Fan favourite Buzz Lightyear of the Toy Story franchise is making a comeback, and in a way quite different from what fans are used to. Produced by Pixar and Walt Disney Pictures, Lightyear is the spinoff to Pixar’s Toy Story, wherein the origins of the fictional human character Buzz Lightyear, which went on to inspire the action figure toy in the original film, is explored.
Directed by Angus Maclane in his directorial debut, and Chris Evans giving voice to the titular character, the teaser trailer was released by Pixar on Wednesday.
Buzz Lightyear as we know in the Toy Story films is a toy based on the Buzz of a famous sci-fi franchise. He is a captain of the Universe Protection Unit of the Space Ranger Corps of the Intergalactic Alliance.
For fans who are used to the exploits of the action figure toys in the original Toy Story film series, the concept of the spinoff film may need to be explained. This is not Buzz (voiced by Tim Allen) as we know from Toy Story, but a take on the original Buzz Lightyear, which inspired the creation of his action figures.
Maclane in an interview with EW has shed more light into the plot:
“‘Set in the world of Toy Story‘ is kind of weird. Another way to get at it, it’s a straightforward sci-fi action film about the Buzz Lightyear character. In the Toy Story universe, it would be like a movie that maybe Andy would have seen, that would have made him want a Buzz Lightyear figure. The movie doesn’t end and then you see Andy eating popcorn,” the filmmaker clarifies. “This is its own thing… This is standalone. It’s the Buzz Lightyear movie. It’s that character but as the space ranger, not as the toy.”
In the Toy Story films, Buzz believes that he is a space ranger and talks about his space exploits and command, while the toy character of Woody knows that he is but a toy version of the space hero owned by Andy. The origin story will now give us all a sense of what Buzz was actually trying to explain all along.
Lightyear Trailer Explained
The trailer begins with Buzz getting ready to be launched into space on a rocket, as David Bowie’s “Starman” plays in the background. With the ground control crew watching on anxiously, Buzz blasts off to space with initial tours around the sun. He sits through instructions given by a robot on space travel and visits various alien planets. Towards the end of the trailer, Buzz gazes on at his iconic green and white space suit.
Casting of Chris Evans
Evans has effectively taken over from Tim Allen, who voiced the iconic character across four movies from the original 1995 film to the 2019 sequel Toy Story 4. The casting of Evans was announced during the project’s announcement in December 2020. Being the first choice of Maclane to voice the character, and due to the actor’s love for animation, he immediately accepted the offer when it was pitched to him.
Evans’ upcoming movies slated for release later this year are The Gray Man, which reunites him with Avengers directors Anthony and Joe Russo, and Don’t Look Up starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Jennifer Lawrence.
Since the origins of Lightyear is about to be focused on, it only makes sense to expect a similar take on the fictional human character of Woody, where we may catch him waltzing through the wild west in a cowboy movie style. Guess we should all wait for such a reveal.
Lightyear is scheduled for release in the US on June 17, 2022.