I was thinking of Sector 001, the location of Earth in Star Trek lore and the target of the Borg invasion.
Totally forgot about that one. I guess the name boils down to 1/0 or 1/0 principle in math and computing.
I agree that some of those cultural references were a bit suspicious, but as you pointed out, the "mechanical servants rebelling against human masters" plot is a common one in the Sci-Fi genre. The location of the machine city may have merely been an echo of the first human civilizations.
Good point. At first, I thought it was interesting that this tried and true theme was married to a religious undertone (as seen in the first film), but as you pointed out, sci-fi and religion are al over the place. Matrix. Star Wars. Star Trek. The list goes on.
Yeah, this almost makes the machines too sympathetic to be the villains later on, though even the "victims become the oppressors" twist is not unheard of. (Heh, here comes another Star Trek analogy ) The Changeling baddies of Deep Space Nine were once persecuted by their (speciesist? shapist?) Solid neighbors. After winning their freedom, the fearful Changelings grew in power and used it to impose a harsh order on all Solids throughout the galaxy.
Maybe it could have been handled a little more subtly, but it serves it's purpose here.
I was never a constant viewer of DS9, though I may try it with the upcoming DVD sets. From what I understand, the undertones of the show are more spiritual than adventure-laden, though the war in the later seasons sounded intense.
From a different perspective, you could argue that the AI-endowed machines were the next step in evolution, and humans were bound to go the way of the dinosaur.
Sounds like A.I. to me, but it makes sense. Again, a natural sci-fi progression; we are replaced by what we create (Blade Runner).
While I enjoyed the plot overall, some elements did seem somewhat contrived or exaggerated so as to intensify the emotional response of the viewer. Why make the worker bots humanoid; wouldn't the simple "R2D2" shape be more efficient?
I think the robot designs were both design decisions and a way to service the story efficiently. If the robots were less "human", such as the robots in the recent "Metropolis" anime, it would have removed the story from the early tech era it's trying to establish. I think more elaborate machines come later, like the Sentinels.
Similarly, why give these drones such a sophisticated AI that they feel exploited by the humans? One of the advantages of present-day robots is that they don't feel anything.
I guess that would be another throw back to old sci-fi themes. We create them to serve us, but at some point, our emotions and their technology merge.
Finally, why was it necessary to smash the robots to bits and bury them in mass graves? Couldn't you just push the "off" button and reprogram or recycle them? At the very least you could use the same kind of EM pulse weapon (which is already being developed in RL, BTW) that Morpheus deployed in the movie.
I bet the EMP is the "clean" way to dispose of robots run amok, developed after the dark moment in human history where we eliminated the robots and refused to hear what they had to say.
On the whole, a worthy prelude to The Matrix.
Indeed, if not a fascinating tangent to the mythology.