Starting very much like Star Trek IV where the protagonists have to slingshot around the sun for some time travel – so is the adventure of Buzz Lightyear – the movie the Toy Story Buzz is based off of.
Lightyear is a spin-off film depicting the in-universe origin of the human Buzz Lightyear – a filling out of the simple idea: in 1995 what movie did young Andy David see in the original Toy Story movie with Tom Hanks and Tim Allen that go Andy interested in the Buzz Lightyear character.
This is that movie.
This incarnation of Buzz finds himself in a Christopher Nolan Interstellar-like conundrum – each time he attempts the mission, while minutes to him, is in real time four hours. So each trip takes him further and further away from his generation and friends.
In easily the most powerful sequence, as Buzz attempts to fly beyond the speed of light and time - his friends and life age by decades each time he tries an escape. A few days at work to Buzz see his co-pilot Alisha moves from his co-pilot, to superior, to having a family of her own, to retired, to passing on without Buzz aging a moment.
Soon Buzz is working with Alisha’s granddaughter Izzy – a potential space ranger like Buzz and her grandmother before her.
I can’t seem to square how early on the initial four astronauts are first stranded – so to re-launch the big ship (The Turnip) – more people come to the planet to create a civilization to build the re-launch.
Lessons about working together and trusting yourself – as Buzz realizes he (with the help of a much worse and older version of himself) that they don’t have to work about getting off the stranded planet (and like Marty McFly – going back in time) – but rather that life was always living and going on around him– despite his efforts to get everyone off the vine planet bring everyone “back in time”, so to speak.
Speaking of going back in time - as the original Toy Story approaches 30 years old – this is a great introduction to the Buzz and Woody world for the younger generations – including those back in 1995 who were well past (too old) for all the Toy Story programming.
I look forward to the gritty real world, bourbon, blood, and sweat-soaked Western that will reveal Toy Story Woody’s dark past.
Catch Lightyear this week and next in Dawson Creek at Centre Cinema.