"Well it's not even really fair, man. I mean just in terms of the global economy and as an agent of cultural imperialism, Star Wars tears shit up. It's like no fight."
"I'm not talking about the profit margin of the franchise, cause that's obvious. That's banal. I'm talking about the levels of meaning conveyed in the artifact itself. The complexity of the layers, man. Tron is totally fuckin' polysemious. The big revelation in Star Wars is that Luke is descended from Darth Vader. Patrilinial feud, oedipal conflict, oooh wow."
"See? That is a shallow reading. The entire field of Star Wars acted as an agent of change that allowed the other genre films like Tron to even come into being. The relationship to technology and enchantment was forged on Tatooine. And it totally spells out an equation between Capitalism as the rebellion and the Empire as socialism, which may seem retro to you now, but that only because of Star Wars."
"But it's an impoverished symbol set. It's nothing but the dregs of commercialized Western mythology squeezed into a set of action figures. Over time the only important reference made by Star Wars has been to itself, while Tron has explicitly referenced an entire shift in the global economy and an epistemological reworking of the term "human" in relation to technological prosthetics. And the video game was way better too."
"Okay. Now you're just full of shit."
"What? You have multiple narrative levels, and it has the cool music, and it was lit up that weird blue color like the movie. Symbolic immersion."
"You're tweaked. The fuckin' Star Wars game was like the only arcade game to ever really matter. Flight simulation and the future of war brought to five year olds in every pizza parlor in the hemisphere? Compared to the fuckin' Tron game where you shoot little spiders? You're slipping into zealotry."
"Alright, I'm not really arguing that it's a better game. It just invokes a more rich symbolic system. Like, the Star Wars game might be proprioceptively more affecting, sure. I'll admit that. But all its just wire frame fly-throughs. It references nothing but the twitch response. Which is kind of like the movie in some ways--fun at the time, but ultimately a series of empty flash and bang fly-throughs."
"Oh, my God! What is this deliberate ignorance of a pervasive myth-form I'm hearing? Star Wars was a huge distribution mechanism for the entire "Force" ideology of one-ness with the Universe for personal gain and glory. There are whole industries of rainbow-hued New Age products that tap into the vast pool of meaning production that is Star Wars. And then there's the fuckin' Jawa, man. And you can't tell me the Jawa aren't significant."
"Look. You can't check your email on a Jawa--hear what I'm saying? The digital infecting the biological form of the human with techo-capitalist "game grid" ideology is still just scary, right? Cause check it out, Microsoft didn't even really have a fuckin' viable desktop operating system when Tron came out. Tron was like a Genesis text for what Silicon Valley has become. And maybe George Lucas has exerted some kind of gravitational force on Marin county with his weird hair bobbing around Skywalker Ranch, but that shit is just a bloated anachronism compared to the cultural complexity of a machinic desire for ascension into a dispersed and godlike form."
"Dude, face facts. Bruce Boxleitner. Harrison Ford. Its kind of obvious, isn't it? The Culture Industry has made its choices clear, and the cowed populace must now obey with their hearts and minds. It's like you're comparing a Volkswagon "Thing" to every car ever made by Ford. It may be an intriguing nugget of the past, but it just isn't a Force."
"Billions and Billions sold does not mean McDonalds makes the best hamburgers. And like I said, I'm not suggesting that the actual profit margin of Tron compares, and I think it's totally irrelevant. I'm arguing importance in a much deeper sense. In seventy years, Tron will seem like the first images out of a microscope or the first photographs of the surface of Mars. Star Wars will seem like Fantasy Island."
"Well you'll be living in a Star Wars franchised retirement home, and maybe in a Star Wars franchise distributed nation-state, but I guess that in your old age you can choose to watch whatever irrelevant pop culture curios you want on your R2-D2 holo-projector."
"The thing about the integrity of Tron is that its only sequel will be the development of direct-to-brain sensory implants."
"And re-runs of Babylon-5"
"Low blow, man."