An animated series spin-off
of the feature film TRON
begins at an indefinite time before the events of TRON: Legacy
. According to the exposition
narrated by Tron himself, Bruce Boxleitner
"Hidden away inside a computer exists another world. Its creator designed it for games, but it became so much more. He called it the Grid: a digital utopia filled with infinite possibilities. He built a digital copy of himself named Clu. It helped create the perfect system. And he relied on the hero Tron to keep it free for all programs who lived there.
"But in his thirst for power, Clu betrayed his creator. Tron fought back, but Clu was too powerful, and left him for dead. Clu dispatched his armies and seized absolute control. Now, in a far-off corner of the Grid, a young program decides Clu must be stopped. His name is Beck. Could he be the next Tron?"
The series follows the trials of Beck, once a happy mechanic program in a garage servicing light cycles, playing the discs game with friends after hours, maybe a little street racing; but since Clu's army rolled into Argon City and casually murdered one of his friends, Beck, in disguise as the folk hero Tron, engages in acts of resistance against the military occupation. Clu's regional governor Tesler and his officers and minions pursue him relentlessly. Soon, the real Tron seeks him out and offers to train him and help fight Clu's regime. The resistance needs Beck to be its hero, since Tron is inhibited by permanent damage from his last confrontation with Clu.
The show is aimed at a juvenile audience. Efforts have been made to
develop interesting female characters, but the cast is dominated by male
characters. The villain (Tesler) often appears to be impotent against
Tron and Beck (as when they escape from a packed arena in a hot sports car
while Tesler shouts at his minions, "What are you waiting for? Go catch
them!"). Deviations from the main story line are limited; only one episode so far has included the ISOs introduced in Legacy, spontaneously generated AI-like programs. Notably absent from this series (so far) is any mention of the Users.
Episodes of Uprising draw on familiar themes of oppression, coming of age, redemption, resistance, kung-fu, and neon. The writing is fair but the show doesn't rely too heavily on good stories. Rather, its success owes much to (in my opinion) these points:
- the voice talent:
- Steven Lisberger's vision, whose pioneering animation techniques gave us the franchise's distinctive glow-in-the-dark look and feel, the vast night metropolis we imagine when we think of the future.
- the music borrowed from Tron: Legacy created by Daft Punk and composer Joseph Trapanese, and the overall sound design