Real Name: Neo
Identity/Class: Human, possibly mutant
Occupation: Freedom fighter; (formerly) computer programmer
Affiliations: The crew of the Nebuchadnezzar - Morpheus, Trinity, Tank, Dozer, Apoc, Switch, Mouse, Link; the people of Zion; the Oracle; Seraph; Sati, the Keymaker
Enemies: The Agents, Agent Smith, The Merovingian, The Virus Twins, Cypher; the Architect
Known Relatives: John Anderson (father); Michelle McGahey (mother)
Aliases: Thomas A. Anderson, The One
Base of Operations: The Nebuchadnezzar; the Matrix; Zion
First Appearance: The Matrix (1999)
Powers/Abilities: Within the Matrix he possesses superhuman strength, speed and agility, is capable of flying, and can telekinetically stop bullets before they can hit him; he can also telekinetically move other objects. He possesses incredible endurance and fortitude within the Matrix, and has shown some capability to heal others there. He is also an incredible martial artist. In the real world he has the physical limitations of a normal human, but he can manipulate any technology created by the machines in his vicinity, although this mainly consists of simply making them blow up or shut down. When he was blinded in the real world, he was able to see energy fields with his mind.
History: In the early 21st century, humanity created A.I., a singular consciousness that spawned an entire race of machines. While it is unknown whether humans or machines struck the first blow in the war, it is known that, after it had begun, humans covered the sky in clouds - at the time, the machines relied on solar energy for power, and it was thought they'd die out without an energy source as abundant as the Sun. However, the machines began, instead, to use captured humans as living batteries, even growing new infants in vast "farms". To control their new power source, the machines developed a massive artificial reality simulation known as the Matrix, where the humans' minds would stay, unaware of their real existence.
Just as all appeared to be lost for the humans, a man was born inside the Matrix, who had the ability to manipulate and reshape the Matrix as he saw fit. Dubbed The One, he freed the first humans from the Matrix, and taught them the truth; so long as the Matrix existed, the human race would never be free. These freed humans created Zion, a subterranean city hidden from the machines, and sent agents back into the Matrix to free more of their fellows. After the death of The One, a rogue program called the Oracle, which wanted to end the war between man and machine, prophesied his return, and that his coming would herald the destruction of the Matrix. Ever since the prophecy was made, many people spent their entire lives searching the Matrix for the reincarnation of the One, the most prominent of these being Morpheus, captain of the ship known as the Nebuchadnezzar.
Morpheus eventually discovered the man he took to be the reborn One in the form of computer programer Thomas A. Anderson, who, under the hacker alias of Neo, had spent the last few years searching for Morpheus (who was believed to be a terrorist by the humans within the Matrix), and managed to take him out of the Matrix. Neo then began to learn some of the tricks he'd need to survive in the Matrix, including jumping from one building to another and all kinds of combat skills. Morpheus took Neo to see the Oracle, but the news she had for him wasn't good; not only was Neo not the One, but Morpheus would, in the future, sacrifice himself to save Neo's life. Either Morpheus would die for something he believed in that wasn't true, or Neo would die...
When Morpheus was captured by the Agents and half the crew were killed by a traitor, only Neo and Trinity were left to break Morpheus out of a military-controlled building and get away from three Agents. Despite the odds the rescue succeeded, and Morpheus and Trinity managed to escape the Matrix; Neo however remained trapped, facing Agent Smith, one of the deadliest Agents of them all. Despite Smith's superior strength and speed, Neo eventually managed to buy himself some time by throwing Smith in front of an oncoming train. It didn't kill Smith- he just shifted into another body and stopped the train- but it bought Neo enough time to start running for the nearest exit, in the abandoned Heart O' The City hotel.
Just as he reached the exit, Smith shot him six times, in the chest, at point-blank range, killing him almost instantly. However, Trinity confessed her love for Neo in the real world, reviving Neo and activating his powers as the One. With his new abilities, Neo not only managed to stop the bullets of the Agents before they reached him, but also apparently destroy Smith once and for all (in fact, Smith survived and mutated, becoming able to overwrite other programs to turn them into duplicates of himself.) Neo then escaped the Matrix, and began a relationship with Trinity.
Around six months later, the remaining free humans learned that the machines had set up a gigantic army of Sentinels - squid-like machines that patrolled the real world - and were tunnelling straight down towards Zion, with only a day or so until they reached it. Attempting to find a way to save Zion, Neo went into the Matrix to contact the Oracle, who explained to him why she was helping the humans when she was originally a machine program; on some occasions, programs were deleted from the Matrix either because they broke or because they were replaced, and when that happened, the program could either return to the machine mainframe, or hide out in the Matrix, gaining new powers as the system tried to process them doing something they shouldn't be doing.
The Oracle also told Neo that, in order to save Zion, he would need to find a program known as the Keymaker, who was being held hostage by a dangerous program called the Merovingian, seeking to use the Keymaker's abilities for himself. Just as the Oracle left, Smith appeared in front of Neo, confronting him about how they could never deny purpose - lack of purpose would mean that they didn't exist - and Neo had attempted to take the purpose from Smith's existence. In revenge, Smith tried to copy himself over Neo, but when Neo managed to resist the cloning, he ended up in a battle with countless Agent Smiths, in an old basketball court, armed with only a pipe. Despite their advantage in numbers, Neo managed to hold the Smith's off long enough for him to fly out of harm's way.
Following that, Neo, Trinity and Morpheus went to the Merovingian to get the Keymaker, but the Merovingian refused. Fortunately, his wife, Persephone, was prepared to give them the Keymaker in exchange for a single kiss from Neo, and even killed one of the Merovingian's 'werewolf' guards to get to the Keymaker. While Trinity and Morpheus fled with the Keymaker, Neo tackled the Merovingian's six bodyguard programs, taking them all down after a long fight. He then managed to track down and rescue Morpheus and the Keymaker from two attacking Agents, allowing them to make plans for the final chance to stop the machines; sending Neo directly to the controlling program.
However, upon arriving at the source, Neo was confronted by a very unexpected presence; the Architect, the program that created the Matrix in the first place, who revealed that there had been five previous versions of the Matrix, each one ending with the destruction of Zion. The entire Matrix was based around everyone in it subconciously making a choice as to whether or not to believe in the Matrix, and those who didn't were freed accordingly, with the One to act as a controlling source. Essentially, upon returning to the Source, Neo was meant to allow the code within him to dissappate, where he would then be required to select sixteen women and seven men from the Matrix to rebuild Zion, with failure to do so resulting in the entire Matrix coming crashing down, killing everyone connected to it at the time, which, coming just after the destruction of Zion, would result in the extinction of the human race. The Architect then gave Neo a choice; save Trinity (who was about to be killed by an attacking Agent) or save Zion. Taking a desperate chance to go against fate, Neo chose not to save Zion from destruction right then and instead rescued Trinity from the jaws of death, leaving him with a mere 24 hours to save humanity.
Following his departure from the Matrix, the Nebauchanezzer was destroyed by three Sentinels, leaving Neo, Trinity, Morpheus and Link out in the open with only a few guns to defend themselves with. However, Neo realised that he could feel the Sentinels now, and somehow managed to disable them before they could do any damage, although it sent him into a coma. While unconscious, he found himself in a 'train station' between the Matrix and the machine mainframe, where he learned about the main Machine city before being rescued. Before leaving the Matrix, he visited the Oracle one last time, and she told him how he'd been able to affect the Sentinels; the power of the One was only limited to control of anything constructed by the machines, and didn't just begin and end in the Matrix. Neo also learned that there was still a chance to save Zion, but for that to take place, he had to go to the main machine city and then face off against Smith - who, the Oracle revealed, was Neo's opposite. His negative, his dark side, the result of the Architect's equation trying to balance itself out. In the Oracle's own words;
"Everything that has a beginning has an end. I see the end coming, I see the darkness spreading. I see death... and you are all that stands in his way. If you cannot stop him tonight, then I fear tomorrow will never come."
After this, Neo returned to the real world, where he took Niobe's ship, the Logos, and started to head towards the Machine city with Trinity. However, things were nearly ruined when Smith, who had copied himself over the mind of a resistance member named Bane, took Trinity captive and nearly killed Neo. Fortunately Neo realised who he really was, but then Smith shoved electric cables in Neo's face, destroying his eyes and leaving him blind. However, Neo's powers as the One left him able to "see" energy fields, and he was able to take BaneSmith by surprise and kill him. With Trinity driving, the two of them eventually made it to the Machine city, although Trinity tragically died in the process. Neo confronted the machines with a deal; if they declared peace, he would help them take down Smith before he could spread through the city like he'd spread through the Matrix. Entering the Matrix to find everyone replaced by duplicates of Smith, the two faced off in a final, one-on-one showdown, while the other Smiths watched the two of them. Neo got in some good hits, but, overall, Smith had the advantage in the struggle, and Neo had no way of stopping him with brute strength. However, Neo eventually worked out that; since he and Smith were equal but opposite, if one of them was taken out of the equation, the other one would die as well. In a noble move, Neo let Smith copy himself over him, before triggering a chain reaction in every other Smith. The copies reset to their pre-Smith forms, the war was over, and humanity was saved.
Comments: Played by Keanu Reeves.
The fate of Neo's remains after his death is unknown; in the internet role-playing Matrix game, Morpheus said that the machines had never returned his body, but the machines also said that Neo's body was never recycled. Given that, after his death, Neo's body was seen in the 'machine spectrum' (Where he saw the energy fields created by the machine's technology) glowing a brilliant white where before it had been merely black, it's possible that, after his death, he somehow 'ascended' to a higher state of being, and may yet be capable of returning...
Thanks to David Spence for much of the above history.
Any Additions/Corrections? Please let me know.
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