Voltron: Legendary Defender
Voltron: Legendary Defender is an animated web television series produced by American companies DreamWorks Animation Television and World Events Productions and animated by South Korean Studio Mir. It is a reboot of Japanese anime series Beast King GoLion and the Voltron franchise, and its animation is a mix of anime-influenced traditional animation for characters and background and CGI for Voltron action sequences. Voltron: Legendary Defender is set in a science fiction universe where planetary energy called "quintessence" can be used to power vehicles and magic. The series follows the adventures of the Paladins of Voltron who must learn to work together to form the giant robot Voltron and use it to defeat the evil Galra Empire.
The first season premiered on Netflix on June 10, 2016, and consisted of 13 episodes. The series has a 78-episode commitment from Netflix. It has been released globally in United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, France, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Scandinavia, Benelux Union, Latin America, Slovenia and Italy. The second season premiered on Netflix on January 20, 2017, and consisted of 13 episodes. The third season premiered on Netflix on August 4, 2017, and consisted of 7 episodes while the fourth season premiered on October 13, 2017, and consisted of 6 episodes. The fifth season premiered on March 2, 2018, and consists of six episodes. The sixth season premiered on June 15, 2018 and consists of seven episodes. A seventh season premiered on August 10, 2018 and consists of thirteen episodes. The series' success has spawned several comics, action figures, and other toys.The series will come to an end after season 8.
- 1 Overview
- 2 Cast and characters
- 3 Production
- 4 Episodes
- 5 Reception
- 6 Comics
- 7 International broadcast
- 8 Home media
- 9 Promotion and merchandising
- 10 References
- 11 External links
For millennia, the evil Galra Empire has plagued the universe by destroying other civilizations and enslaving various races. The only known threat strong enough against the empire's power and plans is the legendary "Defender of the Universe" Voltron, a 100-meter tall robot warrior composed of five lion mechas whose pilots are known as the Paladins. At the crux of the war that ended with the destruction of planet Altea, Voltron was separated by King Alfor of Altea in order to protect Voltron from falling into the Galran Emperor Zarkon's possession. King Alfor bonded the five lion's energies to his daughter Allura's life force and sent them across the universe to different locations until the time for the next generation of Paladins to appear and pilot Voltron arrived. Princess Allura, her royal advisor Coran, and the Altean Castle of Lions were hidden on planet Arus along with the Black Lion.
In the present, the Galra Empire's path of conquest and search for Voltron has led them to Earth's solar system. A group of space pilots – Shiro, Keith, Lance, Pidge, and Hunk – discover the Blue Lion and immediately get swept up into the Galran War. They meet Princess Allura, become the new Paladins, and reunite the five lions to form Voltron, beginning their fight to liberate the universe from the Galra Empire.
Cast and characters
see also|Template:List of Voltron characters
- Josh Keaton as Lieutenant/Commander Takashi "Shiro" Shirogane – The Black Paladin and the pilot of the Black Lion. The Leader of the Defenders of the Universe, Shiro was captured by the Galra Empire a year before the start of the series during which he was given a weaponized prosthetic right arm. A natural, decisive leader, Shiro is calm and always in control. At the end of season two, Shiro reclaims his personal bayard weapon from Zarkon that enables them to defeat him, but Shiro mysteriously vanishes afterwards. In season three, it is revealed he was teleported to a Galra ship, as he ended up on one before escaping and was eventually found by the team. After finding that the Black Lion no longer accepts him as its true paladin, he continues to aid the team by providing guidance and support to them from the Castle of the Lions. At the start of season four, Shiro manages to re-establish his bond with the Black Lion when Keith was absent during an intense battle. In season five, he has become an unwitting mole of Haggar, who can see through his eyes to keep an eye on Lotor. After Keith and the Altean Romelle revealed Lotor's true intentions, Haggar takes full control over Shiro, and Keith discovers that the Shiro besides them is a clone, while the true Shiro died during the fight at the end of season two and his soul lies inside the Black Lion. Afterwards, Shiro is revived when Allura uses her powers to transfer his soul from the Black Lion to the clone's body. In season 7 following his return to Earth, he becomes the captain of the Atlas, a Garrison battleship and joins the fight against Sendak. The first episode introduces the character "Adam W." who (outside of the show) has been referred to as a "significant other" to Shiro, a description confirmed by Lauren Montgomery which has led to people calling Shiro LGBT and gay
- Steven Yeun as Keith – The Red Paladin and the pilot of the Red Lion. Formerly a cadet at Galaxy Garrison academy before being expelled, Keith is an orphan and a lone wolf as a result. Sullen and temperamental, Keith spends his free time honing his skills for battle. In season two, Keith discovers he has Galra blood, apparently from his maternal side of the family. The revelation comes from a knife which associated him with a secret rebel group of the Galra called the "Blade of Marmora", but also ends up straining Allura's trust in him for a while. Due to Shiro's absence, Keith takes over as the head of Voltron as the new pilot of the Black Lion in season three. At the start of season four, Keith officially steps down as the leader of Voltron, handing the position back to Shiro so that he can continue to work with the Blade of Marmora. At the end of season five, Keith is reunited with his Galra mother, Krolia. He rejoins the Paladins in the end of season six, reassuming command of the Black Lion.
- Jeremy Shada as Lance – The Blue Paladin and the pilot of the Blue Lion. Lance was the fighter pilot of his team at Galaxy Garrison academy. Cocky and confident, Lance is the comic relief of the Defenders and likes to think of himself as a ladies' man as well as the sharpshooter. Lance has maintained a one-sided rivalry with Keith from when the two were at the Galaxy Garrison together, but the two have shown to be an effective team. Lance becomes the new pilot of the Red Lion from season three onward.
- Bex Taylor-Klaus as Katie "Pidge Gunderson" Holt – The Green Paladin and the pilot of the Green Lion. Katie disguised herself as a boy named Pidge Gunderson to get into Galaxy Garrison academy to find out what happened to her father and brother who disappeared whilst on the same mission which Shiro was captured on. A technical genius, Pidge is the smartest member of the team able to create specialist modifications for the Green Lion such as a cloaking device (which only lasts thirty seconds) and she re-purposed a Galran drone to work for her, naming it Rover, who later sacrifice itself to protect her. During her time as a Paladin, she eventually rescues her family and while her brother Matt keeps fighting for the alliance, her father returns to Earth to warn the Galaxy Garrison about the war against the Galra.
- Tyler Labine as Hunk – The Yellow Paladin and the pilot of the Yellow Lion. Hunk was the engineer of his team at Galaxy Garrison academy. A gentle giant with an equally large appetite, Hunk is the heart of the team, lifting them up and making peace between them. After witnessing first hand the devastation and misery that Zarkon's conquest of the universe has brought upon the people of various worlds, Hunk is determined to free those enslaved.
- Kimberly Brooks as Princess Allura – Crown Princess of Altea, the daughter of King Alfor, Allura was the last known female Altean. Pilot and keeper of the Castle of Lions, a structure that is both a castle and a spaceship, Allura granted the Defenders their titles and sent them on their mission to defeat Zarkon and liberate the universe. Allura wishes more than anything to finish her father's work in stopping Zarkon. In season three, she becomes the new pilot of the Blue Lion as the new Blue Paladin. As an Altean, Allura's abilities include the chameleon-like ability to blend in with other species and magical abilities related to quintessence. She has a telepathic bond with some Altean mice that had ended up in the same cryo-pod that she was hibernating inside of.
- Rhys Darby as Coran – The Royal advisor to Princess Allura's family, Coran was the last known male Altean. Energetic and excitable, Coran serves Allura dutifully whilst being fiercely protective of her. He tends to ramble on and on about his past, particularly about his supposedly daring feats or past experiences. Despite his odd and quirky character, he is a reliable and steadfast ally to his princess and the Paladins.
- Neil Kaplan as Emperor Zarkon – The Emperor of the ruthless Galra Empire, and the ruler of most of the known universe after spending the last ten thousand years conquering it. He desires the Lions of Voltron, whom he is powerful to contend against, due to both the threat they pose to campaign along with the revelation that he was the former Black Paladin that motivates his claim of the Lions as his own property. During the season two finale, Zarkon faces Voltron and the Paladins in an experimental mecha armor and is defeated but left in a coma for most of season three until he was revived by Haggar and begins a manhunt for Lotor. In season five, Lotor seems to have killed him in a duel to the death, and he is declared dead by the empire.
- Cree Summer as Witch Haggar – Zarkon's primary advisor, and leader of the Druids, dark mystics who fanatically serve the Galra Empire. Haggar is both a dangerous sorceress and a mad scientist. She combines her unnatural magic with abominable science to arm Galra soldiers with powerful weapons, create terrible monsters later called "Robeasts" to fight Voltron, and leech all manner of living things, including entire planets, of the mystical energy known as quintessence for the Galra to use in their conquest of the universe. In battle, her magical abilities allow her to teleport, cast illusions, fog the minds of others with hallucinations, and use her hands to project energy blasts and shields. Haggar is eventually revealed to be an Altean alchemist named Honerva, Zarkon's wife who played a role in Voltron's origins ten millennia ago. While afflicted by the same corruption that transformed Zarkon, Haggar lost all the memories of her former life, and gradually recovered them as she traveled the mystical realm of Oriande where Altean alchemy originated. The trip restores Haggar to her original state as Honerva. She has mysteriously disappeared during season 7.
- A.J. Locascio as Prince Lotor – The son of Zarkon and Honerva, making him a Galra-Altean hybrid, who assumes control of the Galra Empire following his father's inability to lead while in critical condition. Possessing a Messianic complex, Lotor's ideology that strength comes from worthy followers from conquered worlds, rather than resource expansion and subjugation, is reflected in his personal all-female strike team who are half-Galra like himself. While acting as ruler, ignoring matters that he deems a waste of time, Lotor has been working on his own plans to obtain Quintessence which results with him branded an outlaw by Zarkon once he returns to power. Forming an alliance with the Paladins after saving them from Haggar's ambush, Lotor manages to win back the Galra throne after defeating his father in a battle to the death and subsequently dealing with insurgents, but Lotor's alliance with the Paladins falls apart once it is revealed that he secretly saved many Alteans at the time during the past war, hiding them away and allowing them to thrive, only to sacrifice a majority of them so he can use their harvested quintessence for his plans, as revealed by Keith and the Altean Romelle. It is eventually revealed that Lotor's goal is to establish a new Altean Empire, one that will even span across other realities, and he will dispose of anything, even his own forces if need be, to accomplish this, as he fights Voltron using his own giant robot formed from his Sincline ships, which has the ability to enter the Quintessence field at will. As the fight enters the Quintessence field itself, the exposure to all that quintessence drives Lotor mad with power, just like Zarkon, but Lotor is defeated when Allura has Voltron use all of its power, both from itself and the constant power it gets from Quintessence field, against him. As the power makes Voltron increasingly difficult to keep together, they are forced to abandon Lotor in the Quintessence field.
On January 5, 2016, Netflix and DreamWorks Animation announced a new original animated Voltron series to debut in 2016 as an expansion of their existing multi-year agreement. Voltron is one of several series planned for initial development and debut in 2016, including Guillermo del Toro's animated Trollhunters. Lauren Montgomery and Joaquim Dos Santos, both known for their work on the Avatar: The Last Airbender and its sequel The Legend of Korra, served as showrunners while fellow crew member Tim Hedrick served as head writer. On March 25, 2016, at WonderCon it was announced that the voice cast would consist of Steven Yeun as Keith, Jeremy Shada as Lance, Bex Taylor-Klaus as Pidge, Josh Keaton as Shiro, Tyler Labine as Hunk, Kimberly Brooks as Princess Allura; and Rhys Darby as Coran and Neil Kaplan as King Zarkon. Cree Summer later confirmed that she would be voicing Witch Haggar. The first season premiered on June 10, 2016, and consisted of 13 episodes.
It was announced at San Diego Comic-Con that season two will premiere on Netflix in late 2016. A few months later, at New York Comic Con, it was announced that the second season will premiere on January 20, 2017. The second season saw a special premiere at the New York Comic Con in October 7, 2016, where an episode was shown at the Voltron panel. The second season premiered on Netflix on January 20, 2017, and consisted of 13 episodes.
The third season premiered on Netflix on August 4, 2017, and consisted of 7 episodes. The fourth season premiered on October 2017, and consisted of 6 episodes. The series was revealed at WonderCon 2017 to have a 78-episode commitment from Netflix.
The fifth season premiered on March 2, 2018, and consisted of 6 episodes.
The sixth season premiered on June 15, 2018, and consisted of 7 episodes.
The seventh season premiered on August 10, 2018, and consisted of 13 episodes.
The eighth and final season is confirmed to premiere by the end of 2018, consisting of 13 episodes.
|1||13||June 10, 2016|
|2||13||January 20, 2017|
|3||7||August 4, 2017|
|4||6||October 13, 2017|
|5||6||March 2, 2018|
|6||7||June 15, 2018|
|7||13||August 10, 2018|
Voltron: Legendary Defender has received critical acclaim. The review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes reported a 100% approval rating for the first season, based on 11 reviews, with Critic Consensus being that "Voltron: Legendary Defender honors its source material with beautifully expressive animation and impactful action."
In reviewing the first season Max Nicholson of IGN wrote, “DreamWork’s Voltron Legendary Defender delivers exactly the kind of show you’ve come to expect from the amazing creative team behind The Legend of Korra.” He rated the series an 8.9 out of 10. Sarah Moran of ScreenRant gave a positive review of the first. Moran wrote, “It isn’t trying to reinvent or really improve on the original conceit of Voltron, but Legendary Defender is certainly a welcomed take on a classic cartoon; one that should appeal to fans both new and old.” Shamus Kelly from Den of Geek gave the series 5 stars out of 5. Kelly wrote, “Seriously, you won’t be disappointed. It’s something special that doesn’t come around often in television.”
Awards and nominations
|2017||44th Annie Awards||Best/Animated TV Broadcast Production For Children's Audience||Episode: "Return of the Gladiator"||Nominated|||
|Kidscreen Awards||Best Animated Series, Teens and Tweens||Voltron: Legendary Defender||Nominated|||
|IGN's Best of 2016 Awards||Best Animated Series||Voltron: Legendary Defender||Nominated|||
|6th Annual BTVA Awards||BTVA People's Choice Award for Best Vocal Ensemble in a New Television Series||Voltron: Legendary Defender||Won|||
|Best Male Lead Vocal Performance in a Television Series||Jeremy Shada (Lance)||Nominated|
|Best Female Lead Vocal Performance in a Television Series||Kimberly Brooks (Allura)||Won|
|Best Male Vocal Performance in a Television Series in a Supporting Role||Neil Kaplan (Emperor Zarkon)||Won|
|BTVA People's Choice Award for Best Male Vocal Performance in a Television Series in a Supporting Role||Neil Kaplan (Emperor Zarkon)||Won|
|IGN's Best of 2017 Awards||Best Animated Series||Voltron: Legendary Defender||Nominated|||
|2018||Kidscreen Awards||Best Animated Series, Teens and Tweens||Voltron: Legendary Defender||Nominated|||
|7th Annual BTVA Awards||BTVA People's Choice Award for Best Vocal Ensemble in a Television Series||Voltron: Legendary Defender||Won|||
|BTVA People's Choice Award for Best Male Vocal Performance in a Television Series||Rhys Darby (Coran)||Won|
|Best Male Vocal Performance in a Television Series in a Supporting Role||AJ Locascio (Prince Lotor)||Won|
|BTVA People's Choice Award for Best Male Vocal Performance in a Television Series in a Supporting Role||AJ Locascio (Prince Lotor)||Won|
|BTVA People's Choice Award for Best Female Vocal Performance in a Television Series in a Guest Role||Alyson Stoner (Florona)||Won|
Three comic series detailing events happening in between episodes were announced in January 2016. Taking story ideas that were deemed too outlandish and too epic to be contained in a 23-minute episode from the animated series, these comic series bridges the time lapse between seasons.
Volume 1 (2016)
The first miniseries consisted of five issues, published by Lion Forge Comics. It was written by show head writer Tim Hedrick and Mitch Iverson, and illustrated by Digital Art Chefs. A special cover variant of issue #1 was available at San Diego Comic-Con in 2016, with a limited release of 250 copies. Issue #2 was released on August 2, 2016, followed by issue #3 on October 5, 2016, issue #4 on November 9, 2016, and issue #5 on November 20, 2016. The whole series will be collected in a graphic novel and was initially scheduled for a December 2016 release, but got pushed back to January 3, 2017, then was finally released January 25, 2017, according to Lion Forge. The second series will be announced after the release of the graphic novel. A motion comic of issue 1 with full voice acting by the series cast was released on June 15, 2017, at the DreamWorksTV YouTube channel. The story takes place in between the season 1 episodes "Rebirth" and "Crystal Venom."
|#1||July 13, 2016||Tim Hedrick
|Digital Art Chefs||Voltron: Legendary Defender
JANUARY 25, 2017
|#2||August 24, 2016|
|#3||October 5, 2016|
|#4||November 9, 2016|
|#5||November 30, 2016|
Volume 2 (2017)
During the Voltron: Legendary Defender panel at WonderCon 2017, it was announced that the second series of five issues would debut in May 2017. The date was pushed back to late June due to production delays., however the date was pushed back on October 4, 2017 where was published where lssue 2 and 3 was published on the same day, November 1, 2017 and issue 4 was published on November 15, 2017, lssue 5 was published on December 13, 2017, the Vol. 2 Trade Paperback was published on January 31, 2018. The story takes place in between the season 2 episodes "Shiro's Escape" and "Greening the Cube."
|#1||October 4, 2017||Tim Hedrick
|Voltron: Legendary Defender
Volume 2: Pilgrimage
JANUARY 31, 2018
|#2||November 1, 2017||Rubine|
Jung Gwan Yoo
|#4||November 15, 2017||Rubine|
|#5||December 13, 2017||Rubine|
Volume 3 (2018)
|#1||July 11, 2018||Mitch Iverson||Gung Gwan Yoo
|Voltron: Legendary Defender
Volume 3: Absolution
January 9, 2019
|#2||August 8, 2018||Rubine|
|#3||September 12, 2018||Edwin Prasetya|
Promotion and merchandising
To promote the series in between the release of season 1 and 2, a Robeast fanart contest was announced via social media on October 18, 2016. The winner was announced on December 27, 2016 on social media under the username "Zilla B". A virtual-reality video game based on the series, known as Voltron VR Chronicles, was released for Steam, Oculus and PlayStation 4 via PlayStation Network.
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Season 7 kicks off with Shiro's recovery (and coming out, thanks to a flashback showing him and a significant other named Adam)
- Romano, Nick (9 August 2018). "How Voltron showrunners found a Legendary LGBTQ Defender in Shiro". Entertainment Weekly.
An episode screened for the crowd glimpsed a flashback scene involving Adam, Shiro’s former “flight partner” in the Galaxy Garrison who became something more. “He is Shiro’s significant other,” Montgomery told the room. “They weren’t married yet, but that’s the road they were going down” — that is, until Shiro “made the unfortunate decision” to go to space.
- Hoffer, Christian (20 July 2018). "'Voltron: Legendary Defender' Paladin Confirmed as LGBT". comicbook.com.
During today's panel, showrunner Lauren Montgomery noted that viewers would meet Adam, Shiro's significant other, during the seventh season of the show. The two men were heading towards marriage, but Shiro broke things off to join the Kerebos mission instead.
- Leighton-Dore, Samuel (24 July 2018). "Netflix's Voltron: Legendary Defender confirms lead character is gay". SBS Sexuality.
- "Netflix and DreamWorks Animation Expand Global Relationship". Netflix Media Center. January 5, 2016. Retrieved April 26, 2016.
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- "DreamWorks and Netflix reveal Voltron: Legendary Defender animated series showrunners". Nerd Reactor. Retrieved April 26, 2016.
- Nicholson, By. "WonderCon: Netflix's Voltron Animated Series – Release Date Set, Voice Cast Announced". IGN. Retrieved April 26, 2016.
- "Cree Summer will voice Haggar the Witch". Retrieved May 1, 2016.
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- Hipes, Patrick (November 28, 2016). "'Zootopia' Leads Annie Awards Nominations". Deadline. Retrieved December 31, 2016.
- "And the 2017 Kidscreen Awards winners are…". February 14, 2017.
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- [MOTION COMIC] Shakedown at the Fripping Bulgogian DREAMWORKS VOLTRON LEGENDARY DEFENDER (Motion comic). DreamWorksTV. June 15, 2017.
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