- Jeremy Shada (Adventure Time) as Lance
- Bex Taylor-Klaus (Arrow) as Pidge
- Josh Keaton (Green Lantern: The Animated Series) as Shiro
- Tyler Labine (Tucker and Dale vs. Evil) as Hunk
- Steven Yeun (The Walking Dead) as Keith
- Kimberly Brooks (Mass Effect) as Princess Allura
- Rhys Darby (Flight of the Conchords) as Coran
“Five unsuspecting teenagers, transported from Earth into the middle of a sprawling intergalactic war, become pilots for five robotic lions in the battle to protect the universe from evil. Only through the true power of teamwork can they unite to form the mighty warrior known as Voltron: Legendary Defender.”
Shiro (Josh Keaton)
“In the original GoLion [anime]
The pilot of the Black Lion. The de facto leader of the group. Mentor. Has what looks like a cybernetic arm, like a more handsome Cable. In the original Voltron animated series, he was a Norwegian pilot named Sven — so where did “Shiro” come from?
“In the original GoLion [anime], he was named Shirogane Takashi, and so we were trying to make a slightly more diverse line up,” said Montgomery. “We were like, ‘Five white guys! And one of them’s Norwegian with a weird accent!’ So, you know, we went back and looked at the Sven character, and he had the kung-fu outfit on, and he just looked the most Japanese, so we were like let’s just make him that way. They were all Japanese in the original”
“In GoLion, he was very much a way harder character than Sven was,” Dos Santos continued. “He had the leadership personality, so I think bringing that element to his character–he’s slightly older than all the other guys…”
“He’s cooler,” Montgomery shot back.
“He’s cooler than all the other guys!” Dos Santos repeated with a laugh. “But he is for sure their mentor.”
“In GoLion, he
Keith (Steven Yeun)
The pilot of the Red Lion. Mysterious and stand-offish, but ultimately a good friend. Not the leader, but an ace pilot nonetheless.
“Obviously in the original he was the leader guy, and we just wanted to start him in a different place,” said Montgomery. “He looks up to Shiro, but he’s definitely not the leader that Shiro is at all. And so he’s got a lot to learn, he’s still very impulsive, very rash, and he’s got a hot temper.”
“It gives him a good place to grow, too,” said Dos Santos. “He latches onto Shiro at times because Shiro’s sort of the only thing that can really calm him down and keep him in check.”
Lance (Jeremy Shada)
The pilot of the Blue Lion. Goofy, overconfident, and desperate for approval. Has the worst pick-up lines in recorded history.
“Lance, to me, feels pretty similar to the original guy,” Montgomery said.
“Yeah, he’s like the ladies man,” Dos Santos added.
“He’s kind of cool, but he’s kind of a goof,” continued Montgomery. “I like Lance because he feels the most human. He’s got those insecurities, but he tries so hard to cover them up. That’s what’s kind of fun about him. He wants to be the cool guy. He wants it so bad, but not exactly…”
“The fact that he’s just not really aware of that fact makes him super endearing,” Dos Santos explained. “He’s actually my favorite character, and going back to the casting, I had never watched an episode of Adventure Time. So for me, Jeremy just sounded cool. Then everybody was all, ‘Oh, he was on Adventure Time, he’s Finn.’ I was like, ‘Cool! Great! Awesome!’ So for me, whenever I hear a promo for Adventure Time, I’m like, ‘That guy’s got Lance’s voice.’ This is weird!”
As you’ll learn throughout the series, Lance will hit on nearly anything that moves, but the game he spits is pretty groan-worthy.
“Believe me–[his pick-up lines] get taken to a whole different level, as he meets different aliens and different races around the universe,” Dos Santos said. “But also, he does evolve. There’s aspects to his character that will start coming more into the forefront as the series goes on. You’ll see him take steps to real leadership material.”
Pidge (Bex Taylor-Klaus)
The pilot of the Green Lion. Short, thoughtful, and whipsmart. Tech-savvy. Desperate to find answers about his missing family.
“Pidge was the weirdest thing, because in GoLion, it was a little boy,” Montgomery explained. “InVoltron, I think it was supposed to be a little boy, but he had a man voice. It was weird to me. I didn’t like him in Voltron, because he creeped me out, because I didn’t know what he was. When we were going to make this, I was like how can I get behind Pidge. So we just made him much cuter and more appealing. An actually young guy, and he’s got a purpose–he’s looking for his family. There’s so much more to his story that we’ll find out in the coming episodes.”
“I think a character like Pidge, that could easily just get shoved into kind of ‘Oh, it’s the tech one,’ it’s the tech-nerdy one, has a whole story arc with their family still being out there that has a huge payoff, and allows the character to shine in a way that I think some other iterations of this cartoon would have just pigeon holed him into being kind of a nerdy guy,” Dos Santos added.
Hunk (Tyler Labine)
The pilot of the Yellow Lion. Large and in charge. Well not exactly in charge. He has a heart of gold and a stomach of whatever the opposite of iron is. Also surprisingly tech savvy.
So why is Hunk also a tech genius if Pidge is the go-to gearhead?
“They were all in the Galaxy Garrison, so they all took the classes, they all took the engineering classes,” Dos Santos explained. “Some were better at it than the others. I think there was that very grounded place that they came from. And in the original, they were just space explorers, and they were just already out in space doing their thing.”
“They were sent to find Voltron. That was their mission, finding Voltron,” Montgomery chimed in.
“That was their mission,” said Dos Santos. “I don’t know. It was a hot mess. But Hunk, yeah, kind of being–he does have the brains, but he’s maybe not necessarily as technical.
“He lacks the courage,” joked Montgomery.
“But it does pay off,” Dos Santos insisted. “The different planets that they go to, he does go and get different ingredients, he starts cooking for the crew. It’s good fun.”
“It was always kind of like Pidge and Hunk were kind of going to be two sides of the same coin,” said Montgomery. “Pidge is the creating, engineering figuring-out side, and Hunk is like the build it and make it work side. So they kind of team up in that aspect.”
Princess Allura (Kimberly Brooks)
Her Royal Highness and the last surviving member of the royal family of planet Arus. A fierce leader coping with tremendous loss. Unfortunate target of Lance’s “affections.”
According to Dos Santos, Allura “is way more than just the princess character, who’s just ‘I’m a fancy princess!’ And she was in the original series too. She absolutely took up the mantle of one of the pilots. I think she’s just got a lot more weighing on her and riding on her in this iteration. And all that stuff, all that back story stuff, will absolutely come to light, and play out, and we’ll get to know exactly what the origins were.
“She’s definitely got a bone to pick with Zarkon, [the villainous leader of the evil empire hunting down Voltron and conquering the universe],” explained Montgomery. “So we get to kind of see her personal journey. She’s holding on to a lot of anger, and you can’t really be a good leader when you’re so angry about something. So she’s got a lot of growing to do. She’s got all of her own personal arcs and stories that she’s going to go through. We just really want to make her cool.”
But, most importantly, will we see her don her iconic pink jumpsuit again and pilot a Lion Robot too?
“I mean, we all hope that that happens,” said Montgomery.
“Yeah, I think we all would,” Dos Santos agreed. “I think with the back story that we’ve created here with her, she has a super, super important job. She pilots the castle, she powers the castle, she’s able to create these wormholes and stuff. And those wormholes actually pay off in a much bigger way as the season progresses.”
Coran (Rhys Darby)
The adviser to the royal family of Arus. Easily the best character on the show. Pompous, silly, but cares deeply for the Princess and the fate of the galaxy.
“He was just like this super serious dude in the original,” Montgomery explained. “He was the strategist.”
“So the throwback that we have in his first reveal is when he comes out fighting and swinging, that happens in the original,” Dos Santos explained. “He leads them into the castle, and he turns around and tries to chop their heads off, and he’s like, ‘Just testing you to see if you guys are prepared.’ We all thought it was so wacky in the original, and we were like, ‘We’ve got to throw that in!’”
“He was very much the brain child of Tim [Hedrick] and our writers,” Montgomery elaborated. “Like from Korra, the Varrick character, we kind of look at him like he’s kind of our Varrick. He’s that could be guy who’s always good for a laugh. But he’s also got a ton of heart. He’s not just there for the yuk-yuks.”
“He plays such a huge part in Allura’s back story,” Dos Santos added. “You’ll see his evolution, you’ll see why he’s sort of the guy he is, and you’ll see him rise to the occasion and do some pretty amazing things as the series goes on as well. And he’s got a rockin’ mustache.”
You can read lots more information over at The Nerdist.