BOOK REVIEW: ‘Lightyear’ provides insight into Buzz’s background | Entertainment

“Lightyear” wasn’t just another endeavor for director Angus MacLane.

As we learn in “The Art of Lightyear”, this has its origins in his first viewing of “Star Wars” when he was 4 years old.

MacLane fell in love with the film and its sequels and dreamed of creating his own science fiction film. Thus, the subsequent dive into Buzz Lightyear.

Even more special? MacLane’s father, a retired mechanical engineer, helped formulate an equation for Buzz’s first high-speed test mission. The film and the volume “the art of” are filled with connections. MacLane loved LEGOs, so there are also LEGO models of the ships used in the new movie.

In the drawing-filled book, you see all of Buzz Lightyear’s spacesuit iterations and a guide to the buttons he can press. There’s a weapons page (about 25) and so many extra characters you’ll wonder where they appear in the movie.

What’s missing, however, are specific character details and more information about Sox, the robot cat who steals the movie. He had a different look at one point, but all of his skills (including that versatile tail) are unexplained. Instead, we see it more as a prop, not a vital part of the production.

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“Art of” doesn’t reveal all of the film’s secrets but does detail the strange worlds where various spaceships happen to land. It’s like an encyclopedia of all things Lightyear, though fans may have other views on how the world looks.

A series of drawings of Buzz make him look like a burly Ken — or a leaner GI Joe. That purple thing you see him wearing is just a protective cover, not a trendy hair color.

The book doesn’t provide spoilers (unless you have a working knowledge of the movie), but it does offer revealing details about Buzz’s surroundings and Zurg’s. One has rounded corners; the other is pointed.

And there’s a font (used in the movie) that could be copied to send cool messages. Long in pictures, “The Art of Lightyear” is like a high school yearbook. You can look back many times and still see something new.

“The Art of Lightyear”, with a foreword by Andrew Stanton and an introduction by Angus MacLane, is published by Chronicle Books.

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