15 Mind-Blowing Facts About The Matrix Revolutions

Warner Bros. Ent
Warner Bros. Ent

With a sleek style and a sharp twist on the “humanity vs. machines” plot, 1999’s The Matrix cemented itself as one of the most important sci-fi movies of the decade. The story laid down by the Wachowskis was perfect for an ongoing franchise, and it soon expanded into video games, anime, and comics. Then, in 2003, the original film was followed by two sequels: The Matrix Reloaded and the storyline’s grand finale, The Matrix Revolutions.

In the end, the trilogy went on to gross well over $1.5 billion at the worldwide box office and helped inspire a new generation of sci-fi movies in the process. Find out more about the creation of the franchise’s swan song as we look at 15 facts about The Matrix Revolutions on its 15th anniversary.

1. THE MATRIX RELOADED AND THE MATRIX REVOLUTIONS WERE SHOT BACK-TO-BACK.

In order to save on massive production costs, Warner Bros. didn’t take a break between the filming of the second and third Matrix movies. Not counting pre- and post-production time, 270 days were spent shooting the two films.

2. THE NAME OF THE MOVIE WASN’T DECIDED UNTIL AFTER SHOOTING.

The temporary production name of the movie was Burly Man.

3. AS A MARKETING STRATEGY, THE MOVIE WAS RELEASED WORLDWIDE AT THE EXACT SAME TIME.

It came out simultaneously in more than 50 countries, premiering at 6 a.m. in Los Angeles, 9 a.m. in New York City, 2 p.m. in London, 5 p.m. in Moscow, 11 p.m. in Tokyo, and so on.

4. THE FILM WOULDN’T HAVE BEEN POSSIBLE WITHOUT A LOT OF MOVIE MAGIC.

In addition to cutting-edge CGI technology, the production included the use of some impressive miniatures, such as the dock door of Zion, which was a 1/10th-scale model. Still, the scale of the door was astonishing as this "miniature" was 30 feet high and 40 feet wide.

5. THE PRODUCTION TOOK ITS RESEARCH TO NEW HEIGHTS.

In order to reference what fighting in zero gravity would look like for the movie’s final fight, the filmmakers actually shot screen tests with stuntmen on reduced gravity airplanes. No actual zero-G footage was used in the final film.

6. NEW TECHNOLOGY WAS CREATED FOR THE FIGHT SCENES.

A custom telescoping rig called the “Tuning Fork” was created to enable one or two stuntmen to twirl multiple times in mid-air while fighting one another.

7. AN UNTIMELY DEATH ALTERED THE SCRIPT.

Keanu Reeves and Mary Alice in The Matrix Revolutions (2003)
Jasin Boland , Warner Bros. Entertainment

Gloria Foster, the actress who played the Oracle in the first and second movies, passed away while shooting the third film. She was replaced by actress Mary Alice and the change was added to the plot of the movie.

8. R&B SINGER AALIYAH WAS ORIGINALLY SUPPOSED TO PLAY ZEE.

In another tragic turn of events, the character Zee was recast after Aaliyah, who shot small portions of the role for the second movie, died in a plane crash in 2001. Nona Gaye, daughter of singer Marvin Gaye, ultimately played Zee.

9. CAPTAIN MIFUNE’S NAME IS A NOD TO TOSHIRO MIFUNE.

Toshiro Mifune’s samurai movies (Seven Samurai, Yojimbo, etc.) were major inspirations for the Wachowskis while making the Matrix trilogy, so to honor him, the character Mifune was created.

10. THE ARMORED PERSONNEL UNIT DESIGNS WERE MODELED AFTER GORILLAS.

Though most of these mechanized walkers were CGI, one 14-foot-tall practical APU was built for the movie. It was so big, a crane had to bring it through the back of the set where it was then fully assembled.

11. THE DESIGN OF THE MACHINE CITY WAS INSPIRED BY CORAL REEFS.

The thousands of machine inhabitants were meant to look like crustaceans.

12. THE WACHOWSKIS TURNED TO FAMILY IN DESIGNING THE DEUS EX MACHINA.

Keanu Reeves in The Matrix Revolutions (2003)
Warner Bros. Entertainment

The “God Machine” face was modeled after the Wachowskis’s own infant nephew. The child was filmed performing a number of facial expressions, and the sentinel swarms were then animated to recreate them for the character Deus Ex Machina. The character was voiced by Kevin Michael Richardson.

13. ALL THE SHIP INTERIORS WERE SHOT ON A SINGLE SET.

Only the cables and hardware were changed to differentiate the ships.

14. A NEW SOUND EFFECTS LIBRARY WAS CREATED SPECIFICALLY FOR THE MOVIE.

The fighting sound effects were taken from recording sessions featuring two jiu-jitsu pros sparring with each other.

15. SOME OF THE EXTRAS IN THE FINAL FIGHT SCENE WERE REAL DUMMIES.

The close-up shots of the Agent Smiths looking on during the climactic fight are a mixture of 100 dummies and 50 extras wearing suits and specially molded masks all made to look like actor Hugo Weaving.

7 Things We Know (So Far) About Baby Yoda, the Breakout Star of The Mandalorian

© Lucasfilm
© Lucasfilm

From the moment he appeared onscreen in the closing moments of the premiere episode of the new Disney+ series The Mandalorian on November 12, the creature referred to as Baby Yoda has become an internet sensation not seen since the likes of the IKEA monkey. The Rock has displayed his affection for the cooing green infant on Instagram; a man purportedly got a tattoo of Baby Yoda holding a White Claw seltzer and insists it’s permanent; and a Change.org petition is underway demanding a Baby Yoda emoji.

That Baby Yoda has gripped the imagination of the country is no small feat, as precious little has been revealed about his origins other than that he appears to be a member of the same unnamed species as Jedi master Yoda, which has traditionally been shrouded in secrecy. More will be revealed as The Mandalorian continues its weekly run through December 27. In the meantime, here’s what we know so far about the alarmingly adorable creature canonically known as “The Child.”

1. Baby Yoda is 50 years old, but he still seems a bit behind developmentally.

Owing to the long lifespan of Yoda’s species—Yoda himself lived to be roughly 900 years old before expiring in 1983’s Return of the Jedi, set five years prior to the events of the Disney+ series—it makes sense that the “baby” in the show is the human equivalent of someone about to subscribe to AARP: The Magazine. We learn Baby Yoda’s age in the first episode, where Mando is told he’s being tasked with finding a target that age. It’s a clever bit of misdirection that sets up the climactic reveal that the bounty hunter is after an infant.

And though his habits—tasting space frogs and playing with spaceship knobs—seem developmentally accurate, child experts told Popular Mechanics that such curiosity is more in line with a 1-year-old, not the 5-year-old Baby Yoda might be analogous to in human years. He’s also not terribly verbose, putting him behind what one might expect of a person his relative age.

2. Baby Yoda is male.

After rescuing Baby Yoda from an untimely demise at the hands of bounty hunter IG-11 in the debut episode, the titular Mandalorian takes off with his young bounty to deliver him to his Imperial employer known as the Client (Werner Herzog). In episode 3, the Client receives the baby; his underling, Doctor Pershing, (Omid Abtahi) refers to the character as “him.” A pre-order page for a Mattel plush Baby Yoda also refers to the character as a "he." We have, however, seen a female member of Yoda’s species before. In 1999’s Star Wars: Episode I: The Phantom Menace, a green-skinned Yaddle sits wordlessly on the Jedi Council.

3. Baby Yoda’s genetics are of great interest to what’s left of the Empire.

Why was Mando sent to fetch Baby Yoda? From what we could gather in episode three, the Client was desperate to gather knowledge from the creature, with Doctor Pershing told to extract something from his tiny body. That motive has yet to be revealed, but thanks to The Phantom Menace, we know Force-sensitive individuals can carry a large number of Midi-chlorians, or cells that can attenuate themselves to the Force. One fan theory speculates that these cells can be harvested, creating people with greater capabilities to wield Jedi powers.

4. Using the Force really tires Baby Yoda out.

In episode 2, a battle-weary Mando is in real danger of being trampled by a Mudhorn, a savage beast. Channeling his (presumed) Force abilities, Baby Yoda is able to dispatch of the threat, but the effort seems to exhaust him, and he spends most of the rest of the episode sound asleep.

5. Baby Yoda might become a Jedi Master in a hurry.

Despite his infantile status, it seems like it won’t be long, relatively speaking, before Baby Yoda achieves the Zen-like mindset and formidable skills of a Jedi Master. It’s been pointed out that Yoda achieved that rank at the age of 100, at which point he began training Jedis. That would mean Yoda’s species is capable of some pretty rapid development between the ages of 50 and 100.

6. Werner Herzog has a soft spot for Baby Yoda.

Herzog, the famously irascible director of such films as 2005’s documentary Grizzly Man and 1972's Aguirre: The Wrath of God, portrays the man known as the Client, out to capture Baby Yoda. Interacting with the puppet on set was apparently a source of amusement for the part-time actor, who sometimes addressed Baby Yoda as though he were not made of rubber. "One of the weirdest moments I had on set, in my life, was trying to direct Werner with the baby,” series director Deborah Chow told The New York Times. “How did I end up with Werner Herzog and Baby Yoda? That was amazing. Werner had absolutely fallen in love with the puppet. He, at some point, had literally forgotten that it wasn’t a real being and was talking to the child as though it was a real, existing creature.”

Herzog was so emotionally invested in Baby Yoda that he reacted harshly when The Mandalorian creator Jon Favreau and producer and director Dave Filoni spoke of wanting to shoot some scenes without the puppet so they could add him as a computer-generated effect later in case the live-action creature wasn’t convincing. “You are cowards,” Herzog told them. “Leave it.”

7. Baby Yoda bootleg merchandise has become a force.

When Favreau decided to keep Baby Yoda under tight wraps before the premiere of The Mandalorian, it forced Disney to postpone plans for tie-in merchandising, which can often leak plot points from film and television projects in retailer solicitations months in advance. As a result, precious little Baby Yoda merchandise is available, save for some hastily-assembled shirts and mugs on the Disney Store website. That leaves craftspeople on Etsy and other outlets to fabricate bootleg Baby Yoda plush dolls and other items.

The shortage runs parallel to the predicament faced by toy maker Kenner upon the release of the original Star Wars in 1977. Faced with a huge and unexpected holiday demand for action figures, the company was forced to sell consumers an empty box with a voucher for the toys redeemable the following year.

Stranger Things Star David Harbour Claims He Still Doesn't Know if Hopper Is Dead or Alive

Jason Mendez/Getty Images
Jason Mendez/Getty Images

With the fourth season of Stranger Things in the works, fans are holding out hope that Jim Hopper, played by David Harbour, is still alive and will be returning to the series. It turns out that we aren’t the only ones.

ComicBook.com reports that the Black Widow star recently made an appearance at German Comic Con Dortmund and, naturally, was asked if he would be returning to the Netflix series. The 44-year-old actor replied:

“Oh my Lord! I don’t know. Should we call the Duffer brothers? We don’t know yet, we don’t know. They won’t tell me anything, so we’ll have to see. I think you’ll find out at some point, we’ll find out at some point. Let’s hope he’s alive.”

The Hellboy actor then asked the crowd if they wanted Hopper to still be alive. When he was met with an explosion of cheers, he joked, “Guess what? Me too. Because I like working.”

Though many are still in mourning over Hopper’s presumed death at the gate of the Upside Down, Harbour stated that it was integral to the character that he died to release the guilt around his daughter’s death. He explained:

“I think Hopper—from the very beginning I’ve said this—he’s very lovable in a certain way, but also, he’s kind of a rough guy. Certainly in the beginning of Season 1 he’s kind of dark, and he’s drinking, and he’s trying to kill himself, and he hates himself for what happened to his daughter. I feel like, in a sense, that character needed to die. He needed to make some sacrifice to make up for the way he’s been living for the past like 10 years, the resentments that he’s had. So he needed to die.”

Though his death might have been necessary to rid him of his demons, we hope to see Hopper return.

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