How does Buzz Defeat Zurg?
While Buzz has been hearing Old Buzz out, Izzy, Sox, Mo and Darby sneak aboard Zurg’s vessel and launch a counterattack to rescue Young Buzz. The latter snatches back the hyperspace fuel crystal from his future self and a fierce chase and fight begins, ending with the destruction of Old Buzz/Zurg’s ship.
The latter, however, escapes, and the only way for Our Buzz to stop Old Buzz from sabotaging the team’s own vessel is to jettison the remaining hyperspace fuel, seemingly killing Old Buzz but allowing Young Buzz’s ship to land safely back on Tikana.
Buzz and his team are welcomed back as heroes by Commander Burnside, who offers Buzz a new job as space ranger and allows him to keep his now-seasoned team as his crew. Buzz, finally free of his guilt and his obsession with getting back to Earth, accepts the colony’s life on Tikana and accepts the mission… heading out to “infinity and beyond” on a new mission of exploration as the credits roll.
Lightyear is all about recognizing the effects of one’s choices, adapting to new circumstances in life, and accepting one’s own limitations and adjusting expectations, a journey into, ironically, inner space that Buzz successfully completes.
Will there be a sequel?
After two jokey, throwaway mid-credits scenes, the very last thing we see at the end of the movie (even after the Pixar logo!) is Old Buzz floating lifelessly in space in his Zurg suit, which suddenly powers back up. It stands to reason, of course, that if Lightyear was a hit in its universe, then sequels must exist too.
“I think there were three sequels, but one was done by another company because of a leveraged buyout,” jokes MacLane. “And they got another actor to do it, like a George Lazenby kind of thing. I imagine it to be pretty much like the way the Star Wars thing works where there was the Star Wars trilogy, then two Ewok adventures, then the Droids cartoon then the Ewoks cartoon. It was those droids and Ewoks cartoons that spawned the Buzz Lightyear we know. That’s the way I thought about it.”