DreamWorks Animation’s Voltron Legendary Defender has enjoyed two stellar seasons on Netflix since the rebooted animated series’ debut a little over a year ago. The good news for fans of the Paladins and their Lions is that 2017 will see the arrival of two more seasons: Season 3 debuts Friday, August 4th, followed by Season 4 this October. The great news is that Season 3 gets off to a fantastic start by picking up where the show left off, changing up the team dynamics, and introducing the villainous Prince Lotor (A.J. LoCascio), who should be a hands-down fan-favorite.
Starring Steven Yeun, Kimberly Brooks, Rhys Darby, Jeremy Shada, Bex Taylor-Klaus and Tyler Labine, Voltron returns to Netflix for new episodes this Friday. I had a chance to check out the first two installments, which shake up alliances on both sides of the battle and introduce Emperor Zarkon’s heir apparent in Prince Lotor. Fans are in for a real treat here, especially those who are familiar with the original 80s series. Some spoilers follow, but as long as you’re caught up with Season 2, my review will be spoiler-free below!
When last we left our Paladins and their allies, they had just dealt a crushing blow to the Galra Empire by defeating Emperor Zarkon in combat and basically sending him into a coma. The upside of this victory was that the Empire began to show cracks; its stranglehold on the vast, galactic system of planets and peoples began to loosen. The downside was that the Paladins lost their leader Shiro (Josh Keaton) in the process.
And that’s where we pick up in Season 3. Keith takes it upon himself to search for Shiro, who had chosen him as the one to lead the Paladins should Shiro fall, while the others continue their own pursuits. Pidge continues her quest for answers regarding her brother’s disappearance by digging into video evidence of his escape from Galra captivity. Hunk and Lance, meanwhile, serve to protect nearby planets from Galra forces and liberate more potential allies so they may join the side of Princess Allura. Their Lions are all intact and working just fine save for one exception: The Black Lion is without a pilot now that Shiro is missing.
That very important conflict serves to set up the tension early in Season 3 on a number of levels. First, on a character level, Keith is dealing with not just the absence of Shiro or the mystery of his disappearance but also the former leader’s wishes for Keith to take up that mantle. As a loner by nature, this is the last thing Keith wants to do. That complicates things on the team level as the Paladins soon fall into arguing amongst themselves about just who should be in charge. Ultimately, like it was in the very beginning, it’s up to the Lions to decide.