, and therefore how they see Neo. It is also how Neo sees Smith inside Bane... he is seeing
the machine program of Smith inside Bane's mind, and therefore it
is an orange glow in the shape of the Smith.
But the orange glow
isn't the only reason to believe Neo is a machine. Throughout the trilogy other hints are given, such as: "His neural kinetics
are way above normal.", "He's a machine.", "Your five predecessors were by design based on a similar predication...”
So if Neo is a machine, why was h e created (as all machines must have a purpose)? He was created by the Oracle and
the Architect to be The One. As the Architect explains to him: "Your life is the sum of a remainder of an unbalanced equation
inherent to the programming of the Matrix... Your five predecessors were by design based on a similar predication, a contingent
affirmation that was meant to create a profound attachment to the rest of your species, facilitating the function of The One...
The function of The One is now to return to the Source, allowing a temporary dissemination of the code you carry, reinserting
the prime program."
Architect is explaining that Neo was designed to be a religious figure to the freed humans, thus causing them to put their
faith (hope) in Neo and to rally around him ("...sum of a remainder..."). This helps to ensure that the freed humans are focused
on Neo instead of war, and to keep them all together in one place, Zion (which was built by the machines for this purpose also).
Neo is a form of control in the real world.
And just to make sure that Neo carries out his part of their plan, the machines programmed him with "... a contingent
affirmation that was meant to create a profound attachment to the [humans]." This, along with his enhanced abilities and the
"guidance" of the Oracle, keeps him on the intended course.
The Architect also states that
"The function of The One is now to return to the Source, allowing a temporary dissemination of the code you carry, reinserting
the prime program." This simply means that The One program in Neo's mind is the most important (prime) program in the Matrix,
and that now that his mission (purpose) is complete, he must return to the source for deletion (all machines must have a purpose).
The phrase "... temporary dissemination..." means that the The One program will be used again in the next version of the Matrix.
This is also why Neo's choice of the left door will destroy the Matrix, as there can be only one The One in the Matrix at
any time. By staying in the Matrix Neo is preventing it from being reloaded, as a reload will do nothing without another The
One for the next version. (In programming terms he is the highest priority task, and he will not release the Matrix program's
OK, so The One is
a human with enhanced genetics, enhanced implants, and a machine programmed mind, and was created by the Oracle and the Architect
to carry out a specific purpose (form of control in and out of the Matrix) in each iteration of the Matrix. Now let's see
how The One fits in with the entire story of the
As is explained,
the Matrix was created by the Architect, at the end of the war with the humans, as a way to control the humans and use them
as a power source (I know, hard to believe...). The first Matrix was "... quite naturally perfect, it was a work of art, flawless,
sublime.", while the second Matrix was redesigned "... to more accurately reflect the varying grotesqueries of your nature."
Basically Heaven and then Hell. In both cases, however, no conscious choice was given to the humans as to whether or not they
wanted to believe in the reality of the Matrix. This caused the majority of humans to reject the Matrix and die ("... whole
crops were lost.").
To solve this problem
the Oracle was created, and realized correctly that the humans needed to be given a choice: "Thus, the answer was stumbled
upon by another, an intuitive program, initially created to investigate certain aspects of the human psyche... she stumbled
upon a solution whereby nearly 99.9% of all test subjects accepted the program, as long as they were given a choice, even
if they were only aware of the choice at a near unconscious level." So by giving humans a choice, even at an unconscious level
that only 0.1% are ever aware of, they accepted the Matrix.
Unfortunately for the
machines, however, a majority of the 0.1% who were aware of the choice usually chose the real world over the Matrix. "While
this answer functioned, it was obviously fundamentally flawed, thus creating the otherwise contradictory systemic anomaly,
that if left unchecked might threaten the system itself. Ergo, those that refused the program, while a minority, if unchecked,
would constitute an escalating probability of disaster." The machines therefore also needed a way to control the 0.1% of the
humans who chose the real world over the Matrix, thus Zion
and The One were created.
As was explained earlier,
Zion was built by the machines to ensure that the freed humans
would all gather in one place, and The One was created to be their religious figure, helping to distract them from renewed
war with the machines. Both forms of control.
But even with Zion and The One, the unpredictability of choice ("systemic anomaly")
still forced the machines to occasionally "reload" the Matrix. This always occurs when The One reaches the Source,
which he can only do after attaining the level of power
necessary for him to defeat the Merovingian, obtain the
Key maker, etc. The One program is then temporarily reinserted into the Source (machine mainframe), in preparation
for the next iteration of the Matrix. In the process the machines gain the knowledge and experiences of The One,
allowing them to better predict the future behavior of the humans, and thus reduce the systemic anomalies.
So that is the situation at the start of the sixth iteration of the choice-Matrix.
Luckily for the humans, however, the Oracle does not want them to be enslaved in the Matrix any longer, or for the
humans to be killed. She therefore decides to take a risk and use Neo to bring about a "revolution".
Normally she simply helps guide The One to his meeting with the Architect. Except this time the
In M1 (The Matrix) she meets with The One, Neo, as she has done in the five previous iterations
Oracle gives Neo
a special cookie, which he eats. The cookie isn't actually a cookie, though, it's an upgrade to Neo's program. Since
the Oracle created the The One program, she can predict exactly what Neo will do in the future, specifically how
he will destroy Smith (from the inside, with some copying from Neo to Smith occurring). She therefore includes in
the program upgrade code that will give Smith the ability to replicate himself, and for Neo and Smith to see the
future as she does.
In M2 (The Matrix Reloaded) Neo plays out
his role as The One, meeting with the Architect. However, due to his love for Trinity he chooses the left door, preventing
the Matrix from reloading. This was seen in advance by the Oracle, as she has the ability to predict Neo's behavior
(as explained above) as well as human behavior in general (due to the nature of her program). She therefore told
Trinity that she would fall in love with Neo (in M1), all the while knowing it would eventually cause Neo to choose
the left door.
In M3 (The Matrix Revolutions) the Oracle's plan
comes to fruition. While the machines begin their assault on Zion
(for the sixth time), Smith continues to replicate himself throughout the Matrix. Neo, on the other hand, is stuck
in the train station. Apparently, fulfilling his mission to meet with the Architect unlocks some section of his
program that allows Neo to use his enhanced implants to once again become part of the machine collective (perhaps
because of the
Oracle's upgrade?). He is therefore able to sense and control other machines wirelessly. The first
example of this is when he stops the sentinels at the end of M2. Since he is not quite ready to use his new
however, his program gets stuck at the security checkpoint of the Matrix, the train station.
In the train station Neo meets with Rama Kandra, his wife, and their daughter Sati. Rama and his
wife are both machines from the real world who can jack into the Matrix, like all other machines, and live human lives.
Sati is a program created by these two machines out of love, which Rama explains to Neo is not out of the grasp
of the machines. They are on their way back into the Matrix to leave Sati with the Oracle for safe keeping, as any
program without a purpose is deleted.
After being rescued from the
train station by Trinity, Morpheus, and Seraph, Neo is helped out of the Matrix using the standard jack. While aboard
the Hammer he has another vision of the future, this time of the three power lines leading from the Matrix power station
to 01, the machine city (he is able to see the power lines due to his newfound connection to the machine collective).
He therefore takes the Logos, along with Trinity, and leaves for 01. Along the way he confronts the stowaway Bane
(who has the Smith program inside of him), and is blinded by him. Although blind, Neo is still able to see other machines
(orange glow), including the Smith program inside Bane, which he uses to defeat Bane. He also uses his power to
control other machines to detonate the bombs fired at the Logos by the 01 defenses.
Meanwhile Smith is replicating out of control in the Matrix, and eventually confronts the Oracle
after taking over Seraph and Sati. They have a brief conversation in which he calls her "Mom", referring to the
fact that she helped to create him (along with the Architect) as well as Neo (part of his program now). The Oracle
then tells Smith to "Do what you came here to do.", so he takes over her as well. The newly formed Smith then stands
up and laughs hysterically, foreshadowing the events at the end of the movie.
the Logos crashes in 01, but not before Neo gets a top-down view of the orange glowing city with his newfound machine-vision
(notice the fractal patterns). Unfortunately Trinity is killed in the crash, and explains to Neo that both of them
have been living on borrowed time. Neo since he was resurrected by Trinity, and Trinity since she was resurrected
by Neo. Both are meant to die and Trinity is simply happy for the opportunity this time to tell Neo how she feels about
him. (But shame on the brothers for killing off Trinity in such a lame way. Couldn't she have at least died trying
to save the ship, not just letting it crash!)
Neo then leaves
the Logos and enters the machine building into which it crashed (the building is seen in the same orange glowing
machine-vision). He is then confronted by the Deus Ex Machina, who knows that Neo is the only one who can stop Smith
from destroying the Matrix, but still shows hatred toward Neo (due to the fact that he is mostly human). After a
show of force, the Deus Ex Machina agrees to peace with the humans in exchange for Neo's promise to destroy Smith.
This causes the sentinels to halt their attack on the Zion temple,
the last holdout of the remaining humans (the dock and city have already been destroyed).
The machines then
jack Neo into the Matrix, since he has not yet mastered the ability to do so wirelessly (this theme of Neo having
to learn to use his new abilities runs throughout the trilogy). Neo then confronts Smith, who says he has seen the
future, and that he (the one particular Smith) is the one that defeats Neo. The other Smiths (all of the other people in
the Matrix have now been taken over by him) therefore only watch as the fight begins.
After a brutal battle Neo is near defeat, but continues to fight. When asked why he does so, Neo responds
"Because I choose to.” echoing the theme in M2 that "Everything begins with choice." (The only way
humans achieve true freedom). But even though he delivers a stunning punch to Smith which sends him through
the ground, Neo is eventually defeated. Before Smith takes him over he pauses, however, realizing that he has seen
this very moment in his visions, and he already knows what he is going to say. "Everything that has a beginning
has an end..." he mutters confusedly. This causes Neo to realize that the Oracle still exists somewhere inside of
Smith, and that she is partially able to control his thoughts. Taking his cue from the Oracle, Neo freely gives
himself to Smith.
Thus Neo is defeated, and Smith's original
purpose, to defeat The One (which he is never really expected to achieve, which leads to his bad temperament) is accomplished.
Smith therefore no longer has a purpose and must be deleted. But since programs marked for deletion must return
to the source, how is Smith to be deleted? Simple, the machines send the command through Neo, into Smith, using
a burst of energy. This causes all of the Smith clones, and the original Smith, to be deleted, leaving the original
inhabitants of the bodies he has taken over (this is a basic function of the agent programs, that they leave their
hosts as they found them, with death being the only exception).
then completes another revolution in the Matrix cycle, as The One has reached the Source and has reinserted the
prime program (Neo's program, his knowledge and experiences). The Matrix is then reloaded back to its initial state,
the late 20th century.
The Oracle then meets with Sati, Seraph,
and the Architect in a park outside the city as the sun rises over it. The Architect tells her that she was playing a
"very risky game", and she asks him if he will honor the promise of peace. He says that he will, since he is not
human (meaning humans do not keep their promises, an insult). This means that those people who unconsciously become
aware of the Matrix and choose to leave will be freed, and those living in Zion
will not be killed. The war between man and machine is over, or at least suspended. Looking upon the sunrise
the Oracle asks Sati if that was her doing, and the girl responds that she did it for Neo (made the sun rise). Apparently
Neo's experience with love, which was uploaded from him to the Source, caused the machines to show pity on Sati and
give her a purpose instead of deleting her. She is now in control of the sun. Sati also asks the Oracle if they
will ever see Neo again, and the Oracle replies that they might, indicating that the The One program will be used
again in the future, as it had been for the previous six iterations of the Matrix. M3 therefore ends where M1 began,
except that now the humans who become aware of the Matrix will be freed (a decent compromise if you ask me).