First a little on Star Wars...
Star Wars & The Matrix ARE Examples Of Modern Mythology
The Matrix and Star Wars are modern retellings of age old cultural truths (i.e. views of the world that many different cultures seem to hold in common). Which is why they can capture attention and spawn a whole culture of their own.
"The spiritual elements in the Matrix films are similar to those in The Lord of the Rings and Star Wars in that they're vital to our understanding of the films and what they are trying to say about ultimate questions," says Greg Garrett, co-author of The Gospel Reloaded: Exploring Spirituality and Faith in The Matrix. "There are a number of comparisons to Christ, not least in that Neo is killed and comes back to life."
For those less religiously inclined, the movie had plenty of literary references, including Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland; Morpheus offers to show Neo "just how deep the rabbit hole goes." Comic book fans were quick to notice the influence of Captain America illustrator Jack Kirby in several action sequences.
Here are some mythological references in The Matrix Trilogy:
"You can read as deeply into the movies as you want and take something new each time," says Moss, who reprises her role as Trinity, Neo's love interest and a soldier in the war to protect Zion, the last bastion of humanity. "You can sit back and enjoy the action, or you can watch it five times in a row to get all of the religious references."
And there are plenty. Matrix made its mark with special effects, namely "bullet-time," the slow-motion trick in which the camera twirls 360 degrees around its subject to turn fistfights into kung fu ballets. But the film was really an amalgam of religious faiths disguised as an action flick.
- Christ translated from Greek means "anointed one," while Neo (an anagram of "one") is referred to in the film as "the one."
- Rebel leader Morpheus (in Greek mythology, the god of dreams), preaches Buddhist-inspired themes to Neo, namely to free his mind from the illusions of a material world.
- Our heroes fly about in the Nebuchadnezzar, named after the mighty Babylonian king from the Bible who searched for the meaning of his dreams.
- Their mission is to protect Zion, the last human outpost located near the center of the Earth that takes its name from the ideal society envisioned by Judaism.