Tron’s legacy


A few weeks ago I was at a breakfast hosted by the Association of Publishing Agencies, of which the company I work for is a member. It was about the innovations of 2010 and what 2011 held for publishing media.

One of the speakers stood up and began ‘I’ve seen things you people wouldn’t believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched c-beams glitter in the dark near the Tanhauser Gate.’ I laughed heartily, and my colleague turned to look at me. I was the only one in the room who got the reference to Roy Batty, the dying replicant’s, final speech in Bladerunner.

I am not a sci-fi geek. But it just so happens that I know a lot of random sci-fi stuff. This is because my childhood was steeped in sci-fi – Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, Star Wars, Battlestar Galactica, Star Trek (the original series), graduating onto Deep Space Nine, Babylon 5, Stargate… I probably needn’t go on. We had one TV in our house, and my dad ruled the remote.

When the same breakfast speaker referred to our mobile phones as tricorders and I laughed again, I began to get funny looks. I don’t really look like the type who’d know about this stuff.

Anyway, I do – not to geek levels, but still. So when I got up to the Lakes, and the ground was fully covered in snow and the sky was clear with a nearly full moon, is it surprising that the way it looked reminded me of what the inside of the computer looked like in Tron? The weird blue glow and the strange outlined silhouettes?

Maybe…

Tron was one of the films we watched when we were kids, part of the cultural DNA of our family (along with Krull, The Dark Crystal and Labyrinth…) so it was only right we went to see Tron Legacy.

If you missed the 1982 film, here’s why we loved it:

and the new film does fairly decent justice to the original graphics:

with a Jean Michel Jarre/Vangelis-esque, French electronica soundtrack courtesy of Daft Punk, and a young and old Jeff Bridges courtesy of modern CGI.

In London the weekend of the film’s release, all kinds of people were going crazy for it. There was a Tronicles of Narnia club night, mashing up the graphics from Tron with the images from the BBC Chronicles of Narnia, and a Tron-Off frisbee fight at the Film Museum between Tron and Tron Legacy

Am I as sad as those people? I hope not. Am I still an unlikely sci-fi expert? Probably. No doubt I’ve just added to the personal canon of my own sci-fi geekdom by writing this. Do I seem bothered? Not really.

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