During a busy Easter weekend in downtown Los Angeles that was Wondercon 2016, a plethora of companies gave first looks to their exciting properties. In recent years, a number of beloved ’80s cartoon franchises have been fast tracked into development, creating a massive tidal wave of nostalgia from their wake. One series that’s receiving the revamp treatment and has many fans excited is Voltron! In a crowded panel, executive producers Joaquim Dos Santos (“Avatar: The Last Airbender” “Legend of Korra”) and Lauren Montgomery (“Legend of Korra”) along with writer Tim Hedrick revealed new info and images about the latest iteration of the universe’s greatest giant robot.
Originally premiering as Beast King GoLion in 1981, the series was adapted and edited for American audiences then renamed Voltron: Defender of the Universe in 1984. The cartoon became an instant hit and a flurry of other popular anime – along with their inferior knock-offs – soon made their premieres in the US. In the original storyline, five kids were given the responsibility to defend the planet Arus and its Princess Allura from the repeated attacks of King Zarkon and his ilk. Each defender piloted a robot lion and when all combined, formed the powerful warrior Voltron.
In the new series – Legendary Defender – the five pilots have been transplanted from Earth in the middle of an intergalactic war. Not only do they have no idea where they are and must keep their wits about them, they all have to suddenly trust one another in order to command the most powerful weapon in all of creation. Otherwise, evil spreads across the cosmos and the bad guys win. No pressure, guys!
Naturally, Dos Santos is very excited to be reacquainting such an iconic character with old fans and introducing him to a new generation. “As children of the 80’s who grew up with Voltron what was there not to love? You had 5 awesome lions, piloted by 5 awesome heroes who combined to form a giant, sword wielding Titan! It unapologetically married Sci-fi and Fantasy in one incredibly over the top, bombastic package. Fans of the new series [Voltron: Legendary defender] can look for us to keep all those elements but also expect a much more fleshed out universe with a rich backstory and characters who will evolve over the course of the series.”
The Lions are voiced by a band of veteran voice talent, featuring Josh Keaton, Tyler Labine, Jeremy Shada, Bex Taylor-Klaus and Steven Yeun! Kimberly Brooks and Rhys Darby round up the lead cast as Princess Allura and Coran, respectively.
The 13-episode first season of Voltron: Legendary Defender will premiere on Netflix on June 10!