Sean posted a great blog post about the ten things he learned from Tron 1982. I know I’m late to the party, but after just seeing Tron tonight, here are ten things I learned from seeing Tron Legacy
#10 Everyone needs to learn how to precision base jump. Base jumping from tall skyscrapers seems to be a great get-away tactic. But if you don’t know how to steer correctly, you might end up hanging on for your life on the roof of a taxi-cab blocks away from your getaway Ducati. Add in a little crazy taxi cab driving, and you can count your blessings just to see your Ducati again. Of course, practice makes perfect because you never know when you will need to use it again.
#9 Never, ever, ever sit at a computer terminal with a large laser like device at your back. Granted, this is a perfect way to transport yourself from our world to the grid, but wouldn’t it be nice to choose to go instead of suddenly and surprisingly finding your surroundings black-based with neon highlights?
#8 If you find yourself in custody and the person in charge happens to look like your father, things might end badly for you, especially since he just tried to kill you. I realize that there was not much Sam could do at that point in time, but a little less honesty could have swayed something more in Sam’s direction don’t you think? Giving away completely truthful information to an unknown quantity in the grid is a lot like painting your credit card number on the side of your car or tattooing your social security number to your forehead. You'll find yourself needing to live off the grid for a cycle or two until you can gain perspective again.
#7 The only way to win is not to play the game. Sometimes life hands you lemons and you can play lemonade stand. Sometimes your wrist skill can win you high score. But since Disney is such a mainstay in youth entertainment and therefore education, I’m grateful for the nod to Wargames. Shooter Jr has never seen Wargames and probably never will. I doubt I could chain him to a chair long enough for the movie to grab his attention, and I’m sure most kids his age are the same. So maybe the tag line for Wargames has found a new home for the next generation in Tron Legacy and will inspire someone to not make the mistake of playing right into an opponent’s strengths or worse, playing into an unwinnable situation.
#6 It never ends well with the bad chick, especially if she is uuber hot. Whether it’s being processed for the games or sold as bait, every instance with a bad girl ends, well, badly. One second you are having your clothes ripped off you then the next minute you find yourself fighting for your life. One second you are the stud walking confidently through a crowded room with a gorgeous babe on your arm, the next minute you find yourself fighting for your life. Do you see a pattern here? And oh, if you stick around long enough there could be an explosion that takes everything out, including the chick.
#5 A good chick will always have your back. Always. When the chips are down and you are one nano-cycle away from getting wiped off the grid, the good chick will always be there to save the day. And no matter where you are, she shows up to take care of you. You could be on a lightcycle grid, in a cyberbar, or getting ready for that big transport beam home with your back against the wall each time, and there she is to pull your butt out of the delete bin.
#4 Life is full of surprises both literally and figuratively. Finding your father in an unexpected place after 20 years is one of those surprises. Finding a new life-form in an unexpected place is also one of those surprises. Stuff happens and life seems to find a way to keep on going.
#3 Just like Darth Vader, there is always time to turn back to the good side. Sometimes people, like C.L.U., can repurpose our lives without us even knowing it. Sometimes that repurposing leads to very bad or dark places. But once you figure it out, it is never too late to correct your path and strive to do what’s right.
#2 Sometimes correcting a mistake means you have to put everything on the line. Correcting mistakes can be messy. Heck, it can be downright catastrophic sometimes. But if you make a big enough mistake, and it’s hurt enough people, it’s probably worth the effort to try to make things right. This is not a time for rash decisions, though. Having a well-thought out plan is paramount otherwise you might make things worse. I suspect Kevin Flynn meditated long and hard before he made his decision to correct his mistake.
#1 All of us need to know when to grow up and accept responsibility. Sam Flynn was a somewhat wounded duck at the beginning of the film. He had lost his family and hadn’t reached out for any support as best as we can tell. But Sam’s life and the lives of millions of users around the world were impacted by his inability to take control and make things better. By the end of Tron Legacy Sam was no longer the timed kid just satisfied to tinker around, Sam was ready for some real change. Whether its going back to school to do something you love or using your exceptional talents to help people, making the decision to strive for greatness can be the toughest, yet most rewarding decision of your life.
Tron Legacy was indeed a deep movie and I look forward to watching it many more times in the years to come to learn all of its lessons. In the meantime I’m sure I didn’t capture them all. If you find one, please leave a comment below. I’d love to read your take on the lessons of Tron Legacy.
Until next time…