“Quick, Morty! You need to form the h— *belch* head!” In the Season 5 trailer for Rick and Morty, the popular sci-fi animated series again riffs on narrative tropes, cliches, and even other existing popular sci-fi media. And there is one parody in Rick and Morty Season 5 that is sure to excite Generation X viewers into a laughing fit of nostalgia. The season is still months away, and it’s already clear that it contains the series’ very best parody yet.
What Happened? — On March 30, Adult Swim released the trailer for Rick and Morty Season 5, which teases a number of out-of-context scenes and situations that are typical when you run with Grandpa Rick. “Morty! Come here, I need you for some bullshi—” Rick tells Morty, which is virtually how every episode of Rick and Morty unfolds.
While the Season 5 trailer teases episodes like a clone of Rick, a “strange horny ocean man” (a parody of Marvel’s Namor the Sub-Mariner), and a freaky riff of Clive Barker’s Hellraiser movies, the most fun is easily a parody of Voltron, the iconic giant robot anime from the ‘80s.
Almost a minute into the trailer, the Smith family (plus Grandpa Rick) are outfitted in color-coded pilot costumes, zip-lining downward into respective fighter jets. Asks Jerry, “Where are we zip-lining through futuristic metallic tunnels to?”
While the trailer unfortunately doesn’t reveal what the final form of Rick and Morty’s fully-assembled “Voltron” will look like (it also doesn’t seem to be based on Lions, but the helmets still sport a wildcat motif with eyes and teeth on the visors), you can bet it will either look really cool or maybe hilariously gross.
Color Blind — I fully apologize for this, but as a Voltron fan, I need to point out a slight inaccuracy.
In Rick and Morty, the Smith family’s uniforms perfectly match the colors of their fighter jets. That’s all fine — but that actually wasn’t the case in the original Voltron.
Famously and confusingly, the pilot-to-Lion Robot coordination in the original Voltron anime was way out of sync. While the characters Pidge (who wore green) and Hunk (yellow) piloted matching Green and Yellow Lions, the other three had mismatched pilots. Keith, who wore a red uniform, piloted the commanding Black Lion, while Lance (in blue) piloted the Red Lion. Sven, who wore black, had control of the Blue Lion until he was replaced by Allura, who wore a pink uniform.
The Netflix reboot of Voltron started out with matching pilot-to-Lion coordination, but events in the show had the characters “return” to this mismatched state by the series’ end.
Of course, it’s totally fine Rick and Morty doesn’t adhere to Voltron canon. It doesn’t have to! It’s just a small detail that those who haven’t thought about Voltron since 1984 might not remember.
The Inverse Analysis — After five seasons, it was only a matter of time before the meta Rick and Morty went mecha. As for why the Smiths plus Rick need to jump into a warrior robot, that remains unclear. Perhaps an experiment goes awry and the only solution is to kill it in a giant robot? Note the instances of alien invasions and giant bug monsters wreaking havoc on the town. Which, if we’re being honest, just sounds like Rick and Morty is back.
Rick and Morty Season 5 will return on June 20 on Adult Swim.