|“||Since when do I care if a few programs get derezzed?!||”|
|Description||Tall, broad-shouldered program wearing a short cape|
|Functions||Keeping control over Argon City|
Enforcing Clu's will
|Out of universe information|
|Actor||Lance Henriksen (voice)|
Tesler, one of Clu's generals, was tasked with taking over a section of the Grid. This he successfully did, swiftly conquering Argon City with his army. He ran into complications, however, when a renegade program disguised as Tron destroyed the new statue of Clu in Argon Square. Assured by Clu that the real Tron was dead, Tesler began to round up programs for the Games in a gambit to make the renegade program reveal himself. When the renegade overturned a Light Rail full of prisoners and freed them, Tesler decided to take him out personally, destroying the Black Guard who had helped him and telling him, "You can't save them all!" As they dueled, the renegade cut off Tesler's arms and caused him to fall from the building where they were fighting into a Light Rail beam, from which he was eventually rescued by Paige.
The Renegade, Part 1 & 2Edit
Tesler announced the beginning of a deadly game of Disc Wars at the Coliseum, unaware that the renegade that he so hated was fighting in the tournament, having been captured for breaking curfew. Though without his disguise, Beck, along with fellow conscript Cutler, brought himself to Tesler's attention by defeating the first wave of enemies and then escaping. They were recaptured and brought back by Paige, but defeated their second round of opponents as well. Tesler remarked that they were "too good" and Pavel, his second-in-command, suggested that the two fight each other to the death, thus eliminating the threat of programs beating the games. However, Cutler forfeited to allow Beck to live. Tesler, incensed, considered derezzing them both, but Paige convinced him to let the winner go free as promised. So Tesler sent Beck off and had Pavel move Cutler to Argon Square to be derezzed.
To Tesler's disgust, the renegade rescued Cutler from deresolution. When the two comandeered a Light Boat to escape, Tesler gave pursuit in a boat of his own. He very nearly succeeded this time, but his Light Boat was disabled by a third boat -- piloted, unbeknownst to Tesler, by the real Tron.
When Tesler went to inspect his new energy drilling operation, he found that Paige had ordered the drill be shut down. Angered by this decision, Tesler ordered it turned back on and replaced Paige with Pavel to oversee the drilling. Before leaving, he told Paige she had been sloppy lately. He later made a public announcement that the renegade had tried to sap all the energy, and promised to find him and bring him to justice. He congratulated Paige on her idea for blaming the energy plot on the renegade.
Overruling Pavel, who had left Paige on a derezzing island to die, Tesler piloted a Light Copter out to the island and rescued Paige by means of a grappling hook. As they returned to Argon City, he told Pavel never to underestimate her.
Back in Argon, Paige regretfully confessed to having worked with the Renegade, who had also been trapped on the island, in order to survive as the terrain began to derezz around them. Tesler replied that all in all, she had done well by retrieving the data cube which the Renegade had stolen. Paige mentioned that while on the island, she had thought about the time she first met Tesler in her home city; he had seen her desire for revenge upon the ISOs, Quorra and Ada, who had destroyed her friends and their medical clinic, and recruited her into his army. The memory reminded Tesler of how he himself had been the one to order the clinic's destruction, blaming it on the ISOs. Smiling at his success in hiding this fact from Paige, he coolly stated that he would never betray her, since he knew what she was capable of.
Price of PowerEdit
Scars, Part 1 & 2Edit
Tesler's ship arrived at the Argon Fueling Towers for the refueling it undertook every fifth cycle. As it docked, the Jolly Tricksters tagged the surrounding buildings with free code. Angered at the security breach, Tesler ordered Paige to keep looking for the vandals: "This 'Tron Lives' blasphemy must stop." Pavel remarked that in that case, Tesler would definitely not want to look outside. Approaching the viewing port, Tesler glowered at a panorama of free-code graffiti reflecting from the buildings below, and demanded, "Where is that coming from?" Pavel replied that it was coming "from us" -- Rasket and Moog, two of the Tricksters, had infiltrated the ship and tagged its exterior, causing the "Tron Lives" message to shine from it in every direction.
After Pavel captured the two hapless artists, Tesler was summoned down to the prison level for their interrogation. But before he arrived, Mara and the Renegade freed the prisoners and escaped with the data cube which had been the Renegade's target all along.
State of MindEdit
Tesler, overseeing Keller's phase-one test of her pathogenic code, declared the phase complete and ordered her to finish the job of infecting Argon's residents and making them "believers" in order to quell dissent in the streets. When she opted out, he gripped her shoulders and clarified his position: "You walk away, and I'll have Pavel tear the code from your body. You run, and I'll derezz you myself."
Tesler later threw a dance party in Argon Square in order to infect the assembled programs, standing above the crowd in an airtight helmet as they inhaled the pathogenic gas and cheered for Clu. His pleasure at the success was marred when the blimp dispensing the gas was hijacked, crashing into the signal tower and deactivating the code.
Standing in the tower's wreckage, he ordered Pavel to reconstruct it, but was told that Keller's sabotage had neutralized the code's effects and reconstruction would be useless. "Then find Keller," he replied, "and neutralize her."
When Paige returned Keller to Argon, Tesler greeted them and appeared happy to have Keller back in the fold and to accept her declaration of loyalty to Clu. However, after asking Paige to leave so he and Keller could "talk," Tesler placed his hand on her shoulder, ignited his gauntlet, and derezzed her, fulfilling his promise and ensuring that she would never disappoint him again. Standing above her remains, he growled, "Welcome home."
After the crash of the giant recognizer in Argon City, Tesler demanded answers from Paige: what was "that monstrosity," why was it in his city, and why had he not known about it? Paige had no answer for him, but did have a guess. Taking her data pad before she could complete the sentence, Tesler stared in slowly-growing horror as a face resolved on the screen, heralding the unannounced approach of a giant military fleet, and hoarsely named the impending arrival: "Clu."
Personality and traitsEdit
Tesler is arrogant, ambitious, extremely dangerous, and filled with uncontrollable rage and pure hatred. He has been known to summarily derez soldiers who bring him unwelcome news; when faced with actual traitors or rebels, he frequently toys with their hopes first, or sentences them to the games, watching with evil satisfaction as they struggle for their lives.
He is a silver-tongued tyrant, ruling Argon through force and fear while simultaneously blaming any chaos on the Renegade and successfully convincing citizens that his cruel, arbitrary directives are for their own good. His skills at deception and rationalization are highlighted in his retention of Paige, whose values are very different from his own, as a valuable ally who believes wholeheartedly that he would never betray her. While opposing anyone who interferes with "his" city, he privately displays contempt for its inhabitants and does not hesitate to exploit and squander its resources without concern for the programs living there.
Tesler detests and fears his superiors due to their power and authority over him, and attempts to show his administration in its best light whenever they visit. Weakness in general is anathema to him. He hates defeat, uncertainty, loss of face, lack of knowledge - anything that could put him at a disadvantage in any way - and tolerates the same in his troops as little as he tolerates them in himself. His fear of failure manifests in nightmares about being defeated by the Renegade; enraged at the thought, he immediately steps up his efforts to destroy the rogue program.
Overall, Tesler is a competent dictator; for the greater part of the series, his control of Argon City is complete. As overseer of the Argon Games, he uses the Coliseum to accustom the city's residents to punitive measures and to guide their perception of the Occupation. He invests time and effort to keep the population on his side, as seen when he used the Light Roadster as a bribe to turn them against the Renegade, and when he fulfilled his promise to release curfew-breaking prisoners upon the Renegade's arrival at Argon Square, boasting before the crowd that he'd been a program of his word. He delegates well, heeding the ideas and suggestions of his direct lieutenants and granting second chances when their efforts fail -- a perk never offered to the rank and file. He congratulates and rewards programs who serve him well, though his good will often comes with a catch, as seen in his treatment of Pavel (whom he "rewarded" with control of, and responsibility over, the wretched district of Purgos). Paige is particularly valuable to him for her skill and tenacity; he personally flew out to rescue her in ISOlated and expressed happiness to Pavel when she was found alive. Though appearing furious and betrayed when she was accused of conspiring against him, he sentenced her to the Games instead of killing her immediately, and accepted her back into the fold when her innocence was proven -- unlike Keller, whose willing return after defection was rewarded with death.
Powers and abilitiesEdit
Tesler prefers hand-to-hand fighting over using his identity disc, though he has been known to cast his disc on occasion. His fighting style is relentless and linear, focusing on crushing the programs in his path, often advancing slowly while pinning victims with his gauntlets in order to prolong their fear and suffering. When he believes himself to have an advantage, he also taunts his opponents verbally, attempting to impress them with their helplessness and the futility of resistance.
When Tesler ignites the prosthetics on his hands and forearms, he has the ability to block disc attacks or to generate a powerful electric charge which can break down and derez programs during prolonged contact. The augmented arms also pack a considerable punch, and Tesler can launch them up to sixty feet from his body to grapple or strike, the limbs even turning corners when an opponent dodges.
In Grounded, Tesler allowed Pavel to augment his right arm with a massive cannon upgrade. When the upgrade is active, spikes protrude from his boots to anchor him against the cannon's hefty backlash.
As Clu's general, Tesler publicly praises him and advances his agenda in order to solidify his own hold on Argon City. However, Tesler's few interactions with him are tinged with fear of failure and replacement. Clu's impending arrival in Terminal fills him with dread, justified by the deleted scene in which Tesler's failure to keep control of the city is punished by Clu's order to cut off his hands again. Clu, meanwhile, considers Tesler disposable and does not bother to keep him in the loop about issues concerning his territory, such as the survival of Tron, the construction of a giant Recognizer in Purgos, or the approach of Clu's massive war fleet.
Tesler recognizes Paige's considerable potential and forthright, strong-willed nature, as well as the desire for trusted colleagues upon which he plays to hold her loyalty secure. Paige understands his self-serving nature well enough to discourage some of his more egregeous cruelties on the grounds that they would harm the Occupation's public image. As time goes on, she mentions loyalty to Clu more than to Tesler, but the latter's influence over her remains strong; she is disgusted when Pavel openly tries to turn her against Tesler, responds with disbelieving protests amounting almost to grief when he proclaims her disloyal, and trusts him enough not only to convince Keller of his goodwill but to leave her alone in his company without a second thought.
Tesler's hatred for the Renegade is complete; he denies any possibility that the rogue program is actually Tron, and constantly plots to flush him out and destroy him. The Renegade's successes and Tesler's own failures to defeat him are a constant thorn in his side, to the point that a triumphant Renegade gloats over him in his nightmares - a weakness and fear to which he would never admit. For his own satisfaction, Tesler demands a worthy adversary in the Renegade; anything less would be an insult to the Occupation and more personally, himself. When a program accused of being the Renegade abjectly begged for mercy, Tesler responded with disgust at his cowardice, calling him an unworthy adversary and "no Tron." Likewise, taunted by the Renegade for mainly giving orders from the safety of his ship, Tesler retorted that at least he wasn't the one "playing dress-up, hiding behind the memory of a dead program". Beck, for his part, considers Tesler an evil cog in Clu's wheel and foils his plans as often as possible.
- General Tesler is most likely named for Larry Tesler, a computer scientist working in the field of human-computer interaction, who worked on the Compel and Pascal programming languages and has launched a campaign for modeless software.
- A deleted scene, presumably from the season finale, shows Tesler kneeling before Clu and acknowledging responsibility for the renegade's continued existence. As a punishment, with Clu's permission, Dyson cuts Tesler's forearms off again.