TRON: A fairytale for the Digital Age

I recently watched Tron for the first time a few days ago. I was just going to watch Tron: Legacy (and that only for the Daft Punk soundtrack) but figured I might as well go ahead and watch the original one as well.

I thought both movies were pretty silly. The first one especially. Yes, it was an interesting idea and Jeff Bridges was a really good looking guy (still is, for that matter) but it’s hard to look at the art design (done by Moebius!) and graphics in that movie and still think “man, this is so high tech!”

Tron: Legacy I liked better mainly because of the soundtrack, but it also had some really cool fight scenes, it was mildly funny (thanks to the heroine! how often do you see that in action movies?!?), and, well, it had Garrett Hedlund and Jeff Bridges in it. I’m not complaining.

The main thing I pulled away from the Tron movies though is how backwards they are. I’m not sure that’s the appropriate way to describe what I mean so let me explain. And if I get this wrong let me know. But according to the movies, there is another world inside our technology known as the “Grid”. The inhabitants of the Grid are known as “programs”. Tron is himself a program. He works for the user, us. So basically, our technology is not a complicated series of wires and circuits running on electricity but rather humanoid programs who run everything and then are forced to compete in games when they need to be removed. Is anyone else thinking of the old cry of witchcraft at unexplained machinery? I feel almost like I should start leaving bowls of milk or other offerings next to my tech devices at night. The fact that I haven’t could be the explanation behind all the computer problems I’ve been having recently at home…

To take it further, in Tron Keven Flynn first goes into the Grid, helps the “programs” out and then is released back into our world. He begins to make frequent visits back and forth between the two worlds until one day he is kidnapped, I mean, trapped into Faerie. Er, the Grid. Twenty years later, Flynn’s son, Sam, enters Faerie/the Grid where he has to try and rescue his father and receives assistance from the amoral Castor and Gem. Although since neither programs or faeries have souls, I suppose morals should not be an issue. However, one faerie/program has been adopted in a way by Flynn Sr. who has taught her a bit of humanity. Therefore, she can understand sacrifice and the greater good. When Sam finally returns home (SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER without his father of course, who has spent too much time in the other world to ever live comfortably in ours again and so ends up sacrificing himself for his son’s escape SPOILER DONE SPOILER DONE), he ends up bringing his own faerie lass um, program with him to help him change the world for the better.

So the next time you get frustrated with your computer, phone, tablet or other piece of technology and feel like throwing it into the nearest wall STOP! DO NOT! Calm yourself and think of the programs’ lives you could end by such reckless behavior.

Delivering your email.

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