From days of long ago…i.e. the 80’s, from uncharted regions of the universe…we’re talking way past Mars here, comes a Legend…no not Kanye, a real legend. I, of course, am talking about the legend of Voltron!
If you haven’t guessed already, this article is all about cooking with zest. (Kidding) This is about the mighty, robeast slaying robot: Voltron Defender of the Universe! Since the amazing Netflix Original Voltron: Legendary Defender has been released, I'll be comparing the original 1984 series to this all new one.
Having recently guested on the Lets Voltron Podcast, and then having the amazing host Marc and Greg guest on my show Geeks of the Galaxy, it has reignited my love of this epic show and its characters. If you ever meet me in person at a con, and have no idea what to say to me, I can always talk my favorite giant robot. But enough about me, let’s get into some Voltron!
In the original ’84 series it ran for almost 200 episodes from 1984 to 1985. The first series started with the Lion Voltron series, originally adapted from Beast King Golion in Japan, then ending with the vehicle Voltron series. Also a special as well, titled “Fleet of Doom.” In which both Voltrons team up to battle Prince Lotor and his Fleet of Doom. It was 1984, lots of things ended with “of Doom” then. Yes, kids there was a vehicle Voltron and it took closer to fifteen ships to assemble him. Imagine one part, not showing up? They’d be in some deep s**t, no seriously Robot Chicken even did a sketch about it.
So in the 1984 series, the Earth’s military called Galaxy Garrison specially trained five of their best to go to Planet Arus, in the hopes of bringing back Voltron to save the day. In the original series, the witch Haggar, used her magic to try and destroy Voltron, but she only ended up separating him into the five lions. It was from there that the aforementioned Galaxy Garrison sent Keith, Lance, Sven, Hunk, and Pidge on a mission to resurrect the mighty robot.
In the newer series, they more or less discover the Blue Lion, and from there go on a mission to discover the remaining lions, bring back Voltron, and so forth. A slight change from the original, but it’s still awesome and one of the best new series Netflix has to offer. Even if you’re not a fan of the original, check it out, it’s so good!
There isn’t really a whole lot of differences between the two shows, obviously things like animation style and voice casts are different for sure. But both are incredible in their own ways. The OG series is great for its classic look and feel, plus the great musical score that accompanies it. Not to mention its awesome voice cast with guys like Michael Bell, Neil Ross who played both Keith and Pidge, and of course Peter Cullen of Optimus Prime fame. He did the opening narration to the ’84 series. (just a fun fact there, if you didn’t know.)
Not to take anything away from the newest series Legendary Defender, a series much like the new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, that took something beloved by many, and put a fun new spin and polished it into something incredibly fun and enjoyable, not just older fans, but a whole new generation of fans as well. If there was one thing the old series had over the new, its music.
The OG series had a fantastic musical score, and anyone who was a fan of this series, knows the “Voltron Theme.” Another difference is the team setup, in the OG series Keith was the leader of the team with Sven, now called Shiro in Legendary Defender as just a part of the team. In Legendary Defender, the roles are reversed with Shiro/Sven leading the team. Also in LD, Pidge is a girl, whereas in OG, Pidge is a young boy.
I can’t say enough good things about both series. I highly, highly, recommend you check them out. Voltron is something I have loved as a child, and I hope that you love it as much as I do. If you haven’t seen it yet, and you’re debating on if you should watch or not, I’ll save you the trouble and say do it!
If you like what I had to say, or want to discuss further, be sure to hit me up on twitter at @JustJoshuaJ. I’m Joshua J and let’s form Voltron!