Voltron Season 4
A continuation of this! Because I can’t get these ideas out of my head, but I haven’t actually gotten around to writing any of it yet.
I wrote my version for season 3, so now I’ma just keep eventually going through all 6 seasons, lol. Which means we’re getting into my personal headcanon territory as well as original ideas, so read at your own risk (people who have read Serendipitous Fate know what we’re in for here).
SO ANYWAY! The team is all back together following season 3 and so we’ve got to change our direction a bit. The characters that got the most focus in season 3 were Hunk, Lance, and Keith, with a bit of Allura and Pidge on the side. So season four is going to revolve more generally around Shiro, Allura, and Pidge, with the other three doing things more subtlety in the background. What does this do? Well, mostly it allows for a way to address the issues between Keith and Lance without making them center stage. Hunk—following his development in season 3 and his want to keep the team together—will act as a kind of middle man as these two get their shit together in the background of the main narrative, as I think Hunk has mainly been only in Lance’s corner previously.
So, the season will open up following the battle with the Galra. Everyone is finally back together and with the stress of the situation no longer weighing on them, the actions they took last season will begin to trickle in. There will be implications that everyone is basically caught up on what everyone else was doing, so we don’t have to view that summary. Keith and Lance will, at some point early on, address the rift they created at the beginning of season 3 with apologies and the decision to try and listen/understand one another better. It will be kind of a sweet moment, but then be interrupted by Hunk or Pidge and it won’t last. Why? Because Keith and Lance, though they be trying, will still struggle to get along and so we can’t have the moment be too heavy. Lance is aware of his insecurities and that he projects those onto Keith, and Keith is aware that his tendency to go off on his own and make solo decisions tends to grate on the others. They both struggle to control these things however, and so still argue, but are making clear attempts to get along better. Hunk, now feeling more comfortable in his position as the rock and the one bringing others together, is less dependent on Lance for validation and making efforts to get to know Keith as well, which results in him making a good middle man between the two when they fight and a good voice of reason in pointing out the mistakes both are making. This is kind of their status quo throughout the whole season and we see in the background as they make slow steps toward better relations with one another, like gradual building blocks. This also makes a better opening for Keith to connect with them, as Hunk taking a more active role opens doors to Keith that weren’t there previously. It’s also important to note that, as a result of season 3, Keith is now also making better efforts to connect with the other paladins just generally.
So that’s the background story. Up front we have Shiro, Allura, and Pidge. Shiro has been trapped in the astral plane, basically, and as a result, was both kind of helpless as well as able to better recall all of what happened when he was captured. Not in the strictest sense, but more like the effects of the astral plane (which we will learn more about later) have made things more accessible to him. Which means Shiro is going to be suffering more heavily from PTSD with more frequent flashbacks to his time as a prisoner. Which is important because it will not only help us gleam more of his character, but of the Galra as a whole. As well as their technology and the effects if has.
During this beginning time, we’re also going to be getting hints of Allura learning more about her magical abilities and what that means/the connotations that come along with having the ability to use magic (there’s a lot of negative stigma). This was something that was kind of ignored in season 3 because, well, Allura was ignoring it, but because of some battle or rescue, it comes to the forefront and Allura has to confess that she has these abilities and that she basically doesn’t know how to use/manage them.
The driving plot point for the beginning of the season, however, will be Pidge and her father. Her father (his name is Sam I think?) explains that after Matt was injured by Shiro, he was sent to the same work camp and they were reunited. Gradually, rumors of Voltron came in and out with prisoners and Matt was able to, as a result of Shiro’s sacrifice for him, inspire a revolt within the work camp. They managed to escape and basically started a kind of underground resistance movement of their own, where they flew around to prison camps and started freeing others, mostly in attempts to find Shiro on Matt’s end.
Sam and Matt got separated at some point, however, and that was when Keith found Sam and brought him back to the Castle of Lions. The team, probably in episode 1, decides that locating and forming an alliance with this resistance movement, which Sam explains has become quite organized, is a good move to make. So they set their sights on that, which Pidge is grateful for because of her brother, obv. It’s in the following character building/filler eps that we get the Shiro flashbacks and the Allura magic issues, probably while they’re answering distress calls and learning more about the resistance.
Lotor is also causing problems. He’s abandoned his battle, which basically makes him a traitor, and so he can’t return to the Galra. Yet, for how much he hates his father and the Galra, he still wants to be a part of them (it’s his home, after all) and so we get a little bit of Zuko behavior in which Lotor basically harasses team Voltron every once in a while. This is also what leads to Allura’s magic outbreak, as Lotor is also a magic user and it’s him that somehow inspires her own magic (likely during battle) to show itself. In this way, Allura and Lotor become very clear foils for one another (more so than the obvious already makes them). Basically Lotor figures that if he can capture Voltron, he can regain his standing in the Galra empire and the luxuries that come with it.
So all these stories are kind of working together, unlike in my season 3 where everyone’s arc was very clearly divided (symbolism!). So we’re into episode 3 or 4 when they manage to come across some of this organized resistance that Sam spoke of. Matt’s not with them, but they raise some issues of their own in how they’re dealing with the situation. Maybe they’re trying to recuse some prisoners and are a little dramatic about how the sacrifice of a few to save many is worth it and Shiro and Allura have to kind of step in and be like, no, that’s not how this needs to work. Maybe Rolo and Nyma are there and it’s through them, because they’re more willing to listen to team Voltron, that they get through to the resistance that they need to correct how they’re doing things if they want to do things “right.” They end up saving everyone, of course, but both Pidge and Sam are uncomfortable with how the resistance seems to be functioning. Especially since Matt was supposed to be in charge (maybe there’s a nice Shiro comforting Pidge moment).
So we let that plot point lie for a little while and turn our focus back to Shiro. A lot of what inspired Matt to start the resistance was Shiro’s actions, and so The Champion has kind of become a beacon of hope/inspiration/hero to the resistance, thus making Shiro feel guilty for the relative mess it’s kind of become as a result of what is interpreted as his brutal actions. He also feels guilty over the fact that team Voltron fell apart while he was gone, so he’s just generally down on himself. He’s had more and more of his memories as The Champion coming back and he’s more and more displeased with what he’s finding out he did. Turns out he was actually pretty brutal in some respects, even if it was just to survive, and so some of what the resistance thinks of him is justified. Basically this episode will lead to Shiro being more introspective about what happened—as painful as that may be—which leads to considerations about his arm and its mysteries.
The Galra technology is something that takes the life force of other living things and turns it into fuel (sounds like FF7), so it’s logical to assume that Shiro’s arm, to a certain extent, is infused with this life force to function. As it turns out, it’s his arm that acts as the key to the astral plane and is what allows him to access it (what Hagger meant when she said he could have been the most powerful weapon she’d ever made). He probably finds this out during some kind of tense situation in which he disappears by accident and then reappears again.
Which leads to Allura and Coran explaining what, exactly, the astral plane is (probably in a following episode). Turns out it’s kind of like another dimension where quintessence shifts in and out with the death and creation of planets/life/etc. It’s also where magic is said to come from, as those who use magic have a link to the astral plane (which is kind of why it’s frowned upon). However, magic users can’t access the astral plane directly as Shiro can, which is why he’s so vital. It’s one thing for one’s “essence”—as Shiro and Zarkon had done in the past—to shift between realms, and quite another to be able to physically go there, as Shiro can do.
Allura determines that Shiro’s ability must have been a rare breakthrough for Haggar and is why he’s considered so dangerous. Someone with direct access to the astral plane could, logically, have unimaginable power. Good thing Shiro doesn’t want unimaginable power, unlike certain villains who are probably recovered following season 2’s finale.
In this way, however, Allura and Shiro’s stories begin to overlap a bit, though that fact won’t become totally clear till later seasons. Lotor comes back into the picture, probably, and ends up taking on Allura one on one or something. We learn some about their past together—how they probably grew up together or something and how Lotor turned evil alongside his father. He likely taunts Allura for her weakness, as they’re battling using magic and she’s at a clear disadvantage due to lack of training. And while I’m all for Allura being able to take care of herself, I do want Shiro to step in here and redirect Lotor’s power to the astral plane with his arm. Which likely shocks Lotor and sends him fleeing, again (until next time, hu hu hu, team rocket style).
Maybe we’ll get a heart to heart between Shiro and Allura at the end, where Allura expresses her sorrow at her abilities as well as her weakness in using them properly, and Shiro tells her something about how it’s not the power itself that is evil, but what she chooses to do with it, just as he’s turned his curse of an arm into something useful, or how Keith uses being Galra to their advantage. Which helps her put a more positive spin on her situation and shows that, as a result of using his arm for good, Shiro is dealing with his own issues.
Next episode (we’re probably into the later side of the season by this point), we’re back on focus with Pidge and Sam. But the Blade of Marmora is back as well and they’re pissed because the resistance isn’t tactful at all and they think they’re making things worse all around. Which puts some tension on Voltron as they do have alliances with both factions. It quickly begins to escalate, as Sam—despite having grievances with how the resistance is functioning—is willing to defend it, and so there’s some arguing to be had between him and Kolivan. The Castle of Lions is already headed to the resistance’s home base (it moves all the time, which is why Sam didn’t know where it was), and so they calm Kolivan a bit by promising to talk to the resistance leader about what’s happening. They think the leader is Matt.
Well, they’re wrong. When they get to the resistance’s base, they aren’t greeted warmly. They’re actually attacked and asked to leave. When hailed to speak with the group on the ship, it’s made clear by some alien dude (who’s apparently in charge) that they’re just fine without Voltron and could care less about the alliance made previously with the other chunk of resistance members. They’re convinced they can deal with Zarkon on their own. Sam makes it quite clear that a lot of members of the resistance don’t agree with this stance and that leadership appears to have been taken over by a group of extremists set on destroying as much of the Galra as possible without much consideration for how many lives they actually save. He probably knows the leader alian dude due to previous problems caused within the resistance or something.
So, obviously, this is not good. The resistance doesn’t want anything to do with Voltron and so it’s become dangerous to approach. But the base will be moving soon and Pidge doesn’t want to lose it, not so long as there’s a chance that her brother is aboard. Thus, we get Pidge sneaking out in order to then sneak aboard the base and search for her brother. She gets caught, however, by Keith, who quickly learns of her plan. It’s at this point that he makes it clear he’s going with her, so we get some Keith and Pidge bonding time. He probably explains that he understands why she has to do what she is—he did the same for Shiro in season 3—but that he learned from experience that going off alone isn’t the best option. Pidge agrees and they set out together in the green lion (because invisibility). They probably also share in some discourse about why Keith isn’t angry she’s more focused on her family than the big picture, and Keith admits that maybe they’re not as different as he initially claimed. Shiro is like a brother to him, like Matt is Pidge’s brother, and so he’s more sympathetic to her situation now that he’s basically done the same thing she’s aiming to do. He just doesn’t want her to make the same mistakes he did. It’s all very touching, blah, blah.
Anyway, they sneak into the base, there’s some tip-toeing around, and they eventually find Matt. He’s not exactly a prisoner, but he certainly doesn’t have the freedom he did when he was leading the resistance. He was basically booted from being leader because the extremists said he wasn’t acting decisively enough, as “The Champion” would have done. And while Matt admits that he wants to find Shiro, he’s not quite in line with what the new leadership has in mind for getting rid of the Galra and finding Shiro, who they basically want to be their leader once they find him. Pidge explains that Shiro is with them—that he’s a paladin of Voltron with her—and that he wouldn’t agree with what the resistance was doing either (which Matt obviously knows). Keith soon interrupts the reunion, explaining that if they’re going to get Matt aboard the Castle of Lions, they’d better leave soon.
Matt objects, however. He can’t leave because all his work and research is aboard the resistance base. He explains that he’s working on a project that will make it possible to intercept satellite waves all over the universe and broadcast messages, giving him a way to communicate with potential allies as well as warn ignorant planets (like Earth) about the threat of the Galra. He’s also planned to use it to find Shiro. And seeing as this is a pretty important project, Keith and Pidge ultimately end up leaving without him, much to Pidge’s distress. She’s afraid that if her brother stays, he’ll eventually be put in danger by the extremists. And so she and Keith sneak into a control room where she downloads all the resistance intel before they escape back onto the Green lion.
Shiro is not pleased once he finds out what they’ve done, but the intel does prove valuable. Not only does it further illuminate just how much the extremists worship Shiro (much to his discomfort), but it also reveals a plan within which the resistance plans to rally their forces and take their base directly to Zarkon in a move that is both deadly and direct, just as “The Champion would do.” Clearly, team Voltron knows this is a suicide mission—the resistance has no idea what they’re up against and aren’t nearly big enough to take on Zarkon alone. Many lives that could otherwise be useful will be lost to a leader that is too disillusioned by power to know what he’s doing.
Which means it’s time to Voltron to step in, which the Blade of Marmora is more than happy about. Upon Voltron approaching the resistance base, however, they’re attacked (as expected). They have the aid of the Blade of Marmora, however, who agreed to sneak into the base and capture the leader while Voltron provided a distraction. Naturally, however, things don’t go as planned and Voltron, the Castle of Lions, and the Blade of Marmora end up in an all-out firefight with the Resistance.
And things only go from bad to worse when, lo and behold, Lotor shows up too. There’s a reason he knew where they were, I just haven’t thought about it yet. Anyway, he shows up and sets his sights on getting to Allura, who he views as Voltron’s biggest weakness—put her in danger and Voltron comes running. It’s important to note that he and his magic have been bothering the team for the past two seasons, so he’s a pretty dangerous/annoying threat.
So everyone’s focus is scattered, things look shitty, Lotor is being a dick. Maybe this is a three episode finale or something, or maybe only two. Either way, this ep ends with everything in disarray, Lotor probably aboard the Castle of Lions, and at the very last minute, a giant Galra force shows up (probably Lotor gave them a clue or something). Things only go from bad to worse.
Final episode. Voltron has been separated. Keith is with Pidge aboard the resistance’s ship looking for Matt. Lance and Hunk are on the battlefield. And because it’s the season finale and everyone deserves their moment, we get to really see why Hunk and Lance work so well together. Lance uses what he learned in season three to inspire the resistance—maybe against their leader’s orders—to side with Voltron and the Blade of Marmora against the Galra (who are attacking by now), while Hunk—being an awesome lieutenant—keeps it all together and organized. They’re the ones that kind of deal with the battle.
Shiro has gone back to the Castle of Lions upon learning from Coran that Lotor is aboard. We’ve seen by now that Lotor and Allura are facing off again, but know that Allura can’t really compete. Shiro knows this as well and also knows he’s the only one that can stop Lotor. Which is why he’s going back. There might be a bit of time where he notes that Lance is doing well at being in charge while he’s gone, or maybe it was at Lance’s encouragement that he go back to help Allura in the first place. But it’s a very small piece of development.
Meanwhile, Pidge and Keith are still aboard the resistance’s ship. They meet up with the Blade members who were there and make a plan. Basically Pidge goes alone to find Matt while Keith goes with the other Blade members to find the leader. Pidge finds Matt, but he still refuses to leave, even at the threat of the ship being potentially destroyed. Which infuriates Pidge and they get into an argument in which Matt accuses her of not seeing the big picture. The argument escalates, Pidge makes it clear to Matt just how much she does understand/how much she’s grown. He’s surprised and we get a more blatant reference to all the development Pidge has had. Matt agrees to go with her, despite how unfortunate it is that he has to leave his research, and they make an epic escape in which Pidge does some awesome, smart, impressive things.
Keith, meanwhile, is fighting through the ship with the few blade members to the leader. They get there, but it proves challenging. The leader alien is no one to take lightly and Keith eventually ends up in a desperate situation (after a sick display of his combat prowess, of course). Which when, out of nowhere, a kind of wormhole/portal opens up and out comes the Galra Keith saved inside the weblum in season 2. It’s also the same teacher type that Lance met during season 3, but only the viewers know this, not the characters. The mentor didn’t come with Lance to save the Castle of Lions in season 3, because reasons, and so no one but Lance knows them, which is why this miscommunication works.
They basically come in and disarm (kill? Or is that too much?) the leader, saving Keith. There’s an important moment where Keith loudly questions the person, wanting to know who they are, but they’re still masked and refuse to answer. Instead, they both get distracted with what’s going on outside the ship’s windshield. Namely, with Lance, Hunk, and the Castle of Lions.
Hunk and Lance are still out fighting, leading the charge against the Galra, but something happens and both Hunk and Lance know that the castle—which is too busy with Lotor to be focused on the battle—is in danger. So they head in to protect it.
Aboard the Castle of Lions, Shiro has reached Allura and Lotor, probably in the control room. Coran has probably been injured/disabled. Sam too maybe. Allura and Lotor are struggling against one another’s magic. There’s lighting, it’s intense. Shiro tries to step in the same way he had before, but Lotor is ready for him this time and manages to keep him at bay/blast him back/injure him before he can intercept the magic and divert it to the astral plane.
Allura is on her own and, while she’s doing a good job of staying on her feet and fighting back, it’s clearly inevitable that she’ll go down. There’s probably some words shared between her and Lotor that make her look like a boss going down, as she should. Shiro, meanwhile, is struggling to crawl back toward the fray. He can’t really get to Lotor, but he gets to Allura. Just as she’s about to go down, he touches her—maybe he gets to his feet and manages to place his robot arm on her shoulder or arm.
Which is when things get interesting. Together—with Allura’s power and Shiro’s ability to access the astral plane—they become a sort of unstoppable force of power. There’s a very impressive display of Allura’s power, maybe some glowiness, and Lotor basically doesn’t stand a chance against her with Shiro’s support. In fact, Lotor tries to escape, but Allura’s power overwhelms him and keeps him prisoner. All the magic is sucked right out of him and he ends up passing out right there in the castle.
Both Shiro and Allura are weakened by the exchange as well, but they don’t have time to be thinking about it, as things outside the castle have gotten worse. Maybe the castle jolts to the side or something and they look out to see that the yellow lion has just pushed them out of the way of a tractor beam (after all, the black lion was seen going into the Castle of Lions, so why not take the whole thing?). Lance is trying to distract the main ship, while the Blade of Marmora and the resistance beat back the Galra forces.
Keith is still watching from the resistance ship, as the timeline makes it so it’s only been moments since the leader was disarmed.
Pidge and Matt are in the green lion, headed in to help, but they’re too far away to do much.
Lance, in his efforts to distract the main ship, gets caught in the tractor beam intended for the Castle of Lions. Hunk, who’s the closest lion, tries to get to him, but he’s too slow. In Lance’s attempts to protect the Castle of Lions, he’s kidnapped by the Galra, who know they’re losing. Basically, the commander has settled for one lion and manages to escape as soon as Lance is on board.
We’re left floating in the silence of space, all the members of Voltron shocked and horrified to realize what’s happened. Especially Shiro, who gets the last scene. He knows what’s in store for those captured by the Galra, after all, and his fear and horror is the last thing seen before credits role.