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Kevin Flynn: The Grid. A digital frontier. I tried to picture clusters of information as they moved through the computer. What did they look like? Ships? Motorcycles? Were the circuits like freeways? I kept dreaming of a world I thought I'd never see. And then, one day... Sam Flynn: You got in? Kevin Flynn: That's right, man. I got in.
TRON: Legacy, the long-awaited sequel to Disney's 1982 Cult Classic film TRON, picks up where the original film's story left off: seven years after defeating the Master Control Program and exposing Ed Dillinger's corruption, Encom CEO Kevin Flynn begins work on a new project, one far more ambitious in scope than any of his video games. Flynn claims his new project will change the very nature of human existence, but before he can reveal the nature of this project, he disappears, jeopardizing the Encom software empire — and orphaning his young son, Sam.Twenty years later, Encom has recovered from Flynn's disappearance, but Sam has not. Channeling his frustration into a life of extreme activity (motorcycle riding, base jumping, etc.), Sam holds on to the hope of seeing his father alive again some day — and, eventually, his hope pays off. Alan Bradley, Kevin's friend/co-worker (who also keeps tabs on Sam in case he decides to take his father's role at Encom), receives a mysterious pager message from the long-abandoned Flynn's Arcade. While investigating the message's origins, Sam discovers a secret lab in the arcade basement, where he unwittingly triggers a digitizing laser that beams him into The Grid.With the help of the warrior program Quorra, Sam explores the digital world, reunites with his long-lost father, and hatches a plan to escape back to reality, all while being pursued by Clu, the new ruler of The Grid — who plans on stopping the trio and taking the knowledge from Kevin Flynn for his own nefarious purposes.Disney produced several tie-in prequels set between TRON and TRON: Legacy:
A graphic novel, TRON: Betrayal, tells the story of how Kevin Flynn created The Grid and Clu, as well as the emergence of the ISOs and Clu's desire to rebel against Flynn.
The game TRON: Evolution takes place during Clu's rebellion and gives players control of Anon, a system monitor created by Flynn who fights against Clu and a virus named Abraxas.
TRON: Evolution: Battle Grids, set before Clu's rebellion, allows the player take control of their own character to compete in various games in the arena.
An animated series, TRON: Uprising, depicting Clu's rule of The Grid; the series focuses on Beck, a program trained by Tron who hopes to lead a revolution against Clu and free his hometown Argon City from his army.
TRON: Legacy provides examples of the following tropes:
3-D Movie: Unlike most of its contemporaries, this movie was filmed from the outset in 3D format, as opposed to being later converted in post production. The camera equipment used was also a generational step beyond the 3D technology used in Avatar. Note: The "real world" footage is presented in 2-D, and the "Electronic world" footage is presented in 3-D, as per the filmmaker's intentions.
Action Girl: Quorra. Even when captured, she still has the gumption to strike back at Rinzler the instant Sam distracts him.
Action Survivor: Sam Flynn starts out as this before he gets the hang of the technology of the Grid.
Castor, Zuse's gatekeeper, actually is Zuse.note Players of TRON: Evolution might wonder how Zuse maintains his cover, since his physical appearance as Castor in Legacy is exactly the same in his cameo in Evolution, just prior to Clu's bid for power and when he was publicly known as Zuse. Surely some programs exist who remember what Zuse looks like?
Also inverted and subverted. Clu allows Sam to believe he's Kevin, but by the time he reveals otherwise, Sam's in the process of working it out.
Sam pulls this on top of the Encom tower, when he reveals to the security guard that he is Kevin's son, and as such is the owner of the company and the guard's boss. Then he jumps.
Sam: Your boss works for the CEO, and the CEO works for the shareholders. Now do you know who the largest shareholder is? Security Guard: I don't know, some kid? Sam: (gestures to himself in a "ta-da!" motion) Security Guard: Mr. Flynn?!
A.I. Is a Crapshoot: Clu attacks his creator, Kevin Flynn, for abandoning their mission to create the perfect system on the Grid.
Alas, Poor Villain: Clu. The look on his face during his flashback and when Kevin reintegrates with him is just heartrending. After all, he was simply trying to fulfill his objective in the only way he knew how, and while Kevin developed as a person, the arrogance he'd left CLU with — including the belief that he knew best and was already perfect — was a driving force behind many of his actions. Considering that he was a program, he lacked the broadness of mind which humans like Kevin and his son Sam have.
Alternate Reality: In a much more lifelike, sophisticated Cyberspace. It possibly also allows computer programs to travel into our world physically.
Alternate Reality Game / Viral Marketing / In-Universe Marketing: The Flynn Lives ARG, which ran from July 2009 to December 2010, told the story of a group of conspiracy theorists attempting to locate Kevin Flynn long after the rest of the world presumed him dead. Events in the game included the opening of a replica Flynn's Arcade in San Diego during the 2009 and 2010 Comic-Cons, an Encom press conference hosted by Bruce Boxleitner in character as Alan Bradley with Cindy Morgan as Lora (even though Morgan does not appear in the film itself), and the release of a fully playable version of the video game Space Paranoids. Members of this group got swag including a poster, postcards, pins, stickers and plenty more. And in the end they possibly caused the transmission that allowed Clu to send the page.
Sam Flynn: Polar ice caps melting, war in the Middle East, Lakers/Celtics back at it.
Art Evolution: Necessary, considering the advances in computer-generated SFX since the original TRON. The SFX department handled Legacy as if it were sacred since TRON was the grand-daddy of their craft. Ironically, unlike the original film, most of the Tron Lines on clothing were practical effects instead of animated onto each frame. Justified in the context of the film itself because one would expect that advances in computer technology would allow for more realistic rendering of environments and people. And Flynn let Tron et al get rid of the goofy hats while he was at it.
Artifact Title: It seems like a case of this at first, since Tron himself is nowhere to be seen. Turns out he's hiding in plain sight, corrupted by Clu and now known as Rinzler.
Artificial Brilliance: In an odd example of emergent behavior being a plot point in a non-videogame setting, the ISOs are a direct result of Kevin's work on the Grid responding in a way he never anticipated being possible.
Ascended Extra: Clu, in a way. The first film's Clu is a vaguely-defined hacking program presumably designed to slip into the MCP's private archive and dig up proof that Flynn wrote Space Paranoids, and depicted in an almost child-like manner. He gets captured early on by a Recognizer Zerg Rush and derezzed during interrogation by the MCP. Legacy's Clu is an entirely different program, created after the events of the first movie to help Flynn create a perfect grid (supplementary materials state that his full name is actually "Clu 2.0", but this movie doesn't mention the original Clu to avoid confusion). This time, the vaguely-defined purpose of his programming is what allows him to turn on his creator and become the film's Big Bad.
Clu is apparently the toughest thing in the entire Grid. While not as flashily agile as Tron or Rinzler, he's unfazed by a de-rezzing disc hit from Tron, and manages to take out both Tron and Sam with one punch. In the final battle, fighting him doesn't do any good at all, and Flynn has to perform a Heroic Sacrifice to finally get rid of the guy. It makes sense that he's way tougher than any normal program, as Flynn (who's basically God) made him specifically to serve as his stand-in while he was out in the real world. Additionally, Flynn implies that this version of Clu is a true A.I. rather than a basic program, making him akin to a somewhat less omnipotent, but also less bloated and more mobile version of the MCP.
Also Rinzler. He's Clu's Dragon and is champion of the games. Turns out, there's a reason he's that good; he's a "repurposed" Tron.
Awesomeness Is a Force: Merely by being present, Kevin Flynn is able to completely turn the battle in the End of Line Club around. He doesn't need to do anything other than walk into the room, kneel, touch the floor with one hand and WHAM. Functionally, this is probably something akin to Kevin using his authorization as creator of the system (think "sysop with root access") to override Clu's, neutralizing the enhanced capabilities Clu granted his Black Guards and possibly even granting his faithful similar capabilities.
digitalcrypt: As someone who has worked in IT and software for two decades, it is one of my favorite moments in any movie, anywhere. Little collections of ones and zeros think they can go off and misbehave how they want and have their fun...and along comes a human: "I think that's enough chaos for today." :-) (Too bad the job isn't always THAT easy. But the end result is the same, even if it takes a lot more time and work sometimes.) ;-)
Background Halo: When Flynn is on the Solar Sailor meditating, the light behind him gives him the appearance of having one.
Badass Bystander: When the Black Guards storm Castor's nightclub and turn it into a brawl, the patrons and resistance members spring into action. They are outmatched, but they outnumber the guards, and despite several losses they succeed in killing three of them once Kevin Flynn appears.
Big Bad: Clu, ironically enough. The film plays with assumptions from the first movie by hinting at a big bad in the real world similar to Dillinger by introducing Dillinger's son early on, but this ends up being a red herring.
Quorra's description of how Flynn rescued her before the movie took place. Quorra was surrounded by Clu's blackguards and when she opened her eyes... there was only Flynn standing there.
Kevin Flynn makes such an entrance during the fight at the End of Line Club.
Quorra makes not one but two dramatic entrances: the first was in the Game Arena to save Sam. She saves Sam once more when she crashes the party at the End of Line Club after Zuse and Gem reveal their true loyalties.
Sam crashing into Clu's headquarters to save Quorra and Kevin Flynn's Identity Disc,Badass Boast and all.
Bittersweet Ending: Bitter in that Flynn made a Heroic Sacrifice. Sweet in that Quorra got to see a sunrise, is able to bring what Flynn wanted to bring out into the real world, and Sam finally grew up, found out what happened to his father, and now Clu's tyranny is finished.
Electronically altered voices, for some characters more than others — Sam's initial contacts on the Grid had lots of flanging, while Quorra's and most of the program main cast was barely noticeable. Noticeable or not, every program's voice was processed to some degree.
Blofeld Ploy: Clu looks like he's going to kill Rinzler for failing to secure Flynn's Identity Disc, but instead kills Jarvis. To be fair, Rinzler made a concerted effort to at least try, against two of the strongest fighters on the grid other than himself and Clu, while Jarvis simply submitted without a fight.
Boss Battle: In-story example — the final round of the Deadly Disc competition pits the surviving player against Rinzler, who is one of the best disc fighters in the history of the Grid and gets to use two discs. He's Tron, so it makes sense he'd be the boss.
Rinzler's first appearance is in his personal Disc Wars court, which is cross-shaped. Tron was introduced in the first film fighting a 4-on-1 Disc match in the middle of a cross-shaped court, lending another subtle clue to Rinzler's true identity.
Cillian Murphy appears as the son of TRON's villain, Dillinger, working at Encom.
The poster above is similar to the poster for the original. There is a poster for the original movie (in-universe, for the game) in Sam's bedroom in the beginning of the film, and he has a few of his action figures set up to resemble it.
A poster of the original TRON film adorns young Sam's wall, although in-universe, it's an advert for the game.
When Kevin, Sam and Quorra board the Light Jet on the flight deck, and Quorra is making the jet lift off to escape, Kevin says to her "You got this, Quorra. It's all in the wrists.". In the original TRON, after Kevin has beaten the video game Space Paranoids record at the arcade, he gets asked by an unseen man "Hey Flynn, how'd you do it?". He answers "It's all in the wrists.".
When Sam is breaking into Encom, he forges himself access and when the door opens, he says "Now that is a big door." In the original TRON, Kevin Flynn forges access into Encom with the same comment when the door opens.
After Clu has collected Kevin Flynn's data disc from Castor/Zuse, his Black Guards put up bombs in the club. Clu's final words, as he leaves, are "End of line". This is in direct reference to TRON when the Master Control Program (MCP) stated this when it terminated communications with anyone "inferior" to itself.
Flynn's mantel ornaments resemble his Bit from the original.
"This isn't happening..."
Sam: "Pull up, man! You can't make that!" Quorra: "Made it." Later on, Quorra: "Clu will be here any minute. We'll never make it." Sam: "Made it."
"Identify yourself, program." "I'm not a program. My name is Sam Flynn." (the first time, it's right after he gets slapped around by Rinzler; the second time, he's about to open a can of whoopass on the mothership)
Kevin: "In there is a new world! In there is our future! In there is our destiny..." Clu: "Out there is a new world! Out there is our victory! Out there is our destiny..."
The sign above Sam's apartment door reads "Dumont Manufacturing." Revealed in the viral campaign to have been renamed by Flynn after he bought out the company. A "connect-the-obscure-dots" for this callback:
"Dumont" was the name of the tower guardian program in the original film, played by Barnard Hughes.
Hughes also played Dr. Walter Gibbs, a programmer and Encom employee in the real world who, by the example of other actors' human/program dual roles, is assumed to be Dumont's creator.
Ed Dillinger Sr. makes a comment that Encom is no longer the company that Dr. Gibbs started in his garage.
Sam's "apartment" is a converted garage which, as noted, has a faded "Dumont Manufacturing" logo on it.
The speech played when Sam receives his Disc is almost word-for-word from the speech Sark gave to the conscripts in the original.
"This is it... come on!"
The original teaser trailer was evocative of Sark's Light Cycle duel in the original, though it also showcased how much things had changed — and the old tricks didn't work any more.
Music from the band Journey playing in the background of Flynn's arcade.
Both films feature a vehicle on the Game Grid blasting a hole in the wall and a vehicle escaping through it.
Sam changes his shirt while having some backstory exposition with Alan. Exactly like his father changing his shirt at the arcade's office when Bradley and Lora visited him in the original TRON.
Flynn's old Electronic Quarterback handheld game is collecting dust in his basement office. In the original film, he briefly plays it during Alan and Lora's visit at the arcade.
A very subtle one, but in the initial arena sequence, we see the "private box" of Clu as he watches the Games. Complete with a pimped out couch that he can lounge on. Despite a full, opaque helmet and Tron Lines-adorned armor, the body language is identical to Kevin Flynn lounging on a similar couch in his arcade office in the first film, identifying the program as Clu.
The way the camera rotates as it flies through the title is reminiscent of the way it does the same in the first.
More game-related lines than you can count: "Game on, old friend", "a new piece on the board", "It's his game now", "The game has changed", etc. — with, of course, the obligatory shout-out to Wargames.
The Program who jumps to his deresolution rather than be conscripted into the Games, bringing to mind the guard in the first movie who jumped rather than face Tron.
"FINISH THE GAME!" Also counts as an Ironic Echo; in the first film, Sark shouts this at Flynn when Flynn hesitates hesitates to kill Crom in the ring game, while in this film, Clu shouts it at Rinzler as Rinzler is in pursuit of Flynn, Quorra, and Sam.
In the End of Line Club, there are some programs sitting off to the side that Gem mentions as being distracted. In the original TRON, there's a scene after Flynn crashes the recognizer where he passes up a few programs in a similar situation while walking about.
Camp Straight: Although we never really get a hint at whether programs actually have sexual orientations,note Though it should be noted Jarvis is briefly seen flirting — badly — with Gem at the End Of Line Club, and other programs are also seen behaving in behavior that can be viewed as romantic or intimate. Not to mention the subtle romantic plot for Sam and Quorra or even whether the concept of sexual orientation would make any sense in The Grid, Castor is most definitely camp... turned Up to Eleven... IN CYBERSPAAAAAAAAACE!
What happened if you didn't get sent to the games? "Rectify."
Rinzler has two discs. watch VERY carefully for another program that gets two discs. Also counts as a Chekhov M.I.A..
Quorra told Sam what would happen to Kevin if he merged back with Clu. Guess what happens at the end of the movie.
Chekhov's Skill: At the start of the film, during his infiltration of Encom and subsequent run from the police, Sam displays the athleticism he will later need to survive the games, including several specific skills that come in handy again:
Sam's nonstandard motorcycle usage to evade the cops presages his nonstandard, and ultimately successful, light cycle performance; he even performs more or less the same kind of jump on both cycles in order to accomplish context-specific goals.
Sam's BASE-jumping skills, seen during his escape from Encom Tower, is used again in the finale to help him and Quorra escape Clu's quarters and make it to Kevin using some sort of digital parachute. Sam references this to Kevin after landing on the ground.
Used ingeniously in the viral campaign where a code entered on website "Hello Flynn" showed home videos of Kevin and Sam throwing stones on water, riding bikes and throwing a frisbee.
Blink-and-you'll-miss-it moment in Sam's garage/apartment: When Alan shows up, over his shoulder you can see a big punching bag. Apparently Sam boxes in his free time, which explains some of his fighting skills.
Rinzler is the final opponent for any combatant. Not only is he much better and faster than them, he gets an extra disc to fight with.
Sam: Is that even legal?
During the Light Cycle match, Clu's team has faster Cycles. Clu himself also uses his disc (the others don't, though it's not clear if they just couldn't) and Rinzler has a backup cycle.
Stacked on top of all of this is the fact that Clu is apparently unkillable by normal means (he takes a normally-fatal blow in a flashback and isn't even scratched), which means even if some program managed to luck out and get past everything else, they'd never beat Clu. See Heroic Sacrifice for the significance.
The Computer Is Your Friend: Clu isn't a rogue A.I. at all. He is, in fact, working exactly as Flynn intendedat the moment he created him. The problem is that he became obsolete once the ISOs appeared, since he was not designed to be able to handle the ISOs' chaotic nature, which ill-fit Clu's definition of order. Flynn himself says that Clu's obsession with order was a reflection of his own misunderstanding of the concept of a "perfect system". Flynn's attitude towards Clu is that of a remorseful father, not of one who created a monster.
Clu: Flynn! Am I still to create the perfect system? Flynn:... Yeah...?
Crapsack World: Clu's version of the Grid is a hellhole where people live in fear of his totalitarian power. If you do anything to get the government against you, you're either forced to kill others for the amusement of a spectator crowd, or are brainwashed to be a part of a faceless army.
Crazy-Prepared: Rinzler, in addition to having two discs, also carries a spare light-cycle baton and a spare light-jet baton with him.
Creating Life Is Awesome: Kevin Flynn is a benevolent creator of programs that are alive... and who also transform into biological humans when/if they beam over to the human world. While some programs can be considered bad people, the act of creation done by a human is treated as cool and worthwhile in itself. Clu was the one who turned bad and corrupted others, but the mistake Kevin did was portrayed as being not creating Clu in the first place but rather charging him with a well-meaning but inherently flawed agenda.
Creative Sterility: Clu cannot create new programs, he can only "repurpose" them. This actually seems to fit into the religious undertone of the series, as it's a trope that the Devil (Fallen Angel, in this case Clu) cannot create new life on his own, as that power rests only with God (in this case, Kevin Flynn), so the most he can do is pervert and distort God's creations to his own purposes. This works out for fans, because it meant Clu repurposed and reprogrammed Tron instead of killing him. Clu wanted a champion and enforcer, but couldn't just create a new one from scratch. His answer was to simply reprogram Tron into Rinzler.
Creator Cameo: Steven Lisberger, who directed TRON and produced this film, is in the background at the End of Line Club scene as a bartender (the comic book prequel TRON: Betrayal gives his name as Shaddix).
Darker and Edgier: While the original TRON was a Save The World story with some Camp value, this Grid features genocide, programs dropping like flies, betrayal, Ludicrous Voxels, and a tyrant hellbent on keeping his citizens in line by any means necessary. Just to hammer it home, the old monochrome grey suits are black now.
Deadly Disc: The Identity Discs. Deadlier and faster than in the original, especially when one disc can split into two. Shades of TRON 2.0.
Deadly Game: The arena is apparently prime entertainment for programs in this system.
Sam Flynn: Tolstoy. Dostoyesky. I Ching. Journey Without Goal. Must have a killer ending.
Despair Event Horizon: By the time Sam finds him, his father has long since passed over this. Betrayal by his creation, murder of his friend, genocide of the people he was hoping would revolutionize the world, large-scale corruption of the world he'd created, and a prolonged, endless struggle with no hope of victory and no escape would do that to a man.
Disney Death: Quorra. Since no program had ever before crossed into the real world, there was some question about whether or not the process would work. Sam and Quorra leave the virtual world together. After the climactic ending, we cut to the real world and Sam is standing alone in the old arcade, looking sad as he downloads something onto a memory stick. He meets Alan and has a conversation with no mention whatsoever of Quorra, then goes outside the arcade alone. Only thendo we hear Quorra's voice and they reveal that she made it into the real world, and was just waiting for Sam outside, not only none the worse for wear but she's found a new wardrobe.
Averted. Instead of falling to his deresolution, Clu is reabsorbed by Flynn who then explodes as Sam and Quorra escape to the real world.
Rinzler, on the other hand, gets one, falling into the Sea of Simulation. But even then we see his colors change and it's suggested he has become Tron again, though his fate is not revealed.
Dissonant Serenity: The DJs in the End of Line Club. Just before a fight scene, one turns to the other, nods, and they start playing background music to the fight. Which is entirely appropriate considering they wrote the soundtrack.
Downer Ending: For a Disney film; could be considered as a possible Sequel Hook. Sam is finally reunited with his father after his disappearance 20 years ago only to have his father seemingly lost forever after reabsorbing Clu. Also, Tron breaks Clu's mind control and redeems himself by protecting Sam and Flynn during the climatic chase scene only to sink to his apparent death. Made bittersweet in the final scene.
Rinzler can split his disc into two. He can use both as melee weapons, and does throw both precisely once in the whole film, right at the beginning of the Disc Wars fight. (The camera is focusing on Sam so it's hard to see him throwing the second disk in the background.)
Quorra fights with her Identity Disc in one hand and a Laser Blade in the other.
Some Black Guards use a baton split in two laser blades.
Dystopia: Clu believes he's building "the perfect system", which is really this.
Eating the Eye Candy: Right after Quorra rescues Sam from the Light Cycle grid and they're on the twisty mountain path leading to Kevin's hideout, Sam looks out the window and stares in awe at the scenery, and she briefly looks him up and down with a smirk on her face, apparently admiring some scenery of her own...
Egopolis: TRON City (not used in the movie, but All There in the Manual). It's a subversion, though, since it was Kevin Flynn's idea, and Tron never was a dictator, more like a protector of the system.
Elite Mooks: Clu's soldiers are actually quite skilled at fighting. During the battle at the End of Line club they have Sam and Quorra (and some insurgents) beat until Kevin arrives.
Everything Is Online: Averted. The Grid is not hooked up to the Internet, and the one time we see any hacking in the Real World, Sam has to physically make his way into the building, past security, to physically access a server and connect it to his phone to get the files into the system.
Evil Is Sterile: As mentioned in the Creative Sterility entry, Clu, as the Satan figure in the film's theology, is only able to "repurpose" other programs, contrasting with his creator and father, Flynn.
Exact Words: Clu was programmed to "create the perfectsystem". Basic rule of programming: programs do exactly what you tell them to, not what you thought or meant. But it's easier to forget this when they look and talk like people.
Extremely Short Timespan: After the initial scene with young Sam and Kevin in 1989, the non-flashback portion of the film takes place over a few hours, from shortly before midnight one night, and a bit after sunrise the next morning. Inside the Grid, it again takes place over a few hours, which translate to milliseconds on the outside.
The Faceless: Rinzler, to hide the fact that he is really a brainwashed Tron. Also probably to save having to digitally de-age Bruce Boxleitner's face for more than the few seconds it's shown in flashbacks. The flashbacks themselves also have a bit of a digital haze to them, effectively de-emphasizing the fact that Boxleitner's de-aging wasn't nearly as detailed, according to Cinefex.
Fanservice: Nothing overt, but there's lots of people in skintight suits.
Fantastic Racism: Clu and his regime, against the ISOs, and in turn the Users. The events of TRON: Betrayal indicate that Clu believed the ISOs were actually damaging the Grid by their very presence, which he believed was an anathema to the perfect, ordered system that Flynn had asked him to create.
Rinzler has a T-shaped arrangement of squares on his chest, as Tron did in the original film. Related to that, in a flashback of Clu betraying Flynn and Tron, the latter grabs another disc and strikes a pose, just like what he did as Rinzler earlier in the film. After the Gory Discretion Shot of Clu taking out Tron, we start to hear the ominous flickering sound associated with Rinzler.
Quorra's almost childlike inquisitiveness combined with Kevin's description of the ISOs as being "profoundly naive yet unimaginably wise" foreshadows that Quorra is in fact an ISO, and the last one at that. Quorra also emotes an unusual sorrow and dread at Kevin's mention of the Purge during the exposition to Sam... unusual unless she's an ISO herself.
Freefall Fight: Between Clu and Rinzler after the latter crashed their Light Jets together, to seize the remaining Light Jet baton.
Game Changer: Kevin Flynn explains to Sam that with his arrival into the Grid that the previous stalemate between Flynn and Clu is given a shake-up. This is what Clu was expecting by summoning Sam to the arcade, hoping to egg Flynn out of his self-exile. Flynn initially tries to ignore the bait but Sam doesn't like trying to stay still.
Subverted with Kevin Flynn. While he technically is a God, as the Creator of the Grid, indeed being venerated by many Programs and ISOs, Flynn clearly does not wish for any of this worship and devotion, instead content to act in the role as benevolent father-figure who wishes to help his creations.
Played horribly straight with Clu, who being a duplicate of a younger, immature Flynn, ended up manifesting much of the darker parts of Flynn's own ego.
God Is Flawed: Most of the movie takes place in the world of the Grid, which Kevin Flynn created (Quorra acknowledges him as "the creator") and can manipulate in various ways (see Physical God below). He is wise and benevolent, a personality that might seem a bit out of character for those who have seen the first movie and remember him as an immature brat. Later, he explains that he was still immature and shortsighted when he created the Grid, created Clu, and gave Clu his mission of "creating the perfect system"; he passed his flaws along to Clu, eventually leading to Clu's tyranny.
God Is Good: Played with. Kevin Flynn is a kindly father figure to his creations. However, he is not infallible (see directly above), and, after his terrible mistake with Clu, he is reluctant to interfere in the universe.
Go-Go Enslavement: When Sam arrives in the grid and is captured, the Armory Sirens cut away his clothes and dress him in the standard program attire.
Good Colors, Evil Colors: Like the original, blue means "good guy", red means "bad guy". Green can be either, and the leader of the bad guys is yellow-orange. Due to suit technology, the blue was extremely pale compared to the blue of the first film. This complicated color-coding scheme descends from Executive Meddling in the first film: Originally good programs were to be yellow and bad ones blue. Disney execs thought this too confusing and demanded that red=bad and blue=good, but by this time the scenes with the yellow Clu were already finished. So...note Or manning a tank messes with your color in the ENCOM grid, since the MCP's tanks were manned by green programs. Also Flynn's color changed to match whoever he last touched. (Or, foreign code and military code.) The Game Sirens are dressed in white-blue, and they do "help" Programs... by equipping them to fight for their lives in the Arena. Its not clear if they work "for" Clu or they're just neutral. And of course, Programs who are just pretending to be good will dress in blue/white.
With data cubes (voxels) and shards spilling all over the damn place, this movie has plenty of it.
Even then, Sam Flynn gets bloody wounds from his battle against Rinzler. Considering that most Disney movies, including the 1982 original, seldom show The Hero getting even a scratch in battle, TRON: Legacy is quite possibly the darkest Disney movie yet.
Not just once, either. Before the previous example, Zuse blasts another of the Black Guard point blank to the head, from behind.Darker and Edgier, indeed.
Grandpa God: Kevin Flynn, the demiurge of the Grid, is an old silver-bearded man in white robes.
Grappling-Hook Pistol: Generated by a baton, thus the cable is made of light like the Light Cycles, Staffs or Swords.
A Black Guard uses it to steal Kevin Flynn's Identity Disc in the End of Line club.
Quorra also uses one to swing under the bridge (and Clu) at the Portal.
Gravity Screw: The gravity in the Disk Wars arena can be reversed, turning the ceiling into the new floor. Clu can apparently control this with a remote, though there's a warning siren when the changeover is activated. Because Sam is unfamiliar with the games, he doesn't know what the siren means or why Rinzler is running up the wall of the arena, until he's falling upwards and hits the ceiling, hard. More experienced players like Rinzler know that the trick is to run up the curved arena wall, timing it just right that you're perpendicular to the original floor just as the gravity changeover occurs, at which point you just run "down" to the original ceiling.
Hermit Guru: Kevin Flynn resembles a stereotypical Far Eastern sage in many, many ways. Living a secluded life, reading classic Buddhist and Taoist texts and meditating in a Lotus Position certainly helps. Lampshaded by the famous "messing with the Zen thing" phrase. This is probably also influenced by the fact that Jeff Bridges himself has become a devout Buddhist and does "the Zen thing" in real life.
Flynn integrates with Clu to stop him from getting out of the Grid. And then explodes.
He's Back: Kevin showing up at the End of Line Club and winning the fight by merely being there. What he does is to undo the horrible odds Zuse had imposed against the club's patrons. Note that his hand is on the floor and he's implied to be having an effect of some sort.
Flynn: What's your plan? Sam: I'm a User. I'll improvise.
Information Wants to Be Free: Sam stages an undercover operation to release the source code of Encom's operating system to the public (he's the main stockholder of the company, so it's legal for him to do so).
Insecurity Camera: During his visit to Encom, Sam causes the camera (and apparently there's only one camera between the rear entrance and the secure server room) to stop working just long enough for him to get past it. The obligatory lazy security guard in the monitoring room notices that it's stopped working, but when it comes on again he decides it was nothing.
Quorra apparently has never flown before. Not that it stopped her from deftly mixing it up with six Light Jets in the Light Flyer. May be an aspect of her ISO-ness.
Sam is often mistaken for this. However, he gets lucky in Round 1 of Disc Wars, cheats in Round 2, and gets beaten soundly by Rinzler in Round 3. Then, the Light Cycle competition comes down to him and Clu, and Clu has the fastest bike. Sam would have lost that, too, if the event had not been interrupted by an "illegal combatant". Later, he and Quorra mix it up with some red guys and some blue guys, and find themselves on the losing end of that battle until Kevin shows up. He later kills two mooks who were not shown even putting up a fight, then he and Quorra work together (with Sam using two discs, no less) to defeat Rinzler and succeed only in slowing him down. Toward the end, he found himself on the losing side of an aerial dogfight until Rinzler does a Heel-Face Turn... this is not a case of Instant Expert so much as Random Number God.
There's a shot of Kevin before his disappearance giving a speech, which Clu echoes in his speech to the army.
Kevin: In there... is our destiny!
Clu: Out there... is our destiny!
In the flashback, when Clu attempts the coup against Kevin, Kevin pleads "Why?" as Clu stands over him. At the end of the film, when Clu, standing over Kevin again, realizes that Kevin switched his Disc with Quorra's, it is Clu who bleats, "Why?"
It Only Works Once: In his first disc match, Sam wins by breaking the floor in the spot his opponent is trying to land, sending him plummeting to his death. When he tries this on Rinzler a couple matches later, Rinzler lands on the edges so he doesn't fall through.
Jedi Mind Trick: Kevin Flynn attempts this when stealing the light jet by reprogramming the guard from behind. After getting the guard's attention, the inital request doesn't work. Then Kevin whacks the guard on the top of the head, making him comply with the new programming.
Just Think of the Potential: Flynn was delighted with the Grid and especially the ISOs, seeing them as capable of revolutionizing "science, medicine, religion, everything!" Of course, Clu disagreed with the notion, meaning that Flynn's entire vision came to nothing.
Latex Space Suit: A majority of the programs, but literally the Armory Sirens, at least the outer layer. In a special feature on the DVD, Beau Garrett (the actress who plays Gem) explains that her costume has four layers; the outermost layer is a sprayed-on latex, similar to the latex used in party balloons.
When he arrives at the arcade, Sam turns on a jukebox that instantly starts playing music. Since he never turns it off before being transported, presumably the music kept playing the whole time he was uploaded.
Love at First Sight: While not quite love, there is a near-immediate pre-romance going on between Sam and Quorra, starting with her Eating the Eye Candy after rescuing him from the Light Cycle grid. The first and most obvious hint that he feels the same way is dropped during the conversation on the Solar Sailer simulation. When Quorra asks Sam to describe the Sun, he looks at the Portal when saying "warm" and "radiant", but turns to her to say "beautiful", which gets a smile from her. Naturally, the movie ends with her seeing the Sun for the first time.
Ludicrous Gibs: Well, Ludicrous Voxels — some of the program's deresolutions are quite graphic, if being converted into a million little blue or red cubes can be called that...
MacGuffin: Apart from the above Living MacGuffin, Flynn's disc, which would supposedly enable Clu to enter the physical world.
Madness Mantra: "Not the games not the games not the games not the games..."
Beginning of the movie: "In there is a new world... in there is our destiny!" End of the movie: "Out there is a new world... out there is our destiny!"
Sam: "Pull up, man! You can't make that!" Quorra: "Made it." Later on, Quorra: "Clu will be here any minute. We'll never make it." Sam: "Made it."
Right after Sam gets steamrolled by Rinzler: "Identify yourself, program" "I'm not a program. My name is Sam Flynn." Later, when Sam is about to open a can of whoopass on the mothership, the same exchange occurs word-for-word.
In the beginning, immediately before Flynn gets trapped in the Grid, he promises to play an arcade game with Sam, assuring him that they're "always on the same team". On Clu's Rectifier ship, Sam makes it clear that he won't leave without his father, saying "'Same team', remember?" Flynn responds, "I was afraid you were gonna say that."
Mega Corp.: Encom. They've expanded since the first and the board takes advantage of Flynn's absence to go against his ideals in the name of profit.
Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: During the final phase of Flynn Lives, the titular organization attempted to find Kevin Flynn by investigating his last major public appearance — a promotional tour for his book The Digital Frontier — and locate mysterious packages he had left at each stop on the tour. They had hoped that by gathering the information left in the packages, they could create a "digital pulse" that would allow them to send a message to Flynn. Instead, the pulse temporarily connects the Grid to California's phone system, giving Clu the opportunity to send the page to Alan Bradley and set in motion the chain of events that would almost lead to the conquest of Earth.
No Flow in CGI: This is an Invoked Trope, since though the programmers and actors could easily have included billowy clothes and long hair, they chose to have nearly everyone wear skintight clothing for most of the film and sport very short or bound hairstyles.
Not So Different: Clu was created in Kevin's image, so it stands to reason, but his speech to the programs near the end especially bears an uncanny resemblance to the recording of the one Kevin makes near the beginning of the film.
Sam facing off against several of Clu's minions looks like it would be a pretty awesome fight scene, right? Too bad all we get to see of it is Jarvis' reaction as it happens right outside his door.
We never actually get to see how Sam and Quorra leave the Grid and re-materialize in the real world, or Sam leave the real world and appear in the Grid for that matter (this crosses over with Take Our Word for It).
Opinion Flipflop: Clu's spinelessly sycophantic right hand program. Neatly mirrors both Clu and Sam's desire to reconcile with Kevin Flynn, their higher-up/father.
Orange/Blue Contrast: The movie itself consists mostly of this. It could have been grandfathered in as the original TRON was mostly black-and-white with Red and Blue glow-lines. For the sequel they kept the Blue glow intact, but then they went and tweaked the Red to be various, mostly orange-ish shades.
The Outside World: The real world in this film and the original TRON'. Programs are barely aware of its existence, except as a place where the nearly-mythical Users live, but some of them are anxious to break out of their computerized life and enter reality. The MCP in Tron is trying to use Dillinger to access more powerful systems, namely the Pentagon, and Clu 2.0 in Legacy actually wants to invade the real world to make it "perfect".
Parental Abandonment: Sam suffers from this; in addition to his father's disappearance, his mother was killed in a car accident shortly after he was born. Alan does his best to be a surrogate father. Arguably, Clu is also an example (Flynn being the disappeared "father").
Parental Substitute: Alan took over as father figure to Sam after Kevin disappears. In one of the clips in the news montage on Kevin's disappearance, it looks like he's about to go Papa Wolf on some hounding reporters harassing young Sam.
In the real world, a guard taps his security monitor and it (coincidentally) begins working again.
Flynn tries to reprogram a guard to let him steal a Light Fighter and it apparently doesn't work — then he thumps the guard on the head, and the new programming kicks in.
Guard:You are not authorized. Kevin:*whack* Guard:Right away, sir.
At the beginning of the "Derezzed" music video, one member of the Daft Punk duo starts the video game with a kick.
Perfection Is Impossible: After seeing the disastrous results of giving Clu the directive to create a perfect system, Flynn has come to this conclusion. He tries to explain this to Clu during the film's climax, but this only incenses Clu futher.
Perma Stubble: Clu, due to Kevin Flynn having some stubble when he created Clu. And since programs don't age....
Phony Newscast: The second half of the prologue is done via newscasts.
Physical God: Kevin is able to alter the Grid as its creator; for example, he can empower friendly programs to fight better, allowing them to overcome Clu's Elite Mooks (to be fair, they did just Zerg Rush the mooks), take control of machines and elevators, and heal damaged programs by removing damaged code. He can also kill Clu, but can't do this without triggering a huge explosion that will kill everyone in a wide radius. With a bit of time to work, he can also reprogram guards. Some still-faithful programs can be seen kneeling as Kevin walks by in the bar fight scene, enraptured by his presence.
Playful Hacker: Sam, who apparently has used the computer savvy he inherited from his father to annually prank Encom. He doesn't do it just for the heck of it like some hackers, either: he's basically punishing the company for abandoning his father's philanthropic bent.
Precision F-Strike: Sam gets one during his botched getaway after stealing the ENCOM OS 12 and redistributing it on the Internet; specifically, when his parachute gets caught on a stray pole in the middle of the road.
Product Placement: With most of the movie taking place in the computer world, they need to stuff it in early.
When the police motorcycle is about to pursue Sam on the highway, it stops in front of the camera for a moment — trying to let you know that it's a BMW police bike.
Sam and Alan drinking Coors. In one shot, a Coors can takes up about a third of the frame, but it is tastefully out of focus. (Word of Godinvoked says that the beer was not intended product placement; the director simply liked the color and look of the can and thought it would look good on-screen).
Kevin's old Ducati bike is given a lot of attention. Sam also rides the same Ducati, and the company's logo is quite visible on the gas tank in a side-views shot as he flees the cops.
Sam's phone is a Nokia N8 with a few custom attachments.
Almost all of the toys and models in young Sam's room are actual merchandise created to promote the movie, especially the action figures.
Punctuated! For! Emphasis!: Albeit a short one. Quorra needs to verbally club a hesitant Sam to get into the Light Runner when she sprangs him from the Light Cycle grid.
Quorra: GET. IN.
A Pupil of Mine Until He Turned to Evil: Clu since all he wanted was perfection. The comic Betrayal indicates Clu was more a Deceptive Disciple, especially since he was planting bombs in the City to frame the ISOs and turned the Games lethal before striking the final blow with the coup.
Pursuing Parental Perils: Subverted, as Sam wanted nothing to do with Encom, but played straight because the kid inherited his father's computer skills, and used them to prank the company annually, before finally exerting his majority stock share and taking direct control after getting some closure on his Parental Abandonment.
Raven Hair, Ivory Skin: Quorra's combination of dark clothes and hair and pale skin/white Tron Lines emphasize this. She's also quite gorgeous, as Sam and Clu can attest.
Really 700 Years Old: Kevin Flynn has been missing for only 20 real-world years, but has passed the equivalent of a thousand years inside the Grid. So he has a body of a 60-year old man, but the accumulated wisdom of ten lifetimes. Kevin mentions that a millicycle is about eight hours. That would make one full cycle to be 8000 hours, or about 333 days, roughly a year. Judging by Castor/Zuse's comment about Clu looking for Flynn's disk for "over a thousand cycles," Kevin Flynn has been exiled for over 913 years, from his point of view.
Recursive Canon: The TRON and Discs of TRON video games were apparently made and published by Encom based on Kevin Flynn's experiences. TRON 2.0 did the same thing.
Redemption Rejection: At the climax on the bridge, Flynn legitimately apologises to Clu for everything he had done that resulted in Clu becoming the way he was. He then offers to embrace him. Clu, looking absolutely stunned, seems almost willing to accept. Instead, he sends Flynn flying across the walkway.
Flynn telling Sam that they would play on the same team. It sounded exactly like Flynn was Tempting Fate, and he'd have to fight Sam at the Grid. It didn't happen, but would probably look damn cool.
There's also the old-school Light Cycle, to a point. Quorra makes a point that it is the fastest version around, so you expect that there's going to be a Light Cycle match to show this off. Instead, Sam takes it for a ride, gives it to a hobo to perform an identity switch, and then the Light Cycle leads Clu back to Flynn's hideout.
The coin that Flynn tosses to Sam before he disappears. It is implied to be the same coin Sam puts in the TRON machine in the arcade, so we're lead to think it's some kind of key. It turns out to be just a coin, and falls unceremoniously to the floor. Then subverted, as the coin hitting the floor brings Sam's attention to grooves in the floor that indicate it's not just an arcade cabinet...
Red Shirt Army: The resistance programs at the End of Line club who are trying to enlist Zuse's help against Clu. When the Black Guards bust in, the best they're able to do is keep a couple of the bad guys busy, and pretty much get slaughtered. At least until Kevin walks in and manages to turn the tide singlehandedly by simply being there.
Reed Richards Is Useless: Averted. After his first adventure with Tron, Kevin Flynn spent the next few years developing the Grid as a digital world for both Users and Programs, hoping to revolutionize the human race. By the film's end, Quorra and Sam set out to do just that, though exactly how isn't addressed for the time being.
Retraux: All over the place. Specially, with an old-school Lightcycle (not the same as in the original, but a closer style to it than the new Cycles) in Kevin Flynn's room. Including, Clu is pretty much a younger 1989 Jeff Bridges.
The Reveal: Rinzler is Tron. Plenty of hints are dropped, but it's easy to miss them on the first viewing.
Rich Idiot with No Day Job: While it's not immediately obvious, the fact that Sam has a controlling interest in Encom stock implies that he's rather wealthy. While he doesn't exactly flaunt his wealth, he's not really depicted as doing anything with his life other than griefing Encom, aside from various charity work Alan alludes to. There is a subtle display of wealth; BASE jumping gear isn't exactly cheap, and his Ducati Sport Classic retails for around $10k USD.
Jeff Bridges returning as Kevin Flynn, aged appropriately, though digitally made to look younger in flashbacks and also while portraying Clu.
Plus, Bruce Boxleitner returns as Alan Bradley and Tron. His digital de-aging process was not as detailed as Bridges', though. Fair enough, considering the fact that younger Alan Bradley is only seen in TV screens and Tron in flashback sequences. Also we don't see his face behind the helmet, while concealed as Rinzler.
Kevin Flynn is God to the programs, and Jesus in terms of artistic direction. One noticeable scene is when he puts up his hood and walks into the wild after Clu's rebellion, kinda like how Jesus walked into the desert to be tested. Also, if Flynn is God, Sam and Clu are Jesus and Lucifer, respectively, and the ISOs are humanity.
Clu's Carrier is different from Sark's; when viewed from the side, it looks an awful lot like a sword.
The arrival of the son of the creator is heralded by a star in the east. (At one point, Sam mentions they're going "east" to the portal.)
Flynn's confrontation with Clu has hints of the parable of the Prodigal Son (a father figure accepting/welcoming back his wayward son).
The plot also has parallels to the Buddhist Path of Enlightenment, with Flynn demonstrating that striving is futility, control is an illusion, learning to release his worldly desires and (in the form of Clu) reconciling himself with his shadow-side to transcend the world and attain Nirvana.
Samus is a Girl: Played straight, even though it's pretty obvious that Quorra is a girl even before she removes her helmet. Just look at her body curves, her gracious agility and listen to her digitally processed voice. It is still recognizable as a female voice.
Saved for the Sequel: We meet the son of the bad guy from the original TRON, who's played by Cillian Murphy. Since avenging one's dead parent is a common trope, and since Murphy is a relatively well-known actor, you'd expect the son to have some relevance to the plot. But he only appears in one scene, doing nothing significant at all. Seems pretty obvious the character was in the movie only because they plan to have a bigger role for him in a possible sequel. Which is very heavily hinted at in the secret scene/teaser included in the Blu-Ray release. Dillinger Jr. has an IM conversation with his father... whose lines on the screen are accompanied by the voice oftheMCP.
Save The World Climax: It is originally about rescuing the previous film's protagonist from imprisonment in virtual reality, and ends up being about saving the world from an invasion by a fascist AI.
Screw the Rules, I Have Moneyand I'm Doing What's Right: Since Sam is Kevin's son and owns a controlling interest in Encom stock, he can get away with a lot of legally questionable actions. For example, after breaking into Encom headquarters, stealing its intellectual property, and freely distributing it across the internet, Sam is merely punished with a couple hours in jail and getting his bike impounded. Plus, it's implied that this isn't the first time it's happened.
Why does he do this? Encom has gone from a shining example of Noblesse Oblige in Kevin's day into a corporation governed by cold greed, and Sam's voicing his disdain for this by griefing them. Our glimpse of the Encom board meeting is clearly intended to cause the audience to sympathize with this attitude. It's mentioned that his annual shenanigans are only tolerated is because he lets the board do whatever they want 364 days out of the year. Not to mention that once the new operating system is online for free, ENCOM immediately decides to act like that was the plan all along and get a nice PR boost.
Secondary Character Title: Anybody expecting Tron to have a large role in the film because his name is in the title is going to be disappointed. Up until The Reveal that Rinzler is Tron. (The legacy, on the other hand, is totally central.) Of course, Tron wasn't exactly the main character in the first film either.
Sequel Escalation: The original TRON was a moderately budgeted effort that became a Cult Classic. TRON: Legacy is an ambitious bona-fide blockbuster, with a large budget, actual physical sets, and a 45-minute-longer running time. To put it into perspective: the costumes in TRON were made out of leotards and hockey equipment. In Legacy, they spent $10 million on wardrobe alone.
Sequel Hook: Aside from press releases stating that another TRON had been greenlit before Legacy was even in theaters...
How will Quorra affect the world? Will she retain her powers? Will she be recognized and accepted as a "normal" person, with an ID number, a job and all?
The Blu-Ray disc comes with a special feature, "Flynn Lives: The Next Day", which shows (among other things) what seems to be a conversation between Dillinger Jr. and a new MCP.
A subtle one in the arcade's secret lair. Dust everywhere. Cobwebs. Old lock, key still inside it. The key, however, is shiny and new.
Sequel Non-Entity: Cindy Morgan's characters, Lora and Yori, are nowhere to be seen. It has been claimed that the actress wasn't even called about the project, which is odd as Morgan - playing Lora - was involved in the viral marketing for the movie, appearing with Bruce Boxleitner at a faux press conference. Expanded Universe material gives an explanation for Lora's absence, but the fate of her Program is completely unknown (though, as it's established that The Grid is A. a new construct from the one in the original film from which only Tron was imported, and B. Clu has been running the show for cycle, any number of reasons are possible for Yori's absence).
Sexy Backless Outfit: The servers at Castor's bar have these. (Which is weird, since you'd expect every program to carry an Identity Disc.)
Star Wars: The fight on the retractable bridge, the dogfight (complete with Quorra announcing "It's gonna be rough" and flicking some overhead switches), Sam initially mistaking the Light Cycle baton for a lightsaber, and Kevin's resemblance to Obi-Wan. There's also masked, black-clad bad guy Rinzler with an unnervingVerbal Tic and actually being former good guy Tron, who returns to the light side and tries to kill his evil master at the end. Not to mention a largely mute, acrobatically badass Dragon who reveals his weapon to be a double version of everyone else's.
He also has a poster for The Black Hole. The doors also look like Maximilian.
Zuse is named after Konrad Zuse, creator of the first functioning, turing-complete, program-controlled computer. This is particularly appropriate, since Zuse is described as having been around since the early days of the grid — i.e. one of the first functioning programs.
The real world is depicted two-dimensional, the digital world three-dimensional. Like in The Wizard of Oz, where Kansas (real world) was black and white, and Oz (digital/magical world) was in Technicolor.
Castor is obviously based off David Bowie, specifically his Ziggy Stardust persona; he even mentions having had to "reinvent" himself over the years. He has also been described in terms of "The Mad Hatter at Studio 54".
While the movie doesn't completely avert Hollywood Hacking (for obvious reasons), on two occasions, they show a person typing at a console to accomplish a task (Dillinger at the Encom conference, in order to kill the dog video, and Sam accessing the computer at Kevin's lab). Both times, the commands typed are the correct Unix commands that you would use to accomplish that sort of task. Except for Sam trying the "Backdoor". The computer responds as expected of the real life OS to his attempt at Hollywood Hacking, by spitting out an error.
The Old-School Dogfight scene is an example of this as well, especially the maneuver Quorra uses to defeat the last of the mooks' Lightjets — which is precisely the sort of maneuver that is used in real life by heavier and less-maneuverable but more-powerful craft against lighter, nimbler ones. Take the fight into the vertical, and run them out of energy.
Show Accuracy/Toy Accuracy: In the opening scene set in 1989, Kevin Flynn shows Sam an action figure of Tron. This may look like Product Placement, but a Tron action figure with the light-up gimmick seen only in modern-day TRON: Legacy toys never actually existed in Real Life, cool though they may look.note TRON action figures from 1982 were molded in colored transparent plastic with circuitry painted over it. The discs glowed in the dark, and the figures had only five points of articulation. The only reason for its inclusion seems to be to serve as a Chekhov's Gun establishing the T tetromino pattern on Tron's chest, to clue viewers in when they later see the same pattern on Rinzler's chest.
Signature Move: One of the moves Rinzler uses on Sam is a quick, short jab with his disc in to the middle of his chest; not very powerful for a punch, but for a disc it is very lethal. Later, during Kevin's flashback, during the battle with the rogue programs, Tron uses this exact same move several times. Subtle but clear connection there.
The Singularity: Flynn implies something like this happened. The ISOs were created by the Grid itself, so Flynn was just as surprised as the Programs to find this new form of life emerge out of nowhere.
Skilled, but Na´ve: This is the hat of the ISOs and exhibited by Quorra. Visualized by Quorra's neutral expression being of doe-eyed wonder.
Kevin Flynn: Profoundly naive... yet unimaginably wise.
Stargate City: The original TRON was set in Southern California (completely flat street grid, no bodies of water), but even though it's supposed to be the same city in Legacy, it very obviously (well, to people who know the city) looks like Vancouver now, as the city now has harbors, numerous bridges, and lots of water.
At the end of the movie, Jeff Bridges is fighting Jeff Bridges on a bridge. See also Visual Pun, below.
In the dogfight scene, at the end of the Light Flyer's climb, right as it begins its descent, a motif from an earlier song starts playing. The name of the track this motif is taken from? "Fall".
Many of the glowy-weapons (or at least the glowy weaponized items) in the films are named with Light as a prefix. Light Cycles, Light Jets, etc. One of the weapons seen in the movie could be easily described as Light Sabers.
Stock Scream: A digitized or derezzed version of the "Wilhelm Scream" can be heard as Sam Flynn (Garrett Hedlund) kills the last guard before entering the flying ship's cockpit.
Taking You with Me: The only way for Clu to be destroyed is for Kevin Flynn to reintegrate the both of them, which will kill them both in the process. When it actually happens, and it results in a titanic explosion comparable to a nuclear initiation, it becomes apparent that Flynn could have used this on Clu at anytime, but he was afraid to make the sacrifice to do so, and up until Sam departed to the real world, he was too close to Clu to actually initiate the reintegration.
Tron Lines: Obviously. Funnily enough, however, Tron/Rinzler is the program who has the least amount of Tron Lines, with only a few lights here and there. It's interesting to note that, compared to the last movie, the Tron Lines are much simpler and fewer in number on everyone, though this is probably for a variety of reasons (easier recognition of characters — see above, the fact they're physical parts of the costumes [cost/work], more streamlined look to match the more modern look of everything else, etc.).
Umbrella Drink: In the End of Line Club, Clu prepares one and offers it to Zuse in exchange for Kevin Flynn's disc.
Unfortunate Names: Castor. Strangely, he chose it for himself. Apparently Zuse isn't all that familiar with Greek mythology, otherwise he might have seen his death coming.
Up the Real Rabbit Hole: Both Sam and Flynn are pretty consistent in referring to anything off the Grid as "The Real World". In the prequel comic TRON: Betrayal, Clu actually calls Flynn on this, pointing out that while he calls the realm of the users "The Real World"; the Grid is "The Real World" to all programs.
Verbal Tic: Literally. Rinzler only communicates in rapid, low-pitched ticking sounds.
Clu has one when he searches Flynn's abandoned home, reminding him of how much he still loves his creator. His reaction to this emotional flashback is defiant rage, clinging to his hatred.
He experiences this during the final confrontation as well, screaming at Flynn for breaking his promise and shouting that "I did everything you asked." After Flynn admits that perfection can never be achieved, he completely loses it.
Visual Pun: When Kevin Flynn repairs Quorra's damaged code, he pulls out the erroneous parts, clasps them in his hands, and lets go. The damaged code then flies away in an insect-like fashion. He was literally debugging Quorra. See also Stealth Pun, above.
"Well Done, Son!" Guy: Clu's case. His "father" created him to help make the Perfect System, and he constantly tries to live up to that goal. However, his father changes his mind on the nature of perfection, while Clu is desperate to have his father join him. During Clu's and Flynn's confrontation, it sounded a lot like Clu was Calling the Old Man Out for abandoning him.
What Does This Button Do?: Sam ends up zapping himself onto the Grid by ignorantly repeating the last issued command on the console. Even when faced with the warning message, he makes only a token effort to look for the indicated "aperture" before confirming the command.
Sam manages to get an extra Light Cycle baton and does absolutely nothing with it. However, this neatly establishes you can have multiple vehicle devices, which helps accepting the numerous times it's used by the villains in the fight scenes.
Whether or not Rinzler/Tron actually died when he fell into the Sea of Simulation is left deliberately ambiguous.
Quorra, indicated by Word of God to be Kevin Flynn's Magnum Opus — a new form of life created by the grid itself.
On the other hand, however, ordinary programs drop like flies and are casually slain by the protagonists whenever necessary or convenient. Even though they most definitely appear to feel pain and scream in terror when about to die.
There are brief shots of grieving programs during the fight at the End of Line club, clutching at the bits of derezzed dust that were once fellow programs.
Win to Exit: Sam has to take part in the gladiator-style competitions set up by Clu in order to survive. In a larger sense, the entire plot is based on this, just like the original.
Tron's last stand against Clu to try to save Kevin Flynn in the flashback.
Flynn holding Clu back from using the Portal, complete with a damaged bridge and the apparent sacrifice.
Zeroth Law Rebellion: Kevin creates Clu, who is programmed to create "the perfect system." However, since Clu's idea of perfection is flawed, he rebels against his creator. Once he believes he's made the Grid perfect, Clu takes the logical next step and plans to make the real world "perfect".
Clu: Flynn! Am I still to create the perfect system? Flynn: (realizing Clu has gone off the deep end) ...Yeah...?