2.15.2012

TRON: THE NEXT LEVEL

TRON: THE NEXT LEVEL



If they were to make a "Tron 3" what would it be? If one looks at the differences between the first movie and TRON LEGACY, it appears very similar, and yet within the story is a different 'computer world' than the first. The idea one presumes is that in TRON LEGACY, it is a more advanced 'Grid,' with some kind of 'higher definition,' and something which resembles the first one, but is more evolved. The first was something of an idea which is a kind of 'interpretation' of a computerized 'world,' one which is supposed to be literally 'inside' the computer, and at the time was conceived from technology that existed at the time, while in a way predicting something yet to come. Perhaps in a "Tron 3" things will be even more different...


The world inside the computer of TRON LEGACY is similar, yet different, it is a world which has more 'definition' in the sense of the evolution of video game graphics, it is more detailed visually, and a little more complex. However, the 'technology' of the Grid has evolved as well. For instance, there is an added dimension of visual data interaction, the characters are using more complex in-the-Grid technology. The 'buttons' so-to-speak have evolved. The visual construction of the computer-world has caught up with our most advanced video game graphics, and has surpassed our current personal computer technology, as it was in the first film. What we see in TRON LEGACY are representations of computer technology that we don't quite have just yet, and while they look familiar in the sense of 'science fiction' futuristic movies we have seen before it, such as "Minority Report" or "Star Trek" they are actually quite a bit more advanced than such films. They are also actually a little more realistic in the sense of what is actually currently being developed and what computer engineers are trying to literally create. (They may not have any idea of how to package or sell these things yet, but they are indeed working on such things.) TRON LEGACY actually does imagine technology in much the same way as the first film in that it begins to reach outside the boundaries of our time and reality. What we see in TRON LEGACY are some concepts which, when we look back at the first movie, are somewhat baffling and impossible, or impractical, in the comprehension of the average person as well as the contemporary computer engineer. The first movie while inspiring many people, also made a lot people scoff at some of its concepts. TRON LEGACY contains some similar 'futuristic' concepts in much the same way. When we look back at the first film, we can see where certain things simply feel archaic, or dated, or completely amiss in terms of the kind of computer technology we actually did end up with in due time.


Rather than wait 25 years to make another TRON movie, we can actually try to imagine further what would be yet another new level of what TRON could be. The rate of technological advancement is increasing exponentially, and while we do not yet have touch-screen technology everywhere with holographic displays, what another TRON film should probably attempt to do is surpass LEGACY and take it to yet another level far beyond it. While most people are probably expecting another sequel to be pretty much in the same 'world,' and they will be seeing that in TRON UPRISING, perhaps we should push the imagination even further, taking a TRON 3 to yet another level in technological speculation. If TRON LEGACY was 'far out,' then TRON 3 should be even further out, and potentially so far out that it begins to move into a technological visual look that increases in complexity way beyond the 'Microsoft 2019' concept design, and way beyond something that might be imagined as " iPad 6" technology or something like that. While people are still playing with the look and feel, and the technological ideas of TRON LEGACY right now, the outfits, the level of design that is categorically "TRON LEGACY" and recognized as such, a TRON 3 should absolutely take it to a whole new level.


They may not, because often in movies and sequels, filmmakers forget, or are unconcerned with such details, or will be banking on the popularity of the designs of TRON LEGACY, and for all we know we will get a world that looks exactly the same, though if we were to follow the pattern, or the formula, we should definitely move the world of TRON to yet a more complex level, and mind blowing. But, what in the world would that really be? The complexity of such things can flutter the imagination, but would filmmakers really be that interested in taking it further? Do they have the money, the time, the technology to do it? TRON LEGACY proved that like the first TRON, the effort put into the electronic world can be costly, time-consuming, but in both cases, have an incredible result.


In 1982 computers were bulky objects, and not everyone had them, today, people have pocket sized objects like the iPad which have no buttons whatsoever. People are beginning to get used to the way in which interaction with their computers are by moving their fingers around the screen, interacting in ways that back in 1982 were totally science fiction. Dillinger's touchscreen desk computer (like a giant iPad) was imagined but it took 25 years for them to release this technology in the mass market. In TRON LEGACY, inside the Grid, the programs can manipulate multi-leveled icons, and their 'Identity Discs' produce holographic displays which at this point, the average consumer does not have. What is being currently developed is not fully imagined in the sense of 'marketing' therefore nobody knows when or just how such technology will end up in the hands of the average person. The iPad interaction would make way for more complex interactions with the screen or monitor, and beyond this are technologies which do provide the possibility for what is seen in the "Identity Disc" holographic displays, however they are bulky, and not entirely developed for such interactions.


In the original TRON, the metaphorical world of the computer suggested that some form of computerized society would develop, though it imagined it the way sci-fi usually imagines it, with exceptional exaggerations, and though we essentially did get the world of TRON, we didn't end up with wired cybersuits, and just as 'virtual reality' never really caught on, it's 2012 and nobody is logging on to the internet wearing 'VR GOGGLES,' we see that in it's visual metaphor, TRON showed us in literal ways this kind of world we'd be in, where corporate tyrants steal the intellectual property rights of their exploited employees, and where interaction and programs would be locked down, where our 'digital freedom' would be oppressed, and those who have the skilled use of the technology and understand what is happening must team up to 'free the system' and stop the digital tyrants. The idea in TRON of course was simply the idea of the 'personal computer' being in the hands of the average person, having the freedom to use it how they want to use it, and not be tied to a corporate controlled mainframe, and sign up for computer-time... Later, in TRON LEGACY, these metaphors are re-examined, and now that we have the internet, and things developed how they developed in time, the concepts are a little different. In TRON LEGACY, the programs which were supposed to free us, the stuff of the 'personal computer' are now enslaving us, "TRON" and "CLU" are villains, and ENCOM has gotten away from Flynn and those original ideas from the era of the original TRON. The corporations are 're-purposing' apps and programs, they're using your own computer, your programs, your websites, to spy on you. "Your" P.C. or in today's modern market, your iPad, is no longer your new tool of freedom, but a way for APPLE, MICROSOFT, IBM, GOOGLE, etc to keep tabs on you, to use your personal information, to restrict what you can do with your 'new tools of freedom,' and anything you do with them could make liable with some user-agreement, and they could wind up owning anything you've done with 'their' technology. TRON is no longer a security program which allows free access, he's spying on you, he's part of the control mechanism of CLU. CLU represents the 'technology that got away' from FLYNN, and this time it is much worse, CLU, like some 'evil spirit' of ENCOM is greedy for power, the original concepts of the first TRON return, and 'freedom for the User' is now more important than ever. These kinds of concepts are the contemporary metaphors for our modern world, and a third TRON film, while continuing the story of our characters should still be operating in that same kind of realm of metaphor. It shouldn't just be 'the next episode' of a soap opera, and I would assume that the producers would take all this into account, if they were truly going to proceed with another film.


A Third TRON film might actually look at the 'real world' next time around, and how it is becoming like a TRON WORLD, after all, the character Quorra at the end has made the jump from the digital world into the real world. Perhaps simultaneously, while expressions of the real world are examined as being shockingly parallel to the TRON WORLD, yet another 'GRID' is conceived, one which takes TRON to a level the audience has not yet imagined, a world in which the digital world becomes more organic--while the 'real world' becomes more digital... The science of fractal algorithms and the current study of botanical algorithms is showing us how the plant world is like a technological system, not the whole Earth mind you, not the wind and the rocks and the rain and the bugs, not the way many have described "nature" as being what they call an "ecosystem" but a completely different concept primarily concerning plants. The evolution of "ISOs" in TRON LEGACY might suggest that developing inside computers finally are some sort of mimicry of 'life' and that certain complex activities inside computers show us that what we have built with our technology unwittingly is possibly a mirror universe, entirely based on the real one we live in, and once we see technological or 'digital' versions of these things, we will begin to recognize that these things in the real world are essentially 'technology' already themselves. While humans ignorantly, like children taking apart toys and not knowing how to put them back together, tamper with genetics and genetic engineering, (which if conceived of should have been toyed with inside a computer first, and not the real world---ha ha too late now!) what we are looking at is in fact 'technology' but in a way we still do not fully understand.


Data representations and interactions which surpass TRON LEGACY would likely be swirling fractal configurations, floating before the USER projected by technology, manipulated much like Flynn when he brings up infographic-switches with his hands in the Grid, but in a more comlex fashion, the angles and geometric shapes would rise to complexity, beyond the simplicity of triangles and hexagons into massive complex multidimensional configurations currently unfamiliar to the average person. The world itself might even be a conflict of complexity vs. the old Grid of geometric 'perfection' and simple shapes. The New Complexity is seen as CHAOS by the old Grid, and perhaps the Dillingers and CLUs of this New Grid would once again attempt to control it. Ultimately, this is actually where our complex digital technology is taking us, and the question is where might TRON fit into all of this. The answer could be right in the center of it all, since it seems to be one of the only cultural metaphors operating in the realm of 'what's really around the corner' and 'how does it affect us.' A new TRON film could take a conventional approach and ignore what its origins are, and simply continue the story without taking it up another level, we could get basically TRON LEGACY 2: REVENGE OF QUORRA or something like that, or if the filmmakers are linked in with what's really going on with technology and want to take it on, TRON THE NEXT LEVEL could be constructed to blow our minds...if they choose to. TRON UPRISING will give people more of the LEGACY world as they want it, so why not take TRON 3 to another level? At the rate technology is advancing we could be there sooner than you think...

6 comments:

  1. Greetings, Yori Lives:

    Thanks for creating a place in cyberspace for those in Yori's/Dr. Lora Baines-Bradley's corner. Very interesting article you wrote, setting forth a really good stimulating discussion concerning TR3N. I feel that the design aesthetic of TR3N would hopefully be a combination of the Tron 2.0 look (or an advanced version of it, since TRON and TRON 2.0 took place inside the ENCOM server) + the look of the isolated GRID system in Flynn's arcade basement. Why? I speculate that Sam may upload the data from the Grid (on his SD card) into the current ENCOM server. Also, given the subject matter that TRON deals with (both literally and metaphorically), it would only be right that TR3N be more advanced than the last film - however, one drawback to that is this - it took 28 years for Legacy to come after the first TRON film - hopefully, TR3N won't take that long - and given the ever increasing speed of technological advances today, it may not have to. It's interesting - in the fictional world of the first film (and in Legacy, with a modified laser), the Shiva Laser pioneered and designed by Dr. Lora Baines, transported Flynn inside the ENCOM 511. In Legacy, it transported Sam Flynn inside the digital frontier to reshape the human condition, b.k.a. THE GRID. In real life, Jeff Bridges and Bruce Boxleitner were scanned with lasers to create youthful digital versions of themselves. In Legacy, Alan Bradley tells us that Flynn mentioned the term quantum computer -in both Japan and the UK, some early rudimentary quantum computers have already been built. The line between SciFi and Reality is truly and steadily disappearing - I would not be surprised if someday, interacting with computer programs will be like interacting with AI.

    In closing, while TR3N should be more advanced, there are some key things that should definitely be included: a)of course, the contribution of Dr. Lora Baines-Bradley, and her digital counterpart, Yori; b)all of the symbolism and allegory, especially the whole USER and PROGRAM relationship, and c)mind-blowing digital-world visuals. Maybe the soundtrack could be a joint venture between Daft Punk and Wendy Carlos (if she hasn't retired from doing soundtracks). We shall see. GREAT blog! YORI LIVES!!!!

    Respectfully,


    Renegade_Program.exe (from tron-sector)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for your insights and comments. Perhaps you'd like to post more of your ideas in an upcoming article here on this blog?

      Delete
  2. It might be interesting to keep the color schemes of the original, and simply advance the technological look, as well as maintain the metaphor.

    ReplyDelete