Lieutenant Takashi 'Shiro' Shirogane is a skilled pilot of legendary reputation of the Galaxy Garrison, and later the leader of the five Paladins of Voltron. He is the Paladin of the Black Lion of Voltron, the largest of the Lions and consequently the head of the combined legendary Voltron Mech.
Originally an exploration pilot for the Galaxy Garrison, Shiro traveled to Pluto's moon Kerberos with Dr. Samuel Holt and his son, Matt Holt, which at that point in time was the furthest that humans had ever traveled into the universe. While Earth's governments officially reported them missing due to pilot error, the three had in reality been abducted by a passing Galra ship which had been scouting Earth's solar system for signs of Voltron.
Dr. Holt was sent to a labor camp, while Shiro and Matt were sent to become fighters in Emperor Zarkon's Gladiatorial Arena. While waiting to face off against the gladiator Myzax, Shiro could sense Matt's trepidation and fear and, in a bid to protect the younger man, knocked him to the ground while injuring his leg in the process so that Matt would be sent to the labor colony with his father. With this action, Shiro created a façade for himself as a bloodthirsty warrior amongst the other alien prisoners and went on to become the reigning Champion, undergoing extreme physical and mental scarring in the process. The full extent of his trauma is unknown, but what is known is that his right arm was replaced with a weaponized Galra tech prosthetic that is capable of energy emission powerful enough to cut through most metals and weld doors shut. He also gained a lateral scar across the bridge of his nose, part of his black hair turned white from the extreme stress, and even his skin appears paler.
One year after his capture, Shiro was rescued by Ulaz while being examined by Galra technicians. Ulaz gave Shiro information about the Blue Lion's existence on Earth and had coordinates implanted into his prosthetic arm that divulged the location of a base used by the Blade of Marmora, a Galra resistance group. Unfortunately, Shiro suffered a head injury from an explosion during his escape, which resulted in leaving him with amnesia as he fell into an escape pod destined for Earth.
Though unable to remember much of his time in captivity, and despite the combination of PTSD and various ailments, Shiro doesn't let himself fall into self-pity, nor has he lost his sense of duty to his teammates or the universe they are sworn to protect.