Disney’s big news Thursday had plenty of things to get excited about if you like, well, Disney things. But one of the more interesting, and mind-warping, was a new Buzz Lightyear movie that’s, at least in theory, from a canon that merely inspires Toy Story.
On Thursday, Pixar was part of the glut of new shows, movies and other content that Disney announced to the public. And while the movie is technically a new concept, it’s something many longtime Pixar fans are familiar with. The company dropped a 30-second teaser for Lightyear, a movie about a young test pilot who wants to go to infinity and beyond.
Here’s a first look of the young test pilot that became the Space Ranger we all know him to be today. Lightyear launches into theaters June 17, 2022. pic.twitter.com/QfXnHsBLcO
— Pixar (@Pixar) December 11, 2020
The tweet that followed the trailer showed a slightly different-looking Buzz Lightyear, most notably in that he did not look like a toy. And the news that he was voiced by Chris Evans was a bit of a surprise to Toy Story fans. Evans said “I don’t even have the words” when retweeting the announcement, which is a funny thing for a voice actor to say about a new gig. But he also did have some words to add, noting that the role is not the toy but the “origin story” of the “human” that the Buzz Lightyear action figure from Toy Story.
And just to be clear, this isn’t Buzz Lightyear the toy. This is the origin story of the human Buzz Lightyear that the toy is based on
— Chris Evans (@ChrisEvans) December 11, 2020
Bear with me for a second here if you’re confused: the film Disney announced with a June 17, 2022 release date is technically an origin story for a character that first appeared in 1995, but in toy form. In theory, this is the kind of movie about a humanoid that would inspire the kind of toy line you see Tim Allen voice in the original Toy Story. So Evans isn’t taking Tim Allen’s job, he’s taking the role that would inspire Allen’s toy to exist in the first place.
It’s important to note that character, a toy, spends most of the film not understanding that he’s even a toy, which has in-canon commercials and supporting characters and an extensive line of toys and memorabilia that was then replicated in the real world thanks to the Toy Story movie. Allen has voiced Buzz Lightyear in four Toy Story films, but now there’s finally a standalone Buzz Lightyear. He’s just, you know, a human. Who does things that will inevitably justify a toy get made of him that happens to become a blockbuster star all on his own.