- This article is about the updated light cycle seen in TRON: Legacy. For the 1st generation light cycle, see Light Cycle.
|Vehicle Type||High speed personal transport|
Clu 2 (custom)
Anon (upgradeable at disc station)
|Behind the scenes|
The 5th-generation light cycle is the TRON: Legacy-era upgrade of the original light cycle and its design more closely resembles a real-world motorcycle. As such, it lacks the canopy sported by the 1st and 2nd-generation cycles and features headlights so that programs can easily navigate dark environments, and in contrast to every previous generation cycle, the front and rear wheels of the 5th-generation cycle are of identical size. It is powered by pure liquid energy, and the Light Ribbons it produces can be toggled on or off at any time, unlike the earlier generation Jetwalls which were constant on the Game Grid. Speed can be increased by pushing the front and rear ends of the vehicle further apart, partially exposing its engine in the process. The front wheel of this light cycle is locked forward, so steering is not done by turning the front wheel, but by tilting the cycle. When attempting certain maneuvers, a pair of small fins are shown to spring out just behind the rider, to aid either balance or braking.
Furthermore, in keeping with the cycle's more realistic redesign, programs won't automatically derezz upon crashing. While direct collisions with a light ribbon still prove fatal, the light cycle will often dissolve underneath its rider, leaving them to sustain injuries in a manner akin to a real-world accident.
5th generation light cycles are not persistent. They are generated from a baton, with the baton splitting in half and forming the light cycle between the two halves and below the rider. The remaining halves of the baton also form the handlebars of the light cycle. When creating a light cycle from a baton, the rider typically does so with a running leap to assume the necessary posture, and clearance from the ground, to allow the light cycle to form.
Clu's Light CycleClu's light cycle is reputed to differ from the standard 5th generation models, boasting unique programming that grants it better offensive capabilities. While the extent of these capabilities remains unclear it is mentioned as being "faster" by a rider of a standard model. Clu's light cycle is distinguished by a unique yellow color scheme and design differences including a small spoiler at the rear and horizontal headlights.
Rinzler also rides this model of light cycle.
Behind the scenes
Daniel Simon is the vehicle designer for TRON: Legacy, responsible for creating the new 5th generation light cycle. Many of the vehicle's features - such as the length of the cycle increasing alongside its speed and, most importantly, the canopy-free driver's seat - are actually carried over from the original TRON light cycle design by Syd Mead. These features were removed from the original film, and the light cycle's canopy came about due to technical limitations, since there was no way to convincingly combine live-action footage with a computer generated object at that time.
TRON: Evolution's opening cutscene and TRON: Legacy's teaser trailer demonstrated that deactivating the light ribbon also dimmed the circuity of both the cycle and its rider, allowing the opportunity for stealth attacks. However, this feature was discarded in Legacy's final cut. Both the cutscene and the teaser are non-canon.