Wednesday, April 23, 2008

The Xanadu Thread

As one who firmly believes that all pop cultural narratives are really just part of one Spectacular master narrative, I was quite keen on Charlie Jane Anders' "What If Every Single Joel Silver Movie Took Place In The Same Universe?" over at the consistently awesome io9.

But as the Matrix reboots itself over and over again, it becomes increasingly unstable. So the Machines create special programs, to go inside the simulation and ensure that free will remains part of the system — or that people are boogieing enough. Hence, Olivia Newton-John's roller-skating virtual self comes into the Matrix to help Steve Gutenberg's painter guy and Gene Kelly's nightclub owner find their true creativity.

But eventually, humans rebel and succeed in freeing themselves from the Matrix. They even reclaim the surface of the Earth from the Machines, but at a terrible cost — their technology reverts to medieval levels. Only a few pieces of advanced technology remain, but they are indistinguishable from magic. Those who wield these high-tech relics, the Mages, are able to crush the rest of the population, the Commoners. It's almost as if everybody is imprisoned in a Dungeon, and humanity's only hope is to summon the aid of long-dormant alien-cyborg Dragons.

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