Buzz Lightyear is a household name across the globe, coming into his own from Pixar’s Toy Story movies over the years. However, that was Buzz the Toy, in Lightyear, a prequel if you will, focuses on Buzz the man, space ranger and all-round hero.

Voiced by none other than our own Avenger, Captain America’s Chris Evans taking over the original role from Tim Allen. Evans brings a whole new layer to the charmingly arrogant man with a huge heart.  The definitive origin story of Buzz Lightyear, follows the legendary Space Ranger after he’s marooned on a hostile planet 4.2 million light-years from Earth alongside his commander and their crew. As Buzz tries to find a way back home through space and time, he’s joined by a group of ambitious recruits and his charming robot companion cat, Sox. Complicating matters and threatening the mission is the arrival of Zurg, an imposing presence with an army of ruthless robots and a mysterious agenda.

Related: Lightyear – Tim Peake, Angus Maclane & Galyn Susman talk space, the final frontier and Chris Evans

During a recent press conference for the film, members of the cast including Chris Evans, Keke Palmer and Taika Waititi came together to give us the lowdown on the new sci-fi adventure in the Pixar’s arsenal.

Chris Evans on difference between the ‘Toy Story’ Buzz Lightyear and the new version

The Buzz that we all know is obviously a toy and as a toy, there are certain ways that they can move through the world without the weight that we may carry.  A toy knows its purpose, a toy doesn’t have to worry about disease or impacts of the choices that we make as people are a little bit more consequential and it’s fun to put Buzz against that backdrop.”

Keke Palmer on the empowerment of her character, Alicia.

Her love for her grandmother Alicia and the legacy that she wants uphold.  She wants to make her family proud and that’s something that I think we all can relate to.  And the fact that she’s not afraid to pivot.  I really admired that about her and that character.  And I feel like she displays so many great leadership qualities that sometimes we overshadow, you know, she knows how to push her friends forward and, you know, she knows how to see something in somebody so they can carry out their duty. She empowers others and it just, I love the character.”

Chris Evans on having to choose a favourite phrase between Captain America and Buzz Lightyear

“To infinity and beyond” is something I knew well before “Avengers assemble.”  It was dear to me in much earlier chapters of my life.  But, as proud as I am to play this role and as honoured as I am to be a part of this universe now, that line belongs to someone else.  It almost kinda felt like I was wearing someone else’s clothes or something.  So you do your best to honour it and put your own spin on it.  But let’s be honest, that’s Tim Allen’s line.  So personally, at least “Avengers assemble,” I was the first one in the pool for that one.”

Peter Sohn on whether he would relish an animated series for his iconic character of Sox.

I don’t want any of that burden, what are you talking about? Let Chris have the burden. I love playing Sox.  But yeah, I don’t know anything about that.  I feel just lucky hanging out with you all right now and doing this process.  It’s awesome.” 

Taika Waititi on the theme of mistakes in the movie.

I’ve made mistakes in my time.  I think that theme definitely resonates with me.  And especially the idea of taking on responsibility, wanting to, obviously wanting to be the hero.  I think we’re all wanting to be some kind of hero to someone. I think the theme that really resonates the most for me is this idea of seeking something that’s out there, something in the future, something that’s not tangible and real like what’s around you in the here and now.  And, the grass is not necessarily greener on the other side. Sometimes, definitely out in outer space, there’s no grass at all. All the grass is here on Earth.  We should never have left Earth.  That’s the main takeaway from this movie. “

Lightyear is out in cinemas now.