The Toolman Cometh

Tim Allen Got Real About Lightyear And It's Kinda Brutal

Lightyear is a prequel to the Toy Story movies but it’s not like a traditional prequel, and that's what Tim Allen is trying to explain.

Buzz Lightyear from 2022 Lightyear; Tim Allen
Pixar; Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images

Pixar’s Lightyear has been in theaters for a few days and as the reviews roll in, Tim Allen is finally talking for the first time about the character he made his — except not this time. The fact that Allen isn’t in the movie, playing the role of Buzz Lightyear as he’s done through the entire movie franchise, didn’t go unnoticed — and now Allen is talking about it. Here’s what you need to know.

Lightyear is a prequel to the Toy Story movies but it’s not like a traditional prequel. Instead of telling the earlier story of Buzz Lightyear, it tells the story of the start of Buzz, but not the toy Buzz. If that’s confusing, it’s because it is. Lightyear is a movie inside the Toy Story universe and Buzz is the merchandise for that movie. So, the kid Andy would have watched Lightyear and begged his mom for a toy from the movie, which is how he got Buzz.

This is probably why Allen wasn’t asked to voice the main character in Lightyear because his Buzz wasn’t the same Lightyear in the universe. But it still sounds like Allen felt a certain way about Chris Evans voicing Buzz Lightyear in this movie.

“The short answer is I’ve stayed out of this ’cause it has nothing to do [with my character],” Allen told Extra during an interview touching on why he’s not said anything about the movie until now. “There’s really no Toy Story Buzz without Woody,” Allen added. "It's a wonderful story. It just doesn’t seem to have any connection to the toy.”

He continued, "It just seems kind of...I don't know. There's no connection. I just wish there was a better connection [to the toy]."

Allen sounds confused, and that’s because he is, but he’s far from the only one. The movie doesn’t follow the Buzz Lightyear that we’ve come to know from the movies – the one that Allen voices. The movie follows the Buzz that inspired the Buzz we know.

So, Allen is both right and wrong when he says the movie has nothing to do with the toy. The new movie isn’t about the toy Buzz, it’s about the movie character Buzz that the toy is then based on. Following?

In our world, it would be like if Buzz Lightyear was a real person, Lightyear would be his story, and then Buzz Lightyear from Toy Story would be the action figure made of that real person. In this meta-fiction universe, Lightyear is a movie that came out in the ’80, Andy loved the movie and got his action-figure toy Buzz in the ‘90s. And we’re watching all that unfold in the ‘22s.

So sure, the movie idea is confusing. But that isn’t a reason not to like it, right?

Lightyear is out in theaters now.