While no one asked for a film about the origins of Toy Story character Buzz Lightyear, the combined forces of Disney and Pixar appear to be intent on making such a concept look as appealing and epic as possible. Seriously, if you think the concept sounds like a straight-to-VHS cash-in on paper, we strongly advise you to watch Wednesday’s dramatic reveal of Lightyear, which will be released “in theatres” (with no mention of Disney+) on June 17, 2022.The film’s first 90-second trailer, embedded below, skips over the crucial context found in its YouTube “read more” crawl, which suggests that the toy version of Buzz Lightyear, who was embraced by Toy Story’s Andy as a toy, an animated series character, a video game star, and more, was based on someone else entirely.
According to Disney Pixar:This description, however, does not specify whether the more realistic-looking version of Lightyear in next year’s film is as real in the Toy Story version of Earth as characters like Andy (and that this version of our planet is patrolled by “Space Ranger” astronauts) or if this is another fictional storey within that world, from which more cartoonish Buzz Lightyear versions eventually followed.
While we waited for Al “Chicken Man” McWhiggin to respond to our emails, we discovered a definitive answer at Entertainment Weekly, where reporter Nick Romano interviewed film director Angus MacLane on the subject. The first teaser for Lightyear emphasises exploration and a variety of interstellar locales, as it is otherwise mostly devoid of dialogue—with the notable exception of new character voice actor Chris Evans (Captain America) offering an abbreviated blurt of “and…” at the end.
He says this to his apparent crewmate, Alicia Hawthorne, who begins the sentence with the familiar “to infinity” call-out. As of press time, Hawthorne’s voice actor was uncredited—though we see this new character in both full Space Ranger regalia and more subdued control-room garb throughout the trailer, so she’s likely to play a significant role in the final film.This trailer has everything you’re looking for in an epic sci-fi universe worthy of Andy’s childhood adoration. A swampy, Dagobah-like planet that Lightyear investigates with the help of a rusted, bipedal droid.
A NASA-level preparation, countdown, and launch sequence, punctuated by the loading of a mysterious power source into a spaceship. A one-man spacecraft accelerates toward and past an apparent version of Earth’s Sun. Lightyear’s eerie, lonely encounter with a colonised, Mars-like planet while dressed in sweatpants. A terrifying dive through inky-black space, with only the light from his own deteriorating spaceship to guide him. And a creepy, talking robo-cat, whom Lightyear appears to befriend but is clearly hesitant to do so.
The trailer includes what is arguably the 18 quadrillionth use of David Bowie’s “Starman” in a film trailer, albeit with a full string section and thunderous drums in place of the traditional guitars and percussion. Today’s announcement comes on the heels of a vague mention that slipped past many fans in March of this year, when Disney’s massive slate of internal, Marvel, Pixar, Fox, and other studios’ films included a text-only blurb on something called “Lightyear,” which will be released in June 2022. That’s what this film appears to be, though many questions, particularly about connections to other fictional characters in the Buzz Lightyear toy-verse, will likely remain unanswered until the film’s theatrical release.
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