Thursday, January 27, 2011

The Old Tron was Better than the New Tron

I don’t watch movies for the special effects; I watch them for the story. People often use special effects as a crutch, an excuse not to tell a good story.

The new Tron movie is visually captivating, of course, but it doesn’t have any of the cleverness of the old one. It didn’t explain what a user was, what the games were, who Tron was, or even what The Grid was. As far as I could tell, The Grid was a mini Utopia in a computer. They never explained how The Grid related to Flynn’s company, or the world.
I’m unclear on how an ISO can solve mankind’s problems. Sure, an intelligent being springing up out of nothing is awesome, but haven’t humans done that already? (I’m on the side of Creationism, but you get my point.)

And by the way, I’m a little tired of the whole “don’t play God,” “there is no perfect world without flaws” theme. I don’t know about you, but I’ve learned my lesson. I won’t ever make a flawless Utopia of robots, genetically engineered humans, or computer programs. I would, but sci-fi told me not to.

The old movie was brilliant. “The Grid” isn’t a contained program, but the entire digital world. Everyone in that world is a Program (such as an accounting program, a math program, an educational program, etc.), and a User is whoever designed and uses that program. A User is considered a deity in the digital world. It’s the program’s responsibility to discover the will of his User, or rather, his destiny.

Isn’t that cool?!?!?

This religion thrives until an artificial intelligence called “Master Control Program” comes along and tries to take over the entire digital world. He takes over government computers around the globe. As an artificial intelligence, he hates the idea of Users and forces all the programs to reject their Users and to submit to him instead. Any Program who refuses to reject their Users is forced to play in computer games.

Tron was designed to monitor the Master Control Program, which the Master Control Program doesn’t like. When Flynn first gets zapped into the Grid, he sees Tron fighting in a battle against the Grid’s security guards.

I love science fiction when it is more than just a flashy story, but an intricate idea that relates to our world and twists our minds in ways reality never could.

Click here to play the original game! I suck at it, but I love it.
Teralyn Pilgrim

2 comments:

  1. Teralyn, I'm glad that you've realized the point of Tron. Don't create these crazy universes! (Although I would love to live in a Teralyn-created utopia, that'd be kind of awesome). You'll end up getting stuck within one and living as a hermit and ultimately sacrifice yourself to save your child and humanity. Along the way in the new movie, I think we also learn that special effects+sweet music+no strong female characters+fast cars+no major story line=sheer wackiness.

    I enjoyed this review about Tron: http://gnarrative.com/?p=433. Interesting ideas.

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  2. Please, please, please see the old movie. It was so good and I'd like to know what you thought of it.

    That was an interesting article, but the fact that Quorra was a weak character didn't bother me. I was a little disappointed in her, sure, but I hate it when artists feel like they have to follow a check list. "Strong female character... check. Intelligent African American character... check. Allusion to the American dream... check." Some people are weak. If we make every character "strong," stories get boring. This is a problem I have with most action movies: all the girls can beat up anyone and they're mean.

    It's okay to give women a little more substance.

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