Laurence Fishburne is noticeably absent from The Matrix Resurrections (aka Matrix 4.) The movie actually explains what happened to his Morpheus. But many fans wonder if this means The Matrix Online game is canon or not.
This article contains spoilers for the new Matrix movie.
Morpheus by Laurence Fishburne is no longer alive
It’s safe to say that Laurence Fishburne’s Morpheus is no longer alive by the time The Matrix Resurrections takes place. Although they never say he’s dead, they do everything but spell it out in the movie. First, the film takes place 60 years after Matrix Reloaded. Niobe is still alive, but she is very old. Everyone else Neo and Trinity knew is long dead and gone. It is therefore unlikely that even if tragedy had not happened to him somehow, that Morpheus even could still be alive at this precise moment.
The film explains a bit more about what happened to him after Neo and Trinity’s “death”. We are told that he was elected High President of the Council of Zion. Sometime after that, Zion fell. Zion believed it was always “us against the machines”. However, some machines became sentient and, because of Neo’s example, believed that they too could step out of their own “matrix” and achieve autonomy and freedom. Some therefore broke free and joined with humanity to form a new city called IO.
Meanwhile, there was a serious problem with the scarcity of electricity, and a machine war broke out. The Oracle warned that a “new power” was beginning to rise. It was never explained what this power was (although I suspect it may have been the analyst.) Morpheus believes Neo’s prophecy so strongly that he refuses to believe the new power is happening Actually.
We’re not told more about Morpheus beyond that, except that IO has a statue for him and he’s long gone. I guess some dialogue was cut from the movie explaining his death, since the movie was already long and the conversation about Morpheus seemed to end a bit abruptly. But most viewers assume he died somehow when Zion fell, still clinging to his faith in Neo.
The old Morpheus was not born into the new Morpheus, played by Yahya Abdul-Mateen II. On the contrary, the new Morpheus is actually an algorithm that combines the traits of the old Morpheus and the traits of Smith. It was created by Thomas in a separate sandbox from the Matrix, but over time and with many iterations it evolved, gaining its own sentience and autonomy, and choosing to take a “red pill” to escape.
How does all of this bode well for the Matrix online game?
So, does the new movie acknowledge that the Matrix Online game is canon or not? It’s not clearly addressed in the film, as the exact cause of Morpheus’ death (or even if he really died) isn’t shared. I’m leaning no, it’s not canon, as I don’t believe he was made president of the Council of Sion in-game. However, others disagree with me.
The Matrix Online was an MMORPG meant to continue the story of the trilogy, Wikipedia noted. It was released in 2005 and then closed in 2009. In the game, Morpheus is dead. But her story was different from the one presented to us in The Matrix 4.
On Reddit, user u/runjinrun explained that Morpheus was murdered in the game. Here is the scene when Morpheus died in the game. We are told that Morpheus attempted to pressure the machines into returning Neo’s body to Zion by planting “code bombs” disrupting the Matrix code. It didn’t work, and the Merovingian hired a masked man to kill Morpheus.
On Reddit, fans were pretty sure the game could one day be canon. They point out that there are other parts of the game that might be difficult to turn into canon, so it was unlikely the movie would have gone that route anyway.
However, Slashfilm reported that they believe The Matrix 4 honored the game and allowed it to be canon. They simply write that because The Matrix Online storyline had the machines holding Neo’s body after he died, and Morpheus wanting his body back, The Matrix Resurrections storyline honors that by having the machines actually holding Neo’s body while this time, and having Morpheus dead. in this scenario as well.
On Reddit, Redditor Malfetus also believes the film made the canon of the game. They wrote, “Morpheus dying, machines holding Neo’s body, the civil war of machine factions, the fall of New Zion, the end of the original Matrix, it all came together. passed in MXO. The film didn’t contradict anything that I know of, and reaffirmed a good part of it…”
However, Redditor HolyCarbohydrates slightly disagreed, writing: “The way Morpheus died was evaded to be different from MXO but at least his death was addressed…”
What do you think?
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