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Episode Studies by Clayton Barr

enik1138
-at-popapostle-dot-com
Tron Tron
Movie
Screenplay by Steven Lisberger
Story by Steven Lisberger and Bonnie MacBird
Directed by Steven Lisberger
Released in 1982

A computer hacker finds himself trapped in a computerized landscape, his only hope of escape: activating a heroic computer program to stand against the malevolent Master Control Program.

 

Read the complete Tron movie synopsis at the Tron Wiki

 

Didja Know?

 

Tron was originally conceived as a standard animation film.

 

Two of the actors in this film would go on to star in the TV series Babylon 5. Bruce Boxleitner (here as both Tron and Alan

Bradley) takes on the role of Captain John Sheridan and Peter Jurasik (as Crom) appears as Ambassador Londo Molari on B5.

 

Bruce Boxleitner had also previously worked with actress Cindy Morgan (Lora and Yori) on the 1982 TV series Bring 'Em Back Alive.

 

There are many instances in the film in which director Lisberger shows the real and electronic worlds looking similar in design, such as lighted cityscapes, roadways, and vehicles.

 

The phrase "end of line" used at the end of discussions by the MCP is also occasionally used by the Cylons in the reimagined Battlestar Galactica series of the 2000s.

 

The Tron universe also appears (apocryphally I would assume) in the video game Kingdom Hearts II developed by Square Enix, which mixes a number of Disney and Square Enix characters in the game. Tron fights alongside Goofy, Donald Duck, and the player (as Sora, the protagonist of Kingdom Hearts) to defeat Sark and the MCP.

 

Didja Notice?

 

The very first shot of Tron seems to depict a digital humanoid being compiled from its constituent digital parts. We don't see a face though, so perhaps we are just seeing the build of a humanoid armor, not yet inhabited by a digital personality? In fact, the armor appears to be that of Tron himself (notice the T-shaped pattern of lights on the chest).
Digital armor

As the shot moves into the TRON logo, it seems to be passing through digitized representations of levels of a computer matrix. The glowing light patterns seem to depict circuits and chips on a series of motherboards as if passing through a mainframe. As the shot continues to zoom in, it seems to be approaching a cityscape as seen from the air; notice there appear to be analogs of building lights, city blocks, cars moving on thoroughfares, and even a possible freeway system on the right-hand side of the screen. And then we fade out and into a real world city street, right in front of Flynn's arcade.

 

As the scene moves to a teenager playing the Light Cycles arcade game in Flynn's, the video game cabinet is very similar, though not exact, to the look of the actual Tron arcade game which was in arcades in conjunction with the release of the film. (In the novelization, a boy and a girl are playing each other and they play a game of discs instead of Light Cycles).

 

The top video image displayed on the Light Cycles game console is a representation of the MCP's communication tower.
Light Cycles video game

 

As the teenager is playing his game of Light Cycles, the POV changes back and forth from the video game screen to what seems to be the actual dual in the computer world. Presumably the living program seen driving the yellow cycle is a representation of his "User", that is, the teenager playing the video game (we never see the boy's face). This would seem to suggest that every video game session played in the real world is represented by an actual (and deadly!) game in the computer realm, at least in cases where it is User vs. Computer as it is here (video game warrior vs. Sark). But, if it were two Users playing each other on the game, would it be two User-controlled programs fighting (and killing) each other? (The novelization suggests that this is the case.)

 

In the scene at 1:40 on the DVD, the three controller programs on Sark's Carrier, stand unmoving (inactivated?) until he touches his podium. Then they all start moving and sit down at their controls. Were they all just at attention as he entered, or inactivated? Notice also that a light flashes on the wall-sized schematic in the background when Sark activates his podium. When we again see Sark approach and touch the podium at 32:17, the three programs behave in the same manner and there is, again, a flash point of light on the wall schematic (though in a different location this time).

 

The compound interest accounting program played by Peter Jurasik is named Crom. I'm not aware of a specific computer term that corresponds to his name. Possibly it was derived from the words "computer" and "ROM" (Read-Only Memory) to form CROM. Then again, maybe Lisberger got the name from the deity, Crom, worshipped by Conan the Barbarian!

 

At 2:18 on the DVD, Crom seems to gesture to his armor as he says, "Look, this...is all a mistake. I'm just a compound interest program. I work at a savings and loan. I can't play these video games!" This seems to indicate that the armor is not the normal wear for many programs. (The novelization confirms that Crom was forced to don the armor and half-tunic of a Warrior conscript).

 

When Crom gets tossed into a cell, there is a black display panel behind him that is flashing words or messages in red text. The text is too blurry to make out. Later we see these displays in all of the prisoners' cells.
Crom and Ram

 

Dan Shor plays Ram. In computer terms, RAM stands for Random Access Memory.

 

Flynn has written a program called CLU to try to dig deep into the memory files of ENCOM's system and retrieve evidence of the video game codes that were stolen from him by Dillinger. Consequently, he has thus created a program in the Electronic World named Clu. CLU is also the name of a programming language invented by MIT professor Barbara Liskov and her students. CLU is short for cluster (a "block" of CLU syntax forming a command to perform a function). In Legacy, CLU is said to stand for Codified Likeness Utility in regards to the character who appears there (and is created by Flynn in "Betrayal" Part 1), but it's not clear if the name has the same meaning for the character depicted here.

 

In the System, we hear Flynn speaking to Clu in full, comprehensible sentences. Presumably this is just a shorthand way of letting the audience know what is going on and "translating" the communications between Flynn and Clu since Flynn is really just typing command lines into his computer terminal, not having a conversation with the program.

 

Flynn tells Clu this is important, not just correcting his bank statement or phone bill problem again. This implies Flynn has used CLU to perform these tasks; perhaps cheating on his accounts and bills?

 

At 4:36 on the DVD, a glass of "liquid" suddenly appears on a console next to Clu in the tank, which he picks up and drinks. It's easy to miss in all the lights and rotation of the tank cockpit.

 

As Flynn is waiting for the results of CLU's search, he says, "Come on you skuzzy data, be in there." Possibly the word "skuzzy" was used as a joking reference to the SCSI ("skuzzy") standard of connecting physical devices and transferring data between them (Small Computer System Interface), though that term was not coined until 1982, the same year the movie was released, so it may be a coincidence.

 

At 6:59 on the DVD, we see that Flynn has an interesting lamp on his computer desk that has as its base a statue of an almost nude woman.
Flynn's lamp

 

Is it just me, or do the Recognizers bear a resemblance to the robot Maximilian from the earlier Disney film The Black Hole?
Recognizer Maximilian
Recognizers from Tron Maximilian from The Black Hole

 

At 8:12 on the DVD, we see that Dillinger's ENCOM corporation helicopter is rimmed with red lights and reflectors, making him similar in aspect to his Electronic World counterpart, Sark.

 

At 8:46 on the DVD, there is an unusual statue (Indonesian?) outside the bank of elevators in the ENCOM building. Other art objects line the hallway approaching Dillinger's office and inside it as well. (Page 24 of the novel states the objects are all rare and valuable.)

 

The man named Peter who greets Dillinger in his office also has a counterpart in the Electronic World who is Sark's Lieutenant.

 

At 9:24 on the DVD, we see that Dillinger's password to speak to the MCP is simply "MASTER". An abbreviation of Master Control Program or an acknowledgment on his part of who his master is? When the MCP comes online to speak to him, Dillinger calls him "Master C."

 

At 10:30 on the DVD, Alan Bradley types in his request for access to the Tron program and we see the program's full name is apparently Tron JA307020.
TRON-JA307020

 

At 10:38 on the DVD, we see on Alan's monitor that the current date and time is Sept. 22, 18:32:21 PM.

 

At 10:43 on the DVD, we see that Alan's floor of the ENCOM building appears to be an immense cubicle farm!
Cubicle farm

 

In the same scene above, the co-worker who asks Alan if he can have some of his popcorn, is actor Dan Shor, who plays Ram in the Electronic World, so this must be the ENCOM employee who wrote the Ram program. Almost 30 years later, in "The Next Day", we learn the character is named Roy Kleinberg.

 

At 11:38 on the DVD, Alan tells Dillinger, "I don't even balance my checkbook on down time, I have an abacus at home for that." No, an abacus is not a PC brand name! It's an ancient type of calculator, still used by merchants and clerks in many parts of the world.
Abacus

 

At 15:01 on the DVD, the screen display of the de-rezzing of the orange shows two mentions of "YORI". Yori is the Electronic World counterpart of Lora, so YORI must be the program written by Lori which (whom?) assists in the de-rezzing procedure.
YORI

During the sequence in Flynn's arcade, most of the names of the video game consoles seem to be conveniently distant, obstructed or blurry so they can't be made out (perhaps for copyright reasons). However, at 17:56, Lora speaks to a boy who is clearly playing Asteroids Deluxe. As she and Alan walk through the arcade, we can also identify Berserk, Atari Basketball and Sprint. Flynn is playing Space Paranoids, one of the games he invented but which was stolen by Dillinger. (Although several Tron related video games have been made in the time since the movie's release, an actual Space Paranoids was not developed until 2009 and premiered at that year's San Diego Comic-Con International to promote the recently announced Tron sequel film Tron: Legacy). Also in the background we see Space War. There are neon signs for some of ENCOM's games (again, developed by Flynn and stolen by Dillinger): Code Wars, Astro Gunner, Vice Squad, Matrix Blaster. (The novelization also mentions signs for Nerve Net and Gonzo; and mentions customers playing games called Intruder, Zero Hour, Tail Gunner and The End; real video games mentioned are Galaxy Wars and Battle Zone.)

 

At 19:14 on the DVD, Flynn's bedroom above the arcade has what appear to be tribal masks hanging on one wall. Next to the doorway is what looks like part of a tree trunk of the type sold as scratching posts; does Flynn have a cat? We also see a parking meter and a neon Recognizer sign from Space Paranoids.

 

The handheld video game that Flynn is playing at 20:11 on the DVD looks like it may be the Coleco Electronic Quarterback game, released in 1978.

 

Before telling Alan and Lora the story of his trouble with ENCOM, Flynn says, "Sherman, set the wayback machine for 3 years ago." This is a reference to the Peabody's Improbable History segments of the two animated series Rocky and his Friends and The Bullwinkle Show which ran in the late 1950s and early 1960s. The WABAC machine was the time machine invented by Mr. Peabody, a dog who was a genius. Sherman was his pet boy. (In the novelization Flynn sets the wayback machine for 5 years instead).

 

Dr. Gibbs tells Dillinger, "You know, you can remove men like Alan and me from the system, but we helped create it. And our spirit remains in every program we design for this computer." Without realizing it, Dr. Gibbs has perfectly described the entities living in the Electronic World. (In the novel, Gibbs' statement silently hits home for Dillinger, implying he is realizing the MCP got it's ruthlessness and ambition from its designer...Dillinger himself!).

 

When the MCP starts speaking to Dillinger about breaking into the Pentagon's system, a colorful vector graphic of Sark's Carrier appears on Dillinger's desktop screen. Why would the MCP choose to show it at this time? Dillinger does not seem to know what it is since he is not aware of the universe of the Electronic World. (The Pentagon is the headquarters of the U.S. Department of Defense.)
Sark's carrier graphic

At 25:55 on the DVD, the MCP threatens to go public with Flynn's file that would prove Dillinger stole Flynn's ideas by showing a mock-up of The Times newspaper on the display screen. The Times is the original "Times" newspaper, based out of London, England, from which other newspapers such as the New York Times and Los Angeles Times take their name.

 

At 27:12 on the DVD, we see that Alan has a quote hanging in his cubicle at ENCOM. It is "Gort, Klaatu barada nikto," a famous alien phrase from the 1951 science-fiction film The Day the Earth Stood Still. The phrase has never been officially translated. Gort is the name of the alien's robot and Klaatu is the name of the alien. In the film a human woman delivers the phrase to the robot at the now dead Klaatu's request in order to stop the robot from destroying Earth. The fact that Alan has this particular phrase posted in his cubicle says that he has fears about how artificial intelligence could be used to harm humankind, hence his dedication to writing the Tron program to be a watchdog over other powerful programs.

 

Shortly after its comment about raiding the Pentagon, and being in the Kremlin, the MCP tells Dillinger to get it the Chinese language file it asked for. Perhaps this is an indication it is planning to hit Chinese government systems next? (The Kremlin is the official home of the Russian President.)

 

As he sits down at Lora's computer terminal at ENCOM, Flynn remarks, "Like the man says, there's no problems, only solutions." This is a paraphrase from the John Lennon song "Watching the Wheels". The actual lyric is "....there's no problem, only solutions." Additionally, the rock band Journey provides a song to the Tron soundtrack called "Only Solutions", probably partially inspired by the earlier Lennon song.

 

After Dillinger locks out all Level 7 access (which includes Flynn, Alan, and Dr. Gibbs), Flynn gains access via a Level 6 password "REINDEER FLOTILLA".

 

As Flynn is de-rezzed and his consciousness journeys down into the Electronic World, the images we see are analogous to the real world, such as geometric clouds, a sphere of a world, and city lights and blocks.

 

The music and images that accompany our journey to the Electronic World with Flynn are somewhat reminiscent of those seen in Dave Bowman's trip through the cosmic gateway in the movie 2001: A Space Odyssey.

 

When Flynn arrives in the Electronic World, he is in the Game Grid, already wearing the armor of a Warrior conscript. The MCP must have programmed Flynn's journey to end that way.

 

The Electronic World has technology analogous to the transporter of Star Trek, able to disassemble a being in one location and reassemble them in another, as witnessed in the scene at 42:39 on the DVD. It seems to be a more refined version of the digitization recently tested successfully by Lora and Gibbs in the real world. In the alternate timeline story Tron 2.0, this technology is referred to as a data stream.

 

The "jai alai" game played in the Electronic World is revealed to be called hyper ball in Battle Grids.

 

There appear to be stylized numbers and mathematical symbols on the walls of the Game Grid.

 

At 45:20 on the DVD, there is a Pac-Man and a string of his pac-dots on the right-hand side of the schematic in front of Sark! Even the sound effects in the background are from the Pac-Man video game! Listen: Pac-Man
Pac-Man

 

For some reason, Flynn's and Ram's armor circuitry highlights turn from blue to green when they enter the bridge of the demolished Recognizer. (My research indicates that the original script of Tron called for different color schemes on the computer characters and some of that was filmed and colored in post accordingly before mid-filming script changes came into effect; that is why Flynn and Ram change to green in this scene and why Clu has yellow circuitry instead of blue in the tank scenes.)

 

The character referred to as a bit is from a computing term, "bit" being the most basic unit of information in computing.

 

At one point, when Ram is feeling pain, he says, "Oh, my User!" in the way we might say "Oh, my God!"

 

As Ram dies and de-rezzes aboard the Recognizer, at 56:36 on the DVD the cockpit lights of the vessel briefly glow brighter. Did the vessel absorb Ram's energy as he de-rezzed?

 

At 56:44 on the DVD, Tron runs past some canyon walls that have what looks like a blue-ified aerial shot of a city!
city aerial shot

 

At 57:50 on the DVD, the program on the right-hand side of the screen appears to be using a mouse or similar computer peripheral. The graphic over which she is moving the device appears to be a representation of the solar sailer.
Tron mouse 

 

At 59:45 on the DVD, an assortment of bizarre characters appears on screen near the Input/Output tower. Tron asks Yori, "Who are all these weirdoes?" To which she responds, "Inoperative data pushers," and he adds, "Controlled programs." (The novel describes Tron walking by some of the strangely shaped programs and notes their shape is derived from their function. Programs described are: an unknown type of Warrior with an energy lance cradled in his left arm, his right arm and part of his helmet blown away, leaving long, trailing streamers of glowing filaments; a segmented connectoid crawling like a huge, blind worm; and cryptarithmetic priests wearing circuited cassocks.)
Weirdos 1
  These guys look like a vacuum tube and a dust bunny! The vacuum tube may be what the novel describes as a "light exchange monitor, enclosed in a glassy bulb".  
 
Weirdos 2 Weirdos 3
   

 

As Flynn is trying to guide his out-of-control Recognizer at 1:00:55 on the DVD, a monk-like program seems to say, "Here comes our headache!" as the Reco unintentionally dive-bombs him and his companion! Listen: here comes our headache

 

After Flynn crashes the Recognizer, Bit disappears with it, not to be seen again. Was the poor little guy de-rezzed? (Apparently not, according the novelization. Flynn notices he has lost the little guy somewhere along the way on page 123. Then, on page 170, as Tron and Yori celebrate the MCP's demise and realize Flynn is gone, the Bit returns, the narrative simply stating it had finally caught up with its program's friends.)

 

At 1:01:42 on the DVD, Flynn walks past some scantily-clad, female entities. Sex programs?
Sex programs

 

When Tron blasts the Memory Guard at 1:02:48 on the DVD, the Guard's eyes are just plain weird!
Memory guard eyes

 

Dumont, the guardian of the Input/Output tower appears to be an Electronic World version of Dr. Gibbs.

 

After seeing Tron dispatch a couple other Memory Guards, a third one seemingly chooses to jump from the Solar Sailer at 1:09:56 on the DVD! 

 

The scene of the Memory Guards turning to watch the Solar Sailer take off at 1:10:06 reminds me of the Stormtroopers watching the Millennium Falcon blast off from Docking Bay 94 at Mos Eisley spaceport in Star Wars: A New Hope.
Solar Sailer blastoff M. Falcon blastoff

 

Speaking of Star Wars: A New Hope, the scene of the gigantic Carrier chasing the smaller Solar Sailer at 1:10:49 on the DVD is reminiscent of the opening scene of that film, with the seemingly endless bulk of the Star Destroyer passing through the shot the way the Carrier does here.

 

The Solar Sailer flies over a hidden Mickey at 1:12:23 on the DVD.
Tron's hidden Mickey

 

Is it just me or do the Grid bugs look entirely standard animation, not CGI?

Grid bug

 

When the MCP sends a power surge into the beam to slow down the Solar Sailer, Tron tells Yori they have to get off this beam. But she replies they can't because there isn't another junction for 7 or 8 nanoseconds. This gives us some sense of the scale we're dealing with in the Electronic World. A nanosecond is one-billionth of a second, so events in the Electronic World are occurring at an extremely rapid pace from the perspective of our world.

 

When Dumont locks the doors against the Memory Guards at the Input/Output Tower, Sark calls for a logic probe to break down the door. In the real world, a logic probe is a pen-shaped device for testing the logical state (0 or 1) of a circuit. Perhaps in the Electronic World, the logic probe is also able to change the state of all bits in an object to the same charge, causing it to de-rezz.

 

As the MCP absorbs Dumont and the other programs trapped on his mesa, at 1:23:54 on the DVD we briefly see a skull form over Dumont's face as he gets weaker and weaker.

Dumont's skull

 

1:24:18 on the DVD. Gee, no wonder Yori loves Tron so much.
Love machine

 

When Tron's disc smashes through Sark's and slices the top of the villain's head, it looks like brain matter is visible in the gash at 1:24:26 on the DVD! It also appears as if "blood" or something spills out of his head as he hits the ground. Seconds later, as the MCP is resurrecting Sark as a giant, the "blood" looks rather like a pile of Froot Loops! Maybe Sark lost his breakfast?
Sark's brain Sark's blood
 
Froot Loops

 

As the MCP dies, we see what appears to be an old man's face in a pod construction similar to Dumont's. But who is it? Is it the face of Dillinger since he designed the MCP? Is it an amalgamation of people since, as the MCP states earlier in the film, no one User wrote it?

The real MCP

 

As the MCP dies we hear various electronic sounds, including some like those of someone typing on a typewriter! Listen: death rattle (The novelization describes more of the MCP's pod and, like Dumont's pod as Guardian of the Tower, his hands stick out near the base to manipulate controls. Here, the dying MCP, in its primitive, early form, its "gnarled and withered hands played on an old-fashioned, standard typewriter keyboard, an instrument from the days of its earliest origins.")

 

As Flynn finds himself abruptly back in the real world, the printer next to him at the console starts to print out information about Dillinger's theft of Flynn's video game Space Paranoids. Why is that information coming out now? It seems like Flynn would still have to proceed with his search and then he might find the information with the MCP now dead. And why does it start showing up on Dillinger's monitor as well?
Priority One

During the end credits, the credits for Production Ink and Paint Matting show they were done by Cuckoo's Nest Productions in Taipei, Taiwan and the individual names are presented in Taiwanese. Am I the only one who is reminded of Space Invaders while seeing it?

Taiwanese credits 

Tron novel Notes from the Tron novelization by Brian Daley
(The page numbers come from the 1st printing, paperback edition, published June 1982)

 

The novel refers to the digital world as the Electronic World or the System and the real world as the Other World.

 

Page 7 has this description of the entities living in the Electronic World: The programs are only algorithms as human beings are only collections of chemicals.

 

Sark is also referred to as the Command Program and the Lord of the System, under the rulership of the Master Control Program.

 

When the MCP mentions capturing some military programs on page 11, Sark thinks of DARPA and the DIA. DARPA is the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, formed as ARPA in 1958, which develops new technology for the U.S. military. The DIA is the Defense Intelligence Agency, formed in 1961 to gather military intelligence for the U.S.

 

Pages 14-15 expand on the conversation between Crom and Ram. We learn from Crom that Tron is already known throughout the System as an independent program who fights against the MCP, refusing to give in. He is shocked to see that Tron is a captive in the cell on the other side of Ram's. He is at first dismayed at seeing this, but is soon filled with hope by Tron's words of resistance.

 

Page 18 describes Flynn's hair as blond. This must have been written before Lisberger and the producers had decided on casting the brown-haired Jeff Bridges in the role.

 

Page 18 also reveals that the giant, floating attack vehicles used by the MCP (and which appear in the Space Paranoids video game) are called Recognizers (Recos for short). In computer terminology, recognizers are part of an electrical finite-state machine and they determine the acceptance or rejection of a command with a yes/no statement.

 

After crashing the tank in battle, Clu tells Bit to "get outta here!" In the film, Bit answers, "Yes! Yes! Yes!" Here in the novel, Bit answers, "Yes! Ja! !" Ja and are German and Spanish for "yes".

 

Page 22 reveals that the guards working for Sark and the MCP are called Memory Guards.

 

In the movie, the MCP tells Dillinger it has Flynn's file secured away in its system. But in the same scene in the novel, on page 26, the MCP says Flynn's file is still lost somewhere in the System.

 

During Gibbs' meeting with Dillinger on pages 49-50, the display on Dillinger's desk shows Gibbs a simulation of Sark's Carrier, as a craft appearing in a new videogame, and the solar sailing craft, which will be used by Flynn, Tron, and Yori later on.

 

On page 53, Flynn wonders about Dillinger "flipping his peruke". A peruke is a type of wig popular from the 17th to early 19th centuries. Maybe Flynn thinks of Dillinger with an old style wig because he's English?

 

At the computer keyboard on page 54, Flynn thinks of himself as Flynn at the Mighty Wurlitzer! The Rudolph Wurlitzer Company was known for making organs and electronic pianos until sometime in the 1980s.

 

On page 60, the MCP seems to speak Sark's full designation: Sark, ES--1117821. What does the ES stand for? Edward S? (Edward is Dillinger's first name.)

 

When Ram first experiences Flynn's odd behavior on page 65, he thinks perhaps Flynn is glitched!

 

When Flynn first sees a Recognizer in person on page 67, he realizes it is the size of the Arc de Triomphe. The Arc de Triomphe is a monument in Paris, France that stands 160 feet in height, 148 feet in width. The Arc even looks a bit like a Recognizer!
Arc de Triomphe

 

Page 73 suggests that Flynn is skilled at the games on the Game Grid because he invented many of them as video games based on sports and skills with which he was familiar.

 

Page 79 seems to suggest that every game on the Game Grid is reflected in a video game being played in the real world. During Flynn's "jai alai" (hyper ball) battle with Crom, when he realizes that if he wins, Crom will fall to his death from the rings, he refuses to launch the final assault. And in the real world, two players playing the equivalent video game at a bus station, are frustrated when the game suddenly freezes up, refusing to respond further. This brings up a host of metaphysical questions about how the real world and Electronic World relate to each other, such as which world takes precedence in conflicting circumstances; for example, if Tron, the best player known in the Electronic World, plays a game, is the equivalent player in the real world automatically going to be an excellent video game player? That is to say, a lousy player would never find themselves playing through Tron, because that would suddenly make Tron a terrible player?

 

Page 86 suggests that when the wall of the Game Grid is damaged during the Light Cycle match it would normally have re-rezzed almost immediately, repairing itself. But the MCP is taking so much power that the re-rezzing is impaired, allowing Flynn, Tron, and Ram to escape the Grid.

 

Page 94 suggests that it's Flynn's autonomy as a User that makes him formidable in the Electronic World. The programs that live there don't have that aspect, they only have what they were programmed to do.

 

Page 101 compares Flynn's unbidden firing-up of the demolished Recognizer with St. Elmo's Fire. St. Elmo's Fire is an electrical weather phenomenon that is known to create a glowing plasma field around a grounded object.

 

The city containing the Input/Output Tower is called the Factory Domain.

 

Page 105 reveals that the Reco Flynn resurrects is the one that was destroyed by Clu earlier in the film.

 

Pages 110-112 feature a scene not found in the film. Tron and Yori rest (and make off-screen whoopee) in her quarters in the Factory Domain. Below is pre-production art by Peter Lloyd depicting the scene from the Tron Official Giant Collectors' Edition magazine (1982).

Yori's apartment (Peter Lloyd production art)

 

Page 138 reveals that the Solar Sailer comes from a simulation for a video game based on NASA concepts. In reality, NASA has actually researched solar-sailed craft and Japan launched an unmanned probe with solar sails to Venus in May 2010.

 

Pages 158-159 describe the other prisoners brought to the MCP citadel with Dumont as other decrepit Guardian programs. During the deresolution process, the MCP was searching them for components he wished to retain.

 

When Flynn kisses Yori on page 167, she is transformed, her circuitry giving way to traceries, her hair flowing. The transformation does not occur in the movie.

 

Page 167 also describes the face of the MCP being transformed into Flynn's when he jumps into the MCP's beam. In the film, the face does undergo some distortions at this point but it's not obvious that the face becomes Flynn's.

 

Page 172 shows quite a bit more information on the printout that proves Flynn's contentions of theft against Dillinger, including that Kevin Flynn's middle initial is O.
Printout

 

Page 173, the last page of the book, features a few paragraphs that go a little farther into the epilog of the film, depicting: a brief discussion among the three after Flynn arrives in his helicopter and meets up with Alan and Lora; and a "final shot" of Tron, Yori, and the Bit cheerfully sailing across the now free System in the Solar Sailer. 

 

Notes from the Theatrical Trailer

 

The Tron theatrical trailer suggests that the Electronic World exists inside the ENCOM 511 computer. 

 

As the trailer progresses, the camera pans and zooms across an extreme close-up of a computer keyboard, one which has a number of unusual symbol keys on it besides the normal QWERTY layout. It also shows somebody pushing the TRON button!
Strange keyboard The TRON button

 

Unanswered Questions

 

Where did Sark come from and how did he get his name? Presumably Dillinger wrote a program with that name. Or could the MCP have designed Sark itself? Since the MCP was designed mainly by Dillinger would a program written by the MCP also look like Dillinger as Sark does? 

 

Memorable Dialog

 

you're getting brutal, Sark.wav

no buts.wav

that's the spirit.wav

yes.wav

yes-yes-yes.wav

end of line.wav

disappointed.wav 

more bugs than a bait store.wav

14 years old.wav

wayback machine.wav

what computers are for.wav

our spirit remains in every program we design.wav

big door.wav

don't spill anything.wav

you shouldn't have come back.wav

it's the big Master Control Program.wav

a few unsolvable problems.wav

this isn't happening.wav

who you calling program?.wav

where am I?.wav

prepare all programs for war games.wav

on the other side of the screen.wav

null unit.wav

dead zone.wav

army for rent.wav

digital beam transport.wav

a circuit that could hold you.wav

no.wav

another mouth to feed.wav

pretty good driving.wav

no-no-no.wav

doesn't handle so good in town.wav

what's this do.wav

no-no-no-no.wav

stop this thing.wav

the realm of the invisible.wav

pocket calculator.wav

you incompetent zero.wav

greetings, program.wav

I hate to disappoint you.wav 

I'm busy.wav

a chess program.wav

maybe I should keep you around.wav

your User cant help you now.wav

 

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