Warning! SPOILERS for Voltron: Legendary Defender season 7 ahead!
Voltron: Legendary Defender season 7 is now available on Netflix with a whopping 13 episodes (that's twice the number of episodes as recent seasons!). Ahead of the release, Screen Rant talked with executive producers Joaquim Dos Santos and Lauren Montgomery about the new season.
Season 7 is the penultimate season for Voltron: Legendary Defender, and it sees our heroes finally return to Earth where they must defend their home from a Galra invasion. In many ways, it's a full circle moment for the journey which began when Shiro, Keith, Lance, Hunk, and Pidge flew off into space inside a giant Lion and through a wormhole, beginning their lives as Paladins of Voltron tasked with defending the universe. Since then, the Paladins have survived many trials and challenges, growing as individuals and as a team, preparing them for what will easily be their toughest fight yet.
In part one of our interview, Dos Santos and Montgomery discussed the fan reactions to the reveal of Shiro's sexuality and teased the shift in focus for season 7. Now, in part two, Screen Rant chats with Dos Santos and Montgomery about a few of their influences as well as their favorite moment of season 7.
Screen Rant: We’ve talked about how you like to include these one-off episodes that are just goofy fun. This season we get another, ‘The Feud'. What was the thinking behind this episode?
Lauren Montgomery: Well, funnily enough, there was actually a production-minded thinking behind it. We were originally going to try to do just a clip show because we needed to give a break to one our directors. He was pretty burnt out, but we didn’t want to lose him. And so, we’re like, ‘All right, we’ll find a way to make something easy for you.’ Turns out, y’know, contracts exist and Netflix is like, ‘Hey, we paid for original content not a clip show!’ Oh right.
So what we did was we came up with this idea, ‘Okay, if we send to the story board team like literally game show references and tell them to only use these camera shots, then we can do this whole episode with barely any--simple, reused camera shots, then it might be easier to achieve. But also, we’re just huge fans of the ridiculousness of a game show. And being on a game show seems like the funnest thing in the world.
Joaquim Dos Santos: Some of my fondest memories are playing sick and staying home from school and watching Family Feud and Price is Right. Those game shows have a ton of nostalgia attached to them, for us.
LM: I went through a period when I was in college when the Game Show network was big. And we had that on cable at my college, so in my dorm I could watch the Game Show network. And so my favorites were always Family Feud and The $10,000 Pyramid - which we really didn’t get to work $10,000 Pyramid in to the show.
JDS: Yeah, we had a sort of Password situation…
LM: But the fact that the whole set is kind of based on Family Feud was very exciting for me.
JDS: And just so you know, the original pass visually for that show had way more, like a 70’s, y’know...
LM: Bad reception, like a TV antenna-vibe to it…
JDS: But we got some notes that people we’re getting confused that maybe the show was like ruined and stuff, and we’re like, ‘No! It’s not real! That’s just how TV used to look. I promise!’
LM: Clearly, portions of our audience were not born in a time when reception was bad.
SR: Right!? Kids don’t understand how easy they have it! But I did just love the episode and all the game show references. I also got a bit of a Star Trek vibe, where this other life form has plucked them out of whatever they were doing to have this one-off adventure.
JDS: Kind of like Q.
LM: Yeah, he was our Q, you’re exactly right there.
SR: We also learn, actually right before ‘The Feud’ episode, that there’s been a bit of a time jump. Was there a reason for the time jump? Did you know you wanted to do a big, dramatic shift?
JDS: We wanted Earth to have been able to go through a bit of a challenge in the time from when Sam first arrived to when our Paladins finally show up.
LM: It was also a little bit of that mystery of our characters were in such a good place once they defeated Lotor and the Rebels were kind of out doing their thing. Now that there’s been this ambiguous period of time that they’ve been gone, they can’t get a hold of anyone, they don’t know what’s going on. So it just puts them at this disadvantage, which is ultimately what makes good stories. Also, it just allows - out of pure convenience - for the Earth to be further along in the creation of the Atlas and also the invasion of the Galra. It just made storytelling sense to have something like that occur.
JDS: We wanted Earth to be post-apocalyptic. That was our dream of dreams! A post-apocalyptic Earth.
SR: You mentioned Earth needing to be further along technologically, and for a couple of episodes, the show is focused just on Earth without the Paladins. To me, those episodes had a real anime vibe, reminiscent of series like Gundam or Macross. Was that intentional?
JDS: I think we’re just going to completely wear that on our sleeves and say 110% yes. We were huge fans of both franchises, particularly Macross.
LM: Ultimately, the Atlas is our SDF-1 and this is us just, y’know the MFE pilots are basically our veritechs. We couldn’t get transforming…
JDS: Yeah, had budget allowed we would have definitely had some version of transforming.
LM: Not everything can be as cool as Voltron.
SR: But it’s so cool that you can pull from those other influences. And speaking of the Atlas, it goes through a transformation that is pretty rad. Now, are we meant to think that’s because of Shiro’s arm? He had a Galra arm, now he’s got sort of this Altean-infused arm.
JDS: It’s two things, really. It’s his arm having the Atlean crystal bit in it…
LM: The jewel from Allura’s tiara...
JDS: But also the Atlas has, it’s basically the castle ship…
LM: The diamond that was left over from the destruction of the castle ship is essentially what’s powering the Atlas. That kind of syncs up with Shiro’s arm and CRAZY SPACE MAGIC.
JDS: We’re going deep level space magic on that one.
SR: Yeah, when I was first watching it I was like, ‘What is happening!?’ But I think audiences will be prepared for it. We’ve seen, especially this season, that the Paladins have grown closer to their Lions and that lore has been deepened. So I don’t think anyone will be too shocked to see the Altas transform into its own giant robot.
JDS: When you think about, the entirety of the castle ship, all of its technology, all its schematics, everything was shrunk down into that little diamond.
LM: And Sam, in making the Atlas and designing it, has basically been utilizing Atlean schematics and all that technology. And, ultimately, we just wanted to give Shiro a freaking sweet mech. So he’s part of the team again. Everyone gets a mech!
SR: All right, wrapping up, this time - with spoilers - what was your favorite part of season 7?
LM: Honestly, it’s probably going to be the reunions of the characters with their families. Finally getting to see Lance’s family a little bit, seeing Hunk’s - seeing the flashbacks of Hunk is really, probably, little baby Hunk is the cutest thing in the world.
JDS: More than any one thing, it’s not putting closures on those story points, but getting to see that. Because I think that, aside from any kind of shipping art, we see [fan] art of the Paladins meeting back up with their families, and especially Lance and his family. We see a lot of that online, so it was nice, it was very fulfilling to see that.
Thanks again to Joaquim and Lauren for taking the time to talk with us! Season 7 is another exciting chapter in the Voltron saga that both brings a bit of closure - for the Paladins especially, as they're reunited with their families on Earth - but it also teases what's next for the show's final season. That final season, which will include another 13 episodes, is expected to drop before the end of the year. So stay tuned! There's more adventures to come from Team Voltron!
Voltron: Legendary Defender season 7 is now available to stream on Netflix.