Lightyear producer reveals heartwarming reason they reinvented "to infinity, and beyond!"

Pixar's Lightyear
(Image credit: Disney/Pixar)

Lightyear is a whole new take on the titular Space Ranger. This isn't the character you remember from the Toy Story quartet: this is the Buzz who inspired the action figure merchandise in the first place. 

Chris Evans takes over from Tim Allen as the voice of Buzz – and that's not the only change to the character. His iconic catchphrase "to infinity… and beyond!" gets a reinvention, too, with Buzz sharing the words with his best friend and commander Alisha Hawthorne (Uzo Aduba).

"It was pretty late in the process," producer Galyn Susman tells Total Film of reinventing the phrase. "We tried a variety of things. At the beginning, Buzz wasn't actually a Space Ranger yet, he was working to be a Space Ranger, and it was a Space Ranger motto and so he mocked it at the beginning and then embraced it at the end. It went through a variety of iterations." 

In the movie, Buzz and Alisha say half the catchphrase each, and touch fingers as they do. That particular detail has a very heartwarming backstory: it's an action director Angus MacLane shares with his daughter. 

"The hand gesture was there, it was something that Angus did with his daughter, as a touchstone," Susman continues. "So we really enjoyed that. And then one of our editors, Chloe, she suggested that we add the phrase to it, and that really resonated very quickly with us. And it evolved into – at the beginning, it's all about their journeying forward, and the next and the next and the more and the more, and that forward focus. By the end of the film, it's really much more of a statement of 'I'm here and I'm sharing this experience now with you.' So it really worked in terms of, thematically, what we were trying to say with the film as well."

Lightyear hits theaters this June 17. For much more on the film, check out our interviews with the cast and filmmakers and astronaut Tim Peake – and see our roundup of the best movies on Disney Plus to fill out your watchlist (and you can catch up with the Toy Story movies on Disney Plus, too, and find out how Toy Story and Lightyear are connected through the link). 

If you've seen the film already, get the lowdown on the Lightyear post-credits scenes and what they mean.

Molly Edwards
Entertainment Writer

I'm an Entertainment Writer here at GamesRadar+, covering all things film and TV for the site's Total Film and SFX sections. I previously worked on the Disney magazines team at Immediate Media, and also wrote on the CBeebies, MEGA!, and Star Wars Galaxy titles after graduating with a BA in English.