Mar 18, 2013

Once Up-Tron A Time

There used to be a time when I'd totally geek out when Star Wars was mentioned in a TV show or movie. It's become so mainstream that you can often see the setup coming a mile away now and it's more like "Oh they did that." than "Oh! They did that!"

I had one of those moments last night while watching ABC's Once Upon A Time (S2E17), only it wasn't Star Wars that set me off, but Tron. It shouldn't be a shock to find a Tron reference on a show that airs on a Disney owned network and was co-created by Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz, the screenwriters of Tron: Legacy. In fact, this is the third one I've caught.
And yet, there was nothing Tron related in Wreck-It Ralph. Go figure!

Here's a screencap from last night's episode showing a bench ad for the "new" HS Series 50 32-Bit Personal Computer (Starting at $2995.99!). While the ad isn't much, the red grid background and the company name are. Encom is the company that Flynn worked for in the original Tron. It's on screen for no more than two seconds, plenty of time to recognize that logo. There's also the fact that the ad appears to be from 1983, but that's more into the show mythology than I'm going right now.

once upon a time encom bench ad Tron

tron encom company logo

As I said, this was at least the third reference that's been in the show. The first was in "What Happened to Frederick" (S1E13) where Regina give Henry a Space Paranoids handheld game. Space Paranoids is a hit game created by Flynn in Tron, he's playing it when we first meet him in the movie (1:23 in the video below). You can play it online!

Later, Emma sees him playing it and tells him "It's all in the wrists." which is how
Flynn explains his expertise (2:03).

The second appearance is in "The Stranger" (S1E20) where Regina brings Henry his forgotten lunchbox at school. What I really enjoy about this one is the dichotomy of the old school lunchbox with Tron: Legacy graphics on it.

That's one show prop I'd love to own because I'm pretty sure they never marketed them!

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