As announced earlier today at Comic-Con International: San Diego, Voltron: Legendary Defender will return to Netflix with new episodes in August. But this time, with a little twist.
Unlike previous seasons, the third season will consist of seven episodes with another batch to follow in October. “The idea is to get you more Voltron more often. It’s in smaller doses, but you’ll see it more,” said executive producer Lauren Montgomery.
And as seen in the season premiere, also screened at Comic-Con, the new episodes will greatly alter the status quo of the series. Shiro is still missing and Keith is having a hard time dealing with it. Additionally. Allura’s loose coalition of planets may not continue to follow her if Voltron cannot be formed. Meanwhile in the Galra Empire, Prince Lotor — voiced by AJ LoCascio — has finally made his presence known even as King Zarkon continues to recuperate from his fight with Shiro.
“The interesting thing is that there’s loss on both side,” said executive producer Joaquim Dos Santos. The theme of rebuilding and new leadership will be a major one in the stories to come.
“Shiro was the glue,” added Montgomery. “Now you have these four paladins with no leader figure. They need to find someone to continue on.” While fans of the previous Voltron series may assume Keith will step up and take his place in the Black Lion, both executive producers teased this may not be the case and that someone outside the group may appear to offer them guidance.
But an exclusive teaser shown at the end of the panel suggests both Keith and Allura will find themselves in new roles as the Voltron Force.
The season will also continue the individual stories, like Pidge’s search for her family. “Pidge has a drive,” said voice actor Bex Taylor-Klaus. “She has this deep love her family. It’s been fun to play this excitement when she finds a new clue and devastation as it falls apart. She’s got more avenues to explore through this season.”
“Seeing the crowd react to the sight of [Pidge’s brother] Matt is really exciting,” added Dos Santos.
Montgomery also offered her thoughts on the bond the audience already has with Matt. “He’s a character we haven’t seen outside of stills and its really exciting that people care about him,” she said, adding that Bex’s performance offers the audience a way into appreciating an essentially unseen character.
Tyler Labine, who voices Hunk, offered another direction the show could go in. “I think he’s planing to turn the remaining four lions into food trucks,” he joked. But it seems the Orange Paladin’s love of cooking and community will continue to evolve.
“The one thing I will say about the food and the levity is that its juxtaposed by how dark this season gets,” he added. “There are episodes that are wacky to counterbalance how intense it gets.”
At least one episode will rival the wackiness of the season two episode “Space Mall.” According to Dos Santos, that episode is close to the creative teams’ hearts.
The season will also explore the Galra with a greater emphasis on the Blade of Marmora and the introduction of Lotor. Dos Santos noted many of the liberated planets will find themselves in the same place Allura found herself when she first met the Blade and discovered the truth about Keith. It further reflects what he called the “big grey area” of the Voltron universe.
Meanwhile, Lotor also presents a different look at the Galra. For one, he is not as clearly evil as his father. “When you set up a show, you have to make the villain the villain,” Montgomery explained. He also has a band of half-Galra confidants who will be explored as the series continues. Though Montgomery was reluctant to call Lotor a good guy, she said he has “a different approach” to ruling the universe.
She also implored the crowd to “blow up” LoCascio’s Twitter account with new followers.
During the brief fan Q&A, the producers and Labine were asked if Hunk’s real name will ever be revealed. Labine’s response: “I’ve never even considered that!”
But Dos Santos seemed more certain on the issue, saying “We’re incredibly comfortable with ‘Hunk’ for now.”
Voltron: Legendary Defender returns to Netflix on August 4th.