Lightyear is out-of-this-world fun for the whole family and gives audiences a glimpse into the legendary Space Ranger’s life that was so great that they made a movie and toys about his character.
Buzz Lightyear gained popularity from the Toy Story series that first premiered in 1995 as Pixar’s first feature-length film. When Buzz enter’s Andy’s life, he doesn’t realize he is just a toy. A replica of the real Space Ranger who protects the galaxy from evil aliens and robots. His popularity has made him an iconic figure in children’s entertainment, and he has been called one of “the most popular toys at Disney.”
Chris Evans voices Buzz Lightyear and embodies the strong-willed Space Ranger as Buzz learns to work with others to ensure the greater good prevails. He is joined by a stellar cast of silly characters that Buzz wasn’t expecting, including the adorable Sox, the emotional support robotic Cat. Sox (Peter Sohn) steals the scenes with his basic animatronic movements and “beep boop, beep boop” noises.
They are joined by a junior crew that includes Mo Morrison, played by the hilarious Taika Watiti. They are also joined by Buzz’s fellow Space Ranger’s granddaughter Izzy (Keke Palmer) and a parolee Darby Steel (Dale Soules). Together, they bring a level of comic relief to the story because Buzz is such a stern and series character. That is also what sets him apart from the toy version played by Tim Allen. The team wanted to make sure that they were different characters, which is why Chris Evans was chosen to voice this version of Biz Lightyear.
Lightyear allows fans of Toy Story to feel the nostalgia and create a more profound love for the character. His journey is about redemption for his mistakes and also coming to terms with the things he cannot change. The evil Zurg reveal is a twist that audiences won’t see coming.
Angus MacLane and Jason Headley did a great job bringing an action-packed backstory to life while weaving in so many lines from the Toy Story franchise. The premise of Lightyear is to be a live-action movie that Andy saw, fell in love with, and wanted a toy for his birthday. MacLane explains how Lightyear was pitched to Disney Pixar.
“Why don’t we just make that movie like a cool sci-fi movie and a pitch just like that,” Director and co-writer Angus MacLane said. “What was the movie that Andy saw that made them want the Buzz Lightyear figure? Why don’t we just make that movie, just make something awesome and simple like that, with all of the nerdy, geeky, sci-fi goodness that we want to see in the movie? Just make the Buzz Lightyear movie, make one adventure of that. And that was really the initial pitch idea.”
Producer Galen Sussman said that Lightyear is rooted in the 80s sci-fi genre with films like Star Wars and Aliens, which is why you’ll see some great sci-fi Easter eggs and hidden gems from these films and not just the typical Pixar ones. The team mentioned getting down to the core elements and visual nods from movies like Stanley Kubrick’s 2001 A Space Odyssey, Metropolis, The Lady Vanishes, and Star Trek.
See Lightyear only in theaters on June 17th, and look out for some of these great hidden gems and quotes from the movie.
Lightyear Easter Eggs and Hidden Gems
Pixar loves to place lots of hidden gems and Easter eggs in its films to tie them all back together. Some of the animators also like to sprinkle in little bits of their personalities.
The ship that travels the galaxy looking for habitable planets that is Buzz has nicknamed The Turnip, has this written on the side S.C.01. T.S. and stands for Star Command number 1 Toy Story.
The bugs on the planet reminded me of the Cy-Bugs in the game Hero’s Duty (she said doodie lol) from Wreck-it-Ralph.
In the stars, Luxo Jr. can be seen as a constellation.
There are toys in Alisha’s room including a dinosaur like Rex from Toy Story and a Zurg Bot that you see later in the film .
As Buzz is driving to get away from the soldiers, the Pizza Planet truck is seen on the left. It’s shaped like the other vehicles on the base, but that rocket on the top is unmistakable!
There are also lots of places for alpha-numeric codes like A113 at the base.
A lot of the robots share similarities with the ones from Wall-E, and the names are chosen by what its task is that it performs. One of the bots is colored and shaped just like Wall-E.
El riesgo Siempre Vive was famously emblazoned on the armor of Vasquez in Aliens. D.E.R.I.C. bot has it on his chest.
When the team is planning their attack, there is a map rolled in that is the same style as the maps you see in the Star Wars planning meetings.
On the base, there is a jetpack sitting to the side on top of a canister that looks like the Mandalorian-issued jetpacks from Star Wars.
Among the space station junk, you’ll see Monsters Inc. laughing canisters.
When the crew is trapped in the security cones, it’s a nice Toy Story 2 recall to the toys crossing the street in the street cones.
In the snack machine of the mining station is some Castle Cookies Snacks from Onward.
In the mid-credit scene, you’ll see all of the trinkets and statues on the captain’s shelves, including the Toy Story Aliens and the Wall-e cleaner robot MO.
I’ll add more as I spot them during my second viewing!
Best Lightyear Quotes that are also in Toy Story
One of the best things about Lightyear is hearing Chris Evans say some of the iconic Buzz Lightyear lines that you know and love from Toy Story and the various short films and specials. Here are some of my favorites.
To infinity and beyond! (obviously!)
Buzz Lightyear mission log. There seems to be no sign of intelligent life anywhere.
Buzz Lightyear to Star Command, Come in Star Command. Why don’t they answer?
You’re mocking me, aren’t you?
I’m stationed in the gamma quadrant of sector 4.