Wednesday, September 23, 2009

TRON update

Continuing in the vein of tech fables, there is news about TRON:LEGACY populating the web almost daily. The film won't hit IMAX theatres until 12.17.10 (3D, of course) but Disney is doing a fine job of releasing tidbits on a regular basis to stoke the fires of anticipation in our hearts.

Steven Lisberger, the writer/director of the original film, was recently quoted saying what he thinks will carry over into the sequel:

I think that one of the themes in the story being expressed is where Flynn's allegiances really lie. He created breakthrough technology in the day, so it means something very special to him. But he also has a real world family, and he's being asked to decide who he loves more. Then it gets really tricky because there's a tendency for people to say, ‘The best thing I could do for my kid is bless them with the best technology,' and maybe the kid doesn't really want your technology, he just wants you... I think that's sort of an interesting metaphor because we're sort of in the race with the Devil.

Aspects of the world are going to hell, and we think if we can get to the point where we can simulate it, then we'll understand it and we'll solve the problem. We're struggling with AIDS and global warming, but if we can simulate it correctly, then we'll understand it and we can fix it. It's a classic sci-fi problem. Is technology gonna be your best friend or at times is it gonna be your best friend who turns out to be your worst enemy?

One of the virtues of TRON is that it offers layers of substance that perhaps don't come across at first viewing. More than a simple-minded adventure, it explores our relationship with machines in ways that continue to have significance a quarter century later. That's the kind of shelf life, you ask me, that merits a sequel. If only the Wachowski Brothers had waited so long to further explore the Matrix, we might have had something with similar value.

Okay, that was a cheap shot. The sequel is still over a year away and already I expect it to be better than The Matrix Reloaded. Hope abides.

One of these days I'll get around to formalizing my theory that The Matrix is essentially a remake of TRON. Actually, it doesn't take much to see the many parallels.

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