|This article is about the Lion Force pilot as they appear in Legendary Defender. For a list of other meanings, see Pidge (disambiguation).|
Katie's father and brother were lost on a mission to Kerberos, a moon of Pluto, along with Shiro. Refusing to believe the official report of their deaths by pilot error, Katie began her unrelenting search for her missing family. After being discovered hacking into Galaxy Garrison computers, she was escorted off the property and forbidden from ever returning. To further her investigation, she went undercover as a Galaxy Garrison cadet by the name of "Pidge Gunderson" and cut her hair and donned glasses to disguise herself as a boy. Infiltrating the Galaxy Patrol, she wound up assigned to a team with Lance and Hunk.
Pidge eventually developed machinery to pick up interstellar radio chatter, which allowed her to learn of Galra Empire activity on the edge of the solar system. Pidge and her teammates - who had recently failed a simulation flight to Kerberos - then saw a Galran escape craft carrying Shiro crash-land in the nearby desert. The trio went to break him out of Galaxy Patrol custody, but were beaten to that goal by Keith who they then joined in his escape. Following Keith's investigations into unusual energy readings, the group eventually found the Blue Lion in a nearby cavern.
After narrowly escaping a Galra attack, the group found themselves transported via wormhole to Arus, where they met Princess Allura and Coran and learned about Voltron. Given the chance to save her home and the galaxy, Pidge and her teammates became the new Paladins of Voltron, with Pidge becoming the pilot of the Green Lion. Shiro accompanied Pidge to a dense forest planet where the Green Lion was hidden, where it accepted her as its pilot.
When the Red Lion was discovered aboard Sendak's ship, the Paladins took the three Lions they had available into action to retrieve it. During this mission, Pidge revealed that Shiro's old crew mates were her father and brother, yet despite their best efforts the search proved mostly futile when they learned from other prisoners that Pidge's family were no longer aboard the ship. They did manage to rescue several prisoners, and with the Red Lion retrieved, the Paladins were able to obtain the Black Lion and eventually form Voltron, destroying Sendak's ship. Concern for her missing relatives would eventually interfere with Pidge's ability to unify with her team and form Voltron at will, prompting Shiro to accompany her on a trip to the wreckage of Sendak's ship to try and learn what she could about the missing pair. Talking to the prisoners had revealed a disturbing account of Shiro attacking her brother Matt before engaging a Galra gladiator, who then appeared as a Robeast that the Paladins were forced to engage.
Shiro's reawakened memories of the monster revealed that he had injured Matt in order to ensure that he would not face the gladiator and be harmed or killed, something that Pidge was immensely grateful to Shiro for. At this time Shiro revealed that he knew about her real identity, but promised that he would keep it a secret. The Space Mice felt no such need for secrecy and confided in Allura, who approached Pidge, hoping that she would open up, only for Pidge to announce her intention to leave the Paladins and search for her missing relatives. However, her solo mission was halted when the still-living Sendak and his subordinate Haxus destroyed the castle's power crystal and then infiltrated it after Hunk and Coran had left in search of a new one and Keith and Allura had left to attend to the local Arusian population, who were under attack. With Lance injured and Shiro captured, it fell to Pidge and the Space Mice to thwart the Galrans and enable the return of their allies.
Realizing that she had become part of something larger, Pidge decided to stay with the team, and further decided to tell the team that she was actually a girl; despite fears that it would change how her friends looked at her, she was readily accepted by all for who she was. The Castle of Lions then departed Arus to go to the aid of a Balmera that the Galra had been mining for energy crystals. During the mission to save the planet, Pidge revealed that she had modified the Green Lion with a cloaking device, and with her comrades, managed to save the Balmerans. The group was then forced to contend with another Robeast as well as the Balmera's imminent collapse, but were able to defeat the monster while Allura healed the living planetoid thanks to her bond with the world. Sadly, the group would then deal with the consequences of Sendak's previous takeover of the castle, as Galran crystal energy polluted the system and corrupted the A.I. of Allura's father Alfor, causing it to try to destroy them and ultimately forcing Allura to erase the virtual copy of her father.
Piecing together the information recovered from Sendak's ship and extracted memories, the team then learned of a transport hub that she infiltrated in order to gain information about Zarkon's plans. When the hub proved to have no information, Allura and Shiro boarded an arriving ship in search of the information, only for the group to be exposed and forced to flee without Allura. This led them to attempt an ill-fated assault on Zarkon's central command, where Zarkon's immense power caused Voltron to separate and forced the pilots to fight separately against the overwhelming number of Galran ships. They succeeded in rescuing Allura, but during the escape their wormhole was blasted by Haggar, causing it to deteriorate and apparently scatter all five lions and the castle to parts unknown.
Pidge is a technical genius, and is more than capable of quickly learning how to operate advanced alien technology. She is also an intensely private person, often needing some measure of personal space and has a hard time bonding with others. She had a profoundly hard time with her psychic training due to this deep-seated aspect of her personality.
Among her teammates, she is closest to Shiro and Hunk. Her close friendship with Shiro is due to him having known of her from his time working with her brother and father. Pidge often looks to Shiro for guidance, and Shiro often offers perspective and focus when Pidge is anxious or scared. Her bond deepened when she forgave Shiro for wounding her brother Matt in his gladiator days after Shiro explained that he did it to keep Matt from fighting in Zarkon's arena. Since then, Shiro has been Pidge's closest friend/surrogate brother. Hunk and Pidge get along due to their common ground as science experts, Hunk's cheery demeanor balancing out Pidge's excitability, and their shared history as Galaxy Garrison cadets. They often work together on the Lions to install Pidge's constant upgrades to them, and they often get caught in ridiculous situations together.
Along with Shiro, Pidge is usually the first to call out Lance on his womanizing, somewhat sexist, and overly flirtatious personality, usually in the form of comical displays of violence such as punching him, shocking him, and so on. This likely stems from her having put up with Lance's commentary and shallowness during her time at the Garrison and the fact that she finds his behavior to be incredibly disrespectful since she is also a girl. Pidge finds Keith to be somewhat "emo" due to his aggressive and brooding personality. Despite this, they still work well as comrades and colleagues. The two are also the physically fastest of the team in terms of running speed.
Pidge is also something of a hoarder, collecting every last piece of new technology she can get her hands on, and trying to create something better out of even the most advanced machines available. She is always looking to improve upon what is around her, allowing her to adapt and thrive even in the most difficult or unconventional circumstances, even if it means dismantling alien tech and risking the lives of herself and those around her, such as when she cobbled together a tank of booster fuel for the pod that Hunk and Coran used to harvest a Balmeran crystal for the Castle Ship. She is a little person who leaves a large mess in her wake, be it her large collection of alien tech or the bodies and armor of her fallen enemies.
Pidge is excitable, curious, and playful in her personality. She cannot keep herself from fawning over and playing with any new tech that she can get her hands on, as was the case when she kept playing with Rolo's cyber unit, Beezer. Pidge is in constant awe of the amazing sights around her. When she and Shiro went after the Green Lion on the jungle planet, Pidge could only gaze in wonder at the breath taking scenery. Even their sloth-like guide seemed bemused at her curiosity. Pidge is driven by four things in life: Finding her family, protecting her friends, fighting the Galra, and exploring the world around her.
Pidge certainly embodies her Lion's elemental affiliation of the Forest: She is constantly adapting to her surroundings, sustains and protects the people around her, and is able to thrive in even the harshest circumstances.
Pidge is a technological child genius of the highest order, and has even learned how to operate advanced alien technology on the fly. She is agile, nimble, and uses a Bayard that takes the form of a small, arrow-shaped blade that possesses the ability to deliver a painful electric shock, a grapple function that can be used for both transport and incapacitating enemies, and has an edge that can cut through extremely thick metal plating with little to no trouble. As the smallest member of team Voltron, Pidge is easy to underestimate, and can easily go unnoticed where her larger and flashier teammates would be discovered. Her technical skills have aided the team immensely, initially with discovering the approach of an alien space craft and finding the first of the lions, but also in retrofitting cloaking technology to the Green Lion and adapting other technology to suit the team's needs.
Pidge is surprisingly skilled in hand-to-hand combat, able to duel the veteran Galra soldier Haxus on even ground, and even scored a decisive blow against Sendak by cutting his prosthetic arm off with her Bayard. Unlike the other Paladins, Pidge's Bayard offers more than just offensive power. Using its grapple function she can take control of the battlefield by using it to outmaneuver her opponents while entangling them and controlling them at the same time. Pidge is quick thinking and dangerous for it, able to overload an Altean power generator to create an electrical surge to incapacitate her foes despite relatively little experience with such systems. Pidge's skills as a fighter are based primarily on her flexibility, speed, intelligence, and creativity.
Pidge's athletic abilities, though often overlooked, are quite impressive. She is able to effectively dance around her opponents, displaying agility and grace that surprise those around her that are more familiar with her seemingly nerdy exterior than her skills in combat. She is also quite fast, able to ascend to the top of the Green Lion's hiding spot in mere moments without the assistance of her armor or jet pack. Pidge is quite flexible, able to combat several Galra sentries within the Castle's ventilation systems with minimal difficulty and impressive results.
Pidge is also quite skilled in committing multiple acts of espionage with extreme skill, such as breaking into Galaxy Garrison systems and being able to decipher their records on more than one occasion. She was also presumably able to create a convincing fake identification and history in order to infiltrate the Garrison under the name "Pidge Gunderson," and managed to lie her way past Commander Ivorson despite the two of them having a notable history of conflict, as he was unable to recognize her despite having simply cut her hair, adding a pair of glasses, and worn loose-fitting clothes to hide her body type as the primary elements of her disguise. Pidge also likely faked her medical records for this part of her undercover mission, as a space exploration program would likely have required information on applicants' physical condition and health history. All in all, this shows how profoundly skilled Pidge is at espionage, subterfuge, and deception, unquestionably having committed multiple felonies and high treason in the process without getting caught.
- This is the first incarnation of Pidge and the first full-time pilot of the Green Lion to be a girl. Lauren Montegomery was the one who insisted that Pidge should be a girl to show how a female character could occupy the space usually given to male characters with nothing in the story needing to change.
- When Pidge reveals her true identity as a girl, every other member of Team Voltron aside from Lance admits to having already known:
- Shiro knew of Katie's existence from being with her father Dr. Holt and her brother Matt and deduced her true identity after she revealed they were her father and brother.
- Hunk and Keith figured it out off screen.
- Pidge carries a picture of herself with her brother. Initially Hunk thought that it was a picture of Pidge's girlfriend.
- Allura was told about Pidge's identity via her talking mice.
- Coran was surprised that Pidge had been trying to come off as a boy when it was obvious to him she was not - despite this, he refers to Pidge as "he" early in .
- Pidge is the youngest of the Paladins, described as being 14.
- This is made doubly impressive by the fact that at 14, Pidge was able to hack multiple military grade technologies and even was accepted to Galaxy Garrison.
- The full name of Pidge’s Golion counterpart was Hiroshi Suzuishi, aka Shorty. "Suzuishi" is a Japanese word for "cassiterite," a common tin ore.