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Common Vehicle Voltron myths—BUSTED

VV fans know all too well how our poor big guy is underrated, underappreciated, and undersupported by the greater circle of Voltron fans. I think this has much to do with the fact that VV didn't get nearly as much exposure as LV did in their heyday. Many Voltron fans have never even seen an ep of VV and many of those that have, have only seen a handful of eps. In fact, the entire run of VV was only shown one time in my area, and from what I've heard the same is true for most other areas that showed Voltron. This glaring underexposure has left the Voltron community at large underinformed (and in some cases misinformed) about VV. Misconceptions about VV abound--some trivial, others so blatantly glaring that I want to scream. This section is devoted to addressing, and hopefully clearing up, some of the more major misconceptions once and for all.

1. "VV has, like, 1000 parts so they must take, like, half an ep to form."

Of all the great VV fallacies, this hands down is the one that most burns my aft cavity. If I see this one on WEP's Voltron Boardroom one more time, I swear I'm gonna go postal. What really burns me is that this fallacy is often quoted by people who have never even SEEN a VV ep and have NO CLUE what VV's formation sequence even LOOKS like. Grrrr. Well, let's break out our stopwatches and clear this up once and for all.

First, LV had two distinct formation sequences that were used in its Anime days. I won't include V3D's sequence since VV currently has no CGI counterpart. I happen to have both of these on tape and timed them. First, there's the familiar formation sequence that we see in just about every LV ep in which Voltron was formed. This is the longer one, rich with FX bells and whistles. For brevity's sake I'll refer to this one as LV1. Then there's a shorter sequence, with not quite as much FX dressing, which basically shows the Lions quickly transforming and coming together. This sequence ends with a zoom shot towards Voltron's eye, then into the eye and finally into the cockpit where Keith is sitting. I'll call this one LV2.

VV had 4 different formation sequences. Actually, they're 4 different versions of the same formation sequence: Start at the cars that become the feet and pan upward as each part subsequently attaches: legs, torso, arms, head. We then see the doors on the head slide away to reveal VV's face. Finally, the red plane comes down and attaches to VV's chest. The first version, used in the early eps, showed this sequence against a background of bluish energy. The parts came together rather slowly in this sequence, which I'll call VV1. During the middle portion of VV's run a faster version of this sequence against a background of reddish energy was used, which I'l call VV2. In the latter eps, a third sequence was used: It was virtually identical to VV2 except that the reddish-energy background was replaced with an effect that made each ship look like it was coming out of the shadows as it landed into place. The red plane descent sequence was also enhanced in this version: just before the plane starts its final descent, it flies a quick loop above VV and then comes in close enough that you can actually see Ginger inside. Then the plane commences its usual descent to its place on VV with the same "out of the shadows" effect. I'll call this one VV3. Finally, there was a longer version of VV3, shown in only one ep that I'm aware of ("Raid on Galaxy Garrison", ep 30). In this sequence, right after the head attaches, the hands are shown approaching VV and turning around so that their aft sections are facing VV. VV is also shown approaching the hands and spinning around. The left hand attaches, then the right. Then we pan away from VV as he does a couple of dramatic poses. Finally VV's face is unveiled and the sequence then ends exactly like VV3 does. I'll refer to this one as VV3+. I've added some images from VV3+ below.

hands VV sans hands
Hands linking Link complete

Now that we're established our parameters, it's time for the fun part: the numbers. For purposes of comparison, I timed each LV sequence from the moment the Lions start transforming to the moment LV's head is revealed. Likewise, I timed the VV sequences from the moment the feet appear to the moment the red plane attaches to VV. I didn't include things like LV's "activate interlocks" routine or VV's air-punching because I wanted to stick strictly with formation and hopefully keep the comparison as fair as possible. Also, I don't have any eps that have VV2 on them, so there's currently no time posted for it, although its time is pretty much identical to VV3's. (I've recently gotten eps w/ VV2 and will time it and post it here shortly.)

Without any further ado-doo, here it is:

LV1: 28.47 sec
LV2: 17.14 sec

VV1: 16.25 sec
VV2: n/a
VV3: 15.47 sec
VV3+: 33.72 sec

Conclusion: Giving both sides a maximum handicap by using their longest sequences (LV1 and VV3+), LV wins by about 5 seconds. But VV3+ is only shown in one ep, as I said earlier. The rest of the time you see VV1, VV2, or VV3, each of which takes about 16 seconds, shorter than either LV sequence. So yes, if the 2 V's were ever to fight, I'd have to concede that LV would finish forming first. But my main point here is to refute the VV Haters who talk like it would be a difference of five hours—that's what aggravates me so much: "Hmm, 3x as many parts, so it must take 3x as long to form". Stupid logic. It's five freaking seconds, folks. Can we get over it and move on, please?

This concludes Rant #44871-05(q), Section %*$&@.

2. "VV has, like, 1000 parts and if, like, a toe is missing they can't form Voltron."

Wrong, wrong, wrong. That's strictly a LION VOLTRON problem, and just because LV has such-and-such limitation doesn't automatically mean VV has it too. Now granted, anecdotal evidence from the series seems to suggest that certain parts are more essential than others. Obviously, if one of the 3 torso parts is missing then they clearly can't form Voltron. In certain situations where an arm or hand component is out of action (e.g., in "Wolo's lost world" and "Letters from home"; eps 12 and 35, respectively), forming VV without them was never even considered as an option. So apparently arm and torso components are essential. However, VV HAS gone into action sans his right leg (when Lisa got knocked out), and even his head (when Jeff was knocked out). Another fallacy from people who have seen few (if any!!) VV eps. Below are screenshots of those events, from "Nerok scores big" (ep 26) and "Defend the new world" (ep 20), respectively:

One-legged VV VV headless

So there. :-P

3. "VV never took off because there were too many characters."

Um... oooooookay. So I guess that explains why shows like SUPER FRIENDS, TRANSFORMERS, and G. I. JOE never took off, right? Do I really need to waste any more verbiage on this one? During V3D's run many fans, myself included, discussed a possble refit of VV that's comprised of fewer vehicles (and consequently requires fewer people to operate it) in order to make it more workable in CGI. As I've thought about it, though, I really don't think this is the way to go. It's too much mucking with history for a theory that's dubious at best.

More fallacies to be addressed in the future. Stay tuned.

Voltron I/Vehicle Team Voltron/Vehicle Voltron, Voltron II, Voltron III/Lion Force Voltron/Lion Voltron, and all associated characters and images are the property of World Events Productions, © 1984 (also © 1997 for Lion Voltron). Voltron: The Third Dimension is the property of World Events Productions, Mike Young Productions, and Netter Digital Entertainment, Inc., ©1998. Kikou Kantai Dairugger XV (tr. Armored Fleet Dairugger XV), Kosuku Denjin Arubegasu (tr. Light Speed God Algebas), and Hyakujuuou Goraion (tr. Beast King Golion) are the property of Toei Co., Ltd., ©'s 1982, 1983, and 1981, respectively. Mirai Robo Darutaniasu (tr. Future Robo Daltanius) is the property of Toei Co., Ltd. and Sunrise Productions, ©1979.
All other content not otherwise indicated or credited above or elsewhere on this site is the intellectual property of David James Bingham, ©2022.

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