|Cartoon Network (Toonami)|
|March 17, 1997 - Aug. 28, 1998|
Voltron is the eponymous super robot of an anime series that features a team of Earth humans, known as the Voltron Force. The team’s individual vehicles join together to form the giant super robot, with which they defend the galaxy from evil. Initially produced as a joint venture between World Events Productions and Toei Animation.
The original series was created by Peter Keefe and John Teichmann in 1984 using material that they had licensed from the Japanese cartoons Beast King GoLion and Armored Fleet Dairugger XV. The producers had no means of translating the Japanese series into English, thus they surmised the plots, created all-new dialogue, edited out the more violent scenes and remixed the audio into stereo format. The series was an immediate hit in the United States, topping the syndication market for children's programs in the mid-1980s.
The series aired in syndication from September 10, 1984 to November 18, 1985. It was later aired on USA Network's Cartoon Express programming block from 1989 to 1996. The "Lion Force" episodes also aired on Cartoon Network's Toonami programming block from March 17, 1997 to August 28, 1998 and the Midnight Run from July 10, 1999 to February 26, 2000.
Lion Force Voltron (Voltron of the Far Universe)Edit
The first season was edited from Beast King Golion (Hyakujû-ô Goraion), Voltron featured a team of five young pilots commanding five robot lions which could be combined to form Voltron. In this undefined future era, the Voltron Force was in charge of protecting the planet Arus (ruled by Princess Allura) from the evil King Zarkon (from planet Doom), his son Lotor, and the witch Haggar, who would create huge Robeasts to terrorize the people of Arus. Despite being the first of the two robots to appear on American television, the "GoLion" version of Voltron was regarded as "Voltron III" within the storyline because, within the original planned "three-Voltron" continuity, Arus was the furthest setting from Earth's side of the universe ("Voltron I" being intended for the Near Universe, and "Voltron II" for the Middle Universe).
Vehicle Voltron (Voltron of the Near Universe)Edit
The second season was edited from Armored Fleet Dairugger XV (Kikô Kantai Dairugger XV), with the storyline considerably changed. In this iteration of Voltron, the Galaxy Alliance's home planets have become overcrowded, and a fleet of explorers have been sent to search for new planets to colonize. Along the way, they attract the attention of the evil Drule Empire, long engaged in an ongoing war against the Alliance, and the Drules proceed to interfere in the mission of the explorers and the colonists. Since the Voltron of Planet Arus is too far away to help the explorers, a totally new Voltron is constructed to battle the Drule threat.
This Voltron team consists of fifteen members, divided into three teams of five, known respectively as the Land, Sea, and Air Teams. Each team is specialized in gathering data or fighting in their area of expertise. Each team can combine their vehicles into a bigger machine, with each combined vehicle differing amongst the three teams. These fighters are: The Aqua Fighter (Sea Team) The Turbo Terrain Fighter (Land Team) The Strato Fighter (Air Team) When necessary, all fifteen vehicles combine to form the mighty Voltron. This Voltron in the toyline was referred to as Voltron I as it was set closest to Earth.
The Voltron ForceEdit
Keith — Commander and leader of the Voltron Force, who pilots the Black Lion that forms the bulk and head of Voltron. Keith wears a red uniform. Keith is a quiet individual who spends much of his time pondering his decisions, thinking up new strategies, and simply being a leader. He also has a hobby of reading books and can often be found doing so either in the pilot's lounge, or in his room. He seemingly cherishes Princess Allura and is thought to be somewhat protective of her.
Lance — Second-in-command of Voltron, who pilots the Red Lion that forms the right arm of Voltron. Lance wears a blue uniform in the original series and a metallic red uniform in Voltron: The Third Dimension. He is a tall man, both wiry and wily, and Lance is always cracking jokes and teasing others whenever he gets the chance. He is the only one in the group who contests any of Keith's commands. He is a ladies' man and a great pilot, though reckless at times.
Pidge — Pidge is the youngest, smartest, and smallest of the group; he pilots the Green Lion that forms the left arm of Voltron, and wears a green uniform. His home planet Balto (Earth in the Japanese version) was destroyed by nuclear missiles from King Zarkon. Pidge graduated from the academy at a young age, and his specialty is science. Like the others, he is well-trained in martial arts, and uses his size and agility to his advantage. Pidge is not afraid to speak his mind, especially to the villains. His heart is often in his words. Pidge has a twin brother, Chip, who is a member of the Vehicle Voltron Air Team. In Voltron Force, Pidge continues to be the brains behind the force, developing the castle defences and upgrading and providing maintenance for the Lions.
Sven — stoic pilot who initially flies the Blue Lion, Sven was part of the scout team, under Keith's command, sent by the Galaxy Alliance to Planet Arus. He and the others had witnessed a massive bombardment by Doom, and he was captured along with the others. After escaping from Planet Doom, he and the others made contact with Princess Allura and Coran in the Castle of Lions. Sometime later, he had rescued Lance from an attack by Haggar, and ended up seriously injured. Eventually, he was transferred to a hospital on another planet. But Doom attacked that planet, and Sven was captured and taken as a slave to Planet Doom. He later reunited with the Voltron Force when he helped Romelle escape from Planet Doom. Sometime after his escape, he joined Romelle instead of flying Blue Lion (control of which passed to Princess Allura) or otherwise serving the Voltron Force in a reserve capacity.
Hunk — muscular yet soft-hearted mechanic who pilots the Yellow Lion, A graduate of the Space Academy, Hunk did field training on one of the worlds of the Galaxy Alliance. He was assigned to the scout team, led by Keith, which was sent to Planet Arus and was captured by the forces of Doom. Captured After escaping Planet Doom, he and the others made their way to the Castle of Lions on Arus.
Princess Allura — the young princess of Arus who takes over the Blue Lion after Sven becomes unable, Princess Allura spent at least part of her childhood in the Castle of Lions. Her parents were often away on royal matters. During her childhood, she met the Space Mice. Sometime before the events of the series, her father was killed. At the time Keith and company arrived on Planet Arus, she and Coran were the only people in the castle. After the castle got a new keep Princess Joins Up, survivors of the bombing of Arus went to the castle to volunteer to fight the forces of Planet Doom. After Sven was injured in an attack by Haggar The Right Arm of Voltron, Allura started flying the Blue Lion. She spent at least a few months balancing training to fly Blue Lion and executing her duties as princess.
King Zarkon — King Zarkon of the Planet Doom is one of the rulers of the Drule Empire, though by no means the absolute ruler. He is constantly using others as scapegoats for his own failures, including his son Lotor.
Prince Lotor — He dislikes his father greatly, and wishes to rule in his place with Princess Allura by his side, to whom he has developed a strong and obsessive attraction. While Lotor (a notorious womanizer) initially simply wanted Allura as part of his harem, he eventually grew a genuine albeit twisted love for her (wanting her as his queen instead of Princess Corral). So powerful is his attachment that he is unable even to destroy a holographic image of Allura. Lotor also has an even stronger hatred with Keith, because he's seen Allura's love towards Keith. Because of Allura and Keith's love, Lotor is more determined to kill Keith than any other Voltron Force member. Lotor is a very sly, smart, smooth, powerful man, who exudes force and emanates what seems to be pure evil, except when Allura is around.
Haggar — Haggar the witch is the one responsible for creating all of the Robeasts (or Galran Beast Fighters) that Voltron must destroy. She is notorious for using her dark magic to cast hypnotizing spells over people. Though she was once good and beautiful, she is now evil and ugly. It is implied in the 'Fleet of Doom' film that she was one of Zarkon's old love interests, and possibly a concubine. It was Haggar who was responsible for originally splitting Voltron into five components in the American version.
Yurak — the ill-fated commander of King Zarkon's forces, he is disgraced for his losses to Voltron. He is transformed into a gigantic Robeast in hopes of redeeming himself. However, he is killed by Voltron. Yurak's death is one of the few onscreen character deaths that were retained for the American Voltron release. An Old commander, Yurak obviously survived his fair share as shown by his cybernetic eye and arm. As a Robeast, he mostly retained his old appearance except with longer ears and an additional robotic arm. Robeast Yurak also kept his personality and intelligence unlike Avok and Twyla's brother.
Queen Merla — Zarkon intended to have his son Lotor and Merla marry, but it didn't work out. She has the ability to tap into people's minds and control them. She is usually accompanied by a vulture which is on her shoulder. This vulture has the ability to sense people who have bad thoughts about the Queen and react negatively. Like it did at Lotor in th episode Enter Merla: Queen of Darkness.