Tron: What do the different colors mean?

Discussion in 'Science Fiction & Fantasy' started by Sketcher, Feb 14, 2013.

  1. Sketcher

    Sketcher Commander Red Shirt

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    I've been rewatching Tron and Tron: Legacy and I'm just trying to figure out what the colors different programs wear mean. The simple answer is blue = good red - bad. Just wondering if there's more to it than that, especially when some programs sport yellow and green.
     
  2. Shawnster

    Shawnster Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Mac vs. PC with the occasional LINUX thrown in.
     
  3. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    In the original film the idea was going to be, yellow = good and blue = bad. This got changed to blue = good and red = bad. However in tank programs, the original coloring remains. So Clu 1.0, who is a good guy, is yellow, and all of Sark's tank commanders are blue.

    The coloring in the second film is different. Light blue/white - good. Orange - bad. Yellow - Clu 2.0 (very bad).
     
  4. sojourner

    sojourner Admiral Admiral

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    Blue - Jedi, good
    red/orange/yellow - sith, bad.
     
  5. MacLeod

    MacLeod Admiral Admiral

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    Yep it's as simple as blue=good, red=evil.
     
  6. Karnbeln

    Karnbeln Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Additionally, I believe that it was stated by someone in the production team that the difference between white and blue in Legacy is that white is for high-level programs (and by extension users). At least, I saw that stated on more than one web site, it could still be fallacious.
     
  7. Candlelight

    Candlelight Admiral Admiral

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    But in the original movie, the colours were reversed (especially in the cycle race).

    EDIT: Got mentioned above, ignore me. :)
     
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2013
  8. Nick Ryder

    Nick Ryder Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Well I think part of it was a mistake by the production team that someone in post mixed up and it stuck. Although after watching both the original Tron and Tron:Legacy I think I have to prefer the Legacy style of coloring over the original - for one I think the all black bodysuits with the different colored wire sections was just more striking visually and I think had they been able to do the same EL wiring in the 80s I'm pretty sure they'd go back and do the same thing - as evident by the fact that all of Sam's "vintage" Tron toys and merch is black with the color - so I think by Legacy it was either retconned that the black and blue/white for good and black and orange/red for 'troops'/bad was always the case. With white and blue suits being for either 'older' programs brought into the new system like Zeus and the Sirens or simply 'support' programs and black for the other programs that did day to day stuff.

    The Tron Uprising cartoon sorta makes it harder since there are some programs with pink and purple and green and orange too.

    What I would still like to know is - when Quorra came over into the real world, did she come over in her Grid outfit or, since she clearly wasn't from this world, came into the Arcade naked? Not that they'd stoop to it, but I've been curious as to how Clu's forces would come over if they figured out how to cross over. That quasi fan film with the return of Sark and his bike he came through just as he was in the Grid.

    I'm really actually looking forward to more Tron movies - I think Legacy is turning out to be one of those movies that I watch whenever I see it on FX even though I've got it on DVD and digital and I've seen a number of times. It's just so striking. Even though the story is pretty thin
     
  9. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    When Sam first entered the Grid he had on the same clothes as he had in the real world. So I'm guessing Quorra had her Grid uniform when she emerged into the real world.
     
  10. sojourner

    sojourner Admiral Admiral

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    Besides, Quorra wasn't the first Iso to come over:

    [​IMG]
     
  11. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    I'm fairly certain they wouldn't have. The fact is, Tron was more an animated film in conception than a live-action film. The goal of the filmmakers was to create a world that looked like the computer graphics of the day, highly stylized and abstract and impossibly smooth and perfect, with everything seeming to be made from pure light and color. So they basically just used the live-action film of the actors as the raw material for a novel form of animation, printing up the frames of film on animation cels and rotoscoping/backlighting them in an attempt to create the impression of people made of light. It was exactly the opposite of the modern philosophy of CGI which is to make computer imagery look as much like solid reality as possible. They wanted instead to make real imagery look as much like computer graphics as possible. The only reason they didn't do the entire Grid sequence as CGI is because it wasn't technologically feasible yet to create expressive CG-animated characters, so they had to "fake" it with live humans rotoscoped into hand-drawn, backlit and airbrushed environments that mimicked the look of computer graphics.

    So given more advanced technology, they wouldn't have put real illuminated clothes on the actors; they would've probably skipped the actors altogether and CG-animated the whole thing. That was the aesthetic they aspired to, after all -- a world of pure computer graphics -- so given the chance to create that for real, they certainly would have. (Which is why I think TRON: Uprising was truer to the original intent than Legacy was.)


    I assume the black-suited look is from the new Grid that Flynn created after taking over Encom, which was separate from the original, spontaneously evolved Grid.

    (That's another difference in conception between the original and the sequel. Computers were more mysterious back in '82, and the original film was thus more an anthropomorphic fantasy vision of computers as an alternate world where programs were little people running around, with the programmers having no idea that any of this was happening on the other side of the screen. And the programs looked like their programmers, as if the programmers' essence were part of their creations. It was kind of the same idea behind the Japanese Digimon franchise, technology filtered through an animistic outlook. But the modern TRON productions replace that fantasy take from the original with the more science-fictional and grounded notion of the Programs as intentionally created artificial intelligences inhabiting an intentionally created virtual world. I can understand why the change was made -- it's a more accessible idea to modern, more computer-savvy audiences -- but it's a pretty fundamental change in the premise, despite the pretense of being a direct continuation.)
     
  12. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    But part of that is also due to the very fact that the Grid is not the same environment as the ENCOM servers in the first film. So naturally there's going to be some differences in the digital characters, based on that alone.

    About that, though: If the Users really don't know that their programs are avatars of themselves, then how are Flynn and Alan able to speak directly to their programs as we see them do in the original film?
     
  13. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Yes, that's the modern filmmakers' retcon. My point is that the original filmmakers had a different intention, one more in the vein of an anthropomorphic fable for the computer era than a cyberpunk tale of AI and VR. It's easy to forget that when we look back at it today, given how much cyberpunk and the like have influenced us in the intervening decades.


    I just interpreted that as them typing program instructions into their computers. They spoke them aloud because that's what characters do in movies and TV to accommodate the audience -- they read aloud, they say what they're typing, etc. And heck, we all anthropomorphize; I talk to my computer regularly, although it's usually more yelling at it for doing something stupid or annoying. That doesn't mean I think there's a glowy-suited person inside it.
     
  14. Nick Ryder

    Nick Ryder Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    What if there IS man... what if inside our laptops there's little glowy suited people running around living their lives. Far out stuff man.

    Back to the above poster - I suppose the black suited Tron denizens as Flynn and Tron's "new Grid" makes sense - although then again they did say that a very very very long time had passed within the Grid. So it could simply be evolution - they were white/grey suited but over time as graphics got better and the grid got faster, they evolved into the black suited as the standard look for nearly everyone with, like I said before, the white sorta for 'older' programs or at least older 'roles'. Although isn't the Grid still technically the same Encom server as before. Just because Flynn "killed" the MCP in the first movie - I'm assuming he didn't just kill the whole original grid too. Since upgraded versions of everything in the original exist in the new.

    That's kinda why I was really hoping Tron Uprising would last longer, maybe touch on a bit more of the history of the Grid after the original movie. Although it did show a lot more of it than the movies did.

    I'm curious to see more of what happens after Sam and Quorra take over Encom - since some of the special feature stuff on the DVD/BluRay sorta hint that Sam is going to do what his old man did and take back Encom.

    Although as to the 'world' of Tron - basically it's an alternate reality to our own. Touchscreen computers were already sort of 'normal' or at least on the high end in the 1981 of the first movie - when they were hardly that way in the "Real world" we lived in. Oh I'm sure some smarty pants computer guy maybe figured out a way to make it work on a prototype but even today using a flat screen 'keyboard' is still sort of in its early childhood - I won't say infancy since everyone on this board probably is using something with a virtual keyboard already and has for years. But it's not quite the "star trek" level yet.

    But FlynnOS/EncomOS almost seems like a more developed and commercial form of Linux/Unix. Basically Legacy sorta posits "What if Linus Torvaldis's Linux was the dominant computer OS since the 80s instead of MacOS or Windows?" The whole line of "how can you steal something that was meant to be free?" clearly hints that Flynn created an open source, free OS and from the looks of things he beat out Microsoft and Apple.

    Since even his 80s era console in the Arcade, with its very Encom touch screen set up didn't seem to faze Sam in the least - I wonder if that was meant to be the original touchscreen desk in that executive's office, that Flynn had snagged and shoved into his basement lab. So that's leading me to believe that the FOS/EOS that everyone uses hasn't changed that much and - while yes I know Sam's supposed to be a computer genius too sorta - command line stuff is still well used and not just by hackers or network techs.

    So really... the world of Tron is basically LINUX!
     
  15. sojourner

    sojourner Admiral Admiral

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    ^No, it's stated quite clearly that Flynn created this new grid from the ground up and brought Clu and Tron over to it. It has no relation to the original movie's grid.

    Remember also, Flynn disappeared in 1992 if I recall. So the computer in the basement lab could have tech from at least that year. Much more advanced than 1981.

    The thing that gets me is that at the end of the movie we see Sam with a usb key ostensibly making a copy of the "grid". I kept wondering where the hell he was going to plug that in on a computer from - what - 1992 at the latest?
     
  16. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    That's another thing Legacy changed/misinterpreted from the original. Kevin Flynn didn't want information to be free and open-source. Just the opposite -- he wanted to reclaim his stolen intellectual property and the enormous profits from it that should've been his all along. Sure, in-story he wanted programs to be "free," but in the sense that he wanted them to be controlled by their individual programmers rather than taken by the company. This was before ubiquitous personal computing, after all, so computers and programs were mainly in the hands of people who worked as programmers, not in the hands of the general public. So Flynn's mission, and Tron's parallel/allegorical mission, wasn't about open-source software versus copyrighted/for-sale software, but about labor versus management, about individual creators being entitled to control and profit from their own creations rather than having to surrender them to their employers. (A theme that I believe had some resonance to the filmmakers working within the Disney corporate empire.) Flynn's goal was for himself and the other programmers to have the right to make money from their own work. So when his son in Legacy made Encom's newest software available to everyone for free, thus depriving its developers of income, he wasn't standing up for Kevin Flynn's ideals, but betraying them.
     
  17. sojourner

    sojourner Admiral Admiral

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    Did anyone else think that Sam bleeding while in the grid didn't make much sense?
     
  18. CorporalCaptain

    CorporalCaptain Admiral Admiral

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    As opposed to what other parts of the premise? :lol: ;)

    No, seriously. Even more than for the first film, my brain had to be set to park for me to get anything whatsoever out the sequel. I actually enjoyed the first film....
     
  19. sojourner

    sojourner Admiral Admiral

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    The fact that him having blood inside the grid doesn't really follow the premise.
     
  20. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Why not? The premise in both movies is that the lead character was scanned and dematerialized and the data defining his physical form -- his "transporter pattern," which is actually a pretty close analogy for the technology -- was downloaded into the Grid. Which implies that his Grid self was an exact simulation of his physical self right down to the last detail.