Why Buzz Lightyear's Costume Doesn't Have Wings (At First)

Although Lightyear tells the story of the character that inspired the Buzz Lightyear toy seen in Toy Story, it left various unanswered questions about his story, among those one about his costume, which doesn’t have his trademark wings at first – but why? Pixar continues its reign in the world of animation and keeps releasing at least one movie per year, with 2022 seeing two big releases: Turning Red, which was sent directly to Disney+, and Lightyear, the first Pixar movie to be released in theaters since Onward.

Lightyear took the audience back to the Toy Story universe with a story that serves as a spinoff and a prequel, as it explores the origin of the Buzz Lightyear toy. Lightyear is the movie that a young Andy watched in 1995 that made him a fan of Buzz Lightyear, and it follows Space Ranger Buzz Lightyear (voiced by Chris Evans) as he explores a habitable planet with his commanding officer and crew, but after some dangerous encounters with the planet’s hostile lifeforms and their ship breaking down, they end up stranded there. Buzz’s attempts to find a way back home lead him to jump many years into the future, where he meets a whole new crew and comes face to face with the evil Emperor Zurg (James Brolin), who hides a big secret.

Related: Where Pixar's Next Movie Easter Egg Is In Lightyear

Although it’s a separate story from the Toy Story series, Lightyear included various Easter eggs and references to the saga, but it also made way for some big questions about Buzz’s backstory and how it connects to the Toy Story movies, as there are various inconsistencies, such as Buzz’s costume not having its wings at the beginning, which might have a deeper meaning than it seems.

Buzz wears different suits in Lightyear before getting the one he’s best known for thanks to Toy Story, but his costume was missing one big element at first: his jet wings. In Lightyear, Buzz got his wings when he stole a vessel from Zurg’s ship and used them to try to save Izzy (Keke Palmer) and the rest of the crew, and by the end of the movie, he was sporting the full costume he’s known for. Lightyear gives no reason for Buzz’s costume not having his wings at the beginning, but this could be a reflection of his journey throughout the movie. Buzz getting his wings later on in Lightyear could be seen as a reflection of his personal journey as he went from ambitious Space Ranger to a hero and team player, very much like toy Buzz in Toy Story, who at first firmly believed he was a real Space Ranger and had to accept he’s a toy and learn to coexist and team up with Woody and the rest. The wings in Buzz’s costume, then, could be a visual representation of change and how far Buzz has come.

Lightyear sets up Toy Story in a couple of ways, such as Buzz and his crew heading toward Gamma Quadrant of Sector Four at the end of Lightyear (though this is also an inconsistency with Toy Story), Buzz leading his own unit, and him now sporting his white, purple, and green costume, but the wings are the extra touch that better sets up Toy Story. Buzz’s wings play an important (and overseen) role in Toy Story, with Woody making fun of him for thinking he could fly, Buzz’s fall at Sid’s house after attempting to fly being a turning point in his story, and him finally flying at the end and returning to Andy along with Woody. Buzz getting his wings in Lightyear places the story closer to the Toy Story saga, though there are still some questions and plot holes that should be solved.

Next: Pixar Theory Explains Lightyear's Failure Was Revealed In Toy Story

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