Buzz Lightyear is famous as the spaceman who features in the Toy Story movies alongside Woody.
But how did this intergalactic hero end up on earth, and how did he become so famous in the Disney universe?
Here are 11 out of this world facts about Buzz Lightyear.
Buzz was based on a “G.I Joe” character.
Director John Lasseter wanted to create a character in the Toy Story universe with the same personality of a G.I Joe type of character, being a hero who saves the day, but he wanted a more modern appearance.
There weren’t many space characters at the time, so the idea was born to create a character with a G.I. Joe personality, but with a space ranger look.
The outfit design was based on the real Apollo 11 astronauts, with the skullcaps, white suits, and clear helmets.
It is said that the purple and green on Buzz’s iconic outfit were the choice of Lasseter’s wife.
Buzz Lightyear’s name was inspired by Apollo 11 astronaut Buzz Aldrin.
Buzz Lightyear’s name came from the Apollo 11 astronaut Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin.
The character was originally called Luna Larry, but the producers thought that the name sounded a bit too wacky for the character they wanted to portray.
After this name change, Pixar producers looked at different space terms to incorporate in the name, and Lightyear was chosen.
They then decided to name him after Buzz Aldrin as an homage to the second person to walk on the moon.
Buzz Aldrin even took a Buzz Lightyear toy to one of his speeches at NASA to showcase his links to the character.
Aldrin has never received any endorsement fees for the use of his name.
His significant other is Jessie.
This might not have been obvious until the end of Toy Story 2, where Buzz shows how love-struck he is by Jessie.
But Buzz is attracted to her adventurous personality, and throughout the Toy Story films, he looks out for Jessie and cares for her when she has her panic attacks.
This affection is shown even more so when Buzz accidentally gets put into Spanish mode, where he refers to Jessie as “my desert flower” and dances around her.
The couple share many adventures throughout the movies, some more successful than others, but they continue to comfort and stick by each other’s side.
Buzz Lightyear’s enemy is Emperor Zurg.
In the Toy Story movies, Buzz Lightyear has more than just one enemy.
The likes of Sid Phillips and Stinky Pete are amongst them, but his true enemy is Emperor Zurg, also known as Evil Emperor Zurg.
Within the Toy Story universe, Buzz Lightyear is archenemies with Zurg as he is the sworn enemy of the Galactic Alliance.
Their relationship is simple, Zurg is the bad guy, and Buzz is the hero, but they have had several encounters in the movies, making the audience question their relationship.
In Toy Story 2, Zurg expresses that he is Buzz’s father, but this is most likely a distraction so he can attack Buzz.
It is suggested that Disney wanted to make a reference to Star Wars, recreating the famous scene with Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader, but it is not known if this is true or not.
The character of Buzz has over 15 quotes.
Buzz has many famous quotes in the Toy Story movies, but not all were used in the first Toy Story.
As the movies developed, relationships changed, and the quotes evolved with the characters, but some of his most recognized quotes include;
“I’ve set my laser from stun to kill,” “my eyeballs could have been sucked from their sockets,” and “this is an intergalactic emergency!”
The first figure of Buzz Lightyear made in 1995 was released before the Toy Story film, and it was programmed with four quotes.
These included the famous “to infinity and beyond,” “I am Buzz Lightyear,” “I come in peace,” and “Buzz Lightyear to the rescue!”
Buzz’s most famous quote is “To infinity and beyond.”
Possibly one of the most famous quotes of all time, “to infinity and beyond,” has been used in pop culture ever since the character made it famous.
The quote originated from a book title “to infinity and beyond,” written by Eli Maor in 1991, 4 years before the release of Toy Story.
The book explored the history of infinity and was perhaps the inspiration for Buzz’s quote.
It has also appeared on t-shirts, merchandise, and even in pop songs. The lyrics “to infinity and beyond” feature in the famous “Singles Ladies” track from Beyoncé.
The phrase even made international news in 2008. A father and son duo attempted a 15 hour long treading water record attempt in the Atlantic Ocean, and used it as their safety phrase to keep track of each other.
There is an evil Buzz Lightyear.
If you are familiar with the series Buzz Lightyear of Star Command, then you will know that Buzz has an evil version of himself from another universe.
The evil Buzz Lightyear is said to be even eviler than Emperor Zurg, and in this alternate galaxy takes on the role of Zurg as evil emperor.
His first appearance is in the episode called “The Lightyear Factor,” where Zurg’s brain pod opens a portal to an alternate universe.
At the end of the episode, evil Buzz falls into the sun and is presumed dead until he makes an appearance at the end.
Buzz has his own feature film and TV spin-off.
Not only does Buzz feature as a main character within the Toy Story movies, but he has his own feature movie Buzz Lightyear of Star Command: The Adventure Begins, which was released on August 8, 2000.
This movie was based on a miniseries called “Buzz Lightyear of Star Command,” which was Pixar’s first hand-drawn animated project.
A video game based on the series was developed by Travellers Tales in 2000 and was released for PlayStation, Game Boy Color, Dreamcast, and Microsoft Windows.
The game allows you to control Buzz in his race to defeat his enemies.
He has featured in other Pixar movies.
Alongside other characters from Toy Story, Buzz has had the opportunity to feature in other Pixar shorts.
The most memorable shorts he featured in are Hawaiian Vacation as well as Small Fry.
Buzz also made an appearance in 2003 with the release of Finding Nemo as one of the toys next to the toy box in the dentist waiting room.
Buzz has really been to space.
We all know that Buzz Lightyear is a space ranger, so in the movies, he must have been to space.
But in June 2008, a real-life 12 inch (30.5 centimeters) figure of Buzz Lightyear was sent into orbit.
Buzz was sent to The International Space Station, where he remained in orbit for 467 days.
He was sent up as part of an educational partnership between Disney and NASA which, alongside the space expedition, provided games, competitions, and video footage of Buzz floating in space for children.
This Buzz figure can be visited in the National Air and Space Museum in Washington D.C.
Buzz is number 1 in the top 20 greatest Pixar characters.
In 2007 Buzz Lightyear was voted as the most favorite Pixar character of all time out of the top 20 characters by readers of the British magazine “Empire.”
The magazine also rated him 94th in greatest characters of all time.
Now you know more about this complex intergalactic spaceman, you can see how he has become one of the most recognizable characters in history.
The Toy Story movies will continue to inspire and excite children across the world.