Of Legacies and Sequels-A Tron Story

In 1982 a movie starring Jeff Bridges as a brilliant computer programmer sucked into the computer world, wowed movie going audiences with its (then considered) “cutting edge” computer graphics and cyberpunk imagery. The movie was TRON, which went on to become a cult classic.

Fast forward 28 years to 2010 when the LONG anticipated sequel to the cult classic is to be released. The movie, aptly titled TRON:Legacy takes the cyber universe from the first movie to a whole visually updated new 3-D experience.

The movie is of course yet to release. But the buzz for it began almost a year ago with a teaser trailer (a rather long one at that!) showcased at the Comic Con 2009.

To those who had no clue about the original movie, this trailer was only eye candy and simply looked “AWESOME”. But fans and viewers of the original movie were instantly hooked since they saw the protagonist from the previous movie, Kevin Flynn and his coded program, Clu (Both played by the talented Jeff Bridges) in the clip. Fans realised that the sequel had some connection with the original and wasn’t some lame attempt to reboot or simply cash in on the “TRON” banner. Their interest was definitely piqued.

The viral marketing continued in various media and Disney (the studio that has produced both TRON movies) was leaving no stone unturned to ensure brand recall for their cyber flick. Even their latest acquisition, Marvel comics got to play a role in the marketing, with the comic book behemoth having published a limited series comic book which served as a gap between the two TRON movies.

The latest set of trailers (the official theatrical versions) that have been released confirmed the rumors of the rather deep connection between the new movie and its retro prequel. These trailers definitely look even more wowsome and appealing than the teaser trailer and have certainly ensured that not just the fans of the original, but even noobs are hooked.

Theatrical Trailer 1

Theatrical Trailer 2

But the real question remains. Will the sequel be as big a success as the original? Despite all the positive reactions to the trailers and the story (synopsis and plot easily available at the Tron Wiki, IMDB or Wikipedia), I have my doubts about the new flick. Don’t get me wrong, the new movie IS going to be absolutely amazing and will definitely wow audiences and I am going to watch the movie irrespective.
But the original movie is a cult classic and a pop culture phenomenon.

Despite a “geek” oriented plot, the movie still marveled audiences for one reason. The original movie was released in an era where computers were being considered the next big step in evolution. Everyday breakthroughs were being made in the computing world and predictions of super computers capable of running on their own (read Artificial Intelligence) were becoming a hotly debated topic. This was the same era that saw other cult classics such as Short-Circuit, War-Games, Blade Runner and The Terminator being released.

The Original Tron Movie Trailer

From a visuals perspective, the movie was ground-braking. Almost 80% of the movie is rendered through computer graphics. Not only are backgrounds and props CGI cool, but the intense (by the standards of that era) action sequences are equally spectacular. The most amazing visual of course being that of the light cycle races.

The Light Cycle Races

Another aspect that worked tremendously in the favor of the original was the analogy that the creators had drawn between the computer world and the real world. Computer programs resembled human beings, more specifically the human programmers who coded them and their characteristics were a reflection of the purpose of their function (for example an accounting program looked like wore thick glasses and was rather introvert, cool huh!). Of course this has been done to death in numerous movies since (The Matrix anyone?).

I am certain the creative folks at Disney have done their homework and have ensured that the sequel has its own set of unique aspects that will stand apart from the first movie. But there is only so much creativity in the world! Having said that, the special effects for the new movie truly look awesome and the slick new look given to the cyber universe, and the fact that the movie is being released in a brand new 3-D format, the TRON experience at the cinema halls shall be Legendary.

One thing is for sure, this TRON fan is certain to catch the sequel when it hits the big screens in December. And even if you haven’t seen the first movie, do catch this one. Who knows, you may be inspired to catch the original after watching it!

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