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Nickelodeon's Voltron Force: Hunkyard Review
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Nickelodeon’s Voltron Force: Hunkyard Review


Nickelodeon's Voltron Force: Hunkyard Review

Did you ever think, there’s just not enough Hunk in your life? Well, this episode (Voltron Force: Episode 6: Hunkyard) satisfies your Hunk craving. From the old Voltron series of the 80’s to today’s Voltron Force, it seems as though Hunk never got a whole lot of attention. That’s all changed. After this episode, it appears as though Hunk may be the one member of the original 5 that the Cadets trust the most. How does he achieve this status? By taking the cadets to the Hunkyard; a region of Planet Arus where scrap machines go to die.

It all starts, lightheartedly, with Hunk building a Mega-Hot-Rod-Barbeque-Grill, worthy of Tim Taylor, from TV’s Home Improvement (ogh-ogh-ogh!). He is planning a BBQ for the Cadets, and is using one of the largest side of ribs I have seen since the Brontosaurus Ribs of The Flintstones.

Hunkgrill

Hunk places the ribs on the grill, and they immediately disintegrate, leaving nothing but bone. Hunk tells Pidge that the BBQ is off, and Pidge reminds Hunk that he told him not to use Jet Fuel. This, of course, leads to the Grill taking off like a rocket through the ceiling of the Castle tower and immediately setting off the “Gristle Defense” system, which destroys the grill using missiles, sending little pieces cascading back down to Hunk.

Pidge and Hunk Splitscreen

By the way, the use of the splitscreen technique in these episodes has become a staple for Voltron Force. It enhances the show in a big way by showing us the characters and/or action of the moment, all at the same time. The splitscreen we are most familiar with is when all 5 members of the Voltron Force shout, “Let’s Go Voltron Force!” every time Voltron is formed. Speaking of which, Voltron gets formed right away in the first scene after the opening credits. This brought a comment from my son: “Voltron already?” It seems Hunk was impatient as well, because he was eager to dispense with a Waderoid Robeast, and not fool around. This Robeast resembled the Robeast from Voltron: Defenders of the Universe: episode 32 “Lotor’s Clone” (Thank you @voltron!).

Voltron forms early

What we find out during this Robeast attack is that the team is trying to get Vince to focus on his power to get Voltron to form into a new configuration, different from the usual Black-headed formation. As he struggles to do it, his concentration is broken, and Pidge asks the other Cadets to help from the Castle Control Center, but they are nowhere to be found. Larmina and Daniel are fighting rogue Waderoids on their own, having disobeyed the team’s orders.

Cadets disobey orders

This brings an end to the simulation (yeah, we were fooled into thinking it was real… again). This “training exercise” was considered a failure, as the Cadets were not working together as a team again. I guess they still wouldn’t be Cadets if they were doing things the right way, huh? Hunk attempts to put his twist on the “team” lesson by saying, “Yeah man, it’s like you gotta be groovin’ with the whole band before you bust into your (high-pitched) solo.”

Meanwhile, Hunk isn’t feeling he has a bond with any of the Cadets, like Pidge has with Vince, when he is trying to triple alternate the current in Vince’s Voltcom circuitry. Allura tries to cheer him up, when she sees Hunk playing his guitar by himself. She offers to let Hunk take over teaching a class to the Cadets.

Hunk Plays Guitar

As Hunk is trying to get the Cadets to pay attention in class, the Cadets are lost within themselves, talking about their problems. Larmina feels her Aunt is preaching to her too much, while Daniel feels like “golden boy” Vince has his place in the team, but doesn’t know where he and Larmina fit in. He figures their struggles come down to one truth: there are 5 lions, but 8 pilots.

5 lions - 8 pilots

So, since the Cadets don’t have vehicles of their own, Hunk decides to take them on a field trip to the Hunkyard. It’s a secret little place on Arus even Larmina doesn’t know about, where Hunk keeps a collection of “scrap”. So, he wants them to build some vehicles of their own. Hunk Calls them “Crush cars”, like in the demolition derbies. In the process, Hunk hopes to be able to bond with the Cadets. Larmina isn’t as excited about this as Vince and Daniel, but she warms up to it, when Hunk helps her create a vehicle in which the controls are suited to her fighting style. The cockpits of all other vehicles were too constricting. This one gave her free range of motion.

Larmina's Hunkyard Vehicle has unique controls

Daniel’s motorcycle-style vehicle needs a little extra work on the axle, so Hunk tells a story about when he was a racer on the Crush Car Derby Circuit. He tells Daniel how he worked with his Dad’s pit crew before he ever started racing, and he learned what it was like to be a part of a team. Had he just started racing right away, he probably would have been crushed. Daniel tells him he appreciates Hunk putting things in perspective for him. Hunk doesn’t even realize the lesson he taught him.

Daniel's teamwork lesson

To bond with Larmina, Hunk notices the music she wrote sounded like “Stereolactic”, which could be a rock band they both listen to. So, to show her the music he wrote, using his Voltcom, he opens up the speakers on Yellow Lion, which turns it into the biggest boombox you have ever seen. These Lions have so many neat features that we are still learning about in every episode. Each week that goes by, we wonder, “What will they do next?”

The vehicles are finally finished and the Cadets have really bonded well with Hunk, as they go against each other to see who can crush the others. They have to hand in their Voltcoms to Hunk, as this is a friendly match of destroy-or-be-destroyed. Hunk will be in the Yellow Lion, acting as referee.

Cadet Vehicles

As the battle between the Cadets is raging, Yellow Lion is surrounded by Haggarium-infected Waderoids, leftover from the battle with the spider in Episode 3. (Thanks @voltron!)

Haggarium-Infected Waderoids surround Yellow Lion

The Cadets find out about them too, and are wondering what to do, until Hunk comes racing in on his old derby crush car (since Yellow Lion was out of commission). He says they’re not calling this one in to the other team members, and they’ll take care of these bots in their own vehicles. The Cadets think this is cool, but I don’t think they realize the total numbers of Waderoids that are attacking them.

Waderoids hammered by Hunk

The Cadets and Hunk are having fun destroying all the Waderoids they can. Did anyone catch the High-Five between Hunk’s and Larmina’s vehicles? However, the Haggarium and the thousands of Waderoids are winning out, especially when 20,000 of the Waderoids come together to form one amazingly large Robeast. In the meantime, Pidge has been working on a Haggarium-detecting defense system, with the help of Coran. He had just finished it, activated it, and noticed a large concentration of Haggarium centered right in the Hunkyard’s location.

Haggarium Detector

Using Vince’s power to re-engage Yellow Lion, Hunk and the Cadets all use Yellow lion to go against the Giant Robeast. They quickly learn that even though they can cut pieces off the monster, it can pull itself back together again. They’re about to call in the other members of the Voltron Force, but they already arrive in the other 4 Lions. Hunk asks, “How did you…?” and gets cut off by Pidge saying, “I’m a Genius… remember?”, which is an awesome line. The other 4 ask, “What is that thing?” Hunk says, “My stuff… but it’s evil now.” Another great line. So, logically, they form Voltron, and although it is not planned, Yellow Lion becomes the head in a new configuration. Pidge thinks that these transformations are programmed into Voltron’s core, secretly locked within, and Allura thinks Vince is the key for unlocking them. Pidge can hardly contain himself about what the implications of this would mean for Voltron Force. Hunk doesn’t care about programs and implications. All he wants to know is, “What’s my weapon?!!”

Yellow-headed Voltron

Yes, Voltron is now using Wrecking Maces! Hunk tells Daniel, “this is how you do your solo”, as Voltron uses the Wrecking Maces to split apart the Giant Robeast, and then covers the wreckage with crushed boulders. Then, hold onto your hats, folks. Apparently, in order to put the Haggarium-infected Waderoid parts out of commission for good, they have to be neutralized. So, after Pidge says, “Let’s Neutralize this thing!”, Keith says a new command never heard before. “Form Black Center!”

Form Black Center!

With Keith back at the head of Voltron, they form Blazing Sword and stab it right into the heart of the wreckage of Waderoids, totally destroying any trace of Haggarium.

Neutralizing the Haggarium with Blazing Sword

As Hunk’s reward for the bonding time with the Cadets, the Cadets discuss it amongst themselves and decide to allow Hunk into their “secret lair”. They also ask him to help them build “something awesome”, showing him the blueprints as the show closes. We’ll have to wait to see how this develops. Does anyone have any ideas what this might turn out to be?

Secret Lair Blueprints

If you noticed in this episode, there were no scenes with Sky Marshall Wade or King Lotor. Wade’s presence was felt with the thousands of Waderoids that had gotten infected with Haggarium from when the Kala Spider merged with the Wade Lion from episode 3. Those evil villains will always be involved somehow. Also, be on the lookout for other episodes centered around each member of the Voltron Force. Thanks to @voltron on Twitter for answering my questions while the show was running. That interaction is a very cool thing for a viewer like me, and thousands of others like me.

Next Episode: “Lion Riders Returns” – From the Voltron Force Facebook page – the team journeys to Planet Ariel where an ancient race of warriors are battling a takeover from Wade’s Drill-bots! Will secrets to the origin of Voltron be revealed and how are these Lion Riders connected?

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I am a Big Fan of all types of animation. Like a lot of things, the cream always rises to the top. My favorites have included Star Wars: The Clone Wars and Rebels, anything Pixar, Phineas and Ferb, Voltron Legendary Defender, and the DC/WB Animated Films. I have a lot of Old School favorites as well, such as Star Blazers, Voltron, Looney Toons, Tom & Jerry, and Scooby Doo.

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