“Tron: Legacy” and Religion

This weekend, we celebrated my husband’s birthday by foisting the children off on my parents, getting all gussied up and going out for a romantic dinner and a movie.  Dinner was delicious, and was only slightly marred by my husband’s deep disappointment that this particular restaurant didn’t offer bread either as an appetizer or a compliment to the meal.  The movie we chose was Tron: Legacy in 3D at the IMAX theater and I was thoroughly entertained.  I was also intrigued by the almost overwhelming religious undertones.

The first religious anecdote I detected woven into the storyline was that of the Fall of Lucifer, which describes the relationship between Kevin Flynn and Clu.  When Kevin Flynn created Clu, he boldly declared that, together, they would create the perfect world for programs and users to interact in peace and harmony.  But as Clu innocently reveled in Kevin’s excitement and enthusiasm, he found himself suddenly replaced in Kevin’s heart by the newly discovered Isos.  Kevin was just as enamored with the Isos as Lucifer believed God was with humanity.  And like Lucifer, Clu’s pain and jealousy morphed into rage and a profound hatred of both the Isos and his creator.  Unable or unwilling to vent his anger on Kevin physically, he reaped his vengeance in the form of a crusade of destruction against the Isos.  However, even this massacre did not fully satisfy his rage.  He then plotted an initiative designed to use the creator’s own son to gain freedom from the Grid and access into Kevin’s world, just as Lucifer seeks to regain Heaven.

This leads to a second Biblical account incorporated into the storyline, the coming of Jesus Christ.  Kevin’s son, Sam, is lured into the Grid by Clu, who wants to seize Kevin’s memory disk and use it and the portal opened by Sam’s arrival to escape the Grid.  Sam manages to find his father, who has been in hiding to protect the last Iso, Quorra, from Clu.  However, by doing so, he unintentionally provides the opportunity which allows Clu to obtain Kevin’s disk, which they then must retrieve to escape the Grid themselves.  Ultimately, Kevin sacrifices himself to help Sam defeat Clu and escape through the portal with Quorra, just as Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross allowed him to defeat Satan and become the savior of humanity and open the gateway to Heaven.

And finally, I also noticed a hint of the story of Dismas, one of the criminals who was crucified with Jesus.  Unlike Kevin, Clu cannot create life, but he can re-purpose programs in the Grid.  This is what he does to Kevin’s paladin, Tron, twisting him into a dark, faceless, unstoppable instrument of Clu’s relentless fury.  But enough of Tron’s essential nature remained after Clu’s misuse that he was able to find salvation and cry “I fight for the USER!” before betraying Clu and perishing himself.  Similarly, Dismas rebuked the other criminal’s insults and jeers toward Jesus and found redemption.

All in all, Tron: Legacy was a highly entertaining sojourn into science fiction.  Not only did inspire me to think about such deep subject matter, but I also loved the stunning visual effects and fantastic Techno music.  Additionally, my husband very much appreciated the lingering camera shot of Beau Garrett’s phenomenally outfitted and shapely behind commenting, “This may be a Disney movie, but THAT shot was for the adults.”

Happy birthday, honey.

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