Netflix struck gold with their reboot of the Voltron franchise and four seasons in, Voltron: Legendary Defender shows no signs of slowing down. It stands as one of the streaming platform’s biggest animated properties to date, encouraging the brand to take on new endeavors like Castlevania and such, while proving to be a nostalgic draw for lovers of ’80s and ’90s cartoons.
This update has attracted not just diehard fans, but newer and younger ones too through its modern visual aesthetic. While the look has been upgraded, the new story has also evolved in such a way that it still manages to stay faithful to its predecessors, producing a fun, enjoyable adventure for all ages. All of this combines to give Netflix a bumper-ride space saga that, upon close examination, draws a few parallels to a certain franchise set a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away. That’s right, the Voltron revamp has a lot of common ground with George Lucas’ Star Wars — both the old and new stories. Taking this into consideration, CBR decided to dissect the comparison a bit further.
Resisting An Evil Empire
The relentless action in Season 4 emphasized how similar both properties are, especially with the emergence of the Voltron Coalition. This movement united all the worlds that were liberated by Voltron’s lions and their Paladins from the clutches of the tyrannical Galra Empire. Apart from a vast array of separatist alien planets, resistance factions such as the Blade of Marmora also officially became part of this fight alongside Team Voltron, expanding the Coalition just like the Rebel Alliance in the Star Wars universe.
The Galra Empire, led by Emperor Zarkon, revealed more of its inner workings as the seasons went by. We saw that it wasn’t just a military power hellbent on ruling the cosmos through sheer force, but also a very political faction, rallying other planets to their cause, just like Palpatine did with his Galactic Empire. What makes Zarkon’s Empire so comparable is that it also dabbles in mysticism through the witch Haggar (Zarkon’s wife), in a similar fashion to how the Sith Lord Palpatine manipulated the Dark Side of the Force to strengthen his regime’s cosmic grip.
A Story Of Family
Another theme that’s familiar in narrative to Star Wars is the theme of family. Season 1 saw strangers unite to form Team Voltron, just like how Luke, Han, Chewbacca, Leia and Lando came together, as well as Rey, Finn and Poe Dameron years later. Seasons 2 and 3 then shaped Team Voltron more as a family, only for last season to put them through the emotional wringer, especially with Shiro and Keith struggling with leadership. We also saw the concept of family tested with Zarkon and Haggar as they faced insubordination from their son, Prince Lotor, leading to a lot of deaths and a huge shift in the show’s status quo.
However, Voltron’s biggest example of this theme unraveled through the genius Pidge and her reunion with elder brother, Matt. He was taken prisoner, along with their father, by the Galra in Season 1 but Pidge never gave up, finding him and igniting a new hope that their father is also alive. This search for family and one’s true place in the universe throws us back to a few Star Wars characters — Anakin searching for his mother Shmi on Tattooine; the ex-Stormtrooper Finn; and of course, Rey, who was abandoned on Jakku. It also reminded us of Luke Skywalker’s constant belief that his father was alive somewhere within Darth Vader, and could still be rescued.
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