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Voltron Force: Lion Riders Return Review
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Voltron Force: Lion Riders Return Review


Voltron Force: Lion Riders Return Review

Voltron Force takes a road trip to Planet Ariel to complete a Goodwill Mission to spread the message to everyone that Voltron is back and is fighting against Sky Marshall Wade’s oppression within the Galaxy Alliance. The seventh episode of the new Voltron Force series (Voltron Force : Lion Riders Return) has taken the Lion Team somewhere where they can spread the word about Voltron. This is an important step, to be sure. It appears as though we can see a direction for future episodes of Voltron Force, in which we will learn more about Voltron’s ancient origins and how Vince is connected, as well as seeing Voltron in the public eye, as a Defender of the Universe against the likes of Sky Marshall Wade and King Lotor. Let’s find out how well this trip to Ariel went for our brave crusaders.

Our episode starts with Hunk and Larmina performing tune-up maintenance on Black Lion, using some really cool holo-boards to stand on, while they work. Vince and Daniel are supposed to be taking notes on their holo-pads, but are actually involved in a fun multi-player video game instead.

Voltron Force holoboards

Hunk knows what they are up to, and Vince tries to backpedal by explaining how the game is “research”. It appears that there is an underground community of people who like Voltron, and they are playing the game and communicating with each other without Wade knowing about it. Hunk admits that Pidge was actually the creator of the game, with intentions of generating underground support of Voltron. While they are talking, Vince gets an incoming message, through the game.

Message from Planet Ariel

Even though this is a cartoon, you can’t help but wish we could use some of the technology that is used in this show. When Vince receives the message, he actually touches the hologram, then moves it over, and opens it up, to talk to the person like a speakerphone. The person on the other end asks if they are Voltron Force, and says their planet, Ariel, needs them. Before he can say what Wade’s Forces are doing, he gets cut off by Daniel defeating Vince in the game. Although Daniel thought it was great, the rest of the team present, including Vince, Hunk, and Larmina, are not amused.

Meanwhile, Allura has been in the catacombs, lighting candles, and trying to get comfort from her Father, King Alfor. She is concerned that although the Voltron Force is stronger, the evil that opposes them is getting stronger as well. She wonders how long the Voltron Force can stand alone against this evil. King Alfor appears to offer her advice. He says the Voltron Force should stop trying to stand alone.

King Alfor and Princess Allura

The rest of the team find out about the gamer from Ariel, who is seeking the help of Voltron Force. Lance thinks it’s great to be “taking requests” again. Pidge says that word is slowly spreading about the return of Voltron, but that it is all underground. They agree that it would be a good idea to help those that are loyal to Voltron on Ariel to put Voltron back in the public eye, and spread the Pro-Voltron resistance. They want to start with those people who never gave up hope. Keith thinks they should start with what people knew – the original 5. Lance says the Cadets will have to stay behind on Arus, while the Original 5 go to Ariel. Allura steps in and says the Cadets must go too. She says she doesn’t know why, but it’s important. She says it with such strong conviction that Lance says he’s not arguing with her.

Allura says the whole team goes to Ariel

When they arrive on Ariel in the 5 Lions, the first thing they see are ghostly beasts that appear to be angry and also appear to be taking out that anger on the local temple.

Mistaken for Wade Beasts

The Voltron Force assumes that these are some kind of new Wade Beasts, and start trying to fight them. As soon as they start fighting, they are met with a counter attack by the Lion Riders. Pidge stops the rest of the team, because he thinks something else other than Wade is going on here. The Lion Riders think Wade sent copies of the Voltron Lions to attack them.

Lion Riders Stand with Ghostly Beasts

The Voltron Force can’t believe they are mistaken for something that Wade sent. As they are thinking the “goodwill mission” is not going well, Allura steps in again to set the team right.

4 Voltron Force Team Members

5 Voltron Force Team Members

Allura steps out from Blue Lion and tells the citizens of Ariel that they are actually the “good guys”. The leader of the Lion Riders identifies her as a Daughter of Arus. His name is actually Chief Kalon, and he accepts Allura’s apology for the confusion when they arrived. She goes on to say that they had assumed the ghostly beasts they saw attacking the Temple were the threat to Ariel that was mentioned in the message. Chief Kalon had no knowledge of any “message”. He tells them that the ghostly beasts are the Krelshi, an essential part of Ariel’s “harmonious spiritual aura”. He says their main problem is Wade. Wade’s machines have been drilling deep into the planet, trying to extract Corite. Corite is a powerful metal ore found only on Ariel. These drilling machines have driven the Krelshi into a frenzy, although they are usually peaceful creatures. The Voltron Force offers to help rid their planet of Wade’s Forces, and stop this drilling for Corite. They leave with Chief Kalon to return to the Lions, but not before Allura gives the Cadets a mission of their own.

She tells them she wasn’t sure why they needed to come, but that her Father, King Alfor, felt it was important that Vince, who King Alfor had met before, come to this place. It would be up to the Cadets to help find out why Vince needed to be there.

Allura Gives The Cadets A Mission

As soon as they embark on their mission to find a “higher purpose”, they are met by their “mystery gaming buddy”, the one who sent the message. He identifies himself as Daigo. He says he could sense it was Vince from the moment he entered the Temple.

Cadets Meet Daigo

Daigo takes them to show the real reason why they were asked to come to Ariel. He shows them a vast underound mine, where water flows through it. Daigo tells them the Temples on the surface, and the mines below, are connected physically, and spiritually. Vince touches the wall, and finds out how true this connection is, as he feels a burst of energy.

Ariel's Underground Mine

While standing there, they witness a large drill break through the wall in the cavern and retreat, leaving two large holes.

Wade's Drill breaks through into Cavern

Up on the surface, Chief Kalon is showing the Voltron Force the large holes on the surface of Ariel that have been cut out by Wade’s drilling machines. Chief Kalon tells them their size is only 1 concern. The powerful ore at Ariel’s core is nearly impossible to penetrate. The Ancients possessed a smithing ability, but that skill has been lost. Wade has somehow found the ability to mine the Corite, and the machines he has brought are not ordinary in the least. At that moment, the drill machines start coming to the surface and the Voltron Force, and the Lion Riders, must mount their Lions.

Wade, speaking through his machines, orders the Voltron Force to cease and surrender to his authority, as Ariel is under the protection of the Alliance. Pidge warns the team that he thinks the drills, which have been penetrating the Corite, have Haggarium tips, which means they would be able to penetrate the Lions as well. With that, the drills start smashing into the Lions sending them on their backs.

Lions smashed by Wade's Haggarium-tipped drills

While the battle doesn’t appear to be going well for our heroes, and Pidge can’t figure out where Wade is getting Haggarium, they decide to form Voltron. And, since Lance said, “It’s time to pull out the big guns!”, they “Form Red Center” with the Magma Pistols as their weapon.

Red Center Voltron with Magma Pistols

Although Voltron starts to blast away at the drills, sending them in high retreat, and the Lion Riders are cheering, no one seems to notice that the power levels are dropping on Voltron.

The Cadets, even though they want to get to the surface to help Voltron, are reminded by Vince that Allura gave them their own mission. They continue through the caverns until they reach an area with walls, filled with drawings that look like hieroglyphics. Larmina, through her comprehensive Royal Education, received ancient language training, which she used to decipher some of the drawings. She tells Vince there is a link between lion and man. And that there’s something there about Voltron too. She asks Daigo if that makes sense. He says they have always been loyal to Voltron on Ariel, but he didn’t know about a connection with their Ancients.

Heiroglyphics show connection between lion and man

At the next moment, something takes over Vince, as he touches a crack in the wall, and suddently all the cracks start glowing blue, as Vince follows this blue streak down the cavern to a big wall.

Vince follows the crack

For some reason, Daniel goes crazy, thinking the blank wall was a dead end. Daigo tries to make Daniel understand that Vince is special, and that he will know what to do. Daniel says Vince is not the only one putting his life on the line. With that, Larmina takes Daniel down to the ground, and says that he does not speak for everyone. She then takes him aside to have a little talk.

Larmina takes Daniel down

Larmina asks Daniel what his real problem is, and he tells her that Vince has his special purpose on Voltron Force, and Larmina was born into it from the Royal connection with Allura. But, he didn’t know what his own purpose was on the team, and that upset him. Daigo calls them back because Vince is at it again, this time revealing a large doorway in the wall.

Back on the surface, Red Center Voltron is still making the drills retreat, which means they are winning the battle. Remember how we said they weren’t paying attention to the power levels? Then why if they’re winning, would Pidge want to switch the Voltron configuration? Well, they do. They switch to Hunk Head (Hunk is still working on the lingo). As soon as they hit 1 drill with the Wrecking Maces, Voltron shuts down.

Power Levels Dropped (Hunk)

Power Levels Dropped (Hunk & Pidge)

Power Levels Dropped (Pidge & Lance)

Pidge thinks the changing of the configurations is what is draining the power so fast. Lance just knows they are in big trouble. Of course, as soon as Voltron is vulnerable, Wade’s drills form together to make a Giant Wade Bot.

Yellow Center Voltron vs. Giant Wade Bot

The Giant Wade Bot attacks Voltron with it’s Haggarium-Tipped drills, and with next to no power, Voltron is defenseless against it. They agree to split back into the Lions, and they start backing up. The Lion Riders see this, and think Voltron is running away like a frightened child. Wade tries to use this to his advantage to sway the Lion Riders into thinking that a future without Voltron will be a better future. He plans on making Ariel a big part of that future. The Krelshi start going berserk and attacking the Giant Wade Bot. Everybody wonders what got into them.

Down in the mines, Vince is wondering how to open the large door in the wall, when it opens. Out of the room inside, a Krelshi comes out and pounces on Vince, knocking him down to the ground.

Krelshi guarding the door

Then, it grabs Vince in its mouth, and takes Vince back into the cavern, as Larmina and Daniel look on in anguish. They go after the Krelshi to try to get it to let go of Vince, but Daigo tells them he thinks the Krelshi would never harm Vince. It eventually puts Vince down, and Larmina and Daniel tell him not to move, but Vince is determined. He has to get through the door. Daniel and Larmina talk about going after the Krelshi, but Daigo says they don’t understand the Krelshi. Just then, the Krelshi knock over Daigo, and just as it is about to stomp on him, Daniel rushes into snatch him out from under, before the Krelshi can hit him. Daniel tells Daigo that maybe he doesn’t understand what’s going on with the Krelshi right now either. Daniel then uses that same Voltcom speed power to bring Vince past the Krelshi and into the room behind the door.

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On the surface, the Lion Riders have entered the battle with the Krelshi, and are fighting valiantly, despite the fact that their spears and arrows are having no effect on the Giant Wade Bot. The Voltron Force decides that even though they have limited power, and even though they may lose, the name of Voltron will not be remembered if they do not fight. So they fight, and the Wade Bot throws them off itself like they were little dolls. Just at that moment, Vince touches a metal vein of the Corite in what looks to be a forge (some kind of metal workshop), and it sends a shockwave up through the caverns to the surface, where bars of energy quickly surround the Wade Bot, and the Lions all return to full power in the process.

null

Immediately, the Lions destroy the Giant Wade Bot. The Lion Riders are happy they chose to stay loyal to Voltron, as the Voltron Force is victorious over Wade (even though they have no idea how).
Lion Riders Victorious

Vince admits he would have never been able to save the planet from Wade, had it not been for Daniel. Daniel is content to be the “helper to the special one” for now. As they leave the room, one of the Kelshi roars at Vince, and Daniel asks him what it said. Vince tells him that it said Vince was not ready. Daniel says, “Ready for what?” Vince thinks it’s not wise to ask giant electro-ghost lions stupid questions. Our Cadets burst to the surface on a couple of the same lions the Lion Riders ride. While on the surface, Larmina admits to Daniel that even though Vince is the Chosen One, and she is Royalty, she thinks Daniel is special because he earns his spot on the team every day, saving people without even blinking an eye. As she says this, she holds his hand, and he just smiles.

Larmina takes Daniel's Hand

Next Week’s Episode: From Voltron on Facebook – What would happen if a Robeast wouldn’t let the team form Voltron? Find out this Thurs. on Nicktoons and get ready for a HUGE week of breaking Voltron news from Comic Con!

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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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