Vehicle Voltron: An Overview
Webmaster's note: It's not made clear exactly when the VV story
is set in relation to LV, but most fans--myself included--place the story
as happening probably immediately after the conclusion of the 1st season
of LV. I would add to that and postulate that LV's 2nd season
(now know as The New Adventures of Voltron) and possibly even the "Fleet
of Doom" movie take place somewhere concurrent within VV's one-season run.
I've written a chronology that supports this theory.
But for now let's review the story.
We join the Stellar Ship Explorer--the mighty flagship of the Galaxy
Alliance--immediately after the forces of evil in the Far Universe were
dealt a crushing blow by the legendary Lion Voltron of Planet Arus.
The Explorer serves in the Near Universe, where things are not so rosy.
The Alliance faces two grave crises, overpopulation and an ongoing war
with the Drule Empire. Led by Commander Hawkins and Captain Newley,
the Explorer is the Alliance's last, best hope for overcoming both of these
dire threats. The Explorer's primary mission is a peaceful quest throughout
the galaxy in search of new, uninhabited worlds to relieve the Alliance's
own overcrowding worlds.
Unfortunately, the Drules also seek new planets in the same area
of space. The war-hungry Drule Empire has long sought new worlds
for conquest and annexation. But now the Empire finds itself in crisis:
Ravaged by years of war-related pollution and a transient sun,
the Drule homeworld is dying rapidly.
This desperate situation has only made the Drules even more dangerous.
They now pursue worlds with increasingly ruthless abandon, even trying to steal worlds
already colonized by the Alliance. If the Alliance discovers
a new planet first, the Drules will often hang back and let their enemy
do the work of research and colonization, then strike. If they can't
defeat the Alliance and take the planet outright they usually destroy it,
making their enemy's victory a pyrrhic one. They do this apparently
not caring that such actions leave their homeworld with one less hope for
salvation and that much closer to destruction. The Drules refuse
to negotiate with their enemies, believing it to be the coward's option.
Emperor Zeppo rules the Drule homeworld and his Supreme Council, headed
by Viceroy Throk, carry out the emperor's campaign of conquest. On
the battlefield Throk's orders are executed by Commander Hazar and his
many underlings. The Drule fleet boasts a grand array of robot attack
ships, and are backed up by terrifying robeasts--giant, grotesque robot
monsters dedicated solely to the destruction of any who would dare oppose
them. Nothing can stand against these robeasts, except one thing...
Fashioned after the legendary Lion Voltron, Vehicle Voltron is the product
of the Alliance's finest scientific minds. VV is comprised of 15
space vehicles whose main purpose is exploration. The vehicles are
grouped into 3 teams of 5 apiece, with each team specialized for exploration
in the air, sea, or on land. Each vehicle also has limited firepower
for defense. Each team can also unite into a super-vehicle for added
strength: The Air Team, led by Jeff (who also leads all 15 members
of the VF), forms the Stratofighter; the Sea Team, commanded by the alien
Crik, forms the Aquafighter; and Cliff's Land Team forms the Turbo Terrain
Fighter. These super-vehicles carry more firepower than their individual
component vehicles and can also be useful in exploring particularly rough
worlds. And when the Voltron Force is forced to defend itself and
all other options are exhausted, these 15 vehicles can unite into one powerful
robot, Voltron. VV boasts an awesome arsenal of super-weapons:
Solar Combat Spears, Ray-Beam Whip, Electro-Thermo-Blasters, Spinning Laser
Blades, and more--including, of course, Blazing Sword. Not even the
Drules' most terrible robeast can prevail against the Blazing Sword of
VV. Needless to say, VV's dual exploratory and defensive capabilities
have earned him a key role in the Explorer's peaceful yet hazardous mission
Even with the mighty Voltron, however, the mission bears little fruit.
Uninhabited livable worlds are hard to find and and even harder to defend
from the jealously possessive Drules. Nearly every habitable planet the Explorer
encounters meets an explosive end after fighting off the enemy. Further
disrupting the crew's mission is the sudden departure of Captain Newley,
who is reassigned elsewhere by the Alliance. The three VV team leaders--Jeff,
Cliff, and Crik--are assigned to rotating shifts as Acting Captains to
fill Newley's now-vacant position. The Explorer and the Voltron Force
nonetheless carry on, but with ever-increasing discouragement. Would
they ever find--and preserve--a new world? Would the Drules ever
consider giving up their mad ambitions of galactic conquest and let the
Explorer carry out her mission in peace?
Eventually, some of the Drule commanders, including Commander
Hazar himself, begin having similar thoughts. Hazar, ever known for
his relentlessness in battle, begins to reconsider his ways. Encouraged
by his father Mozak and sister Dorma, he comes to realize that the time
for war and conquest is long past. His people must have a new world
no matter what the cost--even if it means seeking help from the Alliance.
Some of his subordinates, such as his close friend Mongo, share this sentiment.
Many more, however, hold fast to the ambitious agenda of Zeppo and the
Supreme Council. Hazar begins attempting to make peaceful contact
with the Alliance. Unfortunately, this effort puts him at odds with
the Council. Viceroy Throk rallies Nerok, Valen, Marshall Keezor
and other commanders still loyal to him to sabotage Hazar's efforts at
every turn. His status with the Council diminishing rapidly, his peaceful
overtures to the Alliance repeatedly thwarted by his own subordinates,
Hazar wonders in anguish: Would he be able to save his world in time?
Would the Alliance ever trust him enough to negotiate peace after so many
betrayals? Who could blame them if they didn't?
Meanwhile, on the Drule homeworld, many citizens are also coming to
realize the jeopardy that their world is in. They also realize that
their leaders have become too lost in their conquering ways to save them.
An anti-emperor movement, the Underground Rebel Force, begins to emerge.
Supported by Hazar and Dorma, they plan a coup against Zeppo.
Realizing that they aren't strong enough to overthrow Zeppo's forces by
themselves, Hazar finally makes contact with the Alliance and requests
their help. The Alliance lends their assistance in the form of the
Explorer, VV, and a powerful escort fleet led by none other than Captain
Newley. The Explorer arrives at the Drule homeworld and the battle
for planet Drule is joined: The Explorer and her robot escort fleet
fight Zeppo's robot armada; VV lands on the planet and tears through the
many robeasts and other defenses; and the URF, led by Hazar and Dorma,
take down Zeppo and the Supreme Council from within. Hazar and Zeppo
confront each other face to face, at which point Zeppo promises to never
make war again if Hazar lets him go in peace. Hazar reluctantly agrees,
and allows Zeppo and his remaining subordinates to go into exile.
Unfortunately, Zeppo has no intention of keeping his promise. The
last time we see Zeppo, he's en route to a new world in another dimension.
Throk and other former Council members join Zeppo, ostensibly in "exile".
In truth, Zeppo already has forces settled on the new planet, rebuilding
the weapons of war...
With the Drule civil war ended, Hazar requests assistance from the Alliance
one more time: The planet is now in its death throes and his people
must be evacuated immediately, before it explodes. The Explorer and
other Alliance ships manage to save the Drule people just in time.
For the Alliance and the Drules, it's the beginning of a new era as they
join forces to find the now-homeless Drules a new world.
This is where the VV story ends. The only other appearance
of VV outside of its one-season, 52-episode run is in the "Fleet of Doom"