Some might
consider this old news because it’s only been around for a couple of days, but since CHUD is the only place worth going on teh Interweb, you should know that there’s an excellent fan-made
trailer for the original Tron on YouTube right now.
DrewboiX’s remix is exciting and epic and by the time it’s over I’m so pumped I can
hardly decide between replaying it immediately or throwing in the
20th Anniversary DVD and watching the whole movie.

What I like most about
this trailer is that it underscores just how special and ahead of its
time the original Tron was. When Steven Lisberger brought the film to Disney in 1980, computers at home were still a
novelty, forget about the basis of a major motion picture.
The film itself became a novelty – a cyberpunk adventure about
a man inside a computer, filmed in 70mm black and white and then
hand-tinted (as many as 30 composites in a single frame) and intercut
with computer generated graphics. The look – co-designed by Jean
Giraud Moebius and Syd Mead – was unlike anything in this world or
any other. Excepting the real-world bookends, the entire filmmaking process was so unique and ambitious that it’s
never been repeated to this day. By that standard, if any movie truly
stands alone as a singular work of art, it’s Tron.

And the story. Propping up the light
cycles, the discs, and the landmark effects is an
incredibly deep and philosophical narrative. Assuming the whole “User”
metaphor is understood, here’s a quote from Lisberger in a 1999
with journalist (and two-time Jeopardy champion) Greg

“…Every Jungian metaphor in that
film is intentional. Every single
one, okay? The discs are mandala symbols of the process of
individuation. The users are the perfect self. The question is
whether we are capable of becoming our perfect selves. The electronic
world is the subconscious, the unconscious. The real world is the
conscious world.”

Whether or not it was his original
intent, these underpinning themes make all the difference
between a forgotten box-office flop and a timeless classic. Some of the
best science fiction works in this way, as an allegory for the human condition.

I’m doubtful that we’ll get anything as substantial out of the new film, despite Lisberger’s
involvement. It’s a different world we live in now, with different
cinematic aesthetics and different expectations from the audience. Even at the bare-bones marketing stage, Tron Legacy doesn’t seem to be about extending into the realm of the invisible –
it’s all about the visible. The fact that Flynn, Alan Bradley, Flynn’s Arcade,
and the “Tron” arcade cabinet (which didn’t even exist
in the original movie – TRON was a corporate security program)
appear so plainly in the Legacy teaser trailer feels more like fan
service more than it does the desire to say anything new about our relationship to technology.

I’d like to be wrong about that,
though. I hope I am. I really do love the original Tron, and I’ve been waiting years for a sequel. Even if Legacy fails to live up to my
impossibly bloated expectations, at least I’ll have the original film
to go back to.

End of line.

[I nabbed all the screencaps from Amoeba
Music’s Amoeblog, where their visual breakdown of the film really drives home what a gorgeous piece of art Tron really is.]