I’ve always been a nerd. I had a TRS-80 computer when I was in the third or fourth grade. I had piped cable TV into my bedroom in an, um, less-than-official way before I hit puberty. It was around then that I first saw Tron.
I’d never seen computer-generated special effects before, and I certainly hadn’t seen a movie about what it’s like to be inside of a computer. For a young geek from Kansas coming to grips with his inner nerd, this movie was a rite of passage.
I could write a damn fine essay about how far ahead of its time the original Tron film was; about how William Gibson’s Neuromancer and Neal Stephenson’s Snow Crash—two essential pieces of "cyberpunk" fiction—owe a huge debt to Tron; or about how Tron predicted the radical shift in the way people would come to view technology.
Tron was the first piece of pop culture that wrapped itself around an arriving generation that used computers as a part of its daily life.
But none of that remotely explains why I’ll be at the midnight showing of Tron: Legacy, and why I’ve explained the importance of Kevin Flynn to my two young sons. And, yes, I have one of those new kick-ass projection-screen action figures from the movie. Mine. Not my boys’.
Put plainly, I can’t wait to see Tron: Legacy. This movie was made for me.
All done for me.
Okay, me and those like me.
Before a script even had been written for Tron: Legacy — and there’s mounting evidence that a script for the movie still hasn’t been written — some test footage was shot and released at Comic-Con to see what the reaction would be. The nerd community collectively shit itself. This was a movie that was being made for us, geeks who got made fun of for their computers when they were kids, but who now had mortgages and were raising their own little family of dorks.
I’m not going to see Tron: Legacy for a genius plot. I’m going because for a nerd like me, Tron is cool, and that’s really all that matters. So critics keep your snotty little Rotten Tomatoes rating—and suck my cyber grid.