You already know Voltron Legendary Defender is one of the best shows on TV but could you imagine it gets even better? We got the chance (thanks DreamWorks!) to watch the first two episodes of this season and the series is better than ever.
Voltron has been excellent at world building; introducing new alien races and making the universe feel large and populated. The third season takes this to a new level with the team trying their best to recruit new worlds into the fight against Zarkon. As shown in some of the trailers leading up to this season, it’s not so easy without being able to form Voltron.
Voltron’s legend has been growing and as a result the various alien races the characters are meeting aren’t quite sure if they want to sign up. Now if you’re a fan of the action in this series you might be worried that without Voltron you don’t get your giant mecha fix. Don’t worry. Your mind will be blown by this season.
In the opening fight scene from episode one not only do we get an astounding ground battle that rivals major motion pictures but we get lots of aerial battles with the individual lions. I don’t know what happened between seasons but the lion action was kicked up to a whole new level. Everything moves with lightning speed but it’s never overwhelming. Some of these shots make you feel like you’re directly in the battle.
One impressive shot was in the season three trailer where Blue Lion spins across the screen and takes out a Galra ship. If you thought that looked cool in the trailer, wait till you see it in action.
The Voltron Paladins are of course all still reeling from the absence of Shiro. We check in on everyone and some are dealing with it better than others. Keith’s angst level is turned up to a thousand and he can barely function. Allura takes on a more diplomatic role in trying to sign up more worlds in the Galra fight.
While everyone is reeling they still find some great humor thanks to Pidge and Hunk. The second episode especially is able to find the levity in this all this darkness, which keeps the series from getting too bogged down in Keith’s angst. That angst does serve the story though, with Keith struggling with the idea of becoming the new leader of Voltron.
I’m loving that, from what I can guess, the arc of Keith in this new series is to slowly become the Keith of the original Voltron: Defender of the Universe. He has to grow from being “the loner” into becoming a confident leader. It’s a great arc that season three really starts to tackle.
Of course everyone has been waiting for the arrival of Prince Lotor. He’s a much different villain from Zarkon (who is out of commission for now) and he operates his chunk of the empire more like ancient Rome. It might sound strange, but Galra politics takes up a large chunk of the first episode and it’s riveting. The more I hear about it the more I desperately want a series of full fledged novels diving deep into how the Galra empire came to be.
While Voltron Legendary Defender is setting out into territory the original series didn’t cover there are still some callbacks that will delight longtime fans. A minor character that was present throughout the original series makes a return and it’s part of a big action sequence.
The series has also covered enough ground that it can now start calling back to its own continuity. The first season has this a bit with a return to the Balmerans but now we’re getting references to the various other alien races. It’s nice that while Voltron Legendary Defender pays homage to old series it’s now fully confident in calling back to itself.
From the trailer that was released many fans are questioning who will end up flying which Lion. Rest assured, it all makes sense and works perfectly with the characters. Unlike the original series where everyone just swapped lions without much a second thought, here there are explanations given to why certain Paladins are in certain Lions. I won’t spoil who gets in what but trust me, it’s great.
Voltron just keeps going from strength to strength and I can’t wait to see where this new season will be doing. Special shout out to AJ LoCascio who totally reinvents the character of Lotor and thankfully moves him away from the (admittingly hilarious) over the top voice of the original. This Lotor is someone who you believe millions of people would follow. He’s charming but can turn sinister in a flash. I can’t wait to see more of him.
Voltron Season 3 drops on Netflix August 4th.
Shamus Kelley needs some pizza rolls. You’ll understand that soon enough. Follow him on Twitter!
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