Voltron Legendary Defender: A Family Affair
Netflix releases final season of animated series
*SPOILER*SPOILER*SPOILER* If you read past this point, it’s your own fault…
On December 14, 2018, Netflix and DreamWorks Animation released their 8th and final season of their original animated series Voltron: Legendary Defender, based on the original 1984 TV series Voltron: Defender of the Universe. VLD is such a popular, binge-worthy series that it seems fitting to reflect on just what has made the show loved by both kids and adults alike since its premiere in June 2016 (…Yes, you read that right. 8 seasons in 2 years.)
THEME OF “FAMILY” THROUGHOUT THE SHOW
Each Paladin brings diversity to the team but together, they form an amazing unit. Remember the episode in Season 7 where the Paladins end up on the Family Feud-like game show called Garfle Warfle Snick against the Galra? The Paladins are literally acting as a family – the Paladin family versus the Zarkon family. Even though this episode seems like a random break from the usual action, it lets us as the audience see just how the Paladins rely on each other — like family. Another episode that shows their family bond is Season 6’s Monster’s & Mana, a spoof on Dungeons & Dragons. We see the gang enjoying somewhat of a “family game night” together.
Individually, the Paladins have their own familial hurdles to jump…
First, let’s look at Pidge. She presents herself as a boy for the first few episodes of the first season. Why? Because she wants to get into the Galaxy Garrison Academy and find out what exactly happened to her father and brother who disappeared. At the end of Season 1 Episode 3, Return of the Gladiator, Shiro refers to her by her real name – Katie – but assures her that her secret is safe with him. Disguising her gender to defend her family — reminiscent of Mulan, no? She does eventually rescue her family.
Another character worth looking at: Keith. At first, he has a hard time opening open to the rest of the team, most likely because he felt abandoned by his parents as a child. He doesn’t know much about his past, giving off the “lone wolf” vibe. We later discover in Season 2, however, that Keith is actually half-Galra via his mother, Krolia. Keith ends up embracing the rest of the Paladins and avenges them throughout the series.
Next up: Princess Allura and King Alfor. Allura is the daughter of the creator of the Voltron lions, King Alfor, who clearly revered her above all else – hence, his plea for Allura to destroy his corrupted A.I. form in order to save the new Paladins. This father-daughter bond cannot be denied.
There are many other examples, but you get the point. The theme of “family” is strong with this one…which kids and adults can both appreciate.
VLD FANDOM and RELATABILITY OF CHARACTERS
The Voltron Fandom is undoubtedly loyal and the characters of VLD are easily relatable for both kids and adults. Shiro is the leader with an uncertain past. Hunk is the lovable, gentle giant and the “heart” of the team. In spite of his cockiness, Lance is the comedic relief. Keith is the lost soul, finding it hard to trust others. Often taking matters into her own hands, Pidge is the persistent one – always searching for the truth. Last but not least, Allura is fiercely loyal and incredibly smart.
This array of personalities allows for everyone to find someone to relate to, thus strengthening the fandom.
THE SERIES FINALE
Fans of the show probably have already consumed the whole 8th season within the week since its release. So, this is your last warning…
Okay, well if you’re still here, we’ll assume you’re already going through Post-Series Depression (yep, just made that up…but you know exactly what we mean, don’t you?)
For the most part, fans are heartbroken, because in the very last episode, Allura sacrifices herself with a ritual to Honerva in order to restore the multiverse. To say she will be sorely missed is a massive understatement.
The final episode wraps up with the following montage of still-shot captions…
“The Holt family established the next generation of Legendary Defenders.”
“Hunk created a culinary empire, bringing the universe together, one meal at a time.”
“Lance continued to spread Allura’s message while surrounding himself with the things he loved.”
“Kolivan and Krolia became the Galra representatives to the Galactic Coalition.”
“Keith helped transition the Blade of Marmora to a humanitarian relief organization.”
…and last but not least…
“Shiro found his happiness and finally left the battle behind.”
(YES! The writers finally re-address Shiro’s LGBT identity since killing off his partner in Season 7.)
What are your thoughts?! Did the writers wrap everything up in a nice bow? Do you think there will be a spinoff? Leave a comment below!
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