The Voltron crew had us hyped up for weeks about the season six premiere, and I think I can speak for everyone when I say that it was absolutely as emotionally damaging as we expected – if not more. Season six was loaded with information and answers to burning questions, so I’ve decided that it deserved an episode-by-episode breakdown to look more closely at some of the smaller details. I’m not sure about the rest of you, but I was not expecting the first episode to pack such a potent emotional punch. Let’s take a look at the most crucial moments from episode one, “Omega Shield.”
As the episode opened, we were reminded of Lotor’s good intentions. He wants to bring “peace and prosperity” to the empire with the help of Allura and the other paladins, and thus far seems to be a good guy. This was reinforced with the scene that introduced his governess, Dayak. Honestly, who wouldn’t think that a guy who makes these faces is pure of heart?
This scene immediately feels as though it’s supposed to make us feel more connected to Lotor by knowing more of his personal history. Which meant that I felt suspicious about it from the get-go. No one is going to start a season by showing the potential villain in a humorous light unless they’re trying to tear at your heartstrings.
Hunk’s Galra Lessons
Hunk spoke up and distracted from these suspicions by requesting that Dayak teach him about Galran history and the meaning of the phrase “Vrepit Sa.” Seeing Hunk undergo these lessons was not only hilarious but also informative for the audience. I always imagined that “Vrepit Sa” meant something along the lines of “For the Empire,” but as it turns out it the phrase translates to “Killing Thrust” and was coined during a battle far in the past.
Hunk was able to use this information to convince a couple of Galran generals to let Voltron help them later in the episode, but because it was such a focal point in the first episode of the season I wouldn’t be surprised if it came up again down the road.
Lotor isn’t shy about the fact that he is relying on Allura to help him build the ship that will take them into the quintessence field. He needs alchemic powers for the construction process, and because he was denied by the White Lion at Oriande, Allura is his only hope of completing the ship. If this didn’t feel odd to anyone else, I think it should now that you’re looking back on it. Lotor is all charm and encouragement, but it felt like blatant manipulation from the beginning.
Not to mention the parallels between this scene and the beginning of Zarkon and Honerva’s relationship was glaring. I’d had a long-standing theory that Lotor would end up going down the same path as his father, and this moment solidified it for me. Lotor was never just relying on Allura but manipulating her. And this is just the beginning.
Lotor’s Promises and Desires
Lotor wants to bring “peace and prosperity” to the Galra Empire and publicly declares his intentions of bringing unlimited quintessence to the Galra race. This seems contradictory; after all, exposure to quintessence is what drove Zarkon and Honerva to insanity and threw the empire into a constant state of war. So, how exactly does Lotor plan to offer unlimited quintessence and a peaceful empire simultaneously without causing mass chaos? And how has no one working with Lotor made that connection? It seems that Lotor’s charming personality and suave words are doing the trick and covering something up.
I was also struck by the hesitance some Galra generals felt to join Lotor’s factions. Lotor was described as “weak” and “strange,” which set off some red flags about how Lotor is perceived by other Galrans. It’s not surprising to hear that some think he’s strange because Lotor is seemingly trying to shift the entire outlook and processes within the empire. However, looking back at Lotor’s introduction in the arena we can recall that he is one of the strongest men of his race; he’s not exactly what we would refer to as “weak.”
I’m beginning to feel like Lotor’s “weakness” is not physical, but mental. The first sign that pushed me in this direction came about when Sendak attacked the labor planet. Allura assures him that Voltron can handle Sendak while he addresses the empire, but Lotor seems irrationally upset that she’s leaving him. On one hand, I think this is partly due to the fact that he is relying on her to help him build his ship and get to the quintessence field. But on the other hand, I’m not convinced that he would be looking this absolutely heartbroken if he was only concerned about his ship. It’s clear that he has an attachment to Allura and is anxious that she might not return to him.
Keep this in mind when we discuss Lotor’s actions in the future, because it’s an integral part of his personality that needs to be addressed.
The thing we all knew was coming but were in denial about for months: Shiro being put through insufferable pain. Shiro’s flashbacks showed us valuable information about what Haggar was up to and revealed that she had gained access to Oriande. I was expecting to see something along these lines, but I wasn’t expecting to see her revert to Honerva so quickly. This was also a red flag that something was going to go south with Lotor’s plan – Honerva healing herself from her quintessence exposure just somehow seemed to signal that she recognized meddling with quintessence was a mistake. In context with Lotor’s public declaration to provide the empire with unlimited quintessence, Honerva’s appearance felt very odd.
But, above all else, these flashback sequences were downright painful to watch. Shout out to Josh Keaton for providing all those pained sounds that had us all on the brink of tears before episode one was even over.
There’s no denying that Lance is struggling with his feelings for Allura. She’s preoccupied with Lotor and brushes off Lance’s flirting, but this little comedic genius can’t help but feel drawn to her. Lance is often the butt of everyone’s jokes and gets pushed aside because his talents don’t fit into the everyday life of the castle, but this episode showcased exactly how selfless he truly is. When he realized that the Blue Lion was about the be blasted with radiation, he flew his own lion over to save her without a second thought. Consequently, he took the hit of radiation and was critically injured. He was nonresponsive and seemed to be on the brink of death when Allura got to him, and thankfully she was able to heal him with her Altean alchemy.
This was a turning point for Lance’s character because we saw him go from flirty and funny to self-sacrificing and intense in the span of a few minutes. But more importantly, it was a moment for Allura to showcase how powerful she actually is. To heal someone so quickly in such a dire situation is impressive to say the least, but it should also serve as a moment of foreshadowing that will be mirrored in the last episode of the season. And possibly something that will be addressed during season seven.
“Omega Shield” was a wild ride and despite preparing myself for weeks, I was not prepared for the flood of emotions that hit me during this episode. Stay tuned while I break down each episode of season six and keep an eye out for a couple of character analyses coming up! As always, you can follow me on Twitter for updates about the show or to talk about your own theories!
Season six of Voltron: Legendary Defender is now streaming on Netflix.