I must be honest, the first time I saw The Matrix (1999) I did not like it as much as everyone else. Yes, I thought it was a great action film with an interesting story, but its premise — with all the philosophy speeches, metaphors regarding our perceptions of reality — basically threw me off as a viewer. Also, some of the action sequences kind of annoyed me; other than the infamous bullet-time sequence with Neo on the roof of a building, the slow-motion sequences in the lobby were a bit irritating. I know many would disagree, but that’s just me.

There were many highlights for me in the first film: Agent Smith being honest with Morpheus during the interrogation scene. I love the line from that villainous program: “I hate this place. This zoo. This prison. It’s the smell if there is such a thing.” That moment was more interesting than any of the speeches about how reality is only interpreted by the electrical signals in one’s brain. A computer program that wants to escape a system that created it holds my interest more than any of the philosophy stuff. It caused me to ask many questions: “Why is he talking like no other Agent? Why is he so angry? Might he be more human than anyone else in the Matrix, or outside of it?” And of course, the fight scene in the subway between Agent Smith and Neo was probably one of the greatest in 20th-century filmmaking.

The moment I finally became a fan of The Matrix Franchise was the scene in The Matrix Reloaded (2003) some fans of the original film really hated: when Neo, as “The One,” walked through that doorway to “The Source,” only to have a private meeting with the computer program that designed The Matrix, the Architect. I understand why some people hated the scene; it tossed away the mysticism and mythical essence of the story and turned it into a seemingly hopeless scenario that — to me — seemed all too true to our own real world. My jaw dropped during that scene. Not since Darth Vader said, “No, I am your Father,” had I been so shocked at a twist in the middle of a trilogy.

It has been eighteen years since the conclusion of The Matrix Revolutions, and fans are about to be reinserted into The Matrix for Neo and Trinity’s resurrection on December 22nd, and a new generation will experience a story that made many of us, twenty-two years ago, question our reality. Lana Wachowski helms The Matrix Resurrections on her own without her sister Lilly. The film will be co-written by David Mitchell (author of Cloud Atlas) and Aleksander Hermon. It will be released in theaters and HBO Max.