This Voltron Legendary Defender review contains spoilers.
Voltron Season 8
Voltron season 8 weaves an incredible end to the tapestry of the universe it’s been building up over its entire run. It’s an incredible work of art by the end. Beautiful, enrapturing, and delightfully expansive. The season very much sticks the landing and plays up all the series’ strongest points. It also highlights a few weaknesses but honestly with something so solid you almost don’t notice them.
The biggest strength of the season is how nearly everyone comes back to play some part in the final season. Of course the Paladins are still the focus but come on, even Pidge’s mom gets more than a few scenes to shine! Kolivan gets a comedy moment. Slav is actually vital to the big resolution. Who could have predicted that?
Unlike previous seasons, season 8 doesn’t feel like it’s barreling forward at ramming speed towards its conclusion. It actually takes it time, with three episodes that are mostly fun chances to fill out the world and give us a ton of great moments for the characters to shine.
Some of the slower pace may have to do with the biggest plot strand the show had to deal with. Haggar. Mostly in the background for much of the series run, she’s finally catapulted to main villain status. She’s an effective and even sympathetic villain but much of her plot would have worked better if we’d seen more of her earlier in the series.
The season quickly has to fill in some of her backstory and it’s easily the weakest episode. The flashbacks are hard to follow and at times you can’t tell if certain events are happening in the distant past, recent past, or now. It would have been far more effective if we’d been given at least some of this information before so it didn’t have to be dumped on us all at once.
Seeing more of her, Zarkon, and Lotor in the past would have made the ultimate goal, finding a reality where none of the bad things happened, more compelling. It still works, but it’s only a shadow of the greatness it could have been.
The real star of this season though is Allura. Her romance with Lance was pretty expected and while I wish they had done more to build it up (much like the Haggar backstory) it still works. They’re cute together! They got to cuddle and support one another. That’s the kind of healthy relationship I like to see in kids TV.
In the end however she was the true defender of the universe. I was incredibly satisfied with her ultimate sacrifice. She wasn’t unceremoniously killed, she made a choice to sacrifice herself to save every reality in existence. That’s pretty damn cool and stops the cycle of violence between her family and Haggar’s.
There’s so much in this season that one review simply can’t cover it all. Actually that’s how the season feels to. Go with me for a second. The season has so many incredible ideas and plotlines. Earth forming an even bigger coalition to save the universe. Haggar turning the Alteans against Voltron. The Galra switching sides on Haggar. All the different realities that are threatened.
Each of those would be worthy of an arc of episodes in of themselves but Voltron simply introduces and then resolves many of them rather quickly or without much focus. This isn’t a big negative. If a negative for your show is that you have TOO MANY good ideas? You’re doing okay, but it makes me wish the series overall had been paced a bit better (season 3 is where things went off the rails a bit) so all these ideas could have had the right amount of time to breathe.
Oh well, maybe we’ll get more Voltron comics or even novels (PLEASE) to fill in these gaps or areas of missed potential.
Even with that, the season is still solid. Yeah the final resolution involves the biggest ass pull of the whole show (a bunch of Balmeras show up conveniently) but the emotions are so high and everything is so intense it’s totally excusable. The season gives all these moments with our cast to make the climax land so effectively. We’ve come to know and love everyone in the cast and seeing them bust out every powerup they have to win leads to no shortage of punch the air moments.
Perhaps the biggest is Hunk’s food bringing the Alteans around to helping team Voltron. It seems like such a simple moment in a season filled with reality shattering events, but it proves that not every resolution needs to come at the end of a giant laser cannon. (Or some Macross missile spam. Nice one.) Hunk’s cooking changing the Altean’s corrupted minds gave us that “Hunk as a diplomat” thing I’ve wanted more of across the series. Yes this is an action adventure show but I’d watch Hunk star in a political comedy/drama any damn day.
The season even ends with perhaps the biggest fan pleaser of them all, Shiro ending up married to a man. Whatever your feelings about how Adam’s death was handeled, the fact all of Voltron ends with a gay wedding and kiss? That’s incredibly empowering. That’s BEAUTIFUL.
Voltron even takes time to pay homage to the original season with the absolutely bonkers premiere episode that features Pidge WATCHING the OG Voltron! Yeah yeah it’s set up as a show in universe but come on, she’s watching OG Voltron and makes fun of the original Pidge voice! THAT IS AMAZING AND I LOVE IT FOREVER.
And let’s not lie, Vehicle Voltron finally got the love it deserved. The whole season is worth it just for that.
As it all wraps up, I’m happy for where Voltron ended. As much as I’d love to see a full on sequel or spinoff? What we got was great. Was it perfect? No, but it was a hell of a ride. Voltron can comfortably enter the hall of legendary action adventure series alongside ReBoot, W.I.T.C.H., War Planets, Digimon, Sailor Moon, Robotech, and many more.
To everyone who worked on Voltron, I salute you. You made something that will stand the test of time. With every episode I could see the immense love that went into all levels of production. You all deserve endless awards.
Thanks for all the memories, Voltron Legendary Defender. You brought Voltron to a whole new generation and created something that will last for generations.
From days of long ago…
From uncharted regions of the universe…
A legend was reborn…
The legend of Voltron: Legendary Defender!