Evil Emperor Zurg is a space villain action figure and Buzz Lightyear's archenemy. He has red evil eyes with neon gritting teeth, silver horns on his head, a purple tunic with a black cape on it and his weapon, a gun (which has a power control that, as an homage to This is Spinal Tap, goes to 11). In some cases, he does not have a gun but a hand like the one on his other arm. In the first film, Zurg is a referenced character, and does not appear at all. However, Zurg is first seen in the opening sequence of the second film when Buzz is trying to take his main power away from him (Zurg's main power is from an AA battery which is actually revealed to be a hologram). In the ensuing battle, Zurg vaporizes the top half of Buzz Lightyear's body with his gun killing him. The sequence then cuts showing that the opening sequence was actually a video game played by Rex. As the story progresses, a Zurg toy in Al's Toy Barn bursts out from its box and follows Andy's Buzz Lightyear, who is on the way to rescue Woody from Al McWhiggin. Zurg is deluded, similar to Andy's Buzz in the first film. In the second film, another copy of Buzz Lightyear, who also acts similar to Buzz in the first film, escapes from Al's Toy Barn and battles with Zurg (who says exactly the same thing he said in the video game before the fight) using toy components (pin balls and lights). In a reference to the relationship of Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader, the principal hero and villain respectively of the original Star Wars trilogy, Evil Emperor Zurg claims he is in fact the father of Buzz, in an almost word-for-word parody of the scene in The Empire Strikes Back. As Zurg attempts to finish off Buzz #2 (at point-blank range), Rex accidentally hits Zurg with his large tail, sending him falling down the elevator shaft. The second Buzz then looks over the shaft and reaches his hand out, thinking he has lost his father, while Rex is excited that he has finally managed to defeat Zurg in real life. Near the end of the film, Zurg is seen to have survived his fall with a bent horn and is now playing catch with the Buzz copy. He supposedly bumped his head so hard so as he forgot he was Buzz Lightyear's worst enemy. The second Buzz Lightyear then says, "Oh, you're a great dad!" as he rushes to catch another ball fired by Zurg. In the novelisation, however, Zurg is killed by the fall, Buzz #2 finds him and takes him back to Al's Toy Barn to bury him.
Zurg is mentioned in the third film by Buzz in his bad guy character after Lotso resets him to Demo mode. Zurg appears briefly during a sequence in the end credits, where he is donated to Sunnyside Daycare center and greeted by Stretch.
Zurg also appears in Buzz Lightyear of Star Command and its direct-to-video movie Buzz Lightyear of Star Command: The Adventure Begins. Zurg says he is Lightyear's father during a fight in order to shock Lightyear, before regaining the advantage during the fight and then denying the truth of that previous claim. Whether or not this is actually true, Buzz definitely does not know who his father is. This version of Zurg is also severely lightened up, going from the movie's Darth Vader-esque version to a far less intimidating one; in the TV series Zurg is a flamboyant villain who is just as much a comic relief character as he is a formidable opponent, similar to Skeletor. This Zurg is known for videotaping Buzz's speeches, maintaining a troll doll collection, and various other comedic habits. He is shown to have a bit of a British accent throughout the series. It is revealed in the first episode that there is a Nana Zurg, but she is never seen at all (although he claims that she's "plenty evil"). Zurg would appear to be a cyborg of some description, also much like Darth Vader. However, it has also been discussed amongst fans that his "cybernetic" traits could also very well be because of advanced technology. There is yet to be a clear answer. In the TV series, he is the warlord-like ruler of an evil empire and is in command of an army of Hornet robots, as well of a minion workforce consisting of Grubs and Brainpods. The seat of which is the hellish Planet Z (standing for Xrghthung). In various media surrounding the film, his planet is said to be called Xrghthung. However, because this is unpronounceable in the TV series it is changed to simply "Z." It is unknown whether Zurg rules over any other worlds, but, if he does, they have not been revealed. Planet Z evidently possesses vast resources and forces enabling Zurg to be a serious threat to the Galactic Alliance. Despite being frequently gullible and bungling, Zurg is evidently highly intelligent, able to concoct sound military tactics and Machiavellian evil schemes. Additionally, he occasionally references stereotypes of typical evil villains and intentionally violates them, showing how aware he is of his similarity to them. For example, when designing a vast prison on Planet Z, he declines building an execution arena, for it simply "gives the captives more time to get away." When he was designing a schematic for a new base, he expressedly forbade for air vents that allow "hero-sized objects" into the control room. "And, may I remind you, no giant trash compactor! When heroes fall in, they always have enough time to figure a way out. Make it- an incinerator!"
Despite his camp nature, he is just as fearsome and ruthless as his movie counterpart. Zurg is frequently mentioned to be the most evil villain in the galaxy and appears to possess authority over all other villains. In fact, he would appear to be a physical manifestation of pure evil. He is particularly proud of this and frequently brags of how "evil" he is. He is a parody of Darth Vader on Star Wars, Darkseid on DC Comics, Ming the Merciless on Flash gordon, Megatron on Transformers as well as The Six Million Dollar Man
Zurg appears as a playable character in Toy Story 3: The Video Game on the PlayStation 3 in Toy Box Mode after completing several missions. He also has a convertible (the ZurgsMobile) that matches his personality. His mini counterpart is featured in a short called Small Fry.
January 30th, 2015
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