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Voltron Force

episode 1

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New School Defenders
Air date June 16, 2011 (USA)
Written by Todd Garfield
Directed by John Delaney
Story by Todd Garfield and Jeremy Corray
Supervising director Steven E. Gordon

The legend of Voltron is tarnished, and the Voltron pilots have moved on. Or so young cadets Daniel and Vince have been led to believe...


Plot Summary

Cold open

At the edge of a ravine overlooking a river, a ramp stands. Three boys are on hoverbikes. The two at the base of the ramp egg Daniel on, daring him to jump. Daniel boasts, "it's not a dare if I want to do it," and launches off the ramp.

At the peak of his jump, explosions ring out; a robeast is attacking the city! Daniel stares in horror, and the five lions of the Voltron Force enter combat with the beast. Instead of running away, the boys follow and watch the battle, and join a crowd as the lions form Voltron and defeat the robeast.

Daniel claims, "Someday, that's gonna be me. I'm gonna pilot the black lion."

Via voiceover narration, Daniel laments that his dream will not come true. He recounts how Voltron defeated Lotor and the Drule army, but at the victory celebration, without warning and with empty cockpits, the lions started firing on the assembled crowd. Soldiers quickly swooped in to contain the lions, and no one was hurt, but the public quickly turned against Voltron. Voltron was declared a hazardous threat and decommissioned. Sky Marshall Wade stands ominously present at these events.

Daniel's dreams crushed, he enrolled in the Galaxy Alliance Flight Academy, and is disappointed at the slow pace his life has taken.

Main story

In a Flight Academy classroom, Daniel daydreams. The instructor calls on him to answer a question; Daniel clearly does not know the answer, but his classmate Vince, seated nearby, sends the answer to his desk computer, allowing him to answer.

At some point, Lance has entered the room. The instructor greets him, and Lance begins an impromptu Q&A with the class. Daniel immediately asks what really happened with Voltron. The instructor immediately chastises Daniel; mentions of Voltron are forbidden by order of Sky Marshall Wade, punishable by undescribed "severe consequences." Lance replies that, yes, he used to pilot the Red Lion, but that that was before "the incident," and he and former lion pilots Hunk and Pidge are loyal members of the Galaxy Alliance military and have put their Voltron pasts behind them. Princess Allura has also moved on, currently serving as the ruler of Arus. When Daniel asks about Keith, the former Voltron team leader, Lance replies that ex-commander Keith is a wanted fugitive, wherabouts unknown. Daniel won't let up, and accuses Lance of turning his back on Keith and Voltron. Lance says Voltron was "just a vehicle," and has had enough. He orders Daniel to come with him, and Vince as well.

On a beach on some unknown planet, Keith meets a red, four-armed alien contact who offers the location of Wade's secret base. Keith hands him a roll of bills, and Manset hands the money back, saying he had a better offer. Soldiers suddenly emerge, surrounding the pair with guns pointed at Keith. Keith activates his Voltcom, which materializes on his formerly bare forearm. Energy flashes from Keith's Voltcom, forming a sword which scatters the soldiers. A melee ensues and alien vacationers scatter in panic, as Keith dodges fire and engaging in melee. He spots a jet-ski-like vehicle and leaps aboard it. He gains speed in the water, and then takes the craft into the air. He bursts through a hole in the sky, revealing that the whole "beach" is actually under some kind of domed resort on a dark planet. The Voltcom creates a space suit around Keith, who leaps from his craft, hits the ground with a roll that becomes a run, and takes off in a spacecraft.

At the academy, Lance and the students enter a meeting room where Wade addresses four other attendees who are present via hologram. Wade assures them that the rumors of a rising Drule threat are completely false. Ambassador Coran of Arus objects; his sources speak of a mysterious Commander Kala and a mention of Lotor, thought dead. Wade angrily dismisses this, and accuses Coran's sources of being rebels against the Alliance.

Wade ends the meeting, the holograms flicker out, and he turns his attention to Lance and the boys. He expresses anger at their violation of the no-Voltron rule, chews them out, and sentences them to latrine duty. Soon, they are plunging toilets. After the plunging shift ends, the boys pass the simulator room, and decide to illicitly strap in.

Meanwhile, Keith is aboard his ship, pondering Manset's betrayal aloud to a chattering robotic space mouse that sits on his dashboard. He notices that a slip of paper is sticking out of the money that Manset returned; the slip contains the coordinates to Wade's base! Keith sends a report back to "The Den", and sets course for the Tarvos moon of Saturn. In the simulator room, Daniel and Vince are still at it, when a new ship enters the field. It's Lance! Suddenly the simulators come loose from their mounts, and the trio fly through the hallways until Lance advises them to hit the brakes. A door opens, and Lance walks them into The Den, a secret room where they find Pidge and Hunk.

On Tarvos, Keith uses his energy sword to pry open a door. He stands atop a large shaft; scanners in his helmet expose laser sensors all the way down. With an acrobatic flourish and the aid of climbing claws, he makes his way down the shaft wish the robot mouse on his back.

In The Den, Lance lays the truth down on the boys. The former Voltron team members are keeping up appearances while they collect intel and use G.A. resources to help Keith on his "secret mission," which they don't reveal to Daniel and Vince. Lance tells the boys their talents have been noticed, and they have a new assignment: more toilet scrubbing. Lance convinces Daniel and Vince to trust him that their new assignment will be worthwhile.

Back on Tarvos, Keith plunges further downward. The mouse scampers down Keith's arm and disrupts his Voltcom. Keith stops his fall, but the mouse hops off and trips a laser before scurrying away. The alarm sounds! Keith hurries through a trap door at the bottom. Inside, Keith hides from two guards; he scans their uniforms with his Voltcom, which forms a similar disguise for him, and he walks away. He almost gets caught while waiting for his Voltcom to decrypts some security codes, but his mouse emerges from vent; Keith climbs in to hide.

Lance and Pidge school Daniel and Vince in some current events. They suspect Wade had sabotaged the lions to turn the public against Voltron and get them decommissioned. Pidge believes that Wade wanted to study their technology. Lance gives the boys their assignment: switch out Wade's prized uniform pin with a fake. While Wade is... doing his business, the latrine-duty cadets will have access to his jacket hanging on the wall. The plan goes off without a hitch... until Wade's pet (flesh-and-blood) lion confronts them outside the door. They manage to evade it and escape. Daniel turns the pin over to Lance, and Lance tells them it's time to leave the Academy. Aboard a shuttle, he tells them about the pin: it's actually comprised of the keys to the four lions impounded on Arus! The shuttle lands, and Allura welcomes them to Arus and the Castle of Lions.

On Tarvos, Keith finally finds what he is looking for: the Black Lion. He jumps in the cockpit. The lion swats away some soldiers and flies away.

Featured Characters

Quotes

"I'm looking for something Wade has that doesn't belong to him, which may lead to trouble, but that doesn't concern you. I paid you good money for that location, so--"
"Yes, well, unfortunately, some people are willing to pay more for your location."
    —Keith is betrayed by Manset

"A sword, really?"
"It's a weapon of honor. You wouldn't understand."
    —Manset and Keith

"All right, Whiny McGee. You want me to make this interesting for you?"
    —Vince cranks the simulator up notch for Daniel

"What are you doing? You're not even welding anything."
"Yeah, but I wanted to make a cool entrance for these little dudes."
    —Hunk explains the excessive sparks to Pidge

"Is Keith here too?"
"Always with the Keith."
    —Daniel's hero worship is wearing on Lance

"But why won't you just give us a straight answer about anything?"
"Partially because you aren't ready to know, but mostly because it's way more fun for me this way. So I'll ask you again: Do you trust me? Because if you don't, I can have Pidge erase this from your memory."
"Okay. We're in."
"Phew! That is a huge relief, 'cause we do not have have a memory-erasing device. That's science fiction."
    —Daniel gets an explanation of Lance's information-sharing policy

"What were you thinking?"
"I didn't think at all. Guess you're lucky I'm impulsive."
"Yeah, well, consider the saving-my-life debt paid. I was hoping to hold that over your head, but--"
    —Vince and Daniel after escaping from Wade's pet lion

"This is all happening so fast!"
"I often find fast is the best way."
    —Vince and Daniel

Notes

  • This episode and the two subsequent were first premiered as one cut-together 90-minute movie "The Trilogy" on June 16, 2011 at 8:30pm EDT.[1]

References

  1. New Animated Series, "Voltron Force," Premieres on Nicktoons June 16, Nicktoons press release posted at The Futon Critic

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