Sam's appearance is based on his attire in Tron: Legacy, in which he is shown with short, light brown hair and dressed in a black, skintight outfit with blue circuitry similar to Tron himself.
Sam's official debut was in the 2010 film Tron: Legacy, the sequel to Tron. He is presented as the son of the since-disappeared Kevin Flynn and the "official" owner of ENCOM, although the only interest he has in the company is playing an annual prank on the board of directors. Eventually receiving a message from his father, Sam enters The Grid inside his father's old arcade and ends up in conflict with the Grid's tyrannical ruler, CLU 2, and his right-hand man, Rinzler. As Sam is almost killed, he is saved by an ISO, Quorra, who takes him to his father in a secluded house in the mountains, where they are reunited.
Upon learning that CLU 2's goal is to enter the real world and take it over, Sam embarks on a mission to escape back to the real world with Flynn and Quorra while leaving CLU 2 trapped inside. Along the journey, Sam develops romantic feelings for Quorra. Eventually, when they make it to the I/O tower, Sam and Quorra are forced to leave Flynn behind, who sacrifices himself to destroy CLU 2 by merging with him. Once safely outside, Sam takes Quorra to a bridge to show her a sunrise, something she had longed to see for a while.