Western Animation: Buzz Lightyear of Star Command aka: Buzz Lightyearof Starcommand
Buzz Lightyear of Star Command was a 2000-2001 animatedtelevision show from Disney television animation, based on the space character Buzz Lightyear from the movie Toy Story. The Buzz in this show is not a toy, but an actual Space Ranger - remember how Toy Story alluded to a Show Within a Show that pre-dated the toy line? ("The world's greatest superhero, now the world's greatest toy!") This show is what that show might have looked like.The story chronicles the adventures of Buzz Lightyear (Patrick Warburton), an agent of the galactic peacekeeping force Star Command, who frequently battles the Evil Emperor Zurg (Wayne Knight) and other threats to the galaxy. Buzz is accompanied in his missions by his partners on Team Lightyear: Mira Nova (Nicole Sullivan), the butt-kicking princess of Tangea; Booster (Stephen Furst), the trademark big lovable lug, and XR (Larry Miller/Neil Flynn), the wisecracking fast-talking Robot Buddy.
Accidental Misnaming: Despite his habit of transforming into one, Plasma Boy hates being called Plasma Monster.
The Ace: Fop Doppler. When Mira is desperately trying to get out of their arranged marriage, she challenges him to complete Space Ranger training; guess who now holds the record for fastest completion of Space Ranger training ever? This guy can take out a room full of opponents handily, barely looking at them and never losing his cool or his style.
Actor Allusion: Brad Garrett voiced Torque, a bounty hunter who rode in a spacecraft shaped like a motorcycle and after a while could clone himself at will. Those were traits also shared by The Main Man himself, Lobo — who also happened to be voiced by Brad Garrett in his DCAU appearances.
All There in the Manual: Before the pilot was released, "Disney Adventures Magazine," had a comic that showed how Buzz Lightyear saved Mira's people, which led to her joining the Space Rangers, which she briefly references in the pilot.
An Aesop: In the G-Rated Drug episode mentioned below, when she turns to her father for help, the conversation is a remarkably serious discussion of her problem, including the revelation that her father did much the same in his own youth.
"How did you stop wanting to phase through energy?"
An Ass Kicking Christmas: "Holiday Time". It's a generic "villain steals Christmas" plot with an awesome fight scene between Zurg and Buzz Lightyear featuring Bullet Time and backed by a pounding techno track
Animation Bump: The direct-to-video movie, as well as several episodes.
Arch-Enemy: Zurg is this for Team Lightyear, especially Buzz.
More importantlynote and this even mentioned in Toy Story, he's the "sworn enemy of the Galactic Alliance".
Arm Cannon: Warp's cybernetic arm can morph into this, and the hornets have cannons for arms.
"Suspect: Torque, wanted in all 50 sectors for terrorism, smuggling, arson and unpaid parking tickets"
In 'The Planet Destroyer,' Zurg cheerfully informs the council of the Galactic Alliance of what life will be like after they follow his only demand of complete surrender, the last of which causes the entire council to gasp in shock:
"As citizens of my empire, you will all be fitted with the latest in subservient fashion. Brain control modules will make you all mindless drones in the service of my evil. Your 167 hour work week will consist of grueling labor in lunchbox-sized cubicles that allow zero privacy. Oh! And no dental benefits.
Zurg's Christmas Offensive: sabotage the fleet, bust out the prisoners of PC-7, and steal Buzz's newspaper. Lampshaded by XR.
Asteroid Thicket: In three episodes - "Tag Team," "Downloaded," and "Super Nova".
As You Know: Lampshaded in the pilot movie; one of Zurg's not particularly bright scientists is called to tell Zurg how things are going. He then explains in some detail how they believe that since the Unimind allows the LGMs to share a Hive Mind, they should be able to alter it to give Zurg mental control over other people. Zurg replies "You're telling me my plan. I know what my plan is, I thought up the plan, it's MY plan. What I don't know is how close you are to ACCOMPLISHING MY PLAN!"
Authority Equals Asskicking: Even with a pegleg, Commander Nebula can still kick ass with the best of them (helps that said pegleg doubles as an ion cannon), and Evil Emperor Zurg can usually curbstomp anyone aside from Buzz himself.
Though given his status as a Big Eater, you might say he's always thinking with his stomach.
Though possibly justified by real life- there were dinosaurs that some scientists think had "Secondary Nerve Clusters," acting somewhat like second brains.
The Blind Leading the Blind: In the pilot, when the Uni-Mind is out of commission, the LGMs are next to useless; nonetheless, in spite of being disoriented and slightly retarded in this unfamiliar state of extreme individuality, they soldier on trying to repair XR, which results in his distinctive personality.
Blondes Are Evil: Subverted with Fop Doppler; played straight with an android body.
Averted on at least one occasion. XR accidentally mentions a poker game he's going to later, Buzz calls him out on illegal gambling, XR quickly backpedals and tries to make it out as a sting operation, Buzz rolls his eyes knowingly and lets it slide. Besides another one-off joke about it a little later, it's never mentioned again.
Cape Snag: Entirely averted. Zurg's cape seems to be for purely dramatic and sometimes Large Ham purposes only.
Cardboard Prison: Lampshaded: One episode has XL and XR switching bodies, with XR ending up going to prison with XL's body. When he flips through XL's list of weapons to try and break out, he finds the following:
XR: Laser beam... acid spray... "Break out of prison"? No WONDER he keeps escaping!
Character Development: For a series so heavy on Status Quo Is God, the character development of King Nova is impressive. With each chronological appearance, his attitude towards off-worlders, Star Command, and Mira's career choice softens more and more. See Shout-Out.
In a later episode, she seems have gotten the best of both worlds by getting into a relationship with Evil Buzz Lightyear, but he turns on her and the original Buzz saves her, with her deciding in the end that she prefers the original Buzz.
Demoted to Extra: The rookies of Team Lightyear in "War and Peace and War," the ostensible finale for the series. Each rookie gets only a handful of lines - the story focuses on Buzz and his crusade to learn the truth.
Desk Jockey: Commander Nebula repeatedly and loudly states that he hates the fact that his rank forces him off the front lines and into paperwork. He's often shown fleeing his own semi-intelligent desk just to avoid more tedious form-filing.
Determinator: Quite a few of these, but perhaps most notably in the pilot, "Nos-4-A2," and "Wirewolf":
In the pilot, it takes Buzz's capture and the revelation of Warp's true nature to convince him that he needs a partner... "or two... or three."
In "Nos-4-A2," XR overcomes his "brainwashing" when Booster shows him the work order signed by Commander Nebula that gave XR life.
In "Wirewolf," Buzz's apology to Ty Parsec gets past Ty's werewolf nature and reaches his heart - Ty soon returns to his human self.
Elemental Punch: Plasma Boy uses an electrically charged punch on Booster after a really ugly argument with him
The Empire: Zurg Empire... which seems to consist entirely of Planet Z and the occasional Moon Base.
Enemy Mine: Buzz and Zurg team up in one episode to fight aliens who plan to conquer the entire galaxy including Zurg's home. This is even foreshadowed when it is shown that both of them are upset that their allies and henchmen are both abandoning their weapons.
Buzz and Warp teamed up once to find out who planted tracking devices in them while they were still in the academy.
Evil Twin: Both in the usual sense (ie. an alternate universe counterpart), and from a set of clones created by Zurg.
Face-Heel Turn: Warp Darkmatter. In the pilot, he appears to make a Heroic Sacrifice to save Buzz, then reveals this when he returns. However, it turns out he's been secretly working for Zurg as The Mole since the "academy days" (one episode shows it in a flashback), and faking his death was just his way of switching to "full-time".
Fighter, Mage, Thief: The three rookies all fit this. Booster (fighter) is absurdly strong and tough, Mira (mage) has found many uses for her ghosting powers, and XR (thief) uses a wide variety of unpredictable tools.
Flying Car: A lot of these, most noticeably Buzz's car from his Academy days.
Genre Savvy/Dangerously Genre Savvy: Zurg seems to have taken some notes from the Evil Overlord List and displays this more often than not. When building a new base, he insists on "no airducts big enough for hero-sized people to crawl through" and on constructing an incinerator as opposed to an escapable trash compactor. There are also times where he sensibly refuses to brag about the details of his evil plans to Buzz. (Not that Buzz still doesn't figure things out with the bare minimum of information.)
In the pilot, XR is reading Victoria's Circuits and seems rather annoyed by the fact that Booster keeps distracting him; the magazine reappears multiple times throughout the series.
When Mira jokingly suggests a bite mark left by NOS-4-A2 could actually be a "robot hicky". Heh.
"But, as we say on Rhizome, bloom where the sun shines." "I got another idea, Triffid, why don't you stow it where the sun—" "BUZZ!"
"Care to make it a threesome?"
Let's not forget when XR is woken up and says "I didn't know she was under warranty!"
"Let's kick some asteroid.''
Zurg, yelling at his minions while he's stuck in a power coupling: "Don't just stand there! Hoist! Hoist! Lift and separate!"
Booster helps XR prep for his psychiatric testing, with an Ink Blot Test:
Booster: Ok, What do you see?
XR: I don't see- ooh, a very limber sirenian snake dancer.
(Booster shows another sheet)
XR: two very limber sirenian snake dancers!
XR: MIRA! Where did you learn to snake dance?
And let's not forget the episode "Gravitina" — it is MADE of this trope.
Good Thing You Can Be Repaired: XR... though actually, the first time he got destroyed (in the movie) is when he got switched from a near-perfect Space Ranger (miniature copy of Buzz) to his annoying, lovable, nowhere-near-perfect self.
This trope was XR's intended purpose, though; the LGMs say his name stands for "eXperimental Ranger" because they all this stuff they do that's crazy dangerous to test on real people is no problem, because if something goes wrong, XR can be repaired. Commander Nebula expands the acronym as "eXpendable Ranger" because he doesn't much care for the notion of automated Space Rangering.
Light Is Good: The climatic fight between Zurg and Buzz in the pilot. The enormous light in the backdrop is actually Zurg's emblem, but Buzz uses it to defend himself.
Almost exaggerated in this scene, actually, as Zurg appears as a towering, menacing black silhouette, and Buzz, when he turns to face the light, becomes purely white, despite the fact that the light is actually yellow.
Lampshaded with Warp Darkmatter, when he chews Buzz out for not realizing he was a mole. "My name's DARKMATTER. Who's surprised here?"
Missing Episode: When the series was rerun on Disney Channel, "Inside Job," "Conspiracy" and "Super Nova" were left off the schedule. (The first two dealt with terrorism assassination plots and the third dealt with substance abuse.)
Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Mira, after being repeatedly told to not interfere, drags the other rookies along to follow Buzz in "Shiv Katal". This ends up blowing Buzz's cover as "Shiv", greatly endangering the team (they only escaped with outside help), and costing Star Command a very valuable set up for easily transporting defecting Zurg minions.
The Other Darrin / The Other Marty: In The Adventure Begins, Tim Allen reprises the role of Buzz. For the series proper, however, Patrick Warburton took over. (When The Adventure Begins was re-cut into three regular episodes, Warburton also re-dubbed Buzz's lines in order to remain consistent with the rest of the series.)
Other Me Annoys Me: Evil Buzz Lightyear to Buzz. The other counterparts bond with their templates, though XR might Squee over his more rougher combat ready counterpart:
So...what grade of oil DO they feed you in your neck of the woods?
Our Doors Are Different: Just about every type of high-tech door/hatch you could think of, plus the occasional doorknob.
Justified with Jo-Ad, an agricultural planet and the Alliance's biggest food producer; Bathyos, an ocean planet; and Tradeworld, a city-planet like Coruscant and the galaxy's proclaimed Wretched Hive of Scum and Villainy.
Tangea is more of a "Planet of Two Hats," one for each race. The Overworlders (such as Mira and her father) are arrogent, beautiful, blue-skinned people with xenophobic tendencies and intangeability. The "Grounders" tend to wear the hat of being ugly, dumb primitives with mind-beam powers, and prefer form over function. There are exceptions- Mira is quite open with offworlders, and Romac (a Grounder) is shown to be quite intelligent.
NOS-4-A2. Spell it out phonetically, what do you get? Nosferatu — and considering NOS-4-A2 is designed to look like a certain blood-sucking Transylvanian pest...
XL ("extra large") also fits, specially compared to his "brother".
Puny Humans: Mira's father, the king of Tangea, holds humans in contempt referring to them as monkeys and considers his species to be above them, much to Mira's disgust. It is ironic however that in one episode where Buzz's team, save for XR, were reverted back to a more primitive form, Buzz morphed into a half ape, while Mira became a giant amoeba. Though that may have been because she was exposed to more of the gas.
The Chlorm are even worse, calling all other sapient species "lesser beings", which Mira really hates.
Not to mention they view all other sapient species as wild animals: keeping them in zoos, using them for product testing, etc.
Plus the side-effect of being blasted by the Zurgatronic Ray. The mind-controlled Rangers are particularly creepy.
Red Herring: The A.F.D., the only piece of machinery that XR has but his evil "brother" XL doesn't. When XL rips it off inside XR, it leaves an empty hole where you usually would have a heart. Can you guess what the A.F.D. is? It's an Air Freshening Device.
Refusing Paradise: Buzz is the only good guy who refuses to go along with the Heed in "War and Peace and War." Needless to say, he was right to do so.
Retcon: XR's first meeting with Buzz in "First Missions".
Though it could happen in the pilot, after Buzz brought him back to be repaired and before the ranger meeting.
Rival Turned Evil: Warp Darkmatter, Buzz's old academy chum. Of course, he was The Mole from day one, Buzz just didn't know that . . .
Ty Parsec's introduction works a bit this way, too: Ty places a distress call, and then when Buzz shows up to help, Ty gets immensely annoyed. They used to be friends or classmates or something, but since the early days it's always been Buzz who takes the spotlight, and Ty is sick of it. When Ty gets bitten by NOS-4-A2 and starts transforming into the Wirewolf, you might expect it to come to a bad end... but it turns out Ty is a little more honorable than the tropes would lead you to believe, and even in later episodes he's still a hero, not a villain.
Rogues Gallery: Let's see, there's Zurg, Warp, NOS-4-A2, Gravitina, Torque, XL, Evil Buzz, the Chlorm, the Gargantians, the Raenoks and that Klerm guy... I'd say we have a pretty sizable gallery here.
One episode is built around this idea, with Buzz claiming what looks like a pen is a key part of Zurg's latest plan. He comes across as so obsessed and on edge, that the others force him to take some downtime. In actuality, the "pen" is the trigger for Zurg's HYPER DEATH RAY.
It also helps that Zurg is responsible for most of the recurring villains.
In one episode, Zurg's attempt to clone the heroes results in kid-chibi duplicates with a bad attitude. Naming Buzz's duplicate Zzub, Zzub then sarcastically retorts that all he did was take the hero's name and spell it backwards. The episode in question was written by Greg Weisman and was a reference to the Thailog storylines in Gargoyles.
It’s a tentative connection, but, considering all the show’s throwback’s to Star Trek, could there be another such throwback in King Nova, Mira, and the Tangean Royals? Consider:
King Nova had disapproved of the notion of Mira’s joining Star Command. In Star Trek: The Original Series episode “Journey to Babel,” Ambassador Sarek makes it painfully clear that he disapproves of Spock’s membership in Starfleet.
Just like Sarek, King Nova's attitude towards his child's career choice develops and softens over time, to the point where, in the last time Nova gets a speaking role in the series, the tone of the scene is not unlike Spock's brief conversation with his father at the end of Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home.
Mira, like Spock, is different from the rest of her race (though emphatically not half-human, as Spock is), and she did join Star Command against her father's wishes, just like a certain half-Vulcan. Furthermore, she can sometimes play The Spock to Buzz's Kirk, though she can just as often be The McCoy, as well.
The Tangean Royals as a race have pointed ears... and telepathic abilities...
Again, pure conjecture, but is it just possible that the Grubs wear red for a reason?
Smelly Feet: In "Bunzel Fever", Booster gets knocked out by Torque after he experiences symptoms of the Bunzel Fever, XR and Mira find him and try to wake him up, XR pulls out a sock and waves it in Booster's face, Booster wakes up instantly saying how much it stinks and XR says "this thing could raise the dead", Booster asks whose sock it is, Mira, embarrassed, blushes and snags her sock back.
Virtual Reality Interrogation: One episode uses the Faked Rip Van Winkle varient; Buzz is convinced a Negative Space Wedgie transported him into the future and destroyed Zerg. In reality, the "museum pieces" are his actual armour, the kids he's telling stories (and weaknesses) to are robots and Zerg is alive, well and showing Buzz's captive crew the whole setup to taunt them.
What the Hell, Hero?: Mira and Booster do this to Buzz when he shrugs off Bonnie Lapton's feelings for him as a stereotypical "damsel in distress" situation and doesn't even try to take her seriously. Bonnie runs off utterly crushed, as her feelings were quite genuine, and is hurt that once again someone she cares about refuses to take her seriously. It's only after Mira and Booster point out just what Buzz did that he fixes his mistake.