I’ve written about a lot of the female characters who inspired Raena Zacari in my Wake of the Templars trilogy, but I wanted to talk about the most direct visual parallel.
From the opening of The Matrix, when the police kick open the door to the empty, dark room and find a woman sitting alone over a desktop computer, Trinity is amazing. The way she steps inside the policeman’s reach, turns her back to him, and uses his gun to shoot his partner directly inspired the way Raena uses the Thallian clone’s stun staff — except that in The Matrix, we are only watching the fight. I wanted to get inside Raena’s head, to break a fight against multiple opponents down into a series of actions and reactions.
To tell the truth, my favorite part of that beginning sequence of The Matrix is Trinity laying on her back in the stairway, guns upraised, chanting, “Get up, Trinity. Get up!” After the superhero-style flight from the agent, it humanizes her. I love that she has to audibly command herself to move.
When I first saw The Matrix in the theaters, I was thrilled to have finally discovered an action movie where the star was female. She looked incredible with her slicked-back hair and skintight leathers. She could kick hard enough to floor a man. She could take down a clearly unprepared tactical squad. I felt like I’d found something that I’d been looking for a long time.
So it made sense to me that the Oracle told Neo he was not The One. How could he be? The One was clearly Trinity: overlooked because she was female, undervalued, ready to step up to claim her rightful place and power.
The way the movie played out was a disappointment. No disrespect to Keanu Reeves, but he was way outclassed.
Case in point:
This scene was hugely influential on the Templar books. I love Trinity’s layout flip off the motorcycle, her three-point landing, the way she uses her helmet as a weapon, even the scorpion kick. This scene perfectly encapsulates the way I envisioned Raena Zacari.
I waited 15 years for The One who saves the galaxy to be a woman. In the end, I had to tell the story myself.
The Matrix Trilogy is crazy cheap on Amazon.
My other Raena’s Foremothers essays so far are: