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Joran was once a solider in the service of Zarkon. One day however, Joran witnessed one of Zarkon's Ultra Droids wiping a slave and tried to stop it. His punishment for trying to protect a slave was to become one himself.
Joran was eventually sent to the planet Zaul, to work in the Lazon mines. One day, he got into a fight with some of the other slaves. During the fight he fell off a ledge of a cliff. He was saved from dying from his injures by a mysterious woman. When he next awoke, Joran learned the woman's name was Omnia. And that she and the rest of her people lived in an hidden underground city.
Joran learned the underground city was built after Prince Lotor's first attack on the planet turned its surface into a desert wasteland. He then met the Voltron Force, who had arrived to help the people of Zaul free themselves. Joran then explained to Omnia and everyone about his past. Instead of turning on him as he expected, Omnia and Keith ask him for his help in fighting King Zarkon's forces. Joran eventually choses to help Voltron and Omnia's people. Destroying the Lazon mines and forcing the Drules to leave Zaul.