The story behind Lightyear is a little bit bizarre. Technically it has no connection to the main Toy Story cannon outside of what is mentioned in its opening. It’s a film that was made in the Toy Story universe that was Andy’s favorite film in 1995. The version of Buzz Lightyear that we are introduced to in the main films was based on an animated version of that film. This was a concept that confused many people despite the director’s best efforts to clarify the whole thing. Unfortunately, it wasn’t enough and remains a source of confusion.
While reviews of Lightyear were decent, the film ultimately underperformed at the box office. The confusion surrounding the film’s placement in the Toy Story cannon and why Tim Allen wasn’t in the film remains one of its more talked about aspects. Even franchise lead Tom Hanks doesn’t entirely understand the thought process behind having Chris Evans replace the iconic comedian.
In a recent interview with CinemaBlend, Tom Hanks admitted, albeit in a joking tone, that he didn’t get why Chris Evans replaced Tim Allen in Lightyear:
How about that? I actually wanted to go head-to-head with Tim Allen and then they didn’t let Tim Allen do it. I don’t understand that … Here’s the thing: I want to go back in the theater with a bunch of strangers and leave with something in common. That’s what I want to do and, going to see a movie with [Allen] — I’m looking forward to that.
Here is the synopsis for Chris Evans’ Lightyear:
The definitive origin story of Buzz Lightyear, the hero who inspired the toy, “Lightyear” follows the legendary Space Ranger after he’s marooned on a hostile planet 4.2 million light-years from Earth alongside his commander and their crew. As Buzz tries to find a way back home through space and time, he’s joined by a group of ambitious recruits and his charming robot companion cat, Sox. Complicating matters and threatening the mission is the arrival of Zurg, an imposing presence with an army of ruthless robots and a mysterious agenda.
Directed by Angus MacLane, the film features the voice talents of Chris Evans, Uzo Aduba, Peter Sohn, Keke Palmer, Taika Waititi, Dale Soules, James Brolin, Mary McDonald-Lewis, Isiah Whitlock Jr., Efren Ramirez, and Keira Hairston.
Lightyear blasts off into theaters on June 17, 2022. Stay tuned for all the latest news surrounding the film and be sure to subscribe to Heroic Hollywood’s YouTube channel for more original video content.