Lightyear Trailer Breakdown: To Infinity And Beyond With Chris Evans

Disney and Pixar recently released the first trailer for "Lightyear," which is what one might call a "Toy Story" spin-off ... though it is quite unique. This will tell the story of Buzz Lightyear, originally voiced by Tim Allen, and now voiced by Chris Evans. Though not the toy, mind you. Rather, this will be the story of the "real" Buzz Lightyear, chronicling his actual adventures as a space ranger. That gets a little heady in some ways, as we're forced to think about this movie clearly taking place in the future, yet the toy existed in the '90s in the "Toy Story" universe. 

In any event, we're here to break down the surprisingly dense teaser trailer in more detail. Let's dig in, shall we?

He's a Man, Not a Toy

The trailer kicks off with some shots of Mr. Lightyear getting ready for his big mission to space. We see some shots of mission control, presumably on earth, such as the image above. We then go through the process of getting his ship go for flight, and we get a glimpse of an interesting material that is seemingly making interstellar travel possible.

What is this blue rock? It's impossible to say at this juncture, as this is very much a teaser with little dialogue or context for what we're seeing. However, /Film's Ethan Anderton notes that it may be a knowing reference to a line from "Toy Story." We then get a glimpse at Buzz's actual ship, which was originally a cardboard toy and is now an impressive piece of human engineering. In the animated series "Buzz Lightyear of Star Command" it was named Star Cruiser 42. Whether or not that will be the name in the movie remains to be seen.

We then get the sequence that leads to mission control blasting Buzz into space, which also offers our best glimpse at the man himself, who is voiced by Chris Evans in the movie. Once the ship launches, we get some cool interstellar space business, ultimately leading to Buzz flying a bit too close to the sun, though it seems his ship has a shield to handle the heat.

Based on what follows in the rest of the trailer, this blasting off into space to graze the sun business is only the beginning. Buzz, it seems, is going on a sprawling adventure in the cosmos, and vibes from all sorts of classic sci-fi flicks abound. 

Pixar Goes Full-On Space Adventure

We then get into the adventure of it all. We have a shot, seen above, that looks like it could be Matt Damon in "The Martian." Again, without dialogue, it's hard to have much context for this stuff, but it's a pretty impressive shot for a movie that ultimately is based on a fictional toy. We then see a shot of some rings in space that are seemingly used to make hyper-speed travel possible.

Things then get more interesting here, with Buzz on a Dagobah-esque planet with a robot pal. And, as a reminder that not all adventure is good adventure, our hero winds up crash landing on a planet as well. One has to assume that was not part of the plan.

Next, we have what might be the money shot (and a future Pixar standout) with the robotic cat that catches Buzz off guard. Also of note: toy Buzz always wore his space suit and it wasn't clear that he had a lush head of hair until now. It's weird! Additionally, we see another robot pal explaining the intricacies of hyper-speed space travel.

Also, looking at the image above, there is some strange plantlike tentacle creature that gets a hold of Buzz before one of his space friends can save the day. These creatures are reminiscent of a recent addition to the "Star Wars" galaxy known as the Drengir, who have been introduced in the High Republic publishing initiative. I could probably find a more inclusive reference from pop culture, but I am a "Star Wars" junkie and that's what I've got. 

To Infinity...

The ominous purple lighting in the shot above, coupled with the evil-looking robots, suggests we're getting a look at the villains of this picture. Again, we get next to no context, so it's tough to say who, or what, Buzz and his gang will be coming up against. But it looks formidable. The following shot of this space coffin opening up is suggestive and tantalizing. Could we be looking at the evil Emperor Zurg, by chance?

As the trailer winds down, we get a couple of really great shots. One gives us a much better look at the movie's real star, the robot cat. We also get a shot of Buzz coming face-to-face with the iconic Buzz Lightyear suit, which is perhaps worth some goosebumps for those who have a certain amount of nostalgia for "Toy Story" and a love of space movies.

The trailer finishes up on a fun note that also serves as a pretty big tease. We see Buzz with his unnamed space pal, who also appeared at mission control earlier. She says "to infinity," leaving Buzz to wrap it up with "and beyond" before they touch fingers. But we don't get to "beyond," making this reminiscent of Evans never getting to say "Avengers, assemble" before the climax of "Avengers: Endgame." Way to tee up the ball, Pixar. Color me intrigued! 

"Lightyear" is set to hit theaters on June 17, 2022.