Digital Marketeer. New Author working on this publishing thing. Also a fan girl, sci-fi geek and unofficial nerd lover.
If you loved Voltron as a child, you’ll want to read this opinion piece on Netflix’s Voltron: Legendary Defender.
Voltron Legendary Defender: Not The Voltron I Grew Up With
I’d be lying if I said that I tuned into Netflix’s Voltron Legendary Defender for my children. I wanted to grab onto the six-year-old me and wake her up! What I got was so much more. I never thought I would get so deeply involved and concerned for this team of teenage misfits. I’m beyond wrapped up in complicated nature of the paladins of Votron. So much that I’ve watched both seasons several times. And if you loved this show as a kid, mute your phone, grab some snacks, and start binging.
Where to start?
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Besides all the awesomeness of the lions and forming Voltron, there is one thing that brought this show into my heart, the paladins themselves. Each episode dives into individual and team dynamics. I think we can all find a little bit of ourselves in these characters.
Let’s break them down, shall we?
This Altean princess woke from a 10,000 year slumber to find her planet destroyed and Zarkon (evil emperor of the Galra empire trying to take over the known universe) still reigning with a tyrannical fist on all that falls within his grasp. She is fierce, determined, and kind. She carries the weight of the universe on her shoulders. She is certainly not the Allura I remember. She needs no man to rescue her. As the story moves along, you see her develop varying relationships with all her paladins. She feels responsible for their successes and failures. If you can’t admire her royal demure, then admire her strength and unwavering determination to destroy Zarkon. This blind determination drives her and holds her back.
Often calm and level-headed, Shiro easily fell into the roll of leader and Black Paladin. However, he is a tormented solider with a mysterious backstory. He was captured by the Zarkon’s Galra soldiers and forced to fight in the arena for sport. He was experimented on with black magic and given the unwelcomed gift of a robotic arm. His memories of this surface throughout the series. Suffering from his demons, he tries to rise above the ashes anew. He cares deeply for the crew and often offers sage advice like; “Go and be great.” I think we would all want to hear that.
The brooding one as I like to refer to him. Others would perhaps say he’s full of angst. All true. Keith also harbors a mysterious past that he himself is trying to sort out. He remembers very little of his parents except that he was abandoned. He’s lived in isolation after getting kicked out of the Garrison and frankly, he prefers to be alone. It’s this attitude that makes being part of a team difficult. Shiro is his mentor. He respects him above all others. That doesn’t stop Keith from flying off the handle and reacting without thinking. This hothead asks questions later. As the series goes on, we see him evolve into something more.
Oh Lance, you are one of my personal favorites. He’s the cheesy ladies’ man and full of himself. His one-liners, quick wit, and outlandish comments put him in the role of comedian of the group. Using humor as a defense, Lance doesn’t want you to know his own insecurities as to how he fits into the group or his intense feeling of homesickness. Lance and Keith have a pretty “intense” rivalry dating back to their time at the Garrison. The banter between these two is endearing. It will give you a few chuckles for sure.
He’s the strong, level-headed, kind-hearted, voice-of-reason for the crew. His big heart is only matched by his big stomach. He talks about food a lot. Sometimes I think he’s the one that doesn’t take fighting Zarkon and freeing the universe of all evil very seriously. He follows as others lead. But make no mistake, he will stand up and fight. He will follow this group to the end and not blindly, but with his heart and eyes open.
The “techy” of the group. The main driver for Pidge is finding his family. They were captured on a mission with Shiro. Nothing is more important to Pidge than finding his family. Selfishly, every chance he gets that involves interfacing with Galra tech, is used to search for any clues as to their whereabouts. Pidge was also at the Garrison with Lance and Hunk when they first discover the lions of Voltron. The youngest of the group, Pidge does some growing up along the way. The team would be nothing without him.
Coran is Allura’s royal advisor. He’s the glue and I’ll tell you why. He has knowledge and history that the others do not. He comes up with solutions to impossible situations. His mind is always thinking of alternative ideas to try to get the group out of near death encounters. He knows Zarkon better than the others. He has lost everything except Allura and that motivates him to want a world free of the Galra dictator.
What makes this show so great is it’s ability to grow and build onto each episode. This gives you some pretty major story arcs that didn’t exist in the days of my Voltron. Let’s not forget the incredible writing, animation, and voice acting that pushes this show above and beyond. This is just the beginning. We are just scratching the surface of all that makes these characters who they are.