How Tron Made Me & My Fellow Geeks Look Like Idiots.

I'm a pretty fortunate guy. As you can no doubt tell from my pictures and words, I'm a geek. I've always been a geek. I will always be a geek. Even in the years I might have been considered somewhat cool, I was a geek. In college, there were several mornings I was forced to explain to some doe-eyed sorority girl why I had to wake up and go to Toys R Us. At seven in the morning. On a Saturday.

For the record, it was because the shipping trucks always arrived on Saturday mornings. You had to get there early in order to get the newest wave of Star Wars action figures. If you didn't get there at eight, the most popular guys would be pilfered by other nerds, and you'd be stuck with two stormtroopers and an alien you were pretty sure never actually appears in the film.

But back to being fortunate. I don't have to explain these geek things to The Angel, as she willingly lets my geek lifestyle run rampant, and in many cases is an active participant. She doesn't put up with it merely because she loves me, she actually embraces it. Not for nothing, but she knows far more than the average guy does when it comes to these things. For example, even before the new Green Lantern movie hits, she knows who Sinestro is and what the biggest threat to all Green Lanterns is. If you don't know, you will after the movie... and yes, it's pretty lame.

But there are some lands of geekdom where The Angel hasn't ventured into yet. Tron was one of them.

full tron
full tron

I had tried to get her a copy of the original Tron before the new movie, Tron Legacy, came out. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to. I know that sounds preposterous, but there were all kinds of conspiracy theories floating around the net regarding Disney holding the original Tron virtually hostage until the new movie came out. I'm not sure if that's true, but all I can tell you is that Tron was #1 in my Netflix queue for well over six months, and it always remained in 'unavailable' or 'long wait' status. I couldn't even buy the original, as all the nearby stores were sold out. I don't know what it was, but something was definitely going on, as I wasn't the only one with problems securing the cult classic.

Nonetheless, it's now magically available everywhere with the release of the newer Tron Legacy on Blu-Ray. I obviously bought it right away. After a few couch adjustments in order to get maximum geek effect, The Angel and I sat down on Monday night and watched the newer Tron Legacy.

She liked it. I knew she liked it. I always know when she likes these things simply based on the way she breathes and what her body language projects. I suppose that's part of being in love.

It was late when the end credits scrolled along Olivia Wilde's face, and so any discussion of Tron was shelved for the night.

And this is where the great divide between a smart, logical woman and my fellow geek friends comes in. Because with the exception of The Social Network, there was no film last year I discussed more than Tron. There were hours of intricacies debated about between my cohorts: what we liked, what we didn't, and how the movie made us feel overall.

For the record, I loved it. I mean... it's friggin' Tron, what did you expect, Citizen Kane? I think the first 45 minutes are flawless as far as these things go, and the ending was more than satisfying. It's also so damn cool. And I was confident a third one is coming, which only served to wet my appetite for more. I knew a third one was coming even before the new blu-ray hinted at it. Any Tron dork will tell you, you don't put the delicious creepy actor Cillian Murphy in one scene and not have a third film. Especially when the character he's playing is the son of the original Tron's primary villain...

The Angel had a few questions during the viewing, but overall was content to just go along for the ride. This was no small feat in itself. To be honest, I can't even explain everything happening in Tron. Users. Programs. Isotopes. The Grid. It's all a bit fuzzy, even for a veteran like me. This is part of the allure of Tron. I can't reasonably explain the flaws and plot holes, though I'm sure they're there. It's not like Tron is a baseball movie where I can easily see that the filmmakers screwed up by showing the winning team hitting a game-ending double... in the TOP OF AN INNING. There's no explaining Tron, and you don't have to. You know the good guys. You know the bad guys. You understand the potential romance and the Father-Son issues. That's all you need, just enjoy the amazing visuals and ridiculously cool soundtrack.

If you're into the history of Tron, discuss it afterward with your pals. Hell, my main running buddy Baron Nightwing and I talked about it... in multiple conversations!

But then, The Angel, in her infinite wisdom, made me realize that not all things in Tron can be easily dismissed as blurry logic.

We were driving to see Rain at The Pantages Theater last night. It had been roughly 24 hours since her Tron Legacy viewing. We were in traffic, casually listening to the radio. I think U2's Unforgettable Fire was playing when she turned the dial down.

Turning the dial down in our car is a serious movement, especially when I'm driving. I love music more than most, and often play it too loud in the car. When she made the car go silent, I knew something was up.

I knew a serious conversation was about to take place, one that probably involved our impending nuptials or some monetary issue. The only other possible topic would be of course life goals, as The Angel and I converse about this often.

After a pause, she turned to me with a mixture of embarrassment and inquisitive wonder. Whatever she was about to say, she was concerned I'd think she was an idiot for asking. For the record, I never think this. She is the farthest thing from an idiot, even when she inexplicably can't articulate proper directions such as left or right.

She looked at me, her brown eyes glistening with love. It was either that or the noxious stench Echo Park can sometimes leave one with.

"Why do they keep the discs on their backs?"

Come again?

"The discs. In Tron. They keep them on their backs. I know I might be stupid for asking, but it doesn't make sense. Jeff Bridges had his disc stolen pretty easily. It seems like you could just walk up and grab it off their backs."

I paused. I first assured her that her query wasn't stupid.

In fact, after a few moments of pondering on my part, I realized it wasn't stupid at all. I tried to think of a reason why indeed the characters in Tron kept the most important item in their arsenal on their backs.


I had nothing.

I have discussed Tron for well over 24 total hours of time in my entire lifetime. I have discussed every possible facet of Tron with my brother... with Baron Nightwing... with so many others.

And not once... not once... has anyone ever brought up the obvious absurd nature of the discs being on the backs of the characters. Yes, the back and chest are probably the only places it could be... but surely there are other options. A cool disc-holding belt? I don't know, but the fact that the whole movie hinges on Flynn's disc would at least mean he'd guard it a little bit better than just on his back. Have they never heard about pick-pockets in The Grid?

Again, it's the most important item in the Tron universe. And it's right there. On his back. This fact is, without question, a poor decision.

The Angel had proven yet again why women are so much more logical than men.

It's been over 15 hours since she asked me.

I want you to know, I'm still trying to come up with an answer that is better than... "it just looks cool aesthetically."

I can't.

But I'll keep thinking about it. For days. I will probably talk with Baron Nighwing about this. And others.

Meanwhile she, The Angel, will move on with her day. In doing so, she will once again prove my point that women are much more logical than men when it come to matters of geekdom.