'Voltron' Executive Producers Address Season 7, Shiro's Grief, And Allura's Growth
Netflix knows a hit when it sees one, so it came as little surprise that the company scooped up [...]
Netflix knows a hit when it sees one, so it came as little surprise that the company scooped up Voltron: Legendary Defenders a few years back. The sci-fi DreamWorks series has since become one of the site's top TV shows, and fans have been eagerly awaited its seventh season. Now, the show has given its latest set of episodes to fans, and ComicBook got the chance to speak with Voltron's creators about the release.
Not long ago, co-executive producers Joaquim Dos Santos and Lauren Montgomery spoke with ComicBook's Megan Peters about Voltron's new season. The pair opened up about the season's take on Shiro, one of the show's main characters, as a piece of his past was exposed. After being announced at Comic-Con International, fans learned Shiro was LGBTQ given a previous relationship he had with a Galaxy Garrison soldier named Adam, and the producers spoke to that new story line.
Of course, the season's newcomers were also addressed as characters like Pidge's mom were brought out in full force alongside Lance's family. With a new mecha in place and development set for Allura, Dos Santos and Montgomery had plenty to say. You can check out the interview in the slides below and find Megan at @MeganPetersCB to talk more Voltron!
Voltron: Legendary Defender was created in 2016 by Netflix and DreamWorks Animation. The series is the fourth major TV project to bear the Voltron name with co-showrunners Joaquim Dos Santos and Lauren Montgomery overseeing the series. The show is based loosely on the original Japanese series Beast King GoLion and has since spawned multiple seasons as one of Netflix's top original programs.
The first six seasons of Voltron: Legendary Defender are now streaming on Netflix. The site describes the series as, "Teenagers transported from Earth become pilots for robotic lions to fight in an intergalactic war. The Paladins of Voltron must learn to work as a team to assemble the robot Voltron and use its power to conquer the Galra Empire."
Creating Shiro's LGBTQ Backstory
How did you both work with the Voltron team to create this really powerful, integral part of Shiro's back story with Adam, and his time at the garrison?
Joaquim Dos Santos: So, Shiro's sexual orientation is something that's been on the table for a long time. We were sort of looking for a proper place to give his backstory and let this be known. It wasn't a part of a massive conversation with the writers or anything, it was just an aspect of the story that we came up with that we felt was appropriate.
Originally, we were going to show a much bigger piece of Shiro's backstory at the top of season 2. When Keith and Shiro were both stranded on a desolate kind of planet with lizard creeps. But, for production purposes and the needs of the studio and not wanting to be too flash-back focused early on in the series, we had to re-figure some things. So, this was the most appropriate time for us to get another little piece of Shiro's backstory. We knew it was something we wanted to do beyond story purposes just for the social relevance of it and to try to be as inclusive as possible. We've also come to realize that it's important to be pro-active with characters of all different backgrounds. That's us just doing our part.prevnext
Shiro's Approach To Grief
As season 7 moves forward, Shiro is now adjusting to being home. Earth definitely isn't what he expected to see and neither is the garrison. Shiro finds that out the hard way after learning about Adam's death, so how do you guys think all this will impact his relationships? How do you think Shiro is handling the grief of knowing what happened to Adam?
Lauren Montgomery: Well, I think obviously [the Paladins] have been through a lot together and coming back to Earth and finding it in this state is certainly a blow. But I don't think it's really going to make them act any differently toward each other. If anyone's put in a weird position, it's probably Allura or Coran who went from being the people who knew everything to now suddenly they're strangers in a strange land.
Obviously, [Shiro] going to live with this guilt of never fully knowing if he brought this upon Earth. If he did not come back for the Blue Lion, if he had not started this whole Voltron resurgence, would the Galra have ever attacked? There's definitely, I think, a level of guilt there but it's not something that he can dwell on or allow to stop him from ultimately achieving his goal which is fighting back and ending the war.
It's something I think would be entirely internalized. Again, he's a professional, he's been pushing through all of that pain and all of that guilt for the entire series. We saw it kind of getting to him early on in the series, but he keeps it... He's kind of over it by now.
Joaquim: I think, as everybody knows, Shiro is the person who has the most thrown at him in the series, and he's been the pilar and the rock in reference to himself. He'll continue to play that role.prevnext
Allura's Next Steps
For Allura and Coran, they're going through some big changes. In season 7, we get a couple of scenes with Allura and Lance which really showed development in their relationship. So, how do think Allura is going to be developing in Voltron as she sees characters like Lance and the other Paladins on Earth? How will she move forward as a character?
Montgomery: I don't want to get in to too much spoiler territory for upcoming seasons. But I think she's lost her home, she's lost her family, [and] all that she had was Coran and her castle. Now, she's lost the castle, so she comes back to the planet that is essentially home to all the people who became her family. They don't need her to be a family anymore; They've got family. It's a weird adjustment period for her when she realizes she's not necessarily the space mom anymore. She's not necessarily a part of this.
Ultimately, much like Shiro, she knows what that's getting to and she knows what she has to do. But I think it's going to a difficult thing for anyone to adjust to... really realizing that, yes, things have changed forever and they're never going to be the same againprevnext
What's Next For Season 7's Newcomers
You just mentioned Allura has had to let go of her space mom status, but we really get to meet Pidge's mom this season, and she is a revelation. What can fans expect from the season's newcomers as Voltron moves forward?
Dos Santos: Lance in particular has got Veronica which impacts the series and changes his dynamic — how he interacts with his family is probably different than how he interacts with the Paladins and crew.
There's a funny dynamic there for sure. But also, it's interesting from our perspective. If I can get totally self-indulgent for a second, it was really cool to see some of the little glimpses that people got of Lance's family [through the] fan-art being made. All these ideas and story threads; Who their family was, and what their family is doing, and how they're going to interact with them. Just being able to see some of those story lines play out, it's incredibly satisfying. It's also really interesting to note how close some people got to guessing character personalities from just a single shot, a holographic image of what Lance was imagining in the castle. So, it was cool to see the dynamics play out.
Montgomery: It's fun because I know so many people have been waiting for this for so long, wanting to see more of the families. We knew we wanted to do it at some point. But, this was the point for it to be done, once they returned to Earth. so, people would just be really excited to spend that time with them, and we'll definitely have a little more time with them in the upcoming season.prevnext
This season, we have The Atlas appear. So, from more of a creative perspective, I wanted to ask what was that process like developing how the mecha was going to look in comparison to Voltron which has such an iconic aesthetic?
Montgomery: It was awesome.
Dos Santos: Yeah, it was super rad.
Montgomery: We all have our robot designs we love and look tom and the aesthetics that we enjoy. Obviously, when we set out to do Voltron, we didn't want to change him so much that he was unrecognizable. So, we tried to apply the things that we loved to Voltron in a way that didn't break his mold. But with Atlas, we got to go crazy because it was a completely original creation.
Dos Santos: It was shaped to feel massive and big and swooping. It was just sweet. We're huge fans of all anime from that era — certainly Macross is one of the big pillars of inspiration for us. So, this was our homage to Macross. There's a big battleship that transforms into a mecha. And, if you notice the Atlas when it moves, it's not like Voltron. Voltron is huge, but by comparison can move incredibly nimbly. The Atlas is just massive so all its moves, all its punches, all its blasts take time. It's a cool, new dynamic.prevnext
Spin-Off Ideas Down The Road
Obviously, Voltron is heading toward a specific end point. But, there's so much in this universe that could be explored. So, are there any pieces within the Voltron universe that you see and say, "Oh man, I really hope one day, in some way, shape, or form this gets to be explored?"
Montgomery: Absolutely. There's so many factions, not only just the different places, people, and organizations we've set up. But just random character designs that I'll see, I'm like, "I want to know what that guy's story is."
There are so many stories to be told. And even things that are just like our own little head cannons. When we see a character, for a little while ... I'm just going throw this one out here because it's kind of hilarious.
In earlier seasons, our crew was kind of doing these funny little fan-arts of a character they created called Haxore. It was [as if] Haxus and Rover had fallen down the shaft and merged. It was Haxus' body with a Rover head. They were hanging out. It was kind of like Frankenstein giving the little girl the flower. It was the funniest thing in the world to me. It's stuff like that.
Dos Santos: Yeah. I mean, for me, there are more back stories stuff which would be awesome. Just figuring out when that factions split off would be great. I can honestly see an entire series just on the Galaxy Garrison. You know what I mean? A lot of cool cadet stuff to be had with that.
Montgomery: Or a whole series of the original Paladins of Voltron and the adventures they went on.
Currently, seasons 1-7 of Voltron: Legendary Defender are available on Netflix. If you want to talk more about the show, let me know in the comments or hit me up on Twitter @MeganPetersCB to talk all things comics and anime!prev