What You Need to Know About “Tron” To See “Tron Legacy” (Because the Original “Tron” Kinda Sucks)

When I told my friend Frank about the 1982 cult classic Tron, it took me over 1200 words to explain the story. 1200 words is a lot of words! Some might argue that is too many words!

But many people, I know, are currently sharing Frank’s predicament of wanting to know what happened in the original Tron, with the oh-so-shiny sequel coming out soon. Yes, sure, they could go watch the movie themselves, but a) it’s out of print, unavailable online and not airing on TV anytime soon. It is almost — GASP! — like Disney doesn’t want to you to see it! (Because it kinda sucks.)

So, for people who just want to know the bare minimum of plot necessary to enjoy Disney’s gorgeous-looking, Daft Punk-scored, 3-D IMAX extravaganza, here is a condensed version of What Happens In Tron!

  • Jeff Bridges (aka The Dude) plays Kevin Flynn, a computer game designer. Because it is 1982 and he is about 30 years old, he has very nice abs.
  • While sneaking around his old company Encon, hoping to prove that Encon stole a bunch of his ideas, a magic laser blasts Flynn into The World of the Computer!
  • In The World of the Computer, computer programs are anthropomorphized, which means that all the people wearing glowy helmets are programs representing users in The Real World.
  • They are ruled over by Master Control, the main computer, and forced to play gladiator games. To the death!
  • (It’s not murder, though, because they’re computer programs and not really people. Also, Users are worshipped like gods. METAPHOR.)
  • The program Tron, played by Bruce Boxleiter (aka Commander Sheridan from Babylon 5, who also plays one of Flynn’s best friends in the real world) is the best at these games.
  • There is a girl computer program too, but she is not important, especially because she does not look like this.
  • Tron and Flynn go on an adventure to destroy Master Control, because… I guess that seems like the thing to do. It is a weird and rambling adventure, thanks to stuff like magic pond water that gets you high and cyber-prostitutes. But the light cycle race is pretty cool. You might watch that.
  • Tron and Flynn destroy Master Control. Hooray! And then Flynn goes back to the real world…
  • …Where he becomes the CEO of Encon, with a suit and a helicopter and all that. Double-hooray!

After that, I suppose, Flynn has a kid, gets a slightly glowy CGI facelift and mysteriously disappears…

Oh, but that’s a story for December 17th. In theaters soon!

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About Liz Shannon Miller

Liz Shannon Miller, based in Los Angeles, is a writer for the screen and the web, her work including G4's Attack of the Show and the tech blog GigaOM. She also co-hosts the podcast Timey Wimey TV, contributes to the video curation site Here's Some Awesome, and tells her friend Frank about stuff at Liz Tells Frank.

Posted on December 9, 2010, in All the Spoilers, Movies and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. Corrections below…

    While sneaking around his old company Encom, hoping to prove that Ed Dillinger stole a bunch of his ideas, a magic laser blasts Flynn into The World of the Computer!

    They are ruled over by Master Control, a malevolent program, and forced to play gladiator games. To the death!

    The program Tron, played by Bruce Boxleiter (aka Commander Sheridan from Babylon 5), who also plays a programmer at Encom in the real world (hard to call the current boyfriend of an old flame a “best-friend”…) is the best at these games.

    Tron and Flynn go on an adventure to destroy Master Control, because they want freedom of their own micro-circuits

  2. I had my Mom read this to prepare her for ‘Tron: Legacy’, which we are seeing in approximately one hour. Hats off to you my dear, for providing this fantastic service!

  1. Pingback: Liz Tells Frank What Happened In Babylon 5 « Liz Tells Frank What Happened In…

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