Now that Tron Legacy is in theatres, let’s take a look at the many hidden references that pepper the film. The film’s screenwriters were also willing to give us hints about where to find Easter eggs. Spoilers way on!
1.) If you were in Hall H during the Tron Legacy panel at the San Diego Comic Con 2010, you have a film credit! The filmmakers took the roar of Hall H and dubbed it in the arena scenes — you can find a shout out to Hall H under “Special Thanks” in the credits. Add it to your CV, superstar!
2.) An immediate throwback to the first film is the uncredited appearance of Cillian Murphy as Edward Dillinger Jr., the son of the human villain Ed Dillinger, who is also the face of the program Sark in the first Tron.
3.) In 1989, Kevin Flynn hums Wendy Carlos’ theme to Tron as he plays with Sam’s action figures.
4.) Tron Legacy screenwriter Edward Kitsis recently told io9, “Right in the beginning, when Alan meets Sam in his container-house apartment, Sam changes his shirt. This is very similar to the scene in the first film when Alan comes to the arcade, and Flynn goes upstairs to change his shirt.”
5.) There’s also an old-school videogame shout out. Says Kitsis, “When you get to the apartment in Flynn’s arcade, there’s a handheld Coleco.”
6.) When they’re debating how to defeat Clu, Kevin tells Sam, “It’s his game! The only way to win is not to play.” This is a reference to the final scene of War Games, another 1980s movie about computers gone haywire.
7.) At the End of Line Club, watch out for Steven Lisberger as a bartender (which Michael Sheen confirmed with us).
8.) Flynn’s Arcade is on Mead Street, which a reference to influential Tron designer Syd Mead.
9.) At one point, you can see a “Dumont Shipping” sign at Sam’s apartment. This is a shout out to Dumont, the tower guardian from the original film.
10.) When Rinzler and Sam duke it out in the arena, Rinzler stops attacking Sam as soon as he’s wounded. Rinzler used to be Tron, and this is a throwback to his original programming “to fight for the users” (a line he says towards the end of the film). Also, Rinzler’s armour is reminiscent of Tron’s from the first film.
11.) Kitsis, who was a scriptwriter for Lost, revealed, “I’m told that the Lost numbers are hidden somewhere in Tron Legacy.”
12.) Kitsis told us that his “favorite Easter egg is [when Sam says,]’That’s a big door.’ ” Kevin Flynn says the exact same thing when he’s breaking into ENCOM in the first film.
13.) Screenwriter Adam Horowitz also noted that “there’s a quick shot of a tank from the first Tron. The tanks don’t play a huge part in the story, but we found a way to squeeze one in there.” Also, you can apparently see a model of Flynn’s Bit on his mantel.
14.) Castor’s End of Line Club is a tribute to the MCP’s oft-repeated catchphrase (“end of line”) from Tron.
15.) You can see a poster for the 1979 Disney scifi flick The Black Hole in Sam’s room in the beginning of the film. Tron Legacy director Joe Kosinski is helming a remake of The Black Hole.