Lightyear Ending Explained: Does Buzz Complete the Mission?

Lightyear Ending Explained

American computer-animated science fiction action-adventure movie Lightyear was released in 2022 by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures and Pixar Animation Studios. The movie, the fifth overall in the franchise, is a spin-off of the Toy Story movie series.

It is marketed as a movie that characters in the main Toy Story universe have seen, in which Buzz Lightyear is a human “space ranger,” yet it does not take place in the same fictional universe as the main Toy Story movies, where Buzz Lightyear is a plastic toy.

Chris Evans voices the title character in the film, which was co-written and directed by Angus MacLane in his feature directorial debut. Keke Palmer, Peter Sohn, Taika Waititi, Dale Soules, James Brolin, and Uzo Aduba also appear in supporting parts.

In the animated film Lightyear, young astronaut Buzz Lightyear battles a threat to the security of the universe while trying to find a route home after becoming marooned on a hostile planet with his captain and crew.

In the 2000 direct-to-video film Buzz Lightyear of Star Command: The Adventure Begins, which served as the pilot for the TV series Buzz Lightyear of Star Command, the idea of a human Buzz Lightyear who lives in a fictional universe within a fictional universe was first introduced 2000–2001.

Following the completion of Finding Dory 2016, MacLane, who was responsible for the Buzz Lightyear of Star Command opening sequences, proposed to Pixar the idea of creating a movie about Buzz Lightyear that would be inspired by the science fiction movies he had grown up watching, with the animators giving the movie a “cinematic” and “chunky” look to do so. The movie’s music was composed by Michael Giacchino.

Plot Summary

Lightyear Ending Explained

Buzz Lightyear, a Star Command space ranger, and Featheringhamstan, their new recruit, explore the habitable planet T’Kani Prime with the help of Buzz’s commanding officer and best friend, Alisha Hawthorne.

They learn that the planet is home to hostile lifeforms and are forced to retreat to their exploration ship. During the retreat, Buzz causes damage to the ship, necessitating an evacuation by the crew so that repairs may be made and the voyage can resume.

After a year, the crew has built a young colony and the infrastructure needed to carry out repairs. Buzz offers to test the essential part of the repairs, the hyperspace fuel.

However, following a four-minute test, he discovers that, as a result of time dilation brought on by traveling at relativistic speeds, four years have elapsed on T’Kani Prime. Buzz continues to test the hyperspace fuel while being introduced to the robotic cat Sox.

On T’Kani Prime, four more years pass after each test, adding up to a total of almost 62 years. The colony increases throughout this time, and Alisha and her wife Kiko raise a son, who grows up, receives a promotion, and marries.

Alisha later passes away from old age, and Sox changes the fuel’s composition to enable faster-than-light travel.

Buzz conducts a successful hyperspace test using this new fuel composition in defiance of the orders from his new commanding commander, Commander Burnside.

Upon touching down, Buzz learns that 22 years have passed and that the enigmatic Zurg has launched a Cyclops robot invasion on T’Kani Prime.

Izzy Hawthorne, Alisha’s now-adult granddaughter; Mo Morrison, a recent recruit; and Darby Steel, a senior parolee are some of the colony’s defense troops that Buzz encounters.

Buzz is initially apprehensive about working with them but gradually becomes friendly. They intend to strike Zurg’s ship together and exterminate the invaders.

After they cross paths, Zurg kidnaps Buzz and takes him aboard his ship. There, he explains that he is an older version of Buzz from a different timeline in which Burnside tried to arrest him for stealing the craft after the successful hyperspace test and forced him to flee.

He arrived in the far future using the effects of time dilation and found a technologically advanced ship that had been abandoned.

He traveled to the present to get more hyperspace fuel from Buzz in order to go even further back in time and stop the exploration ship from arriving on T’Kani Prime in the first place. He did this while assuming the persona of Zurg and donning his iconic mecha suit.

Buzz declines, though, citing the potential for a temporal paradox that would be created if such actions were taken, wiping away the present timeline and everyone in it.

Izzy, Mo, Darby, and Sox board Zurg’s ship in the meanwhile to help Buzz. Buzz and his allies destroy the ship after a disorganized assault on it and then flee.

However, Zurg, who has managed to survive the wreckage of his ship, shows up and attacks Buzz while snatching the hyperspace fuel. Buzz discharges the gasoline, which explodes and renders Zurg unconscious.

Buzz wants to stay on T’Kani Prime now that the fuel is gone. Burnside detains Buzz as they land, but he later drops the charges, allowing Buzz to revive the Space Ranger Corps.

Burnside is shocked when Buzz chooses Izzy, Mo, Darby, and Sox as the basis of this enterprise. Then Buzz and his crew are dispatched on an unknown new adventure.

A seemingly lifeless Zurg is floating in space among the wreckage of his ship in a post-credits sequence when the eyes in his helmet start to glow.

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Ending Explained

How Did Older Buzz Create a Divergent Timeline?

Lightyear Ending Explained

The mechanics of time travel are what some people find more difficult to comprehend when it comes to Lightyear’s surprise antagonist.

After all, we watch the entire movie with “our” Buzz the younger one, only to find out near the end that he is actually an older version of himself.

Which one of them is the “primary” or “original” Buzz? Buzz the Elder, who, according to a flashback, established the different timelines by going back in time from his grim destiny, is the source of the solution once more.

Even though this isn’t explained, Old Buzz did manage to use technology to branch out from reality and go back in time, according to the filmmaker.

They are currently in the same timeline, but Old Buzz practically broke off from this reality, thus if Buzz breaks his arm, it doesn’t automatically break Old Buzz’s arm.

We clearly state that he used mysterious extraterrestrial technology that is never explained and breached the rules to accomplish that.

This is undoubtedly a little… perplexing. However, Old Buzz James Brolin tells Young Buzz that he actually traveled much further into the future where he found his Zurg suit and technology, the robot army, and other goodies in an abandoned alien ship, utilizing the remaining hyperspace fuel to fly backward in time.

He “broke the timeline” by arriving before Young Buzz could be chased off the planet like Old Buzz had been in the first timeline when he went back in time.

So, when Buzz passes his last hyperspace test, we follow him to the present, where Zurg has been attacking the colony for a while. and keeping them from pursuing Young Buzz in the direction of the elderly man’s terrible fate.

What Does Zurg Want?

Lightyear Ending Explained

Zurg/Old Buzz has a straightforward objective: He wants to gather more of Young Buzz’s formula for hyperspace fuel so he can go even further back in time and stop the colony ship from ever setting out on its mission to Tikana Prime, altering the course of history so that the crew is never left there.

MacLane explains, “Of course, Old Buzz wants to share the honor of correcting the error with a younger version of himself.

old Buzz has no connections to anyone, as you’ll see. He only has a shaky relationship with Sox, and he can communicate with these machines. He is left lonely and alone by his own choices to only think about his mistakes and the past.

The crew’s ability to create their own lives on Tikana, including having families and falling in love, as well as the intrepid, brave Izzy Hawthorne herself, may not be possible if Old Buzz changes the past.

This realization comes to Our Buzz, who has been focused on going home the entire time. Young Buzz now rejects Old Buzz’s plan, even if in a way saving the crew from being stranded is what he had always wanted.

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Will There Be a Sequel?

Lightyear Ending Explained

The very last thing we see at the film’s conclusion even after the Pixar logo is Old Buzz floating lifelessly in space in his Zurg suit, which then somehow powers back up.

Naturally, sequels must exist if Lightyear was a success in the universe in which it was set. I believe there were three sequels, although one of them was produced by a different business as a result of a leveraged buyout, MacLane quips.

“And they hired another actor to perform it in a George Lazenby-like manner. I picture it operating much like the Star Wars universe, where the Star Wars trilogy came first, followed by two Ewok adventures, the Droids cartoon, and finally the Ewoks cartoon.

The animations with the droids and Ewoks were the source of the modern Buzz Lightyear. That’s how I conceived about it.


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