In 1982, “Tron” became a landmark moment in pop culture for its prescient imagery and concepts. In December, the light cycles will roll again in the Disney revival project “Tron: Legacy.” The film already has stirred the imagination and passion of “Tron” devotees, among them Jay West, a “super fan” who has been writing guest columns for Hero Complex about the buildup to the movie. Here’s his newest dispatch about some elaborate events staged in San Francisco to pull fans further into the alternate reality game that West has been playing and covering.
Alan Bradley: “You invented Space Paranoids?”
Kevin Flynn: “Paranoids, Matrix Blaster, Vice Squad, a whole slew of them. I was this close to starting my own little enterprise, man.”
— Bruce Boxleitner as Alan Bradley and Jeff Bridges as Kevin Flynn, in the original “Tron“
“Technical difficulties” were then announced on-hand Encom spokeswoman — and Bradley and Baines were ushered off of the stage — but not before Bradley threw a knowing glance toward the skies. Soon after this, the “Flynn Lives” protesters rushed the stage, chanting the name of their absent cause; their compatriots also “hacked” into the conference’s LED displays to herald their arrival. One of the protesters took Boxleitner’s spot behind the microphone to proclaim the group’s manifesto — that the search for Kevin Flynn would continue despite Encom’s efforts and ongoing campaign to negate the missing man’s contributions to the company.
Then a helicopter ripped by in the skies directly over the conference area — one that recalled the red and glowing Encom chopper that Ed Dillinger (David Warner) utilized in the original “Tron” movie. Then, braving the severe winds, a lone jumper came plummeting down toward the audience before opening his parachute; the sharp gusts played havoc with the jumper’s descent but he regained control and landed directly behind the stage. Who was this daredevil character? None other than Sam Flynn (played in the new “Tron: Legacy” movie by Garrett Hedlund), the son of the long-missing Kevin.
Hero Complex readers can now have a front row seat to see how all of this went down — just by watching the links below for an exclusive, two-part video. This is a complete and comprehensive version of the “Tron: Legacy”/Flynn Lives ARG (Alternate Reality Game) viral event at Justin Herman Plaza in San Francisco.
and part two…
The majority of the video consists of footage I shot — and also includes some select footage courtesy of flynnlives.com — including the teaser trailer for the “Space Paranoids” video game — so as to broaden the narrative. I edited the footage to reflect the order of the events and added sound effects and music, including elements of the 1982 “Tron” soundtrack (such as the Journey track “1990’s Theme“) as well as Daft Punk’s “Tron”-inspired “Robot Rock.”
This entire event resonated as a prologue for “Tron: Legacy” — and more than that it served as an actual story element for the upcoming film as grand interactive theater. The bar definitely continues to rise on the quality and ambition of the “Flynn Lives” ARG.
– Jay West
RECENT AND RELATED
Photos: Top, promotional image for “Tron: Legacy.” ; second: “Flynn lives” event in San Francisco (photo by Josh Ling); third, fifth and sixth: San Francisco event (photos by Jay West); Fourth: from the 1982 “Tron” ; (credit: Walt Disney Studios)