Where The Matrix Resurrections Fits Into The Series Timeline

For those new to "The Matrix" franchise or jumping in again for the first time in nearly two decades, it can be daunting to try and piece together all the different parts of the story. First, there are the trilogy of films to consider, which include "The Matrix," "The Matrix Reloaded," "The Matrix Revolutions," and now "The Matrix Resurrections" is picking up where the series left off. But for those who enjoy the deep cuts, there is also the animated series of short films collected in "The Animatrix," as well as a trio of video games and a series of comics written by filmmakers Lana & Lilly Wachowski themselves. There's a vast world to get acquainted with, and many of you are probably wondering how to successfully decipher the code and figure out how this new storyline fits into it all. Luckily, we've got you covered with this breakdown, so go ahead and eat that red pill and let's see how deep this rabbit hole really goes.   

So Where Exactly Does The Matrix Resurrections Fit Into the Timeline?

I have been waiting for the arrival of a new "Matrix" movie since I watched the original on my home television set all the way back in 2001. I was a young, obsessive middle schooler, and ever since then, I've been a diehard "Matrix" fan. I even once threw a "Matrix" themed birthday party at which I gave everyone Hot Tamales repurposed as red pills. No blue pill takers allowed! Following the story of Trinity and Neo has not always been a glitch free experience for me — the existence of "The Matrix Revolutions," for example, left much to be desired for my thirteen year old heart — but I have remained dedicated to Neo and the crew of the Nebuchadnezzar for years. And now, with the addition of "The Matrix Resurrections," Neo and Trinity's story has continued, adding quite a bit of story to what is already, an arguably complex timeline.

If you've already watched "The Matrix Resurrections," then you know that the events of this film take place 60 years after Neo was blinded by Bane/Agent Smith while on his way to the Machine City. He still managed to save humanity and provide them with the choice to stay plugged into the Matrix or live a life of truth outside it, but it cost him his and Trinity's life in the process. That's why it might seem a bit perplexing to see both Neo and Trinity alive and well at the start of "Resurrections." I mean, those rebar wounds through Trinity's chest at the end of "Revolutions" looked pretty hard to come back from, and Neo's eyes are looking better than ever from the moment we see him at the start of this new film. So what exactly is going on here?

Well, just to be clear, this is not some strange kind of "wormhole back into the past, but it's still kind of the future" sort of thing. What you are seeing at the start of "The Matrix Resurrections" is actually taking place 60 years into the future. Both Trinity and Neo have aged during these six decades, they just seem to have aged slower than everyone else, which has helped to keep them looking ravishing despite being well into their golden years. How does this happen you ask? It turns out that when these two lovers perished at the end of "Revolutions," the machines recognized that this was kind of, well, bad. So the machines set about using their machine magic to do some major repair work on Neo and Trinity. We're talking the recreation of eyes and vital organs. If that's not some super sentinel sorcery, then I don't know what is. 

Anyway, the machines restore Neo and Trinity to factory settings and then, because they've realized that the Matrix cannot exist without them and their formidable love for one another, they shove them into separate, specially designed pods, plug them back into the virtual world, and allow them to exist just out of reach of each other for the rest of their lives. This also happens to be the formula for long life and decreased aging, skin care regimens be damned.

Neo and Trinity are Plugged in Again?

The dynamic duo has been reinstated into the hell that is the Matrix, but this time, they are operating like two massive batteries for the machines and the simulation. If an average, lowly human has the power of a standard AAA Duracell battery, then Trinity and Neo are car batteries by comparison. The only problem is that in order for the Matrix to remain uncompromised by their love and desire for one another, they must never be allowed to touch. In other words, they are left to unknowingly pine for each other forever in their jelly-filled pods, which sounds pretty rough.

To be frank, this is all a fairly convenient explanation for why "The Matrix Resurrections" is even allowed to exist. If you want to talk about deus ex machinas, Lana Wachowski pulled a major one in resurrecting (just like the title!) Neo and Trinity in this fashion. If I'm completely honest, it almost feels a bit too easy, but I'm not sure if I entirely care. "The Matrix" franchise has always been about love (and patent leather), so it makes sense that the story uses their love to power and eventually overcome the very thing that brought them together. I also breathed a sigh of relief when I realized this wasn't going to be some strange, convoluted story that acted like a prequel while also being a sequel. Instead, "Resurrections" starts up right where "Revolutions" left off, and for that, I am eternally grateful. Whether or not the story of The One will continue is yet to be determined (though it doesn't sound likely), but no matter what happens, I will always choose the red pill every time.