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25 Years Ago: The Best Genre Year Ever, Part II! Harry Remembers TRON!

Hey, everyone. "Moriarty" here. I published the first article in this series a couple of weeks ago, and the reaction to it was pretty great. Nordling kicked it off with his look back at the summer of E.T., and I talked a bit about my preoccupation with getting around the ratings of movies as a 12-year-old movie geek. Of course, this was before I was a movie geek. It’s before I’d ever heard the term movie geek. Fandom was much lonelier when I was growing up. Sure, I had friends who were big fans of various things, but not everyone, and certainly the guys who were really movie crazy the same way I was were few and far between. At the age of 12, I was living in Chattanooga, Tennessee, and I felt like I was a million miles from all the things that I was interested in. I was a weird kid, already desperate to get closer to the way movies were made. I read everything I could get my hands on. I treated each new issue of STARLOG like homework, devouring it several times over until I could regurgitate the material within. I loved the coverage of the cinematographers, the production designers, the FX guys. I loved seeing behind the curtain. I wanted to know who helped create these amazing worlds I was seeing when I went to the theater. I remember reading about TRON and thinking it sounded like a big crazy hoax. Like there was no way they were really doing what they said they were doing. They said they were going to make a movie about a guy who gets sucked into a computer, and it was going to be like MARY POPPINS, but for the stuff inside the computer, all the animation... was going to be done by a computer! It just wasn’t possible. I was pretty nuts about video games, and I had seen what the best graphics at the time were like, and I was sure that in my infinite-12-year-old wisdom, I knew what the limitations of the computer were because of my time spent in an arcade. The first time I saw TRON, having already played the videogame and having already heard the score and having already memorized every still released, I wanted to make sure it was going to be the best. So I talked my parents into a trip to the Chattanooga Choo-Choo, the only 70MM screen in the area. It was a giant single screen complex, designed to be part of the tourist attraction. And they typically booked event movies. Despite the presence of the hotel and the theater, the area around that part of downtown Chattanooga was, politely put, pretty shitty. Even so, my parents turned the day into an event, braving a trip a few blocks into the neighborhood for lunch at an Italian dive called Mom’s that was, according to my Dad, the best Italian food in the city. And afterwards, stuffed with a meatball sammich and ripe with hype, I pretty much lost my mind for the movie. More importantly, for the way the movie looked. It was 2001 for the videogame generation, and it rocked me. When I first started talking to Harry about doing this series, I knew I wanted Harry to be the one to write about TRON, and when he heard the premise for the articles, he immediately IM’d me back: “I get TRON, fucker.” He showed it at BNAT for a reason... he loooooooves this movie. Unabashedly and completely. He gets why this one felt so important that summer. He remembers... and that’s what this series is all about. So here’s Big Red hisself, tearing it up as only he can.
1982. That was the last year that I was wholly innocent. The last year my family was together. The last year that my friends were forever. My last full year in Austin, till college. It was the year Prince released 1999 and that year seemed forever away. It was the year that had me singing “Who Can It Be Now?” and referring to Australia as “The Land Down Under.” I was “Hungry Like a Wolf,” and Michael Jackson became one in his “Thriller” video. The world was just dealing out coolness left and right. There were new video game systems with wildly advancing graphics and David Letterman debuted on Late Night after Carson. It was the year KNIGHT RIDER, CHEERS and REMINGTON STEELE hit the air. It was the year STAR WARS officially hit Home Video. The year I read Stephen King’s DIFFERENT SEASONS and discovered Shawshank, Apt Pupil and The Body. It was also the year that blew my mind totally in theaters. When Drew asked me to write about 1982, I demanded to write about TRON. It wasn’t the best film of 1982, but to me... it was the one that most influenced the rest of my life. I was 10 years old when I saw TRON. 10. That’s an impossibly young age. I had been watching ROCKY III twice a day, right out of school that year. However, I’ll write about that, when I write up ROCKY III and FIRST BLOOD later. Just two weeks before TRON, BLADE RUNNER had blown my mind totally. That had been the first R-rated film I saw by myself. “Yes, I’m 18.” And the box office guy said, “Keep saying that kid!” I was a total arcade junkie at the time. My friends, Roland, Rylan, Josh and the kids I was in Cub Scouts with – all flooded the arcade. And there in the Gold Mine and/or Le Fun (R.I.P. to both) – had been this game TRON. The graphics seemed cool, the music was cooler. But when I read in STARLOG that it was to be a movie, I played with additional vigor. Now remember, this was 1982, the year that Q-BERT, DIG DUG, POLE POSITION and ZAXXON came out. At home my friends and I were playing STAR WARS: THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK trying to get the force as often as possible so the walkers wouldn’t kill us. But TRON was special, it was a Video Game, that was going to become a movie… and in my life experience since – this was the only film that came in the wake of a game, that blew the game totally the fuck away. TRON, the movie made playing Video Games seem important. It hinted at the idea that somehow computers could talk to each other. More than that – it said that inside this connected universe of computers – our souls were seeking out like-minded souls and communicating. Not just that, but that inside that universe, there would be corporate powers, working to homogenize and incorporate programs into their giant Master Control Programs. And then there was TRON, a single program, by a guy with a handle… ALAN 1. And his “character” in this universe was named TRON. And he fought for all the users out there to break the corporate control that attempted to monopolize the free communication of ideas and concepts. This was a Frank Capra populist film with Disney animation and some of the earliest CG out there. It made Computers cool. It made Jeff Bridges cool. However, nothing was nearly as cool as Syd Mead and Moebius’ brilliant design for the TRON universe and the accompanying Wendy Carlos music. It spoke to me. “Little boy, this is the world of COMPUTERS!” That year at Robert E Lee Elementary, they introduced for the first time ever – a series of computers and began teaching us elementary BASIC programming. Other than a simple password program, and a Q&A program about Beans the Magical Fruit, I hadn’t seen much potential for Computers. However, right after TRON, I got my SuperPet with built in tape drive. I also began going to the public library looking for Programs to write. I became obsessed with trying to create and animate a computer stick figure, but my typing skills sucked and made the 14 pages of program impossible to input. But I kept at it. My parents somehow thought my interest in computers was a good thing. The movie made me and countless others dream about the possibilities of computers at a time where it was just next to impossible to get em to do anything cool. 1983’s WARGAMES was the follow-up film that made me realize that I could change my grades and book air flight with a computer and told me I could somehow hook a phone up to my computer and make it do something. But TRON was why I got my first computer. Why I wanted to do something cool with a computer. I wanted to play games at FLYNN’S, and I very much wanted a Light Cycle. And the idea that LOVE could exist in a computer. Well, it was an awesome thought. There’s a whole host of people that respect its history as a groundbreaking film in terms of its use and reliance on CG – but to me – that was the glitz that caught my eye, but it was the ideas the film put forth that really entrenched this film in my mind. The idea of a computer plane of existence is actually the least far fetched of any and all the fake universes. We each forge identities and resist the “MCP” of our choice. I have TRON shoes. I own a 16mm Scope print of TRON. And I’d kill for one of those original TRON discs. It’s a holy grail to me. I think it is amazing that Steve Lisburger hasn’t had Disney begging him to make a sequel to this film. Can you imagine FLYNN today? However, I kinda love that it’s a stand-alone film. It’s a piece of my childhood, one of the pieces that formed a part of my personality that may sometimes have me greet my friends as “programs” and doing Jeff Bridges impersonations and how many chats have I ended with “end of line”? There’s a part of me that imagines all of us “programs” online in glowy Moebius suits. It makes me smile. TRON is a geek’s geek film. It’s one of my faves!
Nicely done, Harry. Reading this made me go out and finally pick up the film on DVD, and I not only watched it, I watched the whole making-of documentary on the second disc. I think I’ve gotten a healthy shot of TRON nostalgia, and you really nailed all the things that made the film such a potent brainbender for a kid that summer, and also the reason the film remains a landmark moment in film technology and animation. Because I took so long putting up this second article, I’m going to be back this weekend with one more, in which Obi-Swan, my co-screenwriter, is going to talk about a film that was tremendously important to a smalltown Pennsylvania boy. I’ll also have my own reviews of TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES, REIGN OVER ME, and SHOOTER up by Friday morning, so I’ve got a lot to do, starting riiiiiiight... now!

Drew McWeeny, Los Angeles

Readers Talkback
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  • March 22, 2007, 6:58 a.m. CST

    FIRST of all neon frisbees are gay!

    by longevitymonk


  • March 22, 2007, 7 a.m. CST

    Tron was GREAT!

    by Dazzler69

    End of line.

  • March 22, 2007, 7:17 a.m. CST


    by MelvintheMopBoy

    No you idiot: scrotumS - plural!

  • March 22, 2007, 7:18 a.m. CST


    by MelvintheMopBoy

    Wrong talkback...

  • March 22, 2007, 7:24 a.m. CST

    Ah, Tron...

    by Rogue Planet

    I remember going up to stay at my aunt's every summer, and she would drop me off at the local movieplex to watch whatever films I wanted. In 1982, it was Tron (along with many others) that got my attention. I remember going out into the cul-de-sac in front of her house and playing "Tron" with the neighborhood kids, throwing a Nerf Boomerang at each other and trying to knock each other out of the game circle. I got hit in the head more times that summer than I have my entire life since, which probably explains more than a few things about me. Still, I will always remember tossing the foam-rubbery "identity disc" at my friends, and becoming a master of catching that sucker with my right hand over my left shoulder. (By the way, watch for Peter Jurasik - the actor who played Londo Mollari in Babylon 5 - in a tiny, tiny role in "Tron" as 'Crom,', one of the computer universe players. If I'm not mistaken, he was in a scene with Bruce Boxleitner - Tron his own self - who later went on to "Babylon 5" as well as John Sheridan. Small universe.) By the way, to this day whenever I see Bruce Boxleitner in a movie, my friends and I still cheer "Bruce Boxleitner IS 'Tron'!"

  • March 22, 2007, 7:33 a.m. CST

    "that's Tron - he fights for the users"

    by newc0253

    because you can't have a proper Tron talkback without that quote appearing somewhere. end of line.

  • March 22, 2007, 7:40 a.m. CST

    to this day, apart from people getting stuck in a

    by emeraldboy

    computer, i have never been able to fathom what Tron was about. Disney were always on the cutting edge and that film was mind blowing, especially the parts in the computer.

  • March 22, 2007, 7:43 a.m. CST


    by NudeandAroused

    A landmark movie. Correct me if Im wrong, but not without a solid Babylon 5 connnection either.

  • March 22, 2007, 7:43 a.m. CST

    Can you imagine the execs you saw that first

    by emeraldboy

    Young man tell man, when did you stop taking LSD.

  • March 22, 2007, 7:50 a.m. CST

    Did the Tron video game really predate the movie?

    by Pound Sand

    Because I remember it the other way around. I never saw anybody really good at Tron, most people, including myself petered out around the third tank wave. My favorite two-player arcade game ever was a game called RIP-OFF, which intensity-wise made Tron look like a game of tic tac toe.

  • March 22, 2007, 7:53 a.m. CST

    Tron invented cyberspace, not William Gibson:

    by newc0253

    god knows why Gibson gets so much credit for supposedly inventing the concept, when Tron was the real embodiment of the idea.

  • March 22, 2007, 7:55 a.m. CST

    but then Al Gore invented the Internet:

    by newc0253

    so i guess that means Al Gore was ultimately responsible for Tron. God bless that man.

  • March 22, 2007, 7:58 a.m. CST

    Terrific one, Harry!

    by Nordling

    In my first (and only) year of college, I had the rec room's TRON game rigged to play free games. Between classes, and later, during classes, I would play to my heart's content. Lightcycles kick ass!

  • March 22, 2007, 8:04 a.m. CST


    by PutZ

    I moved to Chattanooga for a year in 99' Mom's is still around, and your Dad was right it is some of the best italian in town! I worked at the TVA towers which were just like a block over. We'd go about once a week for lunch. As of 99 it was still ran by Mom and her family. Several short lil Italian ladies in there 70's makin the best pizza around. Ahh, I suddenly have the munchies.....

  • March 22, 2007, 8:04 a.m. CST

    Micheal Jackson didn't turn into a wolf...

    by Frijole

    He was more like a were-lynx. A monster, yes... but definitely not a werewolf. Nice write up though... not quite on the level of the E.T. one, but still nice. Why does Harry always have to equate his love for a movie with the amount of merchandise he owned from it?

  • March 22, 2007, 8:34 a.m. CST

    I used to have two Intellivision Tron Games...

    by Manos

    The first was a Disk battle with a little blue Tron and a bunch of red bad guys. The second had Tron threading his way through a computer to get to the MCP. Anybody remember those games, or the titles?

  • March 22, 2007, 8:42 a.m. CST

    That's cool.. Harry's reaction to Tron is like mine..

    by Cotton McKnight

    to Star Wars. Except I was 3 when I saw it and it REALLY changed my life. Nice article.

  • March 22, 2007, 8:55 a.m. CST


    by Phimseto

    Yeah, those games were great. I had an Atari version of one of those, too.

  • March 22, 2007, 8:59 a.m. CST


    by Redfive!

    Tron is making its rounds in california at The Flashback flicks series in certain cities in California. I knows its playing in Clovis soon and Sacramento will probally get it next then Visalia then down south.Long Live Flynn

  • March 22, 2007, 9:06 a.m. CST

    I was the same age as Harry when I saw Tron...

    by Rendell

    And the design and concept of that movie just blew my mind! Loved the tanks, the Lightcycles and even the Randomizers. Still have the two arcade games on MAME on my MAC, the sound effects and music are terrific. Although if memory serves didn't the "Discs of Tron" game come out a few years after the movie? Its graphics look considerably more advanced for a game in 1982.

  • March 22, 2007, 9:15 a.m. CST

    Got TRON too

    by BetaSword

    Well, i've got Tron too, and even the TRON 2.0-Game alltogether with the Tron-2.0-Frisbee(needed to request this at the store). I've played through the Game, and got most of the Sub in Gold. It was pretty nice, seeing all those Computer-Environments ingame.

  • March 22, 2007, 9:26 a.m. CST

    Come back, Starlog magazine

    by rev_skarekroe

    The world needs you.

  • March 22, 2007, 9:42 a.m. CST

    "There are no problems. Only solutions."

    by Acne Scarface

    any1 remember the tomy handheld game? had that & the light cycle, tron, sark figures. used to have music class in 3rd or 4th grade where students could bring in a record to play each week. brought the soundtrack, had a sista dancin' to journey. good times.

  • March 22, 2007, 9:43 a.m. CST


    by SPECTRE Agent

    Peter Griffin: "What was the name of that bad guy from Tron? Ugh, this is gonna drive me nuts..."

  • March 22, 2007, 9:43 a.m. CST

    The internet is for porn

    by Fecal Debris

    First and foremost, everything personal computers are today may be traced back to guys wanted to share pictures of nekkid ladies

  • March 22, 2007, 9:48 a.m. CST

    Hey Phimseto

    by Fecal Debris

    You can get all the Intellivision games on a single CD now for like $10 bucks. Or download and play many mimes of them online. Atari has licensed similar "best of arcade" CD best-ofs. The nostaligia is great, but one minute into playing you'll be like, "I can't believe these were once the pinnacle of computer graphics."

  • March 22, 2007, 9:51 a.m. CST

    Ah, RAM...We Hardly Knew Ye...*sniff*

    by uss cygnus

    "Flynn...Help Tron." Immortal.

  • March 22, 2007, 9:52 a.m. CST

    How were we that lucky?

    by brattain

    When I was 5 years old: Jaws. 7, Star Wars. 10, Empire. 11, Raiders (yea, baby). 12, Khan/Blade Runner. 13, Jedi (totally delivered for me). 14, Temple of Doom (way better than Last Crusade, which is way better than 90% of today's crap). 15, Back to the Future. 16, Aliens. And you know I'm leaving out a ton of other great movies in those years. THAT was my childhood. I feel sorry for the kids who's "big movies" are the likes of Independence Day and Armageddon.

  • March 22, 2007, 9:54 a.m. CST

    HOMER: Uh, ever see that movie "Tron"?

    by Osmosis Jones

    "No." "No." "No." "No." "No." "No." "No." "No." "No." "No." "No." "No." "No." "Yes." [laughs nervously] "Ah, I mean no."

  • March 22, 2007, 10:04 a.m. CST

    Tron 2 and/or a Tron remake WILL be made soon

    by CarmillaVonDoom

    Just a matter of time!

  • March 22, 2007, 10:05 a.m. CST

    I love Tron. Loved it as a kid. Still love it today.

    by CrichtonAstronut

    It's brilliantly contructed cyberworld is still about the best on the big screen. The logic behind how things work in the computer world. User Powers and Flynn as Jesus thing was cool too. Playing off the Star Wars Savior plan. The MCP voice is still creepy as hell. Next to Tron all other NetWorld environments seemed like pretenders. I too found myself hoping for a sequel. I remember Peter Jurasik now, I'd never made the connection before. Bruce Boxleitner was brilliant here as he was in B5. Didn't the guy who play Sark/Dillinger play some kind of Priest on Babylon 5 seraching for the Holy Grail. Tron was a favorite of mine and still holds up well today. Speaking Disney scifi, anyone remembver The Black Hole. Creepy dude from Psycho, Vincent, Rineheart and those creepy lobotomized zombie cyborgs. The idea of robots running a ship where humans are reduced to drones was one of the more evokative and disturbing images of my young fiction consuming life. Rineheart's Ahab and "Norman Bate's" crisis of conscience were well played too. But Maxamillian really hit the top of my personal inography of menace. He was like Darth Vade on stertoids. And all the creepier 'cause he didn' talk. And even the sight of him wasn't as scary as seeing the lobotomization process than turn people into machines working for the robots. And then of course the black hole itself in all it dark swirling glory. This movie really solidified my love for the scifi genre. Never thought it got enough credit for a pre-Matrix pre Terminator machine run world.

  • March 22, 2007, 10:07 a.m. CST

    Great article Harry, Mori. Question.

    by CarmillaVonDoom

    Do you guys know anyone of age who got to see VIDEODROME in theaters?? And who knew what it portended?? That would be a great write up for this series imo. Please, keep these coming. xoxo

  • March 22, 2007, 10:09 a.m. CST

    So weird... I just watched this the other night

    by GiggityGoo

    I was feeling nostalgiac myself, so I pulled "Tron" off the shelf. I enjoyed revisiting it, but once it was over... I realized it was time to let it go. So it's now in my Amoeba trade-in pile. Don't get me wrong, it's fun, and imaginative... but it just doesn't hold up for me.<p>Still, gotta love David Warner, the go-to guy for early 80s adversaries.

  • March 22, 2007, 10:12 a.m. CST


    by George Peppard

    is a beautiful movie, and I don't even like computers. The grainy black and white film plus the lurid computer graphics is a fantastic combination. I love that chocolate in my peanut butter. The story is tight and relatable-the guy just wants to nail his boss! (the dude just wants his rug back). Bridges gives an amazing performance. All those clowns who complain about bluescreen work and how it makes for stiff performances can eat it. Bridges kills and he did the whole thing looking at a black curtain. And please. No. Remake.

  • March 22, 2007, 10:19 a.m. CST

    TRON rocked

    by jrbarker

    It was one of the first movies I remember seeing theatrically. It blew my mind. The doc on the DVD is great.

  • March 22, 2007, 10:20 a.m. CST

    I never saw this.

    by Z-Man

    I hate it when people come into a talkback and post some know-it-all contrarian comment just to piss everyone off, but I just thought this movie looked horrible. And I still do. That neon-y look is just so incredibly...stupid. And the idea of someone being stuck in a computer program just seemed so...dumb. Like the premise for some Sid & Marty Kroft show or something. Consider me perplexed.

  • March 22, 2007, 10:23 a.m. CST

    I wish they'd do a remake or a sequel

    by frenchtoastmanifesto

    I love TRON. It was such an influential film in my writing career. Come on, Disney, get a TRON project into production!

  • March 22, 2007, 10:40 a.m. CST

    This may be a little nitpicky...

    by purplemonkeydw

    but does Harry need his articles prefaced, and concluded like that? It's still his site right? He can just write articles and post them, yeah? Harry, are you about to start referring to yourself in the third person? Things are getting weird...

  • March 22, 2007, 10:46 a.m. CST


    by Motoko Kusanagi

    Man, I just LOVE this movie!!!

  • March 22, 2007, 11:33 a.m. CST

    There is a sequel

    by gusradio

    For Xbox or PC... Tron 2.0

  • March 22, 2007, 11:33 a.m. CST

    I remember all that shit, too

    by Kentucky Colonel

    Wasn't that Parker Brother's ESB videogame the tits? Speaking of tits, that was the year I first copped a feel. Anita Tharp was her name. we used to make out under the fiberglass cheeseburgers at the "new" McDonalds at the corner of Bruce Avenue & Third Street road. Those fiberglass burgers are still there, but I last saw Anita in 1986. I hope she's doing well. Great kisser. That was also the year of "Bark at the Moon", I believe. "Sister Christian", too. And my first concert...Girlschool, Night Ranger and Quiet Riot. Going to school at Lyman T. Johnson Middle. And Tron. Oh boy TRON. My nickname in the 8th grade was Flynn. I'd had my Commodore VIC20 and got the 64 the day it came out. I was on all the bulletin boards, much to my mom's chagrin (will you please turn that damned computer off....I need to make a call!). Louisville's Commodore Connection (Bob Myers) and the Pirate's Cove (Jeff Baxter, not the one from the Doobie Bros) were real big in my cirlce. I had two or three copies of the TRON STARLOG, cut them to pieces and made my own TRON posters. I had the action figures (still have the Flynn figure) and the rip-cord fueled lightcycle. My stepbrother & I used to crash them into each other (fools!). That was indeed a magic summer. I pull out the DVD about every four months or so and give it a spin. I was crushed when I got to TRON PC game and couldn't play it cause my graphics were lacking (still are). A new TRON movie would be nice, but unless done by true believers it could also be ball crushingly bad. Great piece...keep em coming!

  • March 22, 2007, 11:42 a.m. CST

    No problems....only solutions

    by Kentucky Colonel

    Great line....written by John Lennon. "Watching the Wheels" from Double Fantasy. Somebody please string (he-who-must-not-be-named) up by the balls and go mideval on his ass. Couldn't you have just as easily killed Ringo instead? Lennon was supposed to play Dr. Hawking (aka Steven Hume) in Wargames, but he didn't get to, did he (fucker!). You can see the Pac-Man cameo on the widescreen DVD. End of Line.

  • March 22, 2007, 11:47 a.m. CST

    I Stole A TRON Poster From A Theater. Smashed The...

    by Buzz Maverik

    ...display and cheesed it before the cops showed up. I was the only person at my stupid university to have an actual movie poster on my wall. The TRON games actually kind of sucked, though. They were a pain in the ass to play when you had Tempest, Zaxxon, Burger Time, Centipede in the arcades. They were better in idea than in execution, sort of like the movie. I loved the movie, but it was a guilty pleasure. I liked the freakiness about it, the WIZARD OF OZ dual identities, and I really consider it to be the unsung inspiration for THE MAXTIX. Dug the visuals. Liked the positivity. Bridges, Boxleitner and Warner were cool. Cindy Morgan was hot...not as hot as she was as Ted Knight's nympho niece in CADDYSHACK, but...Light cycle action sequence was great. But I gotta tell ya...I was 18 years old and I played a shitload of arcade games as well as being obsessed with filmmaking and it bothered me how little the filmmakers knew about video games. I mean, how could that stuff hold up to Defender or Galaga or even Astro Blaster? I liked the semi-STAR WARS spirit, but even then, I felt the dialog was like STAR WARS if Lucas had actually written it. Thank Gawd for help from the Film Brat generation, ya know? They rereleased STAR WARS in theaters at the time and you could compare 'em. Most of the stuff they had Flynn doing in the computer was cringe worthy. He diverted a beam and jumped into infinity or something? Based on what? I liked the Flynn character but it's like Flynn's action was written by a child and Tron's action was written by a filmmaker. I bought the TRON DVD and my kids and I love it, though. You can see TRON's influence in stuff like SPY KIDS 3D, etc. Gotta check out THE BLACK HOLE again...

  • March 22, 2007, 11:58 a.m. CST

    tron in london, england.

    by mrvannostrand

    when i was ten years old i went to see tron in leicester square (think times square with 5 huge cinemas) every sunday for seven weeks in a row. 70mm print in a gigantic 'odeon' screen. heaven.

  • March 22, 2007, 12:20 p.m. CST

    Ah, The 80's......

    by emeraldboy

    Navan, the trips to cork, Savoy cinema, the ambassador, seeing walt disney films for the first time, going to see Hammond's Dodgy spiderman, tv- movie on the big screen, hunt for red october, Being creeped out by the Watcher in the woods ads. Gremlins, ghostbusters. The Indy movies and finally seeing the Three Amigos. Back to the future. I remember the excitement of Savoy's big announcement of having the largest screen in Ireland. That was more the 1990's. Before every film in the Savoy they would play Henry Mancini's Cinema Fantastique. Great once not so the tenth.

  • March 22, 2007, 12:21 p.m. CST

    Tron was a very disappointing film

    by Rupee88

    I remember looking forward to it, but it was just very underwhelming.

  • March 22, 2007, 12:24 p.m. CST

    One Correction

    by utz_world

    MJ's "Thriller" video dropped in Christmas 1983...not 1982.

  • March 22, 2007, 12:31 p.m. CST

    What d'ya wanna bet?

    by zoomddy

    Disney will find out people still dig Tron, and will either do a prequel (Tron was just a kilobyte in his father's eye) or rerelease it to theaters with "all new special effects . . . superbadassandcool!"

  • March 22, 2007, 12:35 p.m. CST

    End of Line...

    by Lennard

    heh I have that as a wav clip when my PC shuts down.

  • March 22, 2007, 12:45 p.m. CST

    Tron Deadly Discs

    by Mike Fornes

    That Intellivision could heat the entire family room after a few hours. That Regonizer's eye was tough to hit. Mori's intro reads like an appplication to Tron college.

  • March 22, 2007, 12:47 p.m. CST

    I didn't like Tron first.

    by DerLanghaarige

    But I was 10 or so, when I saw it for the first time. Meanwhile I love it :)

  • March 22, 2007, 12:51 p.m. CST

    nicely written Harry.

    by mr. brownstone

    that brought me back.

  • March 22, 2007, 1:20 p.m. CST

    Thriller video came out in December 1983

    by Moa Kaka

    Not 1982. Sure, if you just google "1982" you'll get references to Thriller because the ALBUM was released in Dec. 1982. But that famous video that Harry recalls watching in 1982 wasn't released until a year later. Describing memories are great - but they shouldbe true memories and not stuff you looked up on google.

  • March 22, 2007, 1:29 p.m. CST

    Thriller video is from late 83, but mostly 84

    by Orionsangels

    Sorry, had to be said

  • March 22, 2007, 1:31 p.m. CST

    ROCKY III is from 83

    by Orionsangels

    Get your facts straight. Someones lying here!

  • March 22, 2007, 1:40 p.m. CST

    without 'Wendy Carlos' TRON would be nothing!

    by Orionsangels

    Her score is the most unique film score ever composed. Harry did you check out the alternate version of the lightcycle sequence, but with a score? I'm not sure I like it better than the original, but it's damn interesting how it changes the scene. How do I feel about TRON? I was 9 at the time. TRON to me was the peak of that golden era of video games. I watch TRON today and I feel 9 again and I'm in an Arcade and it smells like sweat and popcorn and so many bleeps and blip sounds are exploding into my ears. I can't hear myself think, but that's ok, because I'm wandering my local Arcade. Silver Ball in NJ and I'm walking toward Galaga.

  • March 22, 2007, 1:45 p.m. CST

    Damn, apparently Rocky III was from 82

    by Orionsangels

    Okay, my bad. I saw it on cable in 83. That's why I always associate it with 1983.

  • March 22, 2007, 1:48 p.m. CST

    So many great memories.

    by Wingnut1A

    Just for the record: they were called Recognizers, not Randomizers ;) * One of my all-time favorites. Wendy Carlos' score still thrills me. * Does anyone remember the Tron Videogame area in the Starcade in Disneyland? Or the lightcycle section of the PeopleMover ride? * Also, there is a comic book of Tron currently in production. Issue 3 is coming out soon. * 1982 was definitly the best genre year of all time.

  • March 22, 2007, 1:52 p.m. CST

    About the Wendy Carlos score

    by Wingnut1A

    If anyone is interested, check out the Wendy Carlos Homepage. There is a great story about how the original Tron music master tapes were almost lost forever, and the quite low-tech way they were able to save them.

  • March 22, 2007, 1:53 p.m. CST

    Robert E Lee

    by garcicr

    Dude if he is talking bout the school in Dallas I totally went there but I started in 85 our rivals was were the kids at Stone Wall Jackson wow South Vs North ha ha we had the neigbor hoods and they had the Deaf kidz ahh memories. Saw Tron once and Ive had to many beers since then so cant coment on it.

  • March 22, 2007, 2:29 p.m. CST

    In High school...

    by Somerichs

    or was it Junior High (? I was a freshman in 85, FYI), my computer teacher showed Tron to the class as a way of teaching us all the different computer terminology (RAM, ROM, etc). Kinda cool, actually. While i don't recall actually seeing this movie in the theater, i played the hell out of the video game in the arcades, and had that crazy Intellivision one, not the disk one, but the other one someone mentioned. Played that all the time, too, even though i couldn't figure out what the fuck was going on to save my life. I even plugged my intellivision back in about 10 years or so ago and played it again and STILL couldn't figure out what the fuck was going on. Still didn't stop me from spending a good two hours playing it, though... :) Good series of stories, you guys, keep em comin! (born in 71, 11 in 82...niiiiiice).

  • March 22, 2007, 2:32 p.m. CST

    Harry, you got it.

    by briantag

    Right on, with all the references. Starlog, the videogames, the other movies, the songs. Everything I would have listed. It's eerie. Even the BASIC computer classes at school (and for me, summer computer camp). I remember seeing Tron first, and then the videogame was in the movie theatre lobby. My dad gave me 10 bucks and told me to bring back change (I think the ticket was about 3 or 4 dollars). I spent all the other money on quarters for the videogame. He was piss-ed off-ed!

  • March 22, 2007, 2:47 p.m. CST

    TRON was interesting

    by council estate scumbag

    historically speaking dat is. at the time it was a pile of shit. it smelt like my auntie Brenda's bras. now time has shown this fucking film is alright and brought forth many talents we now look up to. but i still dont wanna buy (or steal) this hulking historical antelope crap. its like asking me to sit thru popeye with robin williams again. i got so fucking angry i puched the tv and broke it, and my hand. wouldnt have minded but it werent my fucking house. it was this bird that i was tryna crack into and she told me to leave after that.

  • March 22, 2007, 2:48 p.m. CST

    the preface to Harry's writeup...

    by omarthesnake

    was rather blatantly jammed in so Moriarty could shove his memories of Tron down all our throats rather than just let Harry say his thing and get on with it.

  • March 22, 2007, 2:53 p.m. CST

    I own one of the 10,000 made Arcade Games

    by ElectricDreams

    Before the July 9th premiere of TRON, the best way to introdce the world of TRON was thru an arcade game based on the film. Disney teamed w/ Bally to create and distribute 10,000 units thru their arcades nationwide. My dad back in the mid-80's bought an arcade that was going out of business and re-sold some of the machines, but for a long time my house was the coolest in the neighborhood. My friends would pile over after school to play Dig Dug, Zaxxon, Frogger, Sea Wolf, TRON and others. Eventually more and more of the games vanished from my home over the years. The last to go was the table-top Donkey Kong which even then referred to Mario only as "the Plumber". Now sitting at my dad's house in Florida are the sacred TRON arcade game and a table top Space Invaders. 2 generations have played that game and I see my little cousins who are the same age as I was when I 1st started playing, now zooming light cycles and shooting grid bugs. TRON is a huge staple in my life as well...

  • March 22, 2007, 3:09 p.m. CST

    Earliest Oscar Memory...

    by nancyreagan

    I remember watching the Oscars back in '83 and getting really pissed when Ghandi won best costuming over Tron. The bald guy wrapped in a sheet beats neon fucking body suits and bike helmets? I've never been able to take the Oscars seriously since.

  • March 22, 2007, 3:14 p.m. CST

    I hope you're kidding council...

    by Frijole

    If not, you sound like a real dimwit.

  • March 22, 2007, 3:16 p.m. CST

    I had no idea that

    by Nordling

    TRON was nominated for Best Costumes. Looking back now it's pretty damn obvious it should have won that award. Also, the prefaces are great, imo. They lead in perfectly.

  • March 22, 2007, 3:18 p.m. CST

    TRON Intellivision games (and more)

    by cyberskunk

    One was TRON Deadly Discs another was TRON Maze-a-Tron. Yet another (I think) that I never played was a Solar Sailor game. I have a dim recollection it was supposed to use speech. I did not like Maze-a-TRON. I liked Deadly Discs. I liked Discs of TRON in the arcade, where you played against Sark, and he'd say stuff and vairations of stuff from the movie. "Had enough? Bring in the logic probe. We'll get, you it's only a matter of time!" In the first arcade game, the levels were named after programming languages. After a number of languages, it went to USER and stopped there. I did not think it was possible to destroy all the grid bugs, but it was. when this happens, the sound of your going up the I/O tower rose to a much higher pitch. When you destroyed all the grid bugs, the game drags you into the tower. <p> Did you know there is a free light cycle game? GLTRON! Woo! And someone has a Space Paranoids inspired game. I don't remember where that is. <p> Disneyland's extinct People Mover used to have a TRON section of ride. What was at one point a high speed tunnel became TRON. You'd hear a voice issuing a warning and then all these images from TRON would be displayed on the walls of the tunnel as your people mover went by. Then the voice would issue some other hostile announcement as you left, I think. <p> I wish Disneyland would make a dedicated TRON ride. You know how in Journey through Innerspace, in line, there'd be little scientific blurbs posted here and there for people to see? There could be information about computing hardware and software basics and how these have advanced over time. And people could be 'digitized' in groups like in the stretching room of the haunted mansion, and then there'd be a bunch of black-lit designs on the walls as you walked to the sit-down portion of the ride. Although it'd probably look hokey. <p> Here's the MCP singing Gerry Rafferty: "It's been you, wo-man, right down the end of line."

  • March 22, 2007, 3:22 p.m. CST

    Great one, Your HeadGeekiness

    by MemBirdman

    To this day, I type, "Greetings Programs," whenever I join a group of people online. That we're living in a world where the universe in the computer makes sense makes Tron all the more special.

  • March 22, 2007, 3:28 p.m. CST

    Acne Scarface - TOMY game

    by Sir Loin

    Yep, I remember that handheld game and still have it, in fact! I think it still works...

  • March 22, 2007, 3:28 p.m. CST

    TRON FUNKING BLOW! (More cheers more beers!)

    by Flim Springfield


  • March 22, 2007, 3:29 p.m. CST

    Dillinger's desk was awesome

    by Sir Loin

    I love how it shows a pre-Web interface, complete with images from around the world mixed in with computer graphics. Plus that flat, back-lit keyboard. Always wanted a desk like that.

  • March 22, 2007, 3:35 p.m. CST

    they need to re-release TRON on IMAX

    by Sir Loin

    Wouldn't that rock? Also, if you can find those old STARLOGs, they are a blast to read.

  • March 22, 2007, 3:38 p.m. CST

    I hope you're kidding council...

    by Frijole

    If not, you sound like a real dimwit.

  • March 22, 2007, 3:44 p.m. CST

    Whoops... How'd THAT happen?

    by Frijole

    Cindy Morgan anyone? Hachi Machi!!!

  • March 22, 2007, 3:48 p.m. CST


    by drew mcweeny

    "Jammed in"? Ummm... I had the idea for the series of articles, and I've organized all the various writers contributing, and the whole point was always for me to edit a series of pieces. And, yes, write "jammed in" introductions to each. <P>It is amazing what someone will decide to be a douchebag about in talkback. Congratulations on being the most arbitrary dickhead today.

  • March 22, 2007, 4:09 p.m. CST

    "Tron" was access restricted in my house...

    by Bones

    Report to Dillinger!<p> My mom told me I couldn't go see it because it looked "too loud and was obviously unrealistic about computers". I was nine years old and crushed. I had been cutting out and saving the comic strip adaptation that had been running in our newspaper, had been following it in Starlog and had played the video game in the arcade (yes the game came out first). I was beside myself to see it.<p> Then, my dad told me he would take me and we saw it at the only 70mm theatre in Columbus Ohio. You have to love the perks of being a child of divorce, when parents will willing defy each other in an attempt to win your love!<p> It was awesome. My first forbidden fruit and it tasted sweet. I kept Tron memorabilia hidden in my room the way some people hide their porn stache...Gross, I know--but if you are going to rebel against authority, isn't it nice that it was something as benign as "Tron"? A few years later, my mom caught Tron on the Disney channel--and loved it. I had to laugh when she asked "Why didn't we see this in the theatre?"<p> Oh, Mom!

  • March 22, 2007, 4:15 p.m. CST

    Best TRON Arcade game was...

    by moto

    TRON : DISK... something like that. The one where you actually stepped into it, and it was all about disk battles between Tron(you) and the red dudes. FUCKING best Arcade game experience in my mind. Really an amped up version of Pong, but just awesome.

  • March 22, 2007, 4:15 p.m. CST

    Best TRON Arcade game was...

    by moto

    TRON : DISK... something like that. The one where you actually stepped into it, and it was all about disk battles between Tron(you) and the red dudes. FUCKING best Arcade game experience in my mind. Really an amped up version of Pong, but just awesome.

  • March 22, 2007, 4:18 p.m. CST

    Tron Begins

    by Jonesey1111

    They've done it with every other franchise.

  • March 22, 2007, 4:21 p.m. CST

    It wouldn't be TRON BEGINS

    by Nordling

    it would be TRON RELOADED - er, nevermind.

  • March 22, 2007, 4:26 p.m. CST

    Saw it again last year at The Castro Theater...

    by Zardoz

    It was a sold-out show and the audience LOVED it! (I kept the special ticket and convinced the ticket-taker not to tear it!)I was 12 when I saw it at the Robert E. Lee Theater in New Orleans. We all played the shit out of the video game. Every once in a while I still find a working one someplace and just have to play it. Good times! End of line...

  • March 22, 2007, 5:28 p.m. CST

    Yep, best Tron Game: Discs of Tron

    by Doc_Strange

    That had to be one of the BEST arcade games ever. I just loved trying to hit Sark while we both jumped from platform to platform. If you have the MAME arcade emulator, it's still available for download along with pretty much every other arcade game made in the last 30-40 years. But Discs of Tron will always be up there with Punch Out, Dragons Lair, and Space Ace. As for the film, I pop it in every now and then. I think it holds up remarkably well and Jeff Bridges will always be Flynn to me. The same goes for Bruce Boxleitner. On a last note, if you haven't played Tron 2.0, you're missing out on some serious eye candy. Good game.

  • March 22, 2007, 5:58 p.m. CST

    This movie is great. It would still work if

    by superninja

    they touched up the effects and just gave it modern bookends. The actual computer world could use some peopling, though.

  • March 22, 2007, 6:03 p.m. CST

    emeraldboy, Tron is a great intelligent design movie.

    by superninja

    It's about salvation and hope. "Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known."

  • March 22, 2007, 6:22 p.m. CST


    by williamD

    I turned 16 that year, and I saw some GOOD movies that year!FAST TIMES, E.T., Oh yeah!

  • March 22, 2007, 6:31 p.m. CST

    I'm jealous, Sir Loin!

    by Acne Scarface

    & if u get it workin' again, as u play, remember "it's all in ze wrists!"

  • March 22, 2007, 7:23 p.m. CST

    Chattanooga! hahahah i grew up there too

    by mdforehand

    I live in san francisco designing games now, but man let me just say that chattanooga is as far from anything exciting as you can get.

  • March 22, 2007, 7:25 p.m. CST

    Now that is a big door!

    by kwisatzhaderach

    One of the best movie lines ever. Tron is awesome...and Jeff Bridges is a legend!

  • March 22, 2007, 7:28 p.m. CST


    by smylexx

    You know, i'm loving the nostalgia trips.Purrrrrleeeease do more of them. But you know, it's sorta making me a little sad too. I was just thinking back over the last 20 years and i really cant think of a sci-fi flick that even comes close to stuff such as Blade Runner, The Thing, Silent Running and Tron... (im not counting Jurassic Park cos it doesnt have spaceships or flashy spacesuits in it) Maybe i'm wrong but has there been a REALLY good sci-fi flick in the last 15 years? (if you mention ID4, i'll hurt you with a spork, i mean it... i have a spork around here somewhere).

  • March 22, 2007, 7:30 p.m. CST


    by smylexx

    By the way, if you do actualy answer my question, it will be as if i've been touched by a geek-god and my life will be complete. No really, i mean it. No, i do. Stop looking at me like that.

  • March 22, 2007, 7:52 p.m. CST

    Clash of the Titans rocks. That movie

    by superninja

    is great.

  • March 22, 2007, 7:52 p.m. CST

    Clash of the Titans is better than

    by superninja

    the last two Matrix movies, hah hah.

  • March 22, 2007, 8:14 p.m. CST

    Clash of the Titans

    by Doc_Strange

    Is one of the GREATEST movies of all time. I remember seeing it in a double feature along with Dragonslayer. How could you not love the mythology, the great characters and creatures? Who could forget Calibos? The Ferry Man and Medusa still give me the creeps. I still get chills when her head is turning the Kraken to stone at the end. Awesome stuff. Too bad they never released a worthwhile DVD, just that back catalogue, single disc with no extras. Lame.

  • March 22, 2007, 8:28 p.m. CST

    What is a Tron? Does it have

    by Bronx Cheer


  • March 22, 2007, 9:18 p.m. CST

    uh.. the TRON ARCADE GAME was BASED on the movie...

    by Hideo Kojima

    not the other way around... research much?

  • March 22, 2007, 9:38 p.m. CST

    Sorry, TomBodet...

    by DocPazuzu your work, but it's Bubo the magical R2-D2 owl, and Hungry like the Wolf DID actually come out in ´82.

  • March 22, 2007, 9:42 p.m. CST

    Lowly dogs!

    by DocPazuzu

    Bow before the awesome might of... The Tron Guy: .... I can't believe we've gone this far in a Tron TB without this legendary link being posted. Be warned, however - you'll never be the same again...

  • March 22, 2007, 9:44 p.m. CST

    end of line, indeed:

    by DocPazuzu

  • March 22, 2007, 10:17 p.m. CST

    Hideo Kojima...

    by Bones

    Yes, The TRON video game was BASED on the film TRON...but it was released into arcades BEFORE the movie came out, as a way to drum up interest in the movie...and make some cash of it's own. In fact, the arcade game was more successful than the film that spawned it, leading to the "Discs of Tron" video game the next year.<p> The coolest thing about Discs of Tron, was that the image of the discs was reflected on a piece of glass, so it looked like the discs you fought on floated like a stuff...

  • March 22, 2007, 10:49 p.m. CST

    TRON Deadly Discs Intellivision game

    by cyberskunk

    You could hold up your disc like a shield to block incoming discs, which could be broken. Occasionally, a recognizer would appear and send something out to paralyze you while it repaired exits so you couldn't warp from one side of the screen to the other through them. <p> If you did well enough in the game, it'd stop sending out disc-wielding guys to fight you, and you'd instead get the guards from the movie with their stun staves. They each took a few hits with your disc to destroy, but if they touched you, you'd be paralyzed and the game would end. I liked this game. You only had a single disc, but you could cancel a throw and get it coming back to you whenever you wanted.

  • March 22, 2007, 11:14 p.m. CST

    Good memories....

    by MattXFLexicon

    I remember seeing TRON with my Dad when it was released in 82. I still have a soft spot for it. Wendy Carlos' score is one of the most seemless uses of synth music with an orchestral score and choir. While the plot and characterizations are a little thin, that was beside the point. It was really a film about ideas, it's interesting it predicted sort of, thematically at least, the rise of internet and the PC. David Warner was the Alan Rickman of his day.It's a shame that Steve Lisberger has had such trouble green lighting a sequel. I was going through my Journey phase in Jr. High School, so I have some sweet memories hearing that tune. End of Line.

  • March 22, 2007, 11:21 p.m. CST

    David Warner was also an Immortal Cardassian

    by uss cygnus

    As well as being the ORIGINAL Sark/Ed Dillinger, in TNG, He drove Jean-Luc to "THERE...ARE...*FOUR*...LIGHTS!!!". Followed immediately by Patrick Stewart ripping his arm away from the Cardi guard who tried to help carry him out of the Geekgasm. I also use "Sherman, set the wayback machine for..." in the Jeff Bridges, but not Mr. Peabody style because of this film.

  • March 22, 2007, 11:46 p.m. CST


    by jae683

    I live in Chattanooga. The downtown area is pretty nice now. They did a lot of renovation to it.

  • March 22, 2007, 11:51 p.m. CST

    FIRST of all neon frisbees are gay!


    Is "gay" a negative homophobic comment? Let's all use "That's so Christian!" I knew David Warner a few years ago, he is the nicest villian I ever met! Star Trek era.

  • March 23, 2007, 12:33 a.m. CST

    Pretty Good Driving Huh?

    by Doc_Strange

    "No." Who asked you?

  • March 23, 2007, 12:35 a.m. CST

    I should never have written all those tank programs

    by Doc_Strange

    They should seriously look at greenlighting a sequel. The possibilities of seeing the internet through the world of Tron could be awesome though we got a taste of it in 2.0

  • March 23, 2007, 12:46 a.m. CST

    This movie had a huge impact on me.

    by Mogwai Democracy

    Damn, I love this film. Never before and never since has a film so completely & successfully immersed the viewer in such an alien environment. Seeing this film is like living in a work of abstract art for 90 minutes. That pervasive, electric blue color, all of the elegant abstract geometrical designs, the brilliance of Moebius & Syd Mead's work. Every time you watch Tron, when the film ends you really feel like you were... somewhere else.<br><br> It was like the expierience of walking into an arcade back in the day. You step into the cool arcade from a hot summers day & it's real dark, and suddenly theres this rush of synthetic sound coming from everywhere: explosions, theme songs, wakka wakka, etc. All of the graphics and the colors... an arcade WAS cyberspace. Tron captured that feel and took it to the next level.<br><br>...and neon frisbees kick ass. end of line.

  • March 23, 2007, 2:06 a.m. CST

    I dressed up as Sark for Halloween

    by The Skeptical

    I wanted to be Tron, but the only flourescent tape I could get was red. I put it on a Black snowsuit, painted a cardboard helmet, and carried a glow-in-the-dark frisbee. I think it's fair to say that Tron was influential on me as well.

  • March 23, 2007, 2:11 a.m. CST

    Someone at Century Club LA won for best costume as Tron

    by Doc_Strange

    I was at the Century Club on the last night it was open back in October for Halloween. Anyway, this guy made a picture perfect Tron costume with working lights and everything. Dude won $2000 bucks as well. I wish I took a picture as it was a great costume.

  • March 23, 2007, 3 a.m. CST

    wow are you guys ever looking at the past

    by robamenta

    through rose colored glasses. tron was only a mediocre film at best. and that list of such great flicks of 82 are a mixed bag. just like any year.

  • March 23, 2007, 3:14 a.m. CST

    and i didnt mean that as a criticism

    by robamenta

    i am really enjoying these articles.

  • March 23, 2007, 3:22 a.m. CST

    Bones, I never said that it wasn't released first...

    by Hideo Kojima

    Sorry to give that impression, I was commenting more on Harry's comments about a video game spawning a movie...

  • March 23, 2007, 3:30 a.m. CST


    by speed

    Maybe you didn't grow up in that era, so you can't appreciate the sentiment involved with seeing these movies at that time. I was 13 at the time and remember going into the city, playing video games at Timezone and Playtime in Brisbane and then hitting the cinemas to see tron with friends. This article brought the memories gushing back. Sure watching TRON now with all that we know about computers may make it seem dated, but at that time in the world, it really was a window to a fantastic world.

  • March 23, 2007, 6:29 a.m. CST

    What about Black Hole

    by Bigstadder

    Someone to mention Tron (which is still better) and not how the Black Hole really set the stage for Disney to do Scifi... the nostalga man! flying robots!

  • March 23, 2007, 7:36 a.m. CST

    "Disneyland's People Mover used to have a TRON section"

    by newc0253

    i went on that as a teenager in 82 or 84. the projection on the tunnel was so cool, i can't believe they got rid of that.

  • March 23, 2007, 8:28 a.m. CST

    It Was The Year...

    by spacechampion

    "It was the year of fire, the year of destruction, the year we took back what was ours. It was the year of rebirth, the year of great sadness, the year of pain, and the year of joy. It was a new age. It was the end of history. It was the year everything changed. The year is 2261; the place: Babylon 5." ... featuring at least three actors who were in TRON!

  • March 23, 2007, 8:59 a.m. CST

    1982 was a great year for movies

    by Mr Incredible

    Star Trek II: The Wrath Of Khan, Poltergeist, Rocky III, 48 HRS.,Blade Runner,The Thing, First Blood, Conan The Barbarian, Firefox, Creepshow, Evil Dead, and a little movie called E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial. I'm sure I left off a couple of favorites, but TRON I remember quite fondly; movie, soundtrack, arcade game. Thanks, Harry, for sharing your memories. As for you Tron haters, until you can do something better that will last the test of time, get lost. Sure, TRON wasn't perfect, but it sure as hell was something you hadn't seen before. Rose-colored glasses or not. This movie is begging for a good sequel; why Disney won't do it is beyond me.

  • March 23, 2007, 10:04 a.m. CST

    What we need...

    by playahatersball

    is a TRON MMORPG. That would be sweet.

  • March 23, 2007, 11:51 a.m. CST


    by Mr Incredible

    No,only a retard would post three times what he could write all at once. You are obviously outclassed and outnumbered by all the people who DID appreciate the movie, so why even bother spewing your venom here? Opinions are like assholes; everyone has one, and yours just happens to stink up the place. No one said they didn't like movies from any other year in the 80's. The only one sounding jaded is you. Get a life, ass clown.

  • March 23, 2007, 12:13 p.m. CST


    by Tacom

    Whenever I hear David Warner's voice like in The Omen" or as Ra's Al Ghul in "Batman:The Animated Series" or even on Titanic I expect him to say those lines! I first saw TRON on TV and the light cycles were the coolest thing I'd ever seen and Cindy Morgan looked incredible in those black-lit tights!

  • March 23, 2007, 12:53 p.m. CST

    To all the TRON haters

    by The Skeptical

    just go derez yourselfs. You didn't like it, fine. Go away and watch something else. Give us a couple days to relive our happy memories. (I actually think you're kind of retarded for not "getting" tron, but you don't hear me critizing you idiots.)

  • March 23, 2007, 12:54 p.m. CST

    Speaking of strange Tron memorabelia

    by The Skeptical

    ...I have a Norwegian language comic book of Tron. Can anyone top that?

  • March 23, 2007, 2 p.m. CST


    by drew mcweeny

    That's not true. The talkback simply moved down the front page, then off, as new stories are added. You do realize that stories don't hang on the front page forever, right? Stop crying conspiracy over every little thing.

  • March 23, 2007, 2:31 p.m. CST

    Mogwai Democracy - arcades

    by Sir Loin

    Dude, you totally nailed the arcade experience back then. It was a great escape for us kids, wasn't it? All of the sights and sounds to drown out the real world was like our own territory away from adults since most of them didn't understand videogames anyway. And let's not forget the loud 80's tunes playing in the background...

  • March 23, 2007, 2:55 p.m. CST

    Sequel?...............Not so much.

    by Legend67

    I'm like most of you guys in here about this: I am a major fan of TRON. I still love the movie today, but it is mostly for nostalgic reasons. I saw this in the theater when I was about 14 or so and it took my breath away. No small feat considering that I truly believed that I had already witnessed the epidome of cinematic entertainment that could possibly be witnessed in Star Wars. Back then there was Star Wars and then there was everything else. Anywho, I was blown away by this universe of neon colors and light cycles but do I think that there could be a sequel today? I doubt it. After the world was introduced to movies like The Matrix and shows like Star Trek: TNG that features a holodeck that can photonically generate reality it would be difficult for moviegoers to accept a low resolution world where the landscape is peppered with geometric shapes that light up. Our idea of what it is to be inside of a computer are slightly more advanced these days. If Disney gets deperate enough for more material, I'm sure they could come up with something............but it would be a "reimagining".

  • March 23, 2007, 2:58 p.m. CST


    by Neo Zeed

    The articles aren't about genre movies that made money. It's about the fact that you could theatre hop and land on a gem in 1982. So what if it didn't make cash and all wasn't embraced by mainstream audiences at the time. Blade Runner showed us a world we haven't seen before and it came out in '82. Period. Box office is not part of the criteria.

  • March 23, 2007, 3:06 p.m. CST

    Hey, Shadow...

    by drew mcweeny

    You stupid dildo:

  • March 23, 2007, 3:14 p.m. CST

    Tron is apparently too intellectually sophisticated

    by superninja

    for some people. :P

  • March 23, 2007, 3:32 p.m. CST

    Tron is a great film.

    by superninja

    The bookends are dated, the rest of it really isn't. It's a wonderful adventure story that has all of the elements and I think it's wonderfully executed. And also Bruce Boxlightner as Tron is hot!

  • March 23, 2007, 3:58 p.m. CST

    Tron wasn't for little kids. Flynn was a dog.

    by superninja

    He completely undergoes a moral transformation in the movie. He matures. It's a hero's journey film just like the original SW films. But I agree the prequels suck bigtime.

  • March 23, 2007, 3:59 p.m. CST

    Seriously, tailhook, when was the last

    by superninja

    time you watched the film or are you just operating from memories of you being too cool for school in the 80s?

  • March 23, 2007, 4:41 p.m. CST

    all this 25 years ago crap is so sappy....

    by caravaggio

    sound like a bunch of old men talking about you glory days. sad thing is your glory days peeked when you were 12.

  • March 23, 2007, 5:08 p.m. CST


    by DocPazuzu

    Have your people call my people.

  • March 23, 2007, 5:50 p.m. CST


    by The Six Fingered Man

    Something is seriously wrong with you. Calling out Tron, The Last Starfighter AND The Goonies? There is no reason for doing that except to incite a riot. Especially The Goonies. You know you didn't mean include that movie, right?

  • March 23, 2007, 7:06 p.m. CST


    by i eat cannibals

    I remember my brother taking me to see this and the theatre would not let me in so we went to the bad part of town where they let everyone in. This movie blew my mind. I hated ET. I thought it was kind of lite and fluffy. The Thing spoke volumes to me and still does. One of the best movies of all time.

  • March 23, 2007, 7:37 p.m. CST

    Tron is actually an interesting film from a

    by superninja

    philosophical perspective, if you think about what all of the programs represent. I mean, it's like Citizen Kane compared to Goonies.

  • March 23, 2007, 8:49 p.m. CST

    Not everybody hated TRON

    by Moonwatcher

    Gene Siskel said it was "great," when he and Ebert were still on PBS. I was 27 that summer, and I was hooked from the first minute. Know what else was cool in that movie? That Flynn had an apartment directly above his arcade - no commuting, keep whatever hours you want, and late-night parties.

  • March 23, 2007, 9:05 p.m. CST

    Why does Bravo show marathon viewings

    by superninja

    of Waterworld? I mean, does it get incredible ratings or something? I'm not saying that the ratings aren't better than their Top Design show, but still...

  • March 23, 2007, 9:05 p.m. CST

    Why does Bravo show marathon viewings

    by superninja

    of Waterworld? I mean, does it get incredible ratings or something? I'm not saying that the ratings aren't better than their Top Design show, but still...

  • March 23, 2007, 9:06 p.m. CST

    Wow, I did not mean to post that twice.

    by superninja

    That's almost as annoying as Bravo showing Waterworld back-to-back!

  • March 23, 2007, 9:17 p.m. CST

    My TRON Experiences

    by Blind Spot

    Like Harry, I saw TRON in 1982, and I can honestly say it altered the course of my life. I got deeper into video games which ultimately lead me to my long career in video games. I have met many friends via the TRON Sector fan site. I got to work on TRON 2.0 PC and GBA at Disney. I met my friends Steven Lisberger, Richard Taylor, Harrison Ellenshaw, Syd Mead, Cindy Morgan and Dan Shor because of TRON. Steven and I started a digital archive of materials from TRON that I am just starting to put out on the net for others to view. Harrison has given me access to his materials too. For 25 years, TRON has been an important part of my life. I know many people hate the film, but it just doesn't conenct with them the way it did with me. First it opened me up to games and the systems they were played on, then it lead me toa job I love, then it lead me to friends I never thought I could have. TRON made a better life for me. I don't care what anyone else thinks, it was an important film to me, and others like me. I know many people with the same types of stories related to the film. It will always be my favorite movie. If you want to take look at what I am putting out on the web, please go here: If you go to my galleries, look in the folders for my Photogrpahy Studio and you'll find my headshot of Cindy Morgan taken last year. She's stil looking hot! Dave (aka DaveTRON)

  • March 24, 2007, 12:46 a.m. CST

    Why TRON is great, despite its shortcomings...

    by Calico Pete

    I saw TRON a couple of years ago at the Museum of Modern Art in San Francisco. Steven Lisberger was there to discuss it afterwards and he referred to the movie as an experimental film. He's absolutely right. There has been NO movie BEFORE or SINCE that has looked like TRON. None. It is a singular vision and a great success in bringing something new to the palette. The way it looks is unique. How many movies can that be said about? Very very few. The prequels? No. Rehash. LOTR? No, D&D. The Matrix, Spider-Man, <insert your-favorite-post-TRON flick here>? Yeah, other movies have had their own unique visual signatures (Blade Runner, Star Wars, 2001, <insert your-favorite-pre-TRON flick here>), but TRON was so its own thing, it was not copied, it was so out there it *couldn't* be copied. Over the decades it has influenced filmmakers, and video-game designers, but it remains the one and only TRONiest movie ever. TRON was such a daring experiment that nothing has matched its visual leap since (with the possible exception of Lawnmower Man). <br><br>Disney execs had NO idea what they had at the time. They thought they were getting their version of Star Wars. They had to put their faith in this young guy (Lisberger was 29) and cross their fingers that even though they had no idea what the hell he was doing, that he did. I had not heard of TRON until one day I saw a clip of it on TV (I lived outside the US) on some talk-show. I was *stunned*. (I was also just 11 years old, but already a budding aesthetic snob :) Now, as a cynical 30-something, I am STILL impressed by the movie. It achieves a look so removed from our reality and so different from what we've seen elsewhere... it hasn't been repeated, not by Sin City, not by 300, not by Hero, not by any other of the great many visually beautiful films since. <br> <br><br>I worked at Disney for a while btw, several years ago, on an unofficial project designed to bring TRON back to the theme-parks. There was a lot VR R&D being done for this purpose. Alas, it didn't happen, but it's further proof there are people out there who were touched by this little experiment back in 1982.<br><br>BTW DaveTRON... great photos! I look forward to all the new material. BTW, where can I get a TRON bobblehead? :)

  • March 24, 2007, 12:57 a.m. CST

    It was a big deal in my

    by C_wizard

    It was a big deal in my kid-dom, I loved the disc weapon throwing and would bean my brother with a frisbee as Tron. I had Sark and Tron in my action figure collection, and they saw heavy use. But I bought the DVD a year ago and it just couldn't make me happy. I love the ideas and images but it seems to not come together right (sort of in the same way Episode I didn't) The music gets stuck in my head sometimes.

  • March 24, 2007, 1:07 a.m. CST

    emeraldboy & 1982's Spider-Man

    by Calico Pete

    You had Hammond's Spider-Man on the bigscreen too? Heh. We had that at the drive-in (in Israel). It was only during the internet days that I learned that flick was a bastardized TV-movie. Still, cool enough at the time!

  • March 24, 2007, 2:29 a.m. CST

    More Tron Games

    by PBoy

    Since I can't read more that 4 or 6 posts at a time and we are clearly way beyond that I have no idea if this has been brought up yet. Did anyone play that cool 3D Tron disk game? It was 2 player and very cool and you had to stand in a booth to play. They had a bunch of Tron stuff at the old Tomorrowland arcade in Disneyland. I have fond memories of hanging out at the ol' Starcade with a pocket full of tokens. Oh, and in the other Tron game, to get past the Light Cycles I employed the question mark technique and to easily defeat the tanks, just make your way to the center portal and fire away and enter when an enemy gets to close and repeat. That works for the first 6 levels at least. And It was a good year for movies. I am the same age as the big red one and remember, with great detail, seeing those films and never being the same. The only difference is that I was skinny and had lots of girlfriends. Not fat with friends that were girls.

  • March 24, 2007, 9 a.m. CST


    by kwisatzhaderach

    Did you fall this morning and bump your head?

  • March 24, 2007, 9:36 a.m. CST


    by Evil Chicken

    Good times… Good times. One of the greatest magazines of ALL time. It really was the only connection to the geek universe at the time. What a wonderful connection it was. BTW I’m really diggin’ the “25 Years Ago” segment. Good times… Good times.

  • March 24, 2007, 11:18 a.m. CST

    Don't forget Cinefantastique

    by CarmillaVonDoom

    Even Fangoria. Those publications were lifelines.

  • March 24, 2007, 9:36 p.m. CST

    this talkback sucks...

    by Colonel Kane

    time to visit, pull some root (a/k/a the "sleeping pill") and pass out....

  • March 24, 2007, 11:22 p.m. CST

    Nosferatu Jones: The answer to the equation is...

    by Blind Spot

    I didn't expect TRON to get me laid. I had other things in my life that took care of that other equation. I have had a nice life with TRON and women in it, and I don't feel the need to try to belittle people on public forums to make myself feel better. Good luck to you in your life.

  • March 24, 2007, 11:26 p.m. CST

    Calico Pete: Please get in touch...

    by Blind Spot

    I'd love to talk to you about this project you worked on. I can also tell you how to have your own bobble head made. My lovely wife had that made for my birthday a few years ago. All it took was a photo of me and two good shots of the front and back of the costume. I'm easy to find via my web site, so please get in touch. Dave

  • March 25, 2007, 6:34 a.m. CST



    You know you loved that pre-Ladyhawke/Scarface- Michelle Pfeiffer -ass! "I want a cool-cool-cool rider"....

  • March 25, 2007, 3:19 p.m. CST

    1982 was a great year to masturbate!

    by Orionsangels

    I think that says it all.

  • March 25, 2007, 6:19 p.m. CST


    by BrandonGK

    Riddle me this Tailhook, I can understand 89 and possibly 99 (though I seriously doubt people will be remembering stuff like The Matrix or The Blair Witch Project, or Pitch Black 25 years later like they will Blade Runner, ET, or yes Tron) but how the hell is 2001 a great year for genre pictures? Or a better year than '82? What even came out that year of note other than Marky Mark and the Monkey Bunch and Final Fantasy: Stupid Hippie Crap?

  • March 25, 2007, 10:19 p.m. CST



    Why didn't they ever make 'em huh?

  • March 26, 2007, 4:07 p.m. CST

    Wonkabar: regarding the Tron Frisbees...

    by Mogwai Democracy

    Yeah, I'm with you. That was a marketing opportunity missed right there. I had to make my own. I bought a translucent blue frisbee and cut out the rings from a white piece of paper and glued them on! very low tech.

  • March 27, 2007, 11 a.m. CST

    '82 was good but '89 was better

    by Boneyard

    Batman Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade Ghost Busters II Back to the Future II Lethal Weapon II Tremors Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure Adventures of Baron Munchausen even family films like Parenthood and the Little Mermaid and date movies like Heathers and When Harry Met Sally were good.

  • March 27, 2007, 8:54 p.m. CST

    Harry is right on...

    by Damer1

    I'm same age as Harry and despite his infamous reviews he gets the 80s. It was a different time.

  • March 27, 2007, 9:59 p.m. CST

    What about...

    by Damer1

    Conan and Tootsie?

  • April 10, 2007, 8:09 a.m. CST

    I love Tron

    by bender7

    But I didn't see it when it was released in cinemas, I was too young at that point. When I did see it for the first time I didn't really like it. I think I was still too young for it. I thought it looked cool, but I just didn't seem to get the story. It is one of those movies that has been around a lot in my childhood though, and there was defintely a point where I thought it was the coolest movie in history. I have to admit that The Last Starfighter does have a softer space in my heart though

  • April 10, 2007, 12:03 p.m. CST

    Is Big Red a child?

    by Trazadone

    "I like Tron. The movie was good and it made me like to play video games because Tron is cool."

  • April 19, 2007, 11:59 a.m. CST

    Harry Knowles Is Not a Trained Journalist


    And I'll bet good money he wasn't an English major. That being said, how fucking cool is it (to me, and nobody else), that this article about Tron, one my Top Ten Favorite Movies of All Time, and for the reasons discussed, came out on March 22nd. My birthday. Well, cool to me, completely irrelevant to everybody else. Tron rocked. And will rock. Forever. Now, if only we could get a look-back review of the best film ever made: 1980s Flash Gordon.

  • April 26, 2007, 5:47 p.m. CST

    I thank the cylon gods everyday....

    by RokurGepta

    That Tron 2.0 hasn't been made yet. I remember hearing about it years back and being extremely excited, but then the project fell through, and all that came out of it was an extremely lame video game. I hated the Tron 2.0 video game, story was weak, graphics didn't blow my mind, game play sucked, for christ's sake how can you make a sequel to Tron without enforcers? and Make Tron Evil!!! that's WEAK SAUCE gentlemen. The Original Tron movie is in my top 3 movies of my childhood with Time Bandits, and Clash of the Titans right beside it. Speaking of Clash of the Titans, I heard they are re-imagining it....*sigh* I have a feeling I'll be crying and saying "Oh happy dagger" after I see the film and right before offing myself. That is unless Chris Nolan makes it! oooh How cool would it be to have Chris Nolan working with Tim Minear make a sequel to Tron with Nathan Fillion starring!!! Egadz I'm a Frakin Fanboy, and proud of it! Being a Fanboy is the heart of me, lolz <p> peace

  • April 26, 2007, 8:10 p.m. CST

    remember the Disnyland ride?

    by RokurGepta

    with stuff from the movie Tron projected around you? Does that ride still exist?

  • May 9, 2007, 10:23 a.m. CST

    "Oh, my user"

    by Stuntcock Mike

    So gay.

  • May 10, 2007, 3:16 a.m. CST

    TRON CAME OUT WHEN ................... I WAS IN COLLEGE

    by Red Dawn Don

    I was a COMPUTER SCIENCE major back then. I thought this movie would help me with my programming classes. I went to see it and it did not help. ***** Same reason I bought that new ADAM computer. Boy was I dumb and desperate to succeed back then. ***** SIDEBAR: Harry number these comments.

  • June 3, 2007, 3:13 a.m. CST

    testing inserting blank lines

    by FrodoFraggins

  • June 3, 2007, 3:19 a.m. CST

    test part 2 dammit

    by FrodoFraggins

    line 1.<br> line 2.<br> line 3.<br>

  • Dec. 18, 2007, 8:27 a.m. CST


    by Autodidact

    I love Tron. I bought the 2-disc special edition back when it came out in 2001. Since then I watch it about once per year. The surround mix on that disc is fucking awesome. I agree with the guy above who said that TRON is one of the most unique pieces of filmed art. Nothing else looks like it and no other movie has ever used the same kind of painstaking process. TRON is a fully animated movie that happens to use photgraphs for the character cels. They handled each frame in the film manually, between nine and fourteen times, doing various masks and backlight passes to create the inner electric glow that infuses everything in the computer world. I disagree with those who are calling it a dumb movie. It's very well costructed and contains a lot of cool ideas. I think it's total class.