I never really understood who the little girl in The Matrix was and how she was important. Was she another version of the Oracle at a young age of development, or did the machines plan on using her as kind of an ambassador to maybe unite the machines and the humans or even control them more? She was of some importance as she was allowed to leave on the train with her parents, but then at the end of the third movie she is, as I would put it, rebooted into the matrix. So my question really is who is she and why is she so important?
The role of the little girl (Sati) is a bit tricky, because it is a bit hidden.
Remember when the Oracle and the Architect were
talking hanging out at the end of Revolutions? Why aren't they rebuilding the Matrix? Or at least helping? Because it's not their duty any more, it's not their Matrix.
The machines used all incarnations of The One as a tool to control humans. As some kind of improvement on the Matrix, that makes it more "compatible" with humans. The last One (Neo) however, refuses to play by the Architect's rules. All the Ones before him would play along and enforce the requirement for Yin (the chaos-bringing, female Oracle, portrayed by a black actress) and Yang (the order-bringing, male Architect, portrayed by a white actor) because the adversarial relationship between machines and humans is maintained. The reason the One does that, is said to be out of love. A concept unexpected (perhaps even alien) to the Architect.
When we first meet Sati, her father (a program) saves her, out of love. This is not a coincidence, again the machines are learning from the next iteration of the One a new thing, introducing that into their control structure. However, this very concept is incompatible (remember: Neo refused to comply with the old rules) with the old rules, so Sati replaces and incorporates both, the Oracle and the Architect. Creating a (presumably) peaceful Matrix, that is guided by this very new concept, the machines learned from the last One ("the last at this moment", this doesn't mean there couldn't be future Ones that would teach the machines even more things, further stabilising the machine-human relationship).
Note that this is my interpretation of what we see on screen, perhaps there are alternative interpretations. The films certainly encourage several interpretations, intentionally allowing room for different ways to understand what we see.
If we are to accept her father's explanation, she was not really allowed to leave the machine world and enter the Matrix - she was smuggled out with the aid of the Merovingian.
I think what is interesting is the unique qualities of her parents - her father is in charge of recycling systems at the power plant, and her mother is an 'interactive programmer'. 'Recycling' is turning dead human bodies into food for living humans. An 'interactive programmer' could mean many things, but it has to do with the ability for those outside a system to make changes to things inside the system (and vice versa). These ideas seem quite pregnant with meaning, but I have never had much of an idea what to do with them.
Sati should have been deleted because she 'had no purpose', but her father and mother risked permanent exile and deletion to give her the chance to live. His love suggests that programs are closer to human persons than Neo had realized. 'Purpose' is also a strong motif, especially for the Merovingian.
First, I'd like to cite Wikipedia, "According to actor Bernard White, Lana [Wachowski] once told him that while they were raised Catholic, she was influenced heavily by the sacred Hindu texts like the Bhagavad Gita and the Ramayana." With this in mind, it is my believe that Sati, is a play on the Hindu goddess Shakti like how Neo is an anagram of the One. Though there is a Hindu goddess named, Sati, I do not believe her to be the one directly referenced. Wachowski's are never so literal. Also, the goddess' role doesn't seem to fit as well as Shakti. Perhaps that's what the Wachowski's wanted which is to leave it open to interpretation.
Shakti is referred to as "The Great Divine Mother" and corresponds to what others have been saying about her relationship to love. This implies her love, or the love she represents rather, is more of a motherly love. It implies that machines are learning from love starting with motherly love and stem onward from there.
Another thing that gives this the theory that Sati references Shakti credence is the the scene towards the end of the movie when the Oracle asks, "Did you do that?" in reference to the sunrise. I am not an expert on Hinduism. In fact, I know next to nothing, but the Wikipedia page gives the impression that Shakti is related to regeneration, creation, and the cycle of life. That being said, I do not think it is coincidence that she says to the Oracle that she did it for Neo and immediately asks if they'll get to see him again. Of course, this refers to the cycle of the One. Not only do we have the Oracle looking forward to the continued cycle, but Shakti as well.
Also, that her father is in charge of recycling is not a coincidence that she would be the goddess of recycling.
We used to have religion lessons in my school in Greece so one good thing those lessons did was help me interpret this scene with the little girl my own way.
In religion lessons there is the question of why did God create human beings? The answer was: So that He can love them. So why did the Matrix create the girl? She was made for the other programs to love her. Creating her like that mimics that which God created: life (here artificial intelligence, evolution, reproduction, and all that for love).
So I have a different theory altogether... And I'm looking to understand why that's wrong... Sati is the mother of the matrix. When the matrix is about to be destroyed the last time after Neo refuses to repeat the pattern of the one by returning to the source, she becomes purposeless and is scheduled for deletion.
Other supporting evidence for this claim:
- The architect interrupts Neo with a please when the latter suggests that the oracle is the mother of the matrix
- Seraph leaves the oracle to protect Sati. His earlier dialogue was that he protects that which is most important.
- Sati is a child and signifies hope. When you cannot see past the choices you do not understand (oracle's limitation), you hope for the best. This is what she added to the architecht's perfect matrix to make it more real.
- Finally, she is able to manipulate the Matrix in the last scene. For Neo, she says and there's that beautiful sunrise in the back.