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August 8

August 8, 2000 – The Direct-to-Video Movie Buzz Lightyear of Star Command: The Adventure Begins is Released

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“This is the universe. I work here. The name’s Lightyear: Buzz Lightyear.”

On August 8, 2000, the direct-to-video movie Buzz Lightyear of Star Command: The Adventure Begins was released. Based on the fictional line of Buzz Lightyear toys introduced in Pixar’s Toy Story series, the movie acted as a pilot for the animated television series. It was animated by Walt Disney Television Animation, with the animators at Pixar doing the animation for the opening sequence set in Andy’s room. The film was written my Mark McCorkle, Robert Schooley, Bill Motz, and Bob Roth, and directed by Tad Stones. It stars Tim Allen as Buzz Lightyear, Nicole Sullivan as Mira Nova, Stephen Furst as Booster, Larry Miller as XR, Patrick Warburton as the Little Green Men, Diedrich Bader as Warp Darkmatter, and Wayne Knight as Evil Emperor Zurg.

The movie begins in Andy’s room, where the toys are eagerly awaiting the new Buzz Lightyear movie. They put the movie in the VCR, and everyone gathers to watch. The story begins with an introduction by Buzz himself, and the introduction of his partner Warp Darkmatter. The two are to find three missing little green men (LGM), and find themselves in the Zeta Quadrant, on an uncharted moon. After being unable to find them, Warp drives to the dark side of the moon; as they drive, they discover that the three little green men are in the back of the cart. Unfortunately, the three little green men in the car are on their own mission to save the missing little green men, and alert Buzz and Warp to the presence of evil. A crater viper appears and attacks, and while Buzz and Warp are fighting a herd of vipers, Buzz tries to follow the little green men to where the other lost ones are. As Buzz and Warp fight and try to save the “lost ones,” they realize that the moon is actually a lair for Emperor Zurg, Buzz’s nemesis. Zurg has been torturing the lost ones, trying to determine how their mind link works.

Zurg tortures the LGMs for information on their mind unification, known as the Uni-Mind

Zurg tortures the LGMs for information on their mind unification, known as the Uni-Mind

As Zurg continues to torture the lost ones, Buzz bursts into the lair and attacks, although Zurg is able to escape. Buzz is able to save the lost ones, although Zurg has activated a self-destruct button for the moon, giving Buzz and Warp 60 seconds to go after Zurg and his cronies. Unfortunately, Warp is stuck under some wreckage, and tells Buzz to go, activating Buzz’s rocket launcher as he does. The moon explodes, and Warp is killed in the blast. Back at Star Command, Buzz has taken Warp’s death hard, blaming himself as he briefs the members of star command. He vows to work alone from then on, so no ranger would die for Buzz again. He soon reports to Commander Nebula, and watches as a recruit named Mira passes the hardest level in the training simulator. Mira, who is actually a princess, has a ghosting ability from her home planet which allows her to complete the training. Mira is assigned to be Buzz’s partner, although Buzz refuses, stating flatly that he works alone. Although people think Buzz is by-the-book and a loner, he actually has a friend named Booster, who is a janitor with a dream of being a space ranger; Buzz encourages him to take the entrance exam.

Zurg recruits a new agent he names Agent Z, who is part man, part machine. Zurg continues the mission to discover the “Uni-Mind” on the LGM homeworld, using a spy drone to infiltrate the Uni-Mind. Back at Star Command, the LGM give Buzz their take on a new partner: XR, the experimental ranger. Buzz has his reservations, and the LGM reveal that they made him themselves. Buzz gets angry at everyone telling him that he needs a partner, but he soon has bigger problems: Zurg has invaded the LGM’s homeworld. The LGM scramble to protect the Uni-Mind, but Zurg’s Agent Z is able to break their defenses. Fortunately, Buzz and XR are able to launch a counterattack, although Agent Z is able to anticipate Buzz’s every move. Agent Z is able to take the Uni-Mind, and defeats Buzz before he leaves. Without the Uni-Mind, the LGMs are unable to do anything.

Zurg is able to turn the Uni-Mind into a force for evil, and starts enslaving planets

Zurg is able to turn the Uni-Mind into a force for evil, and starts enslaving planets

Back at Zurg’s main lair, he celebrates his success, as he plans to use the Uni-Mind to enslave the universe. The Space Rangers plan on launching a full-scale attack on Zurg’s planet, and Mira is able to find a way to slip in and destroy Zurg’s defenses using a one-man ship. Buzz, naturally, volunteers for the mission, but Mira points out that she found the way in, so she should go. Unfortunately, Commander Nebula ignores both of their requests, and decides to go with a full-scale attack. Mira and Buzz decide separately to sneak off in the Alpha 1 ship for the one-person mission, and end up fighting over the ship. Mira is able to win the fight and takes off in the Alpha 1, and Buzz is ordered to go after her. As he goes in his ship, he doesn’t realize that Booster and XR are hiding inside. Zurg soon tests his new Uni-Mind fixed for evil, and turns several planets completely evil. While Buzz chases after Mira, Zurg finally turns his ray on Star Command, taking over the minds of all space rangers. Buzz and the others head back to Space Command to find everyone under the control of Zurg, and although they make it back to their ship, a bomb has been placed inside. Zurg believes that he has destroyed Buzz, but Buzz and his team were able to escape in the Alpha 1.

Buzz and team head to Zurg’s planet, although they have a rather bumpy landing. Buzz heads off to defeat his foe alone, but Mira tricks him into accepting them as his backup. However, he demands that they get back on the ship and help evacuate any planet that isn’t under Zurg’s control. Buzz makes his way in alone, and ends up fighting once again with Agent Z. Agent Z reveals that he is actually Buzz’s old partner Warp before knocking him out. Warp reveals that he’s been a double agent for Zurg since they academy days. Zurg and Warp begin mocking Buzz, and Buzz sends out his final mission log, which is actually a coded message for help to Mira, Booster, and XR. The three head back to Zurg’s planet and are able to save Buzz. Zurg and Buzz have their final showdown, and with his partners, Buzz gets ready to arrest Zurg. However, Zurg is able to slip free, and taunts Buzz with the fact that wherever Buzz goes, he will hear Zurg’s voice mocking him. Mira and Buzz head into the area of the Uni-Mind, and Mira uses her ghosting powers to send Buzz into the core of the Uni-Mind to reverse it from evil to good, and the universe is restored to its natural order. The Uni-Mind is restored to the LGM’s homeworld, Warp is arrested, and the universe is saved. Buzz decides not to take just one partner, but a team instead. Buzz, Mira, Booster, and XR are awarded with the highest honor in Star Command, and will work as a team from then on.

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