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Lightyear Big Twist Recasts an Old Villain to Deliver an Older Message

Amazing revelations may change your mind about one of the big buds in Toy Story's story, but the movie is recurring.

This post contains spoilers for Pixar's Lightyear. 

 Chris Evans sent a tweet. This combined a thousand memes  in an attempt to explain the premise of Light Year. Even after the 18-month Disney / Pixar marketing machine paved the way, movies didn't always feel the need to open. I have compiled a summary of his assumptions. "In 1995, a boy named Andy got a Buzz Lightyear toy on his birthday. It was from his favorite movie. This is this movie." This eccentric setup is It's not the origin of Toy Story's militant action figures, but the concept behind them. At the very least, the movie doesn't have to work seamlessly with the source IP. (In fact, it's an understandable sentence.) Lightyear's Buzz is a bit of a nuanced piece, as it fits into the notion of looking at a human actor rather than a perceptual piece of plastic. (This time, even if he mimics the rhythm of Tim Allen's Stentor, it's harmless to be called out by Chris Evans, who  still has a wider range.) But Buzz Lightyear The movie's attempt to make him a hero deserves his own adventure, eventually straining him to the limit. In particular, it's time to uncover the identity of his adversary, the mysterious Zurg.

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This post contains spoilers for Pixar's Lightyear. 

 Chris Evans sent a tweet. This combined a thousand memes  in an attempt to explain the premise of Light Year. Even after the 18-month Disney / Pixar marketing machine paved the way, movies didn't always feel the need to open. I have compiled a summary of his assumptions. "In 1995, a boy named Andy got a Buzz Lightyear toy on his birthday. It was from his favorite movie. This is this movie." This eccentric setup is It's not the origin of Toy Story's militant action figures, but the concept behind them. At the very least, the movie doesn't have to work seamlessly with the source IP. (In fact, it's an understandable sentence.) Lightyear's Buzz is a bit of a nuanced piece, as it fits into the notion of looking at a human actor rather than a perceptual piece of plastic. (It doesn`t hurt that he`s voiced this time by Chris Evans, who even when he`s imitating Tim Allen`s stentorian cadence still has a broader range.) But the movie`s attempt to make Buzz Lightyear a hero worthy of his own adventure eventually strains it to the breaking point, especially when it comes time to reveal the true identify of its antagonist, the mysterious Zurg. 


 In the Toy Story movies, Emperor Zurg dresses like Ming the Merciless and sounds like Darth Vader, threatening to destroy the galaxy in the name of ruling it and throwing Buzz off-balance by claiming to be his real father. (The Toy Story wiki is bitterly conflicted about whether to take this utterance at face value.) In Lightyear, Zurg`s motivations are even more opaque. After Buzz crash-lands a colony ship on a hostile alien planet, the daring space pilot becomes obsessed with completing his original mission, reconstructing the technology that would allow the ship to reach hyperspeed and leave the planet behind. Meanwhile, the colonists decide to do what they set out to do, even if the location has changed: They set about making a new planet their home. That is not  the ideal situation. Tendrils spring up and threaten to take someone who knows where they are, but that's enough. Eventually, even Buzz's fellow space ranger Alisha Hawthorne (Uzoaduba) decided to abandon her mission and settle. under. Meanwhile, Buzz continues to test the flight, trying out a new version of spacecraft fuel that approaches the speed of light sufficient to begin the time dilation effect. Years pass every time he steps into space. Everyone he knows dies of old age, and all he has left is his mission. (Well, almost all of them — because it's a Pixar movie, you'll also get a friendly robot cat.)


Buzz eventually perfects the formula, accelerates to the speed of light (thankfully, unlike in one of Disney's other pointless sci-fi spinoffs, we are spared the moment where he obtains his surname), and returns to inform the colonists that they can finally depart. However, this time he's travelled even further into the future, and the colony now faces a new threat: Zurg's army of robot sentinels, who want the fuel for themselves. Buzz doesn't understand why until he eventually meets Zurg—or, to be more precise (and here comes the big reveal), Zurg/himself.

This post contains spoilers for Pixar's Lightyear. 

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Chris Evans sent a tweet. This combined a thousand memes  in an attempt to explain the premise of Light Year. Even after the 18-month Disney / Pixar marketing machine paved the way, movies didn't always feel the need to open. I have compiled a summary of his assumptions. "In 1995, a boy named Andy got a Buzz Lightyear toy on his birthday. It was from his favorite movie. This is this movie." This eccentric setup is It's not the origin of Toy Story's militant action figures, but the concept behind them. At the very least, the movie doesn't have to work seamlessly with the source IP. (In fact, it's an understandable sentence.) Lightyear's Buzz is a bit of a nuanced piece, as it fits into the notion of looking at a human actor rather than a perceptual piece of plastic. (It doesn`t hurt that he`s voiced this time by Chris Evans, who even when he`s imitating Tim Allen`s stentorian cadence still has a broader range.) But the movie`s attempt to make Buzz Lightyear a hero worthy of his own adventure eventually strains it to the breaking point, especially when it comes time to reveal the true identify of its antagonist, the mysterious Zurg. 

 In the Toy Story movies, Emperor Zurg dresses like Ming the Merciless and sounds like Darth Vader, threatening to destroy the galaxy in the name of ruling it and throwing Buzz off-balance by claiming to be his real father. (The Toy Story wiki is bitterly conflicted about whether to take this utterance at face value.) In Lightyear, Zurg`s motivations are even more opaque. After Buzz crash-lands a colony ship on a hostile alien planet, the daring space pilot becomes obsessed with completing his original mission, reconstructing the technology that would allow the ship to reach hyperspeed and leave the planet behind. Meanwhile, the colonists decide to do what they set out to do, even if the location has changed: They set about making a new planet their home. That is not  the ideal situation. Tendrils spring up and threaten to take someone who knows where they are, but that's enough. Eventually, even Buzz's fellow space ranger Alisha Hawthorne (Uzoaduba) decided to abandon her mission and settle. under. Meanwhile, Buzz continues to test the flight, trying out a new version of spacecraft fuel that approaches the speed of light sufficient to begin the time dilation effect. Years pass every time he steps into space. Everyone he knows dies of old age, and all he has left is his mission. (Well, most people-this is a sci-fi movie and also wins a friendly robot cat.) 

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Eventually, Buzz completes the ceremony and reaches the speed of light-fortunately, Disney's others. Unlike one of the unwanted science fiction sects, we continue to save the moment  he gets his surname, we hurry back and let the settlers know they can finally leave. But he jumped

 

Good Buzz, however, isn`t having it. He`s learned that other people, and the connections you make with them, matter, and that no mission is more important than the people it`s meant to serve. In essence, this is a revamped version of the lesson that Buzz keeps learning in the Toy Story movies: Teamwork is better than going it alone, and it`s better to have friends than subordinates. (It doesn`t explain why the Toy Story Buzz seems to have forgotten that his archenemy is actually himself, but maybe that was more than they could fit on the back of the blister pack.) Lightyear attempts to give it a psychodramatic spin by having Buzz learn from a shadow version of himself (I could swear the movie tries to gaslight us into thinking that “Zurg” is “Buzz” backwards) rather than a cheery old-time cowboy, but it`s fundamentally the same idea, albeit with a more sober undercurrent. In 1995, it might have seemed like the worst consequence of letting boys follow their solitary inclinations was that they`d end up without friends. But now we have a better understanding of what happens when they grow up with this isolated dedication to absolute, which is darker than light-years can handle.

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