|Pidge's Home Planet|
|Air date||October 25th of 1984|
|Based on Golion episode||Goodbye, Earth|
"Pidges Home Planet" is the twentieth episode of the lion series of Voltron: Defender of the Universe.
Apparently, things have been quiet indeed for an extended period of time on Planet Arus, for the Voltron Force is being all but shunted aside in favour of resuming court customs. The Princess Allura may soon be crowned queen of Altair, and she has a duty to produce an heir. Nanny shows her and the Space Explorers the monarch's crown worn by her father and his father before him on a pedestal, as well as the princess' wedding/queen's coronation gown upon a mannequin (or possibly a model extremely skilled at holding a pose). The royal governess goes on to state that Allura cannot be crowned queen until she has chosen a prince consort, and Coran adds that the princess' giving birth to an heir is the fervent wish of the people.
Always blunt and generally-irreverant, Lance complains about the lengths to which women will go "just to get a new hat" and reaches for the crown, only to have his hands slapped away by an appalled Nanny who points out that said crown is neither new nor just a hat! Princess Allura laments that she will have to leave her friends. Pidge laughs in reply, pointing out that there will be "no more blasting off in a lion for Her Majesty!" The Space Mice enter and swiftly comfort the princess, but her nanny uses this opportunity to press the point further, voicing her disgust over the "things" with which she associates herself. Always perceptive, Lance realizes that the shot was aimed at the Voltron Force as well!
Nanny does not relent, once again pointing out that "zooming around in the sky is no occupation for a princess" and (to the dismay of Pidge and offense of Hunk) adding that Allura should be surrounded by people of culture who are of her own class. At this point even the initially-supportive Keith finds his patience wearing thin. Lance walks over to him, summarizing Arus' gratitude as "thanks a lot", a hand shake, no gold star, but perhaps a letter of recommendation. Pidge begins to despair, yet Nanny offers the Force the opportunity to be "royal escorts", prompting an idyllic imagining of them as Allura's honour guard, ever faithful to the princess, kneeling and pledging allegiance to both regents. Though this is a great honour for such "simple commoners" as the Space Explorers, Lance and the others are less-than-impressed by the prospect. Allura protests that she has no plans to marry and become queen, and Hunk accuses Nanny and Coran of forcing the princess to do so. Coran insists that this is the will of the people, and Keith makes known his grudging acceptance that the princess and he both have their respective jobs to do. He excuses himself and the male members of the team, who proceed to the castle's control room.
There they find that Pidge's home planet of Balto is being barraged with nuclear missiles! Pidge is understandably concerned, especially as he doesn't know whether or not his family successfully moved off-planet in time. The team prepares to launch their lions and investigate, but are stopped by Coran, Nanny, an octet of Palace Guards, and Allura; the latter of whom explains that if they leave Arus, they take Voltron with them! While the thought of what Zarkon might do in their absence frightens Nanny, Lance suggests that said intergalactic tyrant seems to be focusing on Balto (which, as Keith points out, is a member of the Galaxy Alliance's interplanetary federation) at the moment. Nevertheless Coran is unwilling to take the risk and sends the guards to place the Force under house arrest. These guards are swiftly dispatched by the Space Explorers' martial arts techniques (they have been specially trained, after all) amid cries such as "Now hear this" from Hunk and "End of house arrest" from Lance. Princess Allura rushes over to apologize to Keith, who reminds her that they must go even as she bursts into tears. She asks him if he will be back, and Keith -turning away and clearly emotionally distraught himself- replies that he plans too, although without her in the Blue Lion, "who knows?" Though she is emotionally wrenched by her divided loyalties, Allura is still too royal, her sense of duty to her world too strong, to abandon Arus and accompany the Voltron Force. She breaks down, weakly crying that "It won't be the same...."
The Voltron Force (minus Allura) head to Balto in a last desperate attempt to save the planet. Coran fires off a "military salute" to the team which -for some reason- is almost misinterpreted as an attack by them. However, as they leave the Arusian atmosphere, it is revealed that their activity is being monitored by the real enemy. Haggar is ready to again attempt Arus' capture, and thus Zarkon sends Lotor with a fleet of attack ships to deal with the Voltron Force on Balto.
Descending through the planet's atmosphere, the Voltron Force find its worst fears confirmed by the hellish scene which unfurls before them. Rivers of lava crisscross the land like arteries ripped open, scattered ruins of civilization protrude from the ashes like bones exposed by compound fractures, and all around is dusty, devastated desolation.
Finding Pidge's "village", the Lion Force alights near his space-academy-shaped home and disembarks. The interior is in total disarray, with unseen sources bursting into clouds of dust. The moody Lance is particularly emotional about the situation, but the team must swiftly pull themselves together as Lotor's fleet adds laser bombardment to the overall damage!
The Voltron Force boards the available lions successfully and puts up stiff resistance to the enemy fleet. Lotor cleverly elects to cut to the chase while the opportunity is still his and releases the Robeast he sensibly decided to pack. After it is exposed to the requisite rays, the beast grows into the towering Terrordactyl!
The lions alone are no match for such a monster; it sweeps them from the sky and bombards them with strafing runs. Despite their thermal shields the four Voltron Lions are felled and pinned down, soon to be merely more ruins on this dead world; Keith laments the absence of Allura and her Blue Lion, painfully asking its pilot "Princess! Why did you have to be a princess?" before sending a call for help to Planet Arus.
The (seemingly-telepathic) call is received by the Princess Allura as she gazes out upon the ruined world through a castle monitor. Her sense of duty now pulls her in a different direction, and she insists upon boarding the Blue Lion in a desperate attempt to save her friends.
Prince Lotor appreciates Allura's effort, and that he will apparently not need to bother going all the way to Arus to claim her for himself. He is soon to be impressed by her performance as well: a small squadron of Doom Blasters are on the prowl but she's got the drop on them; the residual speed granted by her interstellar blue aura is more than enough to loop behind the enemy robots and she proceeds to kick butt as she has never kicked butt before, dispatching three of them singlehandedly using her dorsal turret's laser darts!
Unfortunately, Lotor also has the drop on her. Like a spider launching a web, he deploys his ship's electro-force-tractor-beam and ensnares the Blue Lion with ease, shocking the princess within in the harmless-but-paralyzing manner typical of the series.
Fortunately, Lance has found a volcano pit with molten lava, and uses his own dorsal turret's missiles to give the robeast "a hot bath"! The ground beneath Terrordactyl quakes and shifts and Hunk warns Lance to fly as the volcano erupts a plume of lava sky-high...so high, in fact, that it strikes Lotor's ship! The dark elf-like prince exclaims that his force is broken, and the not-yet-dark-elflike princess exclaims that she is free! That means the team is at last....
...Ready to form Voltron! Lotor is not impressed, for he has considerable confidence in the pterosaur, even if it is currently crawling out of a caldera (try saying that five times fast!). This proves to have been well-founded, for while Voltron proves quite able to deflect the ring-like projectiles of its Jurassic Blaster breath weapon using his Electro-Saber, the aforementioned Electro-Saber is knocked out of the sky by a buffet from Terrordactyl's wings. Worse, still, the robeast then launch an Electro-Force-Web which ensnares and pins the mighty Voltron!
Voltron is unable to move, but Terrordactyl is able whip the entire snare (and our favourite form-together robot with it) against a volcano, and the fiendish beast clearly enjoys doing so. Prince Lotor joins in its sadistic glee, exclaiming, "Now Voltron is finished!"
The robeast's laugh is incorrect; such statements as Lotor's are usually followed by immediate comeuppance, and this episode is no exception: the unstable volcano erupts, blasting Terrordactyl with a fountain of lava. Despite its fire resistance, it can no longer maintain its Electro-Force-Web, and thus the pterodactyl faces extinction again as Keith gives the command to....
...Form Blazing Sword! Voltron leaps into the air, brandishing the Sword two-handed as usual, but such a fate is not enough for a monster menacing the ruins of (one of) his pilots' home planet(s). Instead, all of the Blazing Sword's power is focused into a Cross Beam which Keith calls "Star Fire"; it dismembers and quadfrocates the Mesozoic monster and flings its pieces into the searing cauldron of the earth's last blood.
"Voltron has done it again!" Keith exclaims.
Lotor is vexed by said Defender of the Universe's persistent success, but a Doom-bot helmsman who sounds uncannily like Optimus Prime warns him that the instability which thwarted Terrordactyl is about to cause the explosion of the entire planet! He insists that "it's better to go home in disgrace than to stay here and be blown to bits." In reply Lotor reminds him, "You don't have to face my father!"
Nevertheless, the dark Prince takes his helmsman's advice (who could argue with the voice of Optimus Prime?), and as the planet is shown in quarter-profile blazing, breaking, and covered in eruptions much like in the pivotal scene of Final Fantasy VI a decade later, the Voltron Lions flee it as well.
All of the Voltron pilots are in tears save Allura as the planet radiantly bursts and fades like a white dwarf, and Lance states that he knows what it's like to lose one's home, yet not one's whole world. Keith assures all the parents watching that all of the Baltonians escaped the planet before Lotor started his dirty work. Hunk is appalled, Pidge distraught, and the rather-empathic Allura joins them in their weeping while promising to make the latter an honorary citizen of Arus. Pidge seems somewhat comforted by this, and the team flies to that still-remaining jewel in space wrapped in a prism of flames.
Later, on Planet Arus, a feast is given in honour of Pidge. Princess Allura makes a toast to Arus' newest citizen, who ducks under the table to address his fellow citizens: the four Space Mice. He tells them that this is his country now, and thus he could become a Duke, an Earl, a Baron, or maybe even a Knight (ironically, these are all progressively lower stations in terms of rank). He then asks the remarkable rodents for their honest opinion: is he too short to be a Prime Minister?
Nanny: "You can be royal escorts! *Daydream sequence intiates* Ah! I can just see it: my baby, walking down the aisle on the arm of her handsome prince consort, you boys as the queen's personal honour guard, ever faithful to Her Majesty! *Allura turns to the Voltron Force* You will kneel and pledge undying allegiance to both regents. *They kneel in sequence to kiss her white-gloved hand* Ah! What an honour! What a privilege for simple commoners like you; to serve the court of Arus! Ha! What more could you ask?" *Daydream sequence fades*
Allura: "I'd rather kiss mice than some people!"
Hunk: "Everything, ruined!"
Lance (nearly in shock): "How could they?!? Dust! *He pounds his fist into the ground* A whole civilization reduced to dust! Millions of years to build and destroyed in one day!"
"*Maniacal laughter* I knew an attack on one of their home planets would bring them running! I've divided the Voltron Force, and now I'll conquer them!"
Keith: Princess! We should never have separated! The five lions were meant to be together, always! We're a team and we really need you now; if only you knew!
Allura: Keith, I read you! We really are a team, and I'm coming!
Nanny: "Child! Be sensible! Your- your friends are valiant, but your duty is here, on Arus!"
Allura: "If it weren't for them, there'd be no Voltron, no kingdom, no Planet Arus! We owe everything to them! If I've ever been needed, it's now, and my friends I love more than anything in the world!"
Lotor (monitoring the Blue Lion's departure from Arus): "Good! The Princess is coming to join our party! Her lovely addition is much more than I had hoped for; it will save me having to go to Arus for her after I destroy the Voltron Force!"
Terrordactyl fires another barrage of Mesozoic Missiles, scattering the other lions down a deep volcanic ravine and beginning to bury them in boulders.
Keith: "I don't think we're winning this one! We need the Princess and her Blue Lion and Voltron to handle this robeast!"
Lance: "It's never over 'til it's over, Keith!"
Keith: "OK! Kick in forward retro-thrust!"
Nothing happens....So the Red Lion burrows into the volcano.
"When Allura's angry, she's fascinating! It's a shame to end it now!"
- A smirking Prince Lotor, seeing the Blue Lion's laser darts blow up two Doom Blasters and send a third smoking to a careening crash landing before his monitor, just before he fires his own ship's electro-force-tractor-beam to subdue her
Hunk: "Waste! Wasting a whole world!"
The remains of the planet at last fade away with the dying of its light.
Pidge: "At least I can think of Planet Arus as my home, 'til I find where my family has gone....Wish I could have seen my backyard once more!"
Alllura: "Pidge, don't worry; I'm with you! We're all with you, and we'll be together always; I promise you that! When we get back to Arus, I'm going to make you an honorary citizen; then you'll have both a new home and a new world! OK, Pidge?"
Pidge: "I'd like that!"
Notes and Goofs
- It is questionable whether this could be considered a goof given Hunk's normal range of expression, but his eyes are clearly crossed as he stands at attention in Nanny's daydream.
- Thanks to the lions' being separated, this episode provides an excellent display of their armament, including Black Lion's proton missiles, Red Lion's electro-laser, Green Lion's rocket grenades, Yellow Lion's rotor missiles, and Blue Lion's laser darts.
- In this episode, Keith begins to say, "Form arms and torso" when forming Voltron.
- Princess Allura is now 12/14 on the damsel-in-distress-episodes-since-first-piloting-Blue-Lion, taking her up to a Damsel-in-Distress rate of 86%! Impressive!
- Voltron's Keith remarks "At least we're sure everybody got safely off the planet." Yeah. Nope. Not in Golion. The only humans aside from our heroes that managed to get off Earth after WWIII were those rounded up by Galra slave ships.
- In fact, the Golion version of this episode is just...horrifying. For starters? That planet IS EARTH. Whose oceans have turned to magma. The ruins the team explores, that are supposed to be Pidge’s school? Actually the Fuji space school they all went to, which happens to be next to what used to be all their homes. There are skeletons inside that literally crumble to dust in front of them. Skeletons with hands outstretched to a wall with last words scribbled out in blood. And in the end, all the team can do is watch with tears streaming down their faces as the Earth finally explodes and the Princess tries to console them with "make Altea your second home".
- Technically, the late planet was Pidge's home planet in both versions; in Beast King GoLion, his character was from Earth!
- The shot of the Voltron Lions dropping their Voltron-forming/interstellar travel energy aurae upon leaving
Earth'sBalto's atmosphere is mirrored and used in the opening of every Lion Force Voltron: Defender of the Universe episode.
- It remains a mystery as to why World Events Productions decided to give Pidge's home planet the name Balto. Could it be a reference to the heroic husky who saved Nome, Alaska from Diphtheria?