Friday, February 18, 2011


If you've not seen TRON and/or TRON: Legacy, don't read the rest of this.  It'll mostly involve spoilers.

So, for me, TRON has always been a really personal story.
My dad was a computer programmer, and he was the one who got me into Tron as a kid.  That scene in the beginning of Legacy—where Kevin tells Sam about the world of Tron—was really familiar to me.  Also, check this out:

Disney hired an ARG company to make a viral marketing game for fans of TRON: Legacy.  They created a website for the fictional company from the Tron films, ENCOM.  On that site, there's a timeline of important events in ENCOM's history.
July 26th, 1989, is my birthday.  So, the day Kevin Flynn disappeared (and that opening scene of the movie) takes place ON MY BIRTHDAY.
Yeah. That's about as much a connection as there could possibly be.
But enough about me.

How awesome is the TRON: Legacy soundtrack?  I mean, really. Daft Punk has a few of their classic electronic beats in there, but it's mixed in with a ton of orchestral stuff. Awesome.

So the movie ends with Quorra going out into the real world. That's just crazy. I mean, how would she "work" in our world?  If Sam bleeds with human blood while on the Grid, does Quorra bleed pixels while in the real world?  Does Quorra have any special skills in the real world, like how users have special skills in the digital world?

The very last scene of the movie has Quorra in amazement at the beauty of our world.  It's really poignant because, at that point, the audience has been in the digital world for nearly two straight hours.
It's a really unexpected point, but it's made very well: Sure, the digital world is amazing, but how much more amazing is our world?
After seeing Tron: Legacy, I felt like I'd been taught an important lesson. Have you ever spent a few hours playing video games or surfing the net, then taken a look outside and marveled at just how incredibly beautiful the world really is?  Yeah. It felt like that.  Then again, the half-hour drive home from the theater at night was on an empty freeway, with nothing but my car's headlights illuminating the road; it felt very much like I was driving a light runner along the Grid.
Probably helped that I had the movie's soundtrack playing.

I think that, for geeks—especially computer wizards—TRON represents something special: the idea that the digital world isn't a stiff, meaningless distraction, or a lame replacement for reality, but is rather a somewhat magical place where ideas are crafted as bits and pixels; where pure fantasy becomes one step closer to reality. It's kind of like a refuge for a subculture that goes largely unnoticed or overlooked by most.

A lot of people probably won't—and never will—"get" TRON, or why it's so remarkable. But that's okay. In the end, that's part of what makes it special.

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