Netflix's Voltron: Legendary Defender updated the property for a new generation by offering up a new take on the story about the giant soldier that's made up of five Lions and its pilots, Paladins. Just as it did in the classic cartoon series, the mammoth Voltron robot went on to protect the galaxy at any and all costs, looking to break the stronghold of the Galra Empire.
While the series ran for eight seasons after its 2016 debut, Season 3 was a pivotal turning point for the show. These seven episodes, which were released in Aug. 2017, introduced several key elements into the reimagined mythos that would go on to drive the plot until the end of the series. Now, CBR is breaking down the crucial moments of that season.
VOLTRON'S COMET AND THE RIFT
The third season introduced fans to a trans-reality comet that created a rift in the space-time continuum. When Team Voltron investigated, they were able to find an Altean ship and learn how other cosmic entities were hunting for the energy source of life known as Quintessence in other realities.
This marked the first time that alternate dimensions played a role in the series, and it showed Allura that there could have been evil Alteans, apart from Galra soldiers, existing in other realities. This also revealed that anyone who was able to traverse this hole in space could harness the Quintessence and weaponize it, which revealed how Emperor Zarkon and his wife, Haggar, were linked to Voltron's creation.
VOLTRON'S ORIGIN OF EVERYTHING
Recognizing the importance of this comet in the finale, "The Legend Begins," Coran divulged the history of Voltron and how this comet initially crashed on Daibazaal, Zarkon's home. However, at this point, Zarkon, King Alfor (Allura's dad) and their team were all scientific explorers and heroes, intrigued by what the comet offered. They soon came upon the rift and the Quintessence, which Zarkon and his wife-to-be, Honerva, studied diligently.
Alfor used the metal from the comet and the Quintessence to create the Voltron Lions, and so his crew became the original Paladins. Zarkon would pilot the Black Lion, but as time passed, he grew corrupted as he and Honerva wanted to bathe in Quintessence. Eventually, on a mission gone awry, they'd expose themselves and their home planet to the energy, destroying it. They ended up being resurrected in twisted reflections of themselves, though, with Zarkon turning evil and Honerva becoming Haggar, intent on taking Alfor's Lions for himself to go back into the rift.
THE RISE OF LOTOR IN VOLTRON
With the history of the Lions explained, it finally made sense why Voltron was the guardian of all life, not just in the universe, but the multiverse. This also led to the game-changing villain arriving in Prince Lotor. When Zarkon went down in battle earlier on with Shiro, Lotor came in and took over as leader of the Galra empire, only for it to be revealed that he had his own sinister motives separate from his dad.
We'd see his generals such as Axca trying to help him secure the comet because he too wanted to harness Quintessence, but for much different experiments. This led to him infiltrating and tricking Team Voltron, particularly Allura, later on in the series, so he could unlock all the mystical secrets of the energy and achieve his goal of reshaping reality. The introduction of his generals would prove to be a major factor down the line, as they'd see him as a madman and join Voltron's resistance, which provided crucial insight in the final battles to save the galaxy from Lotor's treachery.
THE HEROES' DESTINY
In Season 2, after the fight that put Zarkon in a coma, Shiro went missing from the Black Lion. This resulted in Keith taking it over, Lance moving from the Blue to Red, and Allura piloting the Blue Lion now. The adjustment taught the team about loss, but their search for Shiro drove Keith to want more for the Blade of Marmora and Earth. He'd go on to hone his skills as a selfless leader, which came full-circle when the team found Shiro and he realized the kind of heroes they all needed to be.
However, later seasons revealed the real Shiro died, and this Shiro was a clone planted by Haggar. He'd eventually break free of her hold and prove to be an asset in the war against the witch and Lotor later on, but with his added presence, the team truly did regain faith in their selfless mission.
In short, this season finally finished introducing all of the show's villainous major players, strengthened Team Voltron as a family, and also revealed the key to saving the multiverse was the supernatural realm called Oriande where we finally discovered that Quintessence was indeed the building blocks of all realities.