Screencap from the Teaser for Lightyear (2022)

First Look at Lightyear, Pixar’s First Expansion of the Coveted Toy Story Lore

Our First Look at Chris Evans’ Take on the Famous Animated Spaceman has Arrived!

Yesterday, October 27th, 2021, Pixar revealed our first official look at one of its upcoming films, Lightyear, which is set to be a science-fiction origin story for Buzz Lightyear, set in the “real-world” in which we as the audience see how the now iconic space ranger came to be, with this story serving as the inspiration for the toy. Having now seen this teaser for the upcoming film, it seems clearer to me that rather than this being a story of a “real” astronaut in the Toy Story universe, this will be much more akin to the animated Buzz Lightyear of Star Command show, opting to expand the background and lore of the character, while technically continuing the Toy Story franchise, without it being about toys now. Confusing? Possibly. Intriguing? Very much so!

Let’s talk about Lightyear!

OKAY… so, I am a pretty big fan of Buzz Lightyear, as a whole, so this movie is already quite appealing to me. I love the Toy Story films, really all of them, I used to watch the old Buzz Lightyear cartoon all the time, I love both the Disneyland and Walt Disney World theme park attractions, Space Ranger Spin and Astro Blasters, and I used to play the computer game tied to the ride a lot as a kid. I am 95% sure there are probably a lot of people who see this new film by Pixar as a very dumb way to try and continue the Toy Story franchise without actually doing so, but I really have no issue with it. There was already the aforementioned animated television show and people still occasionally talk about and share their love for it. My biggest issue with this would have been if they went the route I originally assumed they were, with it being a more grounded, realistic take on Buzz, with him just being a regular astronaut.

I am glad this trailer threw that idea (mostly) out the window.

Screencap from the teaser for Lightyear (2022)

Instead, we see what appears to be a somewhat realistic science fiction-looking take on the character, with it very likely set in the future based off of the technology seen on display in the trailer, as well as Buzz traveling to alien planets, with one even having a potential human colony based there already. Robots are also seen featured, in the forms of a companion (?) with Buzz, a possible killer cat robot, and something I even missed on my first watch of the trailer, but what appear to be Zurg’s robots!!!

And speaking on Zurg, he was nowhere to be seen in the teaser! There was a shot of an ominous looking door opening with red light flooding out, but aside from that, there was genuinely nothing aside from the shot of the Zurg Bots to be seen. I think it will be interesting to see if they go with the idea that Zurg is Buzz’s father or if they go a different direction with it entirely, as Disney does love their twist villains. One direction I could personally see them going with in this, is a potential storyline in which Zurg is Buzz’s father or a former astronaut test pilot before him (or both), who went out on a mission, got lost, and was left abandoned for years. Either that, or he’s just some evil spaceman, but where’s the fun and emotion in that? This is Pixar after all…

Screencap from the teaser for Lightyear (2022)

In terms of what exactly to expect from this film in terms of story… it appears as if Buzz Lightyear (now voiced by Chris Evans in place of Tim Allen), will be taking on the role of a specially chosen test pilot for some brand spankin’ new Spaceship, with it appearing to be doing some Stark Trek IV: The Journey Home moves, with the ship seemingly using the sun for some type of maneuver, whether it be slingshotting itself, or maybe even having Buzz testing some sort of experimental time travel…

I suppose time will tell, but I for one would actually admire if it was some type of tribute to The Journey Home, but it could just as easily be something entirely different.

William Shatner in Star Trek IV: The Journey Home

While the teaser boasts some absolutely stunning animation that really begs for comparisons to Buzz’s debut in the original Toy Story film, it really does leave a lot to the imagination in terms of what to actually expect from this, which I think is great and somewhat refreshing in an age where Teaser Trailers often just feel like regular trailers, so props to the marketing department for knocking this out of the park, and for the included use of Starman by David Bowie!

Before we wrap things up, it is worth taking a look at the other apparent absences that may be noted for fans, aside from Evil Emperor Zurg of course:

  • The Little Green Men
  • Pizza Planet (which I don’t think will actually be a planet in this, though I did see a good comment on Reddit, theorizing that the cafeteria at this Space/Star Command’s HQ could be named Pizza Planet instead, and I really love that!)
  • Any recognizable faces from Buzz Lightyear of Star Command… So far, there appears to be no references to characters such as Princess Mira Nova, XR, Warp Darkmatter, or Commander Nebula, but again, this is a Teaser Trailer, and there is admittedly no confirmation that any of these characters are set to appear, although they would make for nice Easter Eggs!
Screencap from Buzz Lightyear of Star Command

Lightyear is set to soar into theaters (this officially announced alongside Seeing Red) next summer, specifically on June 17, 2022! For more Movie News and Film Reviews, be sure to subscribe to my Medium Page!

Teaser Trailer for Lightyear (2022)

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