Power Rangers fans are eagerly awaiting the first trailer for a better look at Saban and Lionsgate’s big-budget feature film reboot of the now 23-year-old franchise. Fans will undoubtedly be looking to see which elements of the original Mighty Morphin incarnation of the franchise will make it into the movie and what form they’ll take in a film actor Bryan Cranston has described as a darker reimagining of the concept.
While a trailer has yet to surface, the property’s presence at SDCC 2016 has so far offered better looks at the film’s props, costumes and action figures. Now, we know that several more pieces of key Rangers lore will carry over into the new film as well.
In an interview with Nerdist, the cast and director revealed that the new Power Rangers will pilot the Dinozord robot vehicles in the film and that Cranston’s alien mentor Zordon will once more be assisted by the helper robot Alpha 5. In addition, while overall details were oblique, it was partly confirmed that the film will feature a new version of the ubiquitous “Go Go Power Rangers” theme song – fitting, as the movie is based on the first season of the 1990s series where these and more elements were first established.
Left unsaid is what sort of design sensibility will inform the new versions of these characters. On the original Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, Alpha 5 was depicted as an easily-startled comedy-relief robot sidekick in the C-3PO mold best remembered for his wailing “Aye Yi Yi!” catchphrase. The character has returned in several different incarnations throughout the franchise (which has maintained a loose series-to-series continuity up through the most recent seasons), though sometimes with a different voice and design. It’s presumed that in the new film he will continue to act as an assistant to Cranston’s Zordon – traditionally depicted as a giant head floating in a glass tube.
The form of the Dinozords will also be of interest to longtime series’ fans, especially considering they will likely encompass the most extensive special effects work in the film. Unlike Alpha and Zordon, who were original characters created for Power Rangers, the Zords (semi-sentient animal-shaped giant robot vehicles which can combine into a single humanoid Megazord) were carried over from the Japanese “Zyuranger” Super Sentai series that was re-edited to create the Western version of the show.
The Nerdist interview confirmed that the Dinozords will take the same prehistoric-animal inspirations as the original series with the same corresponding Ranger colors (red Tyrannosaurus, blue Triceratops, black wooly-mammoth, yellow sabretooth tiger, pink Terradactyl). However, no indication has yet been made as to whether they or their Megazord gestalt form will be redesigned as extensively as the Rangers themselves. On the other hand, their presence would seem to confirm that Elizabeth Banks’ villain character Rita Repulsa will retain her ability to create giant monster minions, the defeat of which was the primary reason for the Zords to be called on in the series.
Power Rangers hits U.S. theaters on March 24th, 2017.