Did an Afrikan woman create THE MATRIX?
I've hesitated to report on the story until now, because previous internet discussion I'd seen was of questionable journalistic merit. But now, with the story appearing on the Books and Wisdom website, I’m more convinced that this story could be for real.
Sophia Stewart, screenwriter, paralegal, science fiction enthusiast and Afrikan woman, says she wrote a tale called The Third Eye whose darkly glittering tapestry of technology, dystopia and race served as the basis for the enormously profitable Matrix and Terminator film series--but for which she received neither credits nor cash.
Because I have an obvious interest in seeing a Sister get paid in full--not to mention getting accurate credit for launching two of the most significant SF film spectacles in the last 21 years--I held off on reporting this story to anyone because my own allegiance could have clouded my judgement. But it’s now clear that not only Pan-Afrikanists are interested in Stewart’s case. According to Books and Wisdom, the FBI has investigated her claims under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organisation (RICO) Act.
Says Books and Wisdom, “In its assessment, the FBI reportedly found that over 30 minutes was deleted from the first Matrix film in order to eliminate liability. Moreover, they discovered key elements of Stewart’s ideas in The Terminator as well. If Ms. Stewart's case clears all litigation hurdles, easily this will be the biggest financial and legal blockbuster produced in Hollywood.”
Speaking of The Terminator and possible influences (or worse), I always felt that Chris Claremont's and John Byrne's two-part story in X-Men #141-142, "Days of Future Past," was the likely source. In the backstory to this post-apocalyptic tale, in1984, the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants assassinates an anti-mutant political candidate. Rather than making humanity cower in fear, the result is the US government launching a nation-wide Sentinels programme. The giant mutant-hunting robots conclude their only means of fulfilling their mission is to take over North America; they kill almost all mutants and non-mutant superheroes, and put the remaining ones in concentration camps. An adult Kitty Pryde travels through time back to 1980 in order to stop the assassination and thus prevent the future nightmare from coming into existence.
The key elements are all there: killer robots conquering humanity and shoving it into prisoner status; time travel; the prevention of an assassination. Whether it's a coincidence, I doubt we'll ever know for sure, especially since so many folks draw upon the same sources. I mean, is Doctor Doom the source of Darth Vader, or did Lee and Lucas rip off the same original(s)?