The teaser trailer for Lightyear, the Toy Story spin-off centered on the “real” Buzz Lightyear, dropped this week. It features a lot of David Bowie and only a little of Chris Evans speaking as the human Buzz. They’re going to hang onto Evans saying the catchphrase as long as they can. It’s the money shot, and they know it, and they know they have an old pro in Evans, who well knows how to sell movies like this by now. When “To infinity, and beyond” finally comes out of his mouth, it’ll be An Event.
Animated movie were an enormous part of my childhood. They were my escape. My adventures. My dreams.— Chris Evans (@ChrisEvans) October 27, 2021
They were my first window into the magic of storytelling and performing.
To @pixar and @AngusMacLane:
â€˜Thank youâ€™ doesnâ€™t even come closeâ¤ï¸#Lightyear pic.twitter.com/DD1N7aYhKT
Lightyear is supposed to be the origin story of the actual astronaut upon which the toy voiced by Tim Allen is based, which in turn opens up a whole can of worms about the world in which Pixar movies occur. If you buy into the Grand Unifying Theory of Pixar, all Pixar movies connect, and eventually the world ends up without humanity and dominated by talking cars. So where does Buzz Lightyear: Actual Human fit in?
Well, before Wall-E and Cars, certainly. But nothing about Toy Story suggests a world in which a famous astronaut fought monsters in space, as appears to happen in the Lightyear teaser. It looks like Buzz is visiting full-on alien worlds (I like that homage shot of his spaceship on a swampy planet a la Luke’s X-Wing on Dagobah), though. So, do people on Earth just not know about this? Are Buzz’s true adventures suppressed? Or worse, was he immortalized as a toy because he DIED IN SPACE? Pixar has always tugged our heart strings, but these days they just LOVE to make us cry. Like even Cars, the proudest “this one is just for kids” movie Pixar ever made, got an emotional makeover with Cars 3: Lightning McQueen’s Existential Crisis. What are the odds that Lightyear is about a cool, brave astronaut who went on incredible intergalactic missions but never came home? And Star Command covers it up by literally selling “Buzz Lightyear” as a hero to children? How deep does the conspiracy go?