LIGHTYEAR Reveals An Unexpected Zurg Twist That's Among Pixar's Craziest Creative Decisions - SPOILERS

Pixar is an undeniably inventive studio, but Lightyear delivers a twist with Emperor Zurg that better explains a big Toy Story 2 moment and ranks among their most impressive, crazy creative decisions.

Lightyear is the movie a young Andy watched that led to his love of all things Buzz in 1995's Toy Story, and as that franchise continued, we'd learn more about the Space Ranger's fictional adventures. Toy Story 2 would deliver the biggest reveals, including the introduction of Buzz's greatest enemy, Zurg, a villain who claimed to be the hero's father.

That was obviously inspired by The Empire Strikes Back, but with Lightyear revealing Buzz's full origin story, how does the non-toy version of Zurg end up factoring into that? 

As you'll know from the trailers, he is this movie's big bad. However, as Toonado.com explains, he's not simply a villainous robot, and the truth is that Zurg (never referred to as an "Emperor" here) is Buzz.

Lightyear establishes that travelling through hyperspeed moves Buzz forward in time, and while he only ages however long those experimental flights take, those minutes are years for everyone else. As a result, Buzz watches those around him grow old and die, all in a quest to get his team off the planet they're stranded on.

After one final attempt to make things right, he returns to find that the plant has come under siege from Zurg and his robotic army. When he finally meets the villain, Zurg removes his suit and Buzz initially mistakes the elderly man inside (voiced by James Brolin) for his father (explaining that Toy Story 2 scene). 

The truth, though, is that when this Buzz returned to that planet he was met with scorn from his commanders and faced arrest. With that, he took off, later coming across the technology (exactly how is never revealed) that would allow him to travel back in time to stop his past self from ever crashing on that planet and stranding his Star Command team there. However, he could only go back so far, hence why the other Buzz's story plays out differently when he returns to find that army instead of a court-martial.

It's a clever use of time travel, and the Zurg version of Buzz has clearly lost his mind. A post-credits scene (read more about that here) teases what could be next for the villain following his defeat, and it's clear Pixar may have more ideas when it comes to fleshing out this iconic Toy Story baddie.

"Throw any preconceived notions you may have out the window because Lightyear is the best animated movie of the year and a dazzling sci-fi escapade with a performance from Chris Evans that will leave you buzzing," we said in our recent review of Lightyear

Lightyear is now playing in theaters.

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