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 My issues with Tron: Legacy (Warning: LONG)


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Argent
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My issues with Tron: Legacy (Warning: LONG)

on Friday, February, 25, 2011 4:43 PM
A DISCLAIMER
Before I begin, there's something I need to get out of the way.

I loved Tron: Legacy.
Some people might read the rest of this post and get the impression that I hated the movie, when that's not the case. It's possible to love something while still recognizing its flaws. T: L was an awesome film, but I'd be lying if I said I didn't have some problems with it. After turning things over in my head and discussing it with friends these past couple of months, I decided to try and nail down exactly what I was dissatisfied with, and why.


CONTRADICTORY ASSUMPTIONS
One of the biggest problems I had with Tron: Legacy is the way it diverges from the original. I'm not talking about the aesthetics of Flynn's Grid in Legacy vs. the Encom mainframe in the original Tron. No, what I'm referring to here are fundamental assumptions about how things work in the Tron universe.

The central conceit of the first movie is that if we could somehow see things "from the other side of the screen", the programs we use would appear to us as people, and data as objects they physically manipulate within their world. That didn't mean that these programs were supposed to be sentient AI's. In real-world terms, Tron was a system watchdog program. Ram was a piece of actuarial software. The implication was that any program would be represented in this digital world as a person you could talk to, regardless of its real-world complexity. (The notable exception here is the MCP, which really was an AI, but that's justified in the context of the movie.) Likewise, the geography of the "computer world" in Tron reflected the architecture of the computer system itself. It wasn't a 3D-modelled virtual environment created by some programmers at Encom like a Quake level. It was just a visual metaphor for the memory spaces and hardware functions of a computer. This approach allowed the filmmakers to cleverly sidestep a number of questions, like how an 80's-era mainframe could play host to a simulated reality filled with scores of sentient computer programs (it isn't) or why programs with relatively simple real-world functions were supposed to be AI's (they're not).

Flynn's Grid in Tron: Legacy appears to throw many of the underlying assumptions from the original film out the window. It feels almost as if the director and screenwriters were uncomfortable with the whole "world within the computer" premise, and tried to lampshade it by halfheartedly portraying this new system as some sort of simulated reality populated with a-life "programs", like a version of The Matrix that you're physically "beamed into" via digitizing laser. Both the film itself and information from interviews and other supplemental materials seems to bear this out. In an interview with Discover magazine, Joe Kosinski had this to say:

Kevin Flynn created a system that has the ability to evolve on its own. Today you read about these kinds of life simulations, where you program digital organisms that grow and mutate. It’s cutting-edge stuff, but we’re saying Kevin Flynn was such a brilliant, far-ahead thinking guy that he was experimenting in these new types of code that can do self-generation and evolution.

So we're definitely talking about some sort of a-life simulation here, something intended to simulate populations interacting and evolving over time. And while the number of programs we saw walking around in the original Tron was pretty consistent with what you'd expect in a multi-user corporate network, the program population in Legacy is far larger. We're talking about a world spanning multiple cities and settlements, with populations ranging from the thousands (Bostrum Colony) to the millions (Tron City), according to the figures in Tron: Evolution.

Millions of programs.

Running simultaneously.

On an 80's-era server hidden in the basement of an arcade.

Just think about that for a minute.

Hear that sound? It's my suspension of disbelief creaking under the strain.

I didn't have this problem with the original Tron, because they never made out the computers to be anything but ordinary ones - just accessed in a very extraordinary way.

Alright, then. We've gone from "a program's-eye look at the world inside of computers" in the first film to "a virtual world populated by simulated life forms" in the second. And in the same Discover interview, Kosinski also made this remark about the Grid:

The world of Tron has evolved [since it's been] sitting isolated, disconnected from the Internet for the last 28 years. And in that time, it had evolved into a world where the simulation has become so realistic that it feels like we took motion picture cameras into this world and shot the thing for real.

Once again I feel a jarring disconnect between the first and second films. Tron established that all data and programs, regardless of their complexity or the hardware they're running on, are represented by people covered in glowing circuit traces and neon-edged, phong-shaded geometric objects. Remember our brief glimpse into the "inside" of a Light Cycles arcade cabinet at the beginning of Tron? The programs and light cycles we see there look identical to the ones that appear later in the movie. Tron 2.0 (the PC game) takes that assumption and expands on it brilliantly - bigger, more powerful computer systems in the game are represented as large environments with complex architecture, while something like a PDA you visit is cramped and sparsely-detailed, but the essential "look" of the things within the digital world never changes. Yet Kosinski's comment above flatly contradicts that - as Flynn's "simulation" evolved, things within it took on a progressively more photorealistic appearance. If he had been following the visual "rules" established in Tron, any increase in complexity would have been represented by individual objects taking on more complex and intricate shapes, but still being made of the same phong-shaded, glowing-edged digital "material" that objects in the first movie were.

Don't get me wrong here - I love the visual design of Legacy. What I have a problem with is the justification we're given for the changes - the emphasis on how "the simulation" changed. The original Tron was never about Flynn being sucked into a simulation running on Encom's server. It was about a "digital frontier" that exists in all computers, about someone experiencing how they work from the inside. It feels like Kosinski and the screenwriters wanted to make a movie about the dangers of playing God in a virtual universe, so like a trio of real-world Clus, they repurposed the Tron setting into a vehicle for the story they wanted to tell — and introduced a number of inconsistencies in the process. Even the official materials from Disney seem to share this revisionist sensibility. Take this description of the Grid, from the official Tron website:

Originally, the Grid was a game simulation environment inside the ENCOM mainframe that evolved into a virtual universe. Later, after Kevin Flynn defeated the Master Control Program and returned to the real world, he reprogrammed and isolated some of ENCOM's servers to create the new TRON system using what he learned and experienced. The new technically superior and digitally boundless TRON system — also known as The Grid — grew into a home for a vast number of programs where only Flynn, who mastered the digitization process by laser, could visit ...

(Emphasis mine.) So in the first movie, what Flynn visited wasn't really the realm of programs and data that exists in every computer, as most of us imagined. It was actually some simulation that had self-evolved into a virtual universe. The implication is that the programs Flynn met weren't just normal software as seen through an anthropomorphic lens, but sophisticated AI's living in a simulated world.

What's particularly ironic is that I suspect the "simulated universe" angle was intended to make the movie more believable to modern audiences. Thanks to the way it was handled, though, it has the opposite effect. As long as the audience accepts the conceit that the digital realm encompasses any sort of computer hardware, that programs exist as people there and objects represent data, and that the activities that take place are metaphors for the kinds of things that happen behind the scenes in computing devices, you can handwave all kinds of things. 80's computers somehow supporting a whole universe populated by a host of lifelike programs the hero can interact with? No problem - it's not really a simulation, so the movie could conceivably take place in any computer system. It doesn't have to have the processing power and memory you'd need to simulate an entire world populated by millions of AI entities in real-time, which is something we're not even remotely close to doing now, let alone 20 years ago. Retconning the details of the original to fit this "simulated universe" concept actually makes both movies feel less plausible.

PROGRAMS ESCAPING TO THE REAL WORLD
Another issue I had with Legacy was the whole "programs manifesting in the real world" thing. I can accept the idea of someone being digitized, Tron-style. The scanning laser measures the state and position of each atom as it breaks down the target, creating a digital template that's used to reassemble it? No problem. Star Trek's transporters have been doing more or less the same thing for decades. I can buy the idea of that digital template somehow being conscious and aware while stored in the computer, and able to interact with the programs there as people. That's what Tron was all about. The problem arises when you try to go in the opposite direction. Attempts at revisionist history aside, the first movie showed us that the programs Flynn encountered in the digital world were just that - ordinary programs that he saw as people by virtue of being "inside" the computer. So let's look at the assumptions we're operating under here.

Tron (the movie) says that any program is represented "inside" the computer as a person.

Tron: Legacy tells us that not only can you interact with programs as people while "inside" the computer, but you can also take these people - these metaphorical representations of programs - out of the digital world and into the real one, where they stop being merely metaphorical and actually keep their humanlike forms.

This means that in theory, I could write (or download) a bunch of Visual Basic programs, run them through my handy scanning laser, and poof! Out pop a bunch of living, breathing people, predisposed to do whatever sort of tasks they were written for! Want an awesome light cycle to drive around on in the real world? Just export lightcycles.exe! No engineering degree required, just the ability to write some game code in C! Need an instant army? Clu and the boys have you covered!

That is, not to put too fine a point on it, bogus. Scanning an object creates a digital template, which is used to reassemble it. Programs don't have a corresponding matter template - why would they? Being able to pull programs out of the system this way would mean that the laser digitization software has some means of taking any program, even if it's just a few lines of machine code, and magically generating a living, breathing, thinking human being from it. Flynn's supposed to be a talented programmer, sure, but that's getting into Reed Richards territory. It also makes the whole bit about ISOs changing the world a little hard to swallow. You've built a magical machine that can make working weapons and vehicles out of videogame sprites and turn code into actual people who willingly follow whatever directives they've been programmed with, but it takes the appearance of the ISOs to make you realize you've got something on your hands that can change the world? Come on.

Oddly enough (or maybe not so oddly - see previous), the idea holds together a little better if you assume that the digital world of the Grid is actually some sort of simulated world, where objects and programs are incredibly complex simulations of their real-world counterparts. Then those programs would have digital templates of their own. (Of course, this means conveniently ignoring the fact that building a computer capable of hosting a simulation that complex probably won't be possible for centuries, but if that was the film's one big conceit that we were expected to accept in order for the rest of it to hold together, I'd be good with that. It's when you try to combine it with the original Tron's "all programs appear as people inside the computer, regardless of their real-world complexity" that things start to fall apart.) The problem, again, is that a lot seems to depend on us ignoring the workings of the universe established in the first movie.

(On a more personal level, the "programs appearing in the real world" thing strikes me as cringe-inducingly cheesy. It puts me in mind of 80's comedies like Mannequin, or that Tron knockoff series, Automan. Videogame characters coming to life, more or less - real direct-to-video, B-movie stuff. Not to say that I don't enjoy the occasional bad science fiction film, but for a movie that takes itself seriously, and expects us to take it seriously, introducing that element felt like a serious misstep. The fact that Olivia Wilde shared her own thoughts on a possible Legacy sequel, with Quorra "whispering to laptops and hugging toasters" in the real world, definitely did not help matters...)

If it had been up to me, Clu's master plan would have involved getting himself and his army off of Flynn's private server and out into the 'net. The Internet as we know it didn't exist back in '89, but it seems a safe bet that Flynn had already envisioned it (The Digital Frontier), just like he predicted wi-fi. Based on things Flynn let slip, Clu would have known this global network would come about someday, and began building an army for the purpose of taking control of it when the time was right. When Clu scanned Sam's disc at the beginning of the movie, it would have revealed that the Users in the real world had created the Internet as Flynn had predicted, and set his plan to leave the server into motion. Clu's invasion would be the ultimate cyberterrorist attack on the global computer infrastructure, with the potential for untold real-world damage and loss of life. That would make for a serious - and believable - threat, without invoking the image of Clu's carrier magically appearing in the skies over Vanc- er, San Diego.

REINTEGRATION
For a key plot point, the whole "reintegration" thing was handled very poorly. You had all of one line of dialogue between Sam and Quorra to set up the climax of the film, and (arguably) the brief "mirroring" flashback, but that was it. Now, I can rationalize why Clu was created in a different manner than other programs - Clu was supposed to act as Flynn's proxy in his absence, so it made sense that rather than trying to code "a program that can think like you or me" from scratch, Flynn devised a way to copy his own thought processes and attitudes while in digital form and use those as a template for his AI representative/surrogate's mind. But how do you go from that to reintegration? "Reintegration" implies that Clu was once a part of Flynn himself, one that had been separated and was being forcibly merged back into him at the end. This makes absolutely no sense. Using a partial copy of your persona as a template for an administrative AI shouldn't involve removing chunks of your own mind and merging them into it - if it did, I seriously doubt Flynn would have done it in the first place. The whole thing felt like someone (The director? The screenwriters?) were so in love with the notion of Clu as an errant part of Flynn that he would reunite explosively with at the climax that they just hammered it into the film, with very little regard for internal logic. (In keeping with the "Zen thing", I do like the idea of Flynn becoming "one with the Grid", and I'd love to see that touched upon in a sequel. Not necessarily having Flynn manifest as some sort of ghostly apparition, either - maybe just a chance occurrence at a crucial moment that gets the heroes out of a jam, and Flynn's voice heard as a whisper on the wind, leaving the characters wondering if they really heard him at all...)

THE IMPORTANCE OF THE ISOS
Flynn tells us that the ISO's were to be his "gift to the world", that they would "change everything". The audience was expected to take this on faith, because we were never given an adequate explanation for how they were supposed to change things. I can see how a simulated environment spontaneously giving rise to self-aware programs would be of enormous interest to AI and a-life researchers, but that's about it. And since Flynn never gives us a straight answer, I can't shake my suspicion that the screenwriters had no idea, either. Flynn was willing to give his own life to ensure Sam could escape with Quorra - that's how important he thought she was. The audience should have been made to feel that importance in the same way Flynn did, rather than feeling that she was important because Flynn said she was important. "Show, don't tell" and "less is more" are good things, but it's possible to err on the side of too little exposition. This, IMO, was one of those times.

SAM NEVER GETS HIS MOMENT TO SHINE
I thought Sam made a pretty likeable protagonist, but I never felt that he came into his own. He holds his own in Disc Wars, but gets punked by Rinzler (understandably). He manages a respectable showing on the lightcycle grid up until he actually has to face Clu one-on-one. Then, the only thing that saves him is a last-second intervention by Quorra. He manages to fight off Clu's goons at the End of Line Club with Quorra's help, but the two of them have to be bailed out by Flynn, and Quorra loses an arm in the process. He does well as a tailgunner during the light jet dogfight, but the climax wasn't about Sam at all — it was when Rinzler turned on Clu. We never get to see Sam go into a situation and decisively come out on top.

The closest we get to a heroic moment is when Sam goes off alone to retrieve his father's disc, and the guards move to block him. A battle takes place... but it's all offscreen. You could argue that this is his Sam's moment, but because it's not actually shown, it falls flat. According to another interview with Joe Kosinski, that fight was originally supposed to take place onscreen - it would have been a four-on-one disc battle between Sam and the guards, with Sam coming out on top. Though it was storyboarded, they weren't able to shoot it. Personally, I think that was a huge missed opportunity. If they needed to trim some running time to squeeze that sequence in, I think they could have sacrificed some of The Adventures of Sam and Donut Cop Atop ENCOM Tower.

TRON?
If there was one thing I found outright disappointing about Legacy, though, it was the criminal underuse of Tron himself. We see him shake off Clu's control, his circuit traces shift from red to blue as he falls into the Sea of Simulation, and then... nothing? Practically everyone I've spoken to says that they expected an eleventh-hour appearance by Tron at the portal. As to how that might have played out, I'll save that for another post — this is already far too long.

CONCLUSION
I think my biggest problems with T: L stem from the attempt to jam a story into a fictional universe that wasn't originally meant to support it, and then retconning the details to fit. My ambivalence comes from the fact that I liked the story they wanted to tell, and the look and feel of the world they created in the movie — I'm just not so sure about it as a Tron sequel, if that makes any sense.

So that's it. Thanks for reading all this! Feel free to tell me if anyone else is on the same page, or if you think I'm completely nuts, or somewhere in between. Any thoughts or criticisms are welcome.abortion pills online http://www.kvicksundscupen.se/template/default.aspx?abortion-questions cytotec abortion


 
Argent
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Posts: 274
RE: My issues with Tron: Legacy (Warning: LONG)

on Friday, February, 25, 2011 5:02 PM
LWSrocks Wrote:Well, it's less of a totally accuracte sci-fi movie and more of a modern fairytale. Like all movies, it's going to have some plot holes. Even movies like Inception had plot holes. So, yes, millions of programs in an 80's computer, that doesn't make sense. But when you really start to think about the whole idea of Tron, does that really make sense either?

As long as you bought into the conceit that a person could be digitized "into" a computer, and that the people and events "inside" were metaphorical representations of the things that take place within them, I feel Tron (and the PC game sequel, Tron 2.0) hung together surprisingly well. Like I said, I think that what makes things awkward is trying to reconcile the unwritten rules of the first and second movies, since one's about a metaphorical "world within the computer", while the other seems to have been intended as a story about an almost Matrix-like virtual universe simulator and artificial life. I'm not expecting slavish accuracy to science.


 
Argent
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Posts: 274
RE: My issues with Tron: Legacy (Warning: LONG)

on Friday, February, 25, 2011 6:57 PM
LWSrocks Wrote:I think that while it wasn't confirmed in the movie, it can be assumed that since Kevin was able to go inside and build the world as a user from the ground up that he made things more like a real world. In the original Tron, nobody knew that you could use the technology and go inside to build your own world, it was just a system that took its own shape. When Kevin knew he could take his programming skills, get inside, and build the system from there, he made it look modern and real-world-like. There's a difference between a system existing and a system being made to look like the real world.


I think that's where we run smack into the "contradictory assumptions" problem.

In Tron (and the game Tron 2.0), while it was never explicitly stated, the appearance of objects in the "digital world" appeared to be derived from whatever code they represented. Simple code took the form of simpler objects and/or less intricate circuit traces, while more complex code took the form of more detailed objects and architecture. So as a programmer, you weren't deliberately building a box or a house or whatever, you were writing code that would look like these things from the perspective of a program. So you couldn't sit down and say, "I'm going to create an object that looks like this." There was only so much control you could conceivably have over how things looked. Certain patterns of code would always take a particular visual form - think of it as the molecular structure of the digital world. The sole exception to this rule was when an object in the system represented something that was actually intended to be displayed in the real world, like a lightcycle sprite from the Light Cycles arcade game. In those cases, the object on the Grid took on the appearance of the corresponding graphic, albeit in a fully-realized, three-dimensional form.

Based on that, it probably would be possible for Flynn to define the look of the Grid if it was like some hyper-advanced version of Sim City, where he's actually detailing the buildings as tilesets/3D models/whatever. Once again, though, that brings us back to 'Grid-as-simulation', where things take on an appearance defined by Flynn, rather than 'Grid-as-visualization-of-the-digital-landscape-inside-computers'. So yeah, there's a sort of conceptual break there that's kind of tough to rationalize away. :s


 
overRIDE
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RE: My issues with Tron: Legacy (Warning: LONG)

on Friday, February, 25, 2011 7:03 PM
LWSrocks Wrote:Well, it's less of a totally accuracte sci-fi movie and more of a modern fairytale. Like all movies, it's going to have some plot holes. Even movies like Inception had plot holes. So, yes, millions of programs in an 80's computer, that doesn't make sense. But when you really start to think about the whole idea of Tron, does that really make sense either?
Although it was in the 80s, Flynn had access to all of Encom's Servers. Now the laser and the main computer terminal may have been in Flynn's Arcade, but there's nothing to say Kevin didn't link the arcade to Encom or that he didn't buy a ton of servers (he is wicked rich).on line abortion pill misoprostol dose abortion medical abortion pill online


 
Kat
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RE: My issues with Tron: Legacy (Warning: LONG)

on Friday, February, 25, 2011 7:39 PM
Argent Wrote:
Originally, the Grid was a game simulation environment inside the ENCOM mainframe that evolved into a virtual universe. Later, after Kevin Flynn defeated the Master Control Program and returned to the real world, he reprogrammed and isolated some of ENCOM's servers to create the new TRON system using what he learned and experienced. The new technically superior and digitally boundless TRON system — also known as The Grid — grew into a home for a vast number of programs where only Flynn, who mastered the digitization process by laser, could visit ...
.
Here is what bugs me about the idea that the original Encom Grid was just an environment for games simulation: then why were programs like Ram and Yori there? Why an actuarial program in a games testing environment? Why would Lora test her laser program in that sort of environment rather than a more "serious" computer environment? Hell, for that matter, why would Tron be needed there, rather than in the actual working Encom servers?

I had always assumed the Grid WAS in the actual Encom servers, until I started reading that that wasn't the case... To be honest with you, I think then the concept takes away a bit of the film. Otherwise every moviegoer could think, "gosh, that's what the inside of MY computer might look like!" But since it's not an "ordinary" computer, we don't get that extra little bit of fantasy...

What do you want? I'm busy.


Program, please!


Chaos.... good news.
 
Argent
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RE: My issues with Tron: Legacy (Warning: LONG)

on Friday, February, 25, 2011 7:50 PM
Kat Wrote:
Argent Wrote:
Originally, the Grid was a game simulation environment inside the ENCOM mainframe that evolved into a virtual universe. Later, after Kevin Flynn defeated the Master Control Program and returned to the real world, he reprogrammed and isolated some of ENCOM's servers to create the new TRON system using what he learned and experienced. The new technically superior and digitally boundless TRON system — also known as The Grid — grew into a home for a vast number of programs where only Flynn, who mastered the digitization process by laser, could visit ...
.
Here is what bugs me about the idea that the original Encom Grid was just an environment for games simulation: then why were programs like Ram and Yori there? Why an actuarial program in a games testing environment? Why would Lora test her laser program in that sort of environment rather than a more "serious" computer environment? Hell, for that matter, why would Tron be needed there, rather than in the actual working Encom servers?

I had always assumed the Grid WAS in the actual Encom servers, until I started reading that that wasn't the case... To be honest with you, I think then the concept takes away a bit of the film. Otherwise every moviegoer could think, "gosh, that's what the inside of MY computer might look like!" But since it's not an "ordinary" computer, we don't get that extra little bit of fantasy...

Exactly! I loved the idea of seeing computers "from the inside". It really fires the imagination, and there's a ton of ideas you can explore that way. That's why this revisionist take on the original film bothered me a bit. It ends up creating more questions than it answers.where to buy abortion pill abortion types buy abortion pill online


 
Vinz
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RE: My issues with Tron: Legacy (Warning: LONG)

on Friday, February, 25, 2011 9:05 PM
Very well said, Argent. It's a long post, but it is justified. I think we are almost on the exact same page. I really like TRON Legacy as it is, but i've been playing with the exact issues you mentioned. I don't want to reiterate what's already been established, but I keep coming back to it - The movie would have been better/fit in with the first film if CLU's big plan was the connection to the internet instead of what we got.

I've still been unable to get past the "real world programs" for the same reason, it's easier to swallow if they are "simulations", but in that case it's not really TRON is it? I can manage to look past a lot of the flaws because I really like how CLU turned out as a character, and the action. The original is a lot more tech "What If? - What would computers look like..." in a way, but Legacy is a lot more of Faith and "What If? - Technology designed to bring us together... kept us apart?"

I don't mean to just be "Oh, I like how you said this, and I agree with that" but like I said, I have very similar thoughts on this topic. I really like TRON, and I really like Legacy, but not exactly for the same reasons.


 
Gridlord
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RE: My issues with Tron: Legacy (Warning: LONG)

on Friday, February, 25, 2011 9:43 PM
Generally, most people who saw the original Tron in theaters in 1982 and loved it agree with most of your opinions including myself. If you look int the Tron 2.0 forums you see a lot of comments about Tron 2.0 feeling more like a sequel to Tron than Legacy was.

You have to remember though that while we loved the original Tron Disney viewed it as a disappointment although it did make money, especially in merchandising and video games back in the '80s.

That being said, they felt they needed a new direction. The general mass market has very limited imagination (or intelligence for that matter) so they tried to make a story that wasn't overly technical. I loved Tron Legacy as much as you did, but in 1982 I was fascinated by the idea that my Atari 400 could have programs in it like I saw in Tron and that I could learn to them create myself! It was a new world to discover that didn't entirely abide by the same rule we have to. (ie lightcycles turning 90 degrees without stopping) I didn't really want a more realistic universe and I always hate when people compare the Matrix to Tron. They're nothing alike!

Regarding bringing programs to the real world, that was actually something I thought would be interesting to explore back in the '80s. BUT, I never felt that if they were brought into our world they would be human. I felt they should be a different life form that has its own strengths and weaknesses. They shouldn't be able to consume the same food we do. Or bleed like us. Or reproduce like us. Also, I believe it should require a massive power source to convert raw energy into matter. So unless they hooked a giant laser up to a nuclear power plant, it shouldn't be possible. Another thing I'm surprised you didn't mention that bothered me was the fact that you could age in the computer. I don't feel a person should age in the system myself.

Regarding why the ISO's were a gift to the world, you were right, the writers didn't know either. I read an interview where they were asked what made the ISO's special and they basically said it was for the viewer to determine. Not figure out, but determine their own ideas about the ISO's.

Oh, by the way. The internet did exist in the '80s. It was just controlled by the military!


 
ShadowDragon1
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RE: My issues with Tron: Legacy (Warning: LONG)

on Friday, February, 25, 2011 10:20 PM
I've been a hardcore fan of Tron for 28 yrs, and have seen Tron Legacy 5 times.

ok now many of your points have been gone over in past threads. I really don't like repeating information I wrote already. But here, I'll go over it again, for the fifth time....

1) the main server in Tron (1982) was the Encom 511 super computer, and not an "ordinary" computer.

2) The server in Tron Legacy is the "Encom Seven One One" Super Computer with two towers and a bit more of an advanced model. (inside Joke. Encom "711" har har..)

3) The cyber space of the first movie is an amalgam of the data and Programs that the MCP illicitly aquired from outside computer systems, and Programs from within the Encom system itself that he was directing. He used Programs like Yori in whatever capacity he needed them.
Like in the development of the Solar Sailor Simulation. This term was used in the
movie and is an important one.

I surmise that the MCP is an A.I. and that the Programs within the Encom system evovled and gained semi-sentience possibly due to process by which the MCP aquired them and those Programs presense within the Encom system. The whole system became type of cyber space domain running all manner of simulations, contructs of code. (The Matrix EMPLICTLY ripped off this very concept) Steve Lisberger and a few others bitrthing cyber punk sci-fi ideas in the later 70's thought of these concepts long before The Matrix and were a part of Tron. Steve Lisberger has implied such before.)

The same is true of the sequel. So I see little difference. The Programs became "human like" not just to the spiritual-metaphysical piece of a Users "spirit" or "heart" they put into their creations, but alos due to the influence of the MCP having evovled from a Chess Program, into Program with A.I. and becoming the controller of a large coporate computer network.
And so other Programs gained similar traits of self-awarness within that system. How or why they did is a mystery. But in my opinion not all these unexplained elemets need explaination.

4) The idea that all computer Programs in all ordinary computers are magically
self-aware, emotion feeling digital people is one that really tests some peoples suspension of disbelief as well. So one could chock it up to both movies being more fairy tale/fantasy and not hard science fiction.

Now the concept that the Programs are internal "simulations" within either of those super computers , after a fasion, is kind of a lot more plausible IMO that just being seemingly magical anthropomorphizations.
But one could still interprut the Programs (the "Basics", not the Isos) to still be partially athropomorphic abstractions too.

5) The Isos are important not just because they evolved from the Sea of Simulation (a kind of digital "primordial soup") and are a "miracle".
But that they have a digital, triple helix DNA. When damaged strands were removed from Quorra, Quorra's digital DNA was shown to repair itself.
If a sample of her digital DNA can be studied either in The Grid or converted into real matter sample (via the materialization process of the Shiva Laser ) It could be a great benefit to medical science.

6) The Shiva Laser in Tron Legacy converts matter into energy, and a digital simulation or construct of that object is created within the Encom 511. The same is true in Tron Legacy. There's not much difference.

The only difference is that the Shiva Laser in TL is a more advanced model. More compact and has a built-in Matter Containment system.
Around the base of the laser are cylinders. The cylinders hold the matter patterns and sub atomic particles and atoms for the basic material elements of whatever "real world" object or person(s) it has "digitized". Be it an orange, or Kevin Flynn. The molecules "suspended in the beam" don't stay there forever. They have to go somewhere, and that's the containment system.

The Shiva laser (so named after the Hindu god of creation of destruction) also can materialize or re-materialize whatever it "digitized".
Any digital entity from within the system with the right digital DNA can be extraploted and converted over. It's Digital DNA can be applied together with the matter patterns and sub-atomic particles and then materialized into the "real world".
This is not much different that the Replicator and Transporter tech in the Star Trek universe. It's a kind of combination of the both of those.

~It has been mentioned on of the things Flynn was working on was "quantum teleportation". The expanded functions of the Shiva system, and the fact that Quorra has actual DNA in digital form, allowed the system to convert her into a "human" pattern and materialize her in the "real world." This is far flung sci-fi fantasy after all. So one shouldn't be expection 100% real life plausibility IMO.

7) Clu could of made it out into the "real world", since he is a kind of digital "clone" of Flynn, but it's extremely unlikely his army and all the vehicle and weapons could be materialized.
The Shiva system hasn't enough electrical power, and it doesnt have entire "real" matter patterns or proper amount of sub atomic particles in the containment system to materialize every digital construct or Program.
Clu didn't understand that. Clu only assumed he could take it all through the "portal" doesn't mean it would work. I surmise it would not work at all, he just assumed it would.


In closing, I think it's best to realize Tron Legacy is neither hard science fiction, or typical fantasy. It blends mythological elements, surrealistic elements, and quasi-realistic sci-fi elements together. It's an imaginative action adventure, and is not meant to be a documentary about real computer science and technology. It's a very fitting sequel to TRON, and many MANY other Tron fans and friends of mine think it is as well.

Any "revisionism" is more a matter of perception I think. I feel the director and writers really didn't "revise" much, but more so expanded upon things within the Tron universe.
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"The film is about finding human connection in an increasingly digital world." - Joseph Kosinski

 
IluthraDanar
User

Posts: 1,178
RE: My issues with Tron: Legacy (Warning: LONG)

on Friday, February, 25, 2011 10:41 PM
Aside from this being "just a movie", I wondered how Clu and ship would enter the real world. I had to laugh at a fanfic that had Clu and compnay getting crushed cuz well its all so big and the computer machinery was in the basement of Flynn's arcade.

As for the why, well, since this is a sequel, they had to take things to the next level. But yes, anyone having control of these keys as it were, could take over the planet.


Forget it, Mr High and Mighty Master Control. You aren't making me talk.


 
ShadowDragon1
User

Posts: 2,056
RE: My issues with Tron: Legacy (Warning: LONG)

on Friday, February, 25, 2011 10:45 PM
Again:

Clu could of made it out into the "real world", since he is a kind of digital "clone" of Flynn, the master key and the system would read Clu as "Flynn" and apply Flynn's DNA pattern to Clu, and use the stored matter, then materialize him.
It's extremely unlikely his army and all the vehicles and weapons could be materialized. The simulated physics in which they function and the nature of them will not allow for them to be in any way materialized, they wouldn't even function in the "real world" as they do in The Grid.

The Shiva System (laser and related equipment)

1) hasn't enough electrical power
and
2) it doesnt have the correct "real world" matter patterns or the proper amount of sub atomic particles and atoms in the containment system to materialize every digital construct or Program. It would be like trying to materialize a hologram. With out the correct matter patterns, a digital DNA and without the atoms for the material elements the materialization won't work.

3) Clu didn't understand that. Clu only assumed he could take it all through the "portal" doesn't mean it would work.
I surmise it would not work at all, he just assumed it would.order abortion pill morning after pill price where to buy abortion pill

"The film is about finding human connection in an increasingly digital world." - Joseph Kosinski

 
TRON.dll
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Posts: 4,347
RE: My issues with Tron: Legacy (Warning: LONG)

on Friday, February, 25, 2011 10:54 PM
ShadowDragon1 Wrote:Again:

Clu could of made it out into the "real world", since he is a kind of digital "clone" of Flynn, the master key and the system would read Clu as "Flynn" and apply Flynn's DNA pattern to Clu, and use the stored matter, then materialize him.
It's extremely unlikely his army and all the vehicles and weapons could be materialized. The simulated physics in which they function and the nature of them will not allow for them to be in any way materialized, they wouldn't even function in the "real world" as they do in The Grid.

The Shiva System (laser and related equipment)

1) hasn't enough electrical power
and
2) it doesnt have the correct "real world" matter patterns or the proper amount of sub atomic particles and atoms in the containment system to materialize every digital construct or Program. It would be like trying to materialize a hologram. With out the correct matter patterns, a digital DNA and without the atoms for the material elements the materialization won't work.

3) Clu didn't understand that. Clu only assumed he could take it all through the "portal" doesn't mean it would work.
I surmise it would not work at all, he just assumed it would.

Kevin Flynn said:
He found a way.



TRON 2.0 (PC) name - TRON.dll
I'll play any mode, but I'm best at LC.



PSN - TRON-dll
XBOX Live/Games for Windows Live - TRONdll
-I have a Wii, DS, and 3DS. PM me to exchange friend codes.
 
ShadowDragon1
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Posts: 2,056
RE: My issues with Tron: Legacy (Warning: LONG)

on Friday, February, 25, 2011 11:07 PM
Flynn only assumed that Clu found a way. Doesn't mean it's true or what ever possible method Clu devised would work.abortion pills online abortion pill online purchase cytotec abortion

"The film is about finding human connection in an increasingly digital world." - Joseph Kosinski

 
Gnoop
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Posts: 54
RE: My issues with Tron: Legacy (Warning: LONG)

on Friday, February, 25, 2011 11:13 PM
overRIDE Wrote:
LWSrocks Wrote:Well, it's less of a totally accuracte sci-fi movie and more of a modern fairytale. Like all movies, it's going to have some plot holes. Even movies like Inception had plot holes. So, yes, millions of programs in an 80's computer, that doesn't make sense. But when you really start to think about the whole idea of Tron, does that really make sense either?
Although it was in the 80s, Flynn had access to all of Encom's Servers. Now the laser and the main computer terminal may have been in Flynn's Arcade, but there's nothing to say Kevin didn't link the arcade to Encom or that he didn't buy a ton of servers (he is wicked rich).

Except that this would have come into notice within The Grid. Had Kevin's server been connected with others, The Grid would have been larger while also giving Clu access to a lot more information than he had. Further, the connection would not likely have been that impressive, now would it have remained up. Eventually someone would have shut the connection down. That or noticed it was there, traced the information, and realized they had data going in and out of Flynn's arcade. Someone would eventually notice. There's also the fact that they would likely notice a lot of system activity going on with their servers were Kevin's system have been connected to Encom. The additional activity that would show up from The Grid and its activities would possibly get noticed.

Also, remember that Kevin was pretty protective of the information he had. He wouldn't tell his son or Alan. It seems most likely the system was running solo.


 
IluthraDanar
User

Posts: 1,178
RE: My issues with Tron: Legacy (Warning: LONG)

on Friday, February, 25, 2011 11:16 PM
Poor Clu. If he found he would be uable to fulfill his plan of User world conquest, just another disappointment, in a long line of disappointments.

For whatever reason, Flynn thought he could do it. So what did Flynn know we don't?


Forget it, Mr High and Mighty Master Control. You aren't making me talk.


 
Gnoop
User

Posts: 54
RE: My issues with Tron: Legacy (Warning: LONG)

on Friday, February, 25, 2011 11:17 PM
Argent Wrote:
LWSrocks Wrote:I think that while it wasn't confirmed in the movie, it can be assumed that since Kevin was able to go inside and build the world as a user from the ground up that he made things more like a real world. In the original Tron, nobody knew that you could use the technology and go inside to build your own world, it was just a system that took its own shape. When Kevin knew he could take his programming skills, get inside, and build the system from there, he made it look modern and real-world-like. There's a difference between a system existing and a system being made to look like the real world.


I think that's where we run smack into the "contradictory assumptions" problem.

In Tron (and the game Tron 2.0), while it was never explicitly stated, the appearance of objects in the "digital world" appeared to be derived from whatever code they represented. Simple code took the form of simpler objects and/or less intricate circuit traces, while more complex code took the form of more detailed objects and architecture. So as a programmer, you weren't deliberately building a box or a house or whatever, you were writing code that would look like these things from the perspective of a program. So you couldn't sit down and say, "I'm going to create an object that looks like this." There was only so much control you could conceivably have over how things looked. Certain patterns of code would always take a particular visual form - think of it as the molecular structure of the digital world. The sole exception to this rule was when an object in the system represented something that was actually intended to be displayed in the real world, like a lightcycle sprite from the Light Cycles arcade game. In those cases, the object on the Grid took on the appearance of the corresponding graphic, albeit in a fully-realized, three-dimensional form.

Based on that, it probably would be possible for Flynn to define the look of the Grid if it was like some hyper-advanced version of Sim City, where he's actually detailing the buildings as tilesets/3D models/whatever. Once again, though, that brings us back to 'Grid-as-simulation', where things take on an appearance defined by Flynn, rather than 'Grid-as-visualization-of-the-digital-landscape-inside-computers'. So yeah, there's a sort of conceptual break there that's kind of tough to rationalize away. :s



I actually have no problem with The Grid in Legacy despite agreeing with most of the original post. The way I look at it, The Grid itself was still coded by a person (user). It's merely that it was coded inside-out vs. outside-in. In this regard you can consider it more like some of the modern day programming environments, where everything you see is graphical and you're clicking on things that generate the code for you, rather than coding everything by hand. If you think of it like this, Kevin's still doing all the programming. He's just going about it in a new way. In this way, he can design things like security and I/O control from within the system rather than at the keyboard.

To put it differently, I'll go to Azimov. In Robots of Dawn, Dr. Falstoffe, the world's best roboticist, says that he discovered his design for a positronic robot brain that worked within a very human-like body through a bit of poetry and feels that the best work and algorithms should have a bit of a poetic feel to them. In a way, this seems to describe the method in which Kevin builds the new Grid.


 
rimwall
User

Posts: 507
RE: My issues with Tron: Legacy (Warning: LONG)

on Friday, February, 25, 2011 11:23 PM
the unique perspective on re-integration is very intriguing
-------
"Reintegration" implies that Clu was once a part of Flynn himself, one that had been separated and was being forcibly merged back into him at the end.
-------

how about an exact one to one copy of flynn body in terms of
(for lack of a better term) digital atoms.

no two objects can occupy the same space at the same time.
(caveat: unfortunately its a physics concept and implies solidity)

or two source codes merging and corrupting each other.

(dealers choice i guess)

like that thing that happened with the senator villain in time cop.

i have to agree that the screenwriters using re-integration to describe the
phenomenon is a little iffy for me too.

i have to thank you. the unique perspective has sparked a new idea
for some of the interpretations i had with the digitization process.


---------
Flynn devised a way to copy his own thought processes and attitudes while in digital form and use those as a template for his AI representative/surrogate's mind.
---------

i agree. i also like to add that its really interesting that
thought processes and attitudes is copied but no actual memory to
reinforce the concept.

the only example i can think of is - like warning children to
stay away from strangers. children know the concept- but children
with no memory of being victims of a thief are less likely to
internalize the concept than those who have already been victims.

for the non-victims it becomes an "open for interpretation concept"
rather than an "iron-clad no exeptions rule" that parents want it to be.

and clu is a child- his mental development was not monitored
and nurtured. it's a classic abandoned child screnario.

sam at least had his grandparents to give him values - clu
had no one.

kevin never regarded clu as mentally a child, kevin regarded clu as
a man sharing his values.

giving concepts to children still makes them children
it is experience and guidance that make them adults with principles.

flynn talking to clu from comics tron betrayal

if this isn't a plea for flynn to stay with clu, then i dont know what is

if kevin had been a woman the grid would not have any problems

a woman can spot a man-child from a mile away (well, grid miles in this case)

oops sorry Argent i didn't mean to wax philosophic about clu's
emotional growth on your thread.

and thanks for the chance to post and read a unique
perspective.


I.T. support: yes sir - you click start to turn off your p.c.

 
JInfantry23
User

Posts: 99
RE: My issues with Tron: Legacy (Warning: LONG)

on Friday, February, 25, 2011 11:40 PM
Forgive me if this sounds like I'm being disrespectful, it's not meant to, but if one can accept that a human being can be digitized into a computer and fight with neon frisbees, and then complain about something else in the film "breaking their suspension of disbelief", I just ain't buying it.

To quote the great MST3K theme:

If you're wondering how he eats and breathes
And other science facts,
Just repeat to yourself "It's just a show,
I should really just relax..."

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MCPcomputer
User

Posts: 1,938
RE: My issues with Tron: Legacy (Warning: LONG)

on Saturday, February, 26, 2011 2:16 AM
Wow that was very interesting program!
You could write a book about this stuff!

Ok I do agree with the fact that Tron was not used enough in the fiim.
I was a little disappointed.

But I realized how awesome Kevin Flynn was in it and that made up for it.

Also the fact that Tron was awesome as Rinzler.
I mean it was cool to see Tron as an evil program
and the two red discs was just awesome.

I agree about the ISOs. But I think he said they had perfect DNA?
or something in their DNA would give humans the answer to cure
any illness etc? I am pretty sure he did explain that part.
And I think the ISOs were like living beings?

Maybe I didn't understand that part correctly.

Yes Sam didn't get to shine. But he is a new program.
I bet he will kick more ass in the new Tron.
And I think Tron himself will now be in action more
in the new Tron.

You know what would be awesome though?
if Dillinger's son re wrote the MCP
and he came back better than ever.

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"I want him in the games until he dies playing" -MCP
The Grid a Physical Frontier funny Tron Videohttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xaMViP_QtZ8
 
AriesT
User

Posts: 171
RE: My issues with Tron: Legacy (Warning: LONG)

on Saturday, February, 26, 2011 3:16 AM
Thank you Argent for stating this points out.
It is true, Legacy could not live up to the myth TRON delivered due to the amount of inconsequences.
Though I have to admit, I was not aware of any fact you mentioned in your opening.

As I mentioned before, I think taking the LOST screenwriters was the biggest mistake, Joe and Disney could make. Look how they messed up LOST the same way they did with the backstory of the ISOs. Not actually knowing what to do with them but "People have to imagine by themselves"...
I hate screenwriters like this.

That's how they ruined LOST after season 3. They did not know anymore what was going on in their LOST universe and got confused with the plot. "But the people have to interpret the ending on their own". Why? Because they mashed the whole thing up and did not even know the tons of questions they left unanswered in the previos seasons.


@LW:
Inception had no plot holes if you accept the rules of the film.
Its quite striking that you accept everything TRON Legacy tells you but not seeing the huge plot holes... but stating other movies to have them which actually do not have holes like a cheese. Oo

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