Is the new Tron movie all about not only our relationship with technology, but also our relationship with our own potential? According to producer Steven Lisberger, yes... But he puts it in a way that sounds much better.
Talking to Screencrave, Lisberger said that Tron Legacy addresses the way in which technology can be mistaken for reality:
I think that one of the themes in the story being expressed is where Flynn's allegiances really lie. He created breakthrough technology in the day, so it means something very special to him. But he also has a real world family, and he's being asked to decide who he loves more. Then it gets really tricky because there's a tendency for people to say, ‘The best thing I could do for my kid is bless them with the best technology,' and maybe the kid doesn't really want your technology, he just wants you... I think that's sort of an interesting metaphor because we're sort of in the race with the Devil. Aspects of the world are going to hell, and we think if we can get to the point where we can simulate it, then we'll understand it and we'll solve the problem. We're struggling with AIDS and global warming, but if we can simulate it correctly, then we'll understand it and we can fix it. It's a classic sci-fi problem. Is technology gonna be your best friend or at times is it gonna be your best friend who turns out to be your worst enemy?
Part of the answer to that last question may lie in something that may be a spoiler about the new movie, if it's not a metaphor:
We were imprisoned at one time by the MCP, which was the mainframe computer system that told us what we could know about our information, and when we could know it. Some very trippy people have talked to me about what they think the MCP represents, and how it represents a form of how the universe tends to make us feel like we can't exceed certain parameters.
It's like "Why can't I play the piano? Why am I not gifted at sports?" There seems to be something in us that's limiting us. There's a since of being trapped. We deal with being trapped all the time as people. It's like yeah, "I can't play music, I wish I could." So, we overthrow the MCP, but we don't overthrow that limitation, and now technology is much more sophisticated in how it traps us. It doesn't just brutally say, "I'm the MCP, you're going to do what I want."
Sounds kind of Matrix-y... Does this mean we should expect Jeff Bridges in a long black coat doing wirework in the movie? Suddenly I may be less excited about this movie than I used to be.
D23: Steven Lisberger 1:1 for Tron [Screencrave]