“Calling Buzz Lightyear, the galaxy's greatest hero! Skilled, courageous, and ever-vigilant, leaping into action, Buzz Lightyear hurtles to the rescue! His on-going mission: to protect the universe from the dark forces of evil! These are the adventures of... Buzz Lightyear of Star Command!”
This series is the first Disney television series aside from Toy Story Treats to be spun off from a Pixar property, as well as the first collaboration between Disney Television Animation and Pixar Animation Studios.
Buzz Lightyear of Star Command takes place in the far future, a pastiche of Star Trek, Battlestar Galactica, Babylon 5, Lost in Space, Flash Gordon, Buck Rogers, and Star Wars-style science fiction. Capital Planet is the forefront of the Galactic Alliance, a peaceful union of various planets, home to various alien species that coexist in harmony with one another. Star Command is a peacekeeping organization consisting of Space Rangers, who investigate threats to galactic peace. The primary enemy of Star Command is the Evil Emperor Zurg, an intergalactic crime boss that rules an empire of heavily-armed robots and slave races forced to work in opposition to the Galactic Alliance.
The series features Buzz Lightyear, a famous, experienced Space Ranger that takes a crew of rookies under his wing as he investigates criminal activity across the galaxy, and attempts to bring down Evil Emperor Zurg once and for all.
Buzz Lightyear of Star Command is a metafictional series that exists within the reality of the Toy Story films, where Buzz Lightyear is a highly popular toyline. One of the two lead characters in the Toy Story film series is a Buzz action figure, voiced by Tim Allen.
Captain Buzz Lightyear (voiced by Tim Allen in The Adventure Begins, Patrick Warburton in the actual series): Famed Space Ranger known for heroism and bravery. Buzz often suggests that his arch-villain Emperor Zurg is behind every evil plot and is often proven correct. Like his Toy Story incarnation, Buzz is a stickler for procedure, but will tell a cover story if he needs to. However, he has little people skills, and at times displays a lack of common sense. He attended PS- 193 (that's 6859) as a primary school. He wrote at least half of the regulations in the Star Command Manual. He also owns a house on Capital Planet, though as they all look alike and his duties often keep him away, he is confused over just which one is his. To compare this animation and the Toy Story films, the button between the red and blue ones is green in the Toy Story films and yellow in this animation with the releasing of strings when pressed. He seems to have a little crush on Dr. Ozma Furbanna and vice versa.
Princess Mira Nova (voiced by Nicole Sullivan): A rookie ranger and heir to the Tangean throne. She utilizes her people's ability to phase through walls (called "ghosting") and read minds. Buzz has a tendency to refer to her as "Princess" when he's angry with her. She acts as Buzz's co-pilot and second-in-command. She has the most common sense of the team. Mira also has an estranged relationship with her father King Nova, who disapproves of her choice of being a Space Ranger, though deep down she still cares about him. Her abilities and personality are similar to those of Miss Martian. She has red hair and turquoise skin.
Booster Sinclair Munchapper (voiced by Stephen Furst): A huge dinosaur-like former janitor from the agricultural planet of Jo-ad (a play on the name of the Joad family, from John Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath). He has a big appetite and incredible strength, but is sweet and occasionally naive. He is in awe of Buzz Lightyear and has encyclopedic knowledge of his prior adventures.
XR (voiced alternately by Larry Miller and Neil Flynn): A short robot who was originally emotionless and programmed to learn from Buzz, but was blown apart by Agent Z during his first mission. The LGMs rebuilt him, but the temporary loss of the Uni-Mind to Emperor Zurg left them off their game. They rebuilt XR with his slicker, more emotional personality and a variety of attachments. XR stands for Experimental Ranger. (The LGMs have stated that this is the official meaning of the name, though other characters on the show hold the erroneous belief that the X stands for Expendable). He gets blown apart on nearly every mission he goes on, but is easily rebuilt. He considers Commander Nebula his father (due to his signing the paperwork authorizing his creation) and is always seeking his approval.
Commander Nebula (voiced by Adam Carolla): The Space Rangers' commander, whose left leg was replaced by a pegleg-like plasma cannon. Rather short-tempered and constantly speaks with a loud voice. He has a robotic desk that forces him to do his paperwork. He hates to do so, though, and therefore signs forms without looking at them. By doing so, he inadvertently gave permission for the creation of XR, who therefore considers him a father. (He thought the form was the LGMs' vacation request.) Nebula is frequently irritated by this, though he gives XR his due for his successes.
LGMs, or Little Green Men (voiced by Jeff Pidgeon in Andy's Room sequence, Patrick Warburton in the actual series): The LGMs are small, three-eyed aliens (originally appeared as squeeze toy aliens in the Toy Story movies). They are the intensely loyal backbone of Star Command, keeping the station running while inventing/maintaining all of the equipment. When one of their own is kidnapped, the other LGMs will instinctively try to rescue him by any means necessary. LGMs are typically in awe of Buzz. While they generally like the other Rangers, they may not be able to tell one from another. Several of their race are also shown to work for Santa Claus, acting as his toy builders.
Ty Parsec (voiced by Steve Hytner): Ty is the infamous old comrade of Buzz Lightyear, who is fed up with Buzz always coming to his rescue. The Space Ranger was accidentally transformed into the robotic Wirewolf on the planet of Canis Lunis, after being bitten by the villain NOS-4-A2 while exposed to radioactive moon rock. Appeared in two episodes, with a cameo appearance in the episode "War and Peace and War". He is ultimately cured and reinstated as a Space Ranger.
Rocket Crockett (voiced by Phil LaMarr): Member of Star Command and leader of Team Rocket. He has been Buzz's rival since their academy days.
Petra Hammerhold (voiced by Nikki Cox): Senator Hammerhold's daughter. She joined Star Command when her father forced her to do so (largely to keep her from her boyfriend Plasma Boy). She was initially resentful of this, but was moved by Buzz's heroism during a crisis.
Plasma Boy (voiced by Michael Showalter): Petra's boyfriend, who has a Plasma Monster form. Booster competed against him for Petra's affection. When Mira and XR fired a laser at his Plasma Monster form, he destabilized enough to the brink of explosion. He was prevented from explosion when Booster used his suit and Ion Stabilization Matrix on him. He's now a member of Star Command.
42 (voiced by Joy Behar): Originally the name of Buzz Lightyear's ship, it gained A.I. from one of the encounters with the Valkyran Raiders and a new energy projector device inserted on the ship by the LGMs. 42 doesn't like what Buzz says about her and usually controls the ship herself. XR developed a crush on her. When the Valkyran Raiders were thwarted, 42's consciousness was placed into a robot body and she now helps the LGMs.
Evil Emperor Zurg (voiced by Wayne Knight): Main antagonist of the series. Rules an empire on Planet Z, and wants to rule the entire galaxy while destroying Star Command. Emperor Zurg considers Buzz his arch-enemy and often takes any opportunity to eliminate him. Most of his subjects are robots. His feet double as rockets and he can transform his arms into a variety of weapons. Despite often breaking the seriousness of otherwise purely evil statements, Zurg is widely considered the most evil person in the galaxy, especially by the other villains. He seems to have some neuroses about being touched. In some episodes he is shown being comical. The episode War and Peace and War was notably the only episode where Zurg teamed up with Buzz Lightyear to defeat the Heed, a common enemy that was trying to take over their galaxy. In Stranger Invasion, he revealed himself to be Buzz's father (a parody upon The Empire Strikes Back and a nearly identical scene in Toy Story 2), but quickly took it back, using the statement as a 'Made You Look' in order to stun Buzz and gain the upper hand.
Grubs (voiced by Frank Welker): Zurg's equivalents to the LGMs of Star Command (though far less competent). They perform mechanical and technical duties. The Grubs work for Zurg against their will and also desire freedom, but many of them are simply too afraid to try to defect.
Brain Pods (Various Voices for each one): Cybernetic brains in mobile jars, who serve Zurg as scientists and researchers. Although they take pride in their creations, they secretly harbor a desire to escape from Zurg's control. (Two of them are shown succeeding in doing so on-screen.)
Hornets: The Hornets are Zurg's robotic foot soldiers, extremely expendable, lousy shots, and always get vaporized in mass numbers by Team Lightyear. Hornets come in different models, but the most frequently seen are yellow and of average height.
Warp Darkmatter (voiced by Diedrich Bader) was once Buzz's partner and friend, but he had been secretly working for Zurg since his academy days as a double agent. He eventually began working for him full-time as "Agent Z." His right arm is robotic (with various weapon attachments) and was grafted to his body after becoming Agent Z. Warp often takes on assignments for Zurg and is paid quite handsomely. (He owns a moon and a summer home.) Though Buzz has vowed to bring him in for treason, he retains some hope that there is still some good in him.
Gravitina (voiced by Kerri Kenney): A large-headed female villain with mental control over gravity. One of Zurg's allies and once hired to destroy Star Command. She's in love with Buzz, and later, his evil counterpart.
Evil Buzz Lightyear (voiced by Patrick Warburton): A ruthless, pure evil version of Buzz Lightyear from an alternate reality which he conquered. He was his reality's ruler, head of a vast evil empire, (Emperor Zurg was the Burger Guy in his universe) and was very cruel and cunning, manipulating Zurg and Gravitina (who adored him) to his own wicked ends. He is the exact opposite of Buzz in personality and demeanor, wears a modified uniform in colors similar to Zurg's, and has a goatee (a reference to Star Trek, where evil doubles tend to sport that hairstyle). Even though it was Zurg who was considered to be the most evil in the galaxy, the Evil Buzz seemed to be even more evil, as he manipulated Zurg. His first appearance is in the episode The Lightyear Factor, in which one of Zurg's brain pods opened a portal to the alternate universe, and Evil Buzz came back through with Zurg and they attempted to destroy Star Command; however, they were foiled by the good Buzz Lightyear. In a subsequent episode, Sunquake, Evil Buzz has teamed up with Gravitina. In the end of this episode Gravitina is saved, while Evil Buzz falls into the sun. However, the last seconds of the episode show him escaping. Booster said that Buzz is the only person who can survive falling into the sun, implying that Evil Buzz survived his fall.
NOS-4-A2 (voiced by Craig Ferguson): NOS-4-A2 is a robotic vampire created by Zurg. He is capable of draining any system or entity driven by electrical power, as well as controlling any machine he bites. His bite (in combination with radioactive moon rock) also transformed Ty Parsec into Wirewolf. Using Wirewolf and XL, he briefly usurped control of Planet Z from Zurg and attempted to transform everyone in the galaxy into robots for him to feed on, but was defeated and destroyed. His name is a pun on the term "Nosferatu".
Torque (voiced by Brad Garrett): Minor alien villain who committed crimes of terrorism, smuggling, arson, and unpaid parking tickets. After being freed from a prison transport by Zurg's Hornets, the Grubs implanted a cell-separation device upon his chest. Torque then possesses the ability to create duplicate versions of himself. They are unstable, however, as a single laser blast is enough to destroy them. In "The Taking of PC-7", he tried to turn Booster evil (and later Buzz) with a memory-altering device built by the Warden of PC-7. The same device also made Torque (temporarily at least) a heroic good guy. Torque riding a motorcycle-shaped spacecraft and his duplication abilities seem to be a reference to the character Lobo (who was also voiced by Brad Garrett in his DCAU appearances).
XL (voiced by Bobcat Goldthwait): XR's predecessor (and technically older brother), who was shut down due to his villainous attitude. When he was reactivated by Zurg, XL rebuilt himself into a larger, more powerful robot with cutting edge (and stolen) robot parts. His head is red, whereas XR's is yellow. He infiltrates Star Command numerous times because its command codes are in his head. Like XR, he considers Commander Nebula his father, though he resents him for shutting him down. He later redeems himself and is converted into an office managing robot capable of photocopying, collating, and other office related functions. His name is a pun referring to his size (extra large).
Madam President (voiced by Roz Ryan): Head of the Galactic Alliance. Her real name is unknown.
Senator Aarrfvox (voiced by Jim Cummings): A Shragarakian senator.
Senator Hammerhold (voiced by Corey Burton): Petra Hammerhold's father.
Senator Phlegmex (voiced by Frank Welker): A slime-emitting senator.
Becky (voiced by Russi Taylor): A little alien girl from the planet Roswell. She befriended Booster (whom she calls Pickles) when Team Lightyear's ship crashed on her planet.
Brent Starkisser (voiced by Corey Burton): The Galaxy's reporter.
Cosmo (voiced by Paul Rugg): An alien that owns and runs the diner where Team Lightyear eats. He has a mechanical arm as well as a foreign accent.
Dr. Animus (voiced by Tony Jay): The Galaxy's therapist.
Guzelian (voiced by Eric Idle): A giant floating spectral head who used a ship to get his point across to the whole galaxy. Unfortunately for Guzelian, Buzz catches on and ultimately prevents Guzelian's plan to take over the galaxy.
Flash Flemming (voiced by Jason Marsden): First seen in Inside Job, he is seen talking to Buzz, which causes Booster to look at him with an angry look of suspicion. Later, when Flash comes running in, saying that he saw some Gargantians, the Gargantians suddenly burst out and subdue XR, Mira Nova, and Buzz. Their plans, thankfully, are foiled when Buzz arrives, telling them he's taking them in.
Dr. Ozma Furbanna (voiced by Linda Hamilton): Lead (and only) naturalist on planet Karn. She favors all animals (even the lethal carnivores) and hates to have them hurt; no matter what. Has a crush on Buzz (won't admit it, though), and vice-versa. Zurg once used her help to hatch the Millennial (entirely ticklish) Bugs in an attempt to use them on Capital Planet.
Ed (voiced by Paul Rugg): A courier who somehow always knows how to track down Buzz Lightyear.
Officer Panchax (voiced by Brian Doyle-Murray): A fish policeman who helped Buzz Lightyear fight Minister Gularis.
Professor Triffid (voiced by Joel Murray): A scientist from Rhizome. He cares a lot for the plants there.
Savy SL2 (voiced by Cree Summer): Her adopted robot parents were attacked by NOS-4-A2 in The Slayer, which lead her to hunting him down for revenge.
Sheriff of Roswell (voiced by Stephen Root): Becky's father and ally of Team Lightyear.
King Nova (voiced by John O'Hurley): Mira's father and the ruler of Tangea. Being more tradition bound he clearly disapproves of his daughter being a space ranger and therefore has a complicated relationship with her as well as Buzz. But regardless of his pompous nature he still cares about his daughter and also came to her aid when she had developed a power addiction and helped her get over it, though he almost got his wish of getting his daughter back in this instance had Buzz not saved her career through a cover story.
Santa Claus (voiced by Earl Boen): The holiday figure, who delivers presents to all the good people in the galaxy during the Holiday. He previously used a sleigh powered by belief and later time manipulation to accomplish this massive task. Zurg stole his time manipulation device to destroy the Holiday for everyone, prompting Santa to seek Team Lightyear's help.
The Fixer (voiced by Ed Asner): A character from Tradeworld. He sells robotic parts to people around Trade World, and once tricked XR into delivering a package to XL.
Planets and moons
There are many planets in this series. Among these planets are:
Beta Bayou: A bottom-feeder hunter that Rentwhistle Swack rendezvous with is from this planet.
Binipinardia: A planet that contained a devolution gas.
Canis Lunis: A planet where Ty Parsec was turned into Wirewolf by NOS-4-A2. The name derives from the Latin words for "canine" and "moon."
Capital Planet: The Galactic Alliance members meet here and the "Earth" of the galaxy.
Gargantia: A planet inhabited by tiny aliens.
Jo-Ad: An agricultural planet which is Booster's home planet.
Karn: A planet that serves as a creature reserve. Dr. Ozma Furbanna works here.
LGM Homeworld: The home planet of the LGMs. The Unimind is located here.
Mahamba 6: A resort planet.
North Polaris: Santa Claus's planet, populated by "Elf-G-M"s. The galaxy's version of the North Pole.
Olur 5: Zurg used this planet to hatch the Millennial Bugs in one of his plans to attack Capital Planet.
PC-7: A prison planet.
Planet of Widows and Orphans: Not a real planet. Zurg uses this "planet" to trick Buzz into revealing himself during The Adventure Begins.
Planet X: A somewhat desert-like planet with no name or life. Home of an ancient city and the temple containing Natron.
Planet Z: Zurg's planet where his home base is located.
Porcelon: A planet where its inhabitants look like large toilets.
Raenok: The Raenoks' self-titled planet.
Rhizome: A vegetation planet which is Professor Triffid's home world.
Roswell: A planet similar to Earth in 1947. The inhabitants of Roswell are grey aliens. An incident happens there, somewhat like the real Roswell incident, but with the roles of the alien and human inverted; the humans being the visitors and the aliens being the skeptical government; for example, a grey police station commander said "... and I suppose they had big flappy mouths and little bitty eyes ..." when querying one of his men's statement about seeing landing humans.
San de Soleil: A resort moon. Destroyed by an out-of-control freight ship.
Sentilla 6: A stormy planet with lava rivers.
Shragarak: Senator Aarrfvox's home planet.
Sitka 7: A ski resort planet.
Tangea: Mira's home planet inhabited by two races: the Tangean Royals and Grounders. The name is based on the Royals' ability to become intangible.
Tradeworld: A commercial-oriented world where lesser bad guys hang out.
In the episode "Stranger Invasion", Buzz Lightyear and the Evil Emperor Zurg engage in a confrontation similar to a lightsaber battle, in which Zurg distracts Buzz by claiming he's his father. Zurg did the same in the film Toy Story 2, in which the scene parodied Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back.
The episode Strange Invasion is a spoof of the Roswell Incident right down to the alien autopsy film and the "weather balloon coverup". Also keeping in line with the Roswell Incident, the planet they crash on is called "Roswell" and it bears a strong resemblance to the American Southwest; its inhabitants, meanwhile, resemble the grey aliens.
The "Roswellian" characters, the sheriff and the barber, are spoofs of Sheriff Andy Taylor and Floyd the Barber on The Andy Griffith Show.
Both the name of the last episode and the number of Buzz's ship, 42, are almost certainly references to the answer to life, the universe, and everything from The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy series.
In the episode "Star Crossed", one of the characters is seen ordering food from Pizza Planet, which appeared as an actual space-themed restaurant in Toy Story. Pizza Planet has since become a real Toy Story themed pizza restaurant in Disney's Hollywood Studios.
2000 print ad
Abandoned shorts concepts
Buzz Lightyear of Star Command was the first Pixar TV show, followed by Monsters at Work.
Though the show was produced with Pixar's involvement, John Lasseter's personal dislike for the series has prevented the show's characters from appearing in other Toy Story media. One rare exception was Booster appearing in a story arc in Boom! Studios's Toy Story comic series, with the character being quickly dropped in later issues as a result of pressure from Pixar.
Awards and nominations
Daytime Emmy Awards
2001 - Outstanding Sound Editing - Special Class - Jennifer Mertens, Paca Thomas, Otis Van Osten, Rick Hammel, Eric Hertsguaard, Robbi Smith, Brian F. Mars, Marc S. Perlman, and Dominick Certo (won)
A videogame named "Buzz Lightyear of Star Command Action Game" was developed by Traveller's Tales and published by Activision, and released for PlayStation, Game Boy Color, Microsoft Windows, and Dreamcast in 2000. The gameplay revolves around Buzz chasing down the various villains from the show, and defeating them using different color coded weapons.
The series was aired during UPN's Disney's One Too programming block from October 2000 to August 2003. It also aired on the Disney Channel from 2006 until 2008 (although it was five years before in South East Asia). From 2003-2007, It was aired on Toon Disney.