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.
- 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.