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So TRON was a film about the experiences of a man converted into digital data. It was a surreal fever dream that was fantastic and beautiful.

TRON 2.0 expanded the universe as far as it could when a new character found himself digitized the same way. Similarly themed, it gave the player the opportunity to explore a much larger world than was seen in the original film.

Then, TRON: Legacy rebooted the franchise, transforming it into a Flash Gordon knock-off with all sign of digitality stripped away. But it had enough charm, and added enough new quirks to the mythology to make up for it.

This new mythology has a lot of potential, despite the potential it could have had, if they stuck with the mythology established in TRON 2.0.

Regardless, it’s a story, and a moderately interesting one at that. Kevin Flynn creates a world to experiment with… stuff… in an accelerated digital environment. He made a major discovery, digital lifeforms with free will called ISOs. Then it all turned on him when his own creation wiped out his greatest discovery, and held him captive for a thousand cycles/years.

Oh, by the way, spoilers.

It had a lot of potential and it raised a lot of questions. For instance, when Kevin realized Clu didn’t like the ISOs, why didn’t he decide to reprogram his system administrator to ignore the ‘perfection’ goal, so he’d stop acting like the motherfucking Borg!?

As far as I know, that question was never answered. In fact, very few questions were answered when the opportunity presented itself. When the story of Clu’s coup, and subsequent campaign of genocide against the ISOs was told, in the TRON: Legacy tie-in game, TRON: Evolution. And man, does it suck. Continue reading

Back to Digital

TRON was a revolutionary film for its time. One of the first films to use CGI, and it was actually the theme of the film. Which was pretty daring back in 1982.

A science fiction film through and through it managed to scare off some people. Something I don’t fully understand.

TRON was a box office bomb which I find wholly disappointing, and so did many others.

The late Roger Ebert raved about the original, giving it a rare perfect score, despite, and possibly because of, its lack of human characters. He also thought of it as a highly underrated film, featuring it on his show, Siskel and Ebert and the Movies, a decade later; And closing his first ever Overlooked Film Festival with a screening of it in 1999.

And if Roger Ebert loved TRON, who the fuck are you to argue!?

But over the next several years it went on to earn back double its initial budget. Eventually justifying the release of a sequel. Several sequels as a matter of fact. And how do they stack up?

Sigh… Where to begin?

Why not start with the first attempt? In 2003, twenty-one years after the release of the first film, the first sequel to TRON saw the light of day. And it was appropriately titled: TRON 2.0.

It was a fantastic follow-up to the first film, primarily because it wasn’t a film, but a game. Continue reading