Question: How exactly does the blue and red pill work? How does Neo taking the pill trigger him to wake up?
Answer: The pills are the Matrix representations of computer programs. The red pill contains code designed to disrupt Neo's input/output signals, so that Morpheus' team can pinpoint his physical location in the real world. Once located, a signal of unspecified type is sent from their ship, which presumably serves to wake Neo up.
Question: Everybody seems to believe that the machines are not able or at least not willing to make use of the energy from the sunlight above the darkened sky. But I have some problems with that. Morpheus tells us about this when he is with Neo in the construct for the first time. But is Morpheus really 100% believable in that question? Isn't this just his version of the story? We can believe him that the humans darkened the sky (this is confirmed in Animatrix and visible on screen) and the machines created fields of humans as their source of power (he saw those fields himself). But maybe he's wrong? Could he really know for sure how much energy the machines need? Or that the machines don't use the energy from sunlight? Is there any point in the trilogy where the machines definitely do confirm this? For me it would make more sense for them to do so: using the humans would inevitably decimate the population with every generation. If we believe that the humans' "foods" are the liquidated dead this would hardly be enough for the whole lifespan of another human (and there's also energy drained from the machines). I don't say this wouldn't make sense for the machines, but sooner or later they will have to use another source of power if they want to live forever, so why not start with it now? They would have infinite energy and could control humanity at the same time. And as we see they are able to build any types of complex weaponry/flying guardians etc., it should be easy for them technically to get past the dust and use the energy somehow. Am I right with this or is there a better explanation?
Answer: Human bodies would not be 100% efficient and so energy generated would always be less than energy fed into the farm, so overall making energy losses for machines. The energy fed (dead bodies etc) is not usable by machines directly. Humans seems to be good for energy conversion as well as energy storage. So any excess energy from fusion can simply be stored away in the matrix. Hence the battery analogy (which needs to be charged to be useful).
Question: I get that people in the matrix, who have not been freed, are not ready to be freed, and I know at one point when Morpheus is explaining the matrix to Neo (I believe during the woman in the red dress test) he says something along the lines of: The matrix is a system, that system is our enemy. The matrix is filled with minds we are trying to save, but until we do they are still part of that system and that makes them our enemies. Many of them are so dependent on that system they will fight to defend it.- I am paraphrasing, but it is something like that. As I'm sure everyone knows he also says "The body cannot live without the mind." And therefore if you die in the matrix you die in the 'real' world. My question is, do they ever address the ethical questions that could arise from the fact that they kill mind after mind of police officers, SWAT teams, security guards, innocent humans just doing their jobs? I understand that sometimes it may be necessary, and that Neo doesn't have much choice but to fight agents and kill their hosts at times. But things like Mouse, knowing he is going to die so he grabs machine guns and takes out as many people as he can. Or when Neo and Trinity, on their way to save Morpheus, cover them selves in guns and take out that whole building of guards and pretty much end up with one gun each. The guards were completely prepared to let them enter the building freely if they passed the metal detector, could they not have went empty handed and just taken out two guards later, and used their weapons? It just seems like a pretty bad way to go about a mission to save people. Unless perhaps I missed a speech about sacrificing some minds for the cause or the needs of the many out weigh the needs of the few type deal. Just wondering if that is ever addressed.
Answer: No, they don't address it, other than Morpheus' speech during the test. It's not something that they have any realistic choice about, so they just have to accept it and do what they need to do. Mouse, yes, he chooses to defend himself when cornered, but who wouldn't? These may be innocent victims of the Matrix he's shooting at, but they're still there to kill him - he's hardly going to stand there and accept his fate meekly. There's also no indication that the guards were "completely prepared" to let Neo and Trinity into what's clearly a high security building, undoubtedly they would have been asked for identification, what their purpose was there and so forth and turned away if, as seems likely, their answers weren't satisfactory. Shooting their way in from the start is likely their only option. Yes, it's absolutely ethically unfortunate, but if they're going to resist the machines successfully, it's not something they have any choice about. A necessary evil.
Question: How is it that the heroes are able to "broadcast their pirate signal and hack into the matrix", but the machines are unable to hack the "codes to Zion's mainframe computer"?
Answer: It's a range issue. It's specifically mentioned that, in order to tap into the Matrix, the ships have to rise to "broadcast depth". Zion's too far down for signals to reach it, so the machines can't hack their systems.
Question: If the pay phones are the only entrance/exit points in the matrix, why did the robots add it in?
Answer: Pay phones are not the only way in or out of the matrix. In fact, pay phones are only used twice in the film. The other times people are shown entering or leaving the matrix, they do so via a plain black rotary phone sitting on a table. Any hard-line (that is, physically connected to the system by wires) phone can be hacked to provide an entrance or exit. Several have been hacked already and, as the process takes time to complete, rather than begin a hack of the hard-line phone nearest to the operative, operatives are directed to the nearest previously hacked phone when a quick escape is required. The robots did not add this feature to the matrix, it is merely a manipulation of the code on the humans' part.
Question: If none of the cops knew about Trinity's abilities, why did they send so many cops to smash her door and hold her at gunpoint like she was a terrorist? To them she was just a hacker, which doesn't put anyone in physical danger, so wouldn't just one officer have been enough?
Answer: Trinity was a known associate of Morpheus, considered "the most dangerous man alive", so the police would have taken some precautions - even a hacker could be armed in any case. At least four units would be sensible for any kind of raid, regardless of how harmless they assumed the suspect was. However, the lieutenant only sent two units into the hotel to detain her so he didn't think it was that big a deal, and there were two more outside.
Question: Why don't the machines use geothermal energy? What do the humans in the real use to make their clothes? Where do the humans in the real get their food from? Why don't the machines just kill humans when they are unplugged instead of letting them become soldiers for Zion? Why don't the machines just attach a gadget to a hover craft, that when it returns to Zion will either blow up or spread a virus (al la 2nd renaissance part 2)? Why don't the humans in the real plug into the matrix and just carpet bomb the entire planet thereby destroying the machines energy source and they can just repopulate the earth naturally? How come Neo has superpowers in the real world? Without sunlight where do humans in the real get vitamin D?
Answer: 1: The machines have found an acceptable fuel source with the Matrix and haven't bothered to pursue geothermal energy (Converting to geothermal may be one of the "levels of survival we are willing to accept."). 2: Their clothing seems to be mainly natural fibers, so it could be that they have cotton, flax, or hemp crops under grow lights underground. 3: They eat either from the aforementioned crops or the synthetic protein that the ship crews eat. 4: The machines have accepted that some people will always reject the Matrix and have orchestrated the creation of Zion as a sort of Trash Folder to deposit and occasionally purge their rejects. 5: See 4. 6: Since Zion is set up by the machines each time, we can safely assume that they're not going to give the humans of Zion the technological means to destroy them. By the time they might develop such means on their own, the purge happens. 7: Neo is The Chosen One, sometimes miracles happen for people like that. 8: See 2 and 3.
Question: Okay, so help me out here. When someone still plugged into the Matrix dies from say, cancer or is hit by a car, does that mean the real world counterpart of that person has been completely drained of energy by the machines? When a human has served its purpose to the machines, do they alter the Matrix to make that person die? I'm very curious to know how how death works in the Matrix.
Answer: Insofar as can be told from what little we know, the human body will continue to produce energy indefinitely, at least until it dies of old age or from some other cause - there appears to be no precedent for an individual to be fully drained by the machines. If an individual dies in some abnormal manner within the Matrix, such as a car crash, their body will die on the outside and will have to be disposed of. Otherwise, their body will presumably age normally until they expire of natural causes. As for how cancer might operate, we have no information. To theorise, as the digital body represents the actual body with reasonable accuracy, should an individual plugged into the Matrix develop cancer in their real body, then it's a plausible hypothesis that their digital self will demonstrate the same symptoms - the real and virtual afflictions will proceed at the same rate and the digital self will expire when the real body passes away.
Question: Why does the Oracle ask Neo to open his mouth and say ahh? What was she hoping to gain from this?
Answer: Nothing, it is simply the character's sense of humour. She knows Neo will become the One but also knows that Neo won't believe her so she puts on an act and tells Neo what he wants to hear.
Question: Exactly how do humans provide energy for the machines?
Answer: The human body generates heat and a small degree of electricity. EKG and EEG machines for instance measure the electric activity in the heart and brain. It is thought that the energy generated by the human body could be harnessed to create power, obviously The Matrix is an evolution of that idea.
Question: I understand most of The Matrix and I get the whole "there is no spoon concept," too. However I don't get why Morpheus could not apply the same principles when he was captured by Smith and the agents. Why could he not break free from the handcuffs then because "there simply are no handcuffs"? Is it because he had serum and had his sunglasses taken off of him? Please explain. It's driving us nuts.
Answer: He has been beaten and drugged. He can't focus enough to break the cuffs while the agents were there. If he tried, he would be beaten again and/or probably killed.
Question: When Cypher is in the restaurant with Smith, is this before he was set free from the Matrix? I'm not too sure if it was the same for him, but I know they try and get them when they are young rather than older, so if it was during him being free, would he have been caught?
Answer: Cypher was out of the matrix when he met Smith at the restaurant. Like those on the ship, he had to plug into the system anytime he wanted to go into the Matrix. Cypher was being used as a mole by Smith to get to Morpheus. There would be no reason to take him out as he was working with them.
Question: I could never understand this in any of the Matrix movies. They need to go to a phone that is ringing in order to leave the Matrix and go to the real world. The guy in their command center tells them where they can find that phone. Why can they not use any phone in the Matrix? Why do they have to go so far to get to a ringing phone? And why can't they just use their cell phone they have on them in order to get back to the real world?
Answer: It has to be a hard line phone, one that is part of the matrix code, that's been previously hacked by the rebels. There's a network of them throughout the city, and the operator directs them to the nearest one after activating it. Their cell phones won't work because they aren't part of the matrix; they're loaded in just like the guns and clothes. It's possible the "hard" aspect of the phone also translates to a literal physical connection in the real world which the rebels can connect to.
Question: How did Neo know about the existence of the Matrix if he was stuck in the Matrix for most of his life?
Answer: He doesn't know that he's plugged into a giant computer and that most of humanity is a power source for robots. He's merely aware that there is something wrong with life in general, something odd that he can't quite explain.
Question: When Neo goes into the Oracles apartment, the woman who opened the door said that the kids were the other potentials. What did she mean by that?
Answer: She means that they are other people who may be "the One". They're not, of course, but this is in a way a test of Neo to see if he is ready to become "the One" or if he doubts himself too much.
Question: After the opening credits, during the short dialogue between Trinity and Tank, they talk about Neo and he says, "We're gonna kill him, understand that". Why are they going to kill him?
Answer: They're not going to kill him themselves, the statement is meant to refer to the fact that the course of action that they're going to take is likely to lead to his death - possibly because he's really too old to be freed, or because he'll do something stupid because he believes that he's the One, something that the rest of the crew seem less than convinced about.
Question: How do the hovercraft work? I know the glowing pads contribute to the hovering ability, but is that based on any real technology? And why don't the sentinels have the hover-pads?
Answer: The hover pads work by electro-magnetic repulsion much like the mag-lev trains we have today only much more so. They would not leave a trace of propellant to be followed/tracked/traced nor would they be especially hotter than ambient temperature like jet engines etc. The sentinals do not care if they are tracked, but it is not clear if they use a more advanced form of this technology or something else. Remember that the Zion people have to start over from scratch every so often while the machine culture is constantly advancing so the humans' technology would not necessarily be as advanced.
Question: Can someone please explain what Spoon Boy says to Neo about there being no spoon, I do not fully understand it.
Answer: "There is no spoon" because the spoon doesn't really exist; it's just a bunch of images inside the Matrix. For Neo to use his powers, he can't think of bending the spoon (or surviving a fall, or jumping a gap, or dodging bullets) because in even accepting the existence of the spoon (or the fall, or the gap, or the bullets) he'll be acknowledging it's impossible to do so. He has to see all these things as just reflections of the Matrix (as he indeed does at the end) and manipulate them in those terms, to use his powers.