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Chris Evans Defends His Controversial Lightyear Tweet

Amidst Pixar's promotion of its "Toy Story" spinoff "Lightyear," fans somewhat frequently outlined or questioned how the film's existence might impact existing "Toy Story" canon in ways both big and small. Shots of the film's titular character outside of his spacesuit, for example, reveal that Buzz Lightyear has a full head of hair. Theoretically, then, the original, Tim Allen-voiced version of the character in "Toy Story" could be hiding hair under his spacesuit's purple hood. Learning this seemingly delighted and horrified fans in equal measure.

While this reveal is relatively straightforward, the very nature of the film itself became a point of contention among some viewers, given that the Chris Evans-voiced Buzz in "Lightyear" is an entirely different character than the toy in the "Toy Story" films. In short, "Lightyear" is a film that exists in the world of "Toy Story," and the toy version of Buzz is based on its protagonist in the same manner a Luke Skywalker toy is based on Mark Hamill's iconic "Star Wars" character. Director Angus MacLane himself even confirmed that this premise means that versions of both he and Evans exist in the fiction of "Toy Story."

However, the nature of "Lightyear" was initially unclear, due in large part to some promotional copy that implied Buzz was a real person in the "Toy Story" universe. This includes a Tweet from none other than Evans himself, which he recently defended during an appearance on "Jimmy Kimmel Live."

Chris Evans attempts to clarify his explanation of Lightyear

In the lead-up to the June 17 premiere of "Lightyear," Chris Evans guested on an episode of "Jimmy Kimmel Live." During their interview, which is available on the show's YouTube channel, Kimmel brought up a post Evans shared to his Twitter account in reply to a Tweet containing the initial teaser for "Lightyear." His Tweet reads in full, "And just to be clear, this isn't Buzz Lightyear the toy. This is the origin story of the human Buzz Lightyear that the toy is based on."

With little else available to parse the plot of "Lightyear," fans at the time were understandably confused. For example, podcast host Nick Wiger sarcastically replied to Evans' Tweet, "cleared it up, thanks." Some sites like Boston.com even reported on the confusion ensuing from Evans' implication that Buzz Lightyear was once a human man.

Evans told Kimmel that he proofread this Tweet multiple times before sharing it, fully believing that it would help clear up confusion about the nature "Lightyear." Then, when given a second chance to explain the plot of "Lightyear" to Kimmel, he described a Powerpoint presentation director Angus MacLane gave to pitch his project, characterizing "Lightyear" as a film Andy would have seen, thus sparking his interest in owning a Buzz Lightyear toy.

"If only you tweeted that. You would have saved so many people so much hardship," Kimmel replied, after Evans' clearler — albeit considerably longer — explanation.