The Galra Empire is the main antagonistic faction within the Voltron's parent production, Golion. Ruled by the supreme Emperor Daibazaal it appears to have been modeled after various elements from Ancient Roman, Sumerian, German, and various Asian empires.
Galran society is ordered in several divisions or castes. The main divisions being the Ruling caste, the Warrior, Working civilians and finally Slaves. The Galra caste system is an elaborate and complex social system that combines elements of occupation, social class, and political power.
- Ruling Caste - Emperor Daibazaal and his son Sincline fall into this caste, they are the supreme rulers of the Galra Empire. However, in a number of episodes such as ep. 30 "The Prince Imperial's Dark Love", one can clearly see Daibazaal holding court with a number of nobles. While during the series these nobles are little more than background for various throne room scenes, they would still fit into the ruling class.
- Warrior Caste - Most of the Galran characters that are seen in the series belong to this caste. As its name would suggest, this is the caste of warriors, fighters and soldiers; in other words they are basically the entire military. Actual named characters that fall into this cast are Sadak and Gibra.
- Working Civilian Caste - This caste is never actually seen by the viewer during the course of the series. It is, however, talked of on occasion by the military caste whom wish that Daibazaal and Sincline would think about what would benefit "the people of Galra" more often.
- Slaves - The slaves are the lowest of the low and are not citizens of the Empire but rather property (as would already be implied by the word "slave"). They are the captured populations of defeated worlds that had the gall to stand up to the Empire. Most of the slaves seen in the anime are human, however, as seen in ep. 1 "Escape from Slave Castle" the Empire does posses a small number of non-human slaves.
MilitaryThe Galran military has an unusual structure. Everyone seems to perform all tasks regardless of uniform or division.
The lowest rank and common grunt fighter of the Galra Empire appears to be the charcoal gray jumpsuit with steel gray over-vest (shown right). The soldiers' uniforms give them robotic appearances, and they perform menial tasks like opening and closing doors, blowing trumpets, and serving as cannon-fodder against Golion and the Allies thereof. However, soldiers in the same uniforms have been seen filling the roles of command crew on Prince Imperial Sincline's flagship more than once.The Galran military also employs what appear to be officers in outfits that resemble German World War I uniforms prior to 1917.
The Black Army
The main military division, a portion of them was sent after the escaped Earth's space pilots under the command of Commander Sadak. This part of the army was quickly annihilated by four of the five Lions in the third episode of the series. After Sadak's death, they continued to work under Daibazaal.
The Red Army
The Red Army is an elite sub-division of the larger Galra military and is lead by General Gibra. The Reds does not play a very large role in the anime until the later half of the final season when they align themselves with Sincline and help him stage his coup to over throw Daibazaal.
Death-Black BeastmenDeath-black Beastmen are creatures created through the power of Occult-Science. Each beastman, regardless of what it is, began as a normal creature, an alien from a captured world, an animal native to planet Galra, even human slaves can become Beastmen. Each subject undergoes a transmogrification process, mutating them and enhancing their abilities. The subject is then shoved into a stasis pod which and is sent to whatever planet Daibazaal wishes to lay waste to.
Most Beastmen are gladiators in an arena, which the new slaves fight (and usually die). The GoLion pilots are the only known survivors of the gladiator matches, and the rest of the winners are turned into Beastmen themselves.
Most Beastmen require the energy from a special beam equipped to most Galra capitol ships to awaken from stasis. This is why Sadak and later Sincline must also be on planet while the creature is attacking. However, there are exceptions to this rule.
Unlike their organic counterparts, Mecha-black Beastmen do not start out as innocent living things. They are artificially manufactured in Honerva's Occult-Science research laboratory.
The Mecha-black Beastmen do not enter into the series until after the second half of the second season and at first must be piloted by Death-black Beastmen. Later, Honerva develops some which have a sentience of their own. For the final episode and the final Beastman they go back to having independent pilots.
- Galra - Central planet, Imperial government seat.
- Galleria - Planet from which Princess Sahlia (Sincline's fiancee from ep. 30) hails. This planet is never actually visited by any of the characters during the series and next to nothing is known about it aside than it is mostly populated by humans/humanoids (just like every other planet in the galaxy).
People & Culture
We never actually see the working civilian caste, but it can be inferred that the Galra do have a civilian group, which is mentioned once or twice.
Fall of the Galra Empire
A note from Princess Amue to Prince Alor in the final episodes. It reads "We will slip in to GALURA again with them. To help the guerrilla warfare in order confuse the core of enemy. And recover the..." (The rest is not shown) This may show that the original spelling of 'Galra' to be 'Galura'.
Empire in Decline
The Galra Empire comes to a close when Ryou Shirogane kills Sincline in a murder-suicide by jumping off of Slave Castle to their deaths.
- The Galra Empire was renamed the Drule Empire when the GoLion series was adapted into Voltron: Defender of the Universe.