Short Run of the Centipede Express is the twenty-fifth episode of the lion series of Voltron: Defender of the Universe.
Meanwhile, on the planet, Prince Lotor looks forward to one day taking the throne of Doom and winning over Princess Allura for himself. He speaks with his father King Zarkon and the witch Haggar, who are on Planet Doom. He informs the king about the secret weapon. Zarkon warns his son about betrayal from within. A soldier then informs the prince that the slaves refuse to work.
A hologram of Lotor appears at a stadium where the slaves are held. Some of the slaves are tied to stakes, and a monster walks out to greet them. One of the slaves rises up and calls for revolt. Suddenly, all the slaves in the stadium yell for freedom. Lotor gets mad, wanting to kill them all. His guards restrain him, putting their very lives on the line. They bow and suggest that Lotor use other means to get the weapon finished. Lotor decides to take his guards' advice.
Sometime later, Voltron arrives near Planet Maura, having already combined. They notice the Centipede Express Robeast, a centipede-like ship. It's proposed they simply chase after them, but Keith objects, saying they should not reveal their hand yet. Allura suggests using Pidge's Green Lion to infiltrate. Keith agrees, and Pidge detaches Green Lion's head from Voltron's left arm, transporting Keith and Lance to the planet.
On the surface, Keith and Lance approach the base. Keith notices what he calls an ion laser gun. Suddenly, two guards spot them and try to arrest them, but the two pilots knock them out.
Meanwhile, the upstart slave appears before Lotor. The Doom prince draws his sword, and the slave bows down and shows the prince the two unconscious guards, sans uniforms. The slave says that intruders had broken in, and Lotor tells the guards to look out for them.
Keith and Lance, now dressed as guards sneak in. They plant a bomb, and wonder why it will not detonate. They realize it is being jammed, and the soldiers know intruders are inside. They flee just as some guards reach their position.
In Lotor's office, the slave tells the prince that his name is Haran. Lotor asks why Haran gave away the enemy infiltrators, and the Mauran slave says that he wants the gun to be finished so that his people could be free. Lotor then pours a truth potion into a cup and demands that Haran drink it. After some hesitation, Haran drinks the potion, and says he just wants freedom for his people. Lotor refuses to promise to free the Maurans, as he had just drank the truth potion.
Keith and Lance grab Haran, and ask him why he sounded the alarm. Still under the effect of the truth potion, Haran says that he wants the gun to be complete, and blames Arus for allowing Doom to conquer Maura. The cities were destroyed, and Haran does not even know where his family is. Some guards arrive, and Keith and Lance flee. Haran swears he will decide how to free his people. The two Voltron Force pilots reach Green Lion's head, and Pidge takes off. Soon, Green Lion's head reattaches to Voltron's left arm. Keith decides to bring Voltron to Maura and take out the gun.
A soldier informs Lotor that Zarkon and Haggar are arriving on the Centipede Express. He also informs the prince that Voltron has been sighted. Finding an opportunity to destroy Voltron, Lotor orders Haran to fire the gun at the mighty robot.
Haran sees Voltron in the gun's sights. He then sees the Centipede Express. Remembering that Zarkon enslaved his people, he takes aim at the Centipede Express. The gun strikes a glancing blow on the spacecraft, knocking Zarkon and Haggar about. The cannon is then rotated to hit the base's main building. The building is destroyed, and Lotor escapes. The Centipede Express crashes on the surface. Haran takes aim at the Express, when suddenly it rises up and somehow jams the gun's controls. The Centipede hits Voltron with a beam. Voltron then hits the Centipede with a spinning laser blade, followed by an electro-saber, and the machine counterattacks. Voltron then forms the blazing sword and charges right through the Centipede, which soon goes up in an explosion. Zarkon, Lotor, and Haggar escape the planet.
Haran and the newly freed slaves meet the Voltron Force right next to the ion cannon, and they form an alliance.
"Is this what they call a very slight turbulence?"
— Haggar's rather scathing observation after she stumbles into Zarkon when Centipede Express loses control.
"Let this seal the friendship between your planet and ours. We look forward to long and harmonious cooperation with the people of planet Mora and you can always count on our protection in the future. Just as people who suffer injustice and oppression anywhere in the galaxies can always count on Voltron Defender of the Universe."
— Keith's hopeful speech for the day
Notes and Goofs
- First appearance of the Interstellar Ion Cannon.
- It is possible that Maura provided weapons, ammo, supplies, and equipment to Arus after Voltron came back. If any of its ships tried to repel Doom's massive bombing, they failed.