- This article is about the computer program, Tron. For other uses see Tron (disambiguation)
|“||I fight for the users.||”|
|Compile Date||1980 (Version 1)|
1983 (Version 2)
|Circuitry Color||Blue (ENCOM mainframe)|
White (Tron system)
|Description||Regular program appearance|
|Vehicles||Light Cycle (1st generation)|
Light Cycle (4th generation)
Light Cycle (TRON: Uprising)
|Out of universe information|
TRON: Evolution - Battle Grids
Kingdom Hearts II
Tron is a security computer program written by Alan Bradley, and in 1982 was taken prisoner by the self-aware Master Control Program and forced to play on the Game Grid. His legendary skills and devotion to the users turned him into a formidable warrior and Disc Arena master.
A prototype of Tron was completed in January 1980 by ENCOM programmer Alan Bradley as a self-monitoring security program. The full name of this program was TRON-JA-307020. Work continued on Tron until 1982, when the program was complete. During a meeting with ENCOM's then Senior Executive Ed Dillinger, Alan explained how Tron worked:
|“||Well, it's called Tron. It's a security program itself, actually. It monitors all contacts between our system and other systems. It finds anything going on that's not scheduled, it shuts it down.||”|
After Dillinger asked if Tron was part of the MCP, Alan said no, and added that it could "watchdog the MCP as well".
This meeting took place shortly after Alan had discovered that his access to Tron and the ENCOM computers had been suspended. It was during this time that Tron was held captive under Sark and the MCP, and forced to play gladiator video games on the Game Grid.
After Flynn explained to Alan why he tried to hack into ENCOM to rightfully get back his data, Alan and his girlfriend, Lora, decided to help him by using Tron to shut the MCP down and let him get the evidence that Dillinger stole Flynn's data.
Shortly thereafter, Flynn was digitized by the MCP to fight the same gladiator video games that Tron was trapped in. When he finally encountered Tron, Flynn called him Alan in surprise, but found out that Tron was not Alan, but in fact a program written by Alan.
Tron, Flynn and another conscript, Ram were then forced to play a gladiator game of light cycles against three programs from Sark's army. As Flynn had written the light cycle game, he had complete knowledge of the game's AI and routines and caused one of the programs to crash into a wall of the game grid, leaving a crack in the wall. Flynn knew this was the way out and drove his light cycle through the hole, thereby escaping from the light cycle arena with Tron and Ram in tow. As Flynn looked behind to see Tron and Ram behind him, he yelled out, "Greetings, Programs!"
In order for Tron to destroy the MCP and change the system, he needed data from his user, "Alan-One" (Bradley), to be encoded on his identity disc. To do this, he would have to communicate with Alan-One via the I/O Tower, which was strictly forbidden by the MCP. While on the way to the I/O Tower, the three conscripts were spotted by one of the tanks of Sark's Army. The tank fired and hit Flynn and Ram's light cycles, mortally wounding Ram. When Tron looked back to see if Flynn and Ram were still alive, there was no trace of life and no response. Upset with the loss of his friends, Tron drove off to the tower with an armada of tanks firing on him.
With the help of his "girlfriend", Yori and the Tower Guardian Dumont, Tron communicated to Alan-One and escaped with Yori by stealing a simulation and flying it towards the heart of the ENCOM system, where the MCP was located.
While traveling towards the MCP, Tron was then reunited with Flynn. Flynn had survived the attack, but Ram had not been so fortunate.
After several attempts by the MCP and Sark to stop the Solar Sailer from reaching its destination, Sark finally succeeded by ramming his carrier into the Solar Sailer in an ambush. As the Solar Sailer started to derez from the damage, Tron fell off to what seemed to be his death. Yori and Flynn hung on the remaining wreckage as the remains of the sailer floated in a landing bay of the Carrier.
While Yori and Flynn were held captive (along with Dumont who was taken away for helping Tron) Sark removed all of their energy and revealed that the carrier was going to derez after he disembarked in his escape pod. With their very low energy levels that would mean Flynn and Yori would derez as well. He was also going to take Dumont away and have the MCP derez him and take away his functions.
Unknown to Sark, Tron had survived the ambush and hung on to the outside of the carrier. He made his way to the escape pod and hung on as the pod flew out of the carrier and onto the vast mesa that the MCP sits on. Flynn and Yori also survived the carrier's derezz thanks to Flynn's abilities as a user.
Meanwhile, Dumont was slowing being absorbed by the MCP. The MCP "felt a presence" and realized that "another warrior" was on the mesa. Sark immediately turned around and saw Tron on the mesa. The two of them fought with their identity discs as they jumped to avoid the crevasses in the mesa. With one mighty swing, Tron threw his disc so hard that Sark's disc broke in two and sliced Sark's scalp, derezzing him.
The MCP noticed Sark's demise and gave all of his functions to him, successfully reviving him. As Tron threw his disc at the base of the MCP, the MCP's shields went online and protected him from the lethal impact. When a hole in the shields finally appeared, Sark appeared from behind. He had been granted the MCP's functions, increasing his size and making him invulnerable to disc attacks.
Flynn, while watching the battle from the remains of Sark's carrier, realized that he had to "distract" the MCP so Tron can get his disc in. In order to distract the MCP, he jumped into the "beam" of the MCP. With Flynn providing a diversion by being "inside" of the MCP, Tron threw his disc derezzing it in the attack. Dumont and the other Tower Guardians were saved and escaped from the mesa just before the MCP exploded. Yori and Tron reunited and shared a kiss, as Dumont remarked that all of the I/O Towers were lighting up again.
During this time, Tron was upgraded and copied over to Flynn's personal server in order to help protect the Grid and had a city named in his honor. He was also present when the ISO's began emerging. When Clu gradually started to effect his rule over the Grid, Tron became suspicious of his friend's actions and - on at least one occasion - managed to save a program that had been defeated in the games from being derezzed on Clu's orders.
Tron assisted a prototype system monitor program named Anon to prevent system-wide infection by the viral program Abraxas. When the virus attacked the ceremony of peace between ISOs and Basics, Tron arrived just as Anon fended the virus off. After a brief discussion about Abraxas, Tron decided that Kevin should leave the Grid, due to it being too dangerous. Deciding that he would escort Flynn to the portal, Tron ordered Anon to track down the virus, promising to return and assist him after Flynn was back in the real world. Then on the way to the portal, Tron and Flynn were attacked by Clu. After telling Kevin to run, Tron was forced to fend off four of Clu's elite Black Guard. During the conflict, Tron acquired one of the guard's identity discs and proceeded to use this in tandem with his own to help finish the fight. He then turned to Kevin who had fallen under attack from Clu. Tron attacked Clu, buying time for Kevin to escape, but ultimately fell to a blow from Clu's identity disc.
Somehow, despite being severely damaged, Tron was able to escape Clu's grasp, resorting to disguising himself as a mysterious program called "Rinzler", changing his circuitry color and donning a jet black helmet to avoid detection and capture. Tron's sudden disappearance led most programs on the Grid to believe that he was derezzed and Clu encouraged this rumor. Disgraced that he had failed to properly carry out his role as protector of the Tron system, Tron went to hiding, ultimately allowing Clu to begin taking over the Grid.
Beck's actions in rebelling against Clu drew Tron's attention, and disguised as Rinzler, Tron tracked down the young program and took him under his wing. He wanted Beck to become his successor as protector of the Grid, emphasizing that a war was raging. Initially sceptical, Beck agreed and began the training that would set him on a path to "become the next Tron."
- Note: The following section contains information that appears in the TRON 2.0 storyline, which has been classed as non-canon with the TRON mythology and takes place in an alternate timeline.
Tron does not make an appearance in TRON 2.0, however, he is mentioned on several occasions. During Jet's search for the missing Tron Legacy Code e-mail fragments, a message from Kevin Flynn to Alan Bradley stated that Tron would have to be "shelved" after the request for a upgrade on their digitization research was denied . The Legacy Code was originally intended to be an upgrade of Tron, so the program could better maintain the Game Grid and keep the arena free of unauthorized users. When a high-level compiler for the Tron Legacy Code asked Jet where Tron was, Jet responded by saying that Tron was "retired".
Some time earlier, Tron (presumably version 2.0) was called back into the fray when an mysterious and powerful virus attacked the ENCOM systems. He bravely fought off the intruder, going back to stasis afterwards, never to be heard of again...
Personality and traits
Tron's personality is that of a determined warrior, willing to do anything for the users and for the freedom of his fellow programs. He is usually serious and objective focused and has a deep reverence towards users, especially his user, Alan-One. Tron displays a particularly high loyalty to Kevin Flynn, who is both his friend and a user. Tron bravely stood his ground against a superior number of soldiers, and Clu, to protect Flynn.
Skills and abilities
Tron possesses unparalleled skill within the computer world - so much that even Commander Sark expressed a degree of professional respect for him, despite otherwise viewing him as a slave - and is a master at all of the Game Grid gladiator games, especially Disc Wars and Light Cycles. Tron easily defeated four of the MCP's game programs in the Disc Wars game and later engaged Sark in solo combat on his way to help fight the MCP, ultimately dealing Sark a lethal blow.
Tron also has the ability to remove the effects of the MCP's brainwashing, as shown when he successfully restored Yori to her normal self. His complete topographic understanding of the system makes him a master tactician and effective leader.Tron's abilities include complete mastery of his identity disc, which allowed him to quietly snipe Sark's Lieutenant. After he was copied to the Tron system, he initially used his identity disc and two batons. Later, Tron acquired a second disc from one of Clu's Black Guards and redeveloped his combat style to employ both discs together.
In TRON: Legacy, Tron is shown to still be an excellent fighter as he takes on four Clu's elite Black Guards and defeats them with ease.
In TRON: Uprising, it is mentioned by Tron that he could no longer fight as well as he used to, revealing the full extent of his injuries which include his entire chest area being derezzed. Despite this, Tron was still able to skillfully dodge Beck's attacks, even doing so with both his hands placed behind his back. It is also worth noting that Tron took a direct hit from Clu's identity disc but survived. However, Tron needs to regularly place himself in a healing chamber, which is the only thing that keeps him from fully derezzing.
Tron has been in a relationship with Yori, a program responsible for digitization and simulation supervising. The romance was mirrored in the real world as Yori's user Lora was in a relationship with Tron's user Alan. Yori's whereabouts are unknown as of 2010.
Behind the scenes
Tron is portrayed by actor Bruce Boxleitner, the same actor that plays Alan Bradley, Tron's user. At first, Boxleitner (raised in the mid-west and usually performed in Western roles on television) was hesitant about playing a computer program until he found out that Jeff Bridges was signed for the movie. He also signed on due to the fact that this was his first feature film.
Tron was originally conceived as part of a demo video for Steven Lisberger's new Boston-based animation studio, and was later sold to a radio station for a TV advertising campaign. In the video, a luminescent character hurled two frisbee-like discs out at the viewer, and caught them on their return in an anthropomorphic tribute to Pong. This character was named "Electronic Man", from which was drawn the nickname "Tron". It was generated entirely using an animation-masking technique that caused selected areas of the screen to glow vividly and brightly, a method for which Lisberger had a particular affinity. The character of Tron was subsequently incorporated into Lisberger's vision of a heroic defender of freedom living inside a digital world. It wasn't until after the movie that he found out that programming languages such as BASIC used a debugging command called TRON which literally meant "Trace On" - and allowed the programmer or user to watch code execute.
The 1982 Bally Midway coin-operated video arcade TRON's ending credits show the term: TRON, "To Run On Nothing", as the last line of the credits when the user completes all 12 levels of the game.
- Tron shows signs of left handedness.