The Matrix Resurrections: How Are Neo and Trinity Alive?

In 2003 The Matrix Revolutions seemed to bring the entire franchise to a close. Not only did the titular computer simulation end up getting rebooted entirety, but two of the biggest stars of the films were now dead, Keanu Reeves' Neo and Carrie-Anne Moss' Trinity. All of that in mind it was a bit of a surprise to...well, everyone, when it was announced that not only would a fourth Matrix movie be on the way but that both Reeves and Moss would return to play their characters. For those wondering how they're back, it's all there in the title, The Matrix Resurrections, and here's how. FULL SPOILERS FOLLOW!

To recap, Trinity and Neo both died en-route to and inside The Machine City, Trinity impaled by some rebar after their ship crashes and Neo killed by Agent Smith inside The Matrix. This is all key though as the entire franchise remains canon, and where things pick-up. As explained to Neo by Neil Patrick Harris' new character The Analyst, a new program similar to The Architect who is responsible for this latest version of The Matrix, the sacrifice made by Neo at the end of The Matrix Revolutions was actually inspiring to some of the machines, resulting in both he and Trinity becoming revered by some factions of the machines.

As a result, the machines (at the direction of The Analyst) took their bodies and began to actually rebuild them, repairing their injuries and even upgrading their bodies somewhat (the holes in the back of their next that allow them to connect to the Matrix are noticeably bigger and more extravagant). The Analyst went on to create this new version of The Matrix, taking the connection between Neo and Trinity as driver for his vision which focused on keeping the two of them separated but "quietly yearning" for what they don't and "dreading losing" what they do. To sum it up, the Machines revived both Neo and Trinity and realized in the process that they could reshape the Matrix in the image of their longing to get the most energy out of the people trapped inside.

That is all the basic plot-summary reasoning of how they're alive, but it's worth noting that Neo and Trinity coming back to life is deeply engrained in the thematic arc of the movie as well. Bringing back Neo and Trinity was a catalyst for remaking the Matrix in the context of this universe but also cause for renewed hope in life for the new characters that populate the film's cast. At the beginning of the film Jessica Henwick's Bugs says: "Most people think Neo is dead, but I know he's not, because I've seen him…The moment he looked at me I felt something unlock my mind." Literally seeing Neo attempt to break his loop within the Matrix is the thing that freed her and set her on a course toward crossing paths with him.

Not to mention, in keeping with the other major meta-swings that The Matrix Resurrections has to say about its own existence, it literally makes the case for how reviving characters can mean the world to a new generation. Case in point, Neo and Trinity's sacrifice is revered by many that have been freed from the Matrix, there are even Neo-ologists that have studied his life.

Don't believe it? Director and co-writer Lana Wachowski said it herself when speaking with The AP.

"I didn't ever want to make another Matrix movie. I told everyone for 18 years I didn't want to make another Matrix movie. Lilly told everyone she didn't want to make another Matrix movie," the filmmaker admitted. "Then I had a tragedy in my life, my parents passed away, and I needed something to help me with the grief. Inventing a story where two people come back to life was healing and comforting and I was non-judgmental, I just wrote it, and I didn't know what I was gonna do with it, and then I read part of the story [to a colleague] and she said, 'Oh, my God, you have to tell this story.'"

The Matrix Resurrections is now playing in theaters and streaming on HBO Max.