Thomas A. Anderson, "Neo," was born on March 11, 1962 in Lower Downtown, Capital City, USA. His is the only child of John Anderson and Michelle McGahey. For education he attended Central West Junior High and Owen Patterson High shining in particular at math, science and any computer courses, as well as demonstrating a propensity for both English and History.
Neo was created by the Wachowski Sisters (Lilly Wachowski and Lana Wachowski), for use in The Matrix Trilogy (The Matrix, The Matrix Reloaded, The Matrix Revolutions), The Animatrix, The Animatrix short film Kid’s Story, video-games, as well as The Matrix Comics.
At the beginning of The Matrix Thomas Anderson is a programmer for the company Meta Cortex and is unaware that he and billions of others human beings are connected neutrally to a virtual reality world known as the Matrix. Over time and with the help of Morpheus, Trinity, as well as others, Neo comes to accept that everything he previously knew was a lie. Neo becomes less of a lazy slacker going through the same thing over and over again, and evolves into an incredibly powerful character with insane martial arts ability and a purpose, which is fulfilling his destiny as "The One" and bringing about peace, ending a long war between humans and machines.
Major Story Arcs
Thomas A. Anderson
Thomas Anderson and everyone else "living" on planet Earth are unbeknownst to them linked via their nervous system to the Matrix, a virtual reality world. In his day job, Thomas Anderson is a programmer for the software company Meta cortex. As a side job Thomas Anderson’s also a highly skilled computer hacker who breaks into computer systems illegally, swipes information, and then resells it, all under his hacker pseudonym "Neo". In the course of stealing and hacking, Neo learns about something known as "The Matrix" that keeps popping up and referenced in quite a bit of places.
For the past few years, Neo had been looking very hard to find out more information regarding "The Martix" and what it was, and everything that he could find lead him to one man described as a dangerous terrorist known simply as Morpheus. While at work in his cubical, Thomas Anderson (Neo) receives an envelope that was mailed to him. Upon opening the envelope up Neo finds a cell phone which proceeds to immediately ring. Answering the phone, Neo finds that Morpheus is on the other end and is looking to guide him to safety, claiming that "They" are coming for him. It turns out that multiple Agents of the Matrix, led by Mr. Smith, have come to arrest Neo and interrogate him about Morpheus and the Matrix.
Following the capture of Neo, and not getting the information they want from him, the Agents insert an electronic bug inside Neo’s body that will enable them to follow Neo wherever he goes and find the people that want to contact him. After being released by the Agents, Neo receives a call from Morpheus explaining that he has been looking for Neo his entire life as he believes Neo to be "The One". Morpheus directs Neo to a meeting place where Trinity and a few others loyal to Morpheus wait to remove the bug from his body and take him to finally meet Morpheus.
Meeting with Morpheus
During Neo's meeting, Morpheus explains about the Matrix and the truth about Neo's entire life, that no one will accept being told the truth, that they must see it for themselves. Morpheus then offers Neo the choice between two pills, a Red Pill and a Blue Pill. Accepting the Blue Pill will cause Neo to go back to his normal life, living within the Matrix and being unaware of it. Taking the Red Pill will disconnect Neo's neural connection from the Matrix. Neo chooses to swallow the Red Pill, Morpheus leads him into another room where other members of his crew await. Neo's body is then covered with a weird liquid metallic which works its way into his throat as Apoc is able to locate Neo’s body outside the Matrix.
Neo awakens to find himself in a cocoon connected to many wires which provide the human body with everything it requires to live, the biggest of which is connected to the back of his head and serves as the neural connection to the Matrix. Looking around the place he is in, Neo finds countless other cocoons that also contain human bodies, those still connected to the Matrix. A flying machine creature grabs Neo and causes the connection in the back of his head to release him; this triggers an opening in the bottom of the cocoon which propels Neo down a long slide and into a tiny body of water.
As his muscles are still too weak due to atrophy, Neo finds that he cannot keep himself afloat and is about to drown but is saved from drowning by Morpheus, and brought aboard his ship the Nebuchadnezzar.
Training and Education
Upon waking up Neo notices the voice of Morpheus and Trinity talking about finding "him" and questions if he is dead, to which Morpheus replies "Far from it." Tank and Morpheus then set about fixing Neo’s muscles from the effects of atrophy using acupuncture, and Neo finds that his eyes hurt and Morpheus explains that it is the very first time Neo has ever used them.Once Neo is able to walk around, Morpheus gives him a tour of the ship as he explains in detail what the Matrix is, before connecting Neo and himself into a training program similar to the Matrix known as the Construct.
Agents and Sentinels
During the course of Morpheus teaching Neo about the Matrix, he also learns of the Agents and how dangerous they are, that all the humans connect to the Matrix are used as a power source for the machines. Morpheus goes on to tell Neo that someone will eventually have to fight the Agents, Neo notices that Morpheus is referring to him and finds out about "The One" who has been foretold to end the war going on between humans and machines outside the Matrix, Neo learns that Morpheus believes he is it.
The following day Neo starts his training sessions where he learns numerous combat forms and many programs are directly uploaded into his brain regarding the ship’s operations. Neo faces off against Morpheus to test his abilities while the crew watches to see if Neo really is "The One". Much to their and his own disappointment, Neo is defeated in sparing and fails to "free up" his mind enough to jump across a long distance between two buildings.
A few days later as Neo has grown more accustomed to life on the Nebuchadnezzar, Morpheus decides it is time to take him to see the Oracle and find out if Morpheus is right about Neo being The One. Neo and Morpheus travel back into the Matrix and to a seemingly ordinary rundown apartment building, once inside the Oracle’s apartment and as Neo is waiting to see the Oracle he meets a young boy who can seemingly bend metal spoons. Neo is confused on how the young kid can do such a thing, but learns from him how to do it. The Oracle has been gifted with the ability of foresight within the Matrix, but she doesn't have good news for Neo.
First, she tells him that he is not The One at that moment, even though Morpheus believes he is, because it appears Neo’s waiting for something first. Next, she informs Neo that there will be a moment in the future when he will have to choose between his own life and Morpheus’ life.
The Hotel Ambush and Cypher's Betrayal
Going back to the hard line, which is the main exit to get out of the The Matrix, Neo and Morpheus are betrayed by Cypher, a member of Morpheus's crew that has made a deal with the Agents to put him back into the Matrix.
The Mission to Save Morpheus
Neo and Trinity then choose to go after the captured Morpheus, Neo bringing about the Oracle’s prophecy of choosing between himself and the life of Morpheus. During the rescue Neo faces off against Agent Jones, the two exchange gun fire and to the surprise of both Neo is also able to move fast enough to dodge bullets. Using a military attack helicopter, Neo and Trinity are successful in breaking Morpheus out, which only enforces his belief that Neo is indeed The One. Neo, Morpheus and Trinity are able to reach an exit out of the Matrix but Neo isn't able to make it through and is trapped in a subway station with Agent Smith.
Rather than run away like Morpheus told him to do during his training, and as every other human does, Neo decides to take a stand and fight against Smith. The two go back and forth, exchanging blows to the point that neither can gain an advantage, ultimately Agent Smith proves too much for Neo and overpowers him. Choosing to kill Neo by holding his head in front of an oncoming subway, but just as the subway is about to kill him Neo switches places with Agent Smith and puts him in the path of the subway which kills his current body, though that doesn't last long as Neo sees Smith posses the conductor of the subway. Neo decides to run away from this fight as Smith was more than he could handle alone.
Neo is chased by the agents including Smith to one of the exits of the Matrix, and just as he enters the room where the exit is he finds agent Smith waiting for him. Agent Smith proceeds to repeatedly shoot Neo directly in the chest, killing him. Agent Brown is told by Smith to check Neo’s body for vital signs but Brown is unable to find any and the agents walk away. Meanwhile in the real world, aboard the Nebuchadnezzar, Morpheus and what remains of his crew are under attack by machines as Neo’s mind is still trapped within the Matrix.
Over Neo’s seemingly dead body Trinity explains that the Oracle also made a prophecy about her, that she would fall in love and that person would be The One. Trinity tells Neo’s body that she loves him and leans in to kiss him. After Neo is kissed his body comes back alive, his heart beating and his lungs breathing.
Neo’s body also awakens back in the Matrix, much to the surprise of the three agents who turn around and open fire. In response to this action, Neo states "No" as he turns to face the oncoming barrage of bullets while raising his hand up to them. Concentrating upon it, Neo is able to slow down and completely stop every single bullet fired and freeze them in midair. Neo plucks one of the frozen bullets out of midair to examine it. Back on the Nebuchadnezzar, Morpheus realizes he was right about Neo and that he is clearly The One. In the Matrix Neo is now able to see the world as it really is, in computer code, in addition he can alter the code.
An enraged agent Smith charges at Neo and attempts to defeat him in hand to hand combat but Neo is able to casually thwart Smith with only one hand while not even looking at Smith, as Neo’s abilities within the Matrix have increased exponentially that he can perceive things at a much faster rate. A few seconds later Neo’s hand moves at beyond superhuman speed to grab agent Smith’s wrist and kicks him down an entire hallway. Neo then runs directly at agent Smith and leaps into his body, moving around and altering his code until he destroyed it. Exiting his body he glares at the remaining two agents, Agent Brown and Agent Jones, as they flee in fear of him.
Neo is last seen making a phone call informing the machines that because of him the machines are afraid, that he plans to expose the Matrix for what it really is, that he’s going to release as many human beings as he possibly can. After hanging up the phone Neo proceeds to put on his sunglasses and fly away into the sky.
The Matrix Reloaded
Neo has a dream that Trinity is killed by an Agent, when he wakes up, he believes that he saw a glimpse of the future and fears for Trinity's life. When Trinity (who is laying beside him), asks him what's wrong, Neo tells her nothing is wrong. The Oracle tells 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.
The Matrix Revolutions
Neo became even more unattached 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 inception, 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 telekinesis, 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.
His high-speed flight is further exemplified by his ability to escape explosions, and the sonic boom left in his wake has the power to overturn and two rows of heavy vehicles and debris. His sonic boom almost destroyed a city block while catching Trinity. He has used this ability multiple times to stop several bullets in mid-flight, first against the Agents and again against The Merovingian's henchmen.
Further, Neo possesses superhuman strength and agility and is invulnerable to many attacks. His reflexes are great enough to dodge bullets. Although he could block a sword with the edge of his hand, he received a small cut, indicating (as The Merovingian pointed out) that he was still human, despite his powers. His endurance is also finite: when confronted by masses of Smith clones, Neo was forced to escape rather than continue fighting, and upon exiting The Matrix, he appeared visibly tired. He can also pass through walls. This ability was first shown in The Matrix, when he entered into Agent Smith's body and deleted him and a Sentinel passed through his body in the Machine City in The Matrix Revolutions.
Neo was able to revive the recently deceased Trinity by gently applying pressure on the heart, and thus making it operational once again. Though the extent and limits of his ability to revive within The Matrix are not known.
A more subtle application of Neo's ability is a heightened awareness of the simulated nature of The Matrix, enabling him to easily detect Agents, Exiles, and other anomalous phenomena (such as the presence of explosives). He is even capable of a limited form of precognition. This has been described as "seeing the world without time" by the Oracle.
In addition, Neo (like most "Redpills") utilizes the Resistance's combat programs, which grant combat abilities equivalent to a martial artist with decades of experience. Neo is able to run an unprecedented number of these programs simultaneously; he is therefore a master of every known martial art and fighting styles, including Kung Fu and Kempo styles, Jujitsu, Karate, Eskrima, Drunken Boxing, and Taekwondo (the Nebuchadnezzar's ship operator, Tank, uploads each of these martial arts programs to Neo's brain during his training in the first movie). In training for the series, Keanu Reeves' fighting arsenal, as well as the entire cast's, emphasizes Wushu.
In the real world, Neo does not display any of the aforementioned abilities. Neo does have some degree of wireless connectivity with the Matrix system: he eventually learns to sense the presence of the Machines, and even interfere with their function. This capability overwhelms him at first after he disables a squad of sentinels, causing him to collapse and sends him to limbo without the equipment normally used by the Resistance.
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, and can, therefore, affect everything connected to it. After he is blinded in the fight against Smith/Bane, Neo begins to perceive everything connected to the Source, including the Machine City itself, as silhouettes of golden light.
Neo does not appear in either the video game itself or the FMV sequences, however, he is mentioned regularly as the crux of the game's storyline is that Niobe and Ghost are acting to destroy the power stations in order to allow Neo to enter the Source which is happening directly in parallel with the actions of the film.
The game offers a different take on his path through the three films with changes such as Neo escaping from the Metacortex building in the first film rather than being apprehended by the Agents and the final encounter involving a giant MegaSmith rather than facing a single Smith amidst an army of clones. He is voiced by Andrew Bowen.
"We thought... I thought... we could win this war or lose it. If we won, yes, millions would die in their pods, but our days and years would be spent saving those we could, and reclaiming the surface. Instead, we have peace. Neo found a way to save them all. Why won't they give up his remains? They say they haven't recycled them! They belong in Zion, in a holy place! He saved us... he saved them... he saved saved the Matrix!" --Morpheus
It was essentially confirmed that Neo is dead as his memories have been implanted in Impostor Agents due to his RSI code fracturing after his final battle with Smith.