Sign-ups for the Tron Female Character Ficathon are accumulating, and I’m excited, so I’m going to talk about all the characters we’re going to be writing about — starting with our canonical Users! We only have four, so this rundown will be brief.
4) Claire Atkinson.
ENCOM executive. Welcomes board members and introduces Richard Mackey at the ill-fated midnight conference in 2010. Consummately professional, with a slight UK accent; immediately attempts to assist when Sam’s little present appears on the screen, but is shoved out of the way by Mackey. Sharp-eyed viewers might recognize her as Cathica from the Ninth Doctor episode The Long Game.
3) “Gran” Flynn.
Kevin’s mother; Sam’s grandmother; took care of Sam after Kevin disappeared, until she died when he was 17. We don’t know much about her, except for her appearances in Betrayal (which actually implies that she’s Jordan’s mother, not Kevin’s); she taught Sam to read and scolded Kevin for constantly disappearing into his work, eventually convincing him to step away from the company to focus on his son.
2) Jordan Canas.
Artist. Architect. Tragically fridged to provide Sam and Kevin’s requisite heroic angst, but before that, she and Flynn had a happy marriage, which… I mean, geez, she’s the miracle in this equation. Someone able to match pace with Kevin Flynn and put up with his antics and keep him in line and make him like it and be happy herself, while simultaneously parenting and holding down a career? No wonder she was fridged — the franchise wouldn’t have been able to handle her.
Besides, look at the amazing buildings she designed. (And spare a thought for the fact that Sam has base-jumped off of all of them.)
And last but actually (and literally) first….
1) Lora (Baines) Bradley.
Physicist. Engineer. Laser specialist. Yori’s User, Gibbs’s right-hand woman, Flynn’s old flame, Alan’s better and far wiser half. And — in freakin’ 1982 — the undisputed ringleader of the ENCOM Marauders, without whom there wouldn’t have been a movie at all.
Watch her, in the few scenes she has. Watch her easily brush off Alan’s possessiveness and quell his hair-trigger temper with snark. Watch her — not him — figure out why he was locked out of the system and keep him in line while driving him (yyyep, she gets to drive) over to visit a guy he’d rather avoid (and gripe about) forever. Watch her influence be the only thing that keeps the two of them in the same room long enough to find common ground. Watch her watch them planning corporate espionage and then calmly dangle her car keys in their faces and say, “Shall we dance?” And incidentally, watch her neatly sidestep nearly all of Flynn’s NOW YOU KNOW WHY ALL HIS FRIENDS ARE 14 YEARS OLDness and plunk him down in front of the laser that would shortly change his life forever.
And then watch the full version of the Space Paranoids (and Flynn Lives) press conference. Because she’s there. Twenty years later. Still with Alan, despite a career which at times necessitated a long-distance relationship. Not fridged. Not forgotten. Not forever squashed by The Tragedy of Flynn. She’s awesome, she’s significant, she’s out there, and she lives. Let’s all talk about this a lot more.