We all know who evil Emperor Zurg is in the Toy Story movies but who is Zurg in Lightyear? The violet villain first mentioned in the very first Toy Story is the sworn enemy of the Galactic Alliance, the Space Rangers, and Buzz Lightyear. In the new Pixar movie Lightyear, though, the character has been slightly changed. What do we mean? Well, read on.
We first encounter Zurg in the animated movie after Buzz successfully breaks the hyperspeed barrier. Unfortunately for our favourite Toy Story character, the trip causes time to speed up around Buzz, so when he lands he’s in the future, and the planet is under assault from mysterious robots who only say one word, “Zurg”.
So, where did this Zurg come from? What does he want? And who is Zurg under that iron grimace? Well, if you’ve got questions about this new Pixar bad guy, then don’t worry. We’ve got answers. Warning spoilers are ahead for Lightyear, so if you’ve not seen it yet, don’t read on.
Who is Zurg in Lightyear?
Like in the Toy Story movies, Zurg is Buzz Lightyear’s arch-nemesis and the main villain of Lightyear. There are, however, several key differences between the Zurg of the Toy Story films and the Zurg in Pixar’s most recent movie.
The first is that he’s never referred to as an “evil emperor”; instead, he’s simply Zurg and at no point do we see any evidence that this version of the character has established an intergalactic empire.
The second difference is Zurg’s true identity, in the Toy Story movies, the villain claims to be Buzz’s father (in a parody of the iconic Darth Vader reveal), but that’s not the case in the film.
In the film, Zurg is revealed to actually be an older version of Buzz, who’s travelled back in time to save the crew. Unfortunately, the years haven’t been so kind to this Buzz, and he’s been driven mad by loneliness and his failure to “complete the mission”.
What is Zurg’s plan?
Zurg plans on using the experimental hyperspace crystal that Buzz and Sox perfected to travel back in time once more. Once there, he’ll prevent Buzz from ever landing on the alien planet erasing the last few decades from history.
What he fails to realise is, however (or simply does not care), that changing the timeline will erase the fulfilling lives his old crew had on their new home planet.
What happens to Zurg?
After Buzz and his rag-tag team of Space Rangers manage to destroy Zurg’s ship, the robotic rascal follows them out into space. In order to put a stop to Zurg, Buzz detonates his hyperspace fuel, seemingly killing the villain.
Word of Zurg’s demise, however, is slightly exaggerated, and in the post-credit scene, we see Zurg floating in space and his eyes lighting up, setting up his eventual return.
Why is he called Zurg?
The alternate version of Buzz takes on the name Zurg because it’s all his robotic army can say.
Who voices Zurg?
Despite playing the younger Lightyear, Chris Evans does not play Zurg. Instead, James Brolin lends his voice to the robotic despot. In his first appearance all the way back in Toy Story 2, Andrew Stanton, who was executive producer on Lightyear, played the character.
If you love Lightyear, then check out our list of the best science fiction movies.