Milo comes across as an odd nickname for Morbius’ villain Lucien, but there’s a deeper reason why Morbius gave him that nickname in the first place.
Although Morbius follows a straightforward narrative, it intrigues and captivates with the mysteries surrounding Morbius’ anti-hero characterization and his bizarre nickname for the film’s antagonist, Lucien. Lucien Crown, nicknamed Milo, isn’t exactly original comics canon, but is heavily based on a Morbius villain named Loxias Crown. Considering the name Lucien serves as the perfect callback to a character from the source material and also fits Matt Smith’s villainous characterization in Morbius, it’s curious that he’s referred to as Milo throughout the film. Plus, it’s also hard not to wonder why Morbius calls him Milo when he first meets him, and somehow the nickname sticks to the end.
Morbius meets Lucien at a pediatric ward in Greece where people with rare blood disorders are treated. When the younger version of Matt Smith’s character introduces himself as Lucien, Morbius corrects him and calls him Milo. Morbius explains his new nickname by claiming that all the boys previously on Lucien’s bed were also named Milo, making him the legitimate successor to the nickname. What begins as a strange first encounter later turns into a friendship that lasts until Jared Leto’s Morbius finds a cure for his blood disorder, but risks losing everything else.
Morbius’ nickname for Lucien seems to suggest that after spending a lot of time in the children’s department, he develops a morbid view of the world around him and accepts that most of his new friends in the department won’t stick around too long. To cope with this grim reality and stay detached from his new friends, he begins naming all of his bedside buddies “Milo”. Perhaps oblivious to Morbius’ original intent, Milo feels at home with Morbius and learns to accept his new name. When traced back to its Latin origin, the name Milo is derived from ‘miles’, which means ‘soldier’. This makes the nickname much more meaningful as it seems to indicate that Morbius hopes his friend will fight for his life against his disorder like a soldier.
Lucien’s name change to Milo in Morbius explained
Near the end of Morbius, Jared Leto’s anti-hero character decides to save the world by killing Milo and stopping him from wreaking havoc with his bloodlust. Before apologizing for abusing his vampire abilities, Milo recalls how Morbius named him, which is a poignant reminder of the day they first met and completes Milo’s arc in the film. . This defining moment in the final scenes of Morbius may not be particularly impactful, due to the lack of development surrounding Milo’s characterization. However, it serves as a compelling origin story for a flawed anti-hero like Morbius, who loses everything from his girlfriend to his best friend in an effort to heal himself.
Morbius actively tried to change the reality around him from childhood, changing Lucien’s name, until adulthood, where he made incredible advances in medicine in an attempt to cure his condition. Although the name Milo may have invoked a fighting spirit for his friend, Milo ultimately lost his life at the hand of Morbius, both his humanity after taking the cure and after confronting his old friend. The name change in Sony’s Morbius movie was significant as a way to define both Morbius himself and Lucien, as they fought against the world that was not meant for them and tried to change the things for themselves.
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