I'm not 100% familiar with the 2010s series, but speaking more of the original 1980s cartoon/anime, and the early 2000s semi-spin off/continuation Voltron Force:

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It's been heavily implied that the individual Lion robots have a certain amount of autonomy, with the Blue lion in particular seeming to have a type of "psychic link" with Princess Allura. Other implications are that the Lions can or have on different occasions:

  • Reacting to pain/celebrating victories with a roar.
  • Act on their own to protect their pilots or each other
  • Respond to verbal commands
  • Act genuinely like big cats

Now, considering how advanced they are, this could just be a well crafted, futuristic A.I., but since Voltron is also based heavily in magic, it's also been inferred that there is a "Spirit" in the beasts.

When they link up to the big robot, many of the above conditions still apply to it/him. He shows facial reactions, and seems to have a "Will" or extra power to push through in desperate situations, especially if the hearts of the Team are united in the struggle.

So I was wondering if canon material definitively state that this is either an advanced, sentient AI., ala "Samantha" from Her?

Or does the robot possess a type of actual magical "spirit", ala the Power Rangers: Wild Force Wild Zords, which were essentially animal spirits given robotic form on this reality?

  • Just to be clear about terminology: Do you want to know whether they are sentient, which is actually a given if they are able to feel pain - a mouse is sentient, as are all vertebrates - or whether they are sapient, ie. have an understanding of self and think? Apr 1, 2021 at 9:17
  • @PhilipKlöcking Both, actually. Pain recognition and self preservation aren't really the hallmarks of sentience, as I understand it, but Self Awareness is.
    – Russhiro
    Apr 6, 2021 at 5:09
  • 1
    That's kind of the point here: Yes, sentience is often understood to mean self-awareness/self-consciousness in pop culture. But actually, that is wrong and in philosophy of mind and biology, this difference is important. Being sentient literally means "feeling or sensing something", whereas sapient means "thinking". That is why our species is called homo sapiens. Apr 6, 2021 at 6:49
  • @PhilipKlöcking Fair point. However, as we are talking about machines, here (and ones mystically empowered, to a point, to complicate issues) the difference is even hazier, considering the crossover. To my knowledge, at least a rudimentary nervous system is needed to "sense" pain, physically and emotions or "feelings" are often the result of sensory feedback reactions. Pets & pack animals have been proven to show some type of emotional recognition, and even Deception, implying a limited "thought" capacity. If the lions are A.I.s, they are Already "Thinking machines" sans "Sentience"
    – Russhiro
    Apr 10, 2021 at 15:59
  • @PhilipKlöcking Unless things have changed, the base regard for A.I.s in the real world is still "sentience", not really "sapience". And machines have shown the capacity to adapt, think, learn and solve problems without actually feeling anything. Again, because "feelings" or emotions are highly bound to our physiology, it's kind of hard to make an analogy to this in programs and devices; they simply have no nervous system or hormones to generate such reactions. As such, consciousness may be a better measurement, but that too can be a bit nebulous to judge in cases such as this.
    – Russhiro
    Apr 10, 2021 at 16:07

1 Answer 1


Voltron was sentient; in the episode where they are saved by the Goddess from the neutron star's gravity, the goddess speaks directly to GoLion while the pilots are unconscious. Plus if you watch Golion, the series Voltron is based on, in the 1st episode it is shown he was a being that acted on his own as if he was alive.

  • Hi, welcome to SF&F! Could you improve your answer by identifying the episode you're talking about?
    – DavidW
    Mar 30, 2021 at 22:38

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