Nov 29 2010 3:44pm

Will Tron Himself Actually Be in the New Tron: Legacy?

TronWhile sitting through the previews ahead of a screening of the latest Harry Potter movie, an old friend turns to me and asks, “Hey isn’t that ‘The Dude’?” He was referring of course, to Jeff Bridges. Now, I have to admit, Bridges is looking a little like his character from The Big Lebowski in this trailer for impending nerd-culture event that is Tron: Legacy. And while I start concocting a mash-up of The Big Lebowski and Tron in which Flynn enters into the video-game world to confront Sark and the MCP over the theft of a certain rug that “really tied the room together”; another thought hits me. Is Tron actually in the new Tron?

It’s easy to forget that “Tron” isn’t the name of the video game world the film inhabits, but rather than name of a character; albeit a virtual one. In the original film, Tron is the neon-blue doppelganger of Bruce Boxleitner’s Alan Bradley. In the real world, Bradley created the Tron program as a sort of watchdog of the Master Control Program. This manifests itself in the video-game world with the other programs proclaiming that Tron “fights for the users.” With the help of video-game designer Kevin Flynn (Jeff Bridges) Tron eventually defeats Sark and the MCP and restores order to the Matrix…err…the video game world. When you look at the plot of Tron from the Tron angle, it doesn’t really seem like Jeff Bridges is the star of the movie. But he totally is! (Though I would like to point out that I’m pretty sure this is The Box on the cover of this here Tron VHS tape and NOT Bridges)


Kevin Flynn is the primary protagonist of the original Tron, simply because his video games constitute the reality of virtual world in which most of the action takes place. And though it has taken over two decades for Flynn’s “Space Paranoids” to find its way into the real world, as of May of this year you can play the arcade game online! The point is, Bridges as Flynn is the backbone of the original film, so it makes sense he should be the star of the new movie. But still, have they forsaken Tron? Will The Box suit up in all neon?

Now, The Box is in the new Tron Legacy movie, as Alan Bradley. We’ve seen him at the beginning of the trailers. I’m not saying Disney or anybody gave The Box the shaft by excluding him from the new Tron. But still, in all the promotional material for this movie, I don’t see The Box as Tron. In short, I don’t see Tron in the new Tron!


I’d like to point out that in no way does the exclusion of Tron the person from the new Tron movie ruin the whole Tron thing for me. In fact, it might be a smart move on the part of the filmmakers, and an easy way to make a more compact and effective narrative. But it is a little funny if that is indeed the case. At the point at which very few people actually remember that Tron was a person, few will likely be offended by him not showing up. Conversely, if the presence of The Box as Tron is being concealed from the public, the surprise element would likely be lost on the majority of audiences. Basically only myself and my high-school friend Justin Lemieux are the only people I know who answer the phone by saying “greetings program” and know it’s a Tron reference.

Tron Legacy

So what do you think, programs? Will Tron Legacy be technically Tron-less? Will it matter? Will The Dude reign supreme and make it an awesome movie anyway? And how come they couldn’t get David Warner back?

Ryan Britt’s writing has appeared here,, Opium Magazine, The New Inquiry, Clarkesworld Magazine, and elsewhere. He once met and dated a girl who was playing the Tron arcade game at Barcade in Brooklyn. Their relationship may have ended because the game stopped working at some point.

Carrie Vaughn
1. Carrie_Vaughn voice mail message starts with "Greetings, program!"

Really. So that's three of us...
2. MCP_999
My impression from the trailer is that Dude 2.0 (Young Flynn) will stand up and represent TRON for the next generation.
Sean Pratz
3. Galoot
What does "Legacy" mean in your world, Ryan?
Jenny Thrash
4. Sihaya
I assumed that the title meant that we wouldn't see Tron, but would instead visit the legacy he's left behind.

End of line.
5. jwillis7
i went to imdb and looked to see if he was in the credits, just a thought
6. funslayer
Check out the pattern of lights on the chest of Rinzlers outfit and compare it with that of the original Tron's. I'd say we're going to get a reveal.
7. blainesgirl
I was hoping to see Tron in the new movie but there is still potential. In waiting so long between Tron films, my hope is that this is just a first in a hopefull long set of movies (or even just a second movie) in which the second movie will have a program upgrade of the original Tron. I can't wait and I deeply hope the writers don't let the loyal fans who have been waiting looking at their bluish/green/brown (seriously age and sun touched) posters that they've held on to hoping for remakes of the classic that is Tron.
8. sofrina
does it really matter? clearly they've thought this issue through in writing the script. i'm not sure i have ever seen "tron." it was buzzy in my 5th grade class, amongst the boys. considering your post and the trailer, perhaps tron was defeated by the mcp and junior is now needed to fill tron's role by restoring balance to the for- defeating the mcp again.
9. Christopher Johnson
TPTB have all confirmed that TRON will show up as a character in the film. Bruce Boxleitner has confirmed that he did the same motion capture performance for TRON that Bridges did for CLU. There is a pretty spoilery reason why the advertising hasn't really specifically touched on the character of TRON that we all know and love from the first film.

Without getting too spoilery, Rinzler has a fairly... um... interesting backstory and character arc in this film. I actually find it kind of amusing that more people aren't "in the know" in regard to the big reveal that happens in the third act of the film. It's one of the worst kept film secrets I've seen in a while. They really should have avoided showing Rinzler's chest circuitry pattern or his TWO identity discs.
10. Qtip the Sixth
I am a huge Boxleitner fan, from back in the old Gambler movies, and consequently am excited for this movie. I assumed that there was a revelatory reason why the security program wasn't shown in the film. Legacy can mean story left behind or descendants, or gifts left to heirs. I just wanna see the story. If Captain Sheridan shows up, so much better . . . .
My voicemail at my land-line phone says "Greetings Program" as well . . . now we are four!
Joseph Blaidd
11. SteelBlaidd
The first recognizable thing my autistic son built from his legos was a "Recognizer." I am a little sad I won't be able to take him to see the sequal to one of his favorite movies in the theater( he is only six).

To the Topic. I've not even woried about whether or not the Tron Program showes up. as to my mind Flynn was always the main character.
12. Nate Stokes
Er, everyone I know had been earbashed about tron legacy and the original, so a goodly chunk of bunbury western Australia not only know who tron is, but also know that Clu is the program who makes a run at the MCP database in the opening computer world sequence of the original film, along with bit, in a stolen tank that was unfortunately caught by recognisers, resulting in a flynn doppelganger program being interogated and derezzed (but not before openly defying Sark and the MCP), which is what prompted the group 7 access lockdown and subsequent break in at encomm....

Geez, how do you people nor KNOW this stuff??
Ryan Britt
13. ryancbritt
Nate Stokes, SteelBlaidd, Qtip, Carrie, blainesgirl you guys all rock. In fact, you all rock.

To everyone who assumed that "Legacy" meant the world he'd created, I totally agree with you. That's sort of what I thought too. I guess now we get to all find out!

Christopher Johnson and funslayer- whoa. You guys are like plugged into the grid. Let's see if your info is correct. But for now, I'm going to forget everything about this until midnight on the 16th!

Look for my follow-up review, programs.

End of line.
14. kellyb
based on what I've read from early, early press releases, Tron is in the movie, although he is a code known as the Legacy Code. I have a feeling he will appear somehow though. yes, the Flynn's, Kevin for Tron, and Sam for Tron: Legacy, are the heroes. The movie is named Tron not because he is the main protagonist, but because he is the program Flynn must find to stop the MCP, just like Sam must find the Tron: Legacy code to stop CLU 2

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