In the midst of all the controversy about missing the mark on Shiro’s past, I have yet to find an article about Season 7’s thirteen installment run that focuses on what is one of the most prevalent themes in the episode arc: family. As the story developed over the last 65 episodes it is very apparent that to be able to embark on a galactic journey of self discovery and downright quest to vanquish evil, one cannot do it a) alone and b) without a reason to keep fighting especially when the outcome is dire. The Paladins and their support circle forge friendships with deep filial ties that enable them to work as a team to trump anything thrown their way; overzealous generals, admirals and overthrown regents alike.
Things must evolve, and this chapter of our journey to defend the universe capitalizes on the process of self discovery and changes the Paladins have undergone. Getting to Earth, Battlestar Gallactica style, is not the end but the means itself to develop some character growth as the season progresses. The poignant script attempts to move beyond the cool robots, the sci-fi, and the exotic galactic worlds to tug at the heart-strings and rally one last battle cry against the Galra, and the Voltron Coallition as we know it itself. Many of the episodes pay homage to the coming of age cultural rituals which our favorite crew must endure to become the men and women of legend they were meant to become. Focusing on the emotions and insecurities of the young characters, as well as their underlying strengths and resilience, the writers and voice actors present a cohesive and thought provoking narrative that tackles each Paladin’s back story and inner demons successfully leaving you wanting more than the episodes could produce. Lots of opportunities for interesting twists and turns for the next and last chapter, Season 8.
By midseason, as the heroes grow closer to each other and their Lions, the team becomes more intuitive, wise and mature. Keith’s experiences allow him to progressively unlock both his potential and the full potential and essence of Voltron. Many of his subtle yet bold moves show how far along he has come in terms of trusting himself and his squad, opening up and becoming more approachable. Shiro, who one of my friends calls the “Sven that lived”, rises to the occasion as well proving that his destint is even greater than his legacy as the Black Lion’s pilot. His altruistic leadership skills and situational awareness expand his role as part of Earth’s Galaxy Garrison. What he is able to do with the IGF Atlas will blow your mind! This is truly the beginning of the end…
With the end of an era looming in the horizon, there are a few underlying questions that are still left unanswered. Will Keith finally rise to be the charismatic leader the crew needs to defeat the Galra? Can Lance look outside of himself and provide the fortitude required to keep the team together? Is Hunk going to be able to overcome his fears and be brave past this Season’s last stance? What’s in store for Pidge and her family? Is Allura really crushing hard on a teammate, and can this love truly find a place in the team? Are the newly introduced MFE pilots the future of Voltron? How will it all end?
Although this has proven to be the most serious season yet, Dreamworks team managed to deliver in its tfiller-esque episode, “The Feud”, an introspective comedy relief view of the importance of selecting the right pilots for the Lions. Gameshow host Bob traps the famed Voltron squad and uses trivia, their enemies, and the team’s past experiences to measure the team’s worth as Paladins and overall galactic beings. We are shown why these people are worthy of the honor to protect the galaxy even when they are still a bit green around the ears.
The writers brilliantly used the game show’s trivia format as a mechanism to provide insight into the inner workings of the chosen five. Needless to say hilarity and absurdity ensue as we witness our heroes attempt to save their own skin without their precious mechs. The ending was poignant and not worth spoiling. Go watch it and you’ll see what I mean.
Sidebar – I was very disappointed with the way Lance, the Cuban Latin Lover, has been portrayed pre and post his heritage revealed. Being bombarded with Lance is the dumb dumb over and over again made my blood boil. In contrast, Veronica – his sister – was perfection which just complicates my feelings even more. As a strong Latin woman, I need strong Latin men representation. Tired of being told culturaly to put up with the womanizing “dumb dumb”.
Back to the review…
By the end of this run you’ll either be completely satisfied with the content or greatly enraged by the twists and plot devices used to get us closer to the conclusion of the battle against all of Voltron’s enemies. The Robotech like sequences and plot development may be brilliant to some and over the top to others. For this original fan and geek/nerd, it hit the perfect mix of predictable and awesome. I honestly don’t want this marvelous gem of a show to end.
Check out Voltron, streaming now on Netflix.