lightyear and zurg 2022
Credit: DeviantArt/PIXAR/Canva Creation

Evil Emperor Zurg takes on a different look in PIXAR’s latest “Lightyear” trailer

PIXAR’s latest Lightyear trailer has just dropped, and so did our jaws when we saw the new Evil Emperor Zurg.

zurg original

Credit: PIXAR Animation Studios

Only four months remain until the release of what some call “Toy Story 5,” better known as PIXAR’s Lightyear. While it’s the fifth installment in the Toy Story franchise, it’s anything but Toy Story. Lightyear serves as an origin story, but not for Buzz Lightyear. It’s the story of the man who inspired the Buzz Lightyear action figure that Andy is given as a birthday gift in PIXAR’s 1995 Toy Story.

A Buzz Lightyear Quote for Every Situation | Disney Quotes

Credit: PIXAR Animation Studios

In the new film, slated to burst through the box office doors (hopefully, finally) on June 17, Captain America himself, Chris Evans, plays the Space Ranger Lightyear. The new PIXAR film gives fans a passenger-seat view of the space ranger’s intergalactic adventure to infinity and beyond.

Director Angus MacLane (The Incredibles, Finding Dory) says he’s really excited about taking a deeper look at the story behind Buzz.

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“Buzz’s world was always something I was excited about,” MacLane explained. “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.”

Toy Story 2 (1999) - buzz lightyear

Credit: PIXAR Animation Studios

When writers at PIXAR took a good look at Buzz, they noticed a commonality in his character across all four Toy Story installments.

“There’s a core idea about Buzz that we noticed when we really drilled down looking at all of the Toy Story movies: that Buzz has a disagreement over the nature of reality,” MacLane said. “In the first Toy Story, he believes he’s a space ranger when Woody says he’s a toy. In the second movie, they had to bring in another Buzz Lightyear to kick jumpstart that again. And he had to convince his other self that HE was a toy. And there’s Spanish Buzz in [Toy Story 3], and then the inner monologue in [Toy Story 4]. That was a bedrock for something we knew we needed to pay off.”

Toy Story 3 - Buzz Lightyear's memory resets - YouTube

Credit: PIXAR Animation Studios

Disney just released a new movie poster for Lightyear and dropped a brand-new trailer online as well.

“A new trailer blasts off this morning for Disney and PIXAR’s original sci-fi action-adventure Lightyear. Releasing June 17, 2022, the definitive origin story of Buzz Lightyear–the hero who inspired the toy–follows the legendary Space Ranger on an intergalactic adventure,” Disney said about PIXAR’s film set for a sunny summer release.

While we get a bigger dose of the famous space ranger in the trailer, arguably the most exciting parts of the trailer are a feline companion that gives us Baymax vibes and a brand-new take on the Evil Emperor Zurg. While the trailer doesn’t explicitly say his name, there’s no mistaking the “real life” version of Zurg that inspires the Darth Vader-esque villain in the Toy Story films.

old zurg vs new zurg lightyear

Credit: PIXAR/Screenrant

Lightyear takes flight on June 17.

About Becky Burkett

I'm an enthusiastic writer who finds joy in random things like cold weather, snow, "I Love Lucy," "The Andy Griffith Show," journals full of blank paper, countdowns to Christmas, the month of December, "Toy Story," "Sleeping Beauty," my 4 kids, my 4 shih tsus, Disney Parks history, Imagineering and visiting the parks. I think Walt Disney is the standard against which genius should be measured. I love to write about Disney Parks, Disney history, all things Imagineering and PIXAR. I adore the colors, story and art direction of Disney's "Sleeping Beauty" (Team Make it Blue!), and "Toy Story" is life (minus "Toy Story 4"). I believe Walt Disney was so much more than an entertainment and theme park tycoon; I believe he was a savant with a vision for life and how it could be if happiness and kindness are strived for. I love Biergarten at EPCOT and 1900 Park Fare at Disney's Grand Floridian. You can find me croonin' with the birdies at the Enchanted Tiki Room, chillin' on the PeopleMover or hangin' with Woody and the gang at Toy Story Land. I'm always looking for Imagineers in the parks, and I'd rather meet Joe Rohde and Tony Baxter than anyone in Hollywood! Hey, if you dream it, you really can do it!