The new user’s guide to Tron!

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Disney’s Tron Legacy is just around the corner. For those of you who are interested in seeing this film but aren’t quite sure what Tron is all about, you have come to the right place.  Here at Lytherus, we have decided to go back and take a look at the first Tron film to see if it would be worth it to see the sequel.

Our story begins in the early 1980’s with Kevin Flynn, who is played by Jeff Bridges, an employee at a technology company called ENCOM.  Flynn is a video game designer who had his first game designs stolen by Ed Dillinger, played by David Warner.  Dillinger uses Flynn’s designs to gain power in the company, which eventually pays off.  Dillinger becomes Senior Vice President and creates the Master Control Program (MCP), a very smart system that basically controls ENCOM’s entire network and also steals programs from other companies to increase its own power extraordinarily.  Flynn makes a vow to put a stop to Dillinger by stealing the evidence that proves who actually designed the video games. As Flynn gets deeper and closer to finally unlocking the evidence he is searching for he gets transported into the ENCOM network itself by the MCP.

*Light Cycles – part of the gaming grid where users would control a motorcycle that would leave a trail behind them. The point of the game was to cause the opponent to crash either into your trail or a wall.

At first glance, the network is very visually pleasing and is composed of different computer programs, bits, memory and data in the form of people, resembling their creator.  They are all controlled by the MCP who decides which programs get to live on and which ones get banished into the “gaming grid” to be exterminated.  Trapped;

Flynn teams up with a security program named Tron, played by Bruce Boxleitner, to end the MCP’s regime and retrieve the evidence Flynn so desperately needs.  Tron is essentially a typical firewall we are familiar with today and can not be controlled by the MCP, thus making him a valuable ally for Flynn.

The awesome thing about Tron is that it is not directed to an audience who is computer literate.  You don’t have to know the ins and outs of a computer to be able to follow the story.  The plot does not contain a lot of computer lingo, so anyone can follow it with ease and still enjoy it.  The themes from the movie are just as easy to understand.  No matter what kind of background you come from, there is something to learn from this movie.  Even though the movie was really centered on the visuals and technology it was nice to have some sort of moral we could get from the movie.

*Lora, Tron, and Flynn in their “computer world” outfits.

 

By today’s standards, Tron is still really visually appealing. Each character in the computer world is wearing an outfit that glows in different colors that pulse throughout the film.  The skin tone of the people in the computer world, however, looks black and white.  I am unsure if this was intentional or not but it gives it kind of a cool vibe and it reinforces the fact that we are not in the real world.  The computer generated scenes are well made.  The facts that real world camera techniques, such as tracking and panning shots, make it seem not as “cheesy.”

Overall, I enjoyed Tron quite a bit.  If you want to watch the original before the sequel comes out, don’t expect to be blown away by the technology.  Remember, it’s almost 30 years old.  I will be seeing the sequel because I am curious to see how the computer world looks with the technology that we have now.  Plus, anything about video games and artificial intelligence trying to take over the world, I’m in!

Written by: Shaun H.

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