- Zurg: "So, we meet again, Buzz Lightyear, for the last time!"
Buzz: "Not today, Zurg!"
- —Emperor Zurg confronts Buzz Lightyear in a video game.
Emperor Zurg (also known as Evil Emperor Zurg or simply Zurg) is a popular villain of the Toy Story franchise. He is the sworn enemy of the Galactic Alliance and the archenemy of Buzz Lightyear. He is the tertiary antagonist of Toy Story 2 and the main antagonist of Buzz Lightyear of Star Command and Buzz Lightyear of Star Command: The Adventure Begins. He also makes a cameo appearance in Toy Story 3.
Mentions in Toy Story
- "Right now, poised at the edge of the galaxy, Emperor Zurg has been secretly building a weapon with the destructive capacity to annihilate an entire planet! I alone have information that reveals this weapon's only weakness. And you, my friend, are responsible for delaying my rendezvous with Star Command!"
- —Buzz Lightyear, arguing with Woody
Although Zurg doesn't actually appear in the first Toy Story movie; he is, however, only mentioned by Buzz two times in the film. As he introduces himself to the toys, Buzz describes his "occupation" as a member of an elite universal protection unit to protect the galaxy from Zurg. Later, when Buzz and Woody argue at a gas station, Buzz mentions about Zurg building a secret weapon with enough power to destroy an entire planet. Andy also mentions Zurg when he plays with Buzz on his birthday.
Zurg was originally supposed to be in the first movie. However, he was deleted. An earlier version of Zurg is in one of the alternate openings for Toy Story.
Mentions in Toy Story Treats
Zurg is also mentioned in some Toy Story Treats.
Toy Story 2
- Zurg: "So we meet again, Buzz Lightyear, for the last time!"
Buzz #2 and Rex: "It's Zurg!"
Rex: "Look out! He's got an ion blaster!
- —Andy's toys encounter Emperor Zurg
Zurg appears in two forms in Toy Story 2.
The first form appears during the opening scene, where he is initially seen tracking Buzz's location through his fortress inside his control room. A little later, he is seen doing battle with Buzz, in which Zurg, using his ion blaster, blasts the top half of Buzz's body into smithereens; however, the opening sequence is revealed to be only a video game.
Much later in the film, a Zurg toy action figure is accidentally released by Andy's Buzz Lightyear in Al's Toy Barn. Believing himself to be real much like Andy's Buzz has done in the first film, he pursues after Andy's Buzz to destroy him. He seems to have followed Andy's Buzz across the street, through an air vent of Al's apartment, and up the elevator shaft as he is seen arriving atop the elevator when Andy's Buzz and his rescue squad of toys head back to the elevator after Al packs Woody and the Roundup gang into his case and leaves his room to head for the airport. Along with the group is another Buzz Lightyear action figure (also released from Al's Toy Barn by Andy's Buzz Lightyear), who also believes himself to be real. Both Buzz #2 and Rex, a fan of the video game "Buzz Lightyear: Attack on Zurg", are caught with surprise by Zurg's unexpected arrival. A showdown occurs between the Buzz #2 and Zurg atop an elevator, where Zurg uses his chief weapon (which appears to be a Nerf ball gun). During this battle, after overpowering the other Buzz, Zurg claims he is Buzz's father. As Zurg sets his gun to his highest level and is about to finish Buzz #2 off (at point-blank range), Rex, not bearing to watch the duel anymore, turns away, but his large thick tail hits Zurg, knocking him down the elevator shaft. While Rex finally feels excited about finally overcoming his frustration toward not being able to defeat Zurg previously, Buzz #2 suddenly feels forlorn about losing his father. Zurg seems to have survived the fall (though he had hit his head so hard that he lost his memory of being Buzz's enemy) as he, with one of his horns slightly bent backwards, is seen playing catch and spending "quality time" with Buzz #2 when Andy's Buzz and his rescue squad make their way out of Al's apartment. The Buzz #2 describes Zurg as a "great dad" as he rushes to catch another ball fired by Zurg.
After this, it is unknown what became of the two.
Toy Story 3
- "Silence, minions of Zurg!"
- —Bad Buzz, as he captures Andy's toys
Zurg is mentioned by a brainwashed Buzz Lightyear (after Lotso reset him to Demo Mode) as he sees Andy's toys as minions of Zurg. At the end of Toy Story 3, Zurg is mentioned briefly by Andy when he gives Buzz to Bonnie Anderson.
Zurg himself makes a brief appearance in the end credits, where he is shown being donated to Sunnyside Daycare in a box along with a dinosaur, a giraffe plush, and two Fisher-Price Little People. He is helped down to the floor by Stretch and meets Barbie and Ken, who welcome him to a now cool and groovy Sunnyside, of which the two are leaders. It is unknown what actually happened to his ion blaster unless it was lost by his previous owner. It is also unknown whether he thinks he's the "real" Zurg or if he already knows that he's just a toy. He is later seen doing the robot dance.
It was revealed on Lee Unkrich's now defunct Formspring that this was a different Zurg than the one in Toy Story 2.
From Official Website:
|“||The ultimate force of evil in the galaxy, terrifying tyrant Emperor Zurg is unswerving in his quest to destroy his enemy, Buzz Lightyear.||”|
- Before Zurg made his first appearance in Toy Story 2, he was mentioned in the first Toy Story movie. An earlier version of him is shown in an alternate opening of the first film.
- Zurg's character may appear to draw from Darth Vader, a main villain in the Star Wars original trilogy, with a similar voice, appearance, and set of mannerisms.
- In the first Toy Story, Buzz mentions that Zurg is building a "weapon with the destructive capacity to annihilate an entire planet," making a reference to the Death Star from Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope
- In Toy Story 2, as Zurg and Utility Belt Buzz battle, the former lifts the latter off the floor by his "neck," and Buzz uses both hands to try to wrench Zurg's hand off him. A similar manner occurred at the beginning of the original Star Wars where Darth Vader lifts up a rebel soldier off the floor by his neck and the rebel soldier also uses both hands to try to wrench Vader's hand off him.
- In Buzz Lightyear of Star Command, Zurg only briefly claims to be Buzz Lightyear's father in order to distract him during battle. After doing so, he knocks Buzz over and mocks him for actually falling for it, hinting that Zurg may not actually be Buzz Lightyear's father, and Pixar just wanted to make a Star Wars reference.
- Zurg being the main antagonist of Buzz Lightyear of Star Command and Buzz Lightyear of Star Command: The Adventure Begins makes him the second main Toy Story villain to be a toy, after Stinky Pete, the overall main antagonist of Toy Story 2.
- Zurg is the only Toy Story 2 villain to appear in Toy Story 3, as Stinky Pete and Al do not appear once, nor are they mentioned.
- Buzz #2 spending "quality time" with Zurg may possibly be a reference to Kevin Costner's character Ray Kinsella reunited and playing catch with his father in the final scene of Field of Dreams.
- Zurg's species in Buzz Lightyear of Star Command is unknown, as he is never seen not wearing his helmet.
- Zurg appears as a playable character exclusive to the PlayStation 3 version of Toy Story 3: The Video Game, along with his custom-made car.
- Zurg appears in the Buzz Lightyear Astro Blaster Level in Kinect Disneyland Adventures.
- While Zurg and Buzz #2 fight atop the elevator, as the talk button of Buzz #2 is repeatedly hit, it skips the message "Buzz-- Buzz-- Buzz Lightyear to the rescue," which also happens when Woody and Buzz fight underneath Andy's car at the gas station in Toy Story.
- When looking at the shot where Zurg is about to finish the Buzz #2 off, it is noticeable that the levels on his gun are numbered to 11, a reference to Nigel Tufnel's amplifier in This is Spinal Tap.
- Zurg is also similar to Captain Gantu from the Lilo & Stitch franchise, being that they are both tall characters and have deep voices.
- According to Pixarpedia, Zurg's last name is unknown and his talent is "threatening the universe".
- A fun meal miniature figure of Zurg appeared in the Toy Story Toons short Small Fry.
- Zurg was actually to have a slightly bigger role in Toy Story 3, according to the original script. He was one of the recalled toys along with Buzz Lightyear. A quite insane Zurg was the first one to introduce Buzz to his ultimate fate of not being repaired, but sent to the toy crusher. Much easier to just ship out a new one than actually repair the recalled toys.
- The character may also be based on Emperor Ming in the 1980 film Flash Gordon, because he sports a cape similar to that of Ming's and is referred to as "Emperor".
- During Woody's nightmare earlier in the film, some of the the mismatched toy arms in the trash can Woody was discarded in belonged to Zurg (although there were a couple color variations).
- Zurg was based partially off Toy Story 3 director Lee Unkrich's favorite toy, the Six Million Dollar Man.
- The "Zerg" faction in the Blizzard produced computer game Starcraft originally had their name spelled identically to Emperor Zurg's during the game's earlier builds. However, in order to avoid possible copyright issues, the faction later had its name re-spelled with an "e" instead of a "u."
- According to concept art, Zurg is really just a small alien in robotic armor.
- In one Buzz Lightyear of Star Command intro, a Zurg toy is seen in Andy's room (replacing Hamm) possibly meaning that Andy might've had a Zurg toy or borrowed one from a friend at one time. However, it is unknown what happened with it, but most likely it was donated, given back (if it was indeed just borrowed), sold, or thrown away during the events between Toy Story 2 and Toy Story 3. It is also unknown what relationship he had with Buzz. On the other hand, however, this may just be non-canon.
- In the Buzz Lightyear episode "The Lightyear Factor", Zurg enters an alternate universe where he finds an Evil Buzz Lightyear ruling the galaxy. The Zurg from that universe was a burger guy at Cosmo's restaurant, not having what it took to be "ultimate evil."
- In World of Cars Online, Zurg has a cameo where he is depicted as a train in an arcade game.
- Zurg's "villainy" may have been due to the fact that Zurg (the toy) actually thinks that he is the real Zurg and not just a toy, very much like how the toy Buzz Lightyear actually thinks that he is the real Buzz. It's implied that the toy Zurg is actually friendly, had he realized that he is just a toy.
- Zurg appeared in the 2015 live-action Disney movie, Tomorrowland.
- It is unknown what he is the emperor of.
- "Come to me, my prey."
- —Video Game Zurg tracks Video Game Buzz Lightyear's location through his fortress
- "Aah! Destroy Buzz Lightyear. Destroy Buzz Lightyear. Destroy Buzz Lightyear."
- —Emperor Zurg, as he chases Andy's Buzz Lightyear across the parking lot of Al's Toy Barn
- Zurg: "Surrender, Buzz Lightyear! I have won."
Buzz #2: "I'll never give in. You killed my father!"
Zurg: "No, Buzz. I am your father."
Buzz #2: "NO!"
- —Zurg and Buzz #2 as they fight
- Rex: "Aah! Buzz, you could have defeated Zurg all along! You just need to believe in yourself! Ah!"
Zurg: "Prepare to die!"
Rex: (turns away) "Aah! I can't look!" (accidentally knocks Zurg away with his tail)
Zurg: (as he falls down the elevator shaft) "Wh-Wh-Wh-Whoa!"
Rex: "I did it! I finally defeated Zurg!"
Buzz #2: (forlornly) "Father..."
- —Rex inadvertently "defeats" Zurg for real
- Buzz #2: "I got it!"
Buzz: "Buzz, are you coming?"
Buzz #2: "No, I...I have a lot of catchin' up to do with my dad." (throws the ball back at Zurg, it hits him on his head)
Zurg: "Good throw, son. That's my boy. Go long, Buzzy!" (fires another ball)
Buzz #2: "Oh, you're a great dad! Yippee!"
- —Andy's Buzz runs into Buzz #2, who is playing catch with Zurg