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Lightyear is an American 3D computer-animated film produced by Pixar which was released exclusively in theaters on June 17, 2022. The film, a spin-off of the Toy Story series, tells the origins of the human, Buzz Lightyear. The film is Pixar’s 26th feature film.
A sci-fi action-adventure and the definitive origin story of Buzz Lightyear, the hero who inspired the toy, "Lightyear" follows the legendary Space Ranger after he's marooned on a hostile planet 4.2 million light-years from Earth alongside his commander and their crew. As Buzz tries to find a way back home through space and time, he’s joined by a group of ambitious recruits and his charming robot companion cat, Sox. Complicating matters and threatening the mission is the arrival of Emperor Zurg, an imposing presence with an army of ruthless robots and a mysterious agenda.
Buzz Lightyear, a Space Ranger in Star Command, and his commanding officer and best friend, Alisha Hawthorne, explore the habitable planet, T'Kani Prime, with their new recruit, Featheringhamstan. They are forced to retreat to their exploration vessel after discovering that the planet hosts hostile lifeforms. Buzz damages the vessel during the retreat, forcing the crew to evacuate in order to conduct repairs and continue their journey. One year later, the crew have constructed a nascent colony along with the necessary infrastructure to conduct repairs. Buzz volunteers to test hyperspace fuel, a key component of the repairs. However, after a four-minute test, he finds that four years have passed on T'Kani Prime, due to the effects of time dilation from having traveled at relativistic speeds. Buzz is introduced to Sox, a robotic feline, and continues testing the hyperspace fuel. With every test, four more years pass on T'Kani Prime, until eventually over 62 years have passed. During this time, the colony develops; Alisha raises a son with her wife Kiko, subsequently dying of old age; and Sox improves the fuel's composition, allowing it to obtain faster-than-light speeds.
Against the orders of his new commanding officer, Commander Burnside, Buzz uses this new fuel composition for a successful hyperspace test. Upon landing, Buzz discovers 22 years have passed, during which T'Kani Prime has been invaded by Zyclops robots led by the mysterious Zurg. Buzz meets up with members of the colony’s defense forces, including Izzy Hawthorne, Alisha’s now-adult granddaughter, Mo Morrison, a fresh, naïve recruit, and Darby Steel, an elderly paroled convict. While initially reluctant to work with them, Buzz eventually warms to them. Together, they plan to attack Zurg’s ship and destroy the invading force.
Following an encounter, Zurg abducts Buzz, bringing him aboard his ship where he reveals that he is an older Buzz from an alternate timeline in which he escaped from Burnside’s forces after the successful hyperspace test. Aided by the effects of time dilation, he traveled to the far future, encountering a technologically advanced and abandoned vessel. He assumed Zurg's identity by wearing his signature mecha suit, and traveled to the now-present to obtain more hyperspace fuel from Buzz in order to travel further back in time and prevent the exploration vessel from landing on T'Kani Prime in the first place. However, Buzz refuses due to the implications of the possible temporal paradox that would result from such actions, which would wipe out the current timeline and everyone from it. Meanwhile, Izzy, Mo, Darby, and Sox board Zurg’s ship to assist Buzz. After a chaotic assault on the ship, Buzz and his comrades-in-arms destroy the ship and escape.
However, Zurg, having survived his ship's destruction, arrives and attacks Buzz, grabbing the hyperspace fuel. As Zurg prepares to destroy him, Buzz shoots the fuel, causing it to explode and incapacitate Zurg. With the fuel gone, Buzz wishes to stay on T'Kani Prime. Upon landing, Burnside arrests Buzz, but relents, allowing Buzz to revive the Space Ranger Corps. Buzz selects Izzy, Mo, Darby, and Sox to form the core of this organization, much to Burnside's surprise. Buzz and his team are then sent off to a new adventure in parts unknown. In a post-credits scene, Zurg is revealed to have survived the explosion.
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- Chris Evans as Buzz Lightyear
- Keke Palmer and Keira Hairston as Izzy Hawthorne
- Uzo Aduba as Alisha Hawthorne
- James Brolin as Emperor Zurg/Old Buzz Lightyear
- Isiah Whitlock Jr. as Commander Burnside
- Taika Waititi as Mo Morrison
- Efren Ramirez as Airman Diaz
- Dale Soules as Darby Steel
- Mary McDonald-Lewis as I.V.A.N.
- Peter Sohn as Sox
According to Pete Docter at the Disney Investor Day in 2020,
At first glance, you might think, 'this is a Toy Story film.' Well, not so fast! See, back when we created the first Toy Story, we designed Buzz Lightyear with the idea that he was a toy based on some really cool character from an epic blockbuster film. Well, all these years later we decided it's time to make that film.
And after the release of the teaser trailer on October 27, 2021, director Angus MacLane commented,
The movie doesn't end and then you see Andy eating popcorn […] 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.
With the release of the second official trailer on April 21, 2022, MacLane stated.
What movie inspired Andy to beg for a fancy action figure with lasers, karate chop action and aerodynamic space wings? ‘Lightyear’ is the movie that Andy, his friends and probably most of the rest of the world saw. I wanted to make something that felt true to those fun, big-budget popcorn films.
- ‘Lightyear’ Adds Keke Palmer, Taika Waititi, James Brolin and More to Cast, February 8, 2022.
- Pixar Announces 'Lightyear' – An Origin Story of the Human Buzz Lightyear – Coming Summer 2022, December 10, 2020.
- Pixar Animation Studios: Lightyear
- Keke Palmer, Uzo Aduba join Pixar’s ‘Lightyear’, February 9, 2022.
- Lightyear Official Trailer (Closed Captioning), February 8, 2022.
- Lightyear Official Trailer 2, April 21, 2022.
- 'Lightyear' Trailer Reveals an Action-Packed Origin for Disney's 'Toy Story' Hero, February 8, 2022.
- Mattel Disney·Pixar 'Lightyear' 2022 Toys—COMPLETE COLLECTION REVEALED (for now), March 22, 2022.
- Lightyear synopsis on Movies.Disney.com
- Lightyear Movie’s Toy Story Connections Clarified By Director, October 27, 2021.