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In the Matrix, why did Neo have magic powers in the real world? For example,

(1) Those scenes where he blows up those robots purportedly with his mind.

(2) That one where he has no eyes but can see.

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Is there a specific scene you're referring to? –  Padenton Dec 1 '12 at 2:01
What about the one where he blows up those flying robots? –  James Dec 1 '12 at 2:03
ObXKCD –  dmckee Dec 1 '12 at 2:05
It is an inconsistency in plot. See movies.stackexchange.com/questions/35/… –  Mistu4u Dec 1 '12 at 2:16
What if the robots intentionally died so that Neo would end up with the Architect again? –  James Dec 1 '12 at 2:23

4 Answers 4

up vote 19 down vote accepted

The main explanation I've seen, and that seems to be pretty official, was that the plug thing Neo has in the back of his head worked as a wireless device. Well, as you will read below, this isn't actually specified like this, but since the source speaks of the "brain becoming a wireless connection", it seems the safest thing to assume.

In any case, no magic is involved.

In the IMDB FAQ page for Matrix Reloaded, we see the question: Neo is able to have extraordinary powers inside The Matrix because he is The One, designated by the machines for equilibrium. What explanation does the movie give for Neo having his powers in the real world?

And the answer is (emphasis mine).

The answer is given in Revolutions. The machines in the real world are all connected to a "singular consciousness", the birth of Artificial Intelligence described by Morpheus in the original Matrix film. This consciousness is otherwise known as "The Source".

The machine connection is a remote one or some sort of wireless signal. Having touched The Source (i.e. - meeting with the Architect) and having the data needed to reboot the Matrix, Neo is at this point simultaneously in possession of his human brain but also connected to the singular consciousness. In other words, his is also now a wireless connection. Hence, the reason Neo says, "Something's different. I can feel them." The machines are all separate entities but all connected to this one ("The Source"). Now Neo is as well.

He is thereby able to harness this power and stop the sentinels. However, Neo wasn't ready to handle the signal surge and collapsed in a comatose state, no longer in control of just where this wireless signal would be directed. The signal (Neo's residual self-image) is then captured and held in a program limbo derived from the Source but undetected as an existing realm, so to speak. This limbo (the Train Station) was created by the Trainman, a program in service to the Merovingian.

This connection forged by Neo's visit to the Architect and his subsequent decision to return to the real world made him, unknowingly, unique. Neo became simultaneously human and machine in a sense. This would ultimately put him in the position to negotiate for peace between humans and the machines. This, as the story unfolded, is exactly what happened.

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If all I knew was movie cannon, this wouldbe an excellent aanswer. However, the videogames clarify that Neo and Trinity were both created by the machines as experiments. Its on the Wikipedia page for Neo. Unfortuanately, I know little more, and had come here looking for more details :( –  Mooing Duck Jan 4 at 17:43
@MooingDuck Maybe add a second comment with notes on how the wiki page contradicts this answer directly or what's different? –  Mario Jan 5 at 11:18
I thought about it, but eventually added a new answer instead –  Mooing Duck Jan 5 at 18:42

From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trinity_(The_Matrix):

Trinity made a return to the series in the official continuation, The Matrix Online. Taking on a major role in the game's final chapters it was revealed both she and Neo were actually the cumulation of decades of Machine research into translating human DNA perfectly into Machine code, allowing them to interface directly with technology without the need for simulated interfaces. Originally developed by The Oracle, this program was called The Biological Interface Program and was strongly sought after by the Oligarchy as a means to transfer their digital minds to physical bodies instead of the mechanical androids they had developed.

and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neo_(The_Matrix)

After Halborn's removal in Chapter 10, little more was questioned until the revelation of the Trinity project, originally headed by The Oracle, in Chapter 12. It was revealed that both Neo and Trinity were actually the culmination of decades of Machine research into translating human DNA perfectly into Machine code, allowing them to interface directly with technology without the need for simulated interfaces.


The Oligarchs continue to deal with various high-level Machines in the Real, such as Deus Ex Machina, and are aware of the "Architect" program that oversees the Matrix, but are not aware that the Architect has made use of an "intuitive" program, the Oracle, or that those two programs have engineered a system whereby some humans are allowed to live outside the Matrix, which had been running on a cyclical basis, regulated by two genomes so carefully bred and manipulated by the Machines that they have reached an unprecedented state of human/machine compatibility: Neo and Trinity.


While they have as yet been unable to achieve this feat, the Machines have now come close: Bane was a version of Smith transferred, flawed, to a human host, and Cryptos was mostly overwritten by a program, although this has proven to be unstable. Furthermore, Neo and Trinity were the successful result of the Machines' centuries of study of the human body and genetics. "Designed," as the Architect mentioned to Neo, they solved the remainder of the intentionally flawed Matrix equation; their DNA is perfected to the point that it can be defined precisely and completely in computer code, and, most importantly, interfaced perfectly with computer code: how previous Ones returned to the Source, for instance, and how the Oracle was able to predict the complex pattern of Neo and Trinity's interections so precisely, guiding it to her desired outcome.

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If you want to force an explanation,the idea is that Neo is like an virus inside matrix same as one virus would be on your computer,but when Neo is unplugged/your pc powered off it can't pose any threat.

But if the virus was so good,and your hardware(motherboard BIOS) poorly built/programmed...the virus could theoretically take control of your motherboard,and next time you boot up your PC it could overclock its voltage until it burns out.

This could partially explain how he would destroy the robots,and seeing the machines would be just your windows recognizing your new USB keyboard however windows won't run on powered off pc so they can't recognize anything but on the other hand Neo,unlikely the windows had an advantage of existing in both worlds(software/hardware).

He couldn't just beat up the robots like he did in matrix since there was much more effort needed,he had to implement the whole new hardware part to his strategy,which would also explain why he didn't do it more often.

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It's not an inconsistency. See my answer. :) –  Alenanno Dec 2 '12 at 11:30

If (as some do) you exclude the sequels, then yes, it is magick. Due to his direct experience of the virtual reality, the real reality, and the signals that interconnected these two, he was in the position to realize that the real world follows very similar (if not identical) rules.

The literature of magick and neoplatonism strongly describe the world as based on energy not matter. Neo experiences an apotheosis, a god-becoming, which has been prophetically supported (in-universe) by the legend of "the One".

Thus, the real world is also a construct, virtual and can be manipulated psychically as well as physically.

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