The spandex and helmets are back for their thirtieth season and the Power Rangers have changed quite substantially since then. Waking up on Saturday mornings never felt so good. Getting to watch my morning cartoons (mainly SpongeBob) and then beginning my day with the Power Rangers. Hasbro took the helm of the ship in 2018 as Power Rangers: Super Ninja Steel was coming to an end. Since then, we have seen the universe open up into reference after reference, which has its ups and downs. We see a lot of the Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers (MMPR) in the toy lines and we see those characters come back in a lot of the shows. That is not THE franchise, just the beginning of a wonderful 30 years.
Shotaro Ishinomori created the Super Sentai franchise back in 1975 and since Haim Saban adapted it into American Television in the 90’s, it’s taken the world by storm. When the Super Sentai franchise got rolling, they did one season per year and continued to change the team, lore, and suits to create a new fab five. When we saw Power Rangers in the 90’s, they tried to keep MMPR for as long as they possibly could, which meant creating original stories and content. They created a new big bad, Lord Zedd, who was and still is a powerful being to take on the teenagers with attitude. Since then, we haven’t seen many original characters outside of replacing humanesque characters with American american actors to make the show seem more realistic to the American audience. In 2023’s Power Rangers: Cosmic Fury, we will see a repeating cast for the first time since the 90’s to continue into a new season like this, with Lord Zedd most likely coming back as the big bad.
My favorite season was Power Rangers: Samurai but that was a cut and paste and made some edits which as a kid is fine, but as an adaptation, needed originality. Since Nickelodeon took over for a couple of years, they tried to do their best to keep the franchise afloat, but didn’t do much to get a new audience. So for the first time I am happy to see that Hasbro will be going with a crap load of original footage with (sorta) new suits! While Zord footage will be adapted from Uchu Sentai KyuRanger which might end up being a little confusing since they are continuing the dinosaur themed suits to continue. Having Lord Zedd be the main villain also gives a chance for the franchise to end his story and keep as much originality as possible, bringing back some of the original Power Rangers from the 90’s which will be nostalgic for some parents. Ultimately, Hasbro should just stick to toys and not TV Shows.
While we won’t wake up on a saturday morning to watch a new episode, the universal release on Netflix will be great to avoid spoilers worldwide. My fear is that this upcoming season will try so hard to be original while calling back to the thirty year anniversary of the American Adaptations, losing a lot of the nostalgic factors that we are hoping for. I am still excited to see what this new season brings with new and old characters coming to take us on a new adventure and ending an old story…maybe. With our first on screen LGBTQ+ character, will we see some behind the scenes drama from the 90’s come back to bite the original crew members in the butt? Will we see Zordon come back now that we know we can just magically resurrect rangers? We know Alpha 5 is coming back so there is always a possibility. A lot of questions do need to be answered but I cannot wait to see what the 30th season will be about.
TJ Bogart is a Junior Film, Photo and Visual Arts major who never left their Power Rangers phase and is proud of that. They can be reached at [email protected].