All of which makes the movie’s post-credits scene a bit of a surprise…
The Lightyear Post-Credits Scene
Yes, Lightyear has a post-credits moment. Or mid-credits if we want to get technical. But rather than set up a sequel or tease the possible return of “Zurg,” Buzz Lightyear’s greatest nemesis who barely had time to make impression in this movie, Lightyear uses its mid-credits moment to call back an old joke.
In case you do not recall, earlier in the movie during Buzz Lightyear’s “Interstellar” montage, the hero has failed in his latest attempt to achieve hyperspeed for the umpteenth time. Once again this has cost him years of living amongst his community. When he returns to the space colony, he learns that his best friend and C.O. Alisha Hawthorne (Uzo Aduba) has passed away, and she’s been replaced by a new generation of leadership who cannot remember a life off of this rock. Hence why the new Commander Burnside (Isiah Whitlock Jr.) shrugs off Buzz’s dedication for achieving hyperspeed and leading this colony off-world. Instead Burnside is content with the new technology they’ve developed on their own via the “laser shield.”
As Burnside explains it, whenever a threat on this hostile world rears its head, the colony will simply activate a laser dome that will cast a giant bubble over their community, protecting them from menace. It honestly seems like a short-term and shortsighted solution, however Lightyear ultimately commends it. Because when Buzz returns again to this world after achieving hyperspeed, he discovers the laser shield is up and evil alien robots obeying Zurg cannot get in.
When Zurg is finally defeated, and Burnside and this community can lower the shield, he and Buzz come to an understanding: the space colony will stay here and Buzz will lead their new Star Command into the heavens. It’s an odd choice but sets up the cheeky mid-credits scene.
Indeed, midway through the credits we come back to Commander Burnside who is enjoying what appears to be a nice mid afternoon tea, snack, and nap. Outside his window, the laser dome is up and a bug intending to pester him flies straight into it, vaporizing itself in an instant.