Shadows of The Last Stand Part 1

A TPL Reconstruction

Slides Transcript:

[Slide 1]

Welcome to Team Purple Lion’s reconstruction of Voltron Legendary Defender Season 7. We are educators, researchers, and analysts using our knowledge of literary analysis to reconstruct Seasons 7 and 8 of Voltron Legendary Defender. This project aims to reconstruct a cogent, thematically appropriate story for all ages and educate viewers on the nuts and bolts of creative writing and literary analysis.

This episode is Season 7 Episode 7 The Last Stand Part 1. In our reconstruction, we combine scenes from Season 8 Episode 2 Shadows to create better narrative flow and sustained dramatic tension in the last half of Season 7.

[Slide 2]

Summary: “The Last Stand” centers on the Holt parents and their search for children Matt and Katie/Pidge while developing adequate Earth defenses against the Galra. Contrasting this is Honerva’s loss of and search for her son Lotor while managing what remains of the Empire.

The juxtaposed scenes demonstrate a distinction between healthy familial love and the toxic dynamic of an abusive household while building sympathy for Lotor and creating dramatic tension toward a shocking reveal that will be seen as S7E13’s true cliffhanger. The title suggests Earth’s last stand against the Galra, the Holts’ last stand in finding their children, and Honerva’s last stand in avenging her son – once she learns of his fate.

[Slide 3]

Color and Theme: The juxtaposed scenes from “The Last Stand” and “Shadows” use complimentary colors to demonstrate an opposing diametric between the love demonstrated by the Holt and Galra families.

[Slide 4]

Color and Theme: While the Earth scenes are mainly colored in the yellow-orange, yellow, and yellow-green hues, the Shadows scenes are mainly colored in the blue-violet, violet, and red-violet hues, signifying joyfulness, light, and life for the Holt family and mystery and darkness for the Royal Galra family.

[Slide 5]

Color and Theme: Although it is actually part of the cliffhanger in S7E13, of special note is the color scheme of Ven’tar’s planet: yellow, yellow-green, and green, suggesting that at that point of the story Lotor had come from a place of darkness into a place of love, light, and life, connecting his love for the planet with the love we associate with the Holt family.

[Slide 6]

Team Purple Lion used scene connectors to piece together which scenes should be paired.

Scene connectors are images and phrases that help the audience make a thematic connection between two scenes. For instance, a character might mention a person, place, or thing that is mentioned again in the next scene. Or a visual motif, such as a recurring object, may appear across scenes.

As you watch The Last Stand Part 1a, be on the lookout for scene connectors.

[episode plays]

[Slide 7]

You made it to the end! Time for a pop quiz. Dis you find all the scene connectors? Pause the video and list as many as you noticed.

Pidge’s love for her father contrasts with Honerva being rejected by Lotor.

Honerva’s declaration “I will find you, my son” connects with Colleen Holt’s declaration “This is the only family I have left. You’ll get me the clearance.”

Colleen’s statement “I thought you were dead” connects with Honerva’s line about Lotor, “He pierced the veil”.

Sam’s explanation of Zarkon and Quintessence connects to Zarkon asking Honerva if she can bring him Quintessence.

Zarkon’s recorded mentioning of the Druids, played during the military briefing, connects with Honerva abandoning the Druids.

Matt’s mention of Lotor and his statement of love for his parents connects with Lotor’s troubled birth to parents who rejected him.

Thank you for joining us for The Last Stand Part 1a. Our efforts continue on The Last Stand Part 1b.

6 thoughts on “Shadows of The Last Stand Part 1

  • July 2, 2019 at 10:36 pm

    Amazing work again! I am curious as to how/why Team Purple Lion decided to use scene connectors to reconstruct “Shadows” within S7’s narrative, and if there were other instances of scene connectors similar to the ones found here in previous seasons

    • July 3, 2019 at 3:09 am

      Hi Anon, thanks for such a great question!

      The scene connectors actually weren’t what we started with. To give you a glimpse into our process, I tend to work from big picture elements like theme backward into the smaller narrative details. I actually hadn’t watched S7 since it first aired last year but started rewatching the last two episodes of S7 after listening to music tracks from them that contained Lotor’s theme and noticed something I wasn’t looking for: The end scenes of “Shadows” are what should be the actual cliffhanger of S8 because they are what the dramatic tension set up in the early half of S8 pulls toward. I then began rewatching S7 as a whole to back myself on that and again noticed something completely unanticipated: The rest of “Shadows” fits thematically into “The Last Stand” nearly scene by scene. LeakingHate and I figured “Shadows” was dispersed throughout S7 originally but I didn’t expect it to be such a neat fit into that particular episode. It makes sense though because “The Last Stand” is where most of the MFE stuff, which wasn’t originally there, was added. After that, I began pairing scenes based on thematic content, primarily using dialogue. Crystal then broke up the episodes in question into smaller chunks for me to play around on the order. I broke some down further and moved them around based on dialogue and flow. I started noticing the more visual scene connectors as I was arranging them. Actually, once I had spliced them together it was a visual scene connector that solidified for me I was on point about the original cliffhanger — the DotU Lotor bathelm shape that appears in both the reworked S7 and the original S7 cliffhanger.

      I’d have to go through and watch all the seasons again to make any kind of comprehensive list of scene connectors within and between episodes, which would be extensive. It’s an incredibly common tool in fiction writing. Some of the scene connectors I can recall off hand are in Season 6. Shiro/Kuron and Keith’s arc toward the end mirrors the dialogue common to Lotor, Allura, and Keith. For example, Lotor states that things didn’t have to end this way, but the paladins made their choice. Keith mirrors this line when he tells Allura “Lotor made his choice”. Another example is when Keith tells Kuron “I’ll never give up on you”, mirrored in Allura’s insistence “we can’t just leave him!”

      Thanks again for interacting with us! I hope this was helpful in understanding some of our reverse engineering process.

  • July 3, 2019 at 8:01 pm

    So if I’m reading this right: ‘The Last Stand’ + ‘Shadows” are the original Season 7 finale. But if ‘The Last Stand’ is the finale then does that mean ‘The Last Stand Part 2’ and the rest of the season are also out of order? Or is it just these two particular episodes? And how would that fit chronologically? Wouldn’t that mean that Season 7 would end in a flashback with Luca heading to Earth?

    • July 4, 2019 at 12:29 am

      Hi Anon,

      We’re working on getting the chart of S7’s layout and the other two episodes I patched up on the site to accompany this video. If you want to rewatch S7 with our estimated corrected layout it is:
      S7E1 A Little Adventure
      S7E2 The Road Home
      S8E4 Battle Scars
      S7E3 The Way Forward
      S8E5 The Grudge (minus garrison content)
      S7E4 The Feud (this was not originally there, but consider it bonus content)
      S7E5 The Ruins
      S7E6 The Journey Within
      S7E7 The Last Stand Part 1 (edited with scenes from Shadows, minus MFE stuff)
      S7E8 The Last Stand Part 2 (edited with scenes from Shadows, minus MFE stuff)
      S7E9 Know Your Enemy
      S7E10 Heart of the Lion
      S7E11 Trial by Fire
      S7E12 Lion’s Pride Part 1
      S7E13 Lion’s Pride Part 2 (corrected cliffhanger includes last ~6 minutes from Shadows)

      Basically it goes in the same order, but The Feud and anything to do with the MFE pilots were not part of the originally envisioned plot. Yes, the end scene would be Luca headed to Earth in a flashback, but it comes after we see her mech in the hanger during Lion’s Pride Part 2. There should be a moment of horror for the audience when we see Lotor was telling the truth about Ven’tar’s planet and then realize his mother plans to try and bring him back and she has an entire army of mechs ready to destroy Voltron. Luca headed off toward Earth is a sort of “and now it begins” moment. Hopefully this will make more sense once we get the other two vids up.


      • July 4, 2019 at 2:19 am

        Ahhhhhh, I get it now! Thank you for clearing that up! Between reading so many fix-it fics and writing my own I get all the events of the episodes mixed up hehehe. I always assumed that The Grudge was supposed to be in Season 7 because of how out of place it was. It did nothing to drive the main plot forward besides the whole ‘Honerva might be in Oriande time to punch the wormhole BIG TIME’. And as an artist/beginner animator/keen-eyed observer of animation, the art styles flip faster than the writers. And of course in ‘Genesis’ Ezor is just ‘Allura on Helium’.

        …You know for a show with 8 seasons all of their problems would’ve been solved if they just said ‘We’re gonna go on a hiatus for a while to get our shit together.’

    • July 4, 2019 at 10:34 pm

      Oh wow! Thank you so much on the insight into the team’s process!! It’s pretty wicked to see all the parallels – visually, aurally and narratively – that occur in this series. They really explain *why* VLD became a favorite of mine; it’s quite thrilling to find all the pieces that fit neatly together. (And you’re right, a comprehensive list of scene connectors found in VLD would be extensive, I really appreciate the ones that you did share offhand! Before S8’s heavy blow, I had ambitions to write on the parallels found in the series…maybe one day…eventually…)

      I have noticed that Allura and Keith tend to share a lot of narrative beats between each other and in relation to Lotor and Shiro (that could also be bias speaking on my part, considering these four are my absolute favorites, plus Hunk).

      Looking forward to the second part of the reconstruction! Absolute kudos to Team Purple Lion for your dedication and sharing your (evidence-supported!!!!) findings!


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