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Film Facts: 5 Things to Know About Pixar’s ‘Lightyear’

We'll finally get to see the story that inspired the toy!

“To infinity and beyond!”

For years we’ve seen Buzz Lightyear as half of Toy Story‘s leading duo, alongside the cowboy Woody. But Disney and Pixar are set to change our view of the iconic character in the upcoming Toy Story spinoff film, Lightyear.

The new film is set to explore the story that inspired the toy. It will follow the legendary Space Ranger, as he travels through space and time to find a way back home after getting stuck on a hostile planet. But it’s not that easy, especially with the evil emperor Zurg trying to thwart the mission.

Watch the trailer below:

Before you see this exciting spinoff film on the big screen, we’ve rounded up some fun facts about Lightyear that you might find interesting!


1. Chris Evans is the new voice of Buzz

In the Toy Story franchise, Buzz has been consistently voiced by Tim Allen, but for this film, Chris Evans is lending his voice to the character. In an interview with IGN, producer Galyn Susman answers why they decided to cast a different actor for the “meta” film: “There was so much initial confusion about our pitch, that it became really clear that we needed to have some clear delineators. We needed a different voice. And our Buzz had to have hair. We needed some things that made it clear that this is not the Toy Story Buzz.”

2. Zurg’s previous appearances

In case you forgot, Zurg has also been a recurring character in the Toy Story franchise, being Buzz’s archenemy even as a toy. In Toy Story 2, Zurg is also oblivious about himself being a toy and tries to stop Buzz in his mission to save Woody from the toy dealer Al McWhiggin. At the end of Toy Story 3, Zurg is also seen being added to the toys at Sunnyside Daycare. But in Lightyear, we can expect a more menacing Zurg as the trailer teased.

Another fun fact about this new Zurg: he will be voiced by James Brolin, the father of Josh Brolin. So in a way, we’ll see Captain America fight Thanos’ dad.

Photo: Lightyear trailer

3. A cute robot cat joins Buzz in his mission

Joining Buzz on his mission is a robot cat named SOX. The adorable character can talk and accompanies the Space Ranger throughout his journey across time and space. If the voice sounds familiar, he is voiced by Peter Sohn, a Korean-American animator and director who has voiced the likes of Emile in Ratatouille, Forrest Woodbush in The Good Dinosaur (which he also directed), and Ciccio in Luca. Sohn is also directing the upcoming Disney film Elemental.

4. The sets and ships took inspiration from NASA

In an interview with Variety, set art director Greg Peltz shared how NASA’s real ships and structures inspired the ships and sets in Lightyear. “We looked at the Vehicle Assembly Building at NASA, that huge structure where they build the giant space rockets,” Peltz says. “Take the car crawler, it’s a rail vehicle and it has these giant clamps that grasp it and lock it into place. When you’re ready to launch, the steam comes off it, and you see these moving parts.”

Photo: Lightyear trailer

5. NASA took Buzz Lightyear to space once

We know that Buzz Lightyear’s name was inspired by Apollo 11’s Buzz Aldrin. But did you know that Buzz the toy also had his time in space in real life? Back in 2008, a Buzz Lightyear toy was taken by NASA to the International Space Station with the crew of the STS-124 space shuttle mission. The toy returned to Earth 15 months later.

Lightyear opens in cinemas nationwide this Wednesday, June 15, 2022.  Book your seats in advance and buy your tickets here.

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