Why “Voltron: Legendary Defender” Is a Good Reboot


Elena Mexicano

Nearing its fifth season, “Voltron: Legendary Defender” has successfully brought justice to its original “Voltron: Defender of the Universe”.

Elena Mexicano, Staff Writer

“Voltron: Legendary Defender” has successfully gathered the audience of older and younger generations alike, the older generation commonly watching to bring back the nostalgia of a show that they had once adored as kids. In spite of the general story, however, “Voltron: Legendary Defender” has still been able to pave separate paths from its master copy without entirely tarnishing the job.The on-going series is the Netflix reboot of the original “Voltron: Defender of the Universe” from 1984. Both follow the plotline of five Paladins, or pilots, who met by destiny in order to fight the evils of the galaxy by forming a universally-known legendary robot named Voltron.

There are five Paladins: Hunk, Lance, Pidge, Shiro and Keith. Previously, “Voltron: Defender of the Universe” had very little diversity among race, but the Netflix reboot has completely changed that, by releasing the Paladins’ heritage which ranges from Samoan, Cuban, Italian, Japanese and as simply defined as “half alien.” Needless to say, it is amazing for the producers of the show to entirely take a new route and allow the characters to have completely different backgrounds.

One of the first commonly noticed changes of the reboot that, primarily, the older generations notice is, “Wait a minute, Pidge is a girl now?” Correct. While a male in the original, Pidge is now a girl in this reboot, yet commonly mistaken as a male in the show due to her short haircut and choice of clothing. Frankly, this was an amazing call for the producers of the show. It was a fantastic decision to cast in a new female lead, who does not hold the standard female appearance, for children to grow up and admire.

Aside from gender change, all five Paladins have been given new designs from head to toe. The characters all have a more modern look, which is rather suitable considering the show appeals to a younger generation; mullets, troll hair, cowboy outfits and tight suits may not be great for today’s fresher fashion sense. 

Focusing on the main characters alone, it is already a given that “Voltron: Legendary Defender” is not made to bring in the exact same content as “Voltron: Defender of the Universe,” which is completely ok. Fans of the original may claim that these changes do not live up to what “Voltron: Defender of the Universe” once existed as for them and that the Netflix reboot is not the same. Of course it is not. Reboots usually are not an exact copy of anything. In a WIRED interview, producer Joaquim Dos Santos states, “If you wanted a carbon copy, you might as well watch the original show!” In addition, the fact that this show primarily focuses on a younger generation (as it always has) is what has introduced “Voltron: Legendary Defender” to inevitably make alters that older fans will need to get used to. These changes, especially a strong, reliable female lead and character diversity, are more suitable for a generation born 20 or more years later, and that is where “Voltron: Legendary Defender” has done its justice.