January 20, 2017 at 04:57 PM EST

Voltron: Legendary Defender

TV Show

SPOILER ALERT! Don’t read this until you’ve finished all of Voltron: Legendary Defenders season 2 lest the Galran empire sense and come after you. 

Voltron: Legendary Defender season 2 has finally touched down on Netflix, bringing viewers equal parts joy and angst as all the heroes jump back in action to once again to go up against Zarkon and the Galran Empire.

The season kicked off with the reveal that Shiro had indeed survived. As Voltron’s Paladins’ once again reunited they quickly discovered the Blade of Marmora, a group of Galran rebels who’d been working within the Empire — with one specific member directly under Zarkon — granting them new allies in their battle against the evil ruler. But as the team formulated and carried out their new plan to take the head of the Galran Empire, Zarkon surprised them with the fact that he had a robot of his very own. After an intense battle that saw Shiro, Keith, Lance, Pidge, and Hunk finally take him out, viewers learned that not all the Paladins had made it back to the Castle Ship and that the fate of Shiro (who’s now gone missing sans his newly retrieved bayard) once again hangs in the balance.

Elsewhere in the season Keith discovers he’s part Galra, and Allura finds that not only does she have magical abilities, but that Haggar is Altean.

With so much happening in the span of 13 episodes, EW once again caught up with EPs Joaquim Dos Santos and Lauren Montgomery to discuss all the big goings-on of the season.

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Once again Shiro’s fate is left unanswered. What can you tease about what’s coming up for him?
LAUREN MONTGOMERY: We’re not really sure, and the team is not really sure what happened to him. Nobody necessarily saw him get ejected. But they know he’s not in the Black Lion. So where did he go? That would be a big question moving forward: Where’s their buddy?
JOAQUIM DOS SANTOS: We intentionally did a misdirect with some of the press leading up to the season, teasing that Shiro might not have made it through the encounter at the end of season 1. And then we pulled that back and showed that he would be there. But ultimately, his future is in question. It just wasn’t in question then

We learn that Zarkon has his own Voltron-like robot. Considering how powerful it is, what made him still so obsessed with getting back the Black Lion?
DOS SANTOS: Ultimately that it wasn’t Voltron. As you can see even from when Haggar was pleading with him, [when] it hadn’t been tested yet, and hadn’t really lived up to any of the stuff. Voltron had already been put through its paces and proved to be the most powerful thing in the universe.
MONTGOMERY: There’s more that we hope to tell about Voltron that we’ll deep dive into: what Voltron is, and why nothing that Zarkon can create will match up. Because as we’ve seen, it’s an incredible balance of magic and technology and it evolves with the characters. Whereas Zarkon may have been able to make a really powerful robot, but it’s never going to have that ability to think on its own like the lions do.
DOS SANTOS: It’s almost like he and the Galra are forcing it.

You mentioned magic, and we see that Allura discovers these abilities in the finale. What made this the right time for her to tap into those abilities?
DOS SANTOS: We always knew that she was going to be the character that evolved and grew more powerful. With streaming and Netflix, we’re allowed to do a slow burn on some of these character arcs, which is nice because it doesn’t feel forced.
MONTGOMERY: One of the reasons why we wanted to give Allura that magical ability is because her people really tie into the creation of Voltron and that combination of science and magic. Even the Castle Ship has some abilities that seem really magical. But also the fact that we didn’t necessarily want her to be this warrior princess from Day 1, where she was just out of her 1000-year sleep and she’s an expert martial artist. She had no reason to do that. So instead of just making her basically “Princess Batman,” we made her more like “Princess Superman” where she just has these abilities that are more innate to her people to allow her to be a little more powerful and allow her to contribute in that way.
DOS SANTOS: And the cool thing is that she’s discovering all this as we go along as well. While those abilities are innate to her, she doesn’t necessarily know how to wield them or just how powerful she is.
MONTGOMERY: It’s our way of trying to make her feel as real a version as an alien fictional character can feel. She needs a reason to step up and evolve into these things. It’s just taken a few episodes for her to get there. So we didn’t want to force it in any sort of unnatural way. 


One of the other big things we learned this season is that Keith is of Galran descent. What made you want to explore that particular storyline this particular season?
DOS SANTOS: Interestingly that was a storyline we had come up with in one of the earliest versions of the pitch doc for Voltron.
MONTGOMERY: From Day 1 we knew that we wanted someone from this team to be tied into this thing in a way that they didn’t know. And giving Keith the backstory that we gave him, it seemed appropriate for him to be that guy.
DOS SANTOS: And it’s cool because from a character perspective we’re playing this version of Keith as way more prone to being emotional and having a temper. So that plays into that aspect of his character as well.
MONTGOMERY: But also something that we didn’t necessarily see upfront that we definitely realized through the show was that having that aspect of him allowed us to explore that aspect of Allura where she has this very black-and-white view of the Galra, and what’s good and what’s bad. In finding out that this trusted Paladin is of Galran descent, the fact that a Lion in this day and age would choose someone Galra versus back when the Black Lion chose Zarkon, it was probably a very different time. Zarkon was probably a very different guy. So she has to face one of her personal issues and overcome that. That was just a beautiful thing that came about because of it and really evolved both their characters in a certain way.

NEXT: The Blade of Marmora, Prince Lotor, and that fart joke

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