For too many years, the dark origin stories of beloved cartoon characters have been relegated to fanfiction websites and the devious little minds that visit them. Thankfully, Disney is cutting out the middleman and finally answering the question fans have allegedly been asking since 1995: Who was Buzz Lightyear the man?
According to the new trailer for Lightyear, he was a space ranger who sounded less like Tim Allen and more like Chris Evans. For the uninitiated, this is the film that Evans described as being “the origin story of the human Buzz Lightyear that the toy is based on.” I did not misquote him.
The trailer features, in order: Buzz Lightyear dramatically zipping up his suit; Buzz Lightyear piloting a ship straight into the sun; a haunting version of David Bowie’s “Starman” (A slowed down pop song? For a movie trailer? Innovative.); Buzz Lightyear staring contemplatively out a window; Buzz Lightyear getting tangled up with an alien; lasers; and the phrase “To infinity and…”
Buzz Lightyear does not say “beyond.” You’ll have to go to the theater next summer to see that part.
Is this a movie for children, or a movie for Disney fans who were once children? In a better world, one without the burden of bleeding every piece of IP dry, Disney would have just made a new space movie for kids. Instead, what we have here is a movie about the canonical backstory of a fictional toy that seems like it might have been made for adults with FunkoPop collections.
While we’re here and talking about canon, does the existence of Lightyear mean that in the Toy Story universe there are real people going to space and battling aliens? I know that’s a quibble about a movie franchise where toys have sentience, but it feels like if we had the technology to send people to other planets Andy’s house would have looked a little less like a Norman Rockwell painting. That’s just one adult’s opinion though. I’m sure kids won’t care, and nerds of voting age will find ways to explain it all.