After a rude awakening from a bastard cat, and an equally bastard sub-conscious which saw fit to fill my brain with dreams of vehicular manslaughter, I found myself thinking about Tron Legacy. I know, it’s an odd combination.

Anybody who reads this blog knows that I have something of a love-hate relationship with the long awaited sequel to Tron. I like it for what it is, but it could have been so much smarter. That said, I think I just came up with a reasonably interesting idea for an alternative, and potentially more meaningful version of Tron. I’m not sure if it would be any good, as this is a half-baked Saturday morning idea, but it would at least make the title more appropriate.

In this version, Alan Bradly doesn’t go see Sam when he gets the page from Flynn. Instead, he goes to the arcade, himself, to investigate why he’s received a summons from an apparent dead man. Thereupon, Alan gets digitized and dropped on to the grid. When the recognizer picks him up outside of the digital analogue of the arcade, all of the other prisoners immediately recognize Alan as the almost mythological Tron. Despite this, Alan ends up in the games where he proves to be a remarkably incapable digital warrior. This makes Quorra rescuing Alan from the light cycle duel an all the more meaningful reversal on the “Damsel in Distress” trope.

With his best friend standing before him, wearing Tron’s light lines and armour, Flynn is stirred out of his Wargames like apathy. Knowing that there is unrest on the grid, Flynn decides to use the image of Tron, even though Alan is a terrible fighter, to fan the flames of revolution against Clu’s regime. The more meaningful conflict presents as a series of conflicts between Rinzler and Alan. For those keeping score at home, Alan is Tron’s user, which is the only reason why he can survive battle with Rinzler.

What then emerges are two parallel stories of creator and creation. One between Clu and Flynn, with the former as a petulant teenager who feels betrayed by his father. The other is focused more on Alan trying to redeem Rinzler.

I imagine this as a movie that would carry a philosophical, or at least a moral, subtext comparable to the original film. It could also end on the same point as the actual Tron Legacy. Flynn and Clu destroy each other at the portal. Alan escapes the grid with Quorra, thus fulfilling Flynn’s vision for merging the digital and physical world. Tron’s fate is left unanswered as a means of propelling the second movie. The sequel, Tron 3.0 sees Alan, addled with guilt for his inability to save Tron. Unable to fight he calls upon Sam to find Tron and set a chaotic grid to right.

What do we think? A decent concept?