Tron (franchise)

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Tron
TRON.png
Creator Steven Lisberger
Original work Tron
Print publications
Books See the Literature section
Comics Tron: The Ghost in the Machine
Tron: Betrayal
Films and television
Films Tron
Tron: Legacy
Television series Tron: Uprising
Games
Role-playing Disney Universe
Video games See the Video games section
Audio
Soundtracks Tron
Tron: Legacy
Tron: Legacy Reconfigured
For other uses, see Tron (disambiguation).

The Tron franchise began in 1982 with the Walt Disney Pictures film Tron.[1] It was followed by various film tie-ins, a comic series and the 2010 sequel Tron: Legacy. More sequels are planned,[2] and a television series premiered on Disney XD in June 2012.[3]

TRON also existed as the TRON command in the early versions of the computer programming language BASIC. TRON stood for TRace ON, which prompted the program to print or display line numbers for each command line of a program as it ran, in order to assist in the debugging of the program. In the TRON movie, TRON became a character who worked in programs to defeat evil elements trying to subvert the program.

Films[edit]

Tron[edit]

Main article: Tron

Tron is a 1982 American action science fiction film by Walt Disney Pictures. It stars Jeff Bridges as Kevin Flynn, Bruce Boxleitner as Tron and his User Alan Bradley, Cindy Morgan as Yori and Dr. Lora Baines, and Dan Shor as Ram. David Warner plays all three main antagonists: the program Sark, his User Ed Dillinger, and the voice of the Master Control Program. It was written and directed by Steven Lisberger. Tron has a distinctive visual style, as it was one of the first films from a major studio to use computer graphics extensively.

Tron: Legacy[edit]

Main article: Tron: Legacy

Tron: Legacy[4][5] is a 2010[6] science fiction film. Jeff Bridges returns as Kevin Flynn and also, in a digitally de-aged form, plays the film's antagonist, a new version of his CLU program. Bruce Boxleitner also returns as Alan Bradley and, likewise de-aged, as Tron. They are joined by Garrett Hedlund as Sam Flynn, Kevin's son, the film's primary protagonist; Olivia Wilde as digital warrior Quorra; Michael Sheen as Castor, owner of a nightclub within the Grid; and Beau Garrett as Gem, a program that works within the digital world. The film deals with Sam investigating the disappearance of his father twenty years earlier, a quest that ultimately leads him into an isolated digital world created by his father after the events of the first film. Original film director Steven Lisberger acted as a producer and consultant on the film, which was written by Adam Horowitz and Edward Kitsis and directed by first-time director Joseph Kosinski.

Cast[edit]

Character Film
Tron
1982
Tron: Legacy
2010
Kevin Flynn/Clu Jeff Bridges
Alan Bradley/Tron/Rinzler(voice) Bruce Boxleitner
Sam Flynn   Garrett Hedlund
Quorra   Olivia Wilde
Ram Dan Shor  
Crom Peter Jurasik  
Dr. Lora Baines/Yori Cindy Morgan  
Dr. Walter Gibbs/Dumont Barnard Hughes  
Ed Dillinger/Sark David Warner  
Castor/Zuse   Michael Sheen
Disc Jockeys   Daft Punk
Edward Dillinger Jr.   Cillian Murphy
Gem   Beau Garrett
Jarvis   James Frain
Richard Mackey   Jeffrey Nordling

Television series[edit]

Main article: Tron: Uprising

In March 2010, Disney announced that a TV series, entitled Tron: Uprising, was in production. The premiere aired on June 7, 2012, on Disney XD.[3] The series was cancelled after 19 episodes with the last episode airing on January 28, 2013.

Video games[edit]

Tron[edit]

Main articles: Tron (video game) and Discs of Tron

Since video games play a central role in the film, many video games based on Tron have been produced over the years. Atari, Inc. had plans to develop a real Space Paranoids game, but this was canceled due to the video game crash of 1983, along with arcade adaptations of Superman III and The Last Starfighter. In 1982, Midway Games released the Tron arcade game, which consisted of four mini-games based on sequences in the movie. This game earned more than the film's initial release. In 1983, Midway released Discs of Tron,[7] a sequel that focused on disc combat.

Mattel games[edit]

Mattel Electronics released three separate Tron games (unrelated to the arcade game) for the Intellivision game console in 1982: Tron: Deadly Discs,[8][9] Tron Maze-A-Tron,[10][11][12] and Tron: Solar Sailer.[13][14] Deadly Discs was later ported to the Atari 2600 (along with an original Tron game for that platform, Adventures of Tron[15]), and a version also appeared for the short-lived Aquarius home computer. A special joystick resembling the Tron arcade game joystick was also created as a free giveaway in a special pack that included both Atari 2600 Tron video games.

Tron 2.0[edit]

Main article: Tron 2.0

A PC game sequel released for Windows and Macintosh was released on August 26, 2003. In this first person shooter game, the player takes the part of Alan Bradley's son Jet, who is pulled into the computer world to fight a computer virus. A separate version of this game, called Tron 2.0 Killer App, is available for the Xbox, and features new multiplayer modes. An almost completely different game of the same name is also available for the Game Boy Advance, where Tron and a Light Cycle program named Mercury (first seen in Tron 2.0 for the PC) fight their way through the ENCOM computer to stop a virus called The Corruptor. This game includes light cycle, battle tank, and recognizer battle modes, several security-related minigames, and the arcade games Tron and Discs of Tron. While the Game Boy Advance game is only minimally connected to the PC game, one of the 100 unlockable chips shows a picture of Jet Bradley.

Space Paranoids[edit]

Main article: Space Paranoids

In 2009, 42 Entertainment released eight, real-life Space Paranoids arcade machines during the 2009 San Diego Comic Con. They were placed in a recreated Flynn's Arcade near the convention center. The object of the game is to go through the levels and to achieve as many points as possible by destroying Recognizers. The total number of points a person can achieve is 999,000 pts, which is a reference to the score Flynn got in the movie, and is a record currently held by the gamer with the initials FLN. You use a pilot-like joystick and a ball to move the turret and tank.

Tron: Evolution[edit]

Main article: Tron: Evolution

A tie-in video game based upon Tron: Legacy, titled Tron: Evolution, released in December 2010.[16] Teaser trailers were released in November 2009, with a longer trailer airing during the Spike Video Game Awards on December 12, 2009.[17] Evolution was made at the same time as the film, and features heavy cross-over references, with members of the video game developers stating that some of the facts in film have more depth if the game is played first, as the game reveals more about that scene. It will also allow you to explore further parts of the Tron world.

Tron: Evolution – Battle Grids[edit]

Unlike Tron: Evolution, made for PS3, PSP, Xbox 360 and PC, Tron: Evolution – Battle Grids is made exclusively for the Nintendo Wii and Nintendo DS, and its storyline predates that of the other versions. In this game you create your own program, this program will meet Quorra and Tron before the events of Tron Legacy and they will train him to be the first ISO to win the Grid Games, but before that can happen you will have to battle and defeat the enemies that kidnapped Quorra and threatened that if you participate in the games she would be Derezzed. The video game is developed by n-Space and published by Disney Interactive Studios.

Tron in other Disney properties[edit]

Epic Mickey[edit]

Main article: Epic Mickey

A game based on Disney history, Epic Mickey features several Tron elements in its Tomorrow City level. Spatter enemies wear the red suits of Sark's minions and one of the robotic Beetleworx of the area has a Lightcycle inspired torso. The boss of the level is Petetronic, a version of Pete dressed as Sark, who you must defeat by deflecting his disc attacks and using either thinner or paint to defeat him, paint turning his circuitry blue and friendly, thinner derezzing him, only to appear as an MCP like program in the alternate ending.

Kingdom Hearts series[edit]

Main article: Kingdom Hearts
Tron as he appears in Kingdom Hearts II.

Characters from the Tron universe are used in Kingdom Hearts II and Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance. In Kingdom Hearts II, "Space Paranoids", a world based on the video game from the original movie, features the characters Tron, Commander Sark, and The Master Control Program (MCP).

In Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance, "The Grid" another world named after the system from Tron: Legacy, appears in the game, and features the characters Kevin Flynn, Sam, Quorra, CLU, Rinzler, and The Black Guards.[18][19][20]

Virtual Magic Kingdom[edit]

Main article: Virtual Magic Kingdom

An online multiplayer game developed by Disney, had a room based on Tron, with Recognizers and the MCP in the background. There were also multiple furniture items in VMK based on Tron, such as Lightcycle Chairs, Tank Chairs, and a Tron Arcade Game Cabinet. It also featured the Red Tron suit (Sark) and Blue Tron Suit. VMK is closed as of May 21, 2008.

Disney Universe[edit]

Main article: Disney Universe

Features abstract versions of characters from Tron: Legacy as playable characters.

Disney Infinity[edit]

Main article: Disney Infinity

Features several Tron-based items including the Identity Disc (weapon pack), Light Runner (ground vehicle), Recognizer (aerial vehicle), and 3 Power Discs (User Control for increased experience, The Grid skydome, and TRON terrain).

Theme parks[edit]

From 1982 to 1995, Tron was featured in Disneyland's PeopleMover attraction, as part of The World of Tron, in which the light cycle sequence from the film was projected around park guests as their vehicle passed through a tunnel on the upper level of the Carousel Theater, placing the PeopleMover in the role of a light cycle. The attraction was known as PeopleMover Thru the World of Tron after this sequence was added. From 1977 to 1982, this segment was previously home to the "SuperSpeed Tunnel," in which race cars were projected around the vehicles.

In 2010, the Epcot Monorail on the Walt Disney World Monorail System received wrap advertisements featuring blue and yellow light cycles on either side of the train to promote Tron Legacy.

ElecTRONica was announced on the Disney Parks Blog for Disney California Adventure in Anaheim, California. Disney's "ElecTRONica" is an interactive nighttime dance party in Hollywood Pictures Backlot. It is a similar experience to Glow Fest, but with a focus on Tron: Legacy. ElecTRONica features lights, lasers, music, and projections to promote the film. On October 29, 2010, the nighttime show World of Color began soft-openings after its second show for a Tron: Legacy themed encore using Daft Punk's original music from the soundtrack, using new effects and projections on Paradise Pier attractions, The segment was added on November 1, 2010 and ended on March 23, 2011. ElecTRONica ended on April 15, 2012 and replaced by Mad T Party.

In 2017, a roller coaster called Tron Lightcycles Power Run will open in Shanghai Disneyland; so far no details other than its name and opening date have officially been released, but based on its name and theme it can be deduced that the ride will feature a vehicle similar to those used on either the Vekoma/Zamperla-style Motocoasters (trains which feature seats that look and feel like authentic racing motorcycles) or the single-seater Steeplechase-style coasters such as the Steeplechase coaster at the Pleasure Beach Blackpool amusement park in the UK.

Literature[edit]

Books[edit]

A novelization of Tron was released in 1982, written by American science fiction novelist Brian Daley. It included eight pages of color photographs from the movie.[21] Also that year, Disney Senior Staff Publicist Michael Bonifer authored a book entitled The Art of Tron which covered aspects of the pre-production and post-production aspects of Tron.[22][23] A nonfiction book about the making of the original film, called The Making of Tron: How Tron Changed Visual Effects and Disney Forever was published in 2011 and written by William Kallay.

In 2010, to coincide with the release of Tron: Legacy, a range of new books have been released; including a range of junior novels – "Tron the Junior Novel" by Alice Alfonsi, "Tron: Legacy: Derezzed" by James Gelsey, "Tron: Legacy: Out of the Dark" by Tennant Redbank, "Tron: Legacy: It's Your Call: Initiate Sequence" by Carla Jablonski. Additional books include "The Art of Tron: Legacy" by Justin Springer, Joseph Kosinski, and Darren Gilford, and "Tron Legacy: The Movie Storybook" by James Ponti.

Comics[edit]

In 2003, 88 MPH solicited a mini-series titled Tron 2.0: Derezzed. This comic was canceled before any issues were released.

In 2005, Slave Labor Graphics announced its six-issue limited series comic, Tron: The Ghost in the Machine. The first issue was released in April 2006, the second issue in November of the same year. The comic book explores the concept of making a backup copy of a User within the computer system, and how that artificial intelligence might be materialized into the real world. The comic book was written by Landry Walker and Eric Jones, with art in the first two issues by Louie De Martinis. The artist on the last three issues is Mike Shoykhet.

The comic from Slave Labor Graphics opens with a detailed history of the Tron universe, providing this previously unseen background on the events that allowed Ed Dillinger and the MCP to rise to power:

In the early 1970s, a small engineering company called ENCOM introduced a revolutionary type of software designed to direct and streamline the transfer of data between networked machines. Ed Dillinger, the lead programmer on this project, realized the enormous potential of his team's creation and secretly encoded a secondary function to be activated upon installation: to copy the sub-routines of other programs and absorb their functions. This alteration allowed Dillinger to appropriate research and claim it as his own, and he rose quickly through ENCOM’s corporate ranks. This was the beginning of the Master Control Program.

Marvel Comics released a two issue mini-series entitled Tron: Betrayal in October 2010. The story takes place a year after the original film.[24]

A manga version of Tron: Legacy was released by Earth Star Entertainment in Japan on June 30, 2011.

Light cycles[edit]

Two light cycles racing head to head.

Light cycles are fictional vehicles designed by Syd Mead for the simulated world of the Tron universe. These futuristic two-wheeled vehicles resemble motorcycles and create walls of colored light. The vehicles were primarily used in a competition between humanoid computer programs, similar to an old computer game sometimes known as "Surround" or "Dominos" or "Snake" (games which predate Tron). Players are in constant motion on a playfield, creating a wall of light behind them as they move. If players hit a wall, they are out of the game; the last player in the game wins. Since the original display in Tron, there have been numerous adaptations, as well as references in popular culture.

A light cycle toy, in red and yellow versions, was produced by TOMY as part of the merchandising for the Tron film, along with action figures scaled to fit inside the toy cycles. Bootleg versions of TOMY's design were produced by other toy manufacturers that came in a wide variety of colors, including blue and silver, but were noticeably smaller than the TOMY-produced toy, too small in fact to accommodate one of the TOMY action figures.[25]

The redesigned Light cycle as featured in the Comic-Con VFX test footage.

Light cycles make a return in Tron Legacy,[26][27] with new designs by Daniel Simon.[28] According to the press conference at Comic-Con 2009, a new vehicle appears called a "Light Runner," a two-seat version of the light cycle. It is said to be very fast, and has the unique ability to go off the grid on its own power. We also get a glimpse at Kevin Flynn's own cycle, a "Second Generation Light Cycle" designed in 1989 by Flynn and “rumor has it it's still the fastest thing on the grid.” It incorporates some of the look of both films.[29]

The tie-in video game Tron: Evolution, which is set between the events of Tron and Tron: Legacy, features light cycles in sections of the single-player mode and in certain game maps for the multiplayer mode. Light cycle use in multiplayer gives players the option to shift back and forth between cycle and foot travel at will, and provides multiple attack and defensive options beyond the classic "boxing in" of an opponent. In addition, the light cycles of Evolution can pass through their own light trails (and the trails of allied players) unharmed.

A more classic interpretation of the lightcycle game is shown in the Wii-Game Tron: Evolution - Battle Grids, which is primarily based on offline multiplayer or singleplayer matches. These lightcycle battles don't allow the player to pass through his own trail but do allow passage through teammates' trails. There is also no option to travel on foot.

A vehicle within Saints Row: The Third, the X-2 Phantom, is actually based upon a Light Cycle, with a slight variation as it bears a Purple theme.

References[edit]

  1. ^ J.C. Maçek III (2012-08-02). "'American Pop'... Matters: Ron Thompson, the Illustrated Man Unsung". PopMatters. 
  2. ^ "Disney puts 'Tron Legacy' sequel in motion (exclusive)". 
  3. ^ a b "TV version of Tron 'being made'". BBC News. March 4, 2010. 
  4. ^ "Comic Con: Disney Panel, Tron 2 Revealed Live From Hall H!". Cinemablend.com. Retrieved July 25, 2009. 
  5. ^ Roush, George (July 23, 2009). "Comic-Con 2009: Disney Panel TRON Legacy & Alice In Wonderland!". Latino Review. Retrieved July 23, 2009. 
  6. ^ "Jeff Bridges returns to the world of TRON, 27 years after the origina". Orlando Sentinel. Associated Press. July 23, 2009. Retrieved July 24, 2009. 
  7. ^ "Discs Of Tron". Tips.retrogames.com. June 14, 2000. Retrieved January 16, 2012. 
  8. ^ "TRON Deadly Disks". Intellivisiongames.com. Retrieved January 16, 2012. 
  9. ^ Steven A. Orth (November 3, 2010). "Tron Deadly Discs". INTV Funhouse. Retrieved January 16, 2012. 
  10. ^ "TRON: Maze-a-Tron (INTV) – GameSpy". Cheats.gamespy.com. Retrieved January 16, 2012. 
  11. ^ "Tron: Maze-A-Tron for Intellivision". MobyGames. Retrieved January 16, 2012. 
  12. ^ Steven A. Orth (November 3, 2010). "Tron Maze-A-Tron". INTV Funhouse. Retrieved January 16, 2012. 
  13. ^ Alan, Brett (October 3, 2010). "Tron: Solar Sailer – Overview". allgame. Retrieved January 16, 2012. 
  14. ^ Tron Sector – Tron Solar Sailer Instructions
  15. ^ "Adventures of TRON". Adventures of TRON. Retrieved January 16, 2012. 
  16. ^ "'Tron Evolution' Game Coming Holiday 2010". 
  17. ^ "TRON Video Game to Premiere at Video Game Awards 2009! | Free Video Clips". SPIKE. November 24, 2009. Retrieved January 16, 2012. 
  18. ^ Spencer (December 16, 2011). "Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance Has Tron Legacy World". siliconera. siliconera. Retrieved August 6, 2012. 
  19. ^ Spencer (February 29, 2012). "Kingdom Hearts 3D Visits Tron: Legacy World, The Grid". siliconera. siliconera. Retrieved August 6, 2012. 
  20. ^ Kyle Hilliard (February 19, 2012). "Kingdom Hearts 3D Will Feature Elements Of Tron: Legacy". GameInformer. GameInformer. Retrieved August 6, 2012. 
  21. ^ Daley, Brian (October 1, 1982). Tron. New English Library Ltd. ISBN 0-450-05550-7. 
  22. ^ Bonifer, Michael (November 1982). The Art of Tron. Simon & Schuster. ISBN 0-671-45575-3. 
  23. ^ Tron Sector Biography of Mike Bonifer
  24. ^ "Tron: Betrayal (2010) No. 1 | Comic Books | Comics". Marvel.com. Retrieved January 16, 2012. 
  25. ^ Tron, Rare and Unique toys of the 70's, 80's, and 90's. – Alex Bickmore's SUPER TOY ARCHIVE
  26. ^ Anders, Charlie Jane (March 2, 2009). "More Details About Tron 2's Shakespearean Tragedy — With Lightcycles!". Io9. Retrieved April 25, 2009. 
  27. ^ Meredith Woerner (April 14, 2009). "Tron 2's Budget Falls Short Of 300 Million, Dashing Our Dreams Of Building Actual Light Cycle". Io9. Retrieved April 25, 2009. 
  28. ^ Annalee Newitz (February 19, 2009). "The Space Car Artist Who Will Make the Tron 2 Lightcycles Throb". Io9. Retrieved April 25, 2009. 
  29. ^ "Comic-Con: Tron 2 Retitled TRON Legacy; IMAX 3D; Concept Art and New Scene Revealed | /Film". Slashfilm.com. August 25, 2008. Retrieved July 25, 2009. 

External links[edit]