Monday, May 20, 2013


Tron has always fascinated me.

My fascination with the movie started long ago when it first came out.  I was in high school and on the fringes of the budding video game revolution.  I was one of those who went to pizza parlors not necessarily to eat pizza but to engage in battles with Defender, Beserk and a horde of games now lost.

 I loved Tron the first time I saw it - not so much for the wonder of the computer graphics (which was the actual boundary pusher of the film) so much as for the concept:  life inside of a computer.  What child of that era would not have been excited by the concept of spending an entire lifetime playing video games (ignoring the part about deresolution and death, of course)?

I am largely alone in my fascination in my household.  Na Teaghlach  will tolerate watching the movie from time to time, if grudgingly.  It is, I suppose, interesting in a clinical fashion that their interest is not nearly that of mine:  the graphics are (by now) 30 years old and the story (stripped of its graphics) is no more unusual than a score of other fiction:  a young hero from somewhere else arrives to fight the archenemy of freedom who seeks to control everything.

When Tron:  Legacy came out we trooped off to watch that as well.  While the enjoyment was there (and the visit to Flynn's old archive with the vintage video games and the Journey soundtrack was nostalgia personified) the movie was different to me.  Part of this, of course, is simply the change of time for both the movie and myself.  The main character (Flynn) is no longer the hot shot programmer and saviour of the Grid but is now almost 30 years older, a man - the Creator of the World, as it were - trapped in the system away from his son and his life.  The movie now revolves much less around the fight for freedom (although it is there) and much more about a man considering how he has spent the last 20 years of his life, encased in a world he created but cannot escape.  The thoughts, oddly enough, reflect on thoughts of my own:  the brevity of life, the importance of how we spend it, and the realization that sometimes getting what we wanted was not really what was best.

Now I am watching Tron: Uprising with Nighean Dhonn.  This is yet a different reboot of the franchise.  The concept of Tron and the fight for freedom is still there but this goes a step further by concentrating much more on the life and feelings of a single character, Beck, who has been selected and trained by Tron.  Again the action and fighting is still there but in this incarnation there is a greater sense of actual life on the grid and the observation of some character development.  Even as I watch it with her now there is a greater sense of wisdom as I watch it - not just the excitement of living in a computer game, but real thoughts about freedom and interactions of individuals within an authoritative system.

Will there be more Tron?  Rumors drift on the web of course but nothing certain comes to life.  Still, I find it interesting that after 30 years I can still find action and excitement in something from long ago - and not just action and excitement, but enjoyment and a thought provoking exercise.

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