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Voltron: Legendary Defender is an animated mecha web television series produced by American companies DreamWorks Animation Television and World Events Productions and animated by Korean Studio Mir. It is a reboot of the Voltron franchise and the Japanese anime series Beast King GoLion, 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.

Voltron:
Legendary Defender
Voltron - Legendary Defender logo.svg
GenreMecha
Science fantasy
Action
Adventure
Comedy
Drama
Based onBeast King GoLion
by Toei Animation
Voltron: Defender of the Universe
by World Events Productions
Voices ofJosh Keaton
Steven Yeun
Jeremy Shada
Bex Taylor-Klaus
Tyler Labine
Kimberly Brooks
Rhys Darby
Neil Kaplan
Cree Summer
A.J. Locascio
Opening themeAlex Geringas
Composer(s)Brad Breeck
Country of originUnited States
Original language(s)English
No. of seasons8
No. of episodes76 (list of episodes)
Production
Executive producer(s)Joaquim Dos Santos
Lauren Montgomery
Ted Koplar
Bob Koplar
Yoo Jae Myung
Producer(s)Choi Go Un
Kim Seul Ki
Lee Soo Kyung
Kim Young Hyun (season 1−6)
Han Seong Ho (season 7−8)
Park Sang Ah (season 7−8)
Running time23 minutes
69 minutes (The Rise of Voltron)
Production company(s)DreamWorks Animation Television
World Events Productions
Studio Mir
DistributorNetflix
NBCUniversal Television Distribution
Release
Original networkNetflix
Picture format1080p (16:9 HDTV)
Audio formatDolby Digital 5.1
Original releaseJune 10, 2016 (2016-06-10) –
December 14, 2018 (2018-12-14)
Chronology
Preceded byVoltron
Voltron: Fleet of Doom
Voltron: The Third Dimension
Voltron Force
External links
Website

The first season premiered on Netflix on June 10, 2016, and consisted of 11 episodes. The series had a 76-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, South Africa, Italy and Finland.[1][2] The second season premiered on Netflix on January 20, 2017, and consisted of 13 episodes.[3] 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.[4] The fifth season premiered on March 2, 2018, and consists of six episodes.[5][6] The sixth season premiered on June 15, 2018 and consists of seven episodes.[7] A seventh season premiered on August 10, 2018 and consists of thirteen episodes.[8] The series' success has spawned several comics,[9] action figures, and other toys.[10] The eighth and final season premiered on December 14, 2018, and consists of thirteen episodes.[11][12]

Contents

OverviewEdit

For millennia, the 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 evil 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 adviser 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 charactersEdit

MainEdit

Voltron PaladinsEdit

  • 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 the second season, 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 with 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 was shown as a "significant other" to Shiro,[13] a description confirmed by Lauren Montgomery[14] that revealed Shiro as an LGBT character.[15][16] At the end of season 8, he married Curtis, a fellow crewmember on the Atlas. In the Japanese dub, Shiro is voiced by Kenji Sugimura.
  • 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, re-assuming command of the Black Lion. At the end of season 8, he dissolves the Galra Empire and transitions the Blades of Marmora into a humanitarian organization. In the Japanese dub, Keith is voiced by Anri Katsu.
  • 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. He and Allura begin a romance at the beginning of season 8. After the final battle with Honerva, Lance returns to life on his family’s farm, spreading Allura’s message. In the Japanese dub, Lance is voiced by Takamasa Mogi.
  • 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. She also re-purposed a Galran drone to work for her, naming it Rover, who later sacrificed itself to protect her. During her time as a Paladin, she eventually rescued her brother, and then her father. Her brother Matt, kept fighting for a rebel group, and her father, Samuel, returned to Earth to warn the Galaxy Garrison about the impending war against the Galra. After the final battle in Season 8, she and her family help lead the next generation of Legendary Defenders (a nod to Vehicle Voltron). In the Japanese dub, Pidge is voiced by Kana Omata.
  • 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. Following the final battle with Honerva, he starts up a culinary empire to bring worlds together, one meal at a time. In the Japanese dub, Hunk is voiced by Toshifumi Nakabayashi.
  • 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 leads them in their mission to defeat Zarkon and liberate the universe from Galra rule. 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 Pink 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. During season 8, Allura and Lance engage in a romantic relationship and Lance starts to be more protective and caring towards her. At the end of season 8, she and Honerva give their lives to restore realities after they were destroyed in the final battle. In the Japanese dub, Allura is voiced by Yui Shimodaya.
  • Rhys Darby as Coran Hieronymus Wimbleton Smythe – The Royal advisor to Princess Allura's family, Coran is 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.

Galra EmpireEdit

  • 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 has slain him in a duel to the death, and he is declared dead by the empire. In season 8, Zarkon last appeared as a corrupted soul placed inside of Honerva's mind to protect her secrets. After the Paladins battled him, purified his soul, and having been shown all the suffering he caused, Zarkon has become repentant and they convince him to help the current and original Paladins escape her mind, all using their shared bond to Voltron.
  • Cree Summer as Witch Haggar—Zarkon's primary adviser, 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 dark magic with abominable science to arm soldiers with powerful weapons, create giant monsters later called "Robeasts" to fight Voltron, and drain the mystical energy known as quintessence from all manner of living things, including whole planets, for the Galra to use in their conquest of the universe. In battle, her magical abilities allow her to teleport, cast illusions, and channel dark magical energy. 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 mysteriously disappeared during season 7. Honerva returns as the main antagonist of season 8. Her plan is to use Lotor's mech, merge it with hers, and open rips to alternate realities so she could find the perfect one to live in peace with, disregarding the risk of all other universes being destroyed in the process. She nearly succeeds in ending all of existence in the final battle, but is convinced by the Paladins and Allura to stop, though she is disheartened that there is only one reality left because of her actions. She and Allura work together to use all their magic in order to save all of existence, sacrificing their lives in the process.
  • A.J. Locascio as Prince Lotor—the son of Zarkon and Honerva, making him a Galra-Altean hybrid. He assumed 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 an Altean from his colony, 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. He later died due to Quintessence poisoning.

ProductionEdit

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.[17] Voltron was one of several series planned for initial development and debut in 2016, including Guillermo del Toro's animated Trollhunters.[18] 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.[19] 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 Emperor Zarkon.[20] Cree Summer later confirmed that she would be voicing Witch Haggar.[21] 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.[22] A few months later, at New York Comic Con, it was announced that the second season will premiere on January 20, 2017.[3] 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.[23] The second season premiered on Netflix on January 20, 2017, and consisted of 13 episodes.[3]

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.[24] The series was revealed at WonderCon 2017 to have a 76-episode commitment from Netflix.[4]

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 premiered on December 14, 2018, and consisted of 13 episodes.[25][12]

EpisodesEdit

Season Episodes Originally released
First aired
1 13 June 10, 2016 (2016-06-10)
2 January 20, 2017 (2017-01-20)
3 7 August 4, 2017 (2017-08-04)
4 6 October 13, 2017 (2017-10-13)
5 March 2, 2018 (2018-03-02)
6 7 June 15, 2018 (2018-06-15)
7 13 August 10, 2018 (2018-08-10)
8 December 14, 2018 (2018-12-14)

ReceptionEdit

Voltron: Legendary Defender has received widespread critical acclaim throughout its eight season run. Reviewers and a number of fans have lauded the series’ plot and story arc. However, a number of critics and fans levied criticism at the series for its handling of its LGBT representation. Additionally for most of its run, the series was plagued by poor behavior by a subset of its fans, with a number of fans issuing death threats to both the cast and crew, including Dos Santos and Montgomery, over decisions and reactions related to representation and “shipping” interests.

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."[26]

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. [27] Sarah Moran of ScreenRant similarly gave the series a positive review, writing “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.”[28] Shamus Kelly from Den of Geek gave the series a perfect score, writing “Seriously, you won’t be disappointed. It’s something special that doesn’t come around often in television[29].”

Season 8 also received critical acclaim with a 86% reported from Rotten Tomatoes based on seven reviews. Despite this positive critical reception, the audience score for Season 8 is currently at 6%.[30]

In reviewing the final season, Jesse Schedeen of IGN wrote, "Minor storytelling quibbles aside, the final season of Voltron: Legendary Defender captures pretty much everything that has made this series great. The action scenes are fantastic. The story combines humor and character drama better than any season before it. These 13 episodes tie up nearly every loose end on a satisfying note and raise the stakes of the show higher than ever." He rated the season 9.1 out of 10, though he admits, "That said, it would be far more effective to see one of these animated shows acknowledge their LGBT heroes from the very beginning and not save moments like these for the literal last minute; with that rushed reveal (after spending no time establishing Shiro's new relationship or even hinting at it), Voltron relies too much on the audience's affection for Shiro to give the moment resonance, rather than earning an emotional response from its storytelling."[31]

Dave Trumbore of Collider gave the season a perfect score, writing, "The final season of Voltron Legendary Defender rarely stumbles; the same can be said of the series’ story overall. Honestly the only shortcoming in the storytelling has to do with the way the narrative has handled romantic relationships; that trend continues here. Overall, Season 8 manages to do the seemingly impossible by ramping up the stakes to the utmost, delivering the most powerful emotional resonance between our heroes and villains yet, and wrapping everything up in a tearful, bittersweet, and fully satisfying way. It’s not perfect, but it’s as close to perfection as we’re going to get in this reality."[32] Shamus Kelly from Den of Geek gave the season a 4 out 5 stars, writing, "The biggest strength of the season is how nearly everyone comes back to play some part in the final season."[33]

Palmer Haasch of Polygon had praised the series, though she criticized the series' LGBT representation. She noted "The final sequence of the series, like any button on a series finale, was a mixed bag. It was a relief to see Lance reunited with his family; Hunk’s establishing a diplomatic culinary empire is nothing short of a perfect arc” concluding, "Ultimately, Voltron, the vision and artistic pursuit of its creators, was never going to quell the concerns of its fanbase. But taken on its own storytelling merits, the final season remained true to the ideas of found family, collective spirit, and empathetic connection. Voltron: Legendary Defender was an honor to follow, and it’s certain that the series will be remembered both for its compelling narrative and spirited fandom for years to come."[34]

There were however a number of negative or lackluster reviews, mostly revolving around Shiro's wedding scene and for killing off Allura. The Geekiary's Jamie Sugah stated in her official series finale, "On the whole, though, this is a lackluster ending for what had up until now been a well-written show with strong, well-developed characters. Voltron season 8 felt very rushed and out of character, with a poorly thought out and clearly tacked on ending."[35]

The Official Voltron Podcast, Let's Voltron, stated, "Allura's death, as I saw it for a long time, really, really bothered me. I've got to be frank about it. As a father of a seven year daughter, for a TV-Y7/FV show, to kill off one of the few female prominent characters? I mean we've got a lot of strong secondary characters, but among the paladins it's Allura and Pidge and that's it, it bothered me a lot. To me it's a difficult pill to swallow. To me it came entirely out of left field. I kept me trap shut on social media, but I was bothered by it a lot." When speaking of Lotor's death, "I think it was little rough for children. I literally rechecked the ratings of the series when I saw that happen, and it's TV-Y7/FV... but seeing his body there—it's just. We didn't have to see it there, did we?" In regards to Shiro's wedding, "We were told that any kind of relationship developed, it was gonna happen naturally and stuff like that, and obviously this didn't really happen naturally."[36]

LGBT-related controversy and criticismEdit

LGBT representationEdit

While the series featured five LGBT characters (Shiro, Curtis, Adam, Ezor and Zethrid) and depicted the first on-screen wedding between two male characters on a Western children’s animated series, much of the series’ controversy swirled around the show’s LGBT representation, with most of the criticism levied at the show’s treatment of its LGBT characters.

On August 13, 2018, showrunner Joaquim Dos Santos posted an apology on his Twitter. He also acknowledged in it that there were boundaries in place as to how they could portray LGBT representation in the show.[37] Fellow showrunner Lauren Montgomery also acknowledged limitations regarding LGBT relationships behind the scenes in her apology, saying "There’s so much that I would do differently, but so little we could’ve done differently."[38] They would both continue to talk about limitations behind the scenes in future interviews.[39][40]

After the release of Season 7, controversy arose after the death of Adam, Shiro's ex-boyfriend.[41] A number of fans and critics were displeased that Adam, a gay character and Shiro’s ex-boyfriend, died in Season 7.

Controversy also swirled around the on-screen wedding between Shiro and Curtis, with a number of critics and fans characterizing it as poor LGBT representation. While Polygon reviewer Palmer Haasch praised the shows general plot, she criticized the shows depiction of Shiro and Curtis’ stating “Shiro’s nuptials feel abrupt given that we’ve barely seen him and his husband Curtis, a member of the Atlas bridge crew, interact in any meaningful capacity over the course of the season. Following Voltron’s queerbaiting controversy following the death of Shiro’s ex-boyfriend, Adam, the ending felt neutrally affective at best and disingenuous at worst, despite being a groundbreaking moment for LGBTQ representation in all-ages programming.” "[34].

Renaldo Matadeen of CBR in his official review, opined, "There's no love or warmth here, and it feels like the series retroactively tried to pony up a relationship in apology for the Shiro drama. But it's another debacle that feels fake, forced and patronizing... Instead of being progressive, these moments simply come off like disrespectful, lazy patch jobs. Despite some attempts to the contrary, whatever Legendary Defender tried to do ended up being superficial and totally upended the social impact intended." [42]

Schedeen of IGN wrote, "That said, it would be far more effective to see one of these animated shows acknowledge their LGBT heroes from the very beginning and not save moments like these for the literal last minute; with that rushed reveal (after spending no time establishing Shiro's new relationship or even hinting at it), Voltron relies too much on the audience's affection for Shiro to give the moment resonance, rather than earning an emotional response from its storytelling."[31]

Sean Z. of Geekdad wrote, "The fact is: the wedding is a PR stunt–one that reduces queer people to marketing collateral and attempts to sell a last-ditch effort as 'groundbreaking.' That is why the scene is so reprehensible: the studio expects to be rewarded for it."[43]

It was admitted in the final AfterBuzzTV interview that the entire conceptualization and creation of Shiro's wedding epilogue was added in less than a day, in attempts as an olive branch to the LGBT community. Dos Santos stated, "You know, we, the circumstances at which we sort of arrived at that scene didn’t allow us, we had like a day to really put that together... And we, I think sort of, wholeheartedly accept that it’s clunky. It’s hella clunky." [44]

EditingEdit

Criticism of editing primarily regarded LGBT issues, though some were general observations. On October 22, 2018, a series of leaks of the final episode appeared online of the wedding, in which a different character was seen marrying Shiro.[45] It remains unclear whether the leaks are authentic.

Further controversy followed with the release of the final season, where Shiro is married to Curtis. In the English audio description, Curtis is referred to as Adam[46] though he is once mentioned to be Curtis in the closed captions of a different episode. The error has since been corrected, but a number of fans have noted this as "evidence" of the “tacked-on” nature of the epilogue.

The supervising producer, episode director, storyboard artist, and animator Kihyun Ryu posted on his instagram on September 12 a piece of Shiro material, weeks before the season was sent to be dubbed into other languages. In the comments, the show runners tell him to "make it beautiful."[47]

In the final two seasons, the fandom noted a wide variety of inconsistencies, such as audio descriptions not describing characters or scenes accurately, random and jarring music jumps. The fandom dubbed this the 'cut and paste conspiracy,' owing to issues of dialogue, animation, and characterization that raised the question of whether the last two seasons may have existed as a complete version that was heavily edited and rearranged into the final version.[34]

In particular, Ezor's role in Season 8 caused massive controversy. Multiple languages referred to the character as dead in Season 8’s “The Grudge”.[citation needed] The character’s single line of dialogue was pulled from Kimberly Brooks in a previous season[48], while no audio description ever mentions Ezor’s survival within “The Grudge” or its following episode. [49] The lack of movement of the character, only blinking and materializing out of thin air, suggests that the character was meant to remain dead and was added back in at the last minute to appease some negativity. [45]

Carli Squitieri, the storyboard revisionist on "The Grudge", stated on social media after the release of Season 7, "Ezor should have lived, but that's another story I'm not under the authority to speak about."[50]

With additional information from Kihyun Ryu concerning the added-on epilogue created just weeks prior to broadcast, fans began a petition for the alleged original season (the version that supposedly existed prior to severe editing), to be released. The petition has garnered over 30,000 signatures.[45]

Speaking in an interview with the "Let's Voltron" podcast Joaquim Dos Santos denied the existence of an alternate cut of season eight.[39]

Awards and nominationsEdit

Year Award Category Nominee Status Ref.
2017 44th Annie Awards Best/Animated TV Broadcast Production For Children's Audience Episode: "Return of the Gladiator" Nominated [51]
Kidscreen Awards Best Animated Series, Teens and Tweens Voltron: Legendary Defender Nominated [52]
IGN's Best of 2016 Awards Best Animated Series Voltron: Legendary Defender Nominated [53]
64th Annual Golden Reel Awards Sound and Music Editing - TV Animation Episode: "The Black Paladin" Nominated [54]
Golden Trailer Awards 2017 Best Animation/Family (TV Spot / Trailer /Teaser for a Series) Voltron: Legendary Defender Nominated [55]
6th Annual BTVA Awards Best Vocal Ensemble in a New Television Series Voltron: Legendary Defender Nominated [56]
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 [57]
2018 Kidscreen Awards Best Animated Series, Teens and Tweens Voltron: Legendary Defender Nominated [58]
45th Daytime Emmy Awards Outstanding Interactive Media - Enhancement to a Daytime Program or Series DreamWorks Voltron VR Chronicles Nominated [59]
7th Annual BTVA Awards Best Vocal Ensemble in a Television Series Voltron: Legendary Defender Nominated [60]
BTVA People's Choice Award for Best Vocal Ensemble in a Television Series Voltron: Legendary Defender Won
Best Male Vocal Performance in a Television Series Rhys Darby (Coran) Nominated
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
Best Female Vocal Performance in a Television Series in a Guest Role Alyson Stoner (Florona) Nominated
BTVA People's Choice Award for Best Female Vocal Performance in a Television Series in a Guest Role Alyson Stoner (Florona) Won
The 2018 ComicBook.com Golden Issue Awards Best Animated TV Series Voltron: Legendary Defender Won [61]
IGN's Best of 2018 Awards Best Animated Series Voltron: Legendary Defender Nominated [62]
2019 Golden Trailer Awards 2019 Best Animation / Family TV Spot/Trailer/Teaser for a Series Voltron: Legendary Defender Nominated [63]

ComicsEdit

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.[64]

Despite original statements of continuing into Volume 4, LionForge opted to cancel its contract. Its only response in regards to the matter was a brief tweet of an article from Geekdad in regards to the matter.[65]

Volume 1 (2016)Edit

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.[66] Issue #2 was released on August 2, 2016,[67] followed by issue #3 on October 5, 2016,[68] issue #4 on November 9, 2016,[69] and issue #5 on November 20, 2016.[70] The whole series will be collected in a graphic novel and was initially scheduled for a December 2016 release,[64] but got pushed back to January 3, 2017, then was finally released January 25, 2017, according to Lion Forge.[71][72] The second series will be announced after the release of the graphic novel.[64] 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.[73] The story takes place in between the season 1 episodes "Rebirth" and "Crystal Venom."

Issue Release Date Writer(s) Artist(s) Collection ISBN
#1[9] July 13, 2016 Tim Hedrick
Mitch Iverson
Digital Art Chefs Voltron: Legendary Defender
Volume 1

RELEASED
JANUARY 25, 2017
9781941302217
#2[74] August 24, 2016
#3[75] October 5, 2016
#4[76] November 9, 2016
#5[77] November 30, 2016

Volume 2 (2017)Edit

During the Voltron: Legendary Defender panel at WonderCon 2017, it was announced that the second series of five issues would debut in May 2017.[78] The date was pushed back to late June due to production delays.,[79] however the date was pushed back on October 4, 2017 where was published where issue 2 and 3 was published on the same day, November 1, 2017 and issue 4 was published on November 15, 2017, issue 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."

Issue Release Date Writer(s) Artist(s) Collection ISBN
#1 October 4, 2017 Tim Hedrick
Mitch Iverson
Jung Gwan
Ji-in Choi
Voltron: Legendary Defender
Volume 2: Pilgrimage

RELEASED
JANUARY 31, 2018
9781941302354
#2 November 1, 2017 Rubine
Beni Lobel
#3 Rubine
Jung Gwan Yoo
Beni Lobel
#4 November 15, 2017 Rubine
Beni Lobel
#5 December 13, 2017 Rubine
Beni Lobel
Puste

Volume 3 (2018)Edit

Volume 3 debuted on July 11, 2018.[80] The story is set between season 4 and season 5.

Issue Release Date Writer(s) Artist(s) Collection ISBN
#1 July 11, 2018 Mitch Iverson Gung Gwan Yoo
Ji-in Choi
Rubine
Beni Lobel
Voltron: Legendary Defender
Volume 3: Absolution

Released
January 9, 2019
9786976585055
#2 August 8, 2018 Rubine
Beni Lobel
#3 September 12, 2018 Edwin Prasetya
Puste
#4 October 10, 2018
#5 November 14, 2018

International broadcastEdit

Home mediaEdit

The first two seasons were released on DVD in Region 1 by Universal Pictures Home Entertainment on June 12, 2018,[81] The first two seasons were also released in Australia on October 17, 2018. The series also scheduled for DVD releases in the UK, Italy, and Germany. A box set for seasons 3-6 has been released as of June.

Promotion and merchandisingEdit

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.[82] The winner was announced on December 27, 2016 on social media under the username "Zilla B".[83] 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.

ReferencesEdit

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External linksEdit