WARNING: The following may be the most fanboyish thing I’ve ever written.
Tomorrow marks what will undoubtedly be the most important event of my life in 2010: the release of Tron Legacy.
The original Tron is my favorite movie, and after 28 years, they’ve finally released a sequel. I’m sure many of you are unfamiliar with the original, although you’ve probably seen it referenced in pop culture:
The basic plot of the movie is that Kevin Flynn (Jeff Bridges) is a video game designer working for the ENCOM corporation. Flynn designed a handful of video games which were stolen by a rival programmer named Dillinger. Those video games became huge hits, and as a result, Dillinger becomes head of the company.
Under Dillinger’s leadership, ENCOM creates an artificial intelligence program called Master Control. The Master Control Program (MCP) is put in charge of the ENCOM system and essentially puts the entire system on lockdown- causing problems for the company’s programmers.
The MCP’s intelligence continues to expand, and it begins to raid outside systems, using their information to expand its knowledge base.
Flynn attempts to hack into the ENCOM system to find evidence that his programs were stolen. To prevent this from happening, the MCP uses an advanced laser system to digitize Flynn, drawing him into the computer.
Inside the computer, Flynn discovers that all of the programs that the MCP has been obtaining are either made to work for him, or else they are forced to play as characters in the system’s video games until they lose and are destroyed.
Flynn – who designed many of the games – competes along with them until he escapes from the MCP with the help of Tron. Tron is a security program written by Flynn’s friend whose mission is to bring down the MCP and free the Encom system.
With the help of Flynn, Tron is able to destroy the MCP. The ENCOM system is free, and Flynn finds his evidence. As the movie ends, we are left with the impression that Flynn replaces Dillinger as the head of ENCOM.
The movie may not have been a hit in theaters back in 1982, but I sure loved it, as I saw it in the theater twice. (Neither theater exists anymore) I’m not sure I understood exactly what was going on, but there were video games, a lot of bright colors, and light cycles! Oh yes, light cycles.
Growing up, my family had a VCR, but unlike the majority of people, we had the superior, if ill-fated BetaMax format. Unfortunately, since most people did not have Beta, there wasn’t a wide variety of movies available for us to rent. Fortunately, one of the titles that was available was Tron.
Partially because of this, my family rented Tron quite a few times. Pretty much any time I was home sick from school, my mother would rent it for me. As a result, I ended up seeing the movie countless times. Even now, if I’m home sick from work, I’ll often throw in the Tron DVD.
After seeing Tron for the first time, the rest of 1982 was pretty much based around the movie for me. I would draw pictures of the characters. I was Tron for Halloween. (Yet another great costume created by my mother) I received lots of Tron related merchandise as gifts: The Tron storybook! A Tron T-shirt! The Tron video game for Atari! And most importantly, the Tron action figures!
Yes, they made action figures based on the movie. They were cool because they kinda glowed and had toy light cycles that they could ride in. Sadly, I think my dog chewed mine to pieces, especially since they fetch a decent amount of money on EBay: http://cgi.ebay.com/80s-Tomy-Disney-Set-4-Tron-Figures-Nice-Condition-/260708007748?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item3cb3687f44
Naturally, they have made toys for the new movie as well. And thanks to the TooTalls, I now have my own lightcycle toy and replica identity disc!
I never figured that they would make a sequel to the movie. In fact, I think in middle school, I came up with my own idea for a sequel. It involved the characters fighting a computer virus, and actually was a solid story if I recall.
But now that nostalgia and nerd culture rule the box office, an actual Tron sequel is here! I guess they figured that with the advances in 3D, they use the Tron concept to make an awesome looking movie.
So will the movie live up to my expectations? I haven’t been this excited for a movie since the original Transformers (which was of course the only thing I was looking forward to in 2007) and that movie disappointed me. And I’ve been waiting for this movie for 28 years! That’s a lot of expectations to meet.
The trailers look promising, although that doesn’t mean much, as I’m admittedly a sucker for trailers. And really, it wasn’t like a Tron Legacy trailer wasn’t going to get me excited.
To conclude, I give you my Top 5 Random Tron Things:
5. Cindy Morgan – Until recently, I never realized that Caddyshack’s Lacey Underall was the girl from Tron. Sadly, she will not be in the sequel.
4. Sark – Sark was the MCP’s main henchman inside the computer. A powerful warrior, he ran the games and sometimes competed himself. Eventually Tron defeated him.
3. Tron Guy – Actually, this guy is more fitting for a bottom five. If anyone is embarassed about being a fan of the movie, this guy is probably part of the reason.
2. “End of Line” – Whenever the MCP would end a conversation, he’d say that. I think I started doing the same as a child until my parents made me stop.
1. Light cycles – Light cycles are awesome. They’re even better than hover bikes! See for yourself:
End of line.