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So this week, I re-watched the Matrix trilogy for the Nth time. My original goal was to work on my long-delayed "The Matrix is Better than Most People Think" essay, or maybe put together a Matrix Tarot from screen captures, but instead I was captivated by a new idea.
The Matrix contains the story of the search for, discovery of, and apotheosis of a messiah. It is, of course, Neo of whom I speak. Morpheus searches for the prophesied messiah, and preaches the gospel of his immanence. Neo learns he may be the messiah, doubts, and eventually accepts his holy mission. He completes the mission, at great personal cost, and the story ends like most messianic stories end.
The thing that caught my mind this time was a character who I finally realized is Neo's first acolyte. In the real world, this character is known as "Kid". He is first introduced in a segment of The Animatrix as "Michael Karl Popper", who frees himself from the Matrix through his extreme belief in Neo. "Kid's Story" in Animatrix is confusing and dark. In Reloaded and Revolutions, Kid's role is mostly annoying, but it's clear that Kid is sincere. He feels he owes Neo his life, and he really does risk it to help.
The acolyte moment comes when Kid runs into the room they call "The Temple" and proclaims that Neo has ended the war. He is the first to proclaim the apotheosis of Neo. He is the first acolyte.
Now, Dune teaches us that the only thing more dangerous to a society than a mortal enemy is the arrival of their messiah. Where does the story go when the fondest dreams of its characters have been fulfilled? In Dune, most of Paul's first acolytes betray him. What does Kid's future hold for himself and for humanity?
2009.12.17 at 4:30pm EST
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