Buzz Lightyear is an iconic character and has been a pillar of the Toy Story universe for almost 30 years. (Typing that out sure makes me feel old).
But we only knew Buzz (voiced by Tim Allen) as a toy and his adventures and friendships involved other toys that came to life when their owners weren’t looking.
The gang over at Pixar has decided that maybe we should get a look at the “real” Buzz Lightyear and the movie character that the Buzz Lightyear toy was based on.
“Lightyear,” we are told at the beginning of the movie, was the favorite movie of Andy who got the new Buzz Lightyear toy for his birthday in 1995. Now we are getting to see that movie. (If you follow this logic out, the people we are seeing in this movie are actually actors, who could leave the set and go purchase their own Woody and Buzz toys, but that’s a dark rabbit hole that’s probably best avoided.)
In “Lightyear,” Buzz (now voiced by Chris Evans) is a Space Ranger who explores alien planets with fellow Space Ranger Alisha Hawthorne (Uzo Abuba).
On one mission to a distant, hostile planet, Buzz attempts a daring escape that damages their ship and maroons Buzz, Alisha and the entire crew of scientists on the planet.
While everyone else is hard at work at making the planet habitable, Buzz becomes obsessed with fixing his mistake and goes on repeated missions testing fuel sources attempting to achieve “hyper speed” and get everyone off of the planet.
On one such mission, Buzz’s lone companion is his emotional-support robot SOX (Peter Sohn) who is designed to look like a common housecat. SOX winds up being the secret star of this entire movie.
Buzz and SOX achieve hyper speed, but are propelled decades into the future and when they return to the planet they find it is under attack from alien robots. With only a trio of bumbling recruits, led by Alisha’s granddaughter Izzy (Keke Palmer), available to help, Buzz attempts to defeat the robot army and rescue his crew.
While “Lightyear” is a rip-roaring, sci-fi adventure, being a Pixar movie it does swim in slightly deeper waters.
“Lightyear” is really about making the best of a bad situation and not letting a single mistake define your entire life.
Buzz is a character that is definitely worthy of his own toy, but if I’m being honest, a SOX action figure would be at the top of my Christmas list.
“Lightyear” is rated PG for action/peril.