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Admiral Ellen Sanda was the admiral of the Galaxy Garrison. She betrayed Team Voltron and the entire Earth by telling Commander Sendak about the plan to destroy the Zaiforge Cannons due to a deal she made with him. However, instead of liberating Earth Sendak went back on his word and imprisoned her with the captured Paladins, remaining intent on destroying Earth anyway. When the Paladins telepathically controlled their Lions and Sendak sent Lieutenant Hepta to terminate them, Sanda tricked him into freeing her so she could steal a blaster from a sentry and buy time for the Lions to rescue their Paladins. Ultimately her blaster ran out of power and she was mortally wounded in her attempt to charge the Galra lieutenant; before Hepta could finish her off the Black Lion penetrated the cell block with its jaws, killing him. As Sanda lay dying in Keith's arms, she pleaded him to save Earth where she couldn't.
Despite her betrayal, she was honored for her redemption and sacrifice by the Galaxy Garrison and Voltron Coalition along with the rest of the fallen who died to free Earth from the tyranny of the Galra.
She received a plaque on Earth for her sacrifice.
Sanda is a stern, disciplined and stalwart leader but displays a need for control and is irritated by anything or anyone that challenges or undermines her authority. She was presumably the one who ordered Commander Iverson to have kept the fates of Dr. Samuel Holt, Captain Takashi Shirogane, Matthew Holt and their abduction by the Galra secret because she believed informing the world of the real circumstances behind the mission to Kerberos and credible looming threat of the now-fragmented Galra Empire would only lead to panic on a global scale.
She and some other senior officers considered surrendering the Voltron Lions in exchange for Earth's safety, Sanda in particular being annoyed when the Paladins vehemently refused to even entertain that notion and snapping at Princess Allura to leave Earth's matters to the human race. This display, further coupled with her hesitances implied a previously-unseen streak of cowardice veiled under a superiority complex with control-freak tendencies; however, this could merely be a form of obsessive-compulsive disorder or obsessive-compulsive personality disorder.
Sanda ultimately chose to betray the Paladins after making a deal with Sendak, informing him of the Paladins' plans and helping the Galra capture the Lions in exchange for Earth's safety only to be ignored and imprisoned alongside the planet's only hopes by Sendak, who had no intention of honoring the deal in the first place.
Devastated, Sanda had all but given up hope believing that instead of saving Earth she had condemned it. But when Sanda saw an opportunity to redeem herself, she took it at the cost of her own life to protect the Paladins. Sanda then died with honor, being remembered along with all the other fallen who had made the ultimate sacrifices.
- Sanda's actions are similar to those of King Lubos due to the fact that they betrayed their people to the Galra under the belief they were saving them only to be double-crossed; unlike Lubos, Sanda tried to redeem herself once she realized her mistake and sincerely wanted to protect her people without regard to her own well-being.
- Sanda is hated for her role in Adam's death and betraying humanity to Sendak. Her attempt at redemption and being hailed as a hero is also hated and feels undeserved.