The war against the Galra Empire will continue when Voltron: Legendary Defender returns for season 5 — but Team Voltron and the rebellion may have found themselves a new ally in disgraced Prince Lotor (A.J. Locascio), a.k.a. their enemy for the past few seasons.
EW can exclusively debut the trailer for the fifth season of the Netflix animated series, which teases Team Voltron’s tenuous new relationship with Lotor. In case you forgot, season 4 ended with Lotor coming to Voltron’s aid in their battle against the evil witch Haggar (Cree Summer) and telling the Paladins it was time for them to talk. When the new season picks up, the Paladins are still unsure whether or not they can trust him; however, Lotor does provide them with intel that helps them liberate more rebels.
“This whole thing is like making a deal with the devil,” says Lance (Jeremy Shada) in the trailer, which you can watch above.
Ahead of the new season, EW hopped on the phone with showrunners Joaquim Dos Santos and Lauren Montgomery to preview what’s in store.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Season 4 ended with Lotor telling the Paladins that it’s time for them to have a discussion. When the new season begins, have Lotor and the Paladins formed an uneasy alliance?
LAUREN MONTGOMERY: I think it’s fair to say that we find them kind of questioning whether an alliance is even a possibility. Who really wants to go full in and trust the Galra? There’s so much on the line if you make the wrong decision. So [the Paladins] are very hesitant.
JOAQUIM DOS SANTOS: They’re playing it carefully, and I think it’s about as much of an olive branch as we could’ve gotten from two teams on totally opposite ends of the field there.
Lotor and Allura (Kimberly Brooks) will come face to face for the first time ever. What is their initial meeting like?
MONTGOMERY: They start making out! [laughs]
DOS SANTOS: [laughs] I think it’s about as tense as that situation can be. Think about the journey that Allura has already taken with the Galra up to this point. This either reignites some things or it sort of furthers that journey that she has to go on. That, to me, was probably the most interesting moment of this upcoming season — seeing how the two would react to one another.
In the trailer, Zarkon (Neil Kaplan) announces “the dawn of a new age of warfare.” What can we expect from that?
MONTGOMERY: That’s some fancy words in the trailer [laughs].Basically Zarkon, with the return of his son, now has to kind of take it to the next level. He’s already announced his son is an enemy of the empire, so you might have conflicts arising within the Galra Empire because of that. It’s a whole other level of warfare.
DOS SANTOS: It’s a whole other level of complexity when it comes to what we once viewed as a very one-sided evil empire. It throws a wrench into that whole situation. Zarkon, when you really break it down, was kind of just relaxing for 10,000 years. Not relaxing, I mean, he was doing horrible things, but he had his way with the universe. Now he’s very much in play again and active at leading the empire.
Since the war is becoming more complicated, would you say this new season is darker than previous ones? Where are we tonally?
MONTGOMERY: I think it’s definitely getting into the higher stakes and some serious stuff, but we always try to walk that line of having the serious stuff but also keeping a little bit of the levity and the fun. We never want to go just full downer 100 percent of the time. If our story is getting really dark and intense, we try to find moments to kind of bring it back up.
DOS SANTOS: At the end of the day, there’s definitely all of the drama and all of the pathos and stuff that we want to put in there, but there’s also this wish-fulfillment of being a Paladin, and the fact that these guys and girls are definitely still teenagers at heart. There’s a ton of fun to be had, so we try to ride that light.
Season 4 also had the playful “Voltron Show” episode. Can we expect another silly installment like that in the new season?
MONTGOMERY: I’m not quite sure if there’s one in this batch, but we will never abandon our silly episodes. They’ll pop up every once in a while, but I’m having difficulty recalling the exact episodes we’ve got coming up. We always like to take a break every once and a while and just have some fun with the characters. Those episodes aren’t going away.
DOS SANTOS: I will say that the other thing we tried to accomplish specifically with that episode, aside from putting out for everyone to see what goes into the decision-making process in electing the leader and all that, is that we actually were able to, without actually showing it on screen, show the Voltron coalition gaining in numbers. That was both a very serious thing that comes to the stakes of the story, but also from a production standpoint, we didn’t have to design 50 million new characters and new spaceships and worlds and stuff. We got to sort of see this graphic and see Coran looking at it crazily. We got across a very serious aspect of the story through a very funny package.
Season 4 ended with Voltron getting a pretty big victory in this war by taking back a third of the empire. When we come back, are they feeling a bit more confident with that recent victory?
MONTGOMERY: I think it gives them a little bit of a pick-up in their moral department, but they still have this problem that Zarkon has returned. With Zarkon being away and Lotor coming in, the Galra Empire was a little bit more scattered and disorganized, and that gave them the ability and the advantage to take back this third. Now Zarkon’s back, so they might be feeling great about it now, but they know they have a huge fight ahead of them and their toughest competitor is back up on his feet. It’s definitely something that’s still weighing on their minds.
The entire fifth season Voltron: Legendary Defender will be available March 2 on Netflix. Dos Santos and Montgomery, design supervisor Christine Bian, and star Josh Keaton will unveil a special sneak peek at Emerald City Comic Con in Seattle on March 1.