The new theory concerning Neo, Trinity, and Morpheus is enough to give a person a headache trying to figure out the dynamics of it, but just to be clear, it involves time travel and the possibility that the machines might make use of Neo and Trinity in some way to clear up or at least travel back and figure out the timelines. The fact that we’ve been hearing that there will be a younger Morpheus being played by Yahya Abdul-Mateen means that Laurence Fishburne won’t be coming back, but with Keanu Reeves and Carrie-Ann Moss coming back it begs the question of how, why, and where. Obviously this is a theory at this point and nothing concrete since we still don’t have anything other than rumors to go on, but until the expected release in 2022, it’s going to be all that we really have to go on since there aren’t a lot of details to report on at the moment. But the idea that time travel would have to be something that was devised by the machines is kind of obvious since the technology available in Zion is more or less a functional but low-tech variety that’s miles away from the type of tech that a person might expect from something that can break the time barrier. But to be a little more technical it doesn’t feel a though the machines would have cracked this code either, since, despite everything that they’ve accomplished in the movies, the Matrix-born machines still feel archaic in some sense, as though they’re still bound by the humanity that they continue to rely upon. In this sense, time travel, if it is discovered by the machines, feels like it would be a painful and laborious process that would have to take place inside the virtual world, or would be an excruciating trip that might come with a great deal of risk.
There’s very little that’s streamlined or hopeful about the Matrix movies since even in the most elegant of settings and the most peaceful of moments it feels dark, gritty, and somehow desperate. If there’s time travel involved in the Matrix, and it’s a popular theory when it comes to explaining how Neo and Trinity can come back, it almost feels like it would come from somewhere else in the world. Does anyone get that idea? The movies showed us a wide array of settings in the virtual world, but in a physical sense, the only real idea we’ve been given of the geographical location of anything is that the machines built their city somewhere that we don’t really know, and the mountainous region that could be seen in the distance when Neo and Trinity were headed towards the city was actually a defensive ring that sought to bar them entry by firing projectiles at them in a barrage that they couldn’t withstand even with Neo’s ability to affect the projectiles for a moment or two. In other words, we don’t know where the machine city, Zero-One, was located, unless one watches The Animatrix and finds that located in or near the Fertile Crescent, around Mesopotamia. This would mean that much of the Matrix, if not all of it, took place in the Middle East or nearby, meaning that we didn’t really get to see the rest of the world.
What if someone else invented time travel, and somehow kept screwing up so royally that they attracted the attention of Zero-One finally? Remember the idea of time travel in 12 Monkeys? It was an era that was just as hopeless, albeit a different story. Think about this, we didn’t get to see a lot of the world above Zion in the movies, as it was necessary for the humans to run and hide more often since they were vastly outnumbered and outclassed. Even their hit and run tactics were dangerous in the best of times. But what if someone in another part of the world had continued to tinker with machines that had a well-defined killswitch and had somehow uncovered the secret of time travel? It would take a big stretch to think that the Wachowski’s would ever go down this route since they didn’t deviate that much from their main story throughout the three movies, but if the fourth movie is going to be something that brings back two of the best characters in the whole trilogy, then it might need to think well outside of its initial programming in order to wow the people the way the first movie did. There’s a reason why the second and third movies were beginning to fade a bit, and a lot of it had to do with the storylines that were being pushed since in the first movie things were fresh, new, and unique. That’s what the fourth movie needs.