As the David Bowie song used in the trailer suggests, there is indeed a starman waiting in the sky, and his name is Buzz Lightyear. Buzz Lightyear of what, however? From the few trailers that have been dropped for Disney’s upcoming and highly anticipated movie, Lightyearone thing that has been made blatantly obvious is that the direction this movie is taking is not the same as how Buzz Lightyear of Star Command has been traditionally portrayed in the Toy Story movies.
In fact, assuming that Lightyear is a sort of origin story for Buzz, the aesthetics and direction of the story are so markedly different that comparison to his Toy Story counterpart may not even be possible. Sure, they are both named Buzz Lightyear, and they both have adventures in space, but that may be where the comparisons end.
In the Toy Story movies, Buzz Lightyear of Star Command is portrayed as a sort of “space cop” that brings all sorts of space criminals to justice and is likely the best darn space cop that Star Command has ever seen. In this manner, Buzz is not too different from the character Judge Dredd (created by John Wagner and Carlos Ezquerra) of the British sci-fi comic 2000 ADas Dredd is also a sort of sci-fi cop that is the best at what he does (although he rarely if ever leaves Earth).
The Buzz Lightyear shown in the trailer for Lightyear shows a man who has marooned himself and his fellow astronauts on an unknown planet in distant space because of his “mistake” and is willing and able to do whatever it takes to correct that mistake. Then from there, the trailer moves on to show time travel shenanigans. While this is not a bad setup for a story by any means, it is leagues different from the space cop.
Where Is Star Command?
One thing that has been shown, or more accurately not shown, in the trailers for Lightyear is the seemingly complete absence of Star Command, the eponymous organization that Buzz Lightyear is supposed to work for. While Buzz may not be a space cop in Lightyearthe words “star” and “command” are never even used in the same sentence, much less one after the other. Buzz’s spoken lines of dialogue in the second trailer also seem to imply that wherever he and his other fellow humans are stranded, it is their (and probably humanity’s) first foray into space.
Then after the time travel shenanigans happen, the dialogue of all the characters present implies that they have absolutely no idea what is out there or who they are fighting.
If all of this is the new status quo and there is no Star Command to be seen, then either one of two things is possible regarding Star Command. One is that as a result of the actions taken in Lightyear, the organization Star Command is formed, and Buzz Lightyear is made into a space cop. Or two, Star Command is never formed and Lightyear is its own separate continuity that has nothing to do with the Buzz Lightyear seen in Toy Story.
Buzz’s Greatest Nemesis
Buzz Lightyear fans are undoubtedly brimming with anticipation for the eventual reveal of Buzz’s greatest (and only) nemesis, the Evil Emperor Zurg, sworn enemy of the Galactic Alliance. The trailers for Lightyear have wisely shown as little of Zurg as possible – if they even showed him at all. One of the future robot designs in the trailer bore similar features to Zurg, but nothing at this point has been proven.
However, the bigger reason for this is that Disney understands that certain villains are less intimidating the more one sees of them. They are trying to show as little of him as possible in the trailers, if only to make his eventual reveal in the movie that much more jaw-dropping. That is, of course, assuming that Zurg is in the film at all or in a form that fans will recognize.
It is, thankfully, highly unlikely that Disney would make a Buzz Lightyear movie without Zurg, as he is the only real villain that Buzz has. Although given the story’s new direction, it is doubtful that Zurg will turn out to be Buzz Lightyear’s father. Even if Zurg is not the villain of Lightyear per se, his presence will likely still be felt, perhaps as a sort of cameo at the end to tease a sequel.
In any case, much like Star Command, while the existence of Zurg may not be confirmed now, the movie makes a point to show that wherever this stranded group of humans is, they have not been in the larger galaxy for very long. As a result, they will likely encounter Zurg for the first time. It is even possible that Star Command may be formed because of these people’s encounter with Zurg, as they will undoubtedly recognize that he is indeed a major threat to all life in the galaxy and that they will need to work together in order to defeat him for good.
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