- “Out there is a new world!
Out there is our victory!
Out there... is our destiny.”
- ―CLU to his army
CLU 2.0 (Codified Likeness Utility 2.0), referred to in-film as simply CLU, is the main antagonist of the 2010 science fiction action adventure film Tron: Legacy. He is an artificial intelligence program that was created in 1983 as an exact duplicate of Kevin Flynn. He is based on an earlier hacker program that Flynn had written: CLU. Since his creation, he has taken over The Grid, over which he rules as a tyrant and created an army of soldiers which bends to his will.
After Flynn's promotion to CEO of ENCOM, CLU 2.0 is created in order to oversee the Grid in his place with help from Tron. At one point, a new race of programs, the ISOs, emerges from the Sea of Simulation; Flynn sees these as the next step in human evolution, but CLU, having been programmed by Flynn to build the "perfect system", sees the ISOs as an imperfection, and due to their differing opinions, performs a coup d'etat.
In the ensuing scuffle, CLU fights against Tron while Flynn escapes. CLU 2.0 gains the upper hand and defeats Tron, but rather than kill him, he repurposes him to serve him as Rinzler. CLU 2 then oversees the "Purge", a genocide of the ISOs, and he brings the Grid under his control.
Defined by his duty, CLU was a perfectionist who sought to halt any evolution in the system. Since the ISOs weren't created by Flynn, he blamed them for the various glitches in the system, even going so far as to suggest that the ISOs themselves were responsible for such things as Gridbugs. Furthermore, CLU misinterpreted Flynn's comment that "the ISOs are changing the system to fit them", taking it to mean that they are damaging the system's code.
CLU's growing uncertainty towards the ISOs, coupled with his anger towards Flynn's constant absences, led him to berate Flynn for supposedly setting him up to fail in his task. To further discredit the ISOs, CLU created the Abraxas virus out of Jalen, one of the ISO leaders. Jalen was reported by CLU to have been derezzed. Abraxas' new programming, set up by ClU, was to eliminate the ISO faction. But there was one more purpose for Abraxas. CLU pointed out that he was once an ISO, and then accused the ISOs of being unpredictable, dangerous, and flaws to the system. After Abraxas' attack on the ceremony of peace between ISOs and Basics, Kevin and Tron met up with CLU and Anon, who had apparently saved CLU's life when the virus attempted to kill him. When CLU's last attempt to show Kevin the imperfections of ISOs had failed, he decided to kill the user. Flynn was, in CLU's eyes, blocking his path to fulfilling his directive of a perfect system.
CLU brought four of his Black Guard to ambush Tron and Flynn as the latter sought to leave the grid. As Tron fought his guards, CLU dealt with Flynn, claiming that the user was 'corrupted'. His attempt to kill Kevin failed, however, when Tron attacked him. By the time CLU had defeated Tron, Kevin had already fled the scene. With Flynn nowhere to be found, CLU focused his efforts on destroying the ISOs, an act of genocide that came to be known as the Purge. Only one ISO, Quorra, was able to survive CLU's purge thanks to the sacrifice of Anon. With the imperfections gone, CLU believed he had created the perfect system.
CLU 2.0 appears in the pilot episode "Beck's Beginning" giving General Tesler his orders to overtake Argon City. He also appears in "Scars", alongside his creator, Kevin Flynn, prior to becoming evil, still in league with Tron and Dyson.
By the year 2010, CLU had taken complete control of the Grid, fashioning the digital frontier into his own interpretation of perfection. However, he felt trapped inside the electronic reality, and desired to break out into the physical world so he could perfect it as well. For that, he needed to acquire Flynn's identity disc, and have someone open the portal from the outside. CLU sent a message to Alan Bradley, attempting to lure a new user into the Grid. While the arrival of Sam Flynn was unexpected, it proved more fortuitous, allowing CLU to exploit Kevin Flynn's love for his son more effectively than the friendship towards Bradley might have been. When Sam was caught attempting to escape the Disc Wars arena, he was brought before CLU, whom Sam at first assumed was his father. The program interrogated the user, examined his identity disc, then revealed his true identity before dismissing him.
In order to draw Kevin Flynn's attention, CLU had Sam placed in the Light Cycle Grid, pitted against four sentries and CLU himself. After a brutal battle which derezzed all of Sam's team, CLU was set to deliver the final blow when Flynn's confidante Quorra broke into the Light Cycle Grid in the Light Runner and rescued Sam instead. CLU returned to his Command Ship to await Sam's, or Kevin's, next move.
Some time later, Jarvis reported that the location of Flynn's Safehouse had been traced from Kevin's light cycle found abandoned in the city. CLU investigated the safehouse personally, but found the area deserted and returned to the city in pursuit of the Flynns. After a tip-off was received, CLU's forces were sent to capture them at the End of Line Club. The assault failed to catch the users, although it did prove successful in causing Kevin's identity disc to fall into the hands of Castor, the club's enigmatic proprietor. CLU claimed the disc, and with his prize in hand, set off to the portal to complete his plan.
While CLU addressed his assembled forces and told of his plan to invade the physical world outside the system, the heroes infiltrated his Command Ship and retrieved Kevin's disc. When they escaped in a Light Jet, CLU, with Rinzler and four Black Guards, set off after them in small personal light jets of their own. The smaller craft were whittled away by the superior firepower of the escapees' larger light jet, however their strength in numbers eventually wore it down. CLU would have emerged victorious had it not been for a sudden betrayal by Rinzler. He was unsuccessful at shooting them down, but ultimately reached the portal first after stealing Rinzler's spare Light Jet Baton and leaving Rinzler to plummet into the Sea of Simulation.
Confronting the trio when they arrived, CLU justified his actions by saying that he had done simply what Kevin programmed him to do, venting his frustration at being abandoned and forced to run the Grid on his own. Flynn accepted CLU's arguments, but explained that the perfect world does not exist. Furious with this revelation, CLU attacked Kevin as Sam and Quorra headed for the portal. When CLU attempted to follow them, Flynn prevented his escape and reintegrated the program into himself. CLU was derezzed as the pair reintegrated.
CLU appears in Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance as a villain in his sleeping world "The Grid".
He is first seen after Rinzler returns to the Throneship and gives his Identity Disc, which displays both Sora and his Keyblade. Seemingly pleased, CLU returns the disc to Rinzler as he looks out towards the city. After an encounter with Xemnas and Young Xehanort, Sora finds himself in the Disc Wars arena. As he studies his surroundings, CLU appears before him with Rinzler at his side. There, CLU confirms that he was the one who turned Tron into Rinzler in the first place, but he agrees to turn him back into Tron in return for the Keyblade. When Sora refuses to comply, CLU states that he'll have to take the Keyblade from him by force. Rinzler attacks Sora, and the two battle. During the fight, Sora manages to free Rinzler by stabbing him with the Keyblade, allowing Rinzler to remember his old memories of his old self. This angers CLU who attempts to eliminate Sora with his disc, but Rinzler, remembering his old friendship with Sora, jumps in the way causing the disc to ricochet down into the floor creating a gaping hole underneath him. After watching these events transpire, CLU determines that he'll have to deal with Sora later and heads off to retrieve him.
Upon Riku's arrival on the Grid, CLU appears behind him with a pair of guards, and he forces him to participate in a Light Cycle battle. After Riku manages to take out some of the guards on their cycles as well as the summoned Commantis, Riku blows up a wall with his lightcycle and manages to escape. When Riku accompanies Sam Flynn, his father Kevin, and Quorra to the Portal, he finds CLU waiting for them. He summons the Commantis to demonstrate the applications at his disposal, until Riku promptly destroys the Nightmare Dream Eater. Afterwards, CLU talked bitterly about his plans on perfection but is reprehended by his creator, Kevin who tells him he has no knowledge of what perfection truly is because he did not know what it was when he created him. He apologizes to his creation only to be kicked violently and knocked to the ground, and Sam attacks CLU to avenge his father. The program effortlessly tosses him aside, and Riku and Quorra come to Sam's aid. Hoping to save his son, Kevin tells CLU to remember what he came for: his identity disc, the key that would allow him to escape the Grid and enter the real world. CLU closes in on Kevin and takes the disc, but when he examines it and sees that it is truly Quorra's, the program desperately tries to reclaim Kevin's by leaping to the other side of the bridge. Sam and Quorra reluctantly leave Kevin behind on his orders and open the Portal to escape the Grid, and Riku blocks the path to the Portal so that CLU cannot follow them. Kevin then sacrifices himself to eliminate CLU, by forcing the rogue program back into his being, which caused a massive explosion.
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