Lightyear by Pixar brought the beloved toy Space Ranger to life on the big screen in a grand scale interstellar adventure all his own, with many unanswered questions about Tim Allen's iconic action figure in a whole new light. The films new reinterpretation of the Evil Emperor Zurg left many uneasy fans about the story's sworn enemy.
In a cheeky nod to The Empire Strikes Back, it may be argued that the film stark reconned the canon established in Toy Story 2 of Zurg being Buzz's father, but it also refits the characters' motivations into the context of this version of Buzz's story, confronting toxic masculinity andegotism.
Captain Buzz Lightyear, played by Chris Evans, is determined to correct his mistakes and complete his objective of achieving hyper-speed flight so that he and his family may return home, even at the expense of missing out on decades of living a life alongside his friends. As he takes more and more test flights into hyper-speed, he travels further into the future to be met with a world that no longer requires him or his mission.
As he meets a group of newcomers to help him on his journey, Buzz's do-or-die attitude leads him to a different timeline version of himself, disguised as the robotic villain Zurg (James Brolin), who is determined to alter the past so that his mistake and thus the lives of Buzz's new friends on their planet never happened.
Buzz's primary aim upon joining the mission was to correct the mistake that marooned Star Command in the first place, while also struggling with the belief that Space Rangers would never exist again. As he continues to throw himself into the sand, Buzz proves that he prefers to be the hero and cleanse his conscience.
Zurg's transformation as a time-bending version of Buzz reveals how time and isolation have altered Buzz's motives towards a more selfish end. While Buzz was eager to fix his mistake to save his people and make things right, Zurgs wanted to completely change the timeline so that he can benefit himself and pay his part of his mistakes. Not so that he may be able to function again as a Space Ranger and rectify his past mistakes.
Buzz's inflated self-righteousness to deny his own shortcomings is reflected in Zurg, who wasted his life trying to remain the hero in his own way. He needed him as a friend, not as a sacrificer who carried out his duty.