Friday, January 7, 2011

I've Written Something!

Warning: may contain spoilers for the film Tron: Legacy. :P

Anyone who's seen me on MSN would probably be able to guess by now that I am enamoured by Daft Punk's brill soundtrack for Tron: Legacy. What they might not have guessed is that I am also enamoured by the Tron universe.

Bear in mind, though that I wasn't particularly impressed with the story of Tron: Legacy; it was simply too generic and predictable. What I was really in love with was the whole concept: programs living in a system, light vehicles that materialise from batons, disc fights, etc. And of course, all these were spurred on by the amazing visual concept that Tron: Legacy put forth. The futuristic designs of the vehicles, Tron City itself, the circuitry of each program, and the colour palette of it all, somehow really appealed to me.

After doing some research on the original Tron, I was even more fascinated by the entire concept. From what I've read, Tron and Tron: Legacy seem to be two different beasts with the only similarity they share being one character and two plot devices: Kevin Flynn, and lightcycles and disc wars. The 1982 Tron somehow managed to make sense of actual programming terms and why some programs behave the way they do (for instance, we know that Tron was a security program and his job was to take out the bad guys; in a way he was some kind of antivirus program). But Tron: Legacy seems to have abandoned all that. The only types of programs that we know are ISOs (who seem to have no other specific function than to be special), MP3 programs (Daft Punk's cameo), Clu's army, and Sirens who dress Sam. The only other program we encounter who is not any of these is Castor, aka Zuse, and even then we're not sure what type of program he was supposed to be. An entertainment program in cahoots with the evil ruler? Is it feasible for a program, in real life, to behave like that? Tron, who was written as a security program in the original movie, had personality traits that could be expected of someone who specialises in security: a strong sense of justice, fighting prowess, honourable, upholding his duty; it makes sense.

As such, I have decided to write a fanfic (yes, I am so low as to stoop to fanfics) in which I attempt to keep the sensibilities of the old Tron and update it with the new visual concept and some ideas of my own. Watching Tron: Legacy, I was immediately interested when Flynn mentions that the ISOs could change our understanding of science, religion and medicine. It then occurred to me that perhaps we could expand our viewpoint in the movie a little by testing the idea of how a society of programs could work. Would they mirror the way human societies work? Or would they have their own hierarchy and beliefs and customs? What about economics? Would they have currency and trade and a job? What kind of social issues would they face, besides the simple choice between siding with Clu or not? And, another interesting avenue: could programs emote and form meaningful relationships with each other, besides aiding or allying themselves to one faction or another?

But alas, Tron: Legacy did not explore any of these issues. I was miffed at first, but my attempt to flesh all this out even on paper has failed more than once. It won't be easy to explore such issues onscreen while keeping to a reasonable screen time. I can understand why the writers chose to just vaguely touch on these issues-that-could-have-been. After all, they know that viewers are mostly here for the spectacle and largely are not expecting any rhetorical discussion on social structure in a computer and such (I suspect they would have been even more pissed had that been the case, though I would have been really happy...).

Fiction, however, does not have screen time limits, so I decided to try a hand at a Tron story of my own. I might have had to forsake vivid descriptions of the brilliant imagery that I have for a few scenes or two, but that's only normal I suppose. :)

I know, I know what might be going through your mind: am I crazy? Why would I waste my time and energy on such a shallow, commercialised, overhyped premise whose sole purpose seems to endear itself to the moviegoing folk who threw all their cash at Michael Bay, as Tron? Well probably because I'm too delusional as to think that it could just MIGHT be a little deeper and profound than what we would have thought. XP

Anyhow here's the link to my story... just in case you've actually read on till the very end (in which case, I would like to extend immense gratitude for putting up with my nonsensical rambling): Salvation.

Yes, I titled my story Salvation. How corny is that? Hahahah.

Oh and just for your information (in case you're the sort of person who's picky about someone who's about to mess with a canon), the story does not involve any prominent human from Tron: Legacy. Yep, you heard it right: no Sam Flynn, no Quorra, (well okay, maybe not entirely absent...) no what if Kevin Flynn lived, and, the most important thing that has bugged me since the birth of fanficdom - no original HUMAN character falls into a romance with Sam Flynn or Zuse or Rinzler or Clu 2 (okay, those last three options are pretty creepy, but I've seen some of those around).

Here's the trailer for the 1982 Tron:

Oh and Disney, you KNOW that it's high time you re-released this movie. I hate the way you guys think.

The video below, released 2-3 years before the movie at Comic-Con, is still awesome today.

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