It has been ten thousand years since it was last formed, and its return is brought about when Shiro returns to Earth a year after his capture by the Galra Empire, drawing Keith, Lance, Hunk, and Pidge together to locate the Blue Lion and use it to find the Castle of Lions on Arus. They reawaken its sleeping inhabitants, Princess Allura and Coran, and these last living Alteans help locate the subsequent Lions to form Voltron and defend the universe against Zarkon's empire.
Voltron is housed in the Castle of Lions as five separate components in the feline form of a lion. Each Lion that comprises a part of Voltron has standard as well as unique abilities; all Lions have some measure of sapience and must choose their pilots themselves, seeking those whose Quintessence mirrors their own.
These pilots are called Paladins. Paladins are given a special device known as a Bayard that allows them unlock special abilities through their Lion for Voltron to wield. The Lions and Paladins are usually color-coded to match each other. When formed as Voltron, the Paladins pilot the giant robot in unison. The Lions and known Paladins are as follows:
Weapons & Abilities
Befitting of a super robot, Voltron is armed to the teeth with weapons. Besides its immense physical strength and ability to fly, Voltron has access to the mouth cannons of the Green Lion and Red Lion for combat, the Green Lion's shield for defense, and Red Lion's jaw blade for close-quarters combat. The wings of the Black Lion can detach from the robot and combine to form a much larger shield wielded by the Green Lion. It is also possible for a Lion to split off from the robot while it remains otherwise formed and use its own abilities.
In addition, when a Paladin's Bayard is inserted into the control console of a Lion, it acts as a key to unlock a large, powerful weapon for Voltron to wield based on the Paladin, such as a saber when Keith inserts a Bayard into the Red Lion or Black Lion. Having multiple Bayards inserted into their respective Lions' control consoles will activate upgraded abilities.
The known Bayard abilities for Voltron are:
- Keith: Saber
- Hunk: Shoulder Cannon
- Keith, Pidge, Hunk, and Lance: Enlarged Cutlass
- Shiro and Keith: Blazing Sword
- Christine Bian, the series design supervisor, claims re-imagining the iconic Voltron figure was the most difficult challenge for the staff because it had to be rendered in 2D, 3D, and eventually a toy line. Series staff looked at Gundam and other mecha anime for inspiration in designing the new Voltron robot to make sense logically and visually. At one point during production, Bian unintentionally designed the Black Lion to look like a zebra.
- In the original Japanese anime Beast King GoLion, Voltron was called GoLion.