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Villain Overview

So, we meet again, Buzz Lightyear… FOR THE LAST TIME!
~ Zurg confronting Buzz Lightyear.

Evil Emperor Zurg, better known as Emperor Zurg or simply known as Zurg, is a recurring antagonist in the Toy Story franchise, being the main antagonist within the in-universe Buzz Lightyear toyline. He is Buzz Lightyear's archenemy and Utility Belt Buzz's "father". Zurg is the secondary antagonist of Toy Story 2 and returns as a cameo character in Toy Story 3.

In Toy Story 2, he was voiced by Andrew Stanton, who also played Hopper in the A Bug's Life video game and the short film It's Tough to be a Bug. In the Disney Park attraction "Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin", he was voiced by Frank Welker, who was best known for voicing several incarnations of Megatron in the Transformers franchise and Doctor Claw in the 1983-1986 Inspector Gadget cartoon.

Biography

Toy Story

I protect the galaxy from the threat of invasion from the evil Emperor Zurg, sworn enemy of the Galactic Alliance.
~ Buzz telling Andy's toys about his fight against Zurg.

Zurg was originally set to appear in the first Toy Story film, but was cut out from the final version. However, he is mentioned three times in the film. First by Andy Davis after Buzz Lightyear arrives, then Buzz during his introduction to Woody and the rest of Andy's toys, being described as the "sworn enemy of the Galactic Alliance", and finally once more by Buzz when he and Woody are lost at the gas station during their argument.

Toy Story Treats

Zurg does not physically appear in some Toy Story Treats, but he was mentioned by name.

Toy Story 2

Zurg: Surrender, Buzz Lightyear! I have won!
Utility Belt Buzz: I'll never give in! You killed my father!
Zurg: No, Buzz… I
am your father!
Utility Belt Buzz: NOOOOO!!!
~ Emperor Zurg parodying a very famous scene.

Zurg made his first appearance in the Toy Story franchise in Toy Story 2.

He is first seen in the videogame that Rex is playing. He fights Buzz, but since Rex's arms are small, he cannot execute the combos needed to defeat Zurg, and so Zurg defeats Buzz in the game, much to Rex's distraught.

Later on, when the real, Buzz, Rex, Slinky Dog, Hamm, Mr. Potato Head, and Rex head over to Al's Toy Barn, Buzz gets accidentally swapped with another Buzz Lightyear action figure with a utility belt. When Andy's Buzz spots Al McWhiggin leaving with Andy's toys and the other Buzz Lightyear - whom anyone will call Utility Belt Buzz - in his bag, he follows them but knocks out a few boxes in the process, but as he leaves, a box is being wedged between the doors, and a Zurg action figure is inside. Zurg breaks out from his box, spots Buzz, and, being unaware that he is just a toy (similar to Buzz from the first Toy Story movie and Utility Belt Buzz), follows Buzz to Al's apartment.

Eventually, Zurg reaches Al's apartment through the top of the elevator shaft, where he confronts both Buzzes. A fight takes place on top of the elevator between Utility Belt Buzz and Zurg while the original Buzz and the other toys open the emergency hatch to save Woody. At first, Utility Belt Buzz had the upper hand, but Zurg grabs him and defeats him, demanding he surrenders. Utility Belt Buzz says that he will never give up because Zurg killed his father, but Zurg tells him that he is his father, much to Utility Belt Buzz's distraught. Zurg then prepares to finish off Utility Belt Buzz, but Rex turns away in fear, which causes his large tail to accidentally hit Zurg, sending him screaming in defeat as he falls down the elevator shaft, much to Rex's great delight.

However, Zurg somehow survived his fall but has forgotten that Utility Belt Buzz is his enemy due to the impact. As such, Utility Belt Buzz decides to have spend some fun with Zurg with a game of catch (while also declining Buzz's invitation to save Woody from Al and Stinky Pete), and Zurg seems to enjoy it, telling Utility Belt Buzz to go long as he fires a ball for Utility Belt Buzz to catch. Buzz then bids farewell to Utility Belt Buzz using the same Vulcan salute that he used at Woody while they were still stranded at the gas station from the first film and proceeds to follow Al to the airport with the other toys by driving the Pizza Planet truck (similar to Woody and Buzz chasing the moving truck from the first film).

Toy Story 3

51.PNG
Jessie: Buzz, what are you doing?
Buzz: Silence, minions of Zurg! You're in the custody of the galactic alliance!
~ Demo Mode Buzz mentions Zurg.

Zurg was mentioned in Toy Story 3 a few times by Buzz after Lots-O' Huggin' Bear switches him to "Demo Mode". He is later mentioned again by Andy when he gives Buzz to his new owner Bonnie Anderson. Zurg eventually appears during the credits of the film, arriving at Sunnyside Daycare Center with a giraffe and a small dinosaur, where he is greeted by Stretch. It is currently unknown whether this Zurg is the same one from the second film, however, it was revealed on Lee Unkrich's now-defunct Formspring that this was a different Zurg than the one in Toy Story 2.

Buzz Lightyear of Star Command

Main article: Emperor Zurg (Buzz Lightyear of Star Command)

Lightyear

Main article: Emperor Zurg (Lightyear)

In Video Games

Toy Story 2: Buzz Lightyear to the Rescue

The Evil Emperor Zurg flying above Buzz Lightyear.

Zurg is also a boss in the Toy Story 2 video game Toy Story 2: Buzz Lightyear to the Rescue. He is the titular boss of the game's twelfth level, The Evil Emperor Zurg, and the fourth main boss encountered by Buzz Lightyear. Several of his toy minions also appear frequently as enemies throughout the game and the game's eight level, Al's Space Land, features several hallways lined with Buzz Lightyear and Emperor Zurg toys shooting lasers at each other from their packages.

Gameplay

Zurg is fought on top of an elevator within the Elevator Hop, and Buzz must be careful not to fall off the edge during the battle. Zurg will constantly hover above Buzz firing spheres at him that will damage him on contact, although Buzz can deflect these by spinning. The yellow spheres travel towards him and then disappear, whereas the green ones will come back at Buzz and home in on him. Buzz must shoot Zurg with his laser while he's in range to damage him, and once his health has been fully diminished, the boss will topple over the side of the elevator and disappear into the darkness below. Buzz will then be allowed to proceed to the following level.

Zurg Kite

The Zurg Kite battling Buzz Lightyear.

The Zurg Kite is the boss of the game's second level Andy’s Neighborhood. As the name suggests, this boss is a kite inspired by the Evil Emperor Zurg. It is fought on a wooden platform at the very top of the tall garden tree, and its only attack is spinning into Buzz. He can hurt the Zurg Kite with his laser while it floats in the air, but it's invulnerable while it's spinning. Upon its defeat, Buzz will obtain a Pizza Planet Token, but he must be careful not to fall out of the tree during the battle.

Toy Story 3 The Video Game

Zurg is also in every version of the Toy Story 3 video game, except the Nintendo DS version. He is a boss in the Xbox 360, Wii, PlayStation 3, and PC versions. A PlayStation 3 exclusive allows the player to play as Zurg.

Disney INFINITY

Zurg is also the main antagonist of the Toy Story playset in Disney INFINITY.

Personality

As shown in the film, Zurg was known to be the evilest and most destructive villain in his galaxy, dedicated to ruling it with an iron fist by all means necessary. He is shown to be manipulative, intelligent and ruthless, as he was willing to take down anyone that serves as an obstacle to himself or his plans.

Trivia

  • Emperor Zurg is a parody of Darth Vader of the Star Wars franchise. In fact, in Toy Story 2, during his battle with Bonus Belt Buzz Lightyear, Zurg tells Bonus Belt Buzz that he's his father, and parodies the scene in Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back where Darth Vader tells Luke Skywalker that he is his father. Coincidentally, both Toy Story 2 and Star Wars: The Phantom Menace came out in 1999; the difference is that while Star Wars: The Phantom Menace was released on May 19, Toy Story 2 was released on November 24.
  • Zurg's species is an issue of much debate. The four predominant theories are that he is either a human, a robot, or a cyborg. To this day, there is no concrete answer, but there is theoretically enough evidence to rule out Zurg being a robot due to his eating and sleeping habits.
  • Zurg also made a cameo appearance in the 2015 Disney live action film Tomorrowland.
  • Zurg does not appear or is even mentioned once in Toy Story 4, making it the only Toy Story film not to feature or mention him.
  • Zurg and Sid Phillips from the first film are the only two Toy Story villains who are related to the heroes.
  • Zurg turns out to be the Toy Story franchise's most popular villain.
  • In the early concept art, Zurg was originally going to be a small toy alien with a robot body.
  • A small version of Zurg was in the 2011 Toy Story Toons short film Small Fry.
  • In the scene with Rex in the car in Al's Toy Barn holding the How to Defeat Zurg book, there is one frame where a clear glimpse of the bottom corner of the book is seen. As a lighthearted jab at Canadians, the cover price is shown as $4.95 and $50 in Canada. It should be about $6.95. In the waiting area for the Disney's Hollywood Studios attraction Toy Story Midway Mania! in Orlando, Florida, there is a large replica of the book's cover that also reflects this joke.
  • Utility Belt Buzz claims Al to be an agent of Zurg's, while in actuality, Al is the owner of Stinky Pete, so if one is to be picky, this also makes the Prospector an agent, only third-in-place.
  • Despite being a villain, Zurg is a playable hero in Disney Heroes Battle Mode, and Buzz also ironically has a friendship with Zurg that can be unlocked as well, and he was also redeemed in Toy Story 2. However, he still remains a villain in the rest of his appearances, due to his popularity. He was also a neutral character in Toy Story 3.
  • Zurg does not appear in the Toy Story 2 outtakes.

Navigation

           PIXAR.png Villains

Animated Features
Sid Phillips | One-Eyed Bart | Attack Dog with Built-in-force-field | Grasshoppers (Hopper, Molt, Thumper, Axel and Loco) | Fly Brothers | Stinky Pete | Al McWhiggin | Emperor Zurg (Buzz Lightyear of Star Command & Lightyear)| Zurg Empire (Zurg Bots, Warp Darkmatter, Hornets, Brain Pods & Grubs) | Dr. Porkchop | Henry J. Waternoose III | Randall Boggs | Syndrome | Omnidroids | Mirage | Gilbert Huph | The Underminer | Bomb Voyage | Chick Hicks | Chef Skinner | AUTO | GO-4 | Charles F. Muntz | Alpha | Beta and Gamma | Lotso's Gang (Lots-o'-Huggin' Bear, Ken, Big Baby, Stretch, Chunk, Sparks, Twitch & Monkey) | One-Eyed Betty | Lemons (Sir Miles Axlerod, Professor Zündapp, Grem, Acer, Victor Hugo, J. Curby Gremlin, Tyler Gremlin, Don Crumlin, Ivan, Tony Trihull, Alexander Hugo, Towga Gremlin, Kai Gremlin, Tai Gremlin, Keith Gremlin, Gremlin Family, Vladimir Trunkov, Tubbs Pacer, Petey Pacer, Jerome Ramped & Pacer Family) | Mor'du | Thunderclap's Flock (Thunderclap) | Velociraptors (Bubbha) | Ernesto de la Cruz | Security Guards | Screenslaver | Robbers | Gabby Gabby | The Bensons | Curse Dragon | Pixie Dusters (Dewdrop) | Ercole Visconti | Ciccio and Guido | Alberto's Dad | Soldiers | Zyclops

Shorts
Kabuto | Big D | Ronald Tompkins | Mr. Jones | Battlesaurs (The Cleric, Goliathon & Reptillus Maximus)

See Also
Buzz Lightyear of Star Command Villains | Cars Villains | Incredibles Villains | Monsters, Inc. Villains | Toy Story Villains

           THX Animation.png Villains

Television
Bill Bluff | Lord Curface | Demona | David Xanatos | Owen Burnett | Fox Xanatos | Petros Xanatos | Pat Doyle | Mr. Ratburn | Boris | Von Kreepsula | Miss Gotto | Ivan Shawbly | The Bogeyman | Beatrice | The Crocodiles | Caserious | Zorgons | Mark Howard | The Pharaoh Cowboys | Emperor Zurg | Lt. Colonel Staquait | Robert Canler | Johannes Niels | Merkus | Tublat | Lady Waltham

           ToyStoryLogo.png Villains

Andy's Games
One-Eyed Bart | Attack Dog with Built-in-force-field | One-Eyed Betty | Dr. Porkchop

Humans
Sid Phillips | Al McWhiggin | Ronald Tompkins

Zurg Empire
Emperor Zurg (Lightyear) | Zurg Bots | Warp Darkmatter | Hornets | Brain Pods | Grubs | Zyclops

Lotso's Gang
Lots-o'-Huggin' Bear | Ken | Big Baby | Stretch | Chunk | Sparks | Twitch | Monkey

Battlesaurs
The Cleric | Goliathon | Reptillus Maximus

Others
Stinky Pete | Gabby Gabby | The Bensons | Mr. Jones | Young Xehanort | King of Toys

           Infinity Logo.png Villains

1.0
Playable
Hector Barbossa | Davy Jones | Randall Boggs | Syndrome

Non-Playable
Butch Cavendish | Cave of Wonders | Chernabog | Chick Hicks | Crew of the Flying Dutchman | Emperor Zurg | Heinz Doofenshmirtz | Mirage | Pintel and Ragetti | Zurg Bots

2.0
Playable
Black Widow | Green Goblin | Loki | Malficent | Ronan the Accuser | Venom | Yondu Udonta

Non-Playable
AIM | Black Cat | Doctor Octopus | Frost Giants | Iron Patriot | J. Jonah Jameson | MODOK | Mysterio | The Collector | Winter Soldier

3.0
Playable
Boba Fett | Darth Maul | Darth Vader | Kylo Ren | Time | Ultron

Non-Playable
Cad Bane | Emperor Palpatine | General Grievous | Jabba the Hutt | Sebulba

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