From days of long ago, from uncharted regions of the universe, comes a legend. The legend of Voltron: Defender of the Universe! A mighty robot, loved by good, feared by evil. A force of space explorers, Kieth, Lance, Hunk, Pidge, and Sven are sent to find the last princess of planet Arus, Allura, and the keys to Voltron. Together they find the five robot lions that make up the legendary robot. King Zarkon, an evil warlord, rains down destruction across the universe. But our heroes form Voltron at the last moment, and begin a new war against his cruel empire.
Like Robotech, Voltron is an anomaly: an anime series that never aired in Japan in this form. The program Americans know under that title is comprised of recut footage from Hyakujuo Go-Lion ("Hundred-Beast King Go-Lion") and Kikou Kantai Dairugger XV ("Armored Fleet Dairugger XV"). Voltron debuted in syndication in the US in September, 1984, with a completely new storyline. Five young pilots from the Galaxy Alliance, Keith, Lance, Sven, Hunk, and Pidge, crash on the planet Arus when they're attacked by the minions of the evil King Zarkon. In the ruins of an ancient castle, they learn the secret of recreating Voltron, the ancient robot "loved by the good and hated by the evil." Each of them must pilot one of five lion-mecha that link to form Voltron. They also befriend Princess Allura, who pilots of one of the lions after Sven is wounded in battle. Together, they fight Zarkon's robots and "ro-beasts," the witch Haggar and Zarkon's son Lotor. Obviously pieced together like a jigsaw puzzle, Voltron reuses some footage over and over, but leaves out big chunks of the narrative. When the five pilots initially crash on Arus, they stand at the edge of vast desert; after the commercial break, they're wandering through a fog-shrouded forest. These problems won't phase Gen-X'ers who grew up with Voltron and want to revisit this relic of their childhoods. The extras include a rather stilted documentary on the restoration of the series. (Rated 7 and older: violence)--Charles Solomon