It’s over my friends. After 2 some odd years, Voltron The Legendary Defender is over. It’s been one heck of a ride, but I won’t say that the ending is something…that I liked, or that I expected. In fact, the ending made me so furious, that I had to decompress over the weekend after binging it all on Friday. I went to the reddit for Voltron to talk to other fans, which is something I’ve never done for the show, that’s how upset I was. But after taking some time, I think I’m ready to talk about this. I need to talk about this so I can get my feelings out about it, and move on with my life.
I have a lot to say about this season, and the show as a whole. So I’m going to do a series of 3 posts, this one just talking about season 8, the next one talking about Voltron as a whole, it’s flaws and positives, and the last one…talking about the ending. In particular, something that happened in the ending. It’s probably not what everyone is thinking of, but it’s the thing that affected me most and I really need to write a post about that specifically, along the same lines as the 2nd post in this series: What I think they were going for with that choice, why it wasn’t executed well, that sort of thing.
That being said, the first half of this post is going to be spoiler free. The 2nd half is going to have spoilers, because it’s unavoidable when talking about a series finale. But I’ll be sure to label spoilers with a big old heading so you can leave if you don’t want to know what happens in the ending.
So with that out of the way, let’s get into my general thoughts of season 8!
The season starts out very well, giving us the resolution to story arcs that were lingering for quite some time. After the first episode, we start the season with some backstory for a certain character, then go right into the rest of the season having action, some “filler” episodes, and the ultimate ending of the series. The filler episodes this season were the best of the series, in my opinion: They got the themes they wanted for the filler across and lightened the mood, but at the same time they propelled the plot forward – which is something that previous filler episodes haven’t done before. They usually would put the plot at a standstill, then next episode would pick up the plot again. But seeing filler that leads into plot, and that grows characters was nice, and I wish we had more of that throughout the rest of the series.
The character moments are few and far between in this season, but I don’t necessarily think that’s a bad thing. The characters bond was pre-established, so we didn’t really need to see them interact as much as in past seasons. I really enjoyed what we got though (seeing Pidge and Allura acting like sisters in the first episode was one that certainly warmed my heart) and just seeing the culmination of the six main characters relationship was such a treat. Seeing how Keith, Lance, and Allura grew throughout the series especially was nice. Like they are completely different characters between the beginning and the ending, and their character arcs were handled well..for the most part. But we’ll get to that in the spoilers section.
The villain of the final season was a major lead up that also was something culminating throughout the entire series, and I really liked it. Not only was it a personal battle for our Paladin’s, but it also was a matter of saving their universe, and multiple others. Once again, the villain was handled excellently…until the ending. The action was on point, and the stakes just kept on ramping up higher and higher…but then the climax just utterly fell flat, and felt rushed, and like the writers had expended all of their energy getting to the point of the final battle, only to realize “Crap, how are we supposed to resolve this?”.
Of course, the answer is AlluraXMachina!
But that, once again, is getting into spoiler territory. So I think at this point, it’s time to talk about it. The thing that’s going to just make Voltron a great series, instead of the amazing series it could have been…
SPOILERS! SPOILERS! TURN BACK IF YOU DON’T WANT SPOILERS!!!!!!
I loved everything about this season. Sure, there were certain things that just weren’t answered, like what happened to all of the Shiro clones, and a lot of stories mentioned that just…weren’t addressed or touched on again, like Veronica trying to make friends with Acxa, and that whole ex-Lotor’s General’s crew having that episode was nice but it wasn’t really closure. That the other General popped up, wanted to kill Keith, and then just decides not to because of a few nice words was choppy writing, and it feels like it was something that the writers wanted to have more time with but couldn’t. Lance and Allura, though there was lead up throughout the entire series for it, when it actually happened we just got a phew scenes of it, and it didn’t feel like it got as developed as it should have when they actually got together – they just had their relationship go from 0 to 100, and even though I loved they’re fluffy moments, I would have liked to see the actual relationship take time, just as much as them getting together did.
This season was very much Allura’s story, which was…alright? Once again, it just sort of came out of the blue. Like the previous seasons had very much a tone of teamwork makes us all stronger, but in season 8 Allura just was the focal point, and as much as I love her it felt like major tonal whiplash because this isn’t how the show was. If we had a season format, where every character had their own season to shine and have their arcs, then focusing on Allura would have made more sense. But as it stands, this was an ensemble piece that just decided to make 1 of the characters become the main one at its climax.
Along those lines, like the themes in general got a mish mosh and the tone of the show suffered for it. Voltron is notorious for the central message that all of the heroes will win, no matter what odds will face them. Shiro dies? No worries, AlluraXMachina will bring him back. Pidge needs to find her family? No worries, she’ll find them, none of them are dead, or evil, and she’ll find them and put her family back together again. But for some reason, in the final episode of the final season, they decide to throw all of that out of the window.
OK so this is a huge huge huge spoiler so if you really don’t want to know it, don’t read on.
But they set the precedent that no matter what, all six of our main characters will win the day, that none of them will die, get injured, or any of that…
Only to kill Allura in the literal last ten minutes of the show?
This was what ruined the season for me folks. After everything we had been through, she’ dies. Granted, she chooses to sacrifice herself to save the universe, and all its realities, but like…there was absolutely no lead up to this what-so-ever. Allura has always been a selfless character, like it’s in character for her to do so, but I mean from a writing standpoint, there was absolutely no lead up to this. She absorbs the Entity, which also has no real explanation to whether or not she got rid of it after a certain point (just seemed like a plot device to get some episodes going, if I’m being completely honest) and there just was no in-universe logic to why this had to happen. I would have been heartbroken if she died regardless, she’s my favorite character, but they don’t explain any of the reasoning properly so it just feels like they needed AlluraXMachina to do her thing once again, but this time decided to kill her? Allura, who’s suffered the most, sacrificed the most out of all of the characters, is the one who has to die, when Honerva has the exact same power set as her, had absorbed all the energy of the universe, and showed that she was willing to fix her mistakes because of a very quick heel turn because of some memory flashback provided by our favorite Altean. Like, if there were any lead up to this what-so-ever, if they had dropped some scenes explaining why this had to happen, then it could have been better and seeing that it would be inevitable for Allura to die would have been interesting. As it stands however, it feels rushed, forced, and an answer to the plothole they wrote their selves into. How do we fix Honerva destroying all realities? Altean magic, of course!
This is what I’m going to need an entire post to talk about. This, it’s execution, how clunky, and unnecessary it is when they spent an entire season bringing Shiro back to life earlier in the series, just isn’t cool. It makes an otherwise amazing series and season just feel like we didn’t get the ending we were promised from the beginning.
It honestly felt like this wasn’t the ending that they wanted. It feels like from how the show was going, That it was going to end with EVERY PALADIN alive, and happy, and that suffering and sacrifice has its rewards for our heroes. That Allura lost her family, but she has a found family in the paladins and can start anew in spite of all of her life hardships. This terrible execution of theming, this rushed resolution to the plot, isn’t new to Voltron: Legendary Defender, but it was excusable when overall the story was enjoyable. If we had an extra season, I wholeheartedly believe we’d have a plot much like the Shiro clone plot in which the other paladins go to save Allura from a dimension in between realities.
The rest of the ending was fine. I didn’t mind the epilogues itself, but everyone but Allura getting their happy ending leaves such a bad taste in my mouth. This was an ensemble piece, and in my opinion that means the entire team should have made it out alive. Teamwork, and supporting each other was a huge theme of the series, so Alura alone sacrificing herself is just a bad way to end the series. I’ll be talking about this in another article however, so I will leave it at that.
If you’re a fan of Voltron: Legendary Defender, this season is like the others. Lots of action, good mech battles, decent characters, very choppy writing and poor execution for some key plot points. This season felt rushed, and I really think that we needed an extra 13 episodes to get the story that the writers wanted to tell. Allura dying was just there for shock value, and as I said earlier, it really doesn’t feel like what the show was heading towards, but sigh it happened so we have to deal with it. I shall stick to my headcannon that the Lions fly off to get Allura so her and Lance can live on his farm, and have lots of half Altean, half Earth babies. Such a bittersweet ending, that sours an otherwise amazing series, and season.
And those are my final thoughts on Voltron: Legendary Defender season 8. It had such a strong start, so many amazing nods to characters we’ve seen in flashbacks, and in the story. My favorite interactions hands down were Allura and her Father getting to reunite, and seeing the original paladins help our favorite team in the end. But fanservice like that doesn’t make up for the plot holes, bad execution, and pointless character death this season was plagued with.
And that’s what I’m left with guys. This is where I’m at. I went from fiery anger, to “I can’t believe they did this” to dull acceptance, and I guess that’s where I’m at now. It’s up to you whether or not the ending will ruin the entire series for you, but for me, at this current point in time, it does and I don’t think I’ll be rewatching the show anytime soon, or watching anything else these writers produce. I can’t bring myself to watch a show I enjoyed so much only to have such a hugely disappointing ending be thrown at me, so yeah.
Watch season 8 of Voltron for all of the good in it, and let’s flock to fanfiction if the ending we got isn’t something that we liked. I know I for one will be doing so.
And that’s it for my Voltron: The Legendary Defender season 8 review. Next post in this series, I’ll be talking about the series as a whole, and trying to dissect what went wrong, and what went right overall with the writing in this series. Hope you come along for the ride!
Have you watched the series finale yet? Would love to hear your thoughts in the comments! What parts in the season did you like, and what were deal breakers for you?