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9
Aug
2018

Voltron showrunners talk end of season 7 and incoming series finale

Season seven of Dreamworks and Netflix’s Voltron: Legendary Defender was nothing less than momentous. Between new characters, sought-after backstory information, and a nerve-wracking return to Earth, it felt as if this season could have been the series’ last. However, with 13 episodes left, there are plenty of things that still beg resolution in the final season, which Netflix will release before the end of the year.

After viewing all of season seven, Polygon spoke with Voltron: Legendary Defender showrunners Joaquim Dos Santos and Lauren Montgomery and gained some insight into the season’s final episode, potential seeds for romantic subplots and what’s remains for Team Voltron in the eighth and final season.

We recommend that you view season seven in its entirety before reading so that you can experience the finale on your own first and then return for further insight.

[Warning: Major spoilers for season seven of Voltron: Legendary Defender ahead.]

When Team Voltron returns to Earth, things aren’t how they remembered — humanity is enslaved save for those making their final stand at the last free Galaxy Garrison base. The latter half of season seven is solely focused on liberating Earth from Sendak’s forces.

In the penultimate episode, “Lions’ Pride: Part 1,” they succeed. Moments after Sendak’s ship crashes, he prepares to attack Shiro, only to be sliced through the chest by Keith. For a moment, everything is as it should be (Hunk even enthusiastically exclaims “Earth is safe!”) until the arrival of an unidentified object halts any and all celebration.

It’s just as Lance astutely observes earlier in the season, “If my experience in space has taught me anything, it’s that something always comes along to try to kill us.” Even after what feels like Voltron’s biggest victory, there’s no exception to the rule — the Paladins and Earth forces spend the season’s final episode fighting a powerful machine that’s reminiscent of Haggar’s Robeatsts from earlier seasons. This Robeast is a formidable enough foe that the Paladins barely survive, a fact that the creators deliberately play with by not revealing that the they’re are alive and well until several minutes after their apparent demise.

“It’s a funny story,” Lauren Montgomery commented. “When we went in to record that episode, Andrea Romano, who was our voice director at the time, walked in and was like ‘Is this the last episode? Did you kill them all?’ And it does feel like you could technically end the series there, and everything would be hunky-dory.”

There’s still plenty to wrap up in the final 13 episodes, however. Even though we didn’t see her at all in season seven, Haggar — or rather, Honerva — is still out somewhere in the galaxy, and the arrival of an Altean-powered Robeast seems to suggest that she’s still exercising her magical skills. It also brings the Altean colony that Keith and Krolia discovered in season six back into question. This season, Kolivan says that when he sent a team of Blades to investigate, the entire facility was empty.

Most surprising, however, was Shiro’s transformation of the Atlas — Earth’s newest vessel that runs off of Altean tech and a piece of the crystal from the Castle of Lions — into a gigantic robot.

The Altean crystal powering Shiro’s prosthetic was only “half of it” according to Dos Santos. “The other half is definitely the Castle of Lions crystal that’s powering the Atlas itself and the fact that the Atlas was built by Sam utilizing Altean schematics.”

However, Shiro was still uniquely equipped to helm the Atlas and guide its transformation, setting Team Voltron’s leader on a new path leading into the final season.

“Ultimately I think Shiro is now captaining the Atlas,” Montgomery continued. “He’s the only one that can interact with the ship but also has a sense of what that feeling is … that feeling of bonding with your lion or bonding with this kind of quintessence. Iverson doesn’t have that, even Coran doesn’t really have that. So once he kind of feels that feeling, he knows that they’ve got to pull back and just let this thing happen.”


Shiro bonding with the Atlas’ quintessence, VLD 7.13
Netflix

Dos Santos joked, “We were hoping it would be a surprise, and we were also really crutching on the fact that you would buy in by just accepting that this is space magic that glues all this together without having to explain the science of it too much.”

In terms of other loose ends left to tie up in the final 13 episodes, season seven hinted at the possibility of romantic relationships between Allura and Lance and and a potentially one-sided attraction between Keith and Acxa. Aside from Lotor and Allura’s brief relationship in season six (which ultimately ended in betrayal and Lotor’s demise), romance hasn’t been a particular focus in Voltron: Legendary Defender. That was deliberate.

“We really wanted to focus the beginning of our show on making sure each of these characters had a fully formed arc and a fully formed self before they started doing anything beyond that so that none of these characters felt solely defined by being solely ‘the girlfriend’ or ‘the boyfriend’ or ‘the whatever’ of ‘whoever,’” Montgomery explained. “Now I think that you can look at every character and really feel like they’ve grown personally — maybe they feel a little more comfortable in themselves to feel comfortable looking beyond themselves.”

This seems to be the case with Allura and Lance in particular. In earlier seasons, Lance’s incessant flirting with Allura was little more than comic relief — his first words to her were “I’m Lance, and you’re right here in my arms,” after which she immediately called his ears hideous. Things have changed since then, and Lance and Allura have had the chance to mature and bond with each other. Lance’s cheesy pick-up lines seem to be a relic of seasons past — what remains is a relationship built on mutual respect and trust that could hold romantic potential after the galactic crises start to abate.

“I think things evolve,” Dos Santos said. “You know, we’re the rare situation where we have this many episodes to serialize a story and character arcs. So, I think while initially romantic interpersonal relations weren’t really the driving factor of the show, things naturally evolve.”


Lance and Allura saying goodbye before the final battle.
Netflix

Whatever the final season of Voltron: Legendary Defender holds, there are plenty of details — both major and minor — that beg resolution. “To continue the story doesn’t necessarily mean that it gets bigger in scope in terms of, you know, the universe and a battle growing between millions and millions of people,” Dos Santos noted. “Sometimes things get smaller and that means more as well.”

“There’s more story to tell,” Montgomery stated. “And we think it’s pretty rewarding.”

Seasons one through seven of Voltron: Legendary Defender are currently available on Netflix, and the final season will premiere later this year.

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