Nebuchadnezzar (The Matrix)

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The Nebuchadnezzar is a fictional hovership (known in-universe as a "hovercraft") captained by Morpheus in the Matrix trilogy.[1] Its name is a Biblical reference to Nebuchadnezzar II, from the Book of Daniel.[2] It received scholarly attention due to its role in the series and metaphorical significance.

Appearances[edit]

Built in 2069,[1] prior to the Machine War that led to the creation of the Matrix, the Nebuchadnezzar, along with other, similar craft, was repurposed by the human rebels to covertly broadcast the minds of up to seven people at a time into the Matrix, where the crew would locate and free the minds of other humans. They enter and leave the Matrix through the use of pirate radio signals sent out by the ship, which transport the crew anywhere in the Matrix that a "hard phone line" can be accessed.[3] A ship's Operator would remain as a guide, sending crews navigational data and programs with which to hack into the Matrix. In the Matrix trilogy we see two Operators for the Nebuchadnezzar: Tank and Link. It is also equipped with basic defensive measures in the form of an onboard EMP, which it uses to fight flying robots known as Sentinels.[1]

The interior of the ship was one of the few indications in the series about how the rebels lived. It resembles the interior of a submarine and is made entirely of steel, with flashing computer screens and cramped, small sleeping quarters. The only food aboard is a nutrient rich mixture that was described as "viscous, gag-eliciting goop".[2]

The Nebuchadnezzar was destroyed by a Sentinel's tow bomb near the conclusion of The Matrix Reloaded. The crew escaped before the ship's destruction thanks to Neo's newfound ability to identify and assume limited control over Sentinel hardware using his powers as The One as shown at the conclusion of the movie. The crew was found by the hovercraft Mjolnir (Hammer) very shortly after.

Merchandise[edit]

In Japan, the Matrix Ultimate Collection featured a replica model of the Nebuchadnezzar that was 60 cm in width.[4]

Reception[edit]

The Matrix and Philosophy states that the Nebuchadnezzar's name is symbolically important, as the ancient king "has a dream he can't remember but keeps searching for an answer". This is similar to how Neo continues to search for an answer to his "vague but persistent" questions about the Matrix.[5] Additionally, the book notes that the ship's nameplate contains the words "Mark III No. 11", which alludes to the Bible verse Mark 3:11, "And whatever unclean spirits beheld him, they fell down before him and cried, 'you are the Son of God'," relating Neo's path to the Jesus story.[5]

Transpersonal Management: Lessons from the Matrix Trilogy states that the name Nebuchadnezzar both represents the machines' arrogance in claiming godliness, similar to the ancient king, as well as the fact that the rebels are warriors who are attempting to liberate their people.[6] Neuroscience in Science Fiction Films calls the name symbolic of the fact that "imminent doom awaits" due to the apocalyptic nature of the Book of Daniel.[7]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Keith., Booker, M. (2006). Alternate Americas : science fiction film and American culture. Westport, Conn.: Praeger. ISBN 0275983951. OCLC 230724900.
  2. ^ a b Jacking in to the Matrix franchise : cultural reception and interpretation. Kapell, Matthew., Doty, William G., 1939-. New York: Continuum. 2004. pp. 174, 195. ISBN 0826419097. OCLC 54279998.
  3. ^ Taking the red pill : science, philosophy and religion in The Matrix. Yeffeth, Glenn, 1961- (1st ed.). Dallas, Tex.: BenBella Books. 2003. p. 113. ISBN 1932100024. OCLC 51093169.
  4. ^ Franklin, Sheila. "Matrix Ultimate Collection with Nebuchadnezzar ship replica | Gear Live". www.gearlive.com. Retrieved 2018-03-26.
  5. ^ a b The Matrix and philosophy : welcome to the desert of the real. Irwin, William, 1970-. Chicago: Open Court. 2002. p. 113. ISBN 0812695011. OCLC 50291135.
  6. ^ De Rezende, Julio Francisco Dantas. Transpersonal Management: lessons from the Matrix trilogy. Editora E-papers. p. 70. ISBN 8576501511.
  7. ^ Sharon,, Packer,. Neuroscience in science fiction films. Jefferson, North Carolina. ISBN 0786472340. OCLC 895335093.