December 22, 2010

The Origin of TRON

For those of you old enough to remember, the first Tron movie was release in 1982. The movie was praised for its visual effects which combined live-action and animation, and is one of the first movie of its time which utilizes the green-screen technique.

The movie was a box office success, grossing $33 million in the United States. and developed into a cult classic, eventually spawning a franchise, consisting of video games, comic books and an animated TV series.

And finally 28 years later, the sequel "Tron: Legacy" is finally out.

Before you watch it, you might want a recap of the first movie.

Young Jeff Bridges as Kevin Flynn

Kevin Flynn (Jeff Bridges) is a software engineer who works for ENCOM. He has developed several video games. However, his colleague, Ed Dillinger (David Warner) has stolen Flynn's program and presented it as his own. Dillinger was eventually promoted to senior executive while Flynn was reduced to running a video arcade.

Bruce Boxleitner with his geeky gigantic frames

Flynn hacks into the ENCOM mainframe which is protected by the Master Control Program (MCP). Somehow the MCP takes control of a laser which digitizes Flynn and sends him into the ENCOM mainframe.

Cheezy effects and costumes
Flynn finds that the digital world is being ruled by the MCP and his evil chief henchman Sark. Fkynn is captured by "Programs" and forced to participate in the gladiatorial games. With help from Tron, a security program, Flynn sets out to destroy the MCP.

The Light Cycles

To complete the whole story, you might also want to check out:

Tron: Betrayal

Tron: Betrayal
This is a 2-part comic book which servers as a sequel to the first Tron movie.

The story is set in 1983 where Kevin Flynn has become the CEO of Encom. Flynn is secretly building The Grid. The story also serves as an introduction of the isomorphic programs or ISOs.

Kevin creates Clu2, an updated version of Clu which was introduced in the first movie. Clu2 becomes more prejudiced against the ISOs, and feels that they are a threat to his "perfect system". As things get complicated, Flynn is going to need the help of his old friend, a security program named Tron.

Tron: Evolution

Tron: Evolution
This is a video-game which serves as a prequel to the movie Tron: Legacy and sequel to the graphic novel Tron: Betrayal.

The game gives you the backstory behind Clu2's fall from grace and introduces Quorra. In the game, you will attempt to unravel the source behind the latest viral attacks on the ISOs by the mysterious program, Abraxas.

If you are still confused, let's take a look at the Chronology of Events (thanks to Tron's official website):

Early 1970's
  • Dr. Walter Gibbs leaves academia to found a garage start-up company he calls ENCOM.
  • ENCOM creates its first mainframe.
  • The Grid forms within the mainframe as a place where programs can freely interact and games are played by programs.
  • Dr. Walter Gibbs creates the Master Control Program (MCP) to regulate the mainframe at ENCOM.
  • Kevin Flynn earns his doctorate from Cal Tech. He is immediately hired by ENCOM where he quickly climbs the corporate ladder to become a lead software developer.
  • Using ENCOM's facilities, and without the knowledge of his superiors, Flynn designs several games, developing Space Paranoids, Matrix Blaster, Vice Squad, Light Cycles, and numerous other titles.
  • Ed Dillinger fires Kevin Flynn, his rival at ENCOM, and takes credit for the games Flynn created under the radar.
  • Money comes rolling in to ENCOM as a result of the games Kevin Flynn designed.
  • Flynn and Dr. Lora Baines begin to date. It ends after a few months.
  • Ed Dillinger quickly climbs the corporate ladder at ENCOM based on the success of the games he "stole" from Kevin Flynn and he becomes Senior Executive Vice President of ENCOM.
  • Dillinger demotes Dr. Walter Gibbs, founder of ENCOM. Gibbs uses his free time to begin research on practical applications of quantum mechanics and lasers.
  • The Master Control Program evolves and gains control in the Grid. It begins consuming programs beyond its network in the real world and sends unneeded ones into the Game Grid to ultimately be destroyed.
  • Flynn buys an old arcade, calling it Flynn's Arcade, uses his own games as the focal point of his business.
  • Kevin Flynn hacks the ENCOM mainframe with his search program Clu to find evidence of Ed Dillinger's wrongdoing.
  • The Master Control Program, the overlord of the system at ENCOM, finds and derezzes Clu before he could access the data he was looking for.
  • Alan Bradley, a high-level programmer at ENCOM, has suspicions and creates a program named Tron to monitor the Master Control Program to ensure it stays in line.
  • Alan Bradley complains to his co-worker and girlfriend, Dr. Lora Baines, about Ed Dillinger and losing network access at work due to a hacker. Suspecting Kevin Flynn is the hacker, Lora convinces Alan to help warn him. Together, they break into ENCOM so Kevin Flynn can gain access to the mainframe.
  • Kevin Flynn is detected in the Grid by the Master Control Program while at a terminal in the Laser Bay.
  • After being digitized by a laser into the Grid by the Master Control Program, Kevin Flynn teams up with Alan Bradley's and Lora Baines' program avatars in the system — Tron and Yori. Together, they overcome the MCP and stop the corruption of the digital realm.
  • When Kevin Flynn is digitized back to the real world, Kevin Flynn has the evidence that he, not Ed Dillinger, wrote the games the company was famous for.
  • Kevin Flynn becomes the Chief Executive Officer of ENCOM and begins work on a new digital realm - the TRON system. He recreates many programs based on familiar ones in the ENCOM system but with his own flare and ingenuity.
  • Flynn hires Alan Bradley as Chief Operating Officer of ENCOM.
  • The first program Kevin Flynn creates is a simple resource distribution platform called Shaddox.
  • Flynn recreates CLU, now as a control program, to watch over the TRON System when he is not inside.
  • Sam Flynn is born to Kevin Flynn and Jordan Canas.
  • ENCOM has gone public and become the largest video game company in the world.
  • Flynn retires from game design to pursue digital research exclusively and focuses his energies on the TRON system — easily traveling in and out of the system by laser technology.
  • ENCOM becomes an established powerhouse in computing and game culture.
  • Flynn writes and publishes a book "Digital Frontier."
  • Flynn claims to have stumbled upon an incredible discovery that could change the world and promises to reveal details "soon."
  • In the real world, Flynn disappears completely, leaving his son and company adrift.
  • Guardianship of Sam goes to his paternal grandparents.
  • With Kevin Flynn gone, the ENCOM board votes Alan Bradley as interim Chief Executive Officer.
  • Many sightings of Kevin Flynn are reported, but none are confirmed.
  • The Flynn Lives! movement begins in earnest.
  • First Flynn Lives! meeting is held in Dayton, Ohio. The group organizes efforts to find the truth behind Kevin Flynn's mysterious disappearance.
  • Sam's grandfather dies.
  • A letter from Kevin Flynn to a founding member of the Flynn Lives! Movement gains media attention, but is subsequently proven a hoax.
  • Sam's grandmother dies.
  • A $5,000 reward is offered by the Flynn Lives! group to anyone who can provide proof that Kevin Flynn is alive.
  • Conflict is brewing in the TRON system.
  • Alan Bradley is stripped of his power as Chief Executive Officer of ENCOM, but is allowed to remain in the company as a figurehead, the Chairman Emeritus.
  • The "Albino Cow" sighting of Kevin Flynn sparks renewed interest in the Flynn Lives! group.
  • Uninterested in the family business, Sam Flynn chooses a path of extreme sports and daring stunts.
  • Sam Flynn's preferred vehicle is his father's old Ducati motorcycle.
  • ENCOM is the largest multinational computer technology company in the world.
  • Flynn Lives! Organization reveals new information about Kevin Flynn and follows traces of evidence of his mysterious disappearance.
  • A mysterious message is sent to Alan Bradley's old pager — the phone number it came from is the now-abandoned Flynn's Arcade.

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