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Why Mo From Lightyear Sounds So Familiar

This week, Chris Evans is heading into uncharted space in Pixar's "Lightyear," which chronicles the adventure of the sci-fi hero that was the inspiration for the shelf-filling action figure from "Toy Story." You know the one? The guy with the impressive wingspan and the little lightbulb that blinks.

With dangers slightly bigger than local bullies next door or nursery-ruling teddy bears, this version of the space ranger will need some backup. He gets it in the form of some misfit allies, including robot-fearing observer turned colonial defender Mo Morrison, who mistakenly signs up for combat thinking it was boot camp.

But just which talent was called to bring this Private Hudson (Bill Paxton) in "Aliens"-like character to life? Well, for fans of app-obsessed aliens and pamphlet-pushing rock monsters, it only takes a few syllables to decipher that Mo is voiced by none other than a current jack of all trades and master of fun.

Taika Waititi has been between a rock and an outer space as Korg

Mo is voiced by none other than Oscar-winning writer, director, and actor Taika Waititi, who blew up big when Marvel Studios gave him a call to hammer out some kinks with one of their most beloved heroes. Not content with bringing the stand-alone "Thor" film series into the new and far more vibrant high by way of a tonal shift and "The Immigrant Song, the director of "Thor: Ragnarok" went and stole the show by getting in front of the camera (sort of) alongside Thor Odinson (Chris Hemsworth), as his new rock-solid mate, Korg.

Saved from gladiatorial doom ruled by the Grandmaster (Jeff Goldblum), the rebellion-loving galoot who teams up with Thor became an immediate fan favorite, with quotes that have become as loved as those by any other A-tier hero in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Going on to appear in "Avengers: Endgame" and returning to the fold for "Thor: Love and Thunder," Korg is one of the most refreshing additions that the MCU has ever had and a chip off the old rock of the director who gave him to us.

His app-earance in Rick and Morty was an unforgettable one

In a world of Stephen King references and special-edition fast-food-chain sauces, Taika Waititi's welcoming tone fits right in among the mad world of "Rick and Morty." In Season 4, Episode 2, "The Old Man and the Seat," Waititi voiced Rick's intern and chipper alien character Glootie, who is all for pushing any app he wants to make. The only issue is that there's a tattoo on his forehead strictly advising people not to.

Acting alongside his former "Hunt for the Wilderpeople" star, Sam Neill, who voiced the Monogatron (Glootie's race) leader in the episode, Waititi being the cause of chaos in this particular installment sits perfectly, mainly when Glootie advises he can't shut down the app since that's really not what interns do. It's a one-off appearance in the series but a welcome one that is amped by Waititi's added star power in a show that sings, dances, and looks like what we can only assume shares strong similarities to the inside of his head. No wonder he feels so at home.

Waititi turned things up to IG-11 in The Mandalorian

Long before he got so big in "The Book of Boba Fett," the Mandalorian was joined by a blaster-toting sidekick for three episodes of Season 1 of the revered babysitting and bounty-hunting adventure. Stepping in "The Mandalorian" as IG-11, Taika Waititi played the cold-plated assassin droid that lacked empathy and facial features but was just the droid you'd want with a blaster at your side.

Described by the man himself, Waititi told Entertainment Weekly, "[IG-11 is] very innocent and naive and direct and doesn't know about sarcasm and doesn't know how to lie." It was a deadpan style that the "Star Wars" fan turned filmmaker delivered perfectly — until his heart-wrenching sacrifice in order to protect the Child. As far as hardwired  "Star Wars" characters go, Waititi's IG-11 is one of the best droids out there, even if he's a contract killer.

Waititi put a heartwarming plea out to help us save Ralph

In 2021, Taika Waititi voiced the titular rabbit in the heartbreaking and necessary short film "Save Ralph" for Humane Society International, which follows a plucky rabbit, Ralph, who is used for product testing and interviewed in a documentary-style fashion. He was joined by a star-studded cast including Zac Efron, Ricky Gervais, Tricia Helfer, Pom Klementieff, George Lopez, and Olivia Munn.

Told through stop-motion animation, the short took 50 days to shoot, with the creative team responsible for filming an incredible 4 seconds per day at 24 frames a second to bring the tearjerking tale to life (via Variety). While it does have similar vibes to Aardman Animations' stop-motion mockumentary series "Creature Comforts," which features various zoo animals being interviewed about their living conditions, the message told here lands a lot harder and was implemented with impeccable ability thanks to Waititi adding a heartbreaking level of emotion to Ralph.