As a result of a global war, centuries before Neo was born, the sky was blackened and the sun blocked out in an attempt to starve the machines bent on human domination. Morpheus explains the terrible solution the machines resorted to in order to survive. “The human body generates more bioelectricity than a 120-volt battery and over 25,000 BTUs of body heat,” he says.
To be fair, he does mention this harvesting of human energy is combined “with a form of fusion” to provide the machines with all the energy the would ever need. But the mention of fusion is almost a throwaway. The clear message here, accompanied by images of endless power plants, is humans have been enslaved as a power source for our synthetic masters. The Animatrix confirms this point, mentioning a “readily available power supply, the bioelectric thermal and kinetic energy of the human body.”
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