Lightyear’s Cut Zurg Twist Would’ve Saved The Movie (& Fixed A Plot Hole)


The Lightyear Emperor Zurg twist was received poorly by critics, but a deleted scene would have made the Pixar movie’s conclusion far more compelling. The Chris Evans led Buzz Lightyear movie makes a bizarre choice when it comes to Star Command’s Darth Vader inspired antagonist, Zurg. However, a deleted scene released by Pixar proves that this was not always the plan and the alternative could have saved the movie by fixing a plot hole.

Buzz Lightyear spends decades trying to leave the planet his colony is stranded on by reaching hyper speed. On his final return home, he finds the world under attack by evil Emperor Zurg (voiced by James Brolin), who is revealed to be an alternate version of Buzz who was rejected despite finding a solution to the power source problem. This Buzz found the Zurg armor drifting through space, using it to dominate the colony that rejected him. However, a deleted scene (via Youtube) in the form of early sketches show that Buzz was not always meant to become Zurg. The scene reveals that Buzz’s father, Larry Lightyear, was originally meant to be revealed as Zurg, reflecting the Toy Story 2 relationship between the toy versions of Buzz and the evil Emperor.

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The reveal that Buzz is Zurg is a jarring characterization mistake that could have been avoided with the cuttwist. It is difficult to invest in Chris Evans’ Buzz when audiences knows that with one rejection he could have easily transformed into the corrupted Space Ranger who becomes Zurg. It is hard to like Buzz knowing that he has it in him to become Zurg, and harder to root for him to befriend Keke Palmer’s Izzy Hawthorne. However, removing this plot point from the Lightyear movie and making Zurg Buzz’s dad completely takes the agency off Buzz and makes him a more traditional hero.

Zurg As Buzz’s Father Would’ve Fixed Lightyear’s Plot Hole

Having alternate Buzz Lightyear find the Zurg armor randomly drifting through space is a bizarre plot point that begs the question: where is the real Zurg? As Lightyear has performed poorly at the box office it seems unlikely that this plot point will ever be answered, leaving it as a frustrating hanging thread. However, had Pixar and director Angus MacLane used the original scene, the origin of Zurg’s iconic purple armor may have been different, fixing this awkward moment in Buzz’s adventure.

The scene would have also made Lightyear‘s connection to the Toy Story franchise much stronger. As it is supposedly the film that Andy Davis in Toy Story was obsessed with during the events of the original film, it makes little sense why Toy Story 2‘s Zurg tells Buzz he is his father if he is really an alternate Buzz. Of course, this scene is a parody of The Empire Strikes Back‘s most famous scene, but including the original twist of Zurg as Buzz’s dad, while predictable, would have made far more sense in the Toy Story universe. Though the twist that Zurg is an alternate Buzz does not ruin Lightyear, the film would have fared better had it stuck to the original plan of the evil Emperor being the Space Ranger’s father, instead of making it a deleted scene.

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