Lightyear: Ending explained and post-credits check-in

Warning: Full spoilers for Lightyear follow. Do you want to know if Lightyear has a post-credits scene or not? We’ll tell you here: Yes, the movie actually has three scenes that take place during and after the credits. Read on for all these details and more.

Lightyear is the story of Buzz Lightyear, a Space Ranger in Star Command, who inspired the beloved Toy Story toy that was gifted to Andy Davis when he was a child. While many of us grew up watching the adventures of the Buzz Lightyear toy, Lightyear focuses on the time-travel journey that the film’s real hero went through, who was a favorite of Andy’s.

Tim Allen voiced Buzz in the Toy Story films, but Captain America’s Chris Evans took on the iconic role in Lightyear. The decision was made by the team to make it clear that “this is not Toy Story Buzz”, but rather the hero of the movie that spawned the toy phenomenon in the original movie’s universe.

So what exactly happens in this fictional movie from the world of Toy Story? We’re here to help answer all these questions and more, and when you’re done here, be sure to check out our Lightyear Review.

Explanation of the end of the light year

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 return home, he must conduct test flights to check his progress. Unfortunately, years go by each time Buzz makes a short flight into space due to time dilation.

While Buzz is obviously the star of Lightyear, Emperor Zurg plays an important role in the story. Zurg was also featured in Toy Story, but Lightyear reveals that he is actually an older Buzz from an alternate timeline who is trying to prevent the initial accident that trapped Buzz and his team on Tikana Prime from happening.

The older Buzz traveled further in time and gained technology that would allow him to complete his mission, but he needed a more crystalline fusion of our Buzz’s time period to take him back to the time before the crash. Fearing a time paradox, our Buzz refuses to help this older version, and a fight breaks out after the old Sox, the robotic cat, helps our Buzz activate the ship’s self-destruct timer.

Buzz’s friends – Izzy Hawthorne, Mo Morrison, and Darby Steel – arrive just in time to aid in the battle, and old Buzz once again dons the Zurg mecha-suit to face his alternate self. Our Buzz wins the confrontation and the ship explodes after they escape, but Zurg also survives the explosion. As Zurg tries to steal the fuel source one last time, we get our first glimpse of Buzz’s iconic wings as he destroys the fuel and, apparently, Zurg.

Buzz saves his friends and they return to the planet, finally accepting their lives on Tikana Prime. While he is initially greeted with an angry Burnside on the ground, the commander also respects how Buzz saved the colony from Zurg’s attack and offers him a 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 reads ‘To Infinity and Beyond’, they set off on a new adventure.

Lightyear Filmmakers on Zurg’s Great Upheaval

While Emperor Zurg being an older, alternate version of Buzz was the film’s biggest twist, the team behind Lightyear initially attempted a story treatment that had Zurg being Buzz’s father (which was also a reference to Star Wars in the early moments of Toy Story 2).

“Well, we tried that,” Lightyear director Angus McClane said of trying Zurg as Buzz’s dad. “We explored the father angle. But then all the time you’re like, ‘It’s his father. It’s his father. Get to it. It’s his father. And then you would have to really establish that his father was important in some way.

“But what we really discovered, what we were really looking 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 right the wrong that is actually more self-destructive and the world -destructive because it is your arrogance.”

Evans himself also spoke about this and gave his perspective as an actor who has to deal with changes in stories all the time.

“Well, I think the story choice really went through a few different incarnations,” Evans recalled. “One of the funny things about making 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? This is no more. Now that’s it.

“And I think specifically that storyline has gone through a few different forms. But I think you just trust Pixar that they know what they’re doing.”

Does Lightyear have a post-credits scene?

For those who love a good post-credits scene, we’re pleased to report that Lightyear has not just one… not just two… three scenes that take place during and after the credits.

The first scene arrives mid-credits and sees Commander Burnside sitting in his office working as a giant insect is hit by a laser force field similar to the one he was trying to build at the beginning of the film. It makes you very proud.

In the second scene, we learn that the ERIC robot has finally mapped out the best path for Buzz and the team to get to the hangar after constantly correcting themselves due to a bug in their programming. Unfortunately, he quickly realizes that everyone has been gone for some time.

Lightyear movie footage

In the final scene, we see Zurg’s armor floating in space after the battle. Just before Lightyear officially darkens, we see the suit’s eyes light up, suggesting that Zurg may have lived to fight another day.

For a sequel to Lightyear and beyond?

While there’s no word on whether or not we’ll get more Buzz Lightyear adventures from Chris Evans and the newly revamped Space Rangers, there are certain hints that this story may continue.

The final post-credits scene with the eyes on Zurg’s armor lighting up could indicate that there is more story to tell for the evil emperor who is actually just an older Buzz. He could remain 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 such a hit in the Toy Story universe that there’s no reason to think its adventures wouldn’t do well in our time.

Lightyear connects 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 received a Buzz Lightyear toy from his mother after watching his favorite movie. What is this movie, you ask? It’s light year.

There are also a ton of nods to the Buzz we know and love from Toy Story, including his Space Ranger suit, the addition of Zurg, who he loves to record the captain’s logs, and more.

Unfortunately, there are no cameos from the Buzz toy or any of our other favorite toys, as Lightyear is set to be a standalone movie that shows us what Andy saw in 1995.

What did you think of Lightyear and Zurg’s big twist? Let’s discuss in the comments!

Adam Bankhurst is a news writer for IGN. You can follow him on Twitter @Adam Bankhurst is at Muscular contraction.

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