Is ‘Voltron: Legendary Defender’ Returning for Season 9 on Netflix?
Contrary to internet rumors and opinion Voltron: Legendary Defender won’t be returning for a ninth season on Netflix anytime soon. Despite being mired in controversy there are still many fans hoping to see the series make a triumphant return, however, we’ll discuss below why Voltron: Legendary Defender won’t be returning for season 9 on Netflix.
Between July 2016 and December 2018, a total of eight seasons and 78 episodes of Voltron: Legendary Defender was released on Netflix. The DreamWorks reboot of the popular Japanese mecha franchise is one of the most successful animated series on Netflix, and also one of the most controversial.
Why isn’t Voltron: Legendary Defender returning for season 9 on Netflix?
The simplest answer is often the best answer, and that is simply Netlfix fulfilled its commitment to releasing at least 76 episodes of Voltron: Legendary Defender. Within the 78 episodes that were released, the final batch of 13 episodes for the final season successfully concluded the story to the series.
However, there are other reasons why Netflix won’t be bringing back the animated series anytime soon.
The LGBTQ+ Controversy
Netflix has made a monumental effort to represent the LGBTQ+ community in its original content, and that includes representation in its animated content too.
Voltron featured several LGBTQ+ characters throughout its run, in particular the characters of Shiro, Adam, and Curtis. However, not everyone was happy with how the LGBTQ+ characters were represented throughout the show, especially with the depiction of the relationship between the characters of Adam and Shiro.
Not only was the relationship of Adam and Shiro heavily criticized, but further controversy also followed when Netflix was accused of the “burying that gay” stereotype when Adam was later killed off. The reaction online was so strong that executive producer Joaquim Dos Santos apologized to fans.
Voltron: Legendary Defender showrunners Lauren Montgomery (left) and Joaquim Dos Santos (right)
Sadly, this wasn’t the end of the controversy, thanks to the show’s attempt to shoehorn in a wedding between Shiro and the background character of Curtis.
The show was accused of pulling off a publicity stunt by adding in the wedding, to which showrunner Lauren Montgomery and Joaquim Dos Santos would later admit that the wedding was added at the last minute as an “olive branch” to the LGBTQ+ community.
Montgomery apologized behind the scenes about the way the show represented its LGBTQ+ characters:
There’s so much that I would do differently, but so little we could’ve done differently.
Arguably the show is still radioactive from the controversy surrounding the representation of LGBTQ+ characters.
This means that Netflix, DreamWorks, World Events Productions and the South Korean studio Mir could be sleepwalking into a PR disaster if the return of the show and its representation of its LGBTQ+ characters are handled poorly.
The heroes of Voltron: Legendary Defender
Most of the erratic and poor fan behavior can be credited to the LGBTQ+ controversy and shipping.
For anyone unaware, shipping is when a select group of fans within a fandom support the act of two characters engaging in a romantic relationship, even if those characters have shown no sign of romantic interest in each other. On social media, there are small communities within the fandoms dedicated to their favorite ship.
In the wake of the aforementioned LGBTQ+ controversy, Lauren Montgomery and Joaquim Dos Santos received death threats or threats of physical violence. Some of the voice cast of Voltron also received death threats, which lead to some considering dropping out of fan conventions for their own safety.
One fan threatened to release sensitive private internal documents that were related to the series unless the characters of Keith and Lance became an official couple.
So Voltron: Legendary Defender isn’t returning to Netflix in December 2021?
Sadly, there is a fake news site reporting on various different Netflix Originals and is providing fake release dates. The site claims that Voltron was due to return on December 10th, 2021, however, this is 100% false.
Are you disappointed that Voltron: Legendary Defender isn’t returning for a ninth season on Netflix. Let us know in the comments below!
Voltron: Legendary Defender
2016 animated science fiction television series
Voltron: Legendary Defender is an animatedmechastreaming 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 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.
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, Spain, Portugal, Switzerland, Scandinavia, Benelux, Latin America, Slovenia, South Africa, Italy and Finland. 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 from Playmates Toys. The eighth and final season premiered on December 14, 2018, and consists of thirteen episodes.
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 328-foot tall robot warrior composed of five lion robots whose pilots are known as the Paladins. At the crux of the war that ended with the destruction of planet Altea, King Alfor of Altea separated Voltron to protect it from falling into the evil Galran King Zarkon's possession. King Alfor bonded the five lions' 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 characters
Main article: 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 while on a scientific expedition, 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 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 was revealed of being an unwitting mole of Haggar, who can see through his eyes to keep an eye on Lotor. After Keith and 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 Galaxy Garrison battleship, during the fight against Sendak. The first episode introduces the character "Adam W." who was shown as a "significant other" to Shiro, a description confirmed by Lauren Montgomery that revealed Shiro as an LGBT character. At the end of season 8, he married Curtis, a fellow crewmember on the Atlas.
- Kimberly Brooks as Princess Allura:
The 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 new group of 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 all realities after they were destroyed in the final battle.
- 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, but he also gradually learns the necessary skills to work with a team. In season two, Keith discovers he has Galra blood, apparently from his maternal side of the family. The revelation comes from a knife that 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 steps down from this position and hands it 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.
- 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. Initially cocky and confident, Lance is nicknamed the sharpshooter and ladies' man of the Defenders. Lance occasionally has doubts of fulfilling his role on the team. Lance also 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 and right-hand man of Voltron from season three onward. Lance presumably died for a brief moment in season 6. He and Allura begin a romance at the beginning of season 8. After the final battle with Honerva, Lance returns to live on his family's farm, spreading Allura's message and has gained Altean markings.
- 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 scientific mission that 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 establish and lead the next generation of Legendary Defenders (the nature of whom can be seen to be a nod to Vehicle Voltron).
- 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.
- Rhys Darby as Coran Hieronymus Wimbleton Smythe:
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 his conquest, 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 a powerful, experimental mecha armor and is defeated by the Paladins, 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 fights him in a duel to the death and is slain by Lotor's hand, and he is declared dead by the empire. In season 8, Zarkon last appears as a corrupted spirit inside of Honerva's mind to protect her secrets. When the original and present Paladins fight and defeat him, they purified his soul and returns to normal after millennia. Then when Allura shows him all the suffering he has caused in all that time, Zarkon becomes repentant. The old and new Paladins convince him to help them escape her mind using the combined shared bond of all ten Paladins to Voltron.
- Cree Summer as Witch Haggar / Honerva:
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 dark magic with abominable science to arm soldiers with powerful weapons, create giant robotic monsters dubbed "Robeasts" to fight Voltron, and drain the mystical life energy known as quintessence from all living things, including whole planets, for the Galra to use in their universal conquest. In battle, her magical abilities allow for her to teleport, cast illusions, and wield dark magic 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. She was afflicted by the same corruption that had transformed Zarkon, in the process losing all the memories of her former life, and gradually recovered them when she traveled to the mystical realm of Oriande where Altean alchemy originated. The trip allowed Haggar to restore herself to her original state as Honerva. While she was mysteriously absent during season 7, Honerva returns as the main antagonist of season 8. She has deceived a colony of Alteans Lotor had kept hidden from the Galra into becoming her willing followers, promising them they will be reunited with Lotor and Altea. Her plan is to summon Lotor's mech and merge it with a personal one of her own, creating a mech that can open up rips to alternate realities. With it, she could then find and travel to the perfect reality to live in peace with, but at the cost of all other realities being destroyed by these created rips. It gets worse when the reality she thinks is the perfect one causes her more of the pain she hates: outraged, she nearly succeeds in ending all of existence during the final battle, but gets convinced by the Paladins and Allura to stop, though she becomes disheartened that there is now only one reality left because of her actions. She and Allura work together to use all their Altean magic to save all of existence, sacrificing their lives to do this.
- 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 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. However, Lotor's alliance with the Paladins falls apart once it is revealed that he secretly saved many Alteans 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 achieve it, 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 direct exposure to all the quintessence within it 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 to die due to Quintessence poisoning.
On January 5, 2016, Netflix and DreamWorks Animation announced a new original animated Voltron series to debut in 2016 as a reboot similar to that of Disney's Ducktales reboot, the expansion of their existing multi-year agreement.Voltron was 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, Rhys Darby as Coran, and Neil Kaplan as Emperor 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 on 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 in 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 premiered on December 14, 2018, and consisted of 13 episodes.
Main article: List of Voltron: Legendary Defender episodes
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. Some critics and fans criticized 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 aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes reported a 100% approval with an average rating of 8.15 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 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." 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."
On Rotten Tomatoes season 2 has a 100% approval with an average rating of 9.6 based on 5 reviews.
On Rotten Tomatoes season 3 has an 100% approval with an average rating of 9.33 based on 5 reviews.
On Rotten Tomatoes season 4 has a 80% approval with an average rating of 8.77 based on 5 reviews.
On Rotten Tomatoes season 5 has a 100% approval with an average rating of 10 based on 5 reviews.
On Rotten Tomatoes season 6 has a 100% approval with an average rating of 9.87 based on 5 reviews.
On Rotten Tomatoes season 7 has a 100% approval with an average rating of 8.75 based on 5 reviews.
On Rotten Tomatoes season 8 has a 86% approval with an average rating of 8.78 based on 7 reviews.
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."
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." 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."
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."
In reviewing the series as a whole, Jacob Oller of Paste Magazine wrote, “Empathy is Voltron’s quintessence, its driving fuel and its prime directive. And now that it’s over, those moving on can list the series alongside Korra and Avatar as one of the most impressive of its time.”
There were a number of negative 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."
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."
LGBT-related controversy and criticism
Main article: Netflix and LGBTQ representation in Voltron: Legendary Defender
While the show had at least five confirmed LGBTQ characters, controversy swirled around its LGBTQ representation. Specifically, it featured three gay characters, Shiro and Adam, who broke up, with Adam dying several years later, but at the end of eighth and final season, Shiro is married to Curtis, a background character introduced in Season 7. The series was fraught with criticism for its LGBTQ representation. The show was criticized for killing off a gay character, with some saying the show was following a stereotype known as "burying that gay", leading showrunner Joaquim Dos Santos to apologize to fans. This was not a surprise as "not all queer presentation" was created equal as one scholar noted, with representation of bisexual and transgender characters lagging behind lesbians and gay men in some respects, with this representation important in the U.S. political climate while GLAAD called for Hollywood to produce more characters with LGBTQ+ characters. Renaldo Metadeen of CBR gave his own take, criticizing the marriage between Shiro and Curtis, calling it "cheap and tacked on," while stating that making a "five-second blip of the wedding...come[s] off as a publicity stunt."
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. With the release of the final episode it is shown as true.
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 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."
Controversy in Season 8 also swirled around Ezor, a female character who was confirmed to be in a same-sex relationship with fellow general Zethrid. The character's single line of dialogue was pulled from Kimberly Brooks in a previous season, No audio description ever mentions Ezor's survival within "The Grudge" or its following episode. 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.
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."
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.
Speaking in an interview with the "Let's Voltron" podcast Joaquim Dos Santos denied the existence of an alternate cut of season eight.
The series was marred by the extraordinarily poor behavior on the part of a number of its fans. Death threats were issued to many within the Voltron cast and crew, particularly to the showrunners Dos Santos and Montgomery and voice actors Josh Keaton and Bex Taylor-Klaus. Almost all of the negative behavior centered on either LGBT representation or "shipping."
A fan demanded that Keith and Lance be written to be romantically involved with one another and threatened to publicly post private internal documents related to the show until the two male characters became a couple.
In defense of the executive producers, Tyler Labine, the voice actor for Hunk, stated on his personal Instagram account that "what is not real and what will all fall by the wayside in due time is all the unwarranted hate and vitriol that the dark side of this fandom has let seep into this precious world. THAT is all just noise and I refuse to listen." He also said, in regard to Shiro's epilogue in Season 8, that the "powers that be and people in control aren’t always free to do things the way they want. There is always someone more powerful with lore control keep the gates shut. Just remember that next time you decide that the creators of this show didn’t care about the fandom. I assure they cared more than anybody. Fact."
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|||
|64th Annual Golden Reel Awards||Sound and Music Editing - TV Animation||Episode: "The Black Paladin"||Nominated|||
|Golden Trailer Awards 2017||Best Animation/Family (TV Spot / Trailer /Teaser for a Series)||Voltron: Legendary Defender||Nominated|||
|6th Annual BTVA Awards||Best Vocal Ensemble in a New Television Series||Voltron: Legendary Defender||Nominated|||
|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|||
|45th Daytime Emmy Awards||Outstanding Interactive Media - Enhancement to a Daytime Program or Series||DreamWorks Voltron VR Chronicles||Nominated|||
|7th Annual BTVA Awards||Best Vocal Ensemble in a Television Series||Voltron: Legendary Defender||Nominated|||
|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|||
|IGN's Best of 2018 Awards||Best Animated Series||Voltron: Legendary Defender||Nominated|||
|2019||Golden Trailer Awards 2019||Best Animation / Family TV Spot/Trailer/Teaser for a Series||Voltron: Legendary Defender||Nominated|||
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.
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.
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 DreamWorksTVYouTube channel. The story takes place in between the season 1 episodes "Rebirth" and "Crystal Venom."
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 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."
|#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)
Volume 3 debuted on July 11, 2018. The story is set between season 4 and season 5.
|#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|
|#4||October 10, 2018|
|#5||November 14, 2018|
The first two seasons were released on DVD in Region 1 by Universal Pictures Home Entertainment on June 12, 2018, The first two seasons were also released in Australia on October 17, 2018. The series was also releasesd on DVD in the UK, Italy, and Germany. A box set for seasons 3-6 has been released as of June 2019. Seasons 1-6 are available on iTunes, Google PlayAmazon Video etc in the UK.
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".
DreamWorks Voltron VR Chronicles (2017)
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.
Voltron: Cubes of Olkarion (2019)
A real-time strategy video game based on the series, called Voltron: Cubes of Olkarion, created by indie developer Gbanga, was entered into and won the 2018 Universal GameDev Challenge. The game was released on SteamEarly Access on 29 August 2019. On the 19th September 2019 NBCUniversal shutdown its game publishing division. Three months later on the 19th December Voltron: Cubes of Olkarion was briefly removed from the Steam store, but reactivated in June 2020. In the game, players compete in real-time player vs player (PvP) game battles by placing own and destroying opponent blocks with different features in a game board with a grid.
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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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- ^"VOLTRON LEGENDARY DEFENDER VOL 3 #1 CVR A YAMASHIN (MAY181839)". Retrieved May 22, 2018.
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Voltron: Legendary Defender
June 10th, 2016
Also known as
VLD, Voltron, Legendary Defender
Joaquim Dos Santos
Country of origin
Five unsuspecting teenagers, transported from Earth into the middle of a sprawling intergalactic war, become pilots for five robotic lions in the battle to protect the universe from evil. Only through the true power of teamwork can they unite to form the mighty warrior known as Voltron.
Voltron: Legendary Defender is a Netflix original web television series produced by DreamWorks Animation and World Events Productions, and animated by Studio Mir with a combination of drawn and CGI animation. It is based on the original American TV show, Voltron: Defender of the Universe, released in 1984, which drew its material from two different Japanese anime: Beast King GoLion, released in 1981, and Armored Fleet Dairugger XV, released in 1982. It is the fourth major television series of the Voltron franchise and first to be a web-exclusive to Netflix. Since its initial release in 2016, the series has released eight seasons, with the final season being released on December 14, 2018. In total, the series has accumulated aired 75 episodes.
Voltron: Legendary Defender was first announced as an expansion of the existing multi-year agreement between Netflix and DreamWorks Animation. Comic books for the series have also been produced. The official logo was released on February 8, 2016 while the entire first season was released on June 10, 2016. The latest and final season of the show was its the eighth season, which was released on December 14, 2018.
Following Netflix's original releases online, the show was later televised on certain channels such as CHRGD from 2019 onward.
Team Voltron/Defenders of the Universe
Paladin is the term used to describe individuals chosen by a Lion of Voltron to pilot them. It also is another word for "hero". There can only be one Paladin to any Lion. Although an individual may be allowed by a Lion to pilot them, they are not recognized as a full-fledged Paladin until a Lion truly acknowledges them as such. Only then will they be awarded with a bayard and the true title of "Paladin". Below is the current roster of Voltron Paladins:
- Coran: Former Royal Adviser to the Altean royal family and chief engineer of the Castle of Lions; also one of the last survivors of Planet Altea.
- King Alfor the Great: Allura's father and the previous ruler of Altea responsible for sending the Lions to the far corners of the universe for protection before dying in the Altean genocide by the Galra. Alfor was the creator of the Voltron Lions as well as the original Paladin of the Red Lion.
- King/Lord/Emperor Zarkon (voiced by Neil Kaplan) - Former ruler of Planet Daibazaal, former leader of the Galra Empire and conqueror of most of the known universe. He was once the friend and comrade-in-arms of King Alfor and original Paladin of the Black Lion.
- Prince/Emperor Lotor (voiced by A.J. Locascio) - The son of Zarkon and a former fugitive of the Galra Empire; the once-and-future heir to the Galra throne who led the Empire following his father's defeat at the hands of Voltron and later his seeming demise.
- Lotor's Generals - Lotor's top generals who used to loyally serve him; they are only part Galra and insultingly described by other Galra soldiers as "half-breeds":
- Empress Honerva/High Priestess Haggar (voiced by Cree Summer) - Head of the Druids, a group of magic users in Zarkon's service who gathered quintessence as a power source, supercharged their Emperor with it and created monstrous "robeasts" to fight Voltron. She was previously Zarkon's Altean wife and Lotor's mother Honerva.
- Commander Sendak (voiced by Jake Eberle) - A Galra Commander tasked with capturing or destroying the lions along with Allura's castle. He is the first major enemy fought by the Paladins.
- Commander Prorok (voiced by Keith Ferguson)
- Subcommander Ylvik (Mentioned only)
- Chief Information Officer Plytox (Mentioned only)
- Lieutenant/Commander Thace (voiced by Mick Wingert) - A former Galra Commander-promoted-Lieutenant and spy for the Blade of Marmora.
- Commander Throk (voiced by Tony Curran) - A Galra Commander who originally sought to steal the throne from Lotor, plainly seeing him as unfit to lead the Galra.
Voltron is the legendary giant robotic superweapon made 10,000 years ago by King Alfor composed of 5 robotic lions: the Black Lion, the Red Lion, the Green Lion, the Blue Lion and the Yellow Lion. It was created using special ore from a "trans-reality comet" that had the ability to travel between different places in the space-time continuum. It is that ability that caused Zarkon to deem Voltron so valuable to the Empire, as it would allow him to collect quintessence from the layer between realities. A second comet with similar properties is later found by Lotor, which he then used to create the Sincline ships.
- See also: Voltron: Legendary Defender/Episodes
|Season||Episodes||Season premiere||Season finale|
|██||1||11||June 10, 2016|
("The Rise of Voltron")
|June 10, 2016|
("The Black Paladin")
|██||2||13||January, 20, 2017|
("Across the Universe")
|January, 20, 2017|
|██||3||7||August 4, 2017|
("Changing of the Guard")
|August 4, 2017|
("The Legend Begins")
|██||4||6||October 13, 2017|
("Code of Honor")
|October 13, 2017|
("A New Defender")
|██||5||6||March 2, 2018|
|March 2, 2018|
|██||6||7||June 15, 2018|
|June 15, 2018|
("Defender of All Universes")
|██||7||13||August 10, 2018|
("A Little Adventure")
|August 10, 2018|
("Lions' Pride, Part 2")
|██||8||13||December 14, 2018|
|December 14, 2018|
("The End Is the Beginning")
The series has spawned a single soundtrack released for Season One.
|150px||1||11||July 21, 2016|
The Voltron: Legendary Defender Comic is a series of comic issues published by Lion Forge Comics, drawn by Digital Art Chefs, and written by show head writers Tim Hedrick and Mitch Iverson. The first comic was published on July 13, 2016. Once all separate issues are released, each storyline is complied into a paperback volume (abbreviated "TPB" for "trade paperback"). Beginning June 15, 2017, the comics were released on the DreamWorksTV YouTube channel as "motion comics" with animated panels and voice acting from the main series cast.
Several extra collectible books have been published for the series, including character storybooks profiling certain characters, chapter books retelling certain episodes, and official guidebooks.
The series has spawned two games: A series of interactive virtual reality episodes released for various virtual reality platforms, and a 2D horizontal shooter on the official Voltron website.
- Puzzle & Dragons - A mobile puzzle/RPG hybrid developed by GungHo Online Entertainment. In 2017, it held a special event featuring characters from Legendary Defender as its first North America exclusive collaboration.
- Playmates Toys - The sole license-holder for the series' toy line.
Cast & Crew
- For a full list of staff, see the articles on IMDB and Wikipedia.
- Alex Geringas (Opening)
- Brad Breeck (Score)
- Brian Parkhurst (Score)
- For a full list of the cast, see the article on IMDB.
- [[Zarkon (Legendary Defender)|]]: Neil Kaplan, Kevin Durand
- [[Haggar (Legendary Defender)|]]: Cree Summer, Lily Rabe
- [[Lotor (Legendary Defender)|]]: AJ LoCascio
- Acxa: Anika Noni Rose, Erica Luttrell
- Ezor: Kimiko Glenn
- Zethrid: Jamie Gray Hyder
- [[Alfor (Legendary Defender)|]]: Keith Ferguson, Sean Teale
- Kolivan: Mark Rolston
- Matthew Holt: Blake Anderson
Blade of Marmora
- Hira: Virginia Madsen
- Trayling: Dee Bradley Baker
- Altean Scientist: Dee Bradley Baker
- Alien Shopkeeper: John DiMaggio
- Baujal: Jim Cummings
- Blaytz: Chris Kattan
- Bounty Hunter: John DiMaggio
- Gyrgan: Geno Segers
- Trigel: Angie Harmon
- Nyma: Lacey Chabert
- Ozar: John DiMaggio
- Remdax: Bill Millsap
- Rolo: Norman Reedus, Tyler Rhoads
- Sal: Fred Tatasciore
- Slav: Iqbal Theba
- Slice Capades Owner: Vince Offer
- Te-osh: Lacey Chabert
- Unilu Salesman: Paul Reubens
- Vakala: Matthew Moy
- Varkon: Fred Tatasciore
- Xi: Robin Atkin Downes
- In an interview, Tim Hedrick, Voltron's story editor, was asked "...Will we be seeing any LGBT content in Voltron?" to which he responded with "I think I'll let that play out as we go. No comment on that question."
- Work on the series began as early as the year 2014.
- The series was officially announced at Wonder Con 2016 with staff and cast Lauren Montgomery, Joaquim Dos Santos, Tim Hedrick, Jeremy Shada, Bex Taylor-Klaus, Tyler Labine, Josh Keaton, Kimberly Brooks, and Rhys Darby attending the panel. A trailer for Season One premiered along with clips from the season. Steven Yeun was featured in a recorded video at the panel introducing his character, Keith.
- The series has been dubbed in: English, Filipino, Portuguese, Spanish, Korean, Japanese, Danish, German, Dutch, Norwegian, French, German, Finnish, and Swedish.
- The series aired on Netflix Korea on October 10th, 2016.
- Joaquim Dos Santos and Lauren Montgomery are fans of the original Voltron show and wanted to make the new series similar to how fans nostalgically remember Defender of the Universe, rather than a strictly faithful update or a complete reinvention. Legendary Defender is a means to reel in both a new generation and old fans. To get a more coherent grasp on the older series, staff watched both Defender of the Universe and Beast King GoLion, paying homage and honor to both. They avoided going the darker route of a story, preferring to keep campy humor and fun amongst a serious storyline.
- Dos Santos stated that the biggest influence on him for Legendary Defender are Robotech and Macross, appreciating the dramatic aspects of the show.
- According to Dos Santos, "As far as themes go, the overall theme of teamwork is a huge thing for us to get across. Not just teamwork like, ‘we gotta work together to make this happen’ but really building characters that are complex enough to overcome their own shortcomings, evolve, and become the fully realized heroes we know they can be. Nobody at the beginning or end of the show will be perfect by any means but they will change and rise to the occasion."
- Voltron: Legendary Defender marks the first series in franchise history where the pilot of the Green Lion is a female character: Pidge, who was male in all the other versions of Voltron. Pidge's gender was on Lauren Montgomery's list of "must-haves", as well as mermaids.
- There are notable aspects of the series which departed from the Voltron: Defender of the Universe:
- The first show that outright replace the series' traditional Monster of the Week (Robeasts) with Galra fleets as the primary threat, explaining why onlyfourofthem that exist in this continuity.
- Voltron Lions and their pilots in Legendary Defender are portrayed much more capable in their separated forms than their previous incarnations that their ability to combine into the titular mechs only used as a last resort.
- The first series that featured LGBTQ+ among the main casts (namely Shiro).
- The first series where Allura dies near the end of the series, arguably the most controversial change in entire franchise.
To be honest, everything seemed exemplary to me there, but for some reason Victoria did not appreciate the original decision to hang. Socks on a table lamp and carry out wet cleaning once a month. Even at school, you always walked like a freak.
Legendary defender voltron
Tim said with a grin. Roman, our computer genius, sound and video director, immediately arranged sexual music for him. Tim began to move slowly and, as it seemed to him, sexually.Voltron Legendary Defender 16\
Even my voice let me down. Lera, as if by accident, slowly brought her foot even closer to my face. I'm very interested, what are you thinking now. Just your face.
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Your head is turned to one side, the cheek and ear are red. I will abruptly take my penis out of you and put it in your mouth. I will press your head against the sofa with my hand, I will reach your pussy with the other hand, I will jerk it, fucking.