I'm not a program, my name is Sam Flynn.
—Sam Flynn, identifying himself as a user upon Jarvis's request.
|Aliases||The Son of Flynn|
|Hair Color||Golden Brown|
|Vehicles||Light Cycle (5th generation)|
|Out of universe information|
Owen Best (young Sam)
Sam Flynn is the main protagonist of the 2010 film, TRON: Legacy.
Sam was born in 1983 to then-famous video game creator and ENCOM CEO Kevin Flynn and architect Jordan Canas. In 1985, Jordan was killed in a car accident, leaving Kevin to raise Sam on his own. Due to Kevin's absences from the real world, a large part of Sam's childhood was spent in the company of his mother's parents, who raised him in his place. In July 1989, Sam's father was on the verge of a major discovery when he disappeared without a trace, leaving Sam once again in the care of his grandparents. Sam was only six when his father disappeared. Legally, Sam is the largest shareholder of ENCOM (a fortune which he inherited from his father when he vanished).
After two decades, the 27-year old Sam turned to extreme stunts such as base jumping, motocross and parachuting. On April 2, 2010, he crashed the ENCOM Press Conference by jumping out of a helicopter and releasing a parachute with the numbers "89" printed on it. He flew over the crowd and landed right behind the ENCOM stage, taking off in an SUV waiting nearby.
Every year to mark the anniversary of his father's disappearance, he performs a daredevil stunt. According to Alan Bradley, Sam does this as a reaction to the pressure of following in his father's footsteps as well as to get people to pay attention and look deeper into the disappearance of his father.
On the anniversary of his father's disappearance, Sam broke into the ENCOM Tower and hacked the company's mainframe. He leaked the company's newest operating system, the OS 12, onto the internet and then proceeded to base jump from the top of the tower. He was caught by the police after first colliding with a lamp post and then attempting to escape the scene by riding on top of a taxi.
When Sam was released from jail he returned to his apartment to find Alan Bradley waiting for him. Alan told Sam that he had received a message on his pager from the telephone number of Flynn's Arcade; the number had been disconnected over 20 years earlier. Reluctantly, Sam headed over to his father's abandoned arcade to find a hidden office, complete with a digitizing laser. He then inadvertently triggered the digitzing laser and found himself transported into the Tron system.
Sam was taken before Rinzler's master, Clu, whom he believed to be his father until being told otherwise. He was then pitted against Clu and several of his enforcers in a Light Cycle duel. Sam's team were outmatched until Sam began to turn the tables on Clu's team, although they were soon whittled away until only Sam remained.
The arena match was interrupted by the surprise arrival of Quorra, who burst onto the arena floor in her Light Runner and escaped with Sam. She drove him deep into the Outlands to a hidden safehouse and surprised him further by introducing him to his own father. Kevin explained that the reason he was unable to return to the real world was because the portal had closed soon after Clu revolted against him under the belief that Kevin had abandoned his mission to create the "perfect system".
When his father refused to take the chance to reach the portal before it closed, Sam commandeered his father's old Light Cycle and ventured back into Tron City to find an ally that Quorra had thought might be able to help. He was soon recognized by Gem (a Siren from the Game Arena) who took him to see Castor at the End of Line Club. Charming at first, Castor soon played his hand in a double-cross, withdrawing when Black Guards attacked the nightclub in a bid to recapture Sam. Quorra again made a surprise appearance, adding her combat skill to Sam's in holding back the Black Guards, albeit succumbing to their blows in the process. Kevin also arrived on the scene, just in time to protect Sam and allowing the younger Flynn to carry the incapacitated Quorra to safety. It was then that Sam notice Kevin had lost his identity disc in the conflict.
Fleeing the city in a Solar Sailer, Sam learned that Quorra was an ISO, a spontaneously evolved program and the breakthrough Flynn spoke of years earlier. All conversations were silenced when it became apparent that their course intersected with a giant carrier ship, the "Rectifier". Stealing aboard the enormous vessel, the trio soon learned that Clu's purpose was to use Kevin's disc to launch an invasion on the real world. Quorra allowed herself to be captured, leaving Sam and Kevin to foil Clu's plan. Sam retrieved the disc and was able to rescue Quorra in the process. The three then fled in a captured Light Jet.
Clu, Rinzler and a quartet of Black Guard pilots pursued in Light Jets of their own, leading to a protracted battle over the Sea of Simulation. Sam fought off their flank attacks using the tail gun of the larger craft. The Black Guards were systematically eliminated from the fight while the escapees' Light Jet gradually succumbed to their onslaught. Just when the craft began to fail under critical damage, Rinzler remembered his long-forgotten purpose of protecting the users and turned his attack on Clu.
When Sam and the others finally reached the portal, they were again confronted by Clu. Sam attempted to attack him, but was effortlessly swatted away. Quorra stepped in to protect him, urging him to the portal while Kevin faced Clu alone. Sam was forced to leave his father behind when Kevin sacrificed himself to save both his son and Quorra.
Sam escaped the Grid with Quorra and found himself back in the basement of Flynn's Arcade. He copied data from the Grid onto a microdrive and paged Alan. Sam declared to Alan he was now ready to take over ENCOM and promoted him to chairman of the board. Exiting the arcade, he found Quorra waiting for him next to his motorcycle and together they rode off to show Quorra her first sunrise.
Personality and traits
Ever since Kevin disappeared, Sam has been deeply affected by both the loss of his mother and father. He is also the heir to the largest software company in the world, which makes him feel that he can't follow in his father's footsteps. He is somewhat rebellious, reclusive and lives modestly with his pet dog, Marv, in a shipping container reconstituted into a home on the river with a beautiful view of the city and the ENCOM Tower itself. He has a pronounced technical aptitude inherited from his father, and has applied this towards fixing Kevin's motorcycle.
- Sam's username, EightyNine4ever, suggests a tribute to his father who disappeared in 1989.
- Sam Flynn appears as a playable character outside of the TRON franchise in several video games published by Disney:
- Sam Flynn was designated as "Combatant 3" in the Disc Wars arena. His name on the rotating match display was listed as "<Unknown>".
- Early pieces of concept art and other media designed for TRON: Legacy (such as the book jacket for Kevin Flynn's Digital Gaming) suggest that Sam's name was originally going to be "Sean".