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Our fave Space Ranger gets the origin story he deserves in new Lightyear trailer


Chris Evans voices a young Buzz Lightyear in Pixar’s forthcoming Lightyear.

We have a shiny new trailer for Lightyear, the latest animated feature from Pixar. It’s a spinoff from the studio’s hugely successful Toy Story franchise, with Chris Evans replacing Tim Allen as the voice of titular protagonist Buzz Lightyear. (The character’s name honors Apollo 11 astronaut Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin.) Pixar is calling Lightyear the “definitive origin story of Buzz Lightyear,” following the legendary Space Ranger on an intergalactic adventure.

“Buzz’s world was always something I was excited about,” said director Angus MacLane in a statement. “In Toy Story, there seemed to be this incredible backstory to him being a Space Ranger that’s only touched upon, and I always wanted to explore that world further. So my Lightyear pitch was, ‘What was the movie that Andy saw that made him want a Buzz Lightyear toy?’ I wanted to see that movie. And now I’m lucky enough to get to make it.”

Pixar debuted a 90-second teaser trailer last October, which racked up 83 million views in the first 24 hours, despite featuring almost no dialogue. Instead, the focus was on exploration and a variety of interstellar locales (the teaser also showcased Lightyear‘s distinctive animation style). As Ars’ Tech Culture Editor Sam Machkovech wrote at the time:

If you’re looking for an epic sci-fi universe worthy of Andy’s childhood adoration, this trailer has it in spades: a swampy, Dagobah-like planet that Lightyear examines with a rusty, bipedal droid at his side; a NASA-grade preparation, countdown, and launch sequence, punctuated by a mysterious power source being loaded into a spaceship; a hyperspeed blast of a one-man spacecraft toward and past an apparent version of Earth’s Sun; Lightyear’s eerie, lonely stare-down of a colonized, Mars-like planet while dressed in sweats; a harrowing dive through inky-black space, with the only light coming from his own deteriorating spaceship; and a creepy, talking robo-cat that Lightyear apparently befriends at some point but is clearly reluctant about.

Keke Palmer, Dale Soules, and Taika Waititi will voice a group of ambitious recruits, while Peter Sohn voices Buzz’s robot cat companion, Sox. The cast also includes the voices of Uzo Aduba, James Brolin, Mary McDonald-Lewis, Efren Ramirez, and Isiah Whitlock Jr. Oscar-winning screenwriter Pete Docter (Soul, Inside Out, Up) penned the script, while Oscar-winning composer Michael Giacchino (Up, Ratatouille, Inside Out, Coco, both Incredibles movies) scored the film.

Chris Evans voices Buzz Lightyear, and Peter Sohn voices his robot cat companion Sox.
Enlarge / Chris Evans voices Buzz Lightyear, and Peter Sohn voices his robot cat companion Sox.

YouTube/Pixar

This new trailer opens with Buzz confidently suiting up for a four-minute test flight only to have his swagger undermined by “a breach in the perimeter”—i.e., a stealth attack by some kind of tentacled space creature. We learn that he and his crew have been marooned on this alien planet for a full year, and the test flight represents their best chance to get everyone home.

We don’t have long to wait before David Bowie’s “Starman” inevitably kicks in (it was also featured in the first trailer). Buzz meets Sox, encounters a squad of armed aliens, and is attacked by a massive robot. “That was utterly terrifying, and I regret having joined you,” Sox says after a narrow escape. But who else could provide Buzz with a little white noise to help him sleep?

Lightyear will be released in theaters on June 17, 2022.

Listing image by YouTube/Pixar



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