So … Can we talk about Allura’s racism?
I was rewatching Avatar the Last Airbender to see if it still holds up as an amazing piece of animation (spoiler alert, it does), and I got to the episode “Return to Omashu.”
For those who don’t know or remember, Aang & the crew travelled to Omashu so Aang could learn Earthbending from his old friend King Bumi, but when they got to the city they found the Fire Nation had conquered it. They were able to evacuate all of the Earth Kingdom civilians, but during the evacuation they accidentally kidnapped the governor’s infant son Tom Tom (long story).
That night, everyone was just kind of chilling & trying to figure out what to do with this random Fire Nation baby. Now, keep in mind, the Fire Nation has been conquering the world for the past 100 years. They wiped out Aang’s people, murdered Sokka and Katara’s mother, and might have killed Aang’s last human friend from his own time. But our team never suggests harming Tom Tom. Sokka scolded him for trying to suck on his battle club, calling him a “bad Fire Nation baby,” but a) babies shouldn’t play with weapons, and b) they didn’t know Tom Tom’s name. Katara swatted Sokka for scolding Tom Tom, then started cuddling Tom Tom & gushing over how cute he is. An Omashu general had kind of a jaded view on Tom Tom, saying he would grow up to be drafted in the Fire Nation’s armed forces, but Katara didn’t care. All she saw was a cute little baby.
This interaction, and all of Team Avatar fighting to keep Tom Tom safe during a botched prisoner exchange for King Bumi and Aang later sneaking Tom Tom back to his parents, led me to thinking about how Team Voltron would respond to finding a lost/abandoned Galra baby during one of their adventures.
Hunk & Lance would probably whip out some impressive baby care skills, after helping to take care of their younger cousins/nieces & nephews. Might even see some “friendly” debate over how to take care of the Galra baby; which way to lay the baby down for a nap, where to pat the baby to properly burp it, corn starch vs baby powder, etc.
Pidge wouldn’t know what to make of the Galra baby. She might observe from a distance, then get involved when the baby starts to play with an Altean block toy. If she can connect intellectually with the baby (teaching basic shapes, playing Peek-a-Boo, maybe doing some “dancing filanges”), she’ll be wrapped around that baby’s finger & a total mess when the baby is eventually returned to its family.
Shiro, as resident Space Dad, would be the Baby Whisperer. Sure, he’ll try to insist that nobody get attached to the Galra baby since they’ll have to return it to the Galra eventually. But he can soothe the baby’s crying better than the “baby experts,” holds the record for the least time spent getting the baby put down for a nap, and will quash the Garrison Trio fighting over names for the baby by providing his own baby name (like Adam or Ulaz).
Coran might try to “interrogate” the Galra baby (using unimaginable torture techniques like tickling the baby’s feet with a feather), but he’ll also provide the Team with valuable information about caring for the baby & may pull out some old Altean baby products (toys, a crib, a high chair, etc.) for the baby’s use.
Keith would be fascinated by the Galra baby. He’d instantly connect with the little guy; abandoned by his family, all alone in the world. He would wonder if this sweet little baby is proof that not all Galra are inherently evil. And he’ll be the first to throw himself between the baby & any perceived threat. He might even volunteer to infiltrate a Galra colony to return the baby to its rightful parents (his half-Galra heritage & Marmorra training allowing him to get in & out without provoking a full-on Voltron fight).
But Allura? How would she react? Would she sing Altean lullabies to the Galra baby? Would she insist they dump it on the nearest Galra-inhabited planet and be on their way? Would she just stand back & glare at everyone else as they fussed over the baby, infuriated that her team is showing so much care for a Galra when the Galra probably slaughtered millions of Altean babies.