Voltron: Legendary Defender (seasons 7 and 8)
Voltron: Legendary Defender is a show that first aired on Netflix. It ran from June 10, 2016 to December 14, 2018.
Although the first six seasons were quite well-received, the last two seasons had mixed to negative reviews from fans.
Why This 8th Seasons Are Factual (Bad Qualities for Season 7)
- Executive meddling: Many plot points in these seasons are severely affected by the show's quarterbacking forced by the executives and LGBT elements being cut from the final product.
- Poor characterizations:
- Lance gets Flanderized into a Butt-Monkey without any personality as his insecurities get worse, and his team does nothing to help when he gets treated like a doormat.
- Keith no longer acts like the leader he is told to be and gains no character development, In Season 7 he gets pushed into an awkward relationship with Acxa that thankfully didn't go well.
- Allura gets demoted, from leader of the Coalition to a cadet without explanation. She is also flanderized into a generic strong female character with almost no personality, which is not good for the portrayal of a strong female character at all. Worse, her flanderization had ended up sacrificing herself in the two-part series finale while battling with Honerva which really destroyed her character!
- The Atlas completely takes away what Voltron is supposed to to be, The Defender Of The Universe.
- The Garrison generals are all unlikable, including the female Admiral, who outright blackmail Voltron through Sendak and never thought that he would turn his back on her.
- Coran in Season 8 is reduced to just an exposition tool.
- Shiro in Season 8 after resurrection in Season 7 becomes just cold, distant, and too serious with all the personality of a movie extra. He has basically turned to a generic ship captain.
- These two seasons feel incredible unnecessary, as "Defender of All Universes", the season finale of season 6, already felt like it had a good conclusion to the Voltron: Legendary Defender series and had little-to-no set up for another series.
- The season introduces too many new characters which all ended up as one-dimensional.
- Speaking of the villains, except Honerva, Lotor and Zarkon, they still feel generic as they are from Seasons 1-6.
- Haggar was a very compelling character, but she was a bit of a boring villain.
- Sendak was just a weak and generic warlord.
- Plot holes:
- It is never explained regarding what happened to Ryner or the other Olkari.
- The ground leaves behind the atlas for no major reason and ends in a base where the beast Krolia and Keith freed episodes ago.
- Not helping matters is that it is never explained about what the beast is, making it not much more than what they have been fighting against in the past.
- Shiro is abruptly revealed to be gay without any buildup during the ending of the series finale, and when he is revealed to have an incurable disease that never even gets cured onscreen, the audience are apparently just meant to forget about it, like with his PTSD.
- Honerva's whole goal is to be with Zarkon and Lotor as a family, Honerva was previously a powerful witch, so in that case, why doesn't she just use her magic to go back in time and prevent Zarkon and herself from being evil in the first place?
- It is never explained on how Lance gained Altean markings in the finale.
- How did Allura accuse Zarkon for murdering her mother? But how did Zarkon kill her mother?
- The death of Adam in Season 7, which is the most controversial part of the show for the following reasons:
- It feels disgraced, as Adam only died to prove how inferior Earth technology is compared to the Galra.
- It also serves as an example of the offensive "bury the gays" trope, as well as nothing but quarterbacking.
- It started the downfall of Shiro as a character, as afterwards, he became sidelined without explanation and becomes much weaker and become a butt-monkey than he used to be. Also his Captain role just seems so cliched and generic.
- Not only that, Shiro and Adam's relationship, on the romantic side felt completely dull and lackluster.
- Boring and confusing story arcs that at one point focused too much on Pidge’s father.
- Poor pacing. One major example is in the episode "The Feud!", when the Paladins are being part of some game show when previously, they were heading back to earth.
- To address the elephant in the room, the two-part series finale; Lance never gets to be finally happy for once, his true love Allura "sacrificed" (meaning she was still denied a happy ending even after all she's been through) herself along with the reform Honerva, and he later becomes a farmer, while the other Paladins get happy endings. It also comes off as unintentionally racist coming from a Latino character.
- What's worse, Allura's sacrifice which was meant to be uplifting and meaningful, winded up being offensive and insulting to most viewers, especially when her behavior reflects the struggle of living with depression. The depression allegory, whether intentional or not, makes this message extremely dangerous. Viewers who recognize their own struggles with mental illness in her story are essentially shown that their suffering is an inconvenience, and that if they can’t get better then they should give up “for the greater good.”
- Very poor editing. For example, in the first episode, Launch Date, there is a point where one can actually hear that the lines were spliced and changed as the tones and voices change.
- On the subject of the episode "Launch Date", in this episode, it's revealed that Pidge got grounded by her mother, and it is because Pidge left the house without her mother's consent (as in prior to her joining Lance and Hunk in the Space Camp), never mind the fact that Pidge was not only trying to find her father and big brother who were missing, but also had just save the world by destroying the mech-suit previously in the Season 7 finale. What kind of a parent would do that?!
- On that note, the interactions between Pidge and her family was almost nonexistent, save for a few scenes with Pidge standing next to her dad or brother and her and her mom not getting along. Prior to this season, all the previous seasons' episodes reviled that the Holts are a strong family unit as a whole. However in this season, every single interaction between Pidge and her mom was completely confrontational. Pidge and her mom get reduced to the point where the mom and teenage daughter don't see eye-to-eye and it does both their characters a GREAT disservice, especially since they never explain WHY Pidge and her mom are suddenly not seeing eye-to-eye after showing that they actually make a great team in season 7.
- Bizarre chemistry choices between characters, making it feel like the writers were trying to hard to pander to the shipping crowd.
- The romance between Allura and Lance, while heartwarming and beautiful, felt forced, as they don't quite have feelings for each other earlier in the series, as when in the previous season's (as in seasons 5 and 6), the romance was about Lotor and Allura.
- Apparently Veronica found affection within Keith, however that didn't ended up fully developed.
- Shiro somehow ends up with Curtis, when they have barely interacted.
- Lotor was brought back in a such ludicrous manner that it is hard to be believable. His "fusion" with Honerva during the final battle also proved to undermine his character development.
- In the last two episodes, it introduces the concept of alternate realities (that were part of Honerva's plan to create a reality where her family was alive and respected her by destroying them), which sounds introduces p for interesting plots. But the thing is, nothing is done with the idea of alternate realities; as their never explored and no alternate versions of the characters are ever introduced.
- Not to mention how Honerva's motive isn't just generic, but also illogical and nonsensical. As she never showed any implications of her wanting to be with her family when Lotor and Zarkon were still alive previously, and how she should know much better than to try and cause the destruction of every reality. And when Alternate Young Lotor rejects her, rather then change her ways, she instead decides to destroy all the realities out of rage, which is going WAY too extreme.
- A lot of the character arcs in this season all ended up incomplete, thus making it feel like Voltron: Legendary Defender was originally meant to get a ninth and even tenth season before scrapping it.
- The animation and backgrounds are still extremely beautiful and nice to look at.
- Great voice acting.
- Some funny moments.
- There are some great episodes here and there.
- Some good scenes, such as Shiro's resurrection in Season 7.
- The entirety of the seventh season could be considered better than its follow-up, despite its flaws.
- It also features an 1984 version of Voltron in one episode where Pidge and her dog watch it on TV, reacting to original Pidge hilariously.
On Rotten Tomatoes, the seventh season has an approval rating of 100% based on 5 reviews, while the eighth season has an approval rating of 86% based on 7 reviews.
On the audience side however, season 7 received mixed-to-positive reviews, while season 8 received overwhelmingly negative reviews, mostly revolving around Shiro's wedding scene and for killing off Allura. The Geekiary's Jamie Sugah stated in her official series finale, "On the whole, though, this is a lackluster ending for what had up until now been a well-written show with strong, well-developed characters. Voltron season 8 felt very rushed and out of character, with a poorly thought out and clearly tacked on ending."
The Official Voltron Podcast, Let's Voltron, stated, "Allura's death, as I saw it for a long time, really, really bothered me. I've got to be frank about it. As a father of a seven year daughter, for a TV-Y7/FV show, to kill off one of the few female prominent characters? I mean we've got a lot of strong secondary characters, but among the paladins it's Allura and Pidge and that's it, it bothered me a lot. To me it's a difficult pill to swallow. To me it came entirely out of left field. I kept me trap shut on social media, but I was bothered by it a lot." When speaking of Lotor's death, "I think it was little rough for children. I literally rechecked the ratings of the series when I saw that happen, and it's TV-Y7/FV... but seeing his body there—it's just. We didn't have to see it there, did we?" In regards to Shiro's wedding, "We were told that any kind of relationship developed, it was gonna happen naturally and stuff like that, and obviously this didn't really happen naturally.