If you’ve seen The Matrix Resurrections, you know that a lot has changed in the 60 years that have passed since the ending of the third movie – including the city of Zion and Morpheus. What happened to them?
The exact fate of both the city of Zion and Morpheus has not been revealed, but it has been heavily implied that the city was destroyed by the Machines some time between The Matrix Revolutions and The Matrix Resurrections. Since Morpheus was the then-leader of the city, he was destroyed with it, which explains why he returned to his new body as a computer program.
The rest of this article is going to give you more details about this answer. You’re going to get some additional answers, as well as information both about the city of Zion and its then-leader, Morpheus. This sad story is going to contain a lot of spoilers, so if you haven’t seen The Matrix Resurrections be careful how you approach this article, please, as your viewing experience might be ruined.
What Happened to Zion in The Matrix Resurrections?
The history of the city of Zion is a long one and it stretches far beyond the story of the original trilogy. The people of Zion believe they have been fighting the machines for nearly 100 years, as Morpheus recounts in a speech before the machines’ final attack on the city.
The people of Zion believe that their city was built shortly after the destruction of man’s above ground cities and the creation of the Matrix. Their story tells of the One who freed the first humans from the Matrix’s grip. The current year is unknown, but Morpheus states that it is more like 2199, as opposed to Neo’s 1999.
The Architect, on the other hand, tells the story very differently. According to the Architect, Zion is actually a place whose existence was allowed by the machines as a form of control. Although 1% of the population subconsciously rejects the Matrix, only a small portion of that 1% is actually freed from the Matrix to become a citizen of Zion.
How Many Times Has Zion Been Destroyed?
According to the Architect, Zion has been completely destroyed five times when the sixth chosen one, Neo, meets the Architect. Therefore, the actual year on Earth is estimated to be 2699 rather than 2199. If you consider that The Matrix Resurrections is set sixty years later, it would be somewhere around 2758 in the real world now.
Why Do the Machines Keep Destroying Zion?
Zion is, as we have said, actually a control measure specifically designed for a society that is expecting a messiah figure (The One). This expectation, brought about by the Oracle’s prophecy, helps to ensure that the next chosen one, when he appears on the scene, will be treated like the Messiah, eventually leading him to believe that he is the chosen one.
This is because the Chosen One must take the code he carries (which consists of the rejections of 1% of the population) to the Source to spread it. This temporarily brings the Matrix to 100% acceptance, allowing the Architect to reload the system.
It should be noted, though, that the real threat to the Matrix is not Zion, but the systemic anomaly created by 1% of the population who subconsciously reject the Matrix.
The location of Zion is always known to the Architect, as it is rebuilt in the exact same location as the previous Zion. With each iteration, the machines get better and better at destroying it. It may only exist for as long as it is needed.
Once the Chosen One has been found, trained, and sent down the path of the Chosen One to the Architect’s chamber, Zion’s destruction is planned. Most agents of the system are not privy to this information and act accordingly.
When the Chosen One reaches the source to spread the integral anomaly, he reinserts the main program, thus pointing the Architect to the Path of the Chosen One. The Path of the One is a subroutine within the larger programming of the Matrix that ends with the arrival of the One at the Source. It is a control measure that ensures that each cycle begins and ends with the One.
After the spread of the integral anomaly at the Source, the One inserts the path of the One back into the programming of the Matrix by selecting 23 individuals to rebuild Zion. Due to Neo’s actions at the end of The Matrix Revolutions, the Prime programming was not reinserted when the Matrix was reloaded.
When the One arrives at the Architect’s chamber on his quest to find the Source, the Architect tells the Chosen One the story of the Matrix. By this time, the One will have come to believe that he is the savior of humanity and will do whatever he must to save them.
He will be told that he can either allow a fraction of 1% of the population to die while the rest live on in the Matrix, or he can allow all of humanity to die. Inevitably, he will choose to save humanity and follow the path of the One to the Source.
This, of course, brings upon the destruction of Zion so that is why the Machines have destroyed the city so many times until, of course, Neo arrived and chose a different path.
How Was Zion Rebuilt in The Matrix?
Now, the whole process was never explained in detail, but we do know that after the destruction of one iteration of Zion, a group of 23 individuals is selected to rebuild the city from scratch and the century-long cycle simply begins once more.
How they do it is not known, but we assume it involves a lot of complex coding, similar to how the whole Matrix was built. The only time when this did not happen was when Neo decided to end the cycle.
What Happened to Morpheus in The Matrix Resurrections?
The ending of The Matrix Revolutions left Morpheus alive and well in Zion, cheerful that the cycle had been broken and that peace between the Machines and the humans had been restored.
Still, as we found out thanks to Niobe’s very ambiguous retelling of the events before Resurrections, the Machines once again started a civil war, which ultimately led to the destruction of Zion; some of the humans fled and later settled in IO, but Zion was this time destroyed and it was destroyed for good since the destruction did not happen as part of the Matrix rebuilding program.
Morpheus’ fate wasn’t exactly revealed, but we know that he was the then-leader of Zion and that he did not consider news of a new rebellion seriously until it actually happened. A statue of him in IO suggests that he was killed during the destruction of Zion but his ideas lived on.
Years after Neo’s death, the Morpheus program was created as part of a modal by Neo based in part on Morpheus of Zion and Smith, two important beings in Neo’s life, Morpheus being an ally and Smith an enemy.
After Neo’s death and resurrection, Neo created three video games based on the events of his life. Neo then created a modal that included the Morpheus program. Morpheus realized he was inside a computer program known as the Matrix and saw the code in various places, including a mirror. Seeing the code helped him free his mind and realize the possibility that there was more to his life than just his basic programming.
As an agent, Morpheus eventually found himself in the middle of an incident similar to the one Trinity had gone through over 60 years earlier. Following in the former Agent Smith’s footsteps, Morpheus soon found a Redpill named Bugs. The two fought briefly, ending with Bugs attempting to flee from the agents. During the chase, Bugs hid behind the counter of a locksmith.
While she was hiding, Morpheus grabbed Bugs and rescued her. He pulled her into a corridor with doors and led her to Neo’s old apartment from his days as Thomas A. Anderson.
After talking about Neo and their own realization of what the Matrix is, Bugs gave Morpheus a choice between a blue pill and a red pill. He took the red pill and the two fled from the other agents by jumping off a building into the real world. From there, the two set out with the crew of the Mnemosyne to find Neo.
Morpheus and Bugs eventually found Neo, who had been living in the Matrix, unaware of his past. Morpheus and Bugs made an attempt to free Neo’s spirit, but he had doubted the possibility of the Matrix and had fled. They would chase after him and ultimately free him and make him remember his past.
Why Is Laurence Fishburne Not Morpheus in The Matrix Resurrections?
“I have not been invited. Maybe that will make me write another play. I wish them well. I hope it’s great,”– Laurence Fishburne on him not returning for ‘The Matrix Resurrections’
When the fourth Matrix movie was officially announced, we knew that most of the original cast would be returning, save for Hugo Weaving as Agent Smith, and Laurence Fishburne as Morpheus.
And while we initially did not know that Agent Smith would even be in the movie (he was, played by Jonathan Groff), we knew Morpheus would be there, which is why it was very strange that the producers did not invite Fishburne, who was one of the pillars of the original trilogy, to return.
For some time, there have been different rumors about the reasons behind this decision. Some claimed that Fishburne and the Wachowskis had a rift and that the actor simply declined to return, but as the actor himself said of the role – he wasn’t even invited.
The same happened to Hugo Weaving, so it’s obvious that Lana Wachowski has something completely different in the plan for these characters, which means that Weaving and Fishburne had to be recast, which is what happened in the end.