Pixar’s latest brazen attempt to end the Toy Story franchise on a low note has culminated with Lightyear, their first outing in theaters since March 2020. In their defense, they probably expect you to linger in the theater for an extra hour to soak in all that extra time you missed while not watching their last three films on Disney+. Three post-credits scenes. Three. And the only one that isn’t a joke scene comes after the logos that usually cue the cleaning crew to start cussing people out so they finally leave.
All right, I guess it’s my job here to explain what these scenes are. Sure, why not? YouTube doesn’t exist, after all, and I’m guessing the people still reading this are the ones who left the theater thinking they were safe. That they could just go home and see their families.
The rest of this article has spoilers for Lightyear. That means you should stop reading if you haven’t watched Lightyear and don’t want to know this information before watching Lightyear. If you do keep reading, well, that’s your fault.
The first post-credits scene features Commander Burnside (voiced by Isiah Whitlock Jr.) sitting in his office and sipping tea while a bug crashes against the laser shield of the colony. There’s also an Easter egg for BURN-E, the welding robot from WALL-E. Does this mean that BURN-E exists in the same—no. Let me stop you right there. No.
Sit back down, we’re not done.
The second post-credits scene extends a gag that had already exhausted its wit earlier in the movie. The robot, Deric, struggles to explain his plan, not realizing everyone left because he took too long. Hm, something taking too long…what does that remind me of? Anyway, yes, this is the same joke made twice already, but the joke here is that he’s still there. Still. Like you, in the theater. Waiting for the sweet release of cinema’s icy grasp on your attention span.
Seriously, there’s a big spoiler coming up. Don’t get mad at me if you get spoiled on the Toy Story spinoff. That would be weird.
The final post-credits scene, and I hope you’re still sitting down, comes at you after the logos that pop up after the credits. Has this happened before? Who cares? The point is that the movie is never over. “To Be Continued” is an implied, silent promise. This is your life now. We see debris in space, and guess who is in the center? You’re right, it’s exactly who you expected and it’s not a surprise at all. We see Zurg awaken, because we have infinite more sequels and theme park attractions to milk, and there’s nothing you can do about it.
Like Zurg, the real villain is you. You, assuming things can change. That you can change. But you can’t. You will sit through all these post-credits scenes, assuming they’ll mean something to you. Something that reminds you of that one time this gimmick worked. When you felt something in that sticky, purple chair. But like the silver light on that lie-max screen, it’s an illusion. And it’s time to leave so the ushers can do their jobs.
Lightyear is now playing in theaters. Read our review here, and check out the official trailer if for some weird reason you want to watch the trailer of a movie after watching the actual movie. Fine, I do it all the time.