Quote of the Moment

"What's Past Is Prologue." - William Shakespeare

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Archaic Observations - Voltron, Ep. 1 - Space Explorers Captured

Archaic Observations is a series that delves back into older media (and items, if it comes to that). The topics are nostalgic for me, and I'm sure many of my generation. However, when looking back at something you were fond of as a child, you may find it's not quite the same. In many cases some things you discover can just be plain silly. If there is any topic you would like me to touch on that you think would fit in this series, please leave a comment or send me an e-mail!

First up for Archaic Observations will be the classic cartoon Voltron: Defender of the Universe. This series began in 1984, and I will go episode by episode with my commentary, most of which will be poking fun at plot holes and some things that just don't make sense!

Today's post will look at Episode 1, "Space Explorers Captured".

I couldn't stop from smiling as I watched this episode--a lot of fond memories from when I was a child. However, with age comes a different perspective, as well as wisdom. Some of the stuff that I eagerly swallowed up and accepted as a child, I questioned as an adult. I poke fun not to be critical, but to show the silliness I gobbled up in the past.

My first reaction: the dialogue! I've learned as a writer to make sure dialogue sounds realistic, as well as not to constantly insert the name of characters being addressed in dialogue. Of course, Keith, Hunk, Pidge, Sven, and Lance use names in their dialogue constantly--too much! Not only that, much of the dialogue is unrealistic, most times making me laugh. Here's one of my favorite silly lines from Episode 1: "We're space explorers, and we need space!"

There are some plot holes I noticed throughout the episode, of course. At the beginning, the space explorers are heading to Planet Arus. But why? It seems that is never answered. We assume it's to find Voltron, but once the explorers are captured, we first hear of Voltron from the Galaxy Alliance, and they speak of it like it was never thought of before that point. And then when the explorers see the castle near the end of the episode, they regale us with the legend of Voltron, again making it sound like it wasn't their mission to begin with.

Speaking of the castle, why exactly is it still standing? If the legend is well-known about the Castle of Lions, and Zarkon (the bad guy) intentionally attacked Arus to get rid of that threat, why wouldn't he have made it his main goal to destroy the castle? Not to mention at the beginning of the episode, Arus seems like a more modern planet, the city they show being destroyed has skyscrapers after all, yet the castle is the medieval variety. True, it hides technology, but even further into the season this skyscrapered-city doesn't fit with the lower-tech villages we see.

Another small plot hole when the explorers first survey the damage Zarkon has done: "The streets are empty. Looks like all the people of Arus made it to their underground shelters." Really, ALL the people? You think maybe some of those people didn't make it and are likely dead? OK, maybe I'm being too harsh since this was a show made for kids. ;)

Finally I leave you with one more plot hole to ponder. What's with the Galaxy Garrison/Alliance? They seem like a bunch of politicians, not a military installment--all talk and no action. No help for their explorers? No help for the Planet Arus? This won't be the last time I vetch about their actions (or non-actions).

So, for those of you that have seen this episode of Voltron, what do you think? Did you find other things that bugged you? What do you love most about the episode?

Personally, I love that evil cat! Fun stuff. =)

NEXT UP: SFFS Snippet - 7/28/12

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