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E82’s original subtitle was “The Legacy of Tomorrow”. It’s a lot more abstract and expresses an intentional time paradox. E82 is mostly about the history of Epcot but it’s also about providing “new solutions” to the problems faced by today’s Epcot. In some ways, about the challenge of creating future Legacies of projects yet come and the statements they will make.

TRON: Geosphere is an exploration into the many possibilities of the unification of these two forward-thinking properties. Both projects were “born” with months of each other. Both were set decades in the future, and both were highly prophetic in their predictions of technologies and societal structure. The Computer Graphics for both were created by the same companies and the public’s first exposure to the majestic enormity of Spaceship Earth was as a multi-colored Glowing Wireframe that appeared to be a scene TRON itself.

Even in modern day one can see the influences TRON and Epcot share. From the rounded-block style architecture of Spaceship Earth’s “Legs” and Support structures, to CommuniCore’s massive over hangs. Conversely, the sharp-angled forms of Universe of Energy and Imagination are also highly evocative of the “digital frontier”. Most evidently, the beautifully designed “Project Tomorrow”, with its rim-lighting and glowing railings, seems to emanate directly from the TRON Universe.         

Originally, CommuniCore was to feature a TRON Arcade filled with the latest in video games. And the Film’s “Wormhole Sequence” eventually found its way in the last speed tunnel for the World of Motion. Unfortunately, both properties fell out of favor for very different circumstances.

In 2010, as the excitement for TRON Legacy was building to a fever pitch, the topic of a permanent theme park presence was heavily discussed, and the consistence was that if it was to occur Tomorrowland would be the obvious home for Disneyland. As discussion grew, the conversation traveled to the East Coast. And, naturally, most have thought that one Tomorrowland is the same as the next and the Magic Kingdom (already receiving plenty of attention in Fantasyland) should get even more attention with yet another attraction. At the same, the highly popular nighttime festivities of ElecTRONica lead others to believe that (to spite any suggestion of location) a Filmed franchise should only exist in Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

The ideology does not take into account thematic placement, story, motif, subject matter or even appropriateness. The only reason such a serious story like TRON could exist in present-day (read that “light-hearted”) Tomorrowland is if there’s no other choice. Disneyland does not have Wescot therefore the only place TRON could take residence would be in Tomorrowland. Walt Disney World has a much better alternative. 

For all of its story and character development concerns, TRON and Legacy had an overwhelmingly positive response to their aesthetics and music. Since any Theme Park experience is largely one of designed “space” and music TRON should have no problems adapting to the theme park audience. In addition, its subject matter is (as will always be) relevant and futuristic. Over the next several months, we’ll explore the many possibilities of bringing TRON home to Epcot. And in other sections of E82, we'll also examine why TRON holds the key to bringing Epcot back to Center … permanently.

Reader Comments (9)

TRON:Legacy is a disservice to the TRON franchise. The film merely proves the point that 14-year olds and their mental equivalents are easily impressed with special effects and action sequences. To begin to point out the numerous storyline flaws would be an exercise in futility; Convincing "birthers" that Barack Obama truly was born in the United States would be an easier task.

At least with the Star Wars prequels, I knew what was going to occur and could steel myself with the rationale (if somewhat strained) behind some of the artistic decisions made. With T:L, there were no excuses - Each decision felt as though it was made purely on a guttural level to appease the lowest common moviegoer.

I am glad that you enjoyed T:L but I find myself disenfranchised from the very franchise that propelled me into a life of technology and creativity.

April 27, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterWhereIsTRON

I greatly, sympathize with you.
E82 has a mandate of positive and constructive thought, so I try to focus on the best parts of any topic.

Comments on the other hand…

I enjoy Legacy for its design and music only! I too was unimpressed by its storyline and character development. Being a LOST fan, I was particularly thrilled when I heard that two of its senior writers scripted the project. With its seemingly infinite complications and intriguing subplots, LOST story structure seemed to be a natural fit for the TRON Universe. However, LOST story (and characters) was not created by them nor did it end with them.
Shortly after “TRON 2” began production there was talk as to what story would it be. Remake or Sequel? Although officially a Sequel, the film IS mostly a remake. The plot, locations, and even dialog follow the Same Exact Structure as the original!
I believe that Legacy suffers from three basic problems. First, Adam Horowitz and Edward Kitsis are way too close to source material. Being a huge fan and a good script writer are two completely different things. This is not to say that Adam and Edward aren’t good writers (LOST Proves that), but when BOTH of your writers are so in love with the original film it’s only natural that they won’t make it adaptable/relatable to a new audience. The film lacked two things that the franchise desperately needs Romance and Humor. Olivia Wilde provides the only “enjoyable” moment in the film (the “Awkward” Dinner Scene). The second is a lack of forward-thinking. The original was a commentary about events that wouldn’t take place until 30 years later. Thirdly, of these is director Joe Kosinski. I Greatly Respect Him! However as an architect and designer, emotion will never be one of his strengths. And unfortunately, emotion is what exactly what TRON needs to be more relevant to a mass audience.
If there is to be a “TRON 3” there two things must happen for it to succeed. First, TRON needs a Nicholas Meyer (The writer/director of Star Trek II: Wrath of Khan). Nicholas “Saved” Star Trek, by NOT caring about the source material. And, TRON needs someone who could care less about Encom, Lightcycles, Recognizers, or any of that stuff. It needs a really, fun, good story, First! Secondly, and much as I hate to say this, I think that Kosinski should assume the role of Art Director/Director of Photography and not director as I feel that’s where his talents are best suited.
All that being said, I do believe there is hope for the Franchise. Legacy was intentionally built as the foundation for a standalone trilogy, and as such most of the character development and structure was expositional. The First part of any movie series is always “hard to sit through” in comparison to the other films.
Fortunately, TRON is being kept a float by all that surrounds it. (Which explains my passion for bring TRON to Epcot.) With record Album sales and ElecTRONica on a triple extension, there is no doubt that a lot of people love the World of TRON. My only hope is that the next time we enter The Grid we’ll have a much more engaging story to tell.

April 27, 2011 | Registered CommenterJoshua L Harris

Any chance of making that image into 4:3 wallpaper size? It is a beautiful image :)

May 1, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJosh from England

Ask and You Shall Receive! (Check your Inbox;)

May 11, 2011 | Registered CommenterJoshua L Harris

The TRON: Legacy Overture (Track 1) is totally a variation of the "Fanfare for the Common Man" which was played at EPCOT all the time in the early years. It's kind of an inside EPCOT/Tron connection. A nod to the retro futurists.

June 26, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMattW


I guess a take-off on Copland is appropriate for both properties since they are ALL about New Frontiers whether it be the American West, the Digital Age, or (the greatest of these) The Future.
Now, you got me listening to John William’s “Green Album” thanks:-/ … :)
BTW, while we’re on the subject…
Can anyone 100% CONFIRM that EPCOT Center did end its (early) days with the End Credits of TRON?

June 26, 2011 | Registered CommenterJoshua L Harris

Every EPCOT music collection I always see online has the TRON end credits included. You can look at http://www.mousebits.com/ and maybe ask there.

June 27, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMattW

Im not sure if I understand. What exactly is Tron Geosphere?

November 9, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMrmike336

TRON Geosphere is part of a multi-facetted project that stretches across three columns of E82. I’m afraid that other obligations have deterred it evolution of TRON Geosphere. So if you’re more than puzzled about the project, it’s expected. Without revealing too much, I will say that, if executed correctly, TRON has the potential to solve many of the problems of the World of the Future, and only by uniting these two properties (on a cellular level) can they truly survive existence in a world of constant technological change.
I guess I should start working on the next chapter soon!

In the interim, I will say that “Sponsor by ENCOM” is the evolving backstory of “TRON Geosphere” and its real world applications will be part of the “LEGACY” section for which there are already clues embedded in several planned articles.

November 10, 2011 | Registered CommenterJoshua L Harris

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