Lightyear releases on the 17th of June 2022 and will give us a chance to see the ‘real’ Buzz Lightyear – the character that inspired one of Andy’s most cherished toys in Toy Story.
This new movie is Buzz’s origin story, angled as a movie that came out in the ‘90s and which sparked a run of awesome action figures. And, in that movie, we see all the heroics that made Andy so crazy for his Buzz toy when he got it.
But, thing is, even though he’s only a toy inspired by this heroic character, the toy is pretty darn heroic as well. Let’s take a look at some of Buzz Lightyear’s most awesome moments in the Toy Story movies.
Buzz Lightyear lands in Andy’s room
This is a big moment in the first Toy Story, and the scenes leading up to it all create an atmosphere of suspense. Will Andy get any new toys for his birthday that could replace his current favourites? As Buzz Lightyear crash lands on the alien planet that is Andy’s bedroom, the question is answered once and for all; yes.
This moment is brilliant for setting up Buzz Lightyear’s character in this film. He’s completely oblivious to the fact that he’s a toy and takes the whole Star Command thing really seriously… which is actually hilarious.
Buzz’s improvised flight
Let’s face it, the way the movie is set up, we know that Woody is the hero character at this point so automatically want to root for him. And, because of that, we’re hoping (like he is) that Buzz’s flight is an absolute disaster.
But, Buzz owns it. His flight is so steeped in happy accidents that he actually does make it all the way around the room, and can’t see a problem with the (let’s call it) turbulence at all. And, because of his style, he completely wins us over… along with all of Andy’s other toys.
Buzz Lightyear… AKA Mrs. Nesbitt
Not all heroes come from that ‘80s action movie ilk where everything they do goes perfectly. In fact, true heroes make mistakes and experience adversity, which they then overcome. And, as adversity goes, it doesn’t get lower for an action toy than to be reduced to a guest at a tea party.
We all feel bad for Buzz here. But we’ll be darned if this isn’t one of the funniest, most memorable scenes from all four movies. And, this rock bottom scene became the launch pad for Buzz’s inner-space voyage of self-discovery that made him the toy he is today.
Buzz’s real flight
One of the great things about Toy Story is that, underneath the comedy and action sequences, there are brilliant storylines with valuable morals. One of those is the idea that you should never give up on yourself and that if you keep believing, you can achieve anything. For Buzz, this is flying for real.
Granted, it’s with the help of a rocket-powered firework, but Buzz eventually spreads those wings for a flight scene with Woody that hits you right in the feels.
Buzz’s fight with Zurg
The Toy Story movies are great for their action sequences, and Toy Story 2 starts with a brilliant one. We get to see Buzz Lightyear in action, completely free from real world physics and operating just as a space ranger should.
In what we learn is actually a video game, we see Buzz breaking through the atmosphere of an alien world, pulling off Top Gun level flying, and dodging all sorts of traps before facing his arch nemesis, Zurg.
This intro perfectly sets up the energy level of an excellent sequel.
Buzz leads Woody’s rescue
Toy Story 2 switches up the roles of Woody and Buzz. This time, it’s Buzz Lightyear to the rescue, leading a team of toys who want to get Woody back from creepy toy collector, Al McWhiggin.
It’s great to see Buzz stepping up into the leadership role that is, let’s face it, massively ingrained into his backstory. And, this all becomes even more apparent when we meet Utility Belt Buzz, who has not yet made the existential leap that our Buzz has.
Buzz’s real fight with Zurg
Speaking of Utility Belt Buzz… This character is set up to be a bit of a bad guy. He derails the rescue plans simply because he thinks he’s doing his job. But, when Zurg makes his appearance, this all changes, and we see a sci-fi fight with a massive twist. It’s between father and son!
All of a sudden we’re massively backing Utility Belt Buzz, and we feel his pain when he learns the truth… even if the tears in our eyes are from laughter.
Buzz’s Spanish mode
After spying on and being discovered by the henchmen of Lots-o’-Huggin’ Bear, Buzz is held captive and reset to his “I’m really in Star Command” mentality. But, Woody and crew manage to pin him down and attempt to put him back. Only thing is, they hold down his reset button too long and accidentally switch him to Spanish mode.
This creates one of the funniest moments in all of the movies. Buzz basically becomes a Spanish bullfighter who moonlights as a flamenco dancer, and is determined to win over Jessie through his chivalry and romantic hip wiggling.
Between the speech, the dancing, and the heroic rescue of Jessie in the rubbish truck, pretty much everyone leaves Toy Story 3 being a huge fan of Spanish Buzz.
Buzz’s inner voice
For someone who’s battled with self-awareness and overcome it, it’s pretty hilarious that Buzz doesn’t know what an inner voice is. Thinking that his conscience actually comes from his vocal FX, Buzz puts himself in a good few situations which could have been avoided.
But, that being said, this whole ‘inner voice’ thing does make for a lot of funny scenarios. And, in case you’re writing an essay on Toy Story 4 for a film studies course, this is a great motif in a film that sees a struggle for a speech box at the centre of its plot.
Buzz reassures Woody
A lot of the humour and appeal of Buzz comes from situations where he’s oblivious to what’s actually going on. But, at the end of Toy Story 4, he has this brilliant moment where he helps Woody realise that it’s OK to think of himself for once instead of being blindly loyal to Bonnie, who’s not that keen on him anymore.
It’s a heart-warming moment when Buzz assures Woody that Bonnie will be OK. And, that’s immediately followed by a heart-breaking moment when we realise that this means the two best friends will be separated.
But, it wouldn’t be a Toy Story movie if it didn’t make you well up like you’re cutting a bunch of strong onions.
Toy Story merchandise
Has all this talk of Lightyear and Toy Story got you craving some merchandise? No problem, that’s what we do. On our site you’ll find all sorts of awesome collectables, mugs, figures, clothing, and much more.
Check out our Toy Story merchandise!
Main image credit: Disney/Pixar via The Mary Sue