Lightyear is an ingenious game of metanarrative. So much so that its premise is based on narrating a specific point in the franchise of toy story. We could say that it is a film that recreates a fiction full of references. Does it seem very complicated? It is not as much as it seems. According to its director, Angus MacLane, during the promotion, Lightyear represents the world of toy story as more than just a toy story. In fact, the plot explores Andy’s world and, of course, also contextualizes it. Beyond that, it brings unprecedented depth to the Pixar universe by presence of symbols and satellite stories.
MacLane also commented that he imagined that the film, as Andy’s favorite in toy storythe center of something larger. “There are a lot of really specific visual connections. Things that are meant to be very subtle in trying to place him in that kind of universe,” he revealed to Den of Geek. According to the director, Buzz was not only already the hero of a generation, but had extended his sphere of influence to videos and an animated series.
With such an idea in tow, Lightyear is kind of a reflection of real franchises like starwars Y star trek. So much so that much of the substance that sustains your world is based on some very visible and eloquent references. Other more subtle. Together they form a huge and important legacy about everything that science fiction represents. Despite the poor results at the box office and the controversy for showing a kiss between two characters of the same sex in the film, Lightyear manages to make a difference for its clear references to classics that we will never forget.
What are the main references in Lightyear?
This tribute film is a journey through a type of emotional, fantastic and unforgettable cinema that left its mark on an entire generation. Also a considerable celebration for the cinema understanding it as a show. All of that is mixed with a huge heart, a powerful perception of good, a sense of purpose and heroism. From a curious take on one of Pixar’s most beloved franchises to an intricate set of references, lightyeahr is much more than meets the eye.
And what are the main easter eggs of the film? We leave you a list of the entire journey through the fantasy that Lightyear carried out with humor, wit and a formidable spirit of adventure.
The nod to a space classic
The phrase “To infinity and beyond!” It is a classic element of pop culture. but in the movie Lightyear takes a new look, being the symbol of friendship between Buzz and Commander Hawthorne. At the same time, it allows the character to establish links and connections with those around him. And he does something else: refer to one of the best-known films of contemporary science fiction.
The gesture of touching the index fingers when pronouncing the phrase, immediately refers to the gesture between Elliott and ET, in the film ET the alien. In the 1982 classic, the very young hero and the alien he protects communicate via sign. In fact, the director admitted the tribute to Den of Geek magazine. Furthermore, he added that it is also a way to celebrate his own family. According to him, is a greeting that he shares with his little daughter.
Until ‘Star Wars’ and beyond
If you are a fan of starwars surely you noticed it right away. When Buzz Lightyear’s ship reaches hyperspeed, the galactic landscape becomes identical to that of the most beloved Space Opera in cinema. The reference to the spectrum of white light rays is not the only one that pays homage to the work of George Lucas. Also, the weapons used by the Space Rangers they are very similar to the design of the classic lightsaber of the jedi in starwars. In fact, in several scenes, Buzz uses them as a method of defense and attack.
Much more specific still, Buzz Lightyear’s ship is very similar to Luke Skywalker’s X-Wing, as well as the orange uniform that the hero wears. As the plot progresses, the references become broader. The swampy landscape Buzz returns to after his last trip into orbit is identical to Dagobahplanet where Yoda was hiding.
Also, Commander Hawthorne’s projection by Sox is the same as Leia the R2D2 droid. Even Zurg’s appearance is very similar to Darth Vader’s. and already in toy story there was jokes about possibly being Buzz’s father. A play on words that is repeated again in Lightyear.
The tribute behind the kittens
Did the helpful, accommodating and sometimes dangerous emotional support kitty Sox remind you of an unforgettable cat from science fiction? You are right: it is an immediate reference to Jonesy, the Ellen Ripley’s cat in Alien by Ridley Scott.
Zurg’s ship – with curved and sinister designs – is very similar to the one envisioned by the production team of Alien by Ridley Scott. Also, there is a reference to the classic scene where Scott rides an anthropomorphic crane in one of the final scenes of the film. In another scene, Buzz walks through the long hallway of an abandoned base, from the ceiling of which hang cocoons, identical to Alien gestation eggs.
Coincidence or not, the classic sci-fi horror movie is the director’s favourite. Lightyear.
Another reference to Sox could be Spot, the cat from Star Trek: The Next Generation, which in fiction allows the android Data to become more sentient. Something that Sox also does with the surly, determined and sometimes irritating Buzz.
Through time and in all time
Of course, the most obvious reference in the film is to the contemporary science fiction classic, interstellar. Lightyear shows the phenomena associated with Einstein’s theory of relativity in the same way as Christopher Nolan’s film. In fact, it also uses old age to show the accelerated passage of time. Also the possible effects of time dilation caused by going through a wormhole.
And as Matthew McConaughey’s character Cooper, Buzz gets a video with painful news in one of the most moving scenes of the production. In fact, what the video shows is very similar to one of the final sequences of Nolan’s film.
‘2001: a space odyssey’: an inevitable reference
IVAN, the automated voice and autopilot of Buzz’s ship, is a benign reference to HAL from 2001: A Space Odysseyeither. In fact, Kubrick’s 1968 classic is also the source of the stroboscopic glow as Buzz finally reaches stable hyperdrive.
Lizzie’s spacewalk and the eerie feeling of deep space around her also has its origin in Kubrick’s vision. Much more when the character expresses his fear of deep space and loneliness. This is a recurring idea in science fiction signed by the director.