August 28, 1993. That was the day the world first saw Jason, Kimberly, Billy, Zack and Trini face off against the evil space witch Rita Repulsa, in a series that literally changed the children’s entertainment industry, with an adaptation of the Japanese Super Sentai series, which first reached the United States, and then the rest of the planet under the name of Power Rangers.
Today, April 19, 2023, 30 years later, Netflix gives us a Special Feature that promises to rescue the nostalgia of the millions of children who saw the Rangers for the first time, now all as adults. Now, if you want to know if Netflix actually achieved its goal with this special, don’t worry because below and without further ado we are going to cut deep into Power Rangers: Once & Always.
1 ^ Which members of the original cast of Power Rangers return for Netflix Special Once & Always?
Only two members of the original cast return in the Netflix special: David Yost (Billy) and Walter Jones (Zack), although we see the entire team of Rangers in scenes from the original series from Austin St. John and Amy Jo Johnson, to the late Thuy Trang and Jason David Frank, the latter two to whom the Special Feature is dedicated.
Replacement cast members from the first three seasons who also appear in the Special include: Catherine Sutherland (Kat), Steve Cardenas (Rocky), Johnny Yong Bosch (Adam) and Karan Ashley (Aisha). Also returning are the original voices of Rita Repulsa (Barbara Goodson) and Alpha (Richard Steven Horvitz).
It should be remembered that the Netflix special is a sequel to the original series, not a reboot.
2 ^ Who play each of the Power Rangers in the Netflix special?
At the beginning of the special, it is assumed that the original rangers standing up to Robo Rita, are Jason, Billy, Trini, Zack, Kimberly and Tommy, as the group of original rangers that safeguards Angel Groove. However, in Rita’s ambush, Kimberly, Tommy and Jason are captured and sent to the Bandora Palace in the Moon, and Trini being the mortal victim of the evil space witch.
Therefore, throughout the course of the special, the Red Ranger titled is switched to Rocky, the Pink Ranger’s to Kat, while Zack continues to retain the title of Black Ranger and Billy that of Blue Ranger. The entire special also serves as a transition story for Minh (Charlie Kersh), Trini’s daughter, to ultimately become the Yellow Ranger.
If the question is about who plays the Green Ranger in the special, the answer is nobody. The title of Green Ranger, unlike the Red, Pink and Yellow, is not switched to anyone else.
3 ^ Is Power Rangers: Once & Always a series or a movie? On what streaming platform can we see it?
Power Rangers: Once & Always is a 1-hour special episode, therefore it is not a series, nor is it a movie. And as we have said from the beginning, the platform on which we can stream that special episode is Netflix. Power Rangers: Once & Always is not available on HBO Max, Disney Plus, or Prime Video.
4 ^ Why were the original Red Ranger and Pink Ranger actors not involved in the Netflix 2023 Special?
According to everything reported in the media, Austin St. John and Amy Jo Johnson were not involved in the project, mainly due to financial disagreements. Apparently Netflix had a somewhat tight budget to produce the special, and the requests of both actors exceeded (apparently by a lot) said budget. In other words, the price of resuming a character from thirty years ago that these two actors had in mind did not match the price paid by the producers of the Special. And even so, it is notorious that the budget for the special was not particularly large.
5 ^ How did Rita Repulsa come back to life after Zordon sacrificed himself for her?
Let’s remember that in the original series, Rita Repulsa actually transformed and managed to redeem herself thanks to Zordon’s sacrifice with the Z-Wave, which eliminated him and the dark magical energy that inhabited Rita. The original Rita actually became a force for good, fighting evil in the galaxy.
However, when Billy attempted to bring Zordon back, he reunited Rita’s dark energy particles that later possessed Alpha, transforming him into a robotic version of Evil Rita. That’s also why Robo Rita is so much crueler, and so much less fun than the original, to the point of killing one of the Power Rangers herself.
6 ^ Why couldn’t Minh transform into a Power Ranger?
Upon learning that Rita had murdered her mother, Minh began training and believed herself worthy of Trini’s Power Coin. However, as Zack specified, her vengeful motivations made her unworthy of such power. That is why she was unable to transform on two occasions. However, when Minh sacrificed herself for Billy, putting the welfare of others above her own motivations, she was finally able to transform.
7 ^ What was Rita’s plan and why didn’t it work?
Robo Rita’s plan was basically to deliver all the information she had from both his experience, and all she took from Alpha, to his younger self so she would succeed in destroying Zordon and the Power Rangers long before they were put into action against her. The plan didn’t work because she needed the energy that one of her monsters sucked from the captured Rangers, and when the Megazord destroyed the monster and Kat destroyed the machine, the portal closed completely.
8 ^ What does the end of Power Rangers: Once & Always mean? Will there be a sequel?
In the end, the one-hour special implies that Billy will try again to bring Zordon back to life, while taking care of Minh in conjunction with Zack, giving the very 90s message that – in the end – forgiveness and union are much more powerful than the thirst for revenge. Now, in relation to whether there will be a sequel to this special, the Power Rangers franchise is far from dead, it is almost certain that in the future there will be other series within the same universe that rescue the idea of the colored warriors who save the world. And also other attempts to make new versions. So while the special may not be universally acclaimed to the point of bringing a new sequel, there’s a lot of Power Rangers still to come.
Questions? Annotations? More doubts? The comments section is open just below this post so feel free to use it. See you in the next installment of Ending Explained here at El Sabanero X.