Lauren: We have a great story for how [Lotor’s generals] were named. … There were a few names, Narti was the only one we kept. We have some weird name weirdness where we’re just like, “This one’s okay. This one sounds too much like this. This one weirds us out.”
Joaquim: It would drive the writers absolutely insane. …
Lauren: So Narti we liked, so Narti stuck. So we’re like okay, we’ve got that name, now we need three more. And so they came up with—It was Esor, Ythorod, and Aihpos. And we went with those for awhile until, literally Studio Mir—Korean studio with Korean speaking people—told us, “Hey, these are all old lady names backwards.”
Joaquim: Backwards, yea. So we were like, “Is this—
? These are the Golden Girls!”
Lauren: And they’re like, “Yes. Rose, Dorothy, and Sophia.” ….
Joaquim: [The Voltron writers] were pulling a fast one on us. And we fancy ourselves, you know, 80s enthusiasts. So when we didn’t catch it, we were like, “Double jerks. You guys really got it past us.”
Lauren: We were just mad because we felt like idiots.
Positive analysis below! Please please please give it a read!!
Interviewer: *giggling a little* There seem to be shippers out there that wanna ship uh, Lance and Keith together. *Lauren giggles a little* So, uh are there going to be any hints of that at all, like okay they’re friends or they’re starting to become friends?
Lauren: I think we have just a very natural arc in mind for those two, which is they start out very much at odds but then they grow to kinda respect each other. And if that leans into people being like ‘they’re spending time together’ then that’s a thing but we’re not trying to bait anyone.
Joaquim: Everyone can have their ship
Lauren: Yeah! Everyone’s allowed, and we’re not trying to cater to or bait anyone into anything, we’re just trying to do what’s right for the story
Interviewer: Okay, okay, that’s fair
*they all laugh*
Joaquim: We also try not to be overtly affected by what popular opinion might be.
Interviewer: Well that’s good, you wanna tell your story
Lauren: We’re working in animation our schedule is so far advanced that even if people shipped Keith and Lance, we couldn’t go back and change the story and be like: ‘Now they’re in love!’
Joaquim: We’re already years past that story line
The laughter. Both the interviewer and Lauren are giggling at the start, and whilst the interviewer seems almost to be mocking klance, Lauren just seems kinda awkward, it’s almost as if Lauren is joining in because the interviewer is doing it. Now obviously, I’m not either of those people so I can’t say for sure, but to me it does not seem like Lauren is mocking klance.
‘Natural arc’ to me seems like a good thing! It shows us that Keith and Lance develop in maturity and respect for each other in a way that is genuine and not at all forced! Gimme that slow burn goodness!!
Lauren seems totally cool with people shipping Klance and even tells us that Keith and Lance will be ‘spending time together’!! That is 100% a good thing!!
For me the most important part of this interview was when they both said that they aren’t trying to ‘bait’ anyone. I think this could mean either two things:
1) They have seen the backlash online when the media queer baits, see ships like Destiel for more info, and because they don’t make klance happen romantically they want to cover their arses.
2) They do make Klance happen and they’re explicitly telling us that it isn’t ‘baiting’ because there is an actual canon queer couple!!
I believe reason number 2, because I have faith in Klance, see @koganya ‘s giant post about klance to see why I feel this way!
Futhermore, the fact that they tell us that they aren’t trying to ‘cater’ to klance shippers makes it clear to me that we will see lots of klance development, and Lauren and Tim want us to know that klance was planned from the start and not because of the massive online following. This point is only backed up by their emphasis on the fact that they wrote these episodes ‘years’ ago.
Lauren’s declaration that they can’t go back in time and change the story so it’s like Bam! ‘Now they’re in love’ only solidifies the fandom’s assumptions that klance will be a slow burn ship, and links back to her earlier statement that klance has a ‘natural arc’. This does not mean that klance is off the table, only that we will have to wait longer to see it become canon!
I hope that you leave this post feeling more positive about klance, feel free to add more comments and theories :)
Keith, as we all know, is the most volatile of the characters, so it stands to reason that he might make some decisions that are a bit more rash than some of the others. We’ll just let that one hang out there. That’s as close as we’ll get to teasing it.
still true, but some of you want to know, is it textual? well, not for your mlm ships, but metatextually, now that’s another matter!
we broke down this connection before into five simple factors before and in light of Recent Developments think they need to be trotted out again, newly pared down and refined!
The Korra Connection: they know we know they know we want queer diversity, so where is it?
Self-Congratulatory Diversity Rhetoric: they simply cannot shut up about their diversity intentions, so why radio silence on queer representation?
Showrunner/Fandom Interactions: you know the ones, the shipping
Storytelling Priorities:do you know how easy it would be to include some background queerness as a prelude, or just a sign? where is it? why straights but not gays?
Pidge Gunderson is a Transgender Dog-Whistle: whether it’s Alan Turing comments that don’t mention the word ‘homophobia’ or ‘gay’ or transphobic bathroom anxiety being played for laughs, Pidge is the most insidious sort of queerbait seen so far: one they take credit for while sneeringly winking at the audience
and that about sums it up. we deserve canonically confirmed queer characters. we deserve trans Pidge or bi Lance or gay Keith or all the above!
at the very least we deserve not to be sneered at. in the current political environment, these characters could be literally life-saving diversity. we deserve better than @voltron has given us, and we need to hold them accountable
Fans should come to the panel expecting two things: 1) the opportunity to ask your own burning questions, as there’ll be a lengthy Q&A sesh toward the end, and 2) to get their hands on an exclusive piece of art, made specially for those in attendance. Wanna take a look?
Executive Producer Joaquim Dos Santos, Co-Executive Producer Lauren Montgomery, Story Editor Tim Hedrick, and cast members Jeremy Shada (Lance), Josh Keaton (Shiro), Bex Taylor-Klaus (Pidge), Tyler Labine (Hunk), and Kimberly Brooks (Allura). Together we’ll talk about the second season, go deeper into some of the season’s big reveals, and reveal the favorite moments and episodes.
Josh Keaton just very kindly allowed us a peek at some of the sweet merch he has in his studio!! It’s a family movie night drawing and a letter from Shiro to Josh accompanied by a drawing by Joaquim Dos Santos I’m melting ;A;
why Voltron’s queerbaiting is particularly loathesome
because they’re choosing to write the story this way
see here’s the thing, these folks clearly recognize the moral imperative of lgbt representation in media, particularly children’s media. we know this because they’ve done it before with Korra, and they’ve been exposed to heartfelt reactions to lgbt people seeing their reflection in stories
they know this, and they still made the choices they made
what this means: their creative choices have all been made with the knowledge that they hold the power to communicate literally life-saving diversity in their stories, and they’ve chosen not to. and their defense is that it’s a writing decision they’ve made, because @voltron is a fictional construct and everything that happens in that story is a choice that the writers have made
the message from the @voltron crew is unmistakeable: storytelling aesthetic is more important than the actual lives of real queer children
This year, the Voltron crew are taking over room 6BCF on Thursday, July 20, from 10:30 AM-11:30 AM. Join executive producer Joaquim dos Santos, co-executive producer Lauren Montgomery, and stars Bex Taylor-Klaus (Pidge) and Tyler Labine (Hunk), as well as Nerdist’s own Kyle Anderson (yes, that’s me) as moderator as we debut the first episode of season three for the audience and show and tell you a bit of what’s to come.
And a really cool thing? If you happen to have gone to NYCC last year and picked up the exclusive Voltron poster, the two join together to form the ultimate in lion-based artwork.
And if you sadly can’t make any of these things, or even if you can and you just want to get your grub on, then all con long, you’ll be able to head to PETCO Park’s Interactive Zone and hit up the official Hunk food truck, serving every paladin’s (least) favorite snack: Green Food Goo! Don’t worry, though; it’s actually real tasty. The truck will be open from 11am-6pm Thursday through Saturday and 11-5 on Sunday. And, for all other Voltron things, the Lion Forge Comics booth (#1903) will be giving away Black Lion masks (while supplies last), massive 22″x 34″ 4-Color posters (while supplies last), 4-color bookmarks and will be selling Voltron Legendary Defender Volume 1 which collects issues 1-5 of the miniseries
Joaquim: Even in the team dynamic, [Allura] was kind of the leader. She was the one that had the most information. They all went to her when they needed, you know, intel and advice on how the universe works.
Interviewer: … Once she managed to connect with the Blue Lion, it kind of was a trickle-down effect from there. It’s like, once Allura got under control and got herself reunited with Keith and Lance, that was when they were all able to kind of find each other and come together. So even not in a leadership role, Allura still plays a very central part in bonding this group together.
Joaquim: Totally. I couldn’t agree more.
Lauren: I would go even so far as to say, with Shiro out of the team, the team has more cohesive teamwork. It relies more on the teamwork dynamic versus, like, just listening to the leader.
MD: Following in Avatar Aang’s footsteps is a hard act to follow, but as soon as we started talking about ideas for Korra’s character, we knew she would be a worthy successor. We wanted her to be headstrong and aggressive, someone who would never back away from a fight. But we gave her a vulnerable side too. BK: For Korra’s final design recipe, Joaquim provided the majority of the ingredients, Ryu added the spice, and I merely baked it all together. Korra concepts by Joaquim Dos Santos, Ki-Hyun Ryu, and Bryan Konietzko. Color by Bryan Konietzko and Sylvia Filcak-Blackwolf.