The Matrix Resurrections Finally Unveils the New Niobe

Jada Pinkett Smith is back as Niobe in The Matrix Resurrections...but not how you think.

The Matrix Niobe Jada Pinkett Smith
Photo: Warner Bros. Pictures

The Matrix Resurrections revives Neo and Trinity from one more adventure inside the simulation. Keanu Reeves and Carrie-Anne Moss reprise the roles that made them sci-fi legends at the turn of the century, and they’re bringing a few other franchise veterans with them. Among the other returners are Daniel Bernhardt as Agent Johnson, Lambert Wilson as an older and disheveled Merovingian, and Jada Pinkett Smith as Niobe.

We’ve already seen our first glimpse at the Merovingian, who’s clearly fallen on hard times since he last tormented our heroes during a deadly bondage rave inside the Matrix, and now a new trailer finally shows Smith back as Niobe. It’s not in the way you think, though.

“It’s so easy to forget how much noise the Matrix pumps into your head. Something else makes the same kind of noise: war,” a much older Niobe tells a reawakened Neo in the video. Then the bullets start flying.

This first look at Niobe is surprising, to say the least, and does have major implications for when this sequel takes place. While some fans have long theorized that this movie would be some kind of prequel or take place in a different version of the Matrix altogether, it’s clear that this a direct follow-up to the same timeline, but where many more decades have passed on Zion since Neo saved humanity in Revolutions. If 50 years have passed since the end of the trilogy, then this grayer Niobe would certainly look her age. But why haven’t the rest of the characters aged at the same pace?

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Not only is their a much younger Morpheus running around, but Neo and Trinity have aged at a slower pace than Niobe’s decades too — we see that real-world Neo is the same age as his residual self image in the simulation. Trinity too looks the same in the pod as she does in the Matrix. Is this a result of the Machine experiments that have brought their real-world bodies back to life? Either the Machines kept these two on ice until the time was right to plug them back in, they somehow de-aged them after bringing them back to life, or genetically engineered clone bodies that look only slightly older than their predecessors. Whatever the case, Resurrections seems to be playing fast and loose with the passage of time.

Besides her age, the new trailer doesn’t reveal much about Niobe’s role in the movie. Is she still a ship captain adventuring with Ghost (Anthony Wong) and Sparks (Lachy Hulme) on a rebuilt Logos? Or has she retired. It almost looks like she’s wearing the cozy attire of a Zion councillor, one of the elders that make up the governing body of the last human city.

We’ll find out just what’s going on with Niobe, and how deep the rabbit hole really goes, when The Matrix Resurrections hits theaters and HBO Max on Dec. 22.