The highly anticipated third season of Voltron was released August 4th, and boy was this season interesting. Please be warned, this post is chock full of spoilers and theories. Here are my quick, initial thoughts after marathoning all seven episodes of the season in one sitting:
The Struggle the Paladins had after Shiro disappeared.
The season began with an interesting premise with the switch of the Paladins, and a tough adjustment to come into their new roles. Keith struggled as the team’s new leader and had to learn to control his impulses. Lance had to accept Keith’s leadership despite their past rivalries. Even Allura learned that piloting a lion was not the same as piloting the castle. She struggled with a learning curve before coming into her own. This season did a great job of character development in these moments of the show. I hope that the next season shows the fluidity of the characters and their connections to the lions.
Lotor is definitely the most interesting villain introduced to the story so far. He is extremely different from his father and has the vision to move the Galra into a new direction. His actions might hint at him not remaining a villain in the Voltron universe for long, especially when it’s mentioned that he includes the conquered people in his governing. Still, Lotor is charismatic and cunning. In the first episode, he sent a commander to the outskirts of the galaxy for conspiring against him. He is merciless against established Galra officers and commanders. We’re also not sure what he plans to do with his new, powerful ship made out of the comet. Lotor will surely cause trouble for the Paladins for a while longer before we see any interesting character development.
His team of generals is also intriguing, and I can’t wait to learn more about their origins, especially in relation to the theories about Keith and Acxa.
Paladin Origin Story
I’m a sucker for origin stories, so it was fun to see what Zarkon, Alfor, and the other original Paladins were like before falling out. Similar to the current Paladins, they all had a strong bond that helped them fight for the good of the universe. After the brief flashbacks from the Black Lion in the previous season, it was nice to see what happened to the Galra homeworld, and what spurned Zarkon’s current rule and state of mind over the Galra. Some dark themes were introduced into the show, like Zarkon and Honerva’s addiction to the power of the quintessence and the annihilation of the Alteans despite Zarkon and Alfor’s friendship. The “other realm” creatures that emerged through this episode were also reminiscent of the Legend of Korra series and the episodes in the spirit realm. This allowed for some beautiful animation, and overall was a good close to this short season.
I’m sorry, the season was too short:
Even though season three started and ended strong, the middle of the season suffered from mediocre episodes. More on this will come later. I’m not sure if there was a hurry to get episodes out after the popularity of the first two seasons, or if this was the plan overall, but I wish the show runners took the time to make sure the entire season was up to par with the previous two. I get it, the fandom is excited about more content, but this is a perfect example of how quality suffers from rushing. The short season also made less time for the comedy of the show and portions of episodes that let us see more of the characters’ personalities and the different kinds of alien worlds. Luckily, Season 4 premieres in October which is not too long to wait to receive some answers and more from the Paladins.
Shiro’s super vague episode and return
(Note: I wrote the below section before I realized the theory that the current “Shiro” is possibly a clone. See here for some clues that support this theory. However, emotion and adjustment from the rest of the team still should’ve been included in the episode. Having Shiro back is a big change, especially after the Voltron team switched roles between the lions in the first couple of episodes. Hopefully, once the REAL Shiro is back, the emotion and bond between the Paladins will show once again.)
This is related to the point of the season being too short, but Shiro’s episode was brief and confusing. How did he teleport onto another Galra ship? How long was he truly gone and how come they didn’t cover everything that happened while he was away? There could have been so much more done with his story line that could’ve contributed to the plot. Also, the first season did a great job with Shiro’s trauma and flashbacks after being a prisoner with the Galra for so long. This season lacked any of that and ultimately suffered for it. Out of all the Paladins, he has spent the most time seeing the Galra and I wish the show took more advantage of Shiro’s experiences. The adjustment for him coming back as the leader of Voltron was too fast and easy, and his return lacked emotion from any of the teammates, other than a brief showing from Keith.
Too many story lines left open
Once again, the season suffered from being too short and several story lines were introduced but then ignored. For example, they set up a lot of conflict with the blades of Mamora and the planets that were liberated from the Galra. Citizens of the planets were concerned about not seeing Voltron, but this was hardly ever touched on again throughout the episodes even after Voltron’s return. They also teased at Pidge finding her family and receiving more concrete clues to their whereabouts in the first episode. Then, they didn’t touch on it for the rest of the season. Coran, Hunk, and Lance were also generally ignored for any story lines or character development. The previous two seasons usually did a great job of bread crumbing the clues for the viewers and kept it up throughout the entire season. I think that because of the time constraints for season three, there was a lack of any of this. Hopefully, season four will touch more on these story lines and characters.
Zarkon and Honerva/Haggar (as in this made me ugly cry).
Ugh let’s be real for a second, this story is heartbreaking. Zarkon only wanted to help his wife and in the end, they both suffered. I’m interested to see the resolution and if they fully remember their goals and affection.
So, what did you think of the Legend of Voltron season three? What were your favorite parts and your least favorite parts? Be sure to share your opinions and initial thoughts!