Rebirth is the eighth episode of Season One.
The Robeast Drazil
The Paladins of Voltron have successfully rescued Shay and thwarted Prorok's plot to seal them on the Balmera and steal their Lions, but must prepare to face off against the sleeping Robeast that has arrived. Hunk prays the spacecraft contains space candy. Keith thinks the monster inside will be similar to the Galactic Gladiator, so uses the Red Bayard to summon a saber, and Pidge readies Voltron's shield. However, the Robeast that emerges from the transport ship is not anything like the previous one: Drazil is powered by an unimaginable amount of Quintessence courtesy of Haggar, and covered in eyes that function as laser cannons.
With a powerful blast from its chest cannon, Drazil knocks Voltron a large distance backwards, although the Paladins are able to defend against the blast with their shield. In order to avoid causing harm to the Balmera, they try flying Voltron over the surface to dodge the lasers and strike at the Robeast. Drazil hovers above the surface itself, allowing agility to dance around Voltron's saber and strike the massive robot from behind. It is also powerful enough to weaken the Green Lion and damage their shield, which the Paladins are repeatedly forced to use when unable to dodge without allowing the Balmera to be hit.
Struggling against a heavy blast from Drazil's chest cannon, Lance is the first to point out how they cannot withstand the force of the Robeast's attacks, followed by Pidge's belief that losing the shield would mean the fight would be over for them. Keith agrees with Pidge, and Lance takes offense that he did not get recognition first. Keith has no time for the meaningless insecurity and warns Lance to watch their footing—Too late, as the Blue Lion trips during Lance's lack of focus and Voltron falls over, its shield splitting in half, but luckily missing being struck.
Shiro suggests a different tactic so the Paladins disband from Voltron to fly their Lions freely, thinking the Robeast cannot hit the five of them at once. They are proven wrong as Drazil spreads its arms wide, revealing how they are lined with weaponized eyes, and fires a bombardment of lasers. A blast from the Castle of Lions momentarily frees the Paladins from the onslaught and staggers the monster, but the weakened Castleship struggles to sustain its particle barrier when it is assaulted by a retaliating strike. Allura is baffled by how Zarkon is able to have such frightening creatures at his command, and how he has been able to find Voltron a second time.
Shiro instructs Keith to draw the monster's attention while he sneaks behind with the Black Lion and tries to fire its mouth cannon. Drazil is capable of rotating its eye cannons around its head, so spots Shiro and fires an attack first; Shiro is able to escape unharmed. With no apparent blind spot because the monster is covered in eyes, Pidge likens the battle to fighting an entire fleet of ships at once. Keith believes they need to destroy each of the laser eyes, so Allura tries providing cover fire with the Castle of Lions. However, the Castleship is too damaged to handle the massive amounts of lasers from the Robeast, sending Coran into a panic as the Castle begins failing.
Shiro orders Allura to pull back; she refuses to abandon the Paladins, but Shiro tells her that they are pulling back as well. He orders the Paladins to send their Lions into the mine shafts where Drazil cannot attack them, and Allura sends the Castleship into orbit, out of the monster's range of fire.
At the bottom of one mine shaft, Shiro, Keith, and Hunk meet with Shay, Rax, and their family, who are wondering what has been happening. The Paladins explain that Zarkon has sent a Robeast to destroy them. Shay begins losing hope that her people could ever be free from Zarkon's rule; Hunk does not want her to give up, and asks Keith to explain how the Paladins can defeat the monster. Keith is not certain victory is possible. Shiro disagrees, because he refuses to allow failure on their first mission, and thinks they only need time to devise a plan. Just as Hunk is thanking the Black Paladin for the encouraging words, the sound of the Balmera groaning in pain interrupts, and the shaft around them begins trembling and crumbling underfoot.
Lance and Pidge are in a different mine shaft experiencing the same event; Rax explains that the sound is the Balmera itself as it slowly dies. Shiro tries informing the Castle of Lions but Coran and Allura are already aware: the Castleship's scanners are showing the life energy draining from the suffering creature; Coran explains that by removing a Crystal from the Balmera, one is removing a vital part of it, so the creature must be allowed time to recover. Since the Galra Empire has taken everything without replenishing what has been lost, the core of the Balmera will collapse, and so will the rest of the planet with it - which means anyone on the planet at the time will be crushed. Coran speculates it is only a matter of hours until the end.
Allura decides they must evacuate everyone from the Balmera before the dying planet implodes. The Paladins are to keep the Drazil occupied while the Castle of Lions lands and gathers the Balmerans; using the Lions to shuttle groups of Balmerans would take too long, and the Lions need only to provoke the Robeast and evade its attacks, not win a fight. Keith asks Shay to contact all the other Balmerans, but the young girl is uncertain that her people will want to leave their home even if it is dying. Allura decides she will descend to the Balmera by herself to convince them all and lead them out. Her team protests, thinking the Robeast could shoot her out of the sky, but the princess is insistent on her task and has faith the Paladins will provide enough of a distraction to allow her to slip past.
The Princess Descends
The Lions launch from the mine shafts and attack Drazil, enraging the Robeast so it gives chase. Allura mounts a drop-sled to rapidly descend from orbit in the meantime, but Drazil spies her and tries to attack; Hunk takes the brunt of laser fire with the Yellow Lion, briefly being incapacitated, but the other Paladins manage to distract the Robeast and allow Allura to safely enter the mines of the Balmera to speak with Shay and her family. Unfortunately, while they are thankful for the Voltron team's kindness, all Balmerans wish to stay with the dying planet until the end, not concerned if they die as well because they blame themselves for what has happened to their home.
Allura absolutely refuses to abandon any of the Balmerans even if they believe no one should risk their lives for them. She asks Shay to send a message to all the Balmerans for her; at that moment, Shay's grandmother points out that there is no need for anyone to speak on behalf of the princess, as her powers will allow the Balmera to transmit her words. As proof, Shay's grandmother points to Allura's hand resting on the tunnel wall - it is glowing the familiar color of Altean energy, and Allura was not even aware of it. She recoils from the sight, but Shay's grandmother takes her hand and places it back on the rocky wall, instructing Allura to speak her heart.
The message Allura sends to the Balmerans is one recounting the loss of Planet Altea and how the princess refuses to give up even though her home and all her people are gone. She implores the Balmerans to make the same choice she has: to never allow the Galra Empire to destroy another planet again. She asks that they not allow the Balmera to die in vain, and instead honor its death by fighting alongside her against the Galra Empire. Shay's grandmother receives the reply from the other Balmerans: Allura's words have awakened new hope in their hearts. The princess is grateful - though the Balmerans are even more so - and orders every Balmeran to head to the caves just below the surface of the dying planet.
Coran confirms that the Balmerans are moving as instructed with the Castle of Lions's BLIP Tech and prepares to use Allura's location as a landing zone. The Paladins are struggling to handle Drazil but have the Robeast preoccupied while all the Balmerans slowly climb to the surface of the planet. Coran lands the Castle of Lions just outside of a mine shaft and descends in a transport pod to assist the Balmerans gathering at the top of the mine. However, just as he arrives, the Balmera violently rumbles and causes a rock slide, the mine shaft beginning to crumble apart. Thankfully, no Balmerans appear injured, but they are trapped, unable to climb to the surface to reach the Alteans and Shay's family.
Hunk is frantically dodging the laser fire from Drazil, but each blast is hitting the Balmera and damaging it further. He questions if the planet has been evacuated yet; Coran informs him of the worsened situation and tells him the Paladins simply need to keep distracting the Robeast. Hunk believes they will end up distracting it by dying; Shiro thinks the Paladins will have to defeat the monster instead of distracting it, contrary to the earlier plan.
With the situation so bleak, Shay begins succumbing to despair over the loss of her planet and people; however, she notices something strange: the ground beneath the Castle of Lions glows and appears revitalized. The same can be seen in the ground underneath Allura herself. Coran confirms that the Castleship's Power Crystal and Allura's Altean energy have restored a small portion of the Balmera. This realization inspires Allura to perform the ancient ceremony that Coran has spoken of several times before in order to save the entire planet. Rax is unfamiliar with the ceremony so Coran explains: Alteans would be given Crystals from the Balmera, so would repay it having a sacred Altean re-infuse the mighty creature with Quintessence, creating a mutually beneficial and respectful relationship.
The princess believes that she can connect with the Crystal inside the Castleship and use the entire spacecraft as an amplifier for her own energy. Coran warns against the idea, because King Alfor only performed the ceremony on a small scale - healing an entire planet is something Allura might not survive because she might not have enough energy to give. Allura appreciates the concern, but knows the only choice she has is to try. As she stands beneath the Castle of Lions, Shay's family surrounds her with their palms against the ground to resonate with the Balmera an the rest of the Balmerans. The Crystal of the Castleship connects with Allura, enveloping her in a beam of light.
Rip Vol Winkle
Meanwhile, the Paladins continue to flee from Drazil's bombardment of laser fire without landing many damaging hits in. Keith is frustrated that they will not be able to defeat the Robeast in five separate Lions, but Pidge points out that forming Voltron did not work either. Lance agrees that they cannot win without a way of destroying all of Drazil's laser eyes. Just then, the Yellow Lion presents the keyhole console for Hunk's Bayard, perplexing him. He summons his Bayard and informs the Paladins that his Lion might be trying to tell him a way they can destroy the laser eyes at once, similar to how Keith's Bayard was used to form a saber.
The Yellow Paladin tries inserting his Bayard into the keyhole console, but nothing happens; Shiro reminds him they have not formed Voltron yet. Before they can, Drazil notices the Castle of Lions nearby and moves in to attack. Shiro hurries everyone to form Voltron so they can defend the Castleship. The Paladins use the Red Lion's mouth cannon to draw Drazil's attention and stand between it and the Castle of Lions. Drazil charges up a large energy blast; Voltron uses Hunk's Bayard to summon a massive shoulder cannon to counterattack the blast. The warriors are largely at a standstill, but Drazil's blast slowly begins overpowering the Paladins and threatens to harm the Castleship. Hunk skillfully tilts the trajectory of the cannon ever so slightly to deflect the blast away from the Castle, narrowly missing it.
Voltron takes flight to draw Drazil's laser fire in a different direction. In mid-air, Hunk's display shows Voltron has locked-on to all of Drazil's laser eyes at once. The Paladins re-summon the shoulder cannon and it fires not a single blast, but rapid-fire storm of energy bullets that hit every one of Drazil's laser eyes, finally damaging it and rendering it still.
Thanks to the hard work of the Paladins, Allura has had time to prepare the ceremony and kneels upon the ground. As she does, a massive wave of Quintessence spreads across the Balmera, turning its decaying colors into a vibrant and shimmering blue. However, after the Quintessence is absorbed into the Balmera, Drazil suddenly begins attacking Voltron again, not yet defeated. Voltron is quick to dodge the Robeast's attacks, and Keith delivers a hopefully final blow by punching Drazil with the Red Lion. The Balmerans witness the massive monster flying over the opening of the mine shaft, and it lands in a heap on the other side, powering down.
Allura finishes the ceremony and collapses once released from the energy of the Castle of Lions. Shay is at her side in an instant, gathering the princess in her arms. Fortunately, Allura awakens and questions if her attempt worked. Rax informs her the Balmera lives and that the planet is grateful to her. Allura smiles, but as the Paladins exit their Lions and arrive to check on her, to everyone's horror, Drazil suddenly re-engages as second time and prepares to destroy the entire group of heroes as they stand exposed.
This is something the Balmera will not allow; underfoot, Crystals begin rising and encasing the savage Robeast along the outside, as well as from the inside-out, disabling Drazil and freezing its body in place. The team is shocked beyond belief, but to their delight, Crystals begin forming across the surface of the Balmera, showing its health has returned. Hunk is so grateful for the Balmera's rescue, he begins rubbing its surface and speaking to it as if it were a puppy who "ate the big monster", much to his fellow Paladins' embarrassment. Hunk sees no problem because the Balmera is alive and loves his petting. Keith can only facepalm.
To See the Sky
After the battle has ended, Hunk sits with Shay atop the Yellow Lion. She thanks him for honoring his promise to save her, but Hunk believes he should be thanking her instead because she taught something too important to neglect: Zarkon is destroying lives with the rule of his empire, but Hunk is part of a team that has the power to change that and defeat the evil spread across the universe. Shay and Hunk smile at each other; as a sun begins to rise on the Balmera's horizon, Shay is perplexed by the sight of the sky that she has never seen before and asks what it could be.
Hunk looks at the sunrise with a smile and tells her that it is the dawn of a new day.
- After this episode, the storyline of the first five Comic issues begins.