An animated gem: Voltron: Legendary Defender
Imagine, if you will, a kid’s television show created with the same artistic styling Avatar: the Last Airbender, a mix between anime and classic American animation. Now imagine that this cartoon takes place in space. That’s right: Avatar meets Star Wars. At the surface, this is the basic premise of Dreamworks’ latest masterpiece, Voltron: Legendary Defender.
Premiering in June 2016, the first season of Voltron: Legendary Defender sets up the science-fiction universe characterized by space travel and interplanetary communication. With a compelling storyline and relatable characters, it’s easy to understand how the show gained a massive global following. October 13, 2017, marked the release of the much-anticipated fourth season, now available on Netflix.
WARNING: The rest of this article may contain spoilers from the first three seasons. Proceed with caution.
Voltron: Legendary Defender follows seven main characters in their attempt to save the universe from the evil Galra Empire. Characters Coran and Princess Allura lead Shiro, Keith, Lance, Hunk and Pidge in their training to become Paladins of their giant robot lions. Together, the lions form Voltron, a powerful weapon designed to keep peace among planets. Each Paladin creates a connection with one of the lions, and the Paladins must work together as a team to form Voltron.
Shiro, the oldest member of the team, powers the Black Lion and becomes the Guardian Spirit of the Sky. After escaping the Galra forces, Shiro is personally invested in winning the war. His experience as a prisoner and his natural ability to delegate make him the perfect leader for the team. The younger Paladins look to Shiro for direction and advice, and fans of the show lovingly refer to him as “Space Dad.” Shiro and the Black Lion form the head of Voltron.
Keith, the Red Paladin and Guardian Spirit of Fire, is a rebellious orphan who is often temperamental. Though he initially struggles to be a team player, Keith’s dedication to his training and his natural ability in battle make him an essential member. Keith’s aloof and no-nonsense attitude often causes him to clash with the more laid-back Lance, but his insight tends to focus the team. Keith and the Red Lion form one of Voltron’s arms.
Lance, the Blue Paladin and Guardian Spirit of Water, constantly competes with Keith in an attempt to prove that he is the smarter, more talented, and better-looking pilot. Lance’s carelessness gets him into trouble throughout the series, but his confidence also helps the team in some of their toughest battles. Lance and the Blue Lion form one of Voltron’s legs.
Hunk, the Yellow Paladin and Guardian Spirit of Land, is the strongest member of the team. A follower by nature, Hunk is content with being the force behind the team. Motivated entirely by food, many of Hunk’s comments provide comic relief. More than just a gentle giant, Hunk is also somewhat of a mechanical genius, getting the team out of tricky situations more than once. Hunk and the Yellow Lion form one of Voltron’s legs.
Pidge, the Green Paladin and Guardian Spirit of Forest, is the smallest of the paladins. Pidge spends her free time searching for her father and brother, who were captured by the Galra at the same time as Shiro. She is the smartest member of the group and her fascination with robots is borderline adorable. Pidge and the Green Lion form one of Voltron’s arms.
Together with Princess Allura and Coran, the five paladins dedicate themselves to helping everyone in the galaxy, while also defeating the Galra Empire. Though technically considered a children’s show, Dreamworks’ reboot of the 1984 Voltron cartoon is both humorous and exciting enough to captivate audiences of all ages.
Caitlin Pierson, a senior, studies English. She is a staff writer for Le Provocateur.