Spoiler alert for anyone who hasn’t finished Season 2 of Netflix’s Voltron Legendary Defender.
There are a lot of fantastic things to enjoy in Netflix’s Voltron Legendary Defender–the story, the action, the humor, and the heart–but for the fans of the original series out there, one of the show’s most impressive feats is its ability to honor nostalgia while also improving on it. That’s a rare combination, but the Voltron team is up to the task. Nowhere was that more apparent than in the final episode of the show’s second season.
The first 11 episodes of Voltron Legendary Defender did a fantastic job at revamping the origin story of the five Paladins, their Lions, and the vast mythology surrounding the legendary defender, Voltron. Each of the Paladins, as well as Princess Allura, Coran, and the villains, were fully fleshed-out characters with deep backgrounds, personal motivations, and individual achievements that allowed them to grow over the course of the season. That trend continues and becomes even richer in Season 2, which sees big changes for our heroes as well as a surprising series of shake-ups for the villainous Galra Empire. If Season 2’s ending left you with some questions, we’ve got the answers!
Two of the biggest moments in the final episode of the second season, “Blackout”, looked back to the original series while also looking ahead to a possible future season, which is a pretty remarkable achievement. In the original series (both the Japanese and the Americanized versions), Shirogane/Sven wore the black uniform but piloted the Blue Lion, right up until his severe injury/death, depending on which version you watched. He returned to fight alongside his friends and their Lions a couple of times (or was it his twin brother…), but for the most part, Princess Allura took over the Blue Lion’s controls.
What does all this have to do with Voltron Legendary Defender? After Voltron’s battle with Zarkon in the finale, and after Shiro managed to activate his bayard and unlocked the Black Lion’s full potential, our heroes emerged victorious. However, the Black Lion itself returned to base, but Shiro was missing. He had been injured by Haggar at the end of the first season and has now disappeared at the end of the second, completing the nod back to Shirogane/Sven’s character in the original arcs. The question we ask now is, will Shiro show up at the beginning of Season 3? And, if not, will Princess Allura temporarily step in, perhaps piloting the Red Lion since earlier in the season Shiro tasked Keith with leading the team in his Black Lion should anything happen to him? Time will tell, but delaying Shiro’s return opens up a lot of storytelling opportunities including more drama among the team members, tension between the pilots as they adjust to new Lions and abilities, and a deepening of the relationship between Allura and Keith, which is complicated by the latter’s complicated parentage.