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Hero Overview

My name... is Neo!
~ Neo
I know you're out there. I can feel you now. I know that you're afraid... you're afraid of us. You're afraid of change. I don't know the future. I didn't come here to tell you how this is going to end. I came here to tell you how it's going to begin. I'm going to hang up this phone, and then I'm going to show these people what you don't want them to see. I'm going to show them a world without you. A world without rules and controls, without borders or boundaries. A world where anything is possible. Where we go from there is a choice I leave to you.
~ Neo's phone message to the Machines.

Thomas A. Anderson, also known as Neo, is the main protagonist of The Matrix Trilogy. A former redpill rescued by Morpheus, Neo has a special destiny as The One who will save humanity.

He is portrayed by Keanu Reeves, who also portrayed "Ted" Theodore Logan in the 1989 comedy film Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure, the 1991 sequel Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey, and the 2020 sequel Bill & Ted Face the Music. He also played Johnny Utah in the 1991 action film Point Break, Jonathan Harker in the 1992 horror film Bram Stoker's Dracula, Officer Jack Traven in the 1994 action film Speed, Johnny Mnemonic in the 1995 science fiction film Johnny Mnemonic and John Wick of the movie with the same name and its two sequels.

Personality

There is no spoon
~ Neo begins to believe

Thomas Anderson was your perfect "Everyman" that is until the day his computer spoke to him and he met with Morpheus and Trinity who told him the truth about reality; it was really an Artificial Intelligence program keeping humanity imprisoned. Even without learning this knowledge Neo still lacked compatibility with the Matrix and subconsciously knew things were out of balance he even said to a group of people "you ever have one of those feelings whether you don't know if you're awake or still dreaming?". He also doesn't believe in fate, as he replies to Morpheus; "I don't like the idea that I'm not in control of my own fate". He was in reality a produce of choice, which makes him the opposite of his archenemy, Smith who only fought because he saw it happen and unlike Neo whose fate was in his own hands from the very beginning.

However when he's confronted with the truth of the Matrix, Neo was wholeheartedly disbelieved and couldn't accept his entire life is a fake. Becuase of this it was what prevented him from actually becoming The One but his mind did become free once while meeting another Potentional who was able to bend a spoon with his mind. The one thing that truly was keeping him from unleashing his potentional was that he himself did not truly believe he was The One and his meeting with The Oracle seemed to confirm it. Despite not believing, he did come to terms with what the Matrix was and because of this he was able to rescue Morpheus and confront Smith, nearly succeeding. Neo finally learnt that he actually was The One after he was revived when Trinity confessed her love for him which was reciprocated.

Neo within the Machine Mainframe

After accepting he really is The One, he was not only granted flight and enhanced reflexes but Neo could actually see what would happen next in the Matrix. Aside from this Neo remained a calm and apathetic demenour, nearly emotionless but had a degree of confidence. An example is when he was confronted by three agents where he responded to them "hi, fellas". Depsite this he was capable of venting some emotion an example is when he totally lost control after Trinity died on Earth. He is also very conflicted after having constant dreams of Trinity falling to her death and later meeting with The Oracle who told him he would have to make a choice between saving Trintiy and Zion, which initially he refused to do but was told that he had no choice in the matter. Neo is also more quicker and faster to respond than his predecessor's and this intrigued The Architect while meeting with him in the Machine Mainframe. Neo also had a tendency to allow his emotions to overpower logic, even for the greater good. He and Trintiy led a two-man attack where the Agents were holding Morpheus, ignoring the fact they'd be completely outnumbered and if Smith broke Moroheus, Zion would fall. He also chose to save Trinity when she was in danger instead of saving Zion. The Architect actually expected this as he was familiar that the human emotion, love overpowers all certifiable logic and reason.

Neo became even more unattathced and serious after the loss of his eyes and Trinity's death he showed suicidal tendencies, to the point where he didn't care if the Machines kill him once he had said his piece to them about Smith growing out of their control. He also showed selflessness and gave his own life so Smith could corrupt him and the Machines could implant a virus that destroyed the rogue Agent and ending the war on Zion.

Powers and Abilities

Neo has carried, since his conception, the Matrix's source code known as the Prime Program. This gives him the ability to freely manipulate the simulated reality of the Matrix, similar to the authority a system administrator has over a given system. He manifests these abilities as various superhuman powers.

The power Neo exhibits most often is akin to telekinesis in the Matrix. In that, he seems capable of manipulating any object in the Matrix through will alone. By focusing this ability upon himself, he can fly at amazing speeds and jump great distances. Whilst his speed is never specified, he flies from the Merovingian's mountain manor to the highway "500 miles due south" in a very short time. It can thus be extrapolated that if it took him roughly 10 minutes to fly from the chateau in the mountains to the freeway in the Mega City, he would have to have been flying at around 3,000 mph, or just shy of Mach 4. However, his speed of flight is further exemplified by his ability to escape explosions, and the sonic boom left in his wake has the power to overturn rows of heavy vehicles and reap massive destruction, indicating he can probably fly much faster than Mach 4 when pressed. He has used this ability multiple times to stop several bullets in mid flight, first against the Agents and again against the Merovingian.

In addition to his abilities, Neo possesses superhuman strength and agility, and is near-invulnerable to most attacks. Although his physical endurance is immense, Neo can still be harmed or killed, as evidenced by an injury that Neo suffers while blocking a sword attack with his bare hand. His endurance is also finite: when confronted by masses of Smith clones in the second film, Neo was forced to escape rather than continue fighting though he easily overpowered at least 40 Smith clones and threw about 50 off him, and upon being disconnected from the Matrix, he appeared exhausted and winded. His reflexes are great enough to dodge bullets. Neo's strength and speed level have never been accurately measured; he is known to be capable of Mach 8, at least, and Mach 10 under stress, but his upper limit has never been shown. In the third movie, Neo has reached his (apparent) full strength; he is capable of withstanding a direct physical punch from the Smith enhanced by the Oracle's power, and is also able to hold his own in a prolonged fight (though his endurance is not without limit; he can fight this Smith to a standstill, but not defeat him).

In the real world, like the other rebels, Neo does not display any of the aforementioned abilities. According to the Oracle, "The power of The One extends beyond the Matrix. It reaches from here all the way back to where it came from." Apparently because of his status as The One, he has a direct connection to the Source in the real world, and can therefore affect everything connected to it, including Sentinels, although the first use of this ability overwhelms him and he falls into a coma as his mind somehow plugs into the Matrix without a physical connection. Neo also begins to perceive everything connected to the Source, including the Machine City itself, as silhouettes of golden light. This ability becomes beneficial after he is blinded in the fight against Smith/Bane, thus he is able to see Smith/Bane and kill him.

Gallery

Trivia

  • Will Smith, Nicolas Cage, Brad Pitt, David Duchovny, Tom Cruise, Ewan McGregor, Leonardo DiCaprio, the late Heath Ledger, John Cusack and Chris O'Donnell were all considered for the role of Neo. Will Smith had to drop out, due to scheduling conflicts with Wild Wild West, Nicolas Cage also dropped out, due to family commitments, Brad Pitt also dropped out, because he didn't believe the role was his, David Duchovny turned down the role, due to scheduling conflicts with The X-Files: Fight the Future and Ewan McGregor dropped out, due to scheduling conflicts with Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace before Keanu Reeves was cast.

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