See: The team behind it Light years explain the premises for Toy Story spin-off
If you’re confused about what Pixar’s latest is called, simply put Light years — now streaming on Disney+ — is actually about, let me put your mind to rest.
Here’s how the animation studio’s own creative team likes to pitch it: in the 1995s Toy Story, Andy has a birthday party. And on that birthday, he receives a toy based on a character he loves, Buzz Lightyear the Space Ranger.
“I’ve always wondered what movie Buzz was from,” elaborates director-writer Angus MacLane.
Read more: Pixar aims for the stars with its ‘Toy Story’ spin-off
“Why couldn’t we just make that movie? So that’s what we did.” Light years is the movie that Andy saw that changed his life… Andy’s Star Wars.’
Except that’s not exactly the whole story. The character Buzz Lightyear, the bold and adventurous Space Ranger, has appeared outside Toy Story films before – namely in the 2000 direct-to-video film Buzz Lightyear of Star Command: The Adventure Begins and its spin-off TV series Buzz Lightyear from Star Command.
Several versions of Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin can also be found across Disney’s theme parks. When asked the question of how Light years might connect to the other, stranger chapters of Buzz’s story, MacLane told Yahoo: “I always thought of it as taking place after the movie.
“Like, the in-universe thing is that there would be a post-Light years event. So the design aesthetic is a bit different. In the same way as the design aesthetics from Nelvana Star Wars cartoons, like Droids and Ewokswas similar Star Warsbut it had a different kind of taste.”
Fans will then not be able to see any Easter eggs in it Light yearsthough MacLane quips, “I’d say I’ve made the blasters big enough that if they wanted to change the blasters on the Astro Blasters, they could make them a little more accurate on film.”
Actual, Light years won’t quite be the nostalgia fest that many assumed it would be, although we’ve been promised a showdown between Buzz and his nemesis Zurg that rivals it in Toy Story 2.
As the director explains, “We made a list of all the things that Buzz talks about in the Buzz Lightyear world from Toy Story. You know, the wings are made of teryllium carbon outlays, he mentions crystalline fusion. So it’s crystalline fusion used in the movie, but it’s not like “Remember? it’s crystalline fusion just like he mentioned in Toy Story!'”
The film instead builds up its own world which MacLane was keen to keep “open”.
He continues: “One of the values of the original Star Wars is that it felt like there was a world on every side of that story.
“And for this movie, I really wanted it to be like that – Buzz went to the academy, but it’s not about that. He’s a Space Ranger.
“And this is the adventure of what happens to him right now. But it’s an adventure after that, or before that, and it just leaves the world open and doesn’t close it.”
Could it potentially mean more Light years movies down the line? We’ll have to wait and see.
Light years now streaming on Disney+. Watch a teaser below.