By Joshie Jaxon
Ahh, after 10,000 years I’m free! It’s time to conquer Earth! Alpha! Rita’s escaped! Recruit a team of teenagers with attitude! Go! Go! Power Rangers! I loved this series from the very beginning, over twenty years ago. Lord, I feel old now. I didn’t care about the dubbing, the stock footage, or the bad acting. All I cared about was how I was gonna get $2 from my mom so I could have a blank VHS so that I wouldn’t miss anything if I didn’t get home from school in time. I still have my original Megazord, secure in a plastic tub with all the other Megazords through Rangers in Space. However, adult-me sees things that kid-me didn’t. Let the geeks begin!
We open on a space shuttle, landing on what is supposed to be our moon. However, that opening shot isn’t our planet or moon, and when we see the explorers on the surface, there’s what appears to be another planet in the distance. Unless it’s a moon dome and I just think it’s another planet. I dunno, I never saw the super sentai. Alright, hold up, if this is supposed to be the moon, why are there clouds in the sky? Twenty seconds in an already I’m having issues. I’ll have to channel my Voltron nostalgia filter to get through this. Activate interlock! Dyna-therms connected! Nostalgia filter is go! The explorers see what they can only naturally assume is a space dumpster, cause why not? They go to open it. Cause again, why not? For that matter, why is it that the prison for an evil empress is able to be opened so easily?
Goldar, Finster, Squatt, and Baboo appear. Note worthy, Goldar has no wings. The minions tell Rita to get up, and that they’re free. Also noteworthy, now Goldar has wings. Finster is glad to be free after 10,000 years. Funny, they emerged as energy balls, but somehow were able to count the days while they were contained. Then again, evil space aliens, led by a fierce diva with a Madonna cone brazier and hair to match. Stranger things have happened. Anyhow, Rita destroys their former prison, and the space explorers scramble to get away. She says they shouldn’t miss her coming out party. She’s going to take over the nearest planet. We pan up to what is allegedly earth. Gasp!
Angel Grove youth center. Kimberly, in pink, is on the balance beam. Jason in red and Zack in black are sparring. Trini, clad in yellow, is doing her breathing, and striking poses. Tai chi? Then Billy shows up in his glasses, white Gi, blue headband, and matching button down under it. I get that he’s supposed to be the nerd, and Jason the hunky jock, but I always liked Billy more, over all. While we’re at it, I’d like to point out how stupid the producers must have felt that kids are. Each of these teens is in the color of the ranger they’re going to become. I’d call spoilers on myself, but the opening credits already show us who’s who. In case you can’t keep them straight when they’re not fighting bad guys, and even though they’re individuals that you can identify on sight, all you need to know is what color they’re wearing. Give us a little credit. In 1993 I may not have been able to fully tell when it was original vs US footage, but I knew the characters. Side note, I can totally tell on the footage now. Where was I? Oh yeah, enter Bulk & Skull, the “punks” of the series. They ask out Kimberly and Trini, and are naturally shot down. As they get all bulk smash, Zack steps up. The girls say they’ve got this. Bulk & Skull launch themselves at them, and are flipped over for their trouble. Girls rule! Boys drool!
Actual Earth moon this time. Palace of the empress of evil. Rita is looking at the Earth through her telescope. Goldar, sans wings, and the others, speak of world domination as Finster is ordered to make putty patrollers.
Back in Angel Grove, Jason is teaching his karate class. Billy, in stereotypical nerd fashion, isn’t doing as well. Jason pauses the class, and they stand with their backs to Billy as Jason gives him some one on one. Dunno if that’s a respect thing or what, but I wouldn’t mind one on one with either of them. Jason says even he was a beginner once. I just bet you were. I remember those gay porn rumors. Untrue, of course, but still. Jason asks what martial arts teaches. Yet again, in stereotypical nerd fashion, Billy gives the right answer and is praised for memorizing it so quickly. Bulk & Skull show up and wanna learn how to beat people up. Jason says that’s not what martial arts is for. Bulk didn’t sign on for the geek class. Jason shows him a high kick, and surprisingly, Bulk does it. Tornado kick on the other hand, lands him on his ass. Later, in their color appropriate street clothes, Jason is telling Billy he did good for his first class. Trini agrees, it’s all mental. Ernie shows up with smoothies, and that’s when the earthquake hit.
Buildings shake. Freeways shake. People are fleeing the safety of door frames and tables to run into the streets.
Command Center. Danger! Danger! It’s the big one! Calm down, Alpha, it’s just Rita. She’s attacking the planet. How very matter of fact, Zordon, thank you. Now, teleport five overbearing, and over-emotional humans. No! Not teenagers! Alpha pushes a button, and we cut back to the youth center. Our five color-clad kids are wondering what’s going on, as they stand on stairs. You’re in California, shouldn’t you know earthquake safety? Jason yells for them to hold on, as they’re teleported away. They arrive in an empty command center. Billy is in nerd heaven. Despite the situation being so dire that they needed outside help, Zordon and Alpha still wanted to make an entrance. Alpha tells them not to touch anything, as Zordon appears. Who are you? What are you? Oh, just an inter-dimensional being caught in a time warp. Again, vat the hell is a time vorp? Zordon brought them cause the planet is in danger, and they need to save it. Observe the viewing globe. We see Rita, and a winged Goldar terrorizing a city.
Zordon tells them they will be given power based on the ancient creatures they call dinosaurs. Does that mean they have them on other planets, and Zordon calls them something else? Morphers appear on each of them. Zack asks what they are. Yet another side note, Zack only has four fingers on his left hand. Oddly, all five fingers of the black ranger move. It’s almost like they spliced two shows together. Anyhow, Zordon says that if they raise them to the sky, and call their dinosaur name, they will morph. Morph? Yes, Kimberly, metamorphosis. Trini explains for Billy that it means to change. Smart Asian; shocking. Time to divvy up some powers; Jason, bold and powerful, Tyrannosaurus. Zack, clever and brave, mastodon. Kimberly, graceful and “smart”, pterodactyl. Billy, patient and wise, triceratops. Trini, fearless and agile, Sabertooth tiger. Zordon says their zords will be able to combine when needed to form the mighty Megazord. Zack and brain-trust Kimberly are ready to bail. Jason, Billy and Trini hang around a moment until peer pressure makes them leave too. Now, even though they walked out on him, Kimberly still complains that Zordon could have sent them back to town. Bitch.
On the moon, Rita is surprised that Zordon is using teenagers to try and stop her. Um, in a space dumpster for 10,000 years, yet is able to see exactly where Zordon and the super teens are on Earth; still opts to attack the city each week, rather than the command center. No wonder your boss shows up next season. Oops, spoilers. Finster makes plenty of puttys. Time to get those teenagers. Again, Rita blasts at the teenagers, rather than the command center. I’m just saying, it’s right there. The puttys attack, and power teens go down one by one. First Billy, naturally. Gotta reinforce nerd stereotypes. Then Kimberly. Same thing, but with pretty girls. Then Zack, cause, you know. *whispers, he’s black. Next is Trini, leaving the last one standing as Jason, the straight, white, jock. Am I reading too much into it? Maybe, but it is what it is. Tired of sitting in a pile, they decide to finally do something useful. It’s Morphin time! Mastodon! Pterodactyl! Triceratops! Sabertooth Tiger! Tyrannosaurus! Since they earned Zordon’s favor by using the Morphers, they get teleported back to the city. Guys? There are still putty patrollers near the command center. Guys? Oh, forget it. They’re too busy posing on a rooftop.
Winged Goldar shows up with puttys, and the fighting starts. This time around, they actually kick some ass. Rita is less than pleased. Baboo suggests she makes Goldar grow with her wand. She has to do everything around here. Magic wand! Make my Goldar grooooow! *Joshie gets chills. Goldar grows, and loses his wings in the process. Power poses! We need dinozord power! *more chills. As the zords merge into tank mode, Trini makes a comment about them knowing how to operate them. Billy agrees, it’s like second nature. Well, at least they got that in there. In the cockpit, left to right, we have blue, yellow, red, pink, black. Remember that in a sec. They use the mega tank to blast Goldar, but it isn’t enough. Activate battle mode. Megazord sequence has been initiated. *Joshie has merging Voltron flashbacks, and fanboys a little. As the megazord stands, we have a reverse view of the cockpit. Now, left to right is black, yellow, red, pink, blue. Kimberly and Trini must have played musical chairs. They’re back to normal seating once the battle starts. Darn editors. The megazord fights Goldar, but they aren’t damaging him. They need the power sword! Goldar sees how big it is, and flees. Rita can’t believe he failed! He says it won’t happen again. Shut up! She has a headache!
Zordon congratulates the team on beating Goldar. Um, he fled. Anyhow, there are three rules that must be followed. Don’t get Rita wet. Don’t feed Rita after midnight. Oops, that’s Gremlins.
Don’t use your power for personal gain. Don’t escalate a fight unless Rita forces you. Finally, keep your identity secret. Zack says that’s great and all, but they got lucky. Nonsense, they’re as fine a group of super heroes as there has ever been. No way! Yes way, Kimberly. They’re all in. Except Kim. The outfits are cool and all, but her hair gets all tangled in the helmet. She doesn’t think she can do it. Priorities and all. Not! Yes, actual dialogue. She said “Not!”. It was 1993, we’ll cut her a tiny bit of slack. Her vapid 90’s bimboness causes Aloha to blow a fuse. He just can’t believe people thought that was funny. Group hands in the center. Leap in the air. Freeze frame. Credits.
Until next time, stay geeky, and keep gabbing!