Tuesdays, ANIMATED INSIGHTS BY SHANNON MUIR takes you inside Shannon’s latest reflections on writing, animation, and life in general. To catch up on all posts, check out the Animated Insights portion of the website! This installment shares her non-spoiler thoughts on Season Three of VOLTRON LEGENDARY DEFENDER.
Fans of shows often can say that their interest in a program inspired them to discover talents or passions they didn’t realize, that ended up shaping their lives and sometimes their careers as well. I am no exception to that; in fact, I can go far enough to say that it was direct contact with the original show’s staff that made that difference. The professional life I’ve had for the past two decades in animation and entertainment definitely wouldn’t have happened without the original VOLTRON series in 1984. To my knowledge, I’m the only one who can say that. For someone used to being shy and trying to stay humble, it’s kind of awkward sometimes.
With such a close sentimental tie to the original series, the odds were high I’d have found much to dislike about VOLTRON LEGENDARY DEFENDER. Character personalities, sometimes even names, were changed. A lot more homage was paid to the Japanese source show, BEAST KING GOLION, in this retelling. However, ultimately I’m a fan of strong storytelling, which the current series accomplishes in a way far surpassing my expectations.
Season Three of the show, a six-episode run that debuted on NETFLIX August 4, 2017, proved no exception. While the characters very much move down paths crafted in new directions, in many cases enough of the core character personality is maintained to make this “new reality” as acceptable as the reality of the original series. In fact, the idea of multiple realities, or universes, exists in every VOLTRON incarnation. – to state anything more would be a spoiler and I encourage you to see the series for yourself.
What I admire most is that VOLTRON LEGENDARY DEFENDER keeps the focus on what I believe made the 1984 Lion Force version of the series the most successful – memorable characters. If big, giant robot action sequences were all it took, then both the Lion and Vehicle teams of the original show should have been equally memorable. If a couple brightly colored lions was all it took, and just any character could run the beasts, why is there far more talk about the fandom about its pilots than what Robeast of the week can be conquered?
If you haven’t already, watch VOLTRON LEGENDARY DEFENDER and see for yourself.
If you want to hear more about me discussing VOLTRON LEGENDARY DEFENDER and my experiences with it at Comic-Con International: San Diego, check out the LET’S VOLTRON podcast where I appear in the same episode that Lotor voice actor A.J. LoCascio makes his debut!