In regards to the official handbook & Lauren/Santos' interview the one thing people have to understand is they don't OWN Voltron. Voltron is an intellectual property (an IP) that's owned by Dreamworks. Which means DW is the one that gets final say in all things. Which is why we'll never see a same-sex relationship on the show no matter how much any shipping base yells at the crew. It's not their decision ultimately. [cont]
Its different from Korra or Avatar b/c Brkye owned the IP & Nick just distributed it, owned media & toy rights, etc. It’s also why they can publish through Dark Horse & make it as queer as the current comics are. They own that IP and Dark Horse distributes & publishes their comics. With the current Volt comics the ultimate decision on what gets published in said comics is DW *not* the producers/writers/etc of the show. This counts for merch including the guidebook. [cont]
The current showrunners of Volt made a pitch, DW accepted that pitch, they may own part of it, but ultimately DW owns Voltron as an IP. So the guidebook ages are canon b/c even if the showrunners didn’t have input they’re not the final say in regards to merch DW is. They own Voltron. If people really want to make change within the show they should talk to DW lol but that’s not gonna happen. Its easier to look at the smaller ppl apart of a property instead of the larger corp [cont].
It’s like the recent Star Wars film troubles. A director & screenwriter go in & made a pitch for a Han Solo script/film but ultimately Kathreen K (who’s in charge of the SWU as it stands) gets final say on everything b/c she’s in charge of the universe as put there by Disney who owns SW as an IP. The Volt staff can’t make Kl@nce canon b/c 1. these seasons are done MONTHS in advance & animated overseas. Scripts are written months in advance, then sent to animation b/c deadlines [cont]
S5 is probably either done or near done as we speak. Considering DW and Netflix upped the season numbers each year to last throughout the year S6 is probably near completion as well w/ S7 & 8 being worked on final scripts now. No amount of fan fights or hashtags or questions at cons is going to change what’s already been animated. They could change things that are going to happen in 7 & 8 but what’s going to happen in S5/6 is written in stone already.
This is a very good post! Though I disagree with you that we’ll never see a same sex relationship. Companies are becoming more progressive on that front - in Dreamwork’s HTTYD Gobber is gay - though it’s not really given a lot of explicit attention. While we may not ever get anything extremely explicit like kissing, especially since this is a Y7 show, we could get something along the lines of the other cartoons that have had LGBT content like Korra, Adventure Time, and Steven Universe. There is never any same sex kissing in these cartoons but the romantic overtones between the same sex characters are obvious enough to older audiences.
That’s honestly what I’ve always expected from the show, and I’m pretty sure it’s what we will get. The relationship between Shiro and Keith already fits in this area pretty well which is why I have some hopes of canon, but it’s still ambiguous and could go either way. We’ve already seen Keith’s relationship with his usual set up love interest, Allura, and it doesn’t read as romantic on his part at all. We’ll have to wait and see what happens with Shiro after Romelle is introduced. If Shiro ends up seeming as uninterested in her as Keith is in Allura well… I think it would be a pretty big rainbow flag haha.
Canon is a flimsy thing. If we’re to take any official license merch as always canon then yes we’ve got final canon ages. If we only consider the actual show itself to be canon, then it’s still ambiguous. Honestly people should just stop caring about it at this point. And making Keith 18 seems like a deliberate choice considering he is older than Lance & Hunk, I don’t think that got pulled out of nowhere. Either he was always meant to be 18, which makes sense in the story because he was living on his own, or there was some decision made internally to make him 18. People just really need to accept it at this point, and they also need to stop saying the rest of them are 16 only Jeremy mentioned that age ONCE afaik, that isn’t late teens, they are 17 at the least and very likely all 18+ within the series now as a year has had to of past at this point looking at all the clues in the series. But the age discourse is never going to die because these kids don’t actually care about their moral crusade they just want to bully.
It’s a very good thing that animation works so far ahead in production haha. I think also because this is a netflix show, they have to work so far in advance since the episodes all drop at once. Normally, animation production is only 1 or 2 years ahead of whats airing. For Voltron, I wouldn’t be surprised if it were 4 at the least, they are probably writing the final seasons of the series right now like you mentioned.
And I HOPE that they NEVER listen to this horribly dumb fandom lol. Can you imagine? This fandom never has any good ideas. Fandom Voltron would be flawless mary sue black paladin Allura or Lance, with Keith as useless barely functioning arm candy for Lance with their romance plot taking center stage, Shiro gets put in a mental hospital because space dads brains are too scrambled to be around anyone, and the only good thing about fandom voltron is that every other episode would be a Hunk episode. But even that wouldn’t be enough to salvage it…
Maybe I read too much into their body language and posts, but I feel pretty confident that Montgomery and Dos Santos probably feel disdain for a large portion of the VLD fandom lol. But they’re no stranger to annoying fandoms, ATLA was likely tiring at times as well. In the end they’re telling the story they want to tell and probably don’t place as much importance in what their older audience thinks as much as their target demographic - actual 6-11 yr old kids. That’s not to say they completely disregard older fans, but that our opinion only matters for so much and as long as the kids are buying toys and bringing in the ratings they’re happy.