Let’s cut to it: most sequels are bad. Or at least middling in comparison to the original. And then there’s Toy Story, whose three (3) sequels have been as great, if not better than the 1995 original. And for the record, I played my Toy Story VHS so often as a kid that it got stuck in the VCR. The original slaps hard.
Cut to 2021 and Disney Pixar is still mining stories out of the original. The latest comes to us in the trailer for Space Ranger, which seems like something of an origin story for our hero Buzz Lightyear. We meet a significantly younger Buzz Lightyear (voiced by Chris Evans) and watch him become the man that we later know him to be. There’s not much else to say, except that Bowie’s “Starman” was an inspired song choice for the trailer. I’m sorry to say that my knee-jerk reaction, despite my love for the original movies, was that we don’t need this. But after about 15 seconds, it’s clear that the film is probably going to be the exact nostalgia fest we might need in Summer 2022. But we’re not without questions, such as:
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- Is this the origin story of Buzz Lightyear, real human man, or Buzz Lightyear, toy?
- If the latter, did all the toys in Toy Story live real lives?
- Does that mean they were captured and enslaved by children?
- Is this a metaphor for the evils of capitalism?
- That jawline? Could slice through metal??
- How does Emperor Zurg fits into this?
- In this timeline, how old is Buzz and where is Woody in the world?
- When did the Star Command uniforms change and why? Who designs the Star Command uniforms?
- Why, like Jonathan Evans, are they insisting the bell bottom make a return?
- What drugs were used to sedate him into toy form at the end and were they FDA approved?
- Is Buzz Lightyear aware that his blood type, O Positive, is the most given out blood type to patients?
- What role does his colleague, Hawthorne, play in this world?
- Is she responsible for turning him into a toy? Why is she also not a toy?
- Why would you fly that close to the sun? There is literally an expression about this.
- What planet did Buzz and his robot land on?
- At the point in time when Buzz was immortalized in toy form, was he as swole as he seems to be in this trailer?
- Where did his robot cat come from, and will it be available for purchase by this coming Black Friday?
- Will we get an appearance from the squeeze-toy aliens who seemed so keen on Buzz in the original film?
- If this does, somehow, happen to be an origin story for the toy, then does each Buzz Lightyear toy have its own origin story? Like the Multiverse?
- When Buzz is startled by the robot cat, he launches into a martial arts pose. Where did he train?
- Were Eric the Robot and Wall-E designed by the same company, or do we have a Microsoft v Apple situation going on?
- Does Pizza Planet exist in this movie? Where is the closest one, if so?
- Follow up to question 15… did he… land on Pizza Planet?
- Personal question: did Chris Evans wear his jaunty white sweater while recording this?
- Was Tim Allen unavailable?
- How miffed do you think Tim Allen is? Because you know he was available.
- Back to this toy vs human debate. If this is toy world, is there an expansion pack that Andy could have bought to have included all these other characters?
- With this enhanced technology and space exploration, if this is based on a real man, would that imply that Toy Story takes place in the distant future?
- And if this is the distant future, that would also imply that we are still using single use plastic, as evidenced by the existence of Forky in Toy Story 4. Pourquoi?
- And finally—Slink origin story, when?
Justin Kirkland is a writer for Esquire, where he focuses on entertainment, television, and pop culture.
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