The new Power Rangers movie is slated to hit the big screens in 2016 and so far very little has been revealed about the movie itself. They have said it will remain in the continuity of the current [Power Rangers](movie:1408875) TV franchise. Suggesting instantly that it may not be a reboot of the original franchise where we met Jason, Kimberly, Billy, Trini and Zack using the powers of the Tyrannosaurus, Pterodactyl, Triceratops, Saber-Toothed Tiger and Mastodon to protect the Earth from evil.
So what could we see in the new movie? Essentially we could see anything! They could find a way to have the original powers return to a new team, making it still a reboot of the original series. But what if they take a more original and creative path forming a team without looking to Super Sentai series for inspiration on themes, colors, villains, zords and plot?
Over the course of Power Rangers history we have seen many different themes throughout the years. It is actually pretty difficult to think of themes they can use without repeating an already preexisting theme. To date they have used as an overall theme the following, some do have more than 1 theme:
- Dinosaurs - 3 times - Mighty Morphin Power Rangers S1, Power Rangers Dino Thunder & Power Rangers Dino Charge
- Thunder - 1 time - Mighty Morphin Power Rangers S2
- Martial Arts - 4 times - Mighty Morphin Power Rangers S3, Power Rangers Ninja Storm, Power Rangers Samurai & Power Rangers Jungle Fury
- Ancient Monuments - 1 time - Power Rangers Zeo
- Cars - 2 times - Power Rangers Turbo & Power Rangers RPM
- Space - 3 times - Mighty Morphin Alien Rangers, Power Rangers in Space & Power Rangers Lost Galaxy
- Emergency Services - 2 times - Power Rangers Lightspeed Rescue & Power Rangers SPD
- Time Travel - 1 time - Power Rangers Time Force
- Animals - 2 time - Power Rangers Wild Force & Power Rangers RPM
- Magic - 1 time - Power Rangers Mystic Force
- Treasure Hunters - 1 time - Power Rangers Operation Overdrive
- Mythical Animals - 1 time - Power Rangers Megaforce
- Pirates - Power Rangers Super Megaforce
Now overall they have covered a lot of themes. However there are a couple that have never been used before. One being the elements fire, earth, air and water. Yes the elements have been used as a power source e.g. Power Rangers Mystic Force, however their main theme was magic. So the elements have never been the driving force behind the series theme. They could even use love/life as a 5th power source as they do like to typically have five members, making fire - red, wind - yellow, water - blue, earth - green/black and love/life - pink/white. Another theme would be insects. Insects have been used before in another Saban franchise (Big Bad Beetle Borgs) and it is used in another franchise similar to Power Rangers in Japan called Kamen Rider. However the only time insects/arachnids have been used by Power Rangers were in Power Rangers Ninja Storm where the Crimson and Navy Rangers had insect themes in their outfits and Zords. So even though Power Rangers have hit all sorts of themes it is not impossible to think of something new.
However going with an old theme could also be successful using original new designs and story. Dinosaurs and Martial Arts have both been used many times in the Power Rangers franchise so they are proven choices from the past. One thing that has not been done is a Martial Arts theme where the team each uses a different styles of Martial Arts and having their Ranger forms match appropriately. Another good option would be the Mythical Animals theme. When people tend to think of ancient mythical beasts they tend to associate them with a lot of power. So using them as a power source to power the team of Power Rangers is always a theme that is easily accepted in the minds of the viewers.
What Would You Prefer?
You would think the colors of the Rangers is pretty set in stone. However you would be wrong. Up until Power Rangers Dino Charge you were always guaranteed a Red, Blue and Yellow Ranger. Power Rangers Dino Charge has changed this rule in Power Rangers introducing a team without a Yellow Ranger. The series is also not due to receive a Yellow Ranger as it is based off the series Kyoryuger from Super Sentai. This is not the first time Super Sentai did not include a Yellow Ranger as their 1985 series Changeman had a team consisting of Red, Blue, Black, Pink and White, but for Power Rangers it is a first.
Another thing that can happen is a color double in a series. For example, Power Rangers Ninja Storm started with a Red, Blue and Yellow Ranger. As the series progressed a Crimson and Navy Ranger joined the team effectively making 2 Red Rangers and 2 Blue Rangers on the team. They have also had the 6th ranger be a duplicate color to one already on the team. Power Rangers Time Force saw the Quantum Ranger join the team which meant their were 2 Red Rangers on their team. Also sometimes not strictly considered a Ranger, they may have an ally they can call upon to aid in a fight. One example is Ninjor from the third series of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. While Ninjor was not actually a Ranger he was blue meaning when in a battle you had two blue warriors fighting. Below is a chart of a total number of rangers to wear a certain color. This includes all the of the Dino Charge Rangers even if they have not debuted in the series yet.
As you can see Red, Blue, Yellow and Pink are the most common colors to be in the core team with Green also be a close contender, but Green Rangers have been the 6th Ranger to join the team, making them a non-core member. The "Other" column has so many as Power Rangers Dino Charge will feature many new colors and be the largest team of Rangers in Power Rangers history by its conclusion.
What Would You Prefer?
The colors and genders is also not set in stone. To date men and women have wore Red, Blue, Yellow, White and Silver. Black, Green and Gold have only ever been male where Pink have always been female. We have had so far:
- Red Ranger - 22 Male, 1 Female
- Blue Ranger - 17 Male, 2 Female
- Yellow Rangers - 3 Male, 15 Female
- White Rangers - 2 Male, 3 Female
Now you would think there is a clear sign here that Red and Blue Rangers are typically male while Yellow Rangers are typically female, but you would be wrong. Due to Saban wanting a more gender diverse series they started a trend of gender swapping the Yellow Rangers into a female character. The key proof behind this is looking at the suits.
As you can see the female Rangers above all have skirts. The only Power Rangers series to not have the female Rangers sporting a short skirt is Power Rangers SPD where both female characters simply had trousers like the male Rangers. When Disney took the franchise over starting with Power Rangers Ninja Storm they decided to keep to the genders used in Super Sentai. This was when we met out first female Blue Ranger and second male Yellow Ranger. This was also the first series to feature only one female Ranger from start to finish which was then followed by Power Rangers Dino Thunder and Power Rangers Jungle Fury which also only featured one female Ranger.
What Would You Prefer?
Now for the number pf Rangers on the team. For the first 11 series the format was an original team of 5 and a 6th joining about a third of the way into the series. However Power Rangers Ninja Storm changed this. Instead they began with just 3 Rangers, Red, Blue and Yellow. Eventually the series did see the team of 3 become 5 and then again a 6th ranger joined later into the series. However the series to follow Power Rangers Dino Thunder started with 3 members Red, Blue and Yellow but by episode 6 they were joined by a 4th member which was Black. It was the first time we saw the Power Rangers operate as a team of 4 until they were eventually joined by a 5th member being White about half way into the series. It was the first full series to end with only 5 members and a 6th not to join the team.
However from this point is where we see numbers increasing more and more over the years. Power Ranger Dino Charge will end with a total number of 10 Rangers making them the largest Power Rangers team to date. We have even seen Power Rangers create Rangers that the Super Sentai counterpart series would not have. Power Rangers Jungle Fury was one of these series in which they created 3 additional Rangers which were not in the Super Sentai series Gekiranger. With how the numbers have changed more and more in recent years we may not see 5 Rangers. We could see 3, or more, which would change the amount of focus they could give characters. A team of 3 would mean they can show more character development for each character as the film progresses.
What Would You Prefer?
The final part to consider for the team is, who leads the team. Now many are probably saying "The Red Ranger obviously" but in Power Rangers History the Red has not always been the leader. From the mid-point of series 2 of the original Mighty Morphin Power Rangers series the White Ranger joined the team and became the new leader of the team. This saw a White Ranger lead the team until the end of series 3. When the original Power Rangers lost their powers mid-series 3 they called for help from the Mighty Morphin Alien Rangers which were also led by their White Ranger. However this White Ranger was female marking the first time a female has been the leader of the Power Rangers. Other female leaders include the Pink Time Force Ranger, the Yellow Wild Force Ranger (until the Red Ranger joined the team) and the Red female Samurai Ranger. Also during the 15th series, Power Ranger Operation Overdrive, the Rangers loose their powers for 2 episodes resulting in 5 past Rangers being called to form a new team. This saw the second Mighty Morphin Black Ranger return to lead the new team of Rangers.
So the leader does not have to be the Red Ranger. Yes typically the leader is the Red Ranger but it is not a concrete rule.
What Would You Prefer?
Now the Zords are pretty hard to forget. In every Power Rangers series you know they are going to have some giant robot that can transform and save the Earth from evil. But these Zords have come in a multitude of fashions of the years. On the whole there tends to be an individual Zord for each Ranger to pilot which can combine together and form the mighty Megazord. Sometimes the Zords follow a theme to match the Rangers or match the theme that link the Zords together instead. From prehistoric beast to cars to space ships to animals, we have seen many varieties over the years. But the creativity behind the Zords is hard to ignore. Below is a chart showing how many Zord themes have been used throughout the years.
The original format for the Zords were 5 combining to create a Megazord, some being able to create a new formation using the 6th Rangers Zord and finally a Carrier Zord arriving so they could create an Ultrazord. In the 2nd series we saw the Red and White Rangers Zords having the ability to turn from beasts to robots without the need of the other Rangers Zords. But in series 3 they introduced us to something completely new. Zords which were mechas that could combine to create a giant mecha.
Before this point Zords had always been a creature e.g. dinosaurs, mythical beast and animals. The Shogun Zords introduced a new chapter in the giant Megazord battles. This was then taken further by the Alien Rangers who had Battle Borgs for their Zords. The were a more stream line version of the Shogun Zords, but unlike all Zords before them, they did not combine to create a Megazord. Instead being more streamline the where more flexible and nimble in combat against the giant monster of the day.
Power Rangers Zeo was the next to add a new gimmick to the Megazord in the form of helmet changes. Each Ranger had the ability to swap the helmet worn by the Megazord to activate a new power. Red - Warrior Mode, Yellow - Rocket Mode, Green - Gravity Mode, Blue - Pyramid Mode and Pink - Cannon Mode. With these abilities the Megazord was more diverse in combat and gave us the chance to see different Rangers sit in point position of the cockpit.
Power Rangers in Space was the next series to see a drastic change to the Megazord format. Instead of the Rangers having individual Zords, they instead all piloted the Astro Mega Ship which was a giant space ship which transformed on its own into the Astro Megazord. The next Zord they received was again a single giant space ship called the Delta Megaship which turned into the Delta Megazord. The 2 separate Megazords could then combine to create the Astro Delta Megazord giving fans the first time 2 Megazords had ever combined.
The Megazord format returned to a more familiar format for a few series until Power Rangers Time Force debuted. Power Rangers Time Force introduced fans to a new type of Megazord with their 5 individual Zords being able to combine into 3 different formations, Jet Mode, Megazord Mode Red and Megazord Mode Blue. The two Megazord forms gave different abilities in combat with Mode Red being designed for more close combat and Mode Blue for long-range attacks.
The series to consist of the most Zords is easily Power Rangers Wild Force. It was the first series to introduce Auxiliary Zords for the Megazord. The 5 Rangers started with a single Zord each, by the end of the series they had 3/4 Zords each. However these new Zords came with many combinations and uses. For example they Blue Ranger received a Giraffe Zord which when attached to the Megazord became a spear, or when the White Ranger received an Elephant Zord it turned into a sword and shield for the Megazord. Eventually they gained enough new Zords to create brand new Megazords and dozens of combinations to choose from.
Power Rangers Ninja Storm ended a long tradition of the Rangers having multiple Zords and creating multiple combinations. Instead they all only had a single Zord, but instead they would gain Power Discs that could be used in the Megazord formation to call forth new weapons for the Megazord to use or a new helmet and fists to aid in separate Megazords combining into a new formation.
The Megazords have seen dozens of changes over the years and the Zords have been seen in many incarnations and forms. If an original theme is chosen anything is possible when it comes to the giant Megazord battle.
What Would You Prefer?
Power Rangers has seen villains come in all forms throughout its run. We have seen witches, robots, aliens, mad scientists and even computer viruses. The villain is a key factor behind this whole movie working. When you get down to what Power Rangers series have a good plot run throughout is when the villain has a purpose. If you actually look at the first series of Power Rangers the actual reason behind Rita wanting to destroy the Earth is never actually made clear. It is not until the second series when Lord Zedd arrives you get the reason of him simply being power mad an wanting to conquer all he can.
When you compare this to Power Rangers Operation Overdrive which had an underpinning theme of finding 5 gems. It saw not one arch foe for the Rangers but several. Throughout most of the series the team of Rangers are constantly going up against 4 evil factions all after the gems also. Having a format of everyone after treasure allowed them to break the conventional format of a team of Rangers against a single foe.
Power Rangers RPM changed the format dramatically also. They took the end of the world route. For the first time ever we saw the world ending at the start of the show. Much in the style of Terminator the Venjix virus took control of the world's computer networks and ended the world. The only hope for humanity was the domed city of Corinth where the Power Rangers protect the last of humanity from extinction. Venjix would create new robots and armies in an attempt to wipe out the last of humanity.
Another big scorer in the bad guy ratings for Power Rangers that are Evil Rangers. Perhaps the most famous is Tommy the original Green Ranger. However perhaps the best in the franchise were in fact called the Psycho Rangers. Unlike the Evil Green Ranger the Psycho Rangers were created purely for the reason to destroy the Rangers and they nearly succeeded. They were so popular they were even brought back for the Ranger Team up episode featuring the Space Rangers and Lost Galaxy Rangers. Psycho Pink actually succeeded in destroying the Lost Galaxy Pink Ranger marking effectively the first Ranger death in the franchise history.
The villains could be played out in multitude of ways and how it is handled will be key. The question is how believable they will be.
What Would You Prefer?
Throughout Power Rangers history we have seen many "Command Centers" where the team operates from. In the beginning it was a typical sci-fi style Command Center with consoles, a portal to view problems and their mentor watching over them. Then there was also a helpful robot side-kick which would aid the Rangers in their combat related problems and would develop new weapons and Zords for them. But we have seen many different styles of Command Centers for the Rangers to operate out of.
Power Rangers in Space operated from their primary Zord the Astro Megaship which also operated as their home. With all the facilities of the Megaship at their disposal they could do everything effectively, from travel to combat. It took the sci-fi themed Command Center to the next level and still came with a robot helper for the Rangers.
Much in the style of Batman we have seen underground bases which form caves for the Rangers to operate out of. Power Rangers Dino Thunder's base was even coined as the "Dino Cave" by the Red Ranger at one point. However it was much more sleek than the Bat Cave is normally portrayed, making it more like an ancient tomb. But it did have plenty of hidden doors that would open to reveal new toys for the Rangers to try out in combat.
Power Rangers Lightspeed Rescue took their base underwater. An aqua base formed of modules connected via tunnels. The Rangers lived and worked on stopping the demons from here. It was also where their technology was developed by an ever helpful attractive scientist. This is the only time a base has been located underwater in the Power Rangers franchise, however it did make you wonder why the enemy never just attacked the very vulnerable base.
We have even seen some teams not have a central base to operate out of. Power Rangers Lost Galaxy occasionally used the Megaship from Power Rangers in Space but they kind of met up wherever they were needed primarily. Needless to say the base of operations is something to look forward to as it could go in all sorts of directions.
What Would You Prefer?
Needless to say we could see anything, be that a reboot that some how fits in with the continuity of the Power Rangers TV franchise or a brand new never before seen theme, team and plot. However I hope they are brave enough to go with original ideas and bring us something brand new to fit in with the TV franchise. It would be the more difficult route and take a lot of bravery on Saban and Lionsgate side, but I think it is what is more likely to pull in new fans to the franchise and please old fans to the franchise at the same time.