Although we’ve had a few glimpses here and there, today Netflix gave us our first proper good look at Power Rangers: Once and Always, a new reunion special to celebrate 30 years of teens with attitude and brightly colored Spandex. But here’s the surprising thing: not only does it look extremely good, it looks like it’s going to hit hard for MMPR fans.
The new trailer sees the Mighty Morphin’ team band together once more as Rita Repulsa returns to wreak havoc on earth—this time in a robot body of her usual witchy getup. But with upgraded powers it looks like Once and Always will see the Rangers suffer a major casualty, as Rita moves to travel back in time to the very first episode of the franchise and kill the Rangers before they even knew they were the most famous team of technicolor morphers around.
That major loss appears to be the original Yellow Ranger, Trini Kwan, seemingly killed when an attack from Rita blasts the side of a cliff. Trini’s actress, Thuy Trang, tragically died in a car accident in 2001, so to see Power Rangers actually address it in-universe is touching, especially as it’s seemingly carrying on Trini’s legacy in giving her a daughter, Minh, played by Charlie Kersh. But as Rita plans for chaos, Billy (David Yost) and Zack (Walter Jones) find themselves teaming up with Rocky (Steve Cardenas)—the second MMPR Red Ranger, likely due to the fact that Austin St. John could not reprise his role as Jason while being investigated for covid fraud—and Kat (Catherine Sutherland)—the second MMPR Pink Ranger, stepping in after Amy Jo Johnson publicly revealed that she declined to return—to save the day.
They’re not the only familiar faces in the trailer, either—we get to see Alpha-5 yucking it up in the Command Center, and even the second Yellow and Black Rangers, Aisha (Karan Ashley) and Adam (Johnny Yong Bosch), make a brief appearance, now having signed up with the S.P.D.. And of course, the original Megazord is back in (computer generated, it seems) action!
But for as fun and nostalgic as it all looks, Once and Always tackling Thuy Trang’s death in this way raises questions as to just how the special will approach the recent passing of Jason David Frank, who played the original Green Ranger, Tommy Oliver. The Green Ranger makes a fleeting appearance in the trailer fighting alongside the rest of the team, but it currently remains to be seen just how it will acknowledge a celebration of everything Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers was, with the loss of one of its most stalwart champions. Either way, Ranger fans better be prepared for a bittersweet tinge to all the action.
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Power Rangers: Once and Always will debut on Netflix April 19.
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