Warning: Full spoilers follow for Lightyear. Do you want to know if Lightyear has a post-credits scene or not? We’ll tell you right here: Yes, the movie actually has three scenes that take place during and after the credits. Read on for all those details and more.
Lightyear is the story of Buzz Lightyear, a Space Ranger in Star Command, that inspired the beloved toy from Toy Story that was gifted to Andy Davis when he was a child. While many of us grew up watching the adventures of Buzz Lightyear the toy, Lightyear focuses on the time-traveling journey the actual movie hero underwent, which was a favorite of Andy’s.
Tim Allen voiced Buzz in the Toy Story films, but Captain America’s Chris Evans has taken on the iconic role in Lightyear. The decision was made by the team to make it clear that “This is not the Toy Story Buzz,” but instead the hero from the movie that spawned the toy phenomenon in the original film’s universe.
So what exactly happens in this fictional movie from the world of Toy Story? We’re here to help answer all those questions and more and, once you’re done here, be sure to check out our Lightyear review. ‘
Lightyear Ending Explained
Lightyear’s story follows Buzz Lightyear as he accidentally strands himself and his teammates on a planet known as Tikana Prime. As he works to perfect a fuel source from the planet’s resources that will allow his team to get back home, he must undertake test flights to check his progress. Unfortunately, years pass each time Buzz takes a short flight into space due to time dilation.
While Buzz is obviously the star of Lightyear, Emperor Zurg has a huge part to play in the story. Zurg was also featured in Toy Story, but Lightyear reveals that he is actually an older Buzz from an alternate timeline that is attempting to prevent the initial crash that stranded Buzz and his team on Tikana Prime from ever happening.
The older Buzz traveled farther in time and gained technology that would allow him to complete his mission, but he needed more crystalline fusion from our Buzz’s time period to get him back to the time before the crash. Fearing a temporal paradox, our Buzz refuses to help this older version, and a fight ensues after old Sox the robotic cat helps our Buzz turn on the ship’s self-destruct timer.
Buzz’s friends – Izzy Hawthorne, Mo Morrison, and Darby Steel – arrive just in time to help with the battle, and old Buzz once again puts on the Zurg mecha-suit to take on his alternate self. Our Buzz wins the confrontation and the ship explodes after they escape, but Zurg also survives the blast. As Zurg attempts to steal the fuel source one last time, we get our first glimpse of Buzz’s iconic wings as he destroys the fuel and, seemingly, Zurg.
Buzz saves his friends and they land back on the planet, finally accepting their lives on Tikana Prime. While he is initially met with an angry Burnside on the gound, the commander also respects how Buzz saved the colony from Zurg’s attack and offers him the chance to restart the Space Ranger program.
Buzz chooses his friends as members of the Space Rangers and, complete with upgraded armor and a motto on their new ship that states ‘To Infinity and Beyond,’ they head out on a brand new adventure.
Lightyear’s Filmmakers on Zurg’s Big Twist
While Emperor Zurg being an older, alternate version of Buzz was the film’s biggest twist, the team behind Lightyear initially tried a story treatment that had Zurg being Buzz’s father (which was also a nod to Star Wars in the opening moments of Toy Story 2) .
“Well, we tried that,” Lightyear director Angus McClane said of trying out Zurg as Buzz’s dad. “We explored the father angle. But then the whole time you’re like, ‘It’s his father. It’s his father. Get to it. It’s his father. ‘ And then you’d have to really set up that his father was important in some way.
“But what we really found out, what we were really going for was the idea that Buzz’s greatest enemy is himself, literally and figuratively, and that it’s his passion to go back in time and correct the mistake that’s actually more self-destructive and world -destructive because it is his hubris. ”
Evans himself also chimed in on this and gave his perspective as an actor who has to deal with changing storylines all the time.
“Well, I think that story choice actually underwent a few different incarnations,” Evans recalled. “One of the funny things about doing these movies is you do a whole recording session and you come in and they say, ‘Okay. So you know how initially when blah, blah, blah? That’s not anymore. Now it’s this. ‘
“And I think specifically that plot line went through a few different shapes. But I guess you just put your trust in Pixar that they know what they’re doing. ”
Does Lightyear Have a Post-Credits Scene?
For those that love a good post-credits scene, we are happy to report that Lightyear has not only one… not only two… but three scenes that take place during and after the credits.
The first scene arrives in the middle of the credits and sees Commander Burnside sitting in his office working as a giant insect is zapped by a laser forcefield that is similar to what he was attempting to build earlier in the film. This makes him very proud.
In the second scene, we learn that ERIC the robot has finally mapped out the best way for Buzz and the team to get to the hanger after constantly correcting himself due to an error in his programming. Unfortunately, he quickly realizes that everyone had left some time ago.
Lightyear Movie Images
In the final scene, we are shown Zurg’s armor floating in space after the battle. Just before Lightyear officially fades to black, we see the eyes of the suit light up, hinting Zurg may have lived to fight another day.
To a Lightyear Sequel and Beyond?
While there is no word as to whether or not we will get more adventures of Chris Evans’ Buzz Lightyear and the newly reformed Space Rangers, there are certain hints that this story may continue.
The final post-credits scene with the eyes in Zurg’s armor lighting up could indicate there is more story to tell for the evil emperor who is really just an older Buzz. He could continue to be an issue during our Space Rangers’ new mission, and that story could be told in a sequel or perhaps a Disney + series or collection of shorts.
Only time will tell if this story will continue, but Buzz Lightyear was such a hit in Toy Story’s universe that there is no reason to think his adventures would not do well in our time.
Does Lightyear Connect to Toy Story?
Lightyear’s connection to Toy Story is mostly explained at the beginning of the film with a title card which states that in 1995 Andy Davis was gifted a Buzz Lightyear toy from his mother after watching his favorite movie. What is that movie, you ask? It’s Lightyear.
There are also a ton of nods to the Buzz we know and love in Toy Story, including his Space Ranger suit, the addition of Zurg, that he loves to record captain’s logs, and more.
Unfortunately, there are no cameos from Toy Buzz or any other of our favorite toys, as Lightyear is meant to be a standalone movie that shows us what Andy saw back in his 1995.
What did you think of Lightyear and the big Zurg twist? Let’s discuss in the comments!
Adam Bankhurst is a news writer for IGN. You can follow him on Twitter @AdamBankhurst and on Twitch.